High End 2012

Pierre Riffaud (below left) showed a prototype of a new state-of-the-art contender turntable designed for Jadis. Labeled the Uranie and bearing his Signature tonearm, the very interesting and massive package incorporated a lot of fascinating ideas both old and new. The Signature 'arm looks like a bejeweled VPI 'arm on steroids. It's a unipivot 12" 'arm with a VTA adjustment knob. Like the VPI, azimuth adjustment is via side-weight turns. Also like the VPI, the 'arm base can accommodate separate armwands. Riffaud designs these for specified cartridges, so no overhang adjustment is needed or possible. The prototype bore a van den Hul Frog cartridge.

Up to three 12" arms can be mounted, one to each leg of the base. These legs are foam damped and spring suspended. The massive 20.5kg (45-pound) aluminum platter is spun by a low-torque synchronous motor that requires a push to start. The clever speed adjustment is via a knob that essentially slides the pulley up or down a canted surface on the pulley.

Riffaud claims that the finished product will be available next year for €93,000, so start saving your spare change now. If you run up a bit short, he is working on a scaled-back model dubbed the Thalia in the range of one-third the Uranie's cost.

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