Nottingham Analogue’s recently developed Dais is the ultimate turntable upgrade. The Dais, pictured below, is Nottingham’s elite performance table, offerings ultra-high-end performance approaching the Anna Log but in a less elaborate more affordable package.
Dais – a raised platform for the conductor of an orchestra. Nottingham Analogue had a very successful turntable of this same name which they stopped making in 1978. There are still many happy Dais owners enjoying their music on these machines.
The new Dais replaces the Mentor turntable. After 19 years the Mentor was dropped because its old chassis could not incorporate Nottingham’s new thoughts on music extraction.
Nottingham Analogue has always been concerned with what people stand their turntables on, especially glass and spikes, so the base board for the new Dais consists of a relatively thin platform base under which there is a 90% covering of damping material. When this damping material is put onto the chosen surface there is more of a ‘marriage’ between the turntable and surface.
Many ideas have spun off from the Anna Log, Nottingham’s top turntable until the recent debut of the Decco, – the back parallel arm mounting structure controls much of the resonance without taking the mass, relying on 80% of the mass resonance to be transferred to one adjustable front leg. The motor is conveniently out of sight in the preferred position at the back. A very similar male/female bearing arrangement is used from the Anna development – a unique levelling device is also fitted to the bearing, which is factory set but can be altered by the owner if necessary.
The massive 20kg of gravity spun iron platter, with one of the highest inertia of any turntable on the market today, gives solidity and a picture of a performance with remarkable diction. Sitting on top of this platter is a 25mm thick graphite ‘mat’, along with the anti-expansion bands this adds the final damping to the platter.
The Wave Mechanic power supply works extremely well and doesn’t rob us of dynamic range, and achieving this is no easy feat! The power supply is total – that is mains power goes in but completely regenerated power and frequency comes out to the turntable. The Dais can accommodate two arms, and is very easy to set up and level.
“Let the music begin”
Nottingham Tonearms and Accessories
ACE Space arm upgrades – June 2006
All Nottingham arms are a unipivot design. Unipivots are usually designed with the pivot sitting in a silicone bath. The problem with this design is that the silicone bath takes quite a while to settle down and so the arm will change in sound as it plays the record. Many unipivots also use the offset stabilizer weights or eccentric counter weights to insure proper azimuth.
Nottingham has cleverly solved this common problem. Nottingham arms use side stabilizer bars and tiny ball bearing chases to maintain azimuth. Nottingham has also developed a proprietary damping material the viscosity of which is such that it does not flow and does not require ‘settling time’. This material is applied to the centre pivot and the stabilizer bars. Nottingham uses carbon fibre tubes with the fibres oriented the length of the tonearm not wrapped around it. This greatly increases the strength, resonance control and rigidity of the arm.
Nottingham also uses an unusual headshell design. The headshell has an orientation that is in direct line with the tonearm and not offset in any way. The headshell also has no finger lift. These two features insure that the arm is properly balanced from side to side and that no uncontrolled resonances are running around the headshell.
The Interspace arm has many of the performance features of the more expensive arms, specifically; long grain carbon fibre, unipivot design and in line headshell.
The ACE Space arm has the same basic performance features as above. This arm uses the same long grain carbon fibre tube but also uses a second tube as a liner. This helps dramatically with both rigidity and resonance control. The ACE Space also uses a threaded allen screw to make the selection and adjustment of VAT a simple step.
The Space 294 arm is basically the same as the ACE Space but in a twelve inch length. The added length reduces the tracking error. This arm was designed specifically for the Space 294 table.
The two Anna arms (12″ or 10″) were upgraded based on the success of the ACE Space arm. The Anna arms are Nottingham’s current statement, combining all the damping and strengthening techniques they know to give an illusion of music that is totally non-fatiguing.
“All our arms sound the same – ‘a family of sound’ – we think they have to, if they didn’t some would be right and some would be wrong. Whether you buy an Interspace arm or Anna arm the differences will be very subtle but very worthwhile having. We can listen to an Interspace arm for hours otherwise we would not attempt to put it on the market. Happy listening!” – Tom Fletcher
Wave Mechanic Power Supply
The Wave Mechanic external power supply, pictured to the left of the Dias at the bottom of the ‘Introducing Nottingham’ page, was made especially for Nottingham Analogue and comes standard with the Dias and Anna Log tables.
This power supply improves sonic performance by eliminating all kinds of electrical problems which can plague your hi-fi. The Wave Mechanic can be purchased separately as an upgrade for any Nottingham turntable and will provide a clean waveform with stable voltage and frequency.
The power supply has a frequency adjustment knob so you can set the speed of the precisely and thus obtain perfect pitch. (A hand held strobe illuminator is included.)
The audible benefits of the power supply are very clear. Detail, dynamics and sound stage are all much improved, but perhaps the most evident feature is the way that the whole pace and rhythm of the music sounds natural and true. Pitch stability is impeccable, giving complete confidence and much deeper involvement in the musical performance.
These benefits should not be expected to replace those from upgrading the turntable, but rather to complement them. All of the Nottingham Analogue turntables will benefit, whether your current one or your next one.