Vertere DG-1 Dynamic Groove Turntable Package

hfnoutstandingSupplied with or without a partnering MM cartridge, this new 'entry-level' deck to the Vertere range comes equipped with a re-imagining of the archetypal flat tonearm

In a world of plug 'n' play convenience, having to manually configure a piece of equipment before it can be used is felt by some to be far too great a barrier to enjoyment. And perhaps in no area of hi-fi is this truer than vinyl replay. I know of many people who have consciously shied away from exploring the ol' black stuff because they believe it to be 'just too much hard work'. So any manufacturer able to help eliminate any of the perceived faff and complexity that comes with putting together and setting up a turntable – not to mention its arm – is onto a winner.

The latest company to pick up the baton is Vertere, with its DG-1 'Dynamic Groove' record player – a complete package for £2850 including arm, cartridge and cabling. The DG-1 draws on designer Touraj Moghaddam's extensive knowledge of turntable design but makes it available at a much lower price point than the company's MG-1 (£7300), SG-1 (£13,900) and RG-1 (£21,500) stablemates. For example, the DG-1's motor is derived from the RG-1 but is integrated onto a single PCB here, and housed inside the turntable plinth rather than being in a standalone enclosure.

Engine Room
So, what has Vertere done to make life easier? Generally speaking, assembling a good quality record player involves lubricating and installing the bearing, fitting the belt, fitting and aligning the tonearm and then mounting and aligning the cartridge to the arm. Add in VTA, azimuth, tracking force and bias adjustment and it's no wonder the less technical music fans out there are tempted by the rash of online streaming services!


Fortunately it is possible to eliminate a few of these stages. In the case of the DG-1, the arm is pre-fitted to the turntable plinth and the deck can be bought in this state for £2750 including a Vertere D-Fi interconnect cable. However, £100 more adds in a ready-installed and aligned Audio-Technica VM520EB cartridge. This MM pick-up has a bonded 0.3x0.7mm elliptical stylus and aluminium cantilever. It tracks at a nominal 2.0g and has an output of 4.5mV, so should match easily with any MM phono stage you care to employ.

The DG-1's engine room includes a 24-pole synchronous AC motor, driven by a microprocessor-controlled circuit, a machined aluminium pulley and circular cross-section silicone rubber belt that runs around the periphery of the platter. The drive circuitry is well-screened and the processor is fully programmable, holding out the promise of accommodating future improvements to the motor drive.

The slim, disc-like platter consists of three layers – a central core of machined aluminium alloy with bonded layers of cork, Neoprene and nitrile rubber. This composite helps control resonance across the entire platter, but the cork is not an LP mat – it's actually on the underside of the platter. In fact the platter is topped-off with a layer of PETG (a thermoplastic polymer most often used in extruded form for 3D printing). This 'mat' is both stylish and well finished, but also has two small dots printed onto it that are used for cartridge alignment, should you be bitten by the aforementioned 'vinyl faff' bug and wish to change the cartridge at a later date.


Unusual Sight
The platter itself spins on a stainless steel shaft and tungsten carbide ball bearing that, the manual is at pains to point out, is lubricated on assembly and requires no maintenance. It should also never be removed as it requires specialist tooling to re-fit. The turntable plinth is another laminate, comprising a clear acrylic with coloured acrylic layers bonded above and below. A sub-plinth sits within a cut-out here, suspended via a series of white silicone-rubber straps.

Meanwhile, the flat 'Groove Runner' arm is an unusual sight. Outwardly similar arms already exist and work very well, such as the EAT E-Flat and the Scheu Cantus and these have successfully expunged the memory of the old NAD 5120 flat arm from the 1980s. That said, the DG-1's arm is similar to the 5120 design as it's also based around a central PCB track that carries the connections from the cartridge to the rear of the arm. Either side of this, however, are layers of aluminium to add strength and rigidity, while also providing electrical shielding.

Vertere Ltd
Supplied by: Vertere Ltd
0203 176 4888