KAB Speedstrobe




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KAB SpeedStrobe


KAB SpeedStrobe

Stereophile Recommended

Component - 7 Years in the


The KAB SpeedStrobe was designed to replace and improve upon older strobe designs that relied on power line frequency. We also wanted something that was easier to use and included the ability to actually measure small amounts of error. Not just a go - no - go - test.

The KAB SpeedStrobe features a quartz locked illuminator with 99.99% accuracy. And since it is battery operated, it works everywhere. No need for 50 or 60 Hz versions. The Disc is silk screen printed on durable 20 mil PVC.


Instead of hypnotic bars, the KAB SpeedStrobe features the actual speed numbers. In use, the desired speed is read directly from the disc. no searching for the right band. Covers 16.66, 33.33, 45, 70.59 - 90 RPM. By timing the drift of the display over one minute, accuracy can be measured to 0.03%.


Furthermore, the strobe disc is 10" in diameter, which leaves an allowance to test the speed with stylus drag taken into consideration.



How do Strobes Work ?

Strobes work on the principal of "freeze motion" illusion by using a precise flashing light. A disc with incremental markings, evenly spaced around a circle is illuminated while it is revolving. When the rate of the flashing light matches the passing of the markings beneath it, the motion of the disc will appear stationary. The mathematic formula that describes this condition is:

   The Ratio of F • RPM = N • (1 • 60)
   With Strobe Frequency and Platter RPM known, solving for N:
   N = F • RPM • 60
   Where F = Strobe Light Repetition Rate or Frequency
   RPM = RPM of Turntable
   N = Number of incremental dots, lines or other icons, evenly spaced around the disc.

Example for 33.33 RPM 60 Hz: N = 60hz • 33.33 = 1.800 • 60 = 108 markings.
Example for 33.33 RPM 50 Hz: N = 50hz • 33.33 = 1.500 • 60 = 90 markings.

The two above examples apply to strict 60Hz illumination as with the KAB Speedstrobe illuminator.

Note that older strobe discs that used neon or overhead fluorescent light will have double those markings because gas lamps flash on every half cycle and thus produce flashes at twice the line frequency.


  • 10" 20 mil PVC Disc
  • Color: Black W/ White Lettering
  • Quartz Locked 60 Hz. Illuminator.
  • Accuracy: 99.99%
  • Speed Range: 16, 33, 45 70-90 RPM
  • Battery: Std. 9V Included
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Lb.

Many Hi End turntables today still use hysteresis synchronous motors which rely on the line frequency to achieve accurate rotation. Using a conventional strobe to measure these turntables reveals a flaw: If the line frequency is low, the turntable will run slow, but so will the fluorescent light used to illuminate the strobe disc. Result: the strobe may show the correct speed, even though it is wrong! There is a definite need for an independent quartz crystal controlled illuminator.

The KAB SpeedStrobe is fully independent thereby eliminating major sources of error. And the large disc is very easy to read.

MARKER:    16     33     45     70     72
SPEED RPM: 16.66, 33.33, 45.00, 70.59, 72.00 
MARKER:    73     75     76     78     80
SPEED RPM: 73.47, 75.00, 76.59, 78.26  80.00
MARKER:    81     83     85     87     90
SPEED RPM: 81.82, 83.72, 85.71, 87.80, 90.00

  • Easy To Use
  • Battery Operated, Works Everywhere
  • Very Accurate & Reliable
  • Stereophile• Recommended Component 7 years.

Measure Turntable Speed Often!


The really great features to take note of with the KAB SpeedStrobe is the ease of use and absolute accuracy.

The KAB SpeedStrobe is unique in 2 ways. First, it does not rely on line frequency like other strobe discs. We have heard our share of stories that confirm what we have always suspected: line frequency variations are common. And if your turntable uses a hysteresis synchronous type motor, it will be susceptible to speed variations.

Second, conventional strobe discs use a series of hypnotic bars that "freeze" in motion when the turntable is at the correct speed. Thats fine for a turntable that can adjust its speed. But have you ever tried to time those marks so you can measure accuracy? It is nearly impossible. The KAB SpeedStrobe disc uses large easy to read numbers. It is very easy to time the drift of this display. This lets you measure fixed speed turntables and determine their accuracy.


KAB Speedstrobe Reviews and Articles




Feb 2005

by Jeff Day


KAB Speedstrobe

"You're probably wondering what all this speed calibration has to do with music & sound. So was I. In fact, I really doubted that I would even be able to hear how such small differences in speed would affect the sound. To do a quick check, I pulled out one of Chad Kassem's awesome test pressings of Bill Evan's Waltz for Debby [APC 009 A/B1M]. After making sure my table was calibrated to within 0.03% accuracy, I dropped the stylus and grooved to the music. Then I twisted the transcription motor's speed adjustment dial to slow it down to where it was 0.6% below accurate - the exact amount that my table had measured fast when I first calibrated it with the Speed Strobe. "Holy burning Bush!" I thought - the difference was profound. The small change in pitch was dramatic in its effect on the music. And that was at a level ten times below the threshold of a half-step change - music lingo for going from a note to a sharp or flat change of that note, in this case flat by 0.6%. It's like hearing Mickey Mouse talk after smoking a little weed."


"So what else is there to say? The KAB Speed Strobe is intelligently designed, made with quality, so easy to use even I could figure it out, and sells for $100 which I think is a very fair price. Am I going to buy one? You bet!!"


Click Me! to read the full article.


Soundstage !


July 1999

by Greg Weaver


Three Slick Gizmos from KAB Electro Acoustics

"Speed inaccuracy is one of the most audible corrupters of your turntable•s performance. A speed variation of just six percent can alter pitch by a full sharp or flat, and the effect is broad-band, changing every frequency reproduced. The broadcast industry has set a standard of 0.3% variation as its tolerance. The KAB SpeedStrobe boasts accuracy within 0.03% -- not too shabby."


Click Me! to read the full article.


*** All information above are taken from the KAB website





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