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J.C.Verdier La Platine
The Turntable
 


LABORATOIRE
 
J.C. Verdier has been manufacturing this turntable for over twenty years for the French home market and for export to the USA, Germany and the Far East where it has achieved great acclaim.
 
 
Here are some of its unique features that not only make this deck very special but endear it with a magical sound quality.
 
1 Pneumatic decoupling of the turntable plinth to the turntable support.
2 Very simple setting up procedure. The plinth can be levelled from above by three knurled adjusters.
3 Solid 16kg non-magnetic stainless steel platter which has no influence on the phono cartridge.
4 Magnetic repulsion of the platter to the plinth removes the need for thrust bearing.
5 Mechanical decoupling of the record spindle to the platter.
6 Optional belt or thread drive.
7 High specification low inertia high torque motor.
8 Seperate isolated motor removes motor vibration from entering the turntable.
9 Fully adjustable speed control for 33 & 45 RPM.
10 Provision has been made for fitting two tone arms.
11 Two arm boards are provided, one pre-drilled for an SME and one blank. 
 
The Platine Verdier turntable is an exceptional piece of audio equipment. It is not fussy about what type of recording you choose to play, because every record you play on this deck will sound wonderful. The Platine Verdier excels in producing a fast dynamic full bodied sound, natural in presentaion with tremendous bass extension allowing all the dynamics of the performance to be fully re-created. This is heard to effect on solo piano performances where the bass cords creates the illusion of music, making the piano sound like it is in the room with you. Vocals are naturally recreated in the acoustic with an awesome holographic presentation. This is particularly noticeable on Opera. The one thing you are not aware of when listening to this turntable is its imaging ability. This is because the performance is just being played in front of you, just like it would be if you were there! Stereo imaging is taking place but you don't notice it specifically, because you are desperately trying to take in what you are hearing. The Platine Verdier works extremely well with the SME 3012-R tonearm and the Ortofon SPU cartridge. In fact SME are making a special version of the 3012 specifically for GT Audio to work on this turntable. I cannot stress enough how good this combination is, and if you are serious about vinyl replay you simply must get to hear one."
 
 
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
 
Bearing type : Opposed magnets running on a vertical shaft.

Speeds : 33 and 45
Drive : Thread (or belt)
Motor : Separate unit with optional battery supply

Tonearms : Two
Lid : No

Dimensions (WxHxD): 390 x 23 x 410 (turntable only)

Weight: 65 kg


 
"HI-FI NEWS - February 1999"
PLATINE Verdier
A Review by JAMES M HUGHES
 

At £5000, this combination represents a substantial outlay, but it won't disappoint lovers of vinyl
 
Size matters. So do stability and solidity. They matter because music isn't always comfortable and predictable. Halfway through the Andantino of Schubert's penultimate piano sonata (D959) is an extraordinarily agitated, nightmarish passage, quite out of keeping with the tranquil mood in which the movement opens. Playing Claudio Arrau's LP version [Philips 6514 368] can be a nerve-wracking experience: will the pickup cope with the extreme transients or will the sound break up? Only the finest turntable/arm/cartridge combinations will survive. Security definitely matters...

Everyone knows LPs can sound great. But they're also infuriating: frustrating and disappointing when things aren't right. Even the most ardent enthusiast must wonder at times if records are worth the bother: vinyl can be temperamental and unpredictable. When you run LP and CD side by side, it's essential that the negative aspects of vinyl surface noise, peak level distortion, pitch instability - don't obtrude. The lifelike ease and naturalness of LP is very addictive; but it's a fragile pleasure and easily compromised.

 
Spending £5000 on a record player is undoubtedly a sizeable investment. Those indulging their passion for vinyl to this degree will rightly expect something special.

Because there's more slippage with the linen belt, a two-position switch at the back of the power supply is provided to increase the speed of the motor slightly. Fine speed adjustment is possible at both 33 and 45rpm, and the tensioning of the linen belt changes the speed of the deck - and thus the sound. So check running speeds with a strobe when setting up.

MAGNETIC CUSHION

But the main bearing is the star of the show. With such a heavy planer, this needs to be pretty massive, and it is: an inverted 20mm diameter shaft some 68mm long. But there's no supporting bail or thrust plate; instead, the spindle and underside of the planer are surrounded by two large ceramic ring magnets that repel each other, thus allowing the planer to float on a magnetic cushion.

Verdier claims that ifs main bearing is the quietest ever, as the planer is vertically isolated. Of course, the sides of the bearing are in contact with the shaft, but the use of thick oil and a high standard of finish ensure minimal noise and friction. Which leads to one of the Verdier’s little foibles: the bottom of the main bearing is designed to leak oil!

With an inverted bearing, gravity causes lubricating oil to flow to the bottom of the shaft, leaving the top part dry. The Verdier has a small grub screw near the LP centre spindle that tan be removed to allow oil to be poured into a reservoir at the top of the bearing. Over tune, this oil will eventually make ifs way to the bottom of the shaft where it collects and exits via a small hole. You simply put a piece of paper under the deck to catch the drips...

If all this conjures up visions of getting out dip-sticks to check oil levels before going for a spin, don’t worry. The oil reservoir is generous, and the rate of seepage low. Also, as the oil is thick, it tends to cling to the sides of the bearing. All the same, this turntable needs rather more maintenance than your average deck. Incidentally, the bearing tan be fitted with a bail and thrust plate, by-passing the magnetic support. but apparently it doesn't then sound as good.

The heavy plinth is made from Medite and finished in high gloss piano-black. The arm support board needs to be quite deep to raise the arm sufficiently because of the deep planer; two are provided - one cut for an SME, the other blank. Three large finger bolts adjust the sprung suspension so the plinth tan be levelled. As with many open-design turntables, no lid is provided.

 
Fine speed adjustment is possible at both 33 and 45rpm, and the tensioning of the linen belt changes the speed of the deck and thus the sound. So check running speeds with a strobe when setting up
 
One of the two opposing magnets which provide a no Contact ‘air cushion' main bearing
 
And the Platine Verdier turntable, when fitted with 12in SME 3012R arm and an Ortofon SPU Classic doesn't disappoint. Here is a combination producing clean, solidly-focused sound, with tremendous width and depth, having the presence and control of CD yet all the natural warmth of LP.

The music has exceptional range - both dynamically and tonally - enhancing the feeling of space and depth around voices and instruments. Bass is solid and firm, while treble is focused and sharp; stereo imaging is detailed and wide. Underpinning this is a reassuring sense of solidity: listening, you know that nothing short of an earthquake is going to upset the music.


A STABLE FOUNDATION

That's important. Especially for those who listen to CD as well as LP, and are accustomed to its stability and consistency. Of course, even a turntable as good as this won't hide faults, won't camouflage rough surfaces. But neither will it exaggerate them. Difficult LPs like Arrau's Schubert -reproduce cleanly, allowing one the security that everything is under control.

Instrumental, vocal, choral, orchestral, rock, jazz - all types of music, from simple to complicated, reproduce well. When the music is complex and busy, things don't crowd up - the sound remains clean, detailed and articulate.

Clearly, the Platine Verdier provides a good solid foundation for the arm and cartridge to do their job. But the excellent tracking ability of the Ortofon SPU Classic is also important. `Classic' is a worthy designation: the sleek lines of this beautiful cartridge/head remind one of a vintage 1950s sports car. It plays at robust downforces of between 3 to 5 grams, and some may worry that this will accelerate record wear. However, this isn't so, because the elliptical stylus profile is quite broad, spreading the load.


Cosmetic finish is good, but some details disappoint. For example, the large bolt and washer that secures the arm block looks rather crude. True, there is a plastic cover for the nut, but the silver washer is still visible. I also feel the surface colouring of the magnetic enclosures looks cheap like the plated steel chassis of an inexpensive Japanese amplifier. A black finish would be better.

Although the Platine Verdier is a universal turntable, compatible with most arms, UK importer GT Audio feels the combination of the 12in

The heavy plinth is made from Medite and finished in high gloss piano-black. The arm support board needs to be quite deep to raise the arm sufficiently because of the deep planer; two are provided - one cut for an SME, the other blank. Three large finger bolts adjust the sprung suspension so the plinth tan be levelled. As with many open-design turntables, no lid is provided.

Cosmetic finish is good, but some details disappoint. For example, the large bolt and washer that secures the arm block looks rather crude. True, there is a plastic cover for the nut, but the silver washer is still visible. I also feel the surface colouring of the magnetic enclosures looks cheap like the plated steel chassis of an inexpensive Japanese amplifier. A black finish would be better.

At this sort of playing weight the stylus has a definite cleaning effect, removing ticks and plops as it traces the groove. Background noise (including bearing rumble) is exceptionally low with the Platine Verdier anyway -something one expects with turntable and arm of this calibre. But the SPU tracking at 4g+ definitely helps. See if some of your noisy LPs aren't quieter after a few plays with an SPU!

 

The Platine comes with an optional linen thread drive bel

If size and weight are any guide, you certainly get your money's worth here. But there's more to the Platine Verdier than mass: this is a very carefully thought-out design that introduces a number of engineering innovations. The heavy stainless-steel platter, ultra-quiet main bearing and rigid construction impart a solid feel to the music akin to the stability you get from master tapes.

Pitch stability is excellent - hardly a surprise given the use of a high-torque Philips motor and massive 16kg platter, some 60mm thick. The motor itself, a 12V DC design intended for critical professional applications, apparently costs around £250, and sits in a separate box completely detached from the main turntable plinth. The platter is driven with a rubber belt or, alternatively, a piece of linen thread. An exceptionally wide support platform is required - or two supports, one for the turntable, the other for the motor. (Incidentally, GT Audio supplied a handsome dedicated stand for the review sample.)
Both types of drive belt were included, but I preferred the linen option finding it slightly clearer, and superior in terms of separation.

Although the Platine Verdier is a universal turntable, compatible with most arms, UK importer GT Audio feels the combination of the 12in

SME 30128 and Ortofon SPU (either Classic or Gold) works especially well. I had a few prejudices about the SME arm, and wondered if it was up to being used in such august company. But it did work very well: the new version of the 3012 is much improved over the 1960s original, and it's good to be able to change cartridges so quickly and easily.

Perhaps there might be further improvements with different arms when using more conventional pickups than the SPU. I tried Ortofon's MC-30 Supreme, the Transfiguration Spirit, and an old but virtually unused MS Brier in the SME, ail with very good results. Even so, I must agree with GT Audio about the special quality of the Verdier/SME/Ortofon combination; the SME really suits the SPU. GT Audio's SME 30128 has a number of special modifications that include improved cloth-covered internal wiring and changes to the bearings.

 

A magnificent turntable then, no shadow of a doubt - one that maximises the positive aspects of vinyl replay while minimising faults and limitations. Here is a turntable able to do full justice to ail kinds of material, whether it's just a few voices and acoustic instruments, or a complex layered electronic piece. It lets you forget about the mechanics ,,f playing records, leaving you free to concentrate on the music.
And what could be better than that ?


Another review by HI-FI+
Link
to other products of J.C. Verdier 


 


 
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