SPIRAL GROOVE PRODUCTS
Founded by Allen Perkins and Lisa Thomas in 2005, Spiral Groove designs and produces high-performance turntables and tonearms. The company’s approach to engineering is simple and to the point: question even the most fundamental assumptions; accept only the most elemental solutions, and then perfect them. A marriage of exquisite design, precision machining, and the best of modern materials, Spiral Groove products are simple, elegant, reliable, and faithful to the source.
As a medium for capturing music, vinyl remains unsurpassed. To convey its rich and nuanced potential, a turntable must, at the very least, achieve a high degree of control over the speed of its platter and the transfer of energy among its components. Noise is the nemesis, an uncompromised signal emerging from a silent background the goal.
Spiral Groove turntables rely in part on mass to control noise. Stainless steel and aluminum lend our ‘tables heft and solidity, an effective first-line defense against errant vibration. But mass alone cannot eliminate noise; though the metals we’ve chosen store and release energy in predictable ways, they need help in order to dissipate it effectively. We provide that assistance by sandwiching together the layers of our platform with a proven damping agent.
Mechanical isolation contributes an additional measure of control. Motor, tonearm, and platter occupy discrete layers within the platform, a tactical separation that prevents noise generated by one mechanism from contaminating another. This strategic alliance — rigidity, compliance, and isolation — lays the groundwork for one of the quietest and most responsive turntables on the market today.
Because a turntable’s platter is where the rubber meets the road, its design is of critical importance. Unlike most other turntables, our ‘tables’ spindle and platter bearing are decoupled and yet precisely aligned. Severing the connection between these two critical components dramatically reduces the transfer of energy between them, lowering still further our ‘tables’ noise floor while ensuring unparalleled depth and specificity of image.
Moreover, the Spiral Groove platter is driven on the rotational plane of the bearing, which eliminates wobble. A thick phenolic layer forms the bulk of the platter, followed by two thinner layers, one of vinyl, the other of graphite. A clamp made of stainless steel and anodized aluminum snugs the record to the graphite, providing the stylus with an absolutely flat work surface. This is a platter to which you can entrust even your most pampered LPs, over and over again.
Powering the platter is a 12-volt AC motor and outboard analog sine-wave generator. Toward our goal of maximum control, we build drag into our platter and then provide enough torque to spin it precisely. Our sine-wave generator liberates our motor from the fluctuations of wall current and guarantees accurate rotation at both 33 & 1/3 and 45 revolutions per minute.
SG1.1 FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
SG2 FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
Structural rigidity and the efficient dissipation of unwanted mechanical energy are hallmarks of the Spiral Groove Centroid tonearm as well. Three criteria have determined our choice of tonearm materials: low mass, high strength, and the ability to transfer energy quickly away from the cartridge. Moreover, in order to give that energy somewhere to go, we have established a direct link between cartridge and mechanical ground. No other tonearm available today dispenses with wayward energy more effectively.
Optimal rigidity and the exceptionally fast transfer of energy from headshell to ground are just two of the reasons the Centroid delivers unsurpassed speed, dynamic energy, and tonal purity. Another is its overall balance. Unlike most other tonearm designers, we use advanced computer modeling to simulate the forces exerted on the arm as the cartridge tracks the record. Understanding these forces dynamically has enabled us to compensate for them mechanically. We call our approach Balanced Force Design™, and with it we have greatly improved tracking and optimized cartridge performance.
The Spiral Groove Centroid tonearm was designed not only to set new engineering standards but also to please users. Like Spiral Groove turntables, the Centroid is exceedingly user-friendly. In order to deliver their best performance, high-end cartridges require tonearms that facilitate precise alignment. On the Centroid, the overhang, VTA, azimuth, zenith, anti-skate control and tracking force are all easily adjustable. Our proprietary mirror setup gauge, included with each arm, makes adjustments easier still.
CENTROID TONEARM FEATURES: