High End 2014: A Spyder in the room! No, wait, it’s just a turntable


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

And what a turntable. The belt driven Brinkmann Audio Spyder is a modular design that can be fitted with up to four tonearms. Underneath the 10Kgr aluminum and glass platter lays a specially designed pillar that can hold armboards predrilled for all the classic tonearms or even better Brinkmann’s own pieces of mechanical precision.

But a turntable cannot play music on its own, even when fitted with cartridges like the EMT-ti and the Pi. It needs electronics. Helmut Brinkmann designs a complete series of amplifiers including the Marconi line stage, Edison phono stage and mono power amps (250Watt/4Ohm).

Our host for the listening session was none other than Richard Vandersteen who brought from the States his flagship speaker, the Model 7. Before the show, it was he who personally adjusted the low frequencies equalization of the speakers and positioned them correctly in the room.

In the classic Neville&Rondstadt duet “Close Your Eyes”, we heard a sound reproduction that was coherent and detailed — second to none in the Munich show. Mr. Vandersteen was kind enough to spin one of my “audiophile” favorites, the Carmen Suite by Rodion Shchedrin (Melodiya) where we admired the dynamic impact of the cymbals and the sense of flow created by the Brinkmann / Model 7 combination. Great sound at what would be considered as affordable for this show’s standards.