The Michell Orbe turntable takes the established concept of the GyroDec and adds to it an extra level of isolation, better structural damping, and an improved motor drive system. As of January 2004 the motor controller employs the revolutionary Never-Connected mains isolation circuit.
- Double chassis, suspended pendulum subchassis
- Damped subchassis
- 60 mm thick massive acrylic/vinyl platter of high inertia
- Screw-down record clamp, compatible with standard and 180g audiophile pressings
- Inverted oil-pumping bearing
- Custom arm boards available for most tonearms
- High-quality standalone DC motor with tacho feedback speed control
- Orbe Controller NC motor power supply with Never-Connected circuit
- Finished in clear or black acrylic with black or aluminium metal parts
The most obvious task of a turntable is to keep the record at a constant and precise angular speed, without low-rate drift, without audible wow, and without high-frequency noise components which detract from the music’s delicacy.
The 3.5 kg heavy platter, precision balanced, acts as a large flywheel. The Orbe’s platter is made of three GyroDec platters bonded together to form one massive slab of acrylic. The GyroDec and Gyro SE employ a single-thickness acrylic platter, loaded with the gold-plated brass weights which over time have become Michell’s signature. Once up to speed, and aided by the low-friction bearing, the platter only wants to maintain its motion, and not much extra input from the motor is needed.
This motor is a very precise, reliable, and low-noise DC motor that has been selected only after extensive listening sessions and reliability tests. The Orbe models use a version of the same motor with a tacho speed control loop back to the supply. With all turntables the motor is a stand-alone unit, housed in a heavy base of metal (almost 3kg for the Orbe), to elimate vibrational breakthrough to the turntable. The HR and Orbe Controller NC supplies effectively isolate the motor from the potentially poluted mains network.
Drive is relayed to the platter via a precision-ground soft round-section neoprene belt, which runs around the platter’s circumference. This results in a very high reduction of noise transfer from the motor.
Platter and Clamp
LP records are warped. LP records vibrate along with the music as the stylus traces the groove. And LP records tend to move and bend under the pressure of the arm and cartridge when they are insufficiently supported.
Michell turntables clamp the record to a hard platter. This flattens out warps, and it also couples the LP tightly to the platter so that internal resonances can be drained away from the stylus, as if the LP effectively is of a much higher thickness and rigidity. The Gyro SE and GyroDec models use a simple clamp to press down the LP record; the Orbe and Orbe SE benefit from a more advanced screw-down clamp and a washer that raises the LP at its center: under action of the clamp the record’s playable area is then very tightly pressed down onto the flat platter, right to its edges.
We make the platter from a proprietary self-damping compound of carbon/vinyl -loaded acrylic. This material closely approaches the mechanical and acoustical properties of the vinyl record itself, enhancing the coupling between both. Indeed, at boundaries of materials with like acoustic impedances, transmission of vibrational energy occurs. Whereas at boundaries of dissimilar materials, be they LP versus felt, metal, glass, or just air, only part of the energy is transmitted, the remainder being reflected back into the album, towards the stylus.
Above measures not only result in a neutral and precise sound, but also in a very low susceptibility to record blemishes, ticks and pops. This is one of the reasons why a Michell Engineering turntable not only excels in the replay of good LP’s, but also pulls the same trick with less than pristine records. Surely a benefit in this age of scarce fresh vinyl …
Weight 19 kg
Dimensions 53 (w) x 41 (d) 21 (h) cms
With lid fully opened 53 (w) x 49 (d) 59 (h) cms
Website: Michell engineering