Vertere Acoustics Reference Tonearm Generation III & Silencer Announced
Vertere's third-generation Reference Tonearm promises to bring additional flexibility, ease of use and fine-tuning on top of improved performance.
The new Vertere Reference Tonearm Gen III was presented at the High End show in Munich, with Vertere's founder and chief designer Touraj Moghaddam giving a detailed description and explanation of the design, stating that he has gone to “zero-based engineering principles”.
The new 627g Vertere Reference Tonearm has unique split geometry, wherein the arm has a longer effective length in the vertical than the horizontal plane (240mm Horizontal / 263mm Vertical). We're told that this ensures the cartridge can track very low frequencies cut in mono and the higher stereo frequencies with absolute integrity. Additionally, effective mass vertically and horizontally is different, allowing optimisation of both for performance. Finally, the horizontal and vertical bearings are offset by 23mm to optimise tracking accuracy and information retrieval. The tonearm's own offset is listed as being 22.9° with a 17.5mm overhang.
Touraj believes that rigid, light and non‐resonant are keystone characteristics for arm tubes making titanium the most suitable material. The Reference III's tube wall is machined to just 0.4mm thin, maximising rigidity to weight ratio. The sculpted headshell is then fuse-welded to the arm tube to behave as one piece.
We are informed that the hundreds of micron-thick non-rotating Kevlar fibres provide enable the tonearm's unique vertical and horizontal pivoting motion. The result is the first truly 'noiseless', and stiction-free tonearm bearing, boasts the manufacturer.
Additionally, the counterweight assembly is fully articulated using three ball races to regulate tracking weight when the record is warped – even with the slightest of movements of the tonearm. Finally, the tonearm is engraved, allowing precise or repeat setting of the additional sliding effective mass control/ fine-tune tracking force adjustment.
Anti-skate force is applied using a 30 micron thick non-resonant, frictionless silicone polymer strip, which, we're told, is noiseless and memoryless. As optimal anti-skate force varies with tracking force, linear playing speed – far higher at the beginning of a record than nearing the playout area, over-hang – its effect is far higher nearer the end, and stylus profile, to name a few parameters. Therefore, it is gradually counterbalanced towards the last 1/3 of the record to give the ideal non-linear anti-skate across the playing surface.
The precise setting of VTA is made easy by a fine adjustment screw that's additional to the primary setting of arm pillar height. Meanwhile, azimuth adjustment correction is made by a side-mounted adjustment screw, while the arm mounting provides a very fine azimuth adjustment.
The lift/ lower mechanism is custom-built from solid stainless steel and has been precision engineered to ensure smooth and accurate cueing. Furthermore, there is a cueing light integrated into the headshell. It discreetly illuminates the record grooves around the stylus contact point, making it easy to cue records precisely. This light can be dimmed or switched off as it has its own battery-powered supply. Additional lighting can be found courtesy of the illuminated anti-skate dial and logos on the proprietary lift/lower mechanism and mounting plate.
Vertere says that the Reference Tonearm III's internal wiring is a “special version” of Vertere Hand-Built Pulse cable and is used as one continuous run from the cartridge tags to the exit cable connector at the Tonearm III's base. In addition, all connectors and contacts are custom-made with three times the standard thickness of gold plating.
The reference tonearm comes with a second tungsten carbide loaded counterweight to accommodate much heavier cartridges than standard. Also, this heavier counterweight has extra screw‐on end caps to increase the weight further if required.
Vertere's unique transit clamping system allows secure transportation keeping the arm/cartridge safe and perfectly set up from the factory. It also ensures exact performance on reinstallation, should you need to move it. The clamp also assists with mounting the cartridge safely and precisely.
The company has also announced its Silencer equipment supports.
Silencer combines a hard felt resistive coupling foot, a direct coupling ball and an isolating layer of Sorbothane.
Vertere states that in listening tests carried out with all Vertere record players, the addition of Silencer, especially with an Iso-Shelf, improved stereo focus, reduced background noise, and greater LF resolution.
Apparently, the result is on a par with the improvement that a significant upgrade in MC cartridge might bring.
The Vertere Reference Tonearm Gen III will be available in July for £43,900, including a 1.65m HB Reference Tonearm cable. The Silencer costs £895 for three and £1,195 for a set of four.
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.
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