Roksan Touraj Moghaddam Signature Turntable (pre-owned)
To appreciate the value of this offering, look at Touraj Moghaddam's latest development under the Vertere Acoustics brand.
A rare opportunity to own this hi-end turntable for a fraction of its original price.
Touraj Moghaddam is a graduate of the UKs most prestigious engineering institution. He is still probably best known as the founder of Roksan Audio and the designer of the long-running, innovative and rather brilliant Xerxes and TMS turntables - and now Vertere.
The TMS is a belt driven, two speed turntable, with a suspended subchassis, though it is a relatively stiffly strong and highly damped compared to its free-floating counterparts. The system includes an output power supply that supplies low voltage AC for the synchronous motor, with speed and standby switching available using a pair of small buttons on the front surface, supported by a discreet tricolor indicator LED.
The flagship Roksan turntable is a mixture of old and new. The outer platter is the same fully engineered aluminum component that was and is used in the Xerxes rather than the more porous Masak that is more commonly used for the job. The inner platter, which is a self-damping interference fit, and which is dimensioned to provide a shallow label recess, is also similar to the Xerxes version, and the bearing appears to be the original one, designed all those years ago for the Xerxes. But in this case, appearances are deceptive. The bearing itself is a key part of the design, and although the fundamentals are indeed unchanged, there has been significant detail development over the years. It is a long, slender self-centering, self-aligning true single-point hearing with a captive tungsten carbide ball at the bottom of the bearing well-taking thrust from the tungsten carbide spindle.
Parts of the bearing are made in-house, but the highest precision tungsten carbide components are produced to tolerances and surface finish standards way beyond those that are normally available, and with a surface hardness much greater than the hardened steel normally used for those components, by a company that makes bearings for space going navigation gyroscopes. As with previous designs, the top part of the spindle over which records are located is removable once the record is in place to reduce noise input so that the only contact between the player and the record is the thin felt platter mat. According to Roksan, the bearing is now so quiet there is little to gain from this complication.
The chassis however is different, and although many of the ideas that informed the original TMS are also to be found in the new model in one form or another, the execution is somewhat more sophisticated, and the suspension design has come a long way. Each of the four chassis tiers (the original TMS had three) is separated and mutually suspended isolated with four complex adjustable suspension pillars (known as BLOBs) whose mounting points define the suspension compliances. The top layer of the plinth is divided into sections, an inner one which is not visible unless the outer player is removed anchoring the interchangeable arm bases (available uncut, or pre-cut for the Naim Aro and SME, as well as Roksan's own arm base fitting) and the solid phosphor bronze main bearing housing. The 24-pole synchronous motor is mounted on a separate chassis layer and uses Roksan favored suspension design in which the motor is limited to rotation in the horizontal plane in response to torque variations on the flat rubber belt that drives the inner platter. In practice, it acts somewhat like a clutch when starting up. The base layer, which is made from MDF though the surface finish is the same as the rest of the plinth, acts as a mechanical ground.
Although many vinyl users take an almost masochistic delight in players that look like an infernal contraption from a mad boffins lair, Roksan clearly takes a different view and has provided an aesthetic design that has real stature and presence in the flesh. But in this area as in others, the key decision is related to function. The main chassis material is a composite of polymers and fillers, with a hard outer shell, which was developed specifically for the TMS. The original choice, Corian, a dense polymer, was rejected because the sound of turntables made using it turned out to be rather sluggish and overdamped. Because the material is proprietary, Roksan had a free choice of finish and decided on what you see pictured, which uses tiny flecks of metal embedded in the surface layer, hand-finished to give the lively and completely unique appearance you see. There is even a touch of individuality as each sample differs slightly from the next. Roksan tells me that the manufacturing processes involved in the plinth were full of pitfalls, It took a long time to get it right, which significantly delayed the introduction of the player onto the market.
The partnering DX2 power supply is housed in a standard width housing of the kind normally used for Caspian series amplifiers and CD players, and so will need its own shelf on the equipment support. The supply powers the motor drive electronics housed in the player itself.
The TMS's strengths are its articulation, clarity, and pitch integrity. This is by any measure a high-resolution turntable, full of life and vitality, and one with superb timing, stability, and a wide operating dynamic range. It is not always as visceral as some designs, but there is real architecture in the music when the recording allows. The TMS is as good a candidate for the state of the art
- Unique Roksan self-centering & aligning true single-point bearing:
- Main bearing spindle - tungsten carbide
- Roundness & concentricity < 1 micron
- Length to diameter ratio 11:1
- Main bearing ball - tungsten carbide
- Roundness < 1 micron
- Diameter 2mm
- Main bearing housing solid phosphor bronze
- Clearance 0.002"
- Inner platter two-piece solid aluminum alloy
- Interference fitted, non-resonant
- Outer platter two-piece solid aluminum alloy
- Interference fitted non-resonant
- Plinth structure - four-plinth design
- Suspension six-level decoupling
- Motor custom-made 24 pole sync.
- Pulley solid aluminum alloy
- Belt precision ground
- Motor mount unique synchronizing bearing
- Motor drive super XPS.V (internal)
- Wow & Flutter <0.02%
- Rumble <80dB
- Dimensions 450 x 370 x135(WxDxH in mm)
- Weight 18kg
- Price new: TMS + DX2 Box + Artemis Tonearm approx $20,000