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