Audio Note TT3 Build
Audio Note TT3 Build
The first thing of note when unboxing the TT-Three turntable is the overwhelming sense of solidity and robustness. With its huge oversized plinth and cleverly potted motor assemblies, arranged in a tryptic around the central main bearing, this feels paradoxically both understated, yet grandiose. It has palpable heft and, given it’s namesake, I was instantly reminded of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the iconic terminator – impossibly big and tough (of course), but also entirely balanced and proportional in his own context; at this point I should also point out that whilst my unit came in fetching satin white, as is standard, it is also available in choice of satin black or, if you prefer the full leather-jacketed T-800 experience, gloss black!
The Lord of the Platter: The Three Towers
The gently rounded edges soften its aesthetic impact and are echoed in the outrigger and arm-board that allows for the incorporation of any number of Audio Note tonearms. The arm-board is pre-drilled for their own arms and nobody else’s, which may seem like a cheat until you consider 1. that the weighting arrangement on the other two legs is precisely matched to balance out the off-centre mass of their own arms and 2. their arms are a work of exceptional quality and possibly understated to the point that any casual observation would easily miss their genius. The Audio Note arm we opted for was the Arm Three/II which, like the rest of this exceptional turntable design, is deceptively simple, but employs textbook quality engineering; indeed the quality of the arms alone are a topic for lengthy discussion in their own right, but that’s for another day!
Armed and Ready for Action
Given the aforementioned battleship build, the remaining construction required, including the very nifty levelling procedure and three-point contact belt is the epitome of elegance and lightness of touch. The platter is a high mass Lexan material that is acoustically dead and drops onto the sub-chassis with a lovely soft and snug ‘plop’, where is gently bounces. Now having dealt with a great many decoupled turntable designs over the years, I cannot tell you how relieving it is to have something that remains poised on it haunches when it comes to platter suspension, yet avoids sending a shower of springs and rubber o-rings into space if you so much as sneeze in it’s general direction! The TT-Three is a far more sensible beast, with a fluid, yet controlled and measured ‘bounce’; like a poised weightlifter taking the strain across his chest and legs. It’s immediately reassuring and smacks of quality and this feeling only gets better when it comes to levelling the deck itself. No fiddling with sticky feet on a baseboard with a gap only a child’s hand could attempt, or having to disassemble to whole blessed thing and turn it upside-down just to chock it up the width of a human hair! No, none of that! Your hair will stay firmly on your scalp and not clumped in either hand, as you simply remove platter, trim up the slotted bolt heads on the outrigger arms and then check your findings against a spirit level when the platter is replaced. Simple and deadly efficient – Arnie would be proud!