Wave Kinetics NVS Reference Turntable Review on Positive Feedback

David Robinson, Positive Feedback Online's Editor-In-Chief, just published about his 5 year experience with the Wave Kinetics NVS Reference Turntable and the Durand Tonearm Telos. It can be read here:

Thank you for posting.  It is truly a work of art.  I'm surprised you didn't try the Durand record clamp as well.  Just out of curiosity, in all honesty, how many units do you think will sell worldwide over the next five years?  Despite the expense, there are a lot of people who have this money to burn - entertainers, sports figures, foreign businessmen, etc.  But do they buy this kind of stuff?  
Not many. Henry Rollins is one exception, being a customer of Brian Berdan at Audio Elements in Pasadena. His system is comprised of the big Wilson speakers and VTL electronics. I think his table is a VPI with Lyra cartridge.
chayro: At some point in the near future Dr. Robinson will spend some time with the Durand Tonearms record weight and I am sure we will see a review.

The majority of the people buying equipment like this are audio enthusiasts.
No doubt that the combination of these 3 devices must be magnificent to the ear, as it is to the eye.  What was eventually done about the problem of shipping the NVS, what with the fact that the platter still seems to be inseparable from the chassis (just based on reading the referenced review which makes no mention of ever having to mount the platter)?  In the earliest days, there were reports of damaged bearings, caused by predictably rough treatment during shipping.

We originally contacted a very well respected flight case manufacturer and they spec’d a particular model for us to use that proved insufficient for the size and weight of our turntable. We had two tables, very early on, with bearings that were damaged due to shipping. That was quickly remedied with a highly engineered shipping crate and there have been zero problems since including many world wide shipments.
Dear @jtinn : Reading and looking the review we only can say: amazing! and against today over 150K TT prices your design is a true bargain!

Personally I would like to read in that review at least one other KK$$$ TT with the same tonearm/cartridge combination for comparisons in the same system, even both TTs with non-Durand tonearm but a different manufacturer.

There is no doubt your love and " emotion " to build the NVS and this subject is critical and is reflected in the attention to minimal TT design characteristics, good.

Now, other than the sound or non-sound coming from the NVS detected during listening sessions is very important to know the today real measures that can give true and precise foundations to what you stated in your site where the only spec is referent to the NVS speed accuracy ( tha's outstanding. ):



Speed Control

  • Capable of both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Utilizes a laboratory grade motor control system
  • High inertia platter
  • Speed accuracy to 1 part per 1000000
  • Direct drive system
  • Tuning optimized using a 17 degree of freedom tuning model


Vibration Attenuation

  • Transfer of floor and airborne vibration is greatly attenuated before reaching the platter and stylus
  • A specifically tuned platform eliminates the transfer of floor/stand vibration stimuli such as foot-fall
  • Stiffness in the structure – constructed entirely of monolithic parts machined from solid metal billets minimized joints and connectors
  • Internal vibration damping system tuned to eliminate transfer of airborne vibration and vibration generated internally (motor & drive train noise)


Materials selection

  • Body – Solid aluminum billet providing high mass and high stiffness
  • Platform – milled from a single large billet of aluminum for uparalled stiffnes. Tuned suspension system using custom viscoelastic dampers, base crafted from proprietary vibration damping material.
  • Platter– aluminum / mass loaded polymer. Provides high mass and optimal record /platter interface material.    """""


 why the NVS platter is the optimal record/platter interface material?

how much is attenuated the transfer of floor and airborne vibrations?

and many other questions.

If I go to invest in a NVS I would like to see something more " solid " than  what's in your site or in that review.
Yes, your NVS is just a beauty piece of art, but.......... and I know for sure that you have a lot to say on my questions because you are experts on vibrations and damping  but how works here? and of course how it performs against other KKK$$$ TTs.

Thank's in advance.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Thank you Raul for your kind words.

When a manufacturer submits a product for review, they do not get to set the format of the review. If comparisons are made that is entirely at the discretion of the writer. 

The platter was specifically designed with multiple impedance changes utilizing a constrained layer system and a mass loaded polymer where the top layer provides similar hardness characteristics as the vinyl itself.

I understand your desire to have more technical information available to you, but really the answers are all in the listening. :)
Thanks for your responses, JTinn.  I always wondered what it was about the platter/bearing assembly that dictated the fact that the two cannot be separated by the end-user (apparently) or for shipping purposes, at least.  This is just owing to my own particular brand of curiosity about things mechanical and "things" in general.  I do not know of another turntable so constructed.  You probably don't want to reveal anything about that, but if you could give us a hint, that would be fun.
Dear @jtinn : Yes, I understand that I'm almost asking for you can disclose the NVS overall design that in reality was not my intention but only learn from the experts. Never mind.

I can remember when the NVS seen the customer ligth for the first time and when everybody blame you because of that trouble with the shipping/package you fixed very fast. That episode was treated in an Audiogon thread where even audio item sellers ( not a NVS distributor. ) posted in a not to friendly way.

I can't understand after all those years a very wise and smart gentleman as @lewm ( whom I respect. ) posted about.

That NVS experience is not exclusive of a newcomer in the market of an specific audio item even very well regarded and old audio manufacturers experienced that. One of the lates was Ortofon with its flagship cartridge the Anna that came with a suspension problem just from the begin and that like you they fixed inmmediatly.  Other top manufacturer I remember was Dynavector but I already had several experiences where suddenly the stylus tip of a cartridge just didappeared with out any wrong use of it.

Several audiophiles when received its TTs, tonearms, electronics, speakers and the like when they switch on the system there is NO sound at all and this still happens every single day. Tube lovers knew that kind of experiences but SS too.

Anyway, you time here is appreciated. Keep going in that same NVS " road "  and I hope that the manufacturer market can learn that " things " always can be better and the NVS is a true " test " of that. With all respect that last sentence goes to that KKKK$$$ TTs that are way inferior to the NVS design and where every single audiophile/customer must ask him self ( even whom already pay for it. ):
 where is my money with those KKK$ TTs that more than a serious and well enginnered TTs are tons and tons/kgs of futile metal and that's it?

I'm a music lover and an audiophile and that gives me the rigth to ask. I invite to any of those TT designers ( KKKK$$$ ) to come here and tell me I'm totally wrong and why I'm.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Post removed 
Lewm:  Our desire was to create a turntable that was essentially plug-n-play. Take it out of the shipping crate, place it on the supplied platform, plug it in and install the arm and cartridge... done.

Just because no one else does it doesn't mean it should not or cannot be done. :)
Thank you very much Raul.

nice review by David, but not so sure about the pictures. :)

after 5 years of enjoying my Wave Kinetics NVS I can say it is everything I would desire from a turntable and has been perfect from day one. super quiet, lively and involving, rock solid tonality and decays, nuance and delicacy in spades. I love the music it makes along with the 2 Durand Telos tone arms.

I have my 2 Studer A-820’s (1/2" and 1/4") master tape recorders in the room which are my reference. consistently the NVS takes the music to that same place as those Studer’s.....not sure what more needs saying.

it is the worthy centerpiece of my daily music listening.

Bravo Jonathan for such a wonderful product!

Dear @mikelavigne : As always your input is not only welcomed but critical and definitive. Your love for MUSIC is what over the years moved where today your system is.

Is really interesting your post because between other things you was owner of the latest " pinacle " Rockport Sirius turntable that you changed for the NVS.

If you permit me I would like to ask if over those  past five years you had the opportunity to compare it against other current TTs?. Thank's in advance.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Greetings Raul,

when i originally acquired the NVS i did own a number of other turntables as you know......some very good ones that i enjoyed for sure. and a few i would have liked to have been able to keep.....such as the Rockport, the Dobbin’s Beat, and the Dobbins Garrard 301. beauties every one and lovely to listen to. but my preference was the NVS and so those others had to go to fund my new speakers (MM7’s) and amps (dart 458’s). I’ve had no reason since then to bring another tt into my system.

at shows over these years since i’ve heard the NVS and then other top models and so far none have given me reason to consider switching. who can say head to head whether another is a little better or a little different. the NVS continues to be right up there with the very, very, best to my ears. and I continue to appreciate it’s service to the soul and truth of the music and it’s ease of use.

in my mind the constant over 9 years now in my system is my Studer A-820 master recorders. they are the gold standard of music playback (along with a couple other master recorder models). and playing tapes sometimes the NVS/Durand is better or the same, sometimes only very close. visitors to my room have said the same to me.

honestly i don’t really think about different turntables or tone arms. i’m simply happy with where i’m at and figure i’ve done the work to have made a good long term decision.

the NVS is a great companion in my enjoyment of the music.

best regards,