TechDAS Air Force V and Graham Phantom III Arrive
We've been waiting for months and it's finally here! Our new TechDAS Air Force V arrived this week, coincidentally on the same day as our Planar 10. So many presents to unwrap, and that was before Thanksgiving!
The table arrived early on Wednesday morning around 10:30 a.m. and by 1 p.m. Russ had it up and running with an Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge. That's a remarkably short time considering he had never set one up, and he did take the time to read the manuals and call up TechDAS to go over setup before proceeding. The ease of setup is an interesting testament to a very well designed turntable and tonearm.
Here is a stock aerial photo of the TechDAS V, which has in inboard motor.
Here is the TechDAS Air Force V's separate chassis for the air supply for the air-bearing and vacuum hold-down.
The TechDAS Air Force V in our store.
TechDAS' Bob Graham of Graham Engineering also makes the Graham Phantom B44 tonearm, a descendent of the original Graham tonearm released nearly 30 years ago. The 1999 era Graham 2.2 was Pearl Audio owner John Loranger's first high end tonearm (he thanked Bob on the phone), and a direct ancestor to the B44. The 2019 era Phantom B44 Mk III has significant improvements including Graham's magnetic azimuth control which compliments Graham's paradigm-setting unipivot design.
After the remarkably short setup time we powered the Air Force V up, and right out of the box the TechDAS measured perfect speed stability at 33 and 45 rpm and also starts and stops faster than any turntable we've ever seen. The table is also absolutely quiet when you spin the motor, even in our extra-quiet big sound room.
We've installed a few Cadenza Black cartridges on different tables over the years so we have a pretty good feel for its sound but we've never even heard close to what we are hearing with this TechDAS. Hearing this improvement is the biggest testament to the inherent quality of a turntable and tonearm that we've ever experienced.
We set the table up with our already-there Dynaudio Confidence 60's, Boulder 1160 amplifier, Boulder 1110 preamplifier, and Boulder 508 phono stage. Russ didn't spend more than 20 minutes on the cartridge which dropped in like a rock, and was very easy to tune with the Phantom's high quality adjustment verniers.
Once we put a record on though, that's when things got interesting. We've heard, discussed, experienced, won and lost the analog vs digital debate for years. With this table, it's short and simple: analog wins. We've never heard a source that brings out the lifelike realism of a singer or instrument. There is a certain 'life' to the performers through this table that really has to be experienced to be believed.
Speaking of hearing, we will be showing the new TechDAS Air Force V at our Luxman Evening this upcoming Thursday.