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CAF 2013: Most Impressive Product — Saskia II Turntable

Emia's Dave Slagle grabbed me in between rooms and practically dragged me down into the lobby to see something. "You're not gonna believe it," he said. Okay, when Dave gets excited, one of two things are about to happen: one, I'm about to get a technical lecture that sails so far over my head that Dave is forced to slap me repeatedly until my eyes uncross; or, two, I'm about to see something amazing. Witness, mere mortal, the Saskia II turntable. You are welcome.

This thing is incredible — and I mean that both literally and figuratively. It’s an amazing piece of work! And at 200+ lbs of pure slate, it is the most intimidating, imposing, and go-f***-yourself piece of kit on display at CAF this year. Yes, that’s 200+ lbs of slate that goes into that dual-plinth arrangement. Yes, I said 200+ lbs. Your pathetic excuse of a mass-loaded turntable just tossed it’s cookies, didn’t it? Uh huh. My lower back just went into spasms thinking about it.

The arm boards are free-standing modules, and just slot into the receptacle on the side of the uppermost plinth. The motor assembly rests, “semi-isolated” on the lower plinth. The  spindle is ceramic and the bearing is a traditional arrangement, but made from “advanced materials”. Designer Win Tinnon smiled as he said it, but I had the feeling he would really have no compunction about ensuring my silence, so I didn’t press him.

The Saskia II is an idler ‘table, with no pulleys, and something like half of the platter is actually sunk into the top plinth. The ‘table will play 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records — and it also plays your 78s! Eddy current management means speed changes are transparent and on-the-fly.

The price is an eye-popping $53,000. Yeah, that’s a lot of dough, but if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind statement, something totally natural, functional, made-by-hand by a true artisan, then this is most definitely qualifies. “Wow” is all I can say. Shown here with a Schroeder Reference tonearm, an Emia strain gauge cart and phono, played through a Crayon Audio headphone amp. And for the sharp-of-eye, yes, that is a Kanso Furniture rack holding that baby up like Atlas.

Need more info? There’s no website, but you can hit up Win at gofigure at internetpro dot net.

AV Showrooms’ Peter Breuninger, taking a moment to appreciate the stunning majesty of the Saskia II

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4 Comments on CAF 2013: Most Impressive Product — Saskia II Turntable

  1. One more little tidbit. The Headphone Amp is the Crayon CFA-1. It’s a tour de force that has almost no coverage stateside. On the Audeze LCD3s, HiFIMAN HE-6, or an old pair of AKG-k1000s it is pure bliss. The most spacious relaxed presentation, (relaxed in the way of great gear) of any headphone amp I’ve heard. It’s retailing from $10,500-$12,500 depending upon the requested outputs. With the Saskia 2 and Schroeder Reference, and Emia’s Strain Gauge Cartridge, it is the best I’ve heard on a set of cans…and it should be at around $80,000. It hurts just to type it.

  2. Look for it on Stereodesk.com later this week.
    Win’s table is the stuff of dreams and we’re enthralled to show it, and hopefully bring more public awareness to it. It is easily my first choice among super tables. This was my dream headphone statement, and I’m glad someone got to hear it.

    Fred Crane
    StereoDesk

  3. Russ Stratton // July 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM //

    The first few photos with that picture disc were freaking me out. All I could see was a $50k table only big enough for 7″ 45s.

  4. Colleen // July 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM //

    Got to hear this through headphones and it was unforgettable. CAF was a big hit this year and I hope that bodes well for future yearly extravaganzas. Thanks for covering the local scene! Waiting for your take on Mike Baird’s boombox/turntable hallway setup…another Dave Slagle fave…

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