Kronos turntable

Kronos Kronos Turntable

The chassis is designed to accommodate a brass mount to hold the tonearm. Not only does this allow flexibility of arm options, it helps raise the arm up to the relatively high platter. However, it seems most who go with the Kronos use it specifically with a SME or Graham arm, and usually in those cases a 12-inch SME or Graham arm, so a brass outrigger armboard is also available. I used it with a Graham Phantom II (12 inch model) and a Lyra Skala cartridge (Cardas arm wiring throughout), and the three worked together as if they were made for one another. 

As you would expect with a turntable costing tens of thousands, nothing is simply made out of ho-hum materials. Every single aspect of the product is pulled from the state of the art materials-science used in aerospace or Formula One racing (such as the woven carbon fibre mat on the phenolic encased in aluminium platter). Nothing is left to chance. So the inverted bearing is vapour deposited coated base metal alloy and is the result of extensive research. But in some respects, the clever part is it is a huge inverted bearing housing, several times larger than almost any seen on a turntable today.

The platters are driven by two Swiss-made DC motors, each one with a three-belt pulley (a second passive driving pulley is on the opposite side of the platter in both cases). Both motors and secondary pulleys are connected to the base-plate of the Kronos, rather than the subchassis assembly; if this were a true suspended deck, that could cause some wow issues, but because the subchassis suspension is more for isolation than overcoming torsional effects, in reality no such wow problems manifest. The DC motors use a computer controlled servo mechanism (they read points on each platter to reference speed), but where most DC motors today are driven by small PWM amplifiers, this is fed by a linear Class A amplifier (either a standalone box or built into the stand). Once again, this falls into the ‘nothing left to chance’ method of construction. 

One of the things that irritates me about the superdeck world is the inherent fuss that comes with the package. You’ve just spent the equivalent cost of a nice Mercedes on a turntable, there’s no excuse to spend 25 minutes fiddling with air pumps, warming up the flux capacitor, or any other form of faffing around. Neither should that deck behave like an attention-seeking spoilt brat every other listening session, demanding you attend to the deck’s every whim between records and demand a complete strip-down every few weeks. If that’s your thing, great… but I was never a fan of the ‘Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious’ approach to automotive design and see no reason to pay over the odds for a turntable that acts in so mercurial a manner. 

The joy of the Kronos is that it ranks among the least fiddly of all superdecks, and is near enough maintenance-free. Set-up is straight-forward and logical; it’s necessarily a little more thorough (in terms of levelling and lubricating) than making an Ikea chair, but the instructions are better. Once set and levelled, it will take a few days for the speed control to bed in, but shouldn’t need too much in the way of adjustment, resets or lube-jobs, and even the way the belts are used (three per platter) is designed for longevity.

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