Posted on 12th March, 2018


Famous for their audiophile LP’s, CD’s and SACD recordings, U.S. company Mobile Fidelity has recently branched out into the wild world of electronics, including quality turntables and phono stages

Two belt-drive turntable models are now available and they represent outstanding value in their respective price brackets.

Beautifully styled, the entry-level StudioDeck ($2199 RRP inc StudioTracker MM cartridge) is equipped with a 1.76kg Delrin platter, chosen for its resistance to unwanted noise and resonance, along with a 10” tonearm specifically designed for the table. 

The straight aluminium gimballed bearing Studio Arm offers adjustment in VTA, azimuth, anti-skate and tracking force for maximum flexibility. 

This rigid yet lightweight arm has been designed to track the groove with extremely low tracking error and according to Mo-Fi, ‘all you’ll hear is what’s in the grooves’. 

A 300rpm stepped-pulley AC motor (the pulley is also constructed from Delrin) is said to drive the belt/platter with excellent speed stability, providing pitch accuracy and rhythmic drive.

A sophisticated, high-quality steel and inverted Teflon bearing has been designed with extremely low tolerances – Mo-Fi’s aim in designing the bearing this way was to provide smooth, quiet rotational stability. 

Vibrations that can rob musical enjoyment are kept away from the platter by using advanced damping materials to effectively decouple the motor from the rest of the turntable. 

StudioDeck’s plinth uses an aluminium plate bonded to an MDF body adding mass and eliminating tonal colouration, meaning it’ll remain faithful to the sound engineered on your favourite LP’s.

Mo-Fi engaged the expertise of anti-resonance guru’s Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) to design the footers for the StudioDeck, and they don’t just help to create a barrier to resonance, they also add to the inherent sex appeal of what is a great looking turntable. 

StereoNET's Australian Edition reviewed the range-topping UltraDeck ($3499 RRP inc UltraTracker MM cartridge) in August '17, declaring:

I used the UltraDeck long after I stopped taking review notes. Record after record was played on its Delrin platter totally for enjoyment, not enlightenment.

It also received StereoNET's 'Outstanding Performance' Award.

Taking the design concepts of its stablemate and expands the initial design parameters, its Delrin platter is now a hefty 3kg affair.

The inverted bearing is now an amalgam of steel, bronze and sapphire for even lower tolerances, while the upgraded 10” Ultra tonearm uses Cardas wiring and gold-plated RCA’s to maintain greater purity.

Last but not least, changes have been made to the plinth.  The UltraDeck plinth is also manufactured from MDF as is the StudioDeck, but this time three aluminium plates are bonded in specific areas to further add mass and further reject tonal colouration.

The same HRS footers complete the flagship UltraDeck, and the result is a pretty stunning looking table. In fact, both turntable packages do look very stealthy and brooding in black, perhaps hinting at the sound quality of both: music emanating from an inky black silence!

As most amplifiers these days are not equipped with a phono stage, Mo-Fi has come to the rescue with two of their own.

Tim De Paravicini of E.A.R. fame assisted in the design of both the UltraPhono ($899 RRP) and StudioPhono ($449 RRP).

Each unit is well equipped with DIP switches for easy adjustment of cartridge loading and gain for MM and MC cartridges; they include a handy mono switch as well. 

The addition of a subsonic filter switch is a great idea. All is not lost if a record has a slight warp (and I mean slight), as the subsonic filter should assist significantly in reducing annoying sub-20HZ cone flap.

Both UltraPhono and StudioPhono are supplied with external power supplies.

Unique to the UltraPhono is its built-in headphone amplifier with 31-step volume control, and it is a bit of a beast with a claimed 1.5wpc output (at 8V max/62 Ohms). 

If you’re a headphone aficionado or simply wanting to spin some wax after the family have turned in for the night, the UltraPhono will keep you entertained without keeping everyone else up.

Of course, there is no point buying a turntable unless you have a cartridge, so luckily Mo-Fi has this critical part of the puzzle sorted as well. StudioTracker ($299), UltraTracker ($799) and MasterTracker ($1099) are all moving magnet designs with a healthy 3.5mV output. 

Each cartridge is improved incrementally over the model underneath with an upgrade in the coil winding and stylus profile, so depending on the buyers budget there are options aplenty within the Mo-Fi range.

Mo-Fi’s accessory range includes the Super HeavyWeight record clamp as a sonic upgrade ($299) and LP9 cleaning kit ($39.90) for those wanting the complete Mo-Fi experience.

Paul Quilter of PQ Imports, responsible for distribution of Mo-Fi in New Zealand told StereoNET NZ it now has the entire range in stock now. 

It’s refreshing to see a new turntable manufacturer hit the market. Mobile Fidelity seems destined to shake up the vinyl replay market with products that are certainly not carbon copies of other manufacturer's equipment.

For more information visit Mo-Fi Electronics.

Further reading: Turntable Discussion in Forums

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    Posted in:Hi-Fi
    Tags: mobile fidelity