THE term “plug and play” is not something one would associate with a high-end turntable manufacturer like Vertere Acoustics, the company founded by Touraj Moghaddam (the man behind Roksan’s acclaimed Xerxes and other turntables). Yet, Vertere’s “affordable” DG-1 Dynamic Groove is “as close as you’re going to get to ‘plug and play’ in a high-end, high-performance record player”, according to the company.
This is because, in the Vertere stables, the DG-1 is the “easiest to set up and use, and also contains some of our most innovative thinking.”
“For those daunted by the idea of setting up a record player, many of which seem to arrive in kit form, the DG-1 is as close as you’re going to get to ‘plug and play’ in a high-end, high-performance record player, and yet packed with innovations. The DG-1 is our simplest record player, yet also our most highly-developed.”
Vertere eschewed the easier route of simply replicating much of what it had already done in its flagship models, merely using less expensive materials and components for this new model. “So a complete re-imagining was the only approach to take.”
The design approach for the DG-1 was a return to the fundamentals, re-examining every element and developing an affordable and easy-to-use product without compromising on performance.
“Everything was re-examined, reconsidered and, if necessary, re-engineered, with some unusual solutions from the motor to the plinth, and from the tonearm to the bearings supporting it. Yes, at first glance the most striking features may be the multi-layered plinth, with its built-in standby mood lighting, and the flat profile tonearm with its apparent lack of wiring, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the skin to squeeze the maximum resolution and musical involvement from the DG-1, making it the best-sounding ‘plug-and-play’ record player you can buy.”
The DG-1’s 24-pole precision synchronous motor, individually tuned to minimise noise, uses an off-board power supply and is controlled by circuitry derived from that developed for the flagship RG-1 Reference Motor Drive. The DG-1’s advanced electrics were designed down to a single microprocessor PCB, which is both addressable for precision setting during manufacture and programmable for future upgrades. Copper/stainless steel shielding protects it from unwanted interference.
“The platter is driven via a precision machined aluminium alloy pulley on the motor and a bespoke silicon rubber drive belt for smoothness and durability, while electronic speed change, via a switch to the rear of the plinth top-plate, adds to the ease of use and removes any need for belt-handling. Like the pulley, the platter itself is also precision-machined alloy, to the top of which is bonded a PETG record interface mat. On the underside a cork/Neoprene/nitrile bonded disc controls platter resonance.”
The platter revolves on a highly polished stainless steel spindle, which rides in a main bearing housing using a super precision tungsten carbide ball, avoiding the need for complex regimes of lubrication, while still retaining the smoothness of rotation essential for the accurate playback of records.
The unique Vertere tonearm has a flat profile – “one of the most striking visual elements of the whole record player” – to eliminate distortion-causing resonance.
“The three-layer, non-resonant tonearm beam uses a flexible PCB sandwiched into the arm itself to carry signal from the cartridge to the output terminals. It’s a one-piece design, running continuously from the cartridge connections all the way to the output.”
The plinth is a sandwich construction, using non-resonant cast acrylic to form the main plinth and the sub-plinth for a clean and sophisticated look.
“This three-layer design incorporates the control button, the speed indicator and the user-selectable standby mood-lighting, as well as the silicon rubber isolation between the plinth and the platter assembly. The whole assembly sits on a steel chassis, chosen for optimal stability, housing the motor drive circuit and the motor all supported by three adjustable feet.”
Vertere includes a non-resonant acrylic dust-cover with hinges that are integrated into the plinth.
We’re uncertain if the DG-1, which is already shipping, comes mounted with a cartridge, but from the photos and description, that seems to be the case. Which would make it a great bargain, surely…