All of which brings us to the cartridge fitted in this package: the Virtuoso V2 Ebony moving magnet. Housed in a polished ebony body, Clearaudio claims it has ‘optimised resonance’ for low coloration, while the low‑moving‑mass generator system employs powerful magnets.
My review sample arrived with the arm not fitted and the cartridge supplied in its presentation box. However, it turned out to be extremely simple to assemble and set up, guided by Clearaudio’s easy to follow instruction booklet. It was similarly easy to install the cartridge and adjust the arm, and all the tools and parts required were included. In any case, your dealer would normally do this for you. For the review I partnered it with a two‑box Clearaudio Basic + MM/MC phono preamp, which proved ideal for the task, because not only was it low in background noise, but it was also transparent and smooth sounding.
Once the turntable was fixed up and running, I played a random selection of vinyl to get a general feel of the subjective performance. It was obvious straight away that this turntable is true to its maker’s name.
Music reproduced by this set up was clear, well-focussed, crisp, and nicely timed. This combination of benefits made it easy to follow complex rhythms and parts of the mix, and I liked the drive and energy conveyed.
The Performance DC does not have the benefit of a spring suspension system, relying instead on mass to limit vibration transfer from the environment. Despite the high mass and lack of resonance in the plinth, it does transmit some vibration to the cartridge and so shares with others of its genre a degree of sensitivity to the surface on which it is placed.
I tried the Performance DC turntable in a few places. The best, but hardly the most practical, was directly on a carpeted concrete floor, second best an Ikea Lack table. So, I recommend some experimentation with different support tables. A dedicated wall shelf would be ideal, too.