U-Turn Audio Orbit Theory: A Turntable 10 Years In The Making

Dhanisa Mashilfa

The very little engine that could tucked away in a suburb outdoors of Boston is practically 10 yrs previous and it is tricky not to be impressed by what Ben Carter and the folks at U-Convert Audio have attained. The new U-Change Audio Orbit Principle Turntable is a large milestone for the business that has targeted on the industry underneath $400 for most of their existence.

When I frequented the organization practically 7 a long time ago, it was difficult not to detect that they had been having difficulties with the sheer quantity of orders and that they needed to uncover greater domestic sources for their platters, plinths, and motors. Carter and I reviewed the rationale for the price tag structure of their tables and the risk of production anything in the $700 USD selection.

There was by now the want to make some thing like the Orbit Idea and choose on Rega and Pro-Ject, but that required additional money, personnel, and the capacity to make a tonearm that would be a significant enhance over the tonearm on the current Orbit.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable Walnut Angle

The new U-Flip Audio Orbit Principle is $999.95 USD — you can also buy a model with their inside phono stage for $1,069.95.

U-Flip also resolved to offer the Orbit Principle with an Ortofon 2M Blue MM Cartridge pre-installed the 2M Blue retails for above $239 building the Orbit Concept an exceptional benefit below $1,000.

Having sold nicely more than 100,000 turntables about the time that the pandemic arrived, the corporation centered on having orders shipped a lot quicker, securing a more steady supply of cartridges simply because the demand from customers for cartridges was exceeding supply, and organizing for the future.

What is also intriguing about the U-Convert Audio Orbit Concept is that selling price places it into direct opposition with the Pro-Ject Debut Pro and Rega Planar 3.

Design Philosophy

The U-Convert Audio Orbit Principle begun as an experimental test bed for new suggestions and types. It was an option for the staff to drive turntable overall performance to the next stage without the need of constraints, without having any certain price position in intellect, but also with the knowledge that their customer base was not going to all of a sudden spring for a $3,000 turntable.

The aim with the new Orbit Theory is clearly on the tonearm, motor, and design of the plinth.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable with Ebonized Tonearm

OA3 Pro with Magnesium Armtube

It was crucial to Carter that they intended and assembled the new tonearms in-dwelling.

For the Theory Orbit turntable, U-Transform determined that they essential to get their OA2 gimbal bearing style to the next level by further more minimizing details of resonance in the tonearm. Pretty much talking, this meant making use of extra rigid elements and reducing the selection of link factors in between elements.

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To do that, they built an arm tube that brings together the headshell, tube, and pivot housing into a single, steady piece. This design and style leaves no relationship factors for resonances to creep in in between the headshell and tonearm pivot. But what product would this be made of?

When we observed the very first photos of the tonearm, we wondered if a different American turntable manufacturer experienced developed a 3D printed version for U-Convert but the expense of manufacturing seemed out of whack for a $1,000 turntable. I have own knowledge with how that arm was formulated and made and it did not appear like a risk when I commenced carrying out the math in my head

Ben Carter wanted a thing mild enough to maintain the low efficient mass of the arm tube but powerful ample to not resonate all through playback.

The solution was magnesium. Not only does magnesium have an extraordinary toughness-to-body weight ratio, but it can also be molded into complex shapes employing a system identified as “thixoforming.”

This procedure designed it attainable to combine the diverse tonearm aspects into a single piece, preserving the arm’s successful mass and reduced center of gravity. 

The tapered arm tube design and style retains vibration absent from the stylus and assures the partitions of the arm tube are as skinny as attainable, retaining mass small. U-Change improved the effective size to 7mm for reduce angular tracking error and fewer distortion. 

The OA3 Pro did not materialize right away. The firm worked carefully with their Wisconsin-centered magnesium molder for above a yr to acquire and construct the sophisticated device essential to manufacture the arm tube. The end result is an extremely strong, reduced resonance arm tube produced in the United states of america.

U-Turn Audio Theory Walnut Turntable Pulley

All new travel program

Each individual part of Orbit’s push technique has been revamped together with the motor my biggest criticism in 2015, and in 2019 when I ordered an Orbit+ for my daughter was the motor sound and the unfastened in shape of the pulley.

The new motor and pulley are so quiet that they can be mounted specifically to the plinth, making certain fantastic belt alignment. The motor is electronically managed by a DC-powered sine wave generator – this provides incredibly steady platter pace and presents you the means to adjust between 33/45 RPM with the flip of a knob.

Theory’s acrylic platter is frosted, and all of platter surfaces have been precision machined for maximal flatness and small runout. They have also machined a groove into the platter to retain the belt in position.

The Orbit Theory’s belt is a new seamless style and design that’s molded from silicone. It’s additional tough and won’t extend around time — a single of my greatest frustrations with the Orbit+ that I purchased for my daughter was how quickly the belt fell off the platter or twisted throughout procedure. The new design is a big advancement in that regard.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable Top

Ebonized Oak

What better way to celebrate a new turntable than with a new end? For Theory, U-Transform decided to do actual hardwood plinths, but required to spice factors up a little bit. Ebonization is a conventional finishing procedure that turns wooden black with no staining or portray.

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The coloration transform is brought on by a chemical reaction among iron oxide and the pure tannins in the wooden. Ebonization bodily turns the fibers of the wooden black – unlike a paint or stain that sits on top rated of the wood. U-Turn worked closely with their local woodshop to make certain that the concluded plinths available a much larger amount of finish than even their Orbit+ hardwood models.

Availability

The U-Flip Audio Orbit Theory is obtainable now for $999 at uturnaudio.com.

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