TechDAS Premium is coming. Dream Turntables for 2018 by Rom Beyerle

TechDAS Logo

The Worlds Best Turntables 2018?

Announced briefly late last year, TechDAS are following the 2017 release of Air Force One Premium, with premium versions of both Air Force Two and Air Force Three. 

TechDAS Who?

Whilst now a well established company in its own right following its launch of the TechDAS Air Force One in 2013, taking the high end audio world by storm, TechDAS cemented themselves at the forefront of turntable technology, design and manufacturing. Their first class build, performance and innovative features does also have a strong heritage proceeding it.

TechDAS designer Hideaki Nisikawa-san was a product designer and technical manager at none other than the famed Micro-Seiki of Japan who were responsible for manufacturing amazing quality and state of the turntables from the mid 70's up until their last unit shipped in 2001. With an almost cult like following many Micro-Seiki models are still highly regarded in the audio world today. The collectable flagship models still fetching very high prices when seen (rarely) on the used market. After the closure of turntable production at Micro Seiki, Nishikawa-san, still involved with analogue audio, bided time until the technologies for better implementing features like the innovative air bearing, and vacuum hold down had matured to the point he was happy to accept the challenge put to him by TechDAS parent company Stella Inc. of creating simply the best reasonably sized turntable in the world. In late 2013 he completed just that with the release of Air Force One. 2018 looks to be another very exciting landmark year for TechDAS.

Amongst the second to none build quality, outstanding technical and aesthetic design and stellar ergonomic usability are TechDAS's unique core underpinning technologies.

  • All TechDAS Turntables use an Air Bearing system. The foundations for this sophisticated technology are housed in a seperate box containing the audio quality PSU's, silent air pump & compressor, condenser and regulators. This isolated and extremely well regulated piped air supply connects to the rear of the turntable chassis and floats the weight of the heavy rotating platter on a tiny pocket of air. The advantage of this is to effectively eliminate the bearing noise, one of the largest remaining potential sources of noise in high end turntables. This also facilitates the use of the very high mass platters on TechDAS Turntables.
  • All TechDAS Turntables also implement an air fed vacuum system integrated into the surface of the platter. The record is placed on the platter where soft rubber inner and outer seals couple to the underside of the record, a press of the suction button on the turntable then creates an airtight seal and sucks the record firmly onto the platter. This has the effect of drastically reducing any playback caused vibration or resonance within the record from the stylus contact, whilst also firmly locking the record in place in a perfectly flat position. Slightly warped or bent records are no longer and issue and firmly held flat for playback. This has the effect of further and significantly lowering the noise-floor, creating blacker backrounds, more audible detail retrieval and an exceptionally spacious and lifelike soundstage.

Air Force Premium, What?

Both "Premium" version upgrades are far more significant than some simple cosmetic changes, and signal TechDAS's continuing pursuits in state of the art vinyl replay. These Premium editions clearly include very welcomed trickle down technology from the Air Force One Premium and their continuing R&D work for the quietly discussed, yet to come Air Force Zero (projected pricing ~$400,000.00AUD)

New features and Improvements are listed within the attached press release but to detail what we know exactly regarding the AF2 Premium and AF3 Premium so far.

A brand new upgraded single box power supply unit, this time containing a large capacity air condenser very similar to that of Air Force One Premium. The condenser allowing for better regulation and isolation from any potential fluctuations in pressure or flow in the air streams. Both Air Force Two Premium and Air Force Three Premium gain the dual air pumps design from Air Force One Premium, meaning completely seperate pumps running one pump for the Air Bearing and one for the Vacuum hold down.

Both models gain revised and extremely heavy new platters designed and created from a gunmetal material and a new material for the top inlay. These platters are hugely increased in mass from the already heavy platters on the regular Air Force versions. At 34kg for AF2 Premium and 29kg for AF3 premium, these platters will have extremely high rotational energy for even further improved speed stability. For reference sake that is twice the weight of competing flagship products from other manufacturers like Kronos Pro & Dohmann Helix and substantially heavier than the monster on the Kuzma Stabi XL. Further improvements to the air bearing allows the use of these extremely heavy platters which would be completely impractical on a regular mechanical bearing.

The suspension system has also been tweaked and improved to accommodate the much heavier platters. All these improvements, many directly taken or derived from improvements made to Air Force One Premium, will undoubtedly take these TechDAS turntables even higher in performance and closer than ever to the music.

Hear it, WHERE?

Sonic Purity retail showroom and store in Moorabbin, Melbourne is a constantly evolving space for high end audio and music. Sharing the experience with discerning customers on a daily basis of what is achievable in 2018 for the best sound for their home, apartment or studio is why we love what we do. We welcome visitors local and interstate to make a time to see, hear and touch our exclusive product range.

Many people have never heard vinyl sound as detailed and resolute, as immediate and present or with the type of authentic musical timbre and energy which we coax out of every turntable system we supply. The question often beckons, will I hear the difference? Is vinyl really that much better? Well as always that is for the listener to decide, but the process of listening, learning an appreciating the qualities of good sound, can not be done without first hearing a range of well put together and setup systems. Our showroom is just the place to do that. TechDAS is always featured in Sonic Purity Showroom, alongside our other premium turntables from Kuzma, SME, Thales & Dr. Feickert.


Air Force Two & Three Premium are due to arrive sometime in February. We always have TechDAS in stock to demonstrate and regular Air Force One, Two and Three will remain in the TechDAS Lineup and are all brilliant performers in their own right.  A launch Event will be held when the new premium models arrive for new and existing customers and vinylphiles to have an aural taste of truly otherworldly vinyl replay available from the Air Force Turntables. Please sign up to our newsletter should you wish to be notified, or simply make a booking to come and hear a TechDAS turntable today.


*MUNICH NEWS* Tonearm Diet - Kuzma Analogue Introduces 4 Point 9 Inch Tonearm by Rom Beyerle

Kuzma 4point 9"

Last years introduction of the 4 Point 14 inch was very exciting, and made sense for those turntables with the ability to accomodate such an arm. The reduced tracking error of a longer tonearm, and whatever other magic Franc Kuzma injected into it, has seen many update their existing 4 Point tonearm.

Munich High End 2017 - Kuzma Analogue have now come forward with a revisited 4 Point design comprising all the terrific bearing innovation, and many of the design features of the original 4 Point tonearm; but in a slimmed down build and 9 inch(229mm) effective length.

The removal of the seperate VTA tower has allowed Kuzma to keep weight to a minimum and in turn, opens up more installation options, that were previously not possible for the original 11" 4point. Some non-Kuzma suspended turntables could not bare the >2kg mass of the original 4point, this new tonearm fixes all that; whilst keeping the bearing design, performance and ease of adjustability of the 4 Point! The new Kuzma 4 Point 9 Inch, weighs in at less than half the total mass of the original, and an effective mass of 13g.

4 Point 9" Product Page

Kuzma 4point 9" Tonearm

*MUNICH NEWS* Kuzma Car-60 Cartridge by Rom Beyerle

Kuzma CAR-60

Alongside the new 4 Point 9 Inch, Kuzma Analogue have also announced a new flagship Moving Coil Cartridge to their comprehensive cartridge lineup. The CAR-60 features a full Diamond Cantilever, Micro-ridge Stylus and Silver wound coil.

Car-60 arrives following the newly released Car-20H, a high output version of the entry level Car-20. Featuring a 2mV output.

CAR-60 Product Page

CAR-20H Product Page

*Munich News* Playback Dreaming - Playback Designs Announces "Dream Series" by Rom Beyerle

Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

A quick re-cap of the latest Uber DAC and Transport announcement from digital aficionado's Playback Designs. Delivery is planned before the end of the year.

Playback Designs has announced their new Dream Series Audio DAC and Transport - SACD/CD/Server system incorporating the latest Ultra High Performance technology. Early prototypes were shown at the Axpona show in Chicago and the High End show in Munich.

According to Andreas Koch, president and designer of Playback Designs, this system could have been called "Reference" system, but the design goal was actually much higher than that: the lofty and seemingly unattainable performance level that hardly anybody even dares dreaming about. It is the culmination of more than 30 years of experience in audio design. The Dream Series consists of the MPD-8 standalone DAC and MPT-8 transport with CD/SACD drive and optional music server built in.

Design philosophy: The from-ground-up new architecture is the result of multiple prototype generations over the last 2 years where the experience of digital and analog algorithms and circuit designs from Andreas Koch's and Bert Gerlach's expertise refined over many decades has been combined and perfected to create a truly no-compromise, flexible and programmable product platform that can deliver ultimate performance and can grow for many years as technology keeps evolving.

Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

The Dream Series DAC

MPD-8 DAC is a new DAC architecture and is based on Playback Designs' well proven discrete converter design but incorporates significant improvements and new technologies. Its digital inputs, AES/SPDIF/USB/ST-fiber-optic, TOS support any sample rate and format up to QUAD DSD. In addition to balanced and unbalanced line level analog outputs, an analog volume control is provided that can be bypassed. Included will be recording software, allowing the creation of PCM or DSD music files on a computer from all digital sources connected to the MPD-8. Target price $22,000.

The digital side is fully programmable, as always at Playback Designs, but they have added significantly more computing power to be able to extend the digital algorithms for audio processing and clock control. The analog side is double differential for each channel and uniquely separated and isolated from the digital side. In fact, Playback Designs products were always designed to rigorously separate digital from analog circuits in order to preserve the analog nature of the music signal, but the new MPD-8 pushes this purist concept even further.

For this, completely separate linear power supplies are provided for the analog circuitry for each channel that are mounted on ceramic circuit boards. A third separate power supply is for the digital section.

The same purist concept was applied to the choice of display. While many other manufacturers use fancy graphic displays, all of which use asynchronous clocks and therefore influence the audio performance, our choice of display was less for visual impact, but for ultimate audio performance.


Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

Users have a choice if they want the USB interface inside the same chassis or keep it outside in a separate box (optional USB-XIII interface) for better isolation via optical connection (PLink).

This keeps the MPD-8 free from any direct connection to computers or any asynchronous clock that is not synchronised with the audio sample rate.

MPT-8 Digital Music Transport is a no-compromise companion product for the MPD-8 DAC. It incorporates a newly developed CD/SACD drive mechanism that is not based on any mass produced components, but was rather designed from ground up for audiophile applications.

Optionally, the Syrah music server can be added into the same chassis making the MPT-8 a unique and complete digital source center. The music server can be controlled via iPad/Android tablets and provides internal storage (SSD) as well as external storage and networks, DLNA and NAS. CDs are automatically ripped from an external optical drive providing extensive meta-data capabilities.

A future option for the MPT-8 that is already in development is a streaming interface for the currently most popular streaming services.

The MPT-8 connects to the MPD-8 via the proprietary optical interface PLink for native playback of any file format and sample rate including quad DSD. This interface is designed to provide a galvanic separation between all digital sources with its many asynchronous clocks from the very sensitive DAC components in the MPD-8.


MPD-8 Product Page

MPT-8 Product Page


*MUNICH NEWS* EMT JSD VM (Varia Mass) Cartridge by Rom Beyerle


EMT continue to refine and fill out their renowned cartridge range, this time adding another amazing cartridge to the top of their HiFi line. The JSD VM will sit alongside the JSD P6.0 (Platinum), and JSD S75 (Lady in Black) as EMT's premium offerings. The JSD VM (Varia Mass) is an interesting concept, as it allows the user to adjust the cartridge mass to best suit the tonearm; by way of inserting various weights into the cartridge body. The user can easily adjust the Cartridge mass from 10g to 13g.