Consonance’s Die Walküre is the biggest record player I’ve encountered at this price point. A rounded triangle shape that, when coupled with its aluminium subchassis, will accommodate up to three tonearms.
Starting at the bottom there are three aluminium feet of the adjustable variety, these have cups for squash balls at the top and these form the primary suspension or isolation system for the turntable. When the whole thing is assembled, there appears to be very little compliance in this suspension, so it’s likely to be support sensitive as a result, but which turntable isn’t?
The wood is however very thick, 90mm in total, and this will soak up higher frequency vibration quite effectively. Variations in its density will also break up standing waves, something that the shape should also help to disperse. Atop the woodwork is a cast aluminium subchassis that sits on three brass feet, and provides mounting points for arms. The armbase supplied for Consonance’s T988 tonearm has a single fixing to the subchassis and can be rotated to accommodate different length tonearms (there is a 12inch T1288 for instance that sits on the same base). You can also use the rotation to adjust cartridge overhang, and, as the slots in the Consonance arms are quite short, this is sometimes a necessity. The hole in the base will also take an old style Rega arm with a nut on the bottom, and any other arm that will fit the 20mm hole with a height fixing grub screw in it.
Drive is courtesy of a DC motor that sits at the rear, in between two points of the triangle, and spins the platter with a rubber belt. Most Consonance turntables have used thread drives, and for that matter separate notches on the drive pulley to change speed. This one has a single pulley and speed change is via the separate power supply. This, however, does not have settings for 33 and 45rpm, but a safe cracker’s dial with a locking device. So, if you should want to spin a 45rpm disc, you need to fish out the strobe disc (supplied) and a suitable light to set the speed.
The platter is a 55mm thick slab of acrylic that sits on a short inverted bearing. The instructions suggest you “Fill the bearing with lubrication oil supplied to a level of approx 1mm above the bottom bearing”, although quite how you are supposed to gauge this is unclear. The T988 tonearm is a variation on the unipivot theme that doesn’t have a spike in a cup but a chamfered brass stud in a small bearing race, Consonance supplies silicone fluid to put in this interface and the idea is that you tune the sound with quantity of damping fluid. Which is all well and good but when the cartridge is upright above the record the arm bearing is at angle and, while it works, it looks wrong. It’s not however as frustrating as trying to get azimuth correct with the bell shaped counterweight. The underslung nature of the weight gives lots of scope for adjusting the angle of the stylus in the groove, but it’s difficult to change this by small enough increments for it not to go from leaning one way to leaning the other. There must be a knack to it, at least I hope there is.
Platter: 55mm acrylic
Separate power supply with speed adjustment
Speeds: 33 & 45rpm
Dimesnions WxHxD: 500 x 250 x 500 mm
Weight: 18 kg
Arm tube: carbon fibre
Anti-skate: thread & weight
Length: 9 inch or 12 inch