Thiele Turntables and Analog Relax Cartridges Offered To UK Vinylistas

Posted on 5th July, 2024

Thiele Turntables and Analog Relax Cartridges Offered To UK Vinylistas

Absolute Sounds adds Thiele turntables and tonearms alongside Analog Relax moving coil cartridges to its distribution portfolio.

Vinyl's resurgence shows no signs of slowing in the hi-fi enthusiast's world, so it makes sense that the market needs more choice. Fortunately, two high-end brands, Thiele and Analog Relax, have now been added to the UK's analogue options.

Ricardo Franassovici, Absolute Sounds' founder and Managing Director, told StereoNET:  

Vinyl has once again become a vital part of the high-end audio scene, with strong demand for 'forever' turntables that will do full justice to a treasured record collection and become timeless heirloom pieces. But if we were to add to our vinyl replay portfolio, which already includes such peerless luminaries as  Döhmann, TechDAS and Reed, it had to be something very special… We scoured the world and trialled many highly reputed brands, some of which are truly impressive. But none stirred our souls as much as Thiele and Analog Relax. Both these makers apply unique creativity  and engineering for the sole purpose of achieving world-class analogue sound – without question, they have emphatically succeeded.

THIELE

Thiele's founder, Helmut Thiele, boasts a highly impressive CV in audio design. He has held the position of chief designer at turntable specialist Thorens for more than 10 years and has worked with various brands, including Acoustic Research, Marantz, Mordaunt-Short, Parasound, Pioneer, and Tannoy.

Thiele TT01 and TA01

Thiele launched the first products under his name three years ago – the TT01 turntable and TA01  tonearm. The latter started life in 2009, and after multiple prototypes, its ingenious 'zero tracking error' design was finalised. Then, once the tonearm's perfect partnering turntable was completed, both were made available to analogue aficionados in  Germany in 2021.

The TT01 turntable features 'constrained layer damping'; its internal construction is divided into three levels to ensure the drive motor's interference is kept from the tonearm and cartridge. Each level's vibration control is optimised using different types of wood and wood composites.

Thiele TT01 and TA01

The lower level incorporates the motor and its associated electronics, the XLR output terminal and three adjustable feet that couple the TT01 to the turntable support.

The centre level, externally edged in silver,  is connected to the lower and upper levels by a special damping adhesive and carries only the arm board and tonearm, while the platter bearing and control panel are mounted on the top level.

Finally, a large linear power supply unit is kept offboard, entirely separated from the main chassis.

Thiele TT01 and TA01

Thiele's TA01 tonearm is said to combine “the precise guidance of a pivoted arm with the advantages of a linear tracking design”, resulting in a claimed tracking angle error of less than 0.036 degrees.

The arm tube consists of two coaxially arranged carbon fibre tubes, one inside the other, with a special damping gel filling the space between them.

The TA01's headshell and the coupling struts of the arm bearing incorporate ebony wood, favoured for its acoustic damping properties (even the turntable's spindle is made of ebony).

ANALOG RELAX

Yasushi Yurugi, the founder of cartridge maker Analog Relax, is a Japanese craftsman of the highest calibre.

Being at one with yourself and the world around you is deeply embedded in Japanese culture and central to Yurugi's philosophy.

Analog Relax MC Cartridge

He makes phono cartridges with bodies carved from exotic woods selected for their acoustic properties, fashioning perfectly realised marvels of microengineering with exceptional skill.

The Analog Relax range includes four cartridges, all moving coil designs. The entry-level model is the EX300, which sports a body made from beeswax-finished walnut—a tonewood used for guitars—and an elliptical diamond stylus.

Analog Relax MC Cartridge

The EX500 steps up to Romanian maple, which violin makers favour for its tonal qualities. It features an enhanced version of the EX300's elliptical stylus.

Next in the range is the EX1000, its body fashioned from 2000-year-old Yakusugi cedar from Yakushima Island. These trees are protected by law, and wood must be sourced from trees that have already been felled, adding to its rarity.

The wood's natural resin content and fine, densely packed wood grains, formed through centuries of growing in harsh conditions, endow the cartridge with “an unmistakably pure, organic quality that simply sounds 'right'.”

Analog Relax MC Cartridge

This is combined with Analog Relax's Super Line Contact Version 2 diamond stylus and ruby cantilever.  

The new EX2000 is the top of the line, featuring a body carved from the finest spruce from the South Tyrol region of Northern Italy—a tonewood highly prized by preeminent stringed instrument makers since the time of Stradivari.

An ultra-fine powder coating is applied to the cartridge body's surface, enhancing the wood's organic resonance to maximise the EX2000's “extraordinarily engaging and natural sound.”

Analog Relax MC Cartridge

Its stylus is the Super Curve Line Contact Version 3, a further evolution of the Version 2 stylus used for the EX1000, combined with a precision-machined diamond cantilever.

Available to order now through Absolute Sounds' retail network, Thiele's TT01 in anthracite finish is £24,500, including the TA01 arm and RM01 resonance-damping platter mat. Custom colour options are available.

The TA01 tonearm can also be purchased separately for use with other turntables. It costs between £11,500 and £15,000, depending on the connection type and whether you opt for aluminium or gold-plated bronze metal parts.

Analog Relax cartridges start from £2,698 for the EX300 and £ 4,998 for the EX500. The EX1000 costs £10,998, while the range-topping EX2000 costs £15,000.

Visit Thiele and Analog Relax for more information

    Gallery

    Jay Garrett's avatar

    Jay Garrett

    StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

    Posted in:Retailer News Hi-Fi Industry StereoLUX!
    Tags: analog relax  thiele  absolute sounds 

    JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION

    Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.
    CLICK HERE FOR FREE MEMBERSHIP

    00000537