April 21, 2024

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

5 min read
U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable Walnut Lifestyle

The tiny engine that could tucked absent in a suburb exterior of Boston is practically 10 yrs aged and it is hard not to be amazed by what Ben Carter and the people at U-Transform Audio have completed. The new U-Transform Audio Orbit Idea Turntable is a large milestone for the business that has focused on the industry beneath $400 for most of their existence.

When I frequented the firm almost 7 yrs ago, it was unachievable not to recognize that they ended up having difficulties with the sheer volume of orders and that they required to come across much better domestic sources for their platters, plinths, and motors. Carter and I mentioned the rationale for the selling price composition of their tables and the risk of production a thing in the $700 USD variety.

There was already the need to make some thing like the Orbit Idea and acquire on Rega and Pro-Ject, but that needed a lot more capital, employees, and the means to create a tonearm that would be a major enhance around the tonearm on the existing Orbit.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable Walnut Angle

The new U-Transform Audio Orbit Concept is $999.95 USD — you can also purchase a version with their inner phono stage for $1,069.95.

U-Change also determined to market the Orbit Idea with an Ortofon 2M Blue MM Cartridge pre-installed the 2M Blue retails for more than $239 making the Orbit Principle an excellent value below $1,000.

Getting bought properly above 100,000 turntables close to the time that the pandemic arrived, the business centered on obtaining orders shipped more rapidly, securing a a lot more secure provide of cartridges for the reason that the need for cartridges was exceeding source, and scheduling for the upcoming.

What’s also exciting about the U-Transform Audio Orbit Theory is that value puts it into immediate level of competition with the Pro-Ject Debut Pro and Rega Planar 3.

Layout Philosophy

The U-Transform Audio Orbit Idea started as an experimental take a look at bed for new ideas and types. It was an prospect for the crew to press turntable functionality to the upcoming stage with no constraints, with out any specific selling price issue in intellect, but also with the knowledge that their shopper foundation was not heading to abruptly spring for a $3,000 turntable.

The emphasis with the new Orbit Principle is evidently on the tonearm, motor, and construction of the plinth.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable with Ebonized Tonearm

OA3 Pro with Magnesium Armtube

It was essential to Carter that they designed and assembled the new tonearms in-dwelling.

For the Principle Orbit turntable, U-Change made the decision that they wanted to acquire their OA2 gimbal bearing layout to the future level by further more decreasing points of resonance in the tonearm. Practically talking, this intended using additional rigid components and minimizing the number of link points concerning pieces.

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To do that, they created an arm tube that combines the headshell, tube, and pivot housing into a one, continual piece. This style leaves no link factors for resonances to creep in among the headshell and tonearm pivot. But what materials would this be built of?

When we observed the 1st images of the tonearm, we puzzled if another American turntable company experienced developed a 3D printed edition for U-Change but the expense of production appeared out of whack for a $1,000 turntable. I have private encounter with how that arm was created and produced and it didn’t appear to be like a chance when I began undertaking the math in my head

Ben Carter required a thing mild more than enough to maintain the small helpful mass of the arm tube but powerful sufficient to not resonate all through playback.

The reply was magnesium. Not only does magnesium have an extraordinary power-to-body weight ratio, but it can also be molded into elaborate shapes utilizing a process known as “thixoforming.”

This process created it achievable to blend the different tonearm aspects into a solitary piece, preserving the arm’s helpful mass and low centre of gravity. 

The tapered arm tube design keeps vibration absent from the stylus and guarantees the partitions of the arm tube are as slender as achievable, preserving mass very low. U-Switch improved the powerful duration to 7mm for reduce angular monitoring error and significantly less distortion. 

The OA3 Professional didn’t materialize right away. The company labored carefully with their Wisconsin-centered magnesium molder for over a yr to develop and create the intricate software required to manufacture the arm tube. The consequence is an extremely sturdy, very low resonance arm tube manufactured in the United states of america.

U-Turn Audio Theory Walnut Turntable Pulley

All new generate procedure

Every facet of Orbit’s travel procedure has been revamped which include the motor my most important grievance in 2015, and in 2019 when I procured an Orbit+ for my daughter was the motor sounds and the unfastened fit of the pulley.

The new motor and pulley are so silent that they can be mounted straight to the plinth, guaranteeing best belt alignment. The motor is electronically managed by a DC-run sine wave generator – this presents quite secure platter pace and presents you the skill to adjust among 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 negligible 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 structure which is molded from silicone. It is a lot more durable and won’t extend above time — just one of my largest frustrations with the Orbit+ that I obtained for my daughter was how easily the belt fell off the platter or twisted during procedure. The new style is a big enhancement in that regard.

U-Turn Audio Theory Turntable Top

Ebonized Oak

What improved way to rejoice a new turntable than with a new end? For Principle, U-Turn determined to do true hardwood plinths, but wanted to spice factors up a little bit. Ebonization is a common finishing course of action that turns wooden black without the need of staining or portray.

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The coloration transform is introduced on by a chemical reaction amongst iron oxide and the all-natural tannins in the wooden. Ebonization bodily turns the fibers of the wood black – not like a paint or stain that sits on major of the wood. U-Change worked carefully with their community woodshop to ensure that the finished plinths available a much better amount of end than even their Orbit+ hardwood models.


The U-Transform Audio Orbit Idea is available now for $999 at uturnaudio.com.

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