A couple of decades ago, the must-have affordable turntable was the Pink Triangle Little Pink Thing. Alongside the standard PT and the Anniversary, the entry-level LPT turntable was a simple design, but one that in no-way highlighted its own limitations. Those days are long gone, as is Pink Triangle itself, but in some ways the new LSD (Little Super Deck) is its spiritual replacement.
The LSD is a fully integrated affair (it comes as deck and arm as standard, and the two work so well together, you’d be a mug to think of one without the other). Available in pure acrylic colours or black and wood, the relatively slimline deck has a timeless, almost 1970s appeal. That it’s one of the few turntables with a lid, helps too. It’s driven from a plug-top power supply feeding the DC motor and the combined off-switch 33/45 speed control on the bottom left of the top plate is the sole automation on the machine. This sends a nice glow around the side of the deck when powered up. Speed adjustment is performed thanks to two screws in the plate beneath the switch. It sits on three adjustable feet.
The deck incorporates Funk’s Vector Drive. This uses one motor with a pulley and two ‘passive’ pulleys close to the inner platter of the deck. This gives a remarkable precision to the speed, perhaps unsurprisingly similar to the venerable three-motor Voyd deck of the early 1990s. That deck used a trio of PAPST motors, where this one uses a single DC motor, but if anything the stability of one motor, three pulleys are better than motors on every pulley.
The big changes here to anything formerly from Funk (and PT before that) is the use of a glass platter and a felt mat. There is an optional upgrade of Funk’s own Achromat (an expanded vinyl mat, because Funk claims the perfect interface for vinyl is, er, vinyl) which comes in a host of funky (pun intended) colours.
The arm is perhaps the thing people will notice least at first, but in fact it’s perhaps the most exciting part of the whole LSD trip (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?). Although it doesn’t sport the ‘reinforced drinking straw’ arrangement of the F*X arm designs, the big and clever changes here are the way tracking force and anti-skate are applied. The first is so bloody obvious, it’s one of those “why didn’t anyone think of this?” moments; the counterweight is used as a counterweight, placing the arm in dynamic balance, then a collar on the arm-tube is extended toward the cartridge in order to dial in tracking force. There are a series of markings on the top of the arm-tube to get the right tracking force, but I’d use a stylus gauge to get things absolutely correct. However, this in essence makes the arm a variable mass design, and means the choice of cartridges is thrown wide open.