Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable - designed by Frank Schroder (Schroeder)

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Artemis Labs SA-1 Turntable

The new SA-1 turntable from Artemis Labs

 

Designed by Frank Schroder (Schroeder)

 

with Feed Forward Circuit designed by John Atwood,

former technical editor of The Vacuum Tube Valley journal

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

The whole analog world knows who is Frank Schroder, maker of one of the most highly sought after tonearms by experts in the world today.  Everyone also knows it will take years to get one ...  So how can Frank manage ?  Artemis Labs from Southern California, USA manufactures the table, and lead-time is only approximately 3 weeks !

 

The SA-1 turntable is a unique design among modern turntables.  The development of this turntable stems from Mr. Schroder's years of analog experience.

 

From our conversations with Frank, he is enthusiastic and confident that the SA-1 turntable, in the same vein as his tonearms, performs way beyond its price, to surpass contenders in the USD 20,000 region and beyond.  And our experience (and yours) have proven that higher prices indeed do not automatically equate to significantly superior sonic quality, although there are a few exceptions.

Our Comments

Schroder SA-1 Features

Schroder SA-1 Setup Guide

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

AS Room

Soundscape HiFi comments on the SA-1 turntable and PL-1 phono stage combo:

We have set up the Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable for audition ... and it has been a wonderful encounter, the SA-1 is sonically amazing !  Very high-end sonically without the very high price.

 

Frank Schroder certainly knows his analog, and he can be proud of this sublime music apparatus, it meets his goal of performance belonging to the top tier at a sane price. 

 

Unassuming and unpretentious in appearance, its simple looks are deceiving, underneath is a turntable of great musical substance.

Introduced this year 2008, and initially targeted at 100 pieces of SA-1 turntables to be manufactured per year, that number has long been surpassed, as more music enthusiasts worldwide discover this musical gem.

 

What makes it even more remarkable is that we only hooked up a low-priced but great tonearm and cartridge on it, after which we will mount our Da Vinci Nobile tonearm and My Sonic Lab cartridge. 

Artemis Labs SA-1 playing Led Zeppelin

We mounted our all-time favorite and high-performance Scheu Classic 10" unipivot arm (which is no slouch) with an Audio-Technica AT-33 PTG cartridge, both of which we are thoroughly familiar with. 

 

Going through our 65db version of Artemis Labs PL-1 tube phono stage (which we have become familiar with through a Pluto 12A turntable) designed by John Atwood, former technical editor of The Vacuum Tube Valley journal, the setup is wonderfully transparent and full-bodied, with outstanding bass heft and definition, delightfully tactile, with good timing. 

 

Wonderfully transparent yet full-bodied, music leaps out and makes one wonder if other turntables may be too damped, percussion backup instruments for example soaring above the mix with great separation, clarity, and fidelity.

Deliciously dynamic, one would certainly be forgiven if it was mistaken as a direct-drive design.  Utterly effortless, this is what strikes visitors who have already listened, when they chanced upon us playing kick-ass dynamic music.

 

Outstanding, it made us reach out for long-unplayed records on the shelves and relish in the sonic wonders the setup conveyed.

 

It's hard to put into words, but we obviously love this combination,  and it will only get even better.  Feel free to drop by and listen ...

 

True Value For Money !

Artemis Labs SA-1 Artemis Labs PL-1
 

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AS Room

 

Artemis Labs SA-1 Turntable Features :

 

Some of the features that set this turntable apart from other designs past and present are listed below.  Notice too the attention to detail.

 

Simplest maintenance and setup, no oil to be applied by user on the SA-1 turntable

 

Oil is sealed inside bearing mechanism, with no need to change

 

• Turntable comes in one piece - just screw in the footers,  mount platter, put belt ...

 

Massive, 3 lb bearing is of the non-inverted type, utilizing a large diameter, case hardened spindle and unusually long self lubricating phosphor bronze bushings. The clearance is kept very small, but the defined surface "roughness" of the spindle maintains an extremely stable oil film and creates drag at the same time.

Artemis Labs SA-1

SA-1 turntable's body is made of bamboo and ebony wood, with appropriate damping in between

Artemis Labs SA-1

Platter damped with proprietary paper/felt inlay, allowing for the use of different platter-record interfaces

 

15 lb platter anodized aircraft grade aluminum, turned to an extremely tight tolerance in all directions

SA-1 turntable's platter thickness maintained from center to the outer rim to avoid variations in the mechanical impedance "seen" by the cartridge


Artemis Labs SA-1

Artemis Labs SA-1

• Different platter-record interfaces (one at a time)

Artemis Labs SA-1

* included

Artemis Labs SA-1

* optional

Artemis Labs SA-1

* optional

The SA-1 turntable is driven by an extremely high quality Swiss DC motor for a combination of high torque and smooth rotation, transferring power via 1/4 magnetic tape to the outer rim of the platter.

 

Unlike other turntable featuring a form of tape or belt drive, the tape is routed past a tensioning lever/pulley to reduce both slippage to zero and minimize the side thrust on the platter greatly. Residual motor vibrations cannot reach the platter directly, but are absorbed by the suspended pulley.

Artemis Labs SA-1

• For countries with humid climates, the shiny side of the tape is recommended to be placed facing inside (i.e. touching the platter), and vice versa for non-humid climates.

Artemis Labs SA-1

 
 

• Accepts 9" to 10" long tonearms, with an armboard that can rotate for easier setup.  Armboard is made of the same material as the platter.  Of course, one is free to fabricate their own armboard with their own choice of material.

 

* armboard shown in picture is cut for a Da Vinci tonearm

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

• Spindle machined with the bottom part diameter smaller than the top.  This is to prevent records from touching the spindle, for more optimized record playback

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

• The SA-1 turntable comes with steel cones as footers.  Stillpoints as shown in the photo are optional

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

• An optional damper (placed on top of the record) is also available.  Hole size is larger than the spindle, again for optimized playback. 

Artemis Labs SA-1

• Good connection interface to power supply

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

• Well-built power supply.  Speed potentiometer adjusted through screws, with option for variable speed control too.

 

One customer asked why not a speed adjustment toggle similar to another turntable's ?  Well, the SA-1 turntable's and others with the same method allow finer speed adjustments for more critical speed setting.  The other method is more convenient, but also more crude in speed adjustments.

Artemis Labs SA-1

• Robust packaging

Artemis Labs SA-1

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

To maintain absolute speed, there is no sensor based feedback loop, instead the current drawn by the motor is monitored and kept steady through a clever feed forward circuit designed by Mr. John Atwood, former technical editor of the "Vacuum Tube Valley" publication. Wow and flutter is well below audibility, certainly on par with the best direct drive designs.  The turntable can be set to both 33 rpm and 45 rpm, both individually adjustable via set screws in the power supply.

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

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Artemis Labs Record Puck

Also available, record pucks from Artemis Labs

These are available as an option for the Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable

In our system, the puck makes instruments sound more fleshed out, in a delicate but audible way.

Artemis Labs record puck

Artemis Labs record puck Artemis Labs record puck
 

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Da Vinci Nobile tonearm on a Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable

Feel the fluid, frictionless, no-resistance bearing movement

Da Vinci Nobile

 

Also, we recommend the Stillpoints Application 1 Isolation System shown below on the

Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable.  In our market, we also include an additional

Ground Wire for further performance optimization of the turntable.

Da Vinci Nobile

 

Da Vinci Nobile

 

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Artemis Labs SA-1

 

Artemis Labs SA-1

 

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