Clearaudio Turntables: Sophisticated Technology, Simple Set-up
These four Clearaudio turntables are the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.
There’s no wrong way to listen to music. There are ways, however, that you can enhance the way it sounds. Topping that list is listening to a vinyl record on a turntable. It allows you to recreate a live musical experience, right from the comfort of your living room. There’s just something special — and nostalgic — about the process. You thumb through your collection to find your Jimi Hendrix record, slip it out of its beautifully-designed sleeve and set the tonearm down to ride the grooves of the record. The experience is so much richer than just hitting the “play” button.
Fortunately, that experience is available at a variety of price ranges, depending on your needs and budget. A high-end German audio company, Clearaudio is perhaps one of the best examples of the wide spectrum of what’s available. Whether you’re looking for a place to start or a turntable upgrade, every Clearaudio turntable is made with forward-thinking technology, expert craftmanship and meticulous design that all work together toward a single goal: the best possible music reproduction.
Find out why Clearaudio turntables are a top pick — and which ones we’d recommend for the people on your “nice” list this holiday season. (Or maybe even yourself.)
Innovation Born from Collaboration
Last year, Clearaudio celebrated its 40th anniversary, which means it has been around nearly as long as Definitive. In 1978, Peter Suchy and his team developed the company’s first moving coil cartridges. The company’s patented symmetrical design and use of a boron cantilever were pioneering approaches that still guide its product decisions today.
Their highly-skilled technicians and engineers believe great products are born from collaboration. They draw from the expertise of precision engineers, watchmakers, electronic engineers, physicists and industrial designers to develop products that are a nod to the past and a step toward the future. The shapes and influencers of Erlangen — the city where Clearaudio’s products are conceived and produced — have also been major sources of inspiration.
“Clearaudio draws from the expertise of precision engineers, watchmakers, electronic engineers, physicists and industrial designers to develop products that are a nod to the past and a step toward the future.”
Combining passion with responsibility, Clearaudio relies primarily on in-house craftmanship, with minimal outsourcing of components. Each product line undergoes rigorous testing to ensure optimal performance. The company also retains spare parts for up to 25 years after a product launch, a unique benefit greatly appreciated by customers.
The Art of Designing a Clearaudio Turntable
Like any product, a turntable is the sum of its parts — making even the smallest component important to the resulting sound quality. The final product is a Gesamtkunstwerk, a complete work of art that draws from many art forms. Everything is carefully constructed by hand, coupling mechanics with components fine-tuned for density, mass and shape.
What materials make up these masterpieces? High-density, multi-layered wood, titanium, stainless steel V2A, aluminum, and specially developed, high-performance plastics.
The top priorities for Clearaudio are maximum performance of music playback and technically-effective design, in addition to aesthetic beauty. The result is a turntable that plays music with mechanical harmony — and without resonance.
Clearaudio’s Award-Winning Turntables
This year, Clearaudio was honored with the Plus X Award, which is the world’s largest innovation award for technology, sports and lifestyle. Additionally, many of Clearaudio’s turntables have individually won awards from The Absolute Sound, a publication that reviews sound reproduction equipment.
Here are four Clearaudio turntables that live up to the hype (and then some):
|Concept with Satisfy Tonearm||Performance DC Wood with Tracer Tonearm||Ovation with 9″ Universal Tonearm||Innovation with 12″ Universal Tonearm|
|Perfect for those who want||Sheer musical engagement at an affordable price. It’s also perfect for those who want plug-and-play simplicity||The latest technology at a mid-range price (it incorporates features and technology from the higher-tier Ovation and Innovation turntables).||High-end sound with real-world convenience. This Clearaudio turntable has won numerous awards, too, including the 2017 Editors’ Choice Award from The Absolute Sound.||A top-of-the-line turntable with stunning pitch stability.|
|How it works||Belt-driven by a low-noise, decoupled DC motor built into the plinth, the Concept has a 30mm-thick polyoxymethylene platter.||The Performance DC Wood features an aluminum sub-platter fitted to a 40mm-thick POM platter, Clearaudio’s patented ceramic magnetic bearing, and a decoupled DC motor with electronic speed selection.||A quiet decoupled DC motor with high torque, hidden under the 40mm-thick platter made from resonance-damping POM.||A high-torque decoupled DC motor rotates the precision-machined 70mm-thick platter made of high-density acrylic.|
|Special features||Satisfy Kardan tonearm, a precise, magnetic antiskating adjustment with gentle sensitivity.||The base of the table is made from mass-loaded Baltic birch, giving it visual appeal and resonance control.||Internal mat made up of nearly 100,000 tiny metal balls, designed to eliminate resonance.||Clearaudio’s optical speed control is paired with an infrared sensor for maximum speed stability. The result is highly detailed music with outstanding pitch, rhythm and pace.|
|Speed ranges||Select your speed using the electronic speed control knob: 33 1/3, 45 or 78 rpm.||Select your speed (33 1/3, 45 or 78 rpm) by pressing the blue illuminated buttons on the front left of the chassis.||33 1/3, 45 or 78 rpm||33 1/3, 45 or 78 rpm|
|Dimensions||Width: 16.54 inches
Depth: 13.78 inches
Height: 4.92 inches
|Width: 16.54 inches
Depth: 12.99 inches
Height: 4.92 inches
|Width: 16.54 inches
Depth: 13.78 inches
Height: 5.31 inches
|Width: 18.11 inches
Depth: 19.09 inches
Height: 8.66 inches
|Price point||$2,000 (does not include cartridge)||$5,800 (does not include cartridge)||$11,000 (does not include cartridge)||$16,000 (does not include cartridge)|
Choosing Your Turntable
Which of these Clearaudio turntables should you take home? It depends on what matters most to you. Definitive Audio’s team of experts ask the right questions to gain insight into what you want from your listening experience. We can then help you identify the right turntable to fulfill those needs, whether it’s from Clearaudio or one of the four other brands of turntables we carry.
Best of all, you can even listen to our turntables in-person — before you buy them — at our Bellevue or Seattle showrooms. Already have a turntable? Ask about our upgrade program!
That’s important to us because, as music lovers, we understand that it’s not about reading product specs on paper.
It’s about the sound — and how it moves you.