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by Gary Pearce

5 months ago

1407 readers

Making an extremely eye-catching jump into the NZ vinyl marketplace is the Slovenian company MAG-LEV Audio.

Its ML1 turntable features a striking design utilising magnetic levitation to isolate the platter from the motor completely. Borne from a Kickstarter campaign, MAG-LEV has now gone into full production with the ML1, and it is now available in NZ.

It was so obvious, wasn’t it? Motor-borne vibration and resonance travel up from the motor unit (or drive system) of a turntable, creating annoying rumble and increasing surface noise.

Outboard motors are a partial answer to this problem, but there’s no avoiding the physical connection between motor and platter – it’ll either be a belt, an idler wheel, or the motor driving the platter directly (aka direct drive).

No such issue exists with the MAG-LEV ML1. Powerful magnets allow the platter to float above the plinth – the only contact point being the cartridge stylus. 

It makes for a dramatic aesthetic, but it’s not all about looks: MAG-LEV Audio have equipped the ML1 with the well regarded Pro-Ject Audio 9CC carbon fibre tonearm, a high tech platter comprised of ABS plastic and glass fibre, quality RCA connectors and custom-made high-end cables. Plus there's a real wood veneer finish as an option. 

Topping the package off is Ortofon’s popular OM10 moving magnet cartridge. MAG-LEV advise against using moving coil designs because of the strong magnets used in the ML1, so goodies such as the moving magnet Ortofon 2M Black cartridge are specified as a strong upgrade item for prospective purchasers.

Keeping the platter rotating at a constant 33/3 or 45 RPM is a custom-made speed controller that keeps the magnetic coil drive in check, while LED lights placed under the platter create a stunning halo effect when the lights are turned down low.

The MAG-LEV ML1 is available now from Audio Reference and sells in New Zealand for $4500, including cartridge. An optional dust cover is also available for $200 RRP.

For more information, please visit MAG-LEV Audio.


Gary Pearce's avatar

Written by:

Gary Pearce

Addicted to music from a very early age, Gary built his first pair of loudspeakers at the tender age of 12. Since then he has contributed to a plethora of publications/websites and has even been heard on Newstalk 1ZB as the stations ‘gadget man’. Technically proficient in both analogue and digital, he feels the road ahead is just as exciting as the road already traveled - and he can't wait to tell you about it.

Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: mag-lev  audio reference