Clearaudio prides itself as a manufacturer of precision vinyl replay systems, offering a wide selection of turntables, arms, cartridges, phono preamps, record‑cleaning machines, and accessories. Some of its products fetch astronomical prices, with the Statement turntable, for instance, costing a fraction under £90,000. The Performance DC is rather more affordable, especially as the package offered for review includes a tonearm and Virtuoso V2 Ebony moving magnet cartridge for just £2,495. It’s not quite beer budget, but affordable nonetheless, and very easy on the eye.
Built in Germany, the turntable employs a newly designed decoupled and resonance damped DC motor with precision bearings, driving the platter via a flat rubber belt. Power for the motor comes from a DC wall-wart, which plugs into the rear of the turntable. The platter is a 40mm thick CNC machined slab of polyoxymethylene (or POM, otherwise known by its trade name of Delrin), a dense and inert plastics material, which combines high inertia and internal damping.
Unusually, the platter rides suspended on a patented Clearaudio magnetic support bearing which features a precision, low friction, ceramic shaft in a sintered bronze bushing to keep it running noise free, true and vertical. The weight of the platter causes the height of the bearing to drop slightly under its weight on a magnetic cushion, so that the platter floats on an invisible spring.