Sleipner Airbearing Turntable with Airbearing Tonearm Preview
- Product Name: Airbearing Turntable with Airbearing Tonearm
- Manufacturer: Sleipner
- MSRP: $48,100 to $50,200
- First Impression: Mildly Interesting
Aaudio Imports, having showed off their new Lansche Model No. 7 tower speakers, also took some time at CES to demo and show off the new Sleipner Airbearing Turntable with Bergmann Audio Airbearing Tonearm (a Denmark company). Bergmann Audio is known in the industry for their airbearing turntables and tonearms. All we can say is: wow. That's a lot of record player - and at a suggested retail price falling between $48,100 and $50,200, it's only for those who are VERY serious about their vinyl. The Sleipner is a reference-level turntable powered by airbearing technology. It includes a linear tracking airbearing tonearm, a digital motor-controlled air supply, and a vacuum clamp to stabilize records. In Danish, "Sleipner" means smooth or gliding, and it also refers to an eight-legged flying stallion ridden by Odin, chief among the mythological Nordic gods.
The Sleipner looks very simple, and we suppose all that technology - enough to dwarf the cost of many mid-sized automobiles - is stored inside. The airbearing process is virtually frictionless, minimizing bearing noise and yielding exceptional stability. The airbearing tonearm, which glides along a tubular carbon shaft, only makes contact with a record through the stylus tip and the tonearm wire. The Sleipner's plinth, or base, is a six-layer sandwich of different materials for optimal resonance control. The sandwich consists of three boards of powdered granite/epoxy binding material, two layers of aluminum, and one layer of bitumen, all covered in a 12-mm thick coat of hand-painted and polished polyvinyl. The plinth stabilizes the tonearm, and rests on a set of sturdy, adjustable Ceraball feet, which house vibration-controlling ceramic ball-bearings inside aluminum housings.
A 20.2-pound aluminum platter rests atop the plinth, and atop a 21-mm record mat made of two layers of polycarbonate and one layer of acrylic. The Sleipner's air supply both supports and centers the platter and provides a thin, dry film of smoothly flowing air, creating a silent, friction-free movement. The linear-tracking airbearing tonearm consists of a stiff, damped tubular carbon arm and headshell molded in one piece. The hollow arm's connecting wires are made of pure silver (and, given the price, perhaps the entire assembly should be). A digitally controlled DC motor with an oversized power supply regulates record speeds, including settings for 33 and 45 rpm.
For further technical information, visit Aaudio Imports' website at www.aaudioimports.com.