Brinkmann Spyder turntable Lab Report

The Spyder turntable’s heated bearing assembly claims to maintain the tolerances of its stainless steel spindle and brass sleeve despite rotational friction and variations in environmental temperature. Left to run-in over a 12-hour period the Spyder achieved almost precisely the same performance I had measured for the Brinkmann Balance [HFN Jul ’14] with a fine DIN B-wtd rumble of –71.5dB via the bearing and –68.3dB via the LP groove. The 10kg alloy platter, with integral glass ‘mat’, is up to speed within 7secs and while there’s a small ~0.5dB reduction in groove noise with the clamp in use, the hard glass surface must be kept scrupulously clean. Excellent speed accuracy is possible via the 33.3/45rpm trimpots, the deck offering a low peak wow (0.02%) and flutter (0.03%) [see Graph 1].


Wow and flutter re. 3150Hz tone at 5cm/sec (plotted ±150Hz, 5Hz per minor division)


Cumulative tonearm resonant decay spectrum, illustrating various bearing, pillar and ‘tube’ vibration modes spanning 100Hz-10kHz over 40msec

The partnering Brinkmann 10.5 tonearm features a hard-anodised alloy tube with semi-permanent headshell (it is held in place by an allen bolt, permitting some adjustment of azimuth) and offers an effective mass of 12.5g, making it suitable for a wide range of top-flight MCs. The cumulative resonance spectrum shows a series of moderate-to-high Q modes [see Graph 2] with the main tube bending resonance deferred to a very respectable 140Hz, and what is presumably a twisting mode at 180Hz. Harmonics appear at 300Hz and 600Hz, the latter, again, a fairly high-Q (sharp) mode with only moderate damping. The minor higher frequency modes are related to the headshell and two U-section gimbal yokes. Bearing friction/stiction is extremely low at <10mg in both planes while the gimbals are perfectly adjusted to ensure zero detectable free play. This is precision engineering, from top to bottom. PM

Turntable speed error at 33.33rpm: 33.28rpm (–0.16%)
Time to audible stabilisation: 7 seconds
Peak Wow/Flutter: 0.02% / 0.03%
Rumble (silent groove, DIN B wtd): –68.3dB
Rumble (through bearing, DIN B wtd): –71.5dB
Hum & Noise (unwtd, rel. to 5cm/sec): –59.9dB
Power Consumption (with RöNt II): 75W (65W idle)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight: 500x160x400mm / 21kg
Prices: £9795 (deck), £2995 (tube PSU), £ 3895 (10.5 tonearm)

Brinkmann Audio GmbH
Achberg, Germany
Supplied by: Symmetry, Herts
01727 865488