Hot: Vinyl acolytes will like that the system is ready to go right out of the box, if a phono preamp is already available. The Concept comes packaged with the Verify tonearm and Maestro MM cartridge. A slight departure from the traditional Clearaudio “sound”, this system is more laidback and earthy in sonic presentation. Yet, it throws up a lot of information, thanks to the excellent cartridge. The sound is open and refined, with good bass and a solidity one has come to expect from the company. Speed stability ensures a rhythmic and communicative performance.
Cold: Not the last word in bass delivery. Despite the entry-level tag, there are cheaper turntable systems out there that are as much fun. Vinyl veterans won’t like that it isn’t easy to fine-tune the various set-up parameters.
Encore: Clearaudio was obviously driven to present this in the face of an upswing in the demand for turntables in the mass-market sector. It isn’t as cheap as one would like it to be, yet the performance is excellent and the construction, street ahead of the obvious competition. Those who want a turntable-playing system that’s good for the long haul will find many answers here.
Specs: Belt-driven, with electronically controlled 33.3/45/78rpm speeds / Composite plinth, Delrin platter / Onboard DC motor with wall wart supply / Adjustable feet / Package comes with Verify tonearm and Maestro MM cartridge / Captive output leads / Dimensions: 420 x 350 x 140mm (w/d/h), 7.5kg.