Turntable »Balance Anniversary«
The »Anniversary« most probably is the bestsounding »Balance« ever. No small feat, considering that this turntable has been in production for 25 years. And that it is used - in its standard incarnation notabene - as an absolute reference turntable by renowned audio publications. Therefore, the »Anniversary« special edition, limited to 25 individually numbered turntables, counts only as half a debut. Which of course does not mean that Brinkmann is doing things by halves. Quite the contrary. The »Anniversary« consists of a »Balance« turntable equipped with a new tonearm base which for the first time (in 25 years!) allows the use of 12-inch arms on this turntable. Add to this a »12.1« arm, an »EMT-ti« cartridge, a tubed »RöNt« power supply for the drive circuit and a solid-state supply for the bearing heater plus a custom base built by HRS specifically for the »Anniversary«. Moreover, Helmut Brinkmann has optimized the »Anniversary« in many details (for instance the ebony collar on the arm base or different caps in the drive circuit) until he was sure that in all those 25 years, no »Balance« has ever sounded better. And he takes pride in tuning each of the 25 »Anniversary« turntables personally. The »Balance Anniversary« turntable features its individual number engraved in the arm base, costs 30.200 EUR and is available as of now.
Pretty much the opposite, at least pricewise with a list price of 4999 EUR, is the new »Bardo« direct drive turntable. First looks are often deceptive, but the »Bardo« is in fact a Brinkmann »Oasis« turntable that has been reduced to its bare essentials. Which again is very promising as the latter has received accolades in every single review since its introduction last year. With the decision to forgo the wooden plinth, the screw-down record clamp and the crystal-glass platter surface, Brinkmann has created a turntable that sets itself apart from the bigger, heavier and more expensive Brinkmann turntables by a substantial margin when it comes to price, but only by a very little margin in terms of reproduction quality. One could also say that the »Bardo« is a turntable in the best Brinkmann tradition, but costs considerably less. And it seems noteworthy that a »Bardo« can be upgraded to full a »Oasis« configuration at any time by retrofitting the wooden plinth, the glass platter and the record clamp, either all at once or one by one. The »Bardo« turntable will start shipping in August 2009.
Brinkmann launches the new universal tonearm base for both LaGrange and Balance turntables. Mounted on the Balance, you are now able to mount tonearms up to 14 inches in length; on the 12 inch LaGrange (long tonearm version) you are actually able to mount tonearms measuring up to 15 inches in length (minimum length on all turntables is 9 inches).
Due to various design elements, this new universal tonearm base omits the mounting of RCA / XLR balanced connectors. Instead, you will ideally use a standard 5 pin SME connector or alternatively directly soldered interconnect cables.
The universal tonearm basis is compatible with all Balance and LaGrange chassis and retails at the same price point as the still available standard base (EUR 1600).
Last update 27.02.2015