Brinkmann Bardo

I just replaced a Clearaudio Avantgarde Magnum with a Brinkmann Bardo. Both had the Phantom tonearm II.

Wondering if anyone else has bought this table and what their thoughts are?

My initial impressions are that it grabs your attention and does not let you wander off in thoughts as you listen to music. Maybe a little less open then the Clearaudio, but more grounded and solid as a result.
I definitely like it more than the Balance, which I found to be too "damped" and a bit boring to listen too.

I also felt that changing the arm to the Graham resulted in a more profound change and improvement to the character of the system than the table swap.
Dbjain: "My initial impressions are that it grabs your attention and does not let you wander off in thoughts as you listen to music."

Excellent description as that's my impression with many direct-drive turntables regardless of brand. It has an intensity in the sound that motivates active listening, and when it's good it's more involving and when it's bad it can be fatiguing. I guess, just like anything in life, it's a matter of finding a balance in the result when implementing a technology. Such sonic description is the opposite of my impression with one particular low torque belt-drive turntable with a medium mass platter that I had to assist the start up with my finger; it was lazy sounding.

The Bardo sure looks well engineered and well built. I also like its compact size and modern look. From my experience with coreless motor, it can be one sweet machine...

The coreless motor with the magnets on the underside of the subplatter is very much like the design of the motor in the Kenwood L07D. The SP10 Mk3 also has its huge magnet structure fixed to the underside of the platter, though the stator is not coreless. So the "magnetic drive system" is not so novel, but it's probably excellent.

The Bardo is, in spirit, also close to the Sony BSL(brush/slot-less) coreless motor from the classic PS-X70 era and the subplatter has optical imprint just like Sony's magnetic imprint on the platter's inner rim. The coils' position on the Bardo is different from other DD motors though. All in all, I am happy to see a modern turntable manufacturer giving direct-drive a chance but I am somewhat irked by them having to market it as "magnetic drive." I don't care what fancy words you use, if the platter and motor share the same bearing, it is direct-drive!

Let's not forget the pioneers of this technology, the Dual EDS1000 / EDS1000-2 magnetic dd motor that they first introduced in '73. With 4 hall sensors, even though it isn't quartz controlled, it's rock steady, strong, dead silent, and shielded. Dual came out with this concept well before the others and was certainly on their drawing boards in the late 60's. 30+yrs later, they're still running spot on in decks. Japanese just copied. I too have had interest in the bardos (and oasis).
Good to see some new DD on the market.
I think the "Magnetic drive" must the marketing department idea. As noted it's kind of rehashing of old tech but it sounds good or more sexy for the salesman.
AFAIK, the first direct-drive turntable to be launched as a product was not from Dual, but Technics - the SP-10 (Mk.I), which was introduced in 1969.

It could be that there were other direct-drives predating this, but at least I've not heard of any.

I agree that the Bardo is quite interesting, and as long as the platter has low or zero cogging, I won't quibble over Brinkmann's choice of terminology.

Incidentally, Brinkmann's tonearms are also exceptionally good-sounding, and are worth consideration.

hth, jonathan carr

Some history of direct drive turntables here.

I agree with Jonathan.

Dual came out with the first and only EDS (electro-dynamic suspension) DD TT motor, for which they've never gotten any credit. Being an aerospace engineer, I can tell you this type is the only true magnetic direct drive motor. The Technics platter is nothing more than a magnet that sits in a rotor, is configured horizontally, which essentially becomes a standard motor stabilized by tach signals and OCD type electronics. The Technics motor suffers from pole jerking, magnetic drag, hysteresis, and requires a very large amount of power. The Dual EDS motor works like a modern magnetic railway. When the magnet is between 2 poles, the powers of the 2 poles are proportionate. In other words, if the magnet is dead center between the 2 poles, both poles will have 50% power, but if 80% of the magnet is over one pole and 20% of the other, the power is split 80/20 and so on in a linear fashion. It only requires 50 milliwatts of power to operate, since opposing magnets are the major force behind its propulsion. There is no need for quartz control. The hall sensors monitor the strength of the magnetic field within the system and hold stable regardless of fluctuating line voltage. A heavy platter is not required, and the technology of EDS actually allows the platter to (microscopically) levitate when it is operating, significantly reducing typical negative spindle and bearing contributions. This motor is dead silent. Unfortunately this EDS motor never received recognition and was very expensive for Dual to manufacture. At one time, Dual had 3000+ employees and completely made 100% of their own parts and motors in-house. To compete and save money, they "cheapened" newer motors and went along with the crowd of quartz control. BTW, the motor in the Dual CS5000 is an EDS type motor, although it provided belt drive. It seems that the Brinkmann DD motor is nothing more than a new type of Technics DD motor. The fact that the coils are not totally equidistant means it's "pushing" and "braking" in an un-uniform manner favoring one side. I beleive they bandaid and hide issues by the use of a heavy platter. I'm in no way discrediting other manufacturer’s contributions to DD TT technology. Technics may have been the first to the commercial market with DD, but Thorens developed and patented the first DD motor way back in 1929. With respect to the discussion of "magnetic direct drive", Dual was the pioneer and implementer of this type of DD motor. Technics and other manufacturers have nothing to do with this type of motor as their DD motors act more like stepper motors. So the correct timeline is Thorens invented the first DD motor, Technics was the first to market the DD TT, and Dual was the first, last, and only to invent and market the EDS magnetic DD motor for use in turntables.
Dear Wjsamx, The Kenwood L07D slotless, coreless motor also uses assymetrical placement of the coils of wire that form the stator. In addition, the rotor (magnet) in the L07D motor is parallel to the horizontal plane of the platter, as in the Bardo. I believe there is a sound reason for the assymetric coiling, although I have been puzzling on it since I took apart the motor of my L07D. (Photos of the coils in an L07D can be seen on the L07D Lovers site.) But it is a bit presumptuous to state that the similar arrangement in the Brinkmann is going to result in undesireable "non-uniform pushing and braking", unless you are an engineer and can back it up. To me the assymetry is so obvious that it must be deliberately done for a good, i.e., beneficial reason. Also, the Brinkmann motor is much more like that of the L07D than it is like those of the Technics SP10 Mk2 or Mk3. In the Mk3, the stator/rotor interaction occurs in the vertical plane, and of course the multi-pole stator has a core.

Thank you for your explanation on the Dual EDS motor, Wjsamx. It's fascinating. I have a Dual motor like that as parts but unfortunately it has scraping noise and I don't have the complete power supply. I would love to be able to make it work and have a listen. After reading your post, even more so.

On Brinkmann's technical white paper, which provides interesting reading, in discussing the drive mechanism, it does mention the arrangement of the stator:

The motor’s stator consists of four specially designed field coils, which are mounted concentrically with high precision around the platter bearing. Based on listening and tuning sessions, we decided to forgo the typical 90-degree mounting angle in favour of a non-standard 22.5-degree raster, which, due to the magnetic fields overlapping, further reduced cogging. The motor’s rotor also acts as the sub-platter and carries a magnetic ring with 8 poles on its underside.

The drive mechanism, based around Hall sensors and an encoder disk, is designed in such a way that there is just enough power to bring the 10 kg heavy platter up to 33 ! e rpm in about 12 seconds. Conversely, only a minimal amount of energy is actually necessary to keep the rotational speed at a constant. While the drive mechanism is indeed direct, power is actually transferred without any contact.This soft coupling via a low power magnetic field translates into a silent drive, which reduces cogging further. One of the main attributes behind the sound quality of the “Oasis” has to do with our proprietary motor control. It works proportionally, i.e. it transfers just enough energy to the motor for it to remain at constant speed. Conversely, due to our ultra low-friction bearing, only a small amount of energy is actually necessary to keep the motor at constant speed. Previously available regulators typically work disproportional and rather abruptly: they speed up and slow down the motor very rapidly when necessary.

During the development phase of the “Oasis” turntable, we spent many long hours auditioning several different regulator designs; it became quite evident that utilizing our concept of proportional regulation always resulted in better sound: typical “harder” motor control concepts produced a sound significantly lower in quality, with less color and drive.

I do believe the Brinkmann motor is quite different from Technics. Many Japanese manufacturers switched to coreless motors in the late 70's to early 80's such as Sony BSL motor, Pioneer in the later SHR motors, Kenwood in their KD-770D and KD-990, almost all JVC QL series tables. Technics, however, stayed with core motor through that era. Reportedly coreless motors sacrifice torque for smooth rotation and less cogging. I am not an engineer so these are all based on visual observations of the physical motors that I have open apart.

Hiho, That stuff could have come directly from literature on the Kenwood L07D. The speed control works the same way, using "proportional regulation". There are an optional platter ring and central weight to add mass to the L07D platter. When those are in use, you have to "tell" the power supply, and it alters the speed correction algorithm accordingly. Speed stability depends in part upon platter mass, rather than on super-high torque, in contrast to the Technics dd turntables. There is nothing new under the sun. The Bardo looks to be a great turntable. What does it cost?

"power is transferred without any contact" - that could be said of any direct-drive turntable wherein the magnet (or rotor) is part of the platter and the stator is mounted around the bearing assembly.
The cost is about 7-8000 dollars.
Lewn: "There is nothing new under the sun. The Bardo looks to be a great turntable. What does it cost?"

According this site, the retail is $7,990.00 USD so each coil is about 2 grands. :)

Dear Lewm, There are 2 different motor designs for the K07D. The initial Kenwood motor that looks similar to the Brinkmann (and the Dual) but with 6 red coils was a patent infringement on the earlier Dual design. This is why Kenwood had to later change the design to the green star shaped coils, which you can see are not asymmetrical. Kenwood and other Japanese manufacturers thought they could get around the patent issue by using a different number of coils, placing them asymmetrical, compensating with electronics, and changing the specs. It was very common practice, and still is today, for manufacturers to purchase competitors products, completely disassemble them, study the design, and attempt to deviate enough in their own design to try and beat any patents. The Dual EDS motor had 8 double field coils in symmetry with a special conductor plate below it. The magnet was made of barium ferrite and had 8 pole symmetrical magnetization. The electronics in this system were so minimal compared to others that it fit on a round circuit board the same diameter as the bottom of the motor (5 inches). The motor was one complete assembly including the electronics. The platter just fit on top of it. In regards to the Brinkmann motor, I can't understand the reason for the odd placement of the coils. One would think there is a dead spot of power in its rotation which is why I believe its concept is to push and brake. The motor seems by design to only pulse power to the rotation as needed. Once the heavy platter is at speed, the energy within its mass is creating the needed centrifugal force for rotation. The tach feedback will sense speed deviation and only micro-pulse the "motor" as necessary to keep the platter steady at speed, like cruise control. Judging by the size of the motor, it's not meant to "direct drive", it is just too small and weak. It's really a "soft drive" system. Weak micro-pulses of "magnetic" power to the platter would certainly not create a large impact on such a heavy platter, thus eliminating any cogging effect. I do like it's simplicity, and it must obviously work, although they don't advertise any specific specs other than it takes 12 seconds for the platter to reach speed. The white pages on the Brinkmann motor suggest they are using a non-standard 22.5 degree angle on the coils with an 8 pole magnet, claiming that the overlapping magnetic fields reduce cogging. Isn't it strange that this Brinkman motor is very similar to the Dual EDS motor, which has 8 coils instead of 4, both use the coils at a 22.5 degree angle, both have hall sensors, and both have 8 pole magnets. I guess the Dual EDS motor patent has long expired. Essentially, one can get a Dual EDS motor, drop it in a plith, and have a Brinkmann for about $200 + tonearm. It might be ugly, but it won't cost 8 grand. Honestly, and with sarcasm aside, if I were looking for a new TT, I'd consider the Bardos, but only after having a demo.

Have a look at Dual EDS motor:

Brinkmann white pages:

Best Regards
I forgot to mention kudos to Brinkmann for making their own motor in-house and taking the initiative to incorporate this technology into their product.
So how does my Pioneer Exclusive P3 stand. The Pioneer motor is a slotless linear motor using their Stable Hanging Rotor System.

Is this the best DD design of them all ?
Are Brinkman serious that it takes 12 seconds for the platter to reach 33.3 rpm's?

That is insane, much slower than a belt drive table. My P3 takes 0.3 seconds.
So you don't turn it off after initial switch off?

How doees this effect real speed stability - a real positive for most of the higher end DD's.

>>06-16-10: Downunder
Are Brinkman serious that it takes 12 seconds for the platter to reach 33.3 rpm's?
That is insane<<

Shane, perhaps but the Bardo's drive system is a bit different than your P3 so the comparison is apples to oranges. It's like comparing Bardo to my Technics SP-25 which comes to speed almost instantly.

I display the Brinkmann Oasis (model above Bardo) and it's start up time is similiar. It does take a bit of getting used to but in reality given that most album sides are 20+ minutes, 12 seconds is really a pittance. You become accustomed to it quickly and it's a small price to pay for superior performance IMO.

To address your "affect (sp) speed stability" question, the Brinkmann drive systems are incredibly accurate. The motor controllers and heavy platters ensure precise speed- far more accurate than most belt drives.


Dealer disclosure
DU, Does it really matter whether you have to wait 12 whole seconds for start-up? I suspect the Brinkmann is a bit sluggish because slotless coreless motors are inherently lower in torque for a given physical size than conventional motors; plus the Brinkmann platter weighs a lot more than the P3 platter. (Possibly Brinkmann felt driven by the marketplace which demands huge thick platters on expensive turntables.) I don't think one could declare any single variant on the direct-drive principle to be the "best" based only on the differences in the approach. Anyway, I like the Bardo a lot on paper and in its price class. And I am glad someone is brave enough to make it.

Wjsmax, You are correct. There are two different motors for the L07D. The symmetrical coil type came later. Now I know why Kenwood made a change. My L07D has the early version motor, the one so shamelessly stolen from Dual. (There is a lot more to an L07D in terms of engineering than just its unusual motor.) But I thought somewhere before your most recent post you were critical of the assymetrical coil design in the Brinkmann, which is what prompted me to comment on the L07D.
Lew, for me, yes it would.

I use my two DD's and really appreciate the ultra quick start up/start down time. With the slow start up time and heavy platter, I gotta wonder how good it is in maintaining the continous bass control and speed stability that these older Japanese DD are known for.
Even with my TW, I switch it off every now and then as it is sometimes a pain clamping on and off with the platter spinning.


You own one of these nice tables, how have you found the slow start up speed in actual daily use ?

The slow start up time of the Bardo was technically intentional by the designer to combat cogging so it's rather unfair to criticize it for what it wants to do; it's a design feature. Here is the reason explained in their, again, white paper, if people bother to read it:

Studios (radio stations in particular) demand quick start-up times – turntables typically have to reach theircorrect speed within half a revolution. For LPs this means 0-33 1/3 rpm within 0.9 seconds. Such acceleration figures can only be achieved through use of high-torque motors and correspondingly tight coupling between the drive and platter. It isn’t a surprise then that for decades idler wheel drive designs were the de facto standard in studio applications.

But idler wheel turntables also had seriously high maintenance costs in order to be up and running 24/7 and to avoid rumble and other sound degrading issues caused by worn out idler wheels to affect the sound negatively. Thus out of necessity, in the late 1960s manufacturers of studio turntables began to look for low(er) cost maintenance alternatives. They came up with direct drive, whereby the platter was placed directly on the motor’s shaft, ie the stator was mounted around the bushing and the shaft was used as the rotor and voila, the goal was achieved; at least in theory.

But start-up times of less than 1 second necessitated high torque motors, which designers achieved by using motors with 32 and more poles. The penalty they paid were heavy cogging effects accompanied by high wow & flutter numbers. The cure was found in quartz locked motors and phase locked regulators; which corrected for any deviations from their preset with an iron fist.

On paper at least, these “corrected” direct drive turntables boasted hitherto unimaginable low wow & flutter numbers down to 0,001%. But the rigorous iron fist regulation prevented the platter from spinning smoothly; instead, the regulation caused the platter to oscillate continuously between speeding up and slowing down. These start/stop motions translated into an unpleasantly rough and hard sound; odd as wow & flutter numbers in the 0,001% range are deemed inaudible.

Once the direct drive technology had gained a foothold in pro audio applications, the benefits of mass production (ie. trickle down effect) made sure that very soon even $100 turntables were equipped with direct drive and advertised as having less than 0.01% wow & flutter. This is precisely where direct drive got its bad rap sheet.

Under closer scrutiny however, this assumption were based on some misunderstandings. For one, in home audio application use, turntables are not really required to reach 33 1/3 rpm in less than a second, thus 32 pole motors and phase locked regulators are not really necessary either.

I have a Kenwood KD-770D that has rather slow start up (approx. 6 seconds) and lower torque, in similar spirit to the Bardo, compare to my other direct-drive tables and it also has the smoothest silky sound and is speed stable that I really have no complaint. Direct-drive does not have to have fast start up but if you can't live without that feature then the Bardo is not a table for you. For me, I certainly appreciate Brinkmann taking on a different approach. I also like its simplicity and rugged construction.

The cut and paste white paper you put up here is more a simple narrative lumping all DD's into the $100 bad rap sheet.

I certainly do not hear any of the so called negatives Brinkman have brought up in my two DD tables I currently have- just the opposite, then again I am not comparing to any $100 DD's either which I agree with Brinkman on.

BTW, I am glad Brinkman have brought back the DD approach, but lets not confuse an advertorial with a true white paper.

The white paper will do its job in distancing Brinkman from those nasty mass produced $100 tables of yesteryear.

My point is that Brinkmann intentionally taking on a different approach from the direct drive tradition. Whether they are successful in sonic terms is a different issue. You are bother by the slow start up so I simply direct you to their reasoning behind it. I like turntables of all kinds including tables with fast start up; I like novelty and if any brand trying to do something different from the norm I appreciate it, sonically successful or not. That's all.

>>06-16-10: Downunder
Lew, for me, yes it would.
I use my two DD's and really appreciate the ultra quick start up/start down time.<<

Right. It's very important to begin and end a listening session with as few delays as possible.

Let's assume for grins and giggles that you listen to 8 (eight) album sides in a listening session. Assuming each side is 20 minutes, your total listening time is 160 minutes or 2 1/3 hours.

Now the difference between the Bardo start up time (12 seconds x 8 album sides= 96 seconds) and your table (0.3 seconds x 8 album sides= 2.4 seconds) is 93.6 seconds or 0.9% of your listening time.

Makes sense to me. You could spend all of that extra time cutting your toenails or perhaps taking a bathroom break
Downunder: "I certainly do not hear any of the so called negatives Brinkman have brought up in my two DD tables I currently have- just the opposite, then again I am not comparing to any $100 DD's either which I agree with Brinkman on."

It's all about YOUR turntables, all the other turntables under or at $100 are so beneath you, so not high end, regardless of what technology they use. The innovative Dual EDS motor or the Lenco tables were (or still are) all under $100 used at one point. Hey, if it's not about something you own, you obvious have no interest so what do you care.

Lets not pick on Shane. He is justifiably infatuated with one of the best dd turntables of all time and surely one that is in the hunt for THE best. My only point is that there is more than one way to skin the cat. I have not (yet) heard a P3 in my system, but the L07D blows away my SP10 Mk2, and I will soon be able to say how it fairs against my SP10 Mk3. The similarity in approach between the L07D and the Bardo leads me to believe the latter must be superb as well, given the skill of manufacture and quality level exhibited by all other Brinkmann products. BTW, I have not measured, but I would estimate that it takes about 3 seconds for the L07D to reach 33 without the peripheral platter ring and record weight and about 5 seconds with them installed. But then, the L07D platter even with the augmentation is probably lower mass than that of the Bardo. I usually spend the time considering the meaning of life. I do agree that the Brinkmann "white paper" is very unfair to the vintage decks.
It was all in fun.

The P3 is a terrific product.

And it saves a lot of time. If you listened to 8 album sides every day for a month, there would be a 46.8 minute surplus using Shane's P3 vs. the Bardo.

Enough time to read one of these useless threads.

But the Bardo-user will be that much closer to knowing the meaning of life.

I crudely measured the start up time to about 8 seconds. For me, ti is not a big deal; the belt table I had before was just as slow to start up and the speed change on this table is very good. The speed stability is pretty excellent.

What is the sonic difference betw. Bardo & Oasis?

I've been following your replies about the dual eds motors on this thread and found them most informative ... I've been doing searches for a while and there's not that much info around on the eds motors.
I know this thread is about the Bardo but this seems like a good opportunity so hopefully I won't derail this thread too much.
I have the motor and electronics from a dual 701 and have been considering using them in a diy turntable.
Would you suggest any mods? or replacement of parts like capacitors on the small round board before proceeding further?
The main reason I'm contacting you is that I also have the motor & electronics from a revox dd and the motor looks almost the same as the dual except that the bottom is different and the electronics look somewhat more complicated.
My question then ... is the the Revox motor also a good ... or better? ... choice for a diy dd turntable?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
I wonder if that 12 seconds to speed is a conservative number. I spun a few LP's tonight on a fully automatic Dual TT located in my den. I started it manually, moved the arm over, waited 12 seconds, then lowered the arm. The whole process took about 16 seconds by the time the TT started playing music, 20 seconds total to be seated with a drink in hand. It seems like a very long time if you aren't used to it. Spec for the Dual EDS to reach nominal speed is 2 to 2.5 seconds. I'm so used to pressing the auto start button and being seated with a drink in hand by the time the music starts playing, which is <5 seconds. A dealer near me in NYC now has a Bardos. I'll do a demo this weekend and bring a speed disk to see just how long it takes to cruise. The other TT he has of interest to me is the Artemis Labs SA-1 designed by Frank Schroder. I'm told it beats the Bardos in everything hands down, and is about $2K cheaper in price. It's not direct drive, but has an innovative tape drive system that uses 1/4" magnetic reel tape, instead of rubber or string, to drive the platter. Nice thing is that you can make your own "belts" from old reels. The tape drive system is kept taught by a tensioning lever bearing. You won't see this on any other TT, and I've become very interested in this technology.

Best Regards and kudos to a good thread...

Many people have done DIY with the EDS motors. From a service standpoint, capacitors C5, C6, C7, C8, and C9 can be replaced. You can basically use 4 sheets of 3/4" birch plywood, make a 5" hole, mount the motor, measure your spindle to arm distance, put it together, and perform a full setup. The shape of the plinth is your immagination. Maybe a modern tear-drop shape? If you want it to be beautiful, when you're done, add 3/4" mahogany to the top, round the edges, and use marine varnish to seal it. Wet sand between coats. Your choice if you want glossy or satin finish. For an armboard, use a standard Canadian hockey puck. The properties and composition of it make for an excellent isolator. If you want to get it more beautiful, finish the sides in flamed maple veneer. I regret to say I'm not familiar with the Revox TT's, but know much more about their reel to reels.

Sorry for off topic, Regards
Hiho Chill mate

I was specifically talking about the Brinkman so called white paper, how they lumped all DD's into the $100 Japanese DD's they were referring to.

It has nothing to do with my turntables - however they are the only tables I can compare to Brinkman's generalisations.
Guess what, Lew does not hear those generalisations either with his DD's.

It is wonderful you can get Dual EDS,Lenco or your Kenwood table that are clearly in another league than the $100 japanese mass market DD's that Brinkman were lumping all DD's into.
Hence my comments

Nice to see you have been doing some calculations for me on time I have saved, however I am guessing you know that was not the main point of my Q.

To add to Glai's question.

How does the Brinkman DD sound compared to their more expensive belt driven big brothers?

Wjsmax, I agree with your assessment of the potential of the Artemis table. This is the first bit of fresh thinking re belt drive to have hit the market in a long time, and besides being "fresh", it is also "good" thinking about how to reduce "belt creep". (You can use a tape as a substitute for most any belt, but its how they arrange the drive system that is so innovative.) It has received very little attention from the audio press, probably because it is not flashy. No chrome, no smoked acrylic, no revolving balls of metal. Please let us know what you think of it.

Nevertheless, I don't see how you can dump on the Bardo unless you've heard that one as well.
Downunder: "Hiho Chill mate"

Fair enough. Let's get back to talking about turntables and other fun stuff.

I am sure the P3 is wonderful as I have owned several Pioneer models before. And one thing I noticed is that Pioneer bearings are always excellent quality, especially their Stable Hanging Rotor (SHR) motors, compare to many competing designs (Sony's BSL motors uses plastic to hold the bearing well!!). Not to mention very reliable electronically. Their PL-L1000 linear tracking table is one clever design, same motor in their higher models, but the whole thing is mounted on a piece of suspended plastic!! I always thought if they could go for the whole nine yard and mount that onto something more solid and substantial, it could be a killer. That's why I gutted the motor out and made a plinth for it. It was then I realized many quality inexpensive direct-drive turntables with great motors and potentials being stifled by their awful plastic plinth and flimsy tonearms. I guess they reserved all that for their flagship products like the P3, so I have no doubt the P3 is an amazing product and it looks super cool, especially when in Robocop nude.
Wow...there's some serious engineering in that P3.
Downunder, awesome tt ... can't be too many of them here in Oz.
Wjsamx, thanks for your advice. I too am fascinated by the Artemis tt.
thanks Lespier. I believe I had the only one til this week when my mate Jaspert took delivery of one.

The P3, Lewm's Kenwood LO7D and other dd's prove that Brinkman are on the right track to ressurect the technology.

Another mate of mine bought the Monaco DD table and sold his Basis Debut as it was getting no play.
I think the tonearm match with these tables is probably a very important factor, if not the most important factor when attempting to compare them. If you hear the Brinkmann tables with the brinkmann tonearm, you may walk away feeling unimpressed (as I did when auditioning the Balance). With the Graham Phantom, the results were entirely different. The Artemis labs SA1 can be auditioned with the arm for the table. I would imagine that the same table with the Reference tonearm will be another beast alltogether.
>>06-18-10: Dbjain
I think the tonearm match with these tables is probably a very important factor<<

Totally agree.

I'm using a Dynavector 507 II and Triplanar on an Oasis with wonderful results.

Dealer disclaimer.
Could you compare Bardo with Oasis?
Thank you.
Please follow me on a journey that explains the relevance of good TT and DD motor technology. Imagine if you will, there are 3 automobile drivers. All 3 drivers will drive through the most beautiful parts of the Swiss Alps, or the Smokey Mountains, or any other beautiful and breathtaking scene. Driver one is performance oriented and cares most about how his car will handle through this beautiful and challenging terrain. Driver 2 cares more about how beautiful the scenery is going to be. Driver 3 cares equally about the scenery and the drive, and expects quality from both. I fit well as driver 3. I want the quality of the drive to be so good that it virtually disappears so I can concentrate on and value the beauty of the landscape. The speed limit on this road is, for exaggerating purposes, 33.33 miles per hour. All 3 drivers first get to drive a car with a cruise control spec of 33.33 +/- 0.002 miles per hour. This car has a disc attached to one wheel with 4700 lines on it. A sensor reads these 4700 lines throughout every tire revolution to produce the advertised spec.

Driver 1 is so impressed by the technology and performance of the vehicle and finds it exhilarating. Driver 2 really has no opinion and is very happy to be an active participant. Driver 3 is very unhappy. He is experiencing a constant micro struggle of power from within the car; with its constant applying of power and brake, he feels the jitter in the car, it’s annoying, and therefore distracting him from enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

The drivers are now given a car that has a different technology. It only monitors speed once every wheel revolution to maintain speed. The sensor is mounted on the outer most part of the wheel for accuracy. The spec is 33.33 +/- 0.1 miles per hour. Driver 1 is very unhappy. He immediately notices less speed control on sharp turns, up, and down hills. Driver 2 is just happy to be there. Driver 3 is happier than before. For him, the drive is smoother and it’s letting him enjoy more of the picturesque landscape, but feels more like a roller coaster at times.

The drivers are lastly given a car with technology that measures engine load only. Its job is to keep the speed of the engine at a constant regardless of load. The cars computer was programmed to specific values that would maintain a speed of 33.33 miles per hour on a perfectly flat and level road. Having no sensors on the wheels, the engine has no idea what the wheels are doing, or how fast they are spinning.

Driver 1 is very unhappy. It seems the engine has no idea what it’s doing. It’s all over the place. The engine performs great on a flat open road where there is no load, but in the mountains, it struggles. Driver 1 at times feels that the speed just isn’t correct. Driver 2 is just happy to be there. Driver 3 is miserable. As he’s trying to enjoy the beautiful views, the images at times are blurry. As he passes trees, sometimes it looks like one big blob of trees, and at other times, he can pinpoint how many trees there are. He’s having trouble focusing on the picturesque landscape. He concludes that the speed of the car is deviating so much that it’s distorting the view.

The diamond tip on the stylus is the passenger in the car driving through the beautiful terrain and experiencing the landscape of the vinyl. The TT is the cars motor. Car 1 suffers from extreme micro management. It’s constant control of the motor fights with the natural forces of the landscape. This motor will suffer from what I call “negative speed”. Simply, the stylus wants to behave in a natural forward moving manner. A stylus traveling down hill does not want to brake several times, just as when it wants to travel up hill, it doesn’t want to brake several times. The stylus in this case, for an almost immeasurable instant, travels backwards on the vinyl. Some may call it cogging, some may call it pole jerking. This negative speed is actually a form of recoil. Many people will use words like lifeless, boring, unrealistic, smeared, dry, bass shy, and bright. The constant internal power struggle to keep the motor at a strict speed ruins the landscape for the stylus. The music never blooms and is stripped of its magic due to the motor electronics being a control freak. Specs are great though.

Car 3 allows the stylus a little more freedom to travel, however too much. The problem is that at times, the motor is pushing the stylus down the hill when it shouldn’t, and at other times holding it back. The motor really has no idea what’s going on at the road surface. Its job is to just hold the speed as steady as it can via a current feedback circuit. If more current is detected due to a load increase, more voltage is applied to the motor. This system also suffers from motor recoil, but on a smaller scale. The difference in this case is that the platter is being belt driven. The elasticity in the belt will absorb some of this, but the downfall is that there is then the recoil of energy caused by the belt itself. In the end, the stylus is really forced into situations of being out of control. It’s sort of bob sledding. Some will describe the sound as bouncy, jumpy, lively, boomy, smeared, and unfocused. In poorly designed belt drive system, you can also have the symptom of negative speed due to the microscopic rocking of the platter forth and aft.

Car 2 is the better of the 3 cars, but certainly not perfect. The motor will hold its speed for the one full revolution, take a reading, make any adjustment if necessary, and wait for the next reading 1 revolution away. The one revolution allows the stylus to glide more naturally. In other words, when the stylus is going down hill, it’s not being pushed, nor is it being pulled back, or forced to brake. It can travel at a velocity more natural to the landscape of the groove. It will tend to micro speed-up by itself, naturally. When traveling up hill, the stylus will micro slow-down, naturally. One may ask, well how can that happen if the platter is ideally at a constant speed for at least one revolution at a time. Isn’t there a contradiction? The answer is no. Without constantly micro managing the speed, the stylus and its suspension are allowed the opportunity to function properly. The cantilever will bow positively going down hill, and negatively up hill. The suspension of the cantilever is the shock absorber. The more rigid the cantilever (like beryllium), the less positive and negative bowing will occur. The problem now becomes that the quality of the sound deteriorates as the stylus moves towards the center of the vinyl record. Placement of the sensor is critical. Placing it at the outer most edge of the platter will yield less frequent speed correction per distance of stylus travel, and too much speed correction at the inner tracks. The only way to try and compensate for this would be to monitor the location of the tonearm on the record. For instance, if the tonarm is in the middle of the record, it skips a reading, and checks speed every 2 revolutions. Unfortunately this just isn’t workable. A TT like this can sound lively and natural, but not for the entire record.

The best DD motor would be one that is able to maintain constant speed, without any external feedback systems, accept a reasonable load, and not compensate for speed. The magnetic motor is really the only viable solution. Too many manufacturers decide on specs first, and sound later, then slap a few band-aids on at the end. A magnetic drive motor that is manufactured properly will yield the best results regardless of where the stylus is on the record. No amount of electronics can ever compensate for a badly designed or cheap motor. You can have 10 speed boxes connected and it won’t matter. In the self contained system of magnet drive, it only has to worry about maintaining the correct magnetic field. In theory, if the magnetic field is correct and constant, the speed will be correct. Any corrections made would be extremely “soft” and undetectable corrections, as the change is not direct and done through a magnetic field to micro manipulate the motion of magnets. This is where I believe the true magic in the sound of vinyl exists. We can control VTA and VTF, and yield amazing results when hitting the sweet spot. But unfortunately, we cannot control a miserable and faulty designed drive system. If the stylus and its suspension are allowed the privilege of un-interruption by giving it the opportunity to glide at a true steady speed in its natural state, that my friends is the icing on the cake. Like vacuum tubes are soft switchers, solid state are hard switchers. The ideal DD motor will make the TT disappear, and let you forget that you’re listening to vinyl, draw you in, and allow you the privilege of participating in the soul of the music. The most important part of the drive system besides being quiet, is to allow the stylus to be itself, only then it becomes transparent, and presents the magic within the vinyl.

Best Regards
Well put Wjsamx. I could not agree more with you. This is why I bought the Bardo.
Dbjain: "I definitely like it more than the Balance, which I found to be too "damped" and a bit boring to listen too."

You are very good at describing sound. I only heard the Balance at shows but some (not all) of these heavy platter tables have a sonic signature that's leaden and over "damped and boring." It's mostly in bass overhang and a kind of constipated quality that's hard to describe. I prefer a Bruce Lee kind of sonic presentation not Arnold Schwarzenegger, if that makes sense. Jump factor, you know.

I usually don't like to dwell on sonic descriptions but I remember hearing a Shindo 301 once at a store and it has a solidity, body, and earthy quality that makes many low torque belt-drive tables sound like the musician is missing a testicle.

Glad you are enjoying the Bardo.

Good thread. LOL
I had the opportunity to demo both the Bardos and the Artemis TT's. I'm very impressed with both. If I had to briefly describe them, I would say that the Bardos is detailed, wide-open, and quiet. The Artemis is too but adds some element of magic, being more romantic, rich, warm, and smooth. The Bardos is definately tranparent, and the Artemis seems to be voiced like a finely manufactured and tuned instrument. There were LP's I brought that sounded better on one than the other. Looks like I need both :)
Downunder, you guys should get together to compare the P3 with the GP Monaco. I would love to hear about that comparison, notwithstanding the difference in tonearms that is inevitable.

Unfortunately Ian and myself live 1000km's away from each other. Its a big country downunder. But Jasper and Ian both live in Melbourne - so you never know in the future.

the p3 frankly is too big to move easily, the Monaco is considerably smaller in the real estate it uses.

Does anyone know the differences (outside of plinth) of the GP Monaco and Brinkman tables on the DD side of things?

Question for Wjsamx - what was tonarm and cartrige on Bardo and Artemis during the demo?
Thank you.