Check the Brinkman website it has a very good description of both table's physical description. If you want to know how the tables sound against one another, I have no experience with the Oasis but the Bardo is an excellent sounding table.
Bump. Can anyone describe the sonic differences between these turntables?
.... the sound of the Bardo is salubrious, exquisite, stunning, glorious and dazzling and the sound of the Oasis is superlative, smashing, magnificent, superb and impeccable...
Syntax, it must be evening where you are. Either that or you're drinking in the morning again.
I've listened to both of the direct drive Brinkmanns. If both have the same platter and are mounted on the same surface, with the same tonearm and cartridge, the sonic differences between them aren't actionable. Buy the one that suits you for price and aesthetics. Almost ANY differences you impose in resting surface, whether you use any intermediate mounting devices like bearings, magnetic repulsion, isolation materials, etc. will impose more difference than the delta between the Bardo and Oasis alone.
The Brinkmann low-torque motor/high rotating mass direct drive is excellent for both sound and speed stability. In the current economics of high end audio, these Brinkmann direct drives are a peak value point in $8000-$15000 turntables. I prefer Oasis with it's plinth.
Thanks, Phil. What was your impression of the bass reproduction of these tables? Bass seemed to be the weakness noted by Fremer in his review of the Bardo, if only relative to the larger Brinkmanns.
Forget Fremer. The higher priced Brinkmanns are belt/thread drive and cost quite a bit more. Bass on the DD tables is fine. Bardo & Oasis aren't bass-shy by any means but here's more bloom and more texture in the bottom end of the LaGrange & Balance, and if your system and room support it, LaGrange/Balance can dig a bit deeper. But so what? That's not the big difference! The upmarket belt drives deliver more of the music's emotion, more event honesty, more humanness of the performance. By degrees. But, you know, they also cost a lot more. LaGrange has something like 35 lbs of tri-materials platter; Balance even more. Oh, and a heated main bearing. And you'll want to pony up for the tube power supply.
Now, what would the DD models sound like with 18kg platters instead of 10kg? You can't find out. What if the DD models had LaGrange's heated bearing? You can't find out. You can pair the DD tables with the vacuum tube power supply and that will move the Bardo/Oasis toward the sound of LaGrange. So, to say the Brinkmann DD tables exhibit a bass weakness, I ask "compared to what?" There's no point expecting the DD tables to sound comparable to the LaGrange & Balance because they aren't intended to and are built on different economics. Put another way, if you can afford LaGrange or Balance, that's what you'll buy, because at that price level you're well into paying for diminishing returns and you're ok with that as a music-loving audiophile. If Oasis/Bardo are the right price for you, then the sound of the thread drive Brinkmanns is moot, as you're unlikely to want to pay for the delta.
I can tell you this: the Brinkmann Bardo/Oasis are essentially magnetically-driven turntables and their massy/low-torque design doesn't sound like the high torque/low mass direct drives most people recall as the sound of direct drive. The Brinkmann DD tables sound relaxed and toneful with excellent timing, bass authority and nuanced reveal of fine detail.. They have more in common with other Brinkmanns than they do with non-Brinkmann turntables using direct drive. M. Fremer and Danny Kaey think the thread drive tables are nearly unrivaled, if you care about reviewer opinions. If you must, want, or just prefer to spend less, the Bardo/Oasis will put you in the sonic family and you might even prefer some aspects of their articulation. Regardless, the tube power supply is worth springing for on all the Brinkmanns.
Thanks again the thoughtful response, Phil. I believe the Oasis and Bardo share the bearing of the LaGrange and Balance but your points are well-taken. It's rather surprising to me that the tube PS makes such a difference, lying outside of the signal path. I've read the explanation but it's still surprising.
The bearings of the thread & magnetic drive Brinkmann tables are common, but afaik, the DD tables' bearings aren't heated.
Just came across this thread. I have a Bardo in my system, one of the best tables I've had the pleasure of listening to. I've not had the chance to hear the tube power supply but placed a Prada Satori AC cord on the supplied PS of the Bardo and couldn't believe what a difference it made. Yes the Satori cord is about the same cost of the tubed PS but I now can't listen to the Bardo without it.
I got the bit about the same bearing from Fremer:
"Brinkmann uses the same platter bearing in his belt-driven 'tables. While in those designs the bearing is electrically heated, that's not necessary in the Bardo, he saysthe motor's quiescent current produces enough warmth."
I took this to mean that the bearing is heated, but by the motor itself rather than by the PS. Same bearing, different heating source. But I could easily be wrong.
Sksos1, have you compared the Bardo to the Balance, by chance, being a Brinkmann dealer?
The dd motor will supply some heat to the bearing but not at the level of regulated precision as the discrete bearing heater in the thread drives. It's not strictly the same.
No I have not. Loving the Bardo nothing has told me to look higher.
Well, I went and did it. Oasis on the way. I should take delivery by the end of next week. Thanks to all.
Congratulations, it looks like a great table. I read about all the options on stereophile, did you also get all the options? With vinyl platter mat and a polished granite base, record clamp, optional stainless steel and precision-ground crystal platter mat and a Brinkmann screw-down record clamp, Optional Balance power supply. Tonearm?
Thanks, Captain. You're thinking of the Bardo with all the options. The Oasis has the same drive, platter, and bearing but comes stock with the crystal mat and clamp in a wood plinth (cherry in my case). I'll use either my Tri-planar or Phantom with it, and just the stock PS at first.
Any update Wrm57?
Keen to hear about the Brinkmann, especially with either tonearm you settle upon..
Shipping was delayed while additional armboards were drilled, so it's not here yet. Judging by the tracking info, it ought to be landing at LAX around now (am I eager or what?), about to clear customs and head north. I'll report back after we get acquainted. I'll be using a Tri-planar to start because my Phantom II is with Bob Graham at the moment.