The Willi Bauer DPS3 Turntable

Willi Bauer DPS3 Turntable
The Willi Bauer DPS3 Turntable

This is a supremely analytical record player. It has an almost master tape like calm and precision that allows every nook and cranny of each recording to be heard. Some might find this approach a little short on thrills, speed or whatever you want to call it but they should really be looking to their record collection for these qualities. A lot of that excitement comes from colorations introduced by less sophisticated turntables, noise on the power supply, vibrations in the turntable etc. The dps 3 cuts out more of that hash than most designs I’ve heard and to be frank I’d be intrigued to hear what its power supply and motor could do for my SME Model 20. But I found plenty of thrills in my record collection thanks to the remarkable transient response of the plattenspieler.

As with all the turntables I’ve tried that have low compliance (stiff) suspension the dps 3 was improved by placement on one of Max Townshend’s highly isolating equipment supports. Willi recommends solid stands or wall brackets but he clearly doesn’t have his turntable less than a metre from a 150 litre active loudspeaker! The move to the Townshend stand brought about an increase in bass weight and a drastic improvement in three-dimensionality. Even the background seemed to get quieter, allowing Gidon Kremer’s violin on Arvo Pärt’s Fratres to create unnerving tension as it builds in volume toward the point where the piano joins in. The dps3 has an almost digital noise floor; I say almost though because it has all the beauty, depth and vibrancy of analogue, so in truth it probably sounds more like analogue tape but I’ve not heard enough of that (outside of cassette) to say for sure.

If you go to Willi’s Bauer Audio shop in Munich you are more likely to find his turntable equipped with a Schröder, Graham or Tri-Planar pickup arm and it would be fascinating to try any or all of those. I don’t think however, that you would change the innately calm and resolute character of the turntable. You would just get a more or less neutral or revealing result depending on the quality of the arm used. The fact that such revealing results can be achieved with a revamped Rega is testament to the intrinsic quality of der plattenspieler. It’s perhaps a little inconvenient that changing the arm Type: Constrained plinth record player with standalone motor Bearing Type: Inverted with ruby ball Speeds: 33/45 Power Supply: Single-phase or three-phase AC Dimensions (HxWxD): 180x450x350mm Weight: 23kg Finishes: Maple, cherry, walnut Number Of UK Dealers: 1 Guarantee: 5yrs Prices – dps 2: £4,800 Lid: £150 dps3 upgrade: £2,050 dps RB250 tonearm: £450 UK Distributor: Andy Craig Tel. (44)(0)1252 328936 Net. Manufacturer: Bauer Audio

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