What is a Clearaudio Concept MM?
This is a respectably labelled entrance into Clearaudio’s universe of high-end vinyl playback. It’s a turntable that has improved build peculiarity and pattern panache than we should ever pattern for reduction than £1,000.
The Concept is also tighten to plug-and-play. It might not have a built-in phono stage, yet it does come with a tonearm and moving-magnet cartridge both pre-fitted and aligned, and a counterweight is even bureau set to yield a scold tracking force.
Surely all too good to be true?
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Clearaudio Concept MM – Design and Features
It’s tough to know where to start with a Clearaudio Concept’s pattern and build quality. You’d be forgiven for meditative those crazy Germans had left a number off a cost tag.
From a brushed-metal wraparound on a plinth, to a threaded feet to support levelling, to a beautifully machined speed control – it’s all faultless. And that’s before we even compensate closer courtesy to a engineering that’s left into a tonearm.
The 9-inch arm looks to be a metal-tubed chronicle of a company’s Verify model. It has a same headshell (with azimuth adjustment) and a same arm lift. Most importantly, though, it has a same frictionless captivating bearing. The arm creates no hit during a temperament housing whatsoever – it’s hold in place by, and pivots around, a captivating field. Like magic.
Pre-fitted to a arm is Clearaudio’s Concept MM V2 cartridge, that retails during £150.
As mentioned, there’s a speed control, enabling we to switch between 33, 45 and 78rpm, with no need to hold a expostulate belt. You don’t get a record clamp or 45rpm record adapter, yet – no large understanding – and an acrylic dirt cover is a £115 discretionary extra.
The styling is pointy and modern. Traditionalists won’t like it, yet nobody can destroy to be tender by a peculiarity on offer.
Clearaudio Concept MM – Performance
Setting adult a Clearaudio Concept is roughly as elementary as it gets. Everything is pre-aligned, and even a counterweight has been set to a scold tracking force for a pre-fitted cartridge (around 2.0g).
The usually tasks are to fit a expostulate belt between a sub-platter and engine pulley, place a platter over a spindle, and afterwards check a rug is turn – a accessible burble turn is supplied, and a Concept’s 3 feet screw in/out to make this super-simple.
With a serf phono cables and belligerent tie bending adult to a glorious Leema Acoustics Elements Ultra phono pre-amplifier, it was time for a listen…
The Concept does so many well. It has good timing and snap, showcased splendidly on Buck 65’s “Blood Pt2” from a Dark Was The Night LP, that spits, twists and snarls in ideal rhythm.
The soundstaging is far-reaching and immersive, entirely able of pulling a smashing wall of sound towards and around you, and a fact it digs from those small grooves is glorious during this price.
Some slight freshness in a top mid-range means it could be somewhat some-more healthy with vocals, however. They can sound a hold nasal – Zach Condon’s voice in Beirut’s “In a Mausoleum” usually didn’t have a same atmosphere around it as a intricately woven instruments – and we listened a small sibilance during times that gave them a tough corner on some-more insinuate recordings.
Spinning a 180g dire of Soul II Soul’s Volume IV: The Classic Singles, we would’ve favourite a drum to be a small tighter and bouncier, yet usually just.
My usually other censure is that a cartridge was a tad supportive to aspect pops and crackles, that might have been a outcome of a comparatively low (for relocating magnet) 3.3mV output.
Should we buy a Clearaudio Concept MM?
The Concept is such a grand turntable during such a good cost that it seems cross to complain. It does copiousness right, and does so with some-more character than many record players costing adult to £2,000.
Its slight sonic shortcomings maybe might be addressed in a MC version, yet that comes during a £400 premium. Also, a Rega Planar 3 2016 is cheaper – even if we supplement a discretionary energy supply for symbol speed-switching – and sounds some-more fun and natural, despite somewhat reduction minute and some-more prosaic-looking.
The Concept MM still feels like a singular hi-fi bargain, though.
An impossibly grand turntable that does many things right, and costs distant reduction than you’d consider it should.