To conclude our series of turntable comparisons (entry-level, mid-range, high-end ˜ €1200, high-end ˜ €1500 and high-end ˜ €2700) in style, we hereby present to you the final, ‘Prestige’ comparison. In this guide, we will compare two very high-end turntables, designed for the most exacting of audiophiles: the Transrotor Dark Star and the Wilson Benesch Full Circle.
This guide will help you compare the technical details, strengths, weaknesses and specific musical features of each of these record players, which are both out of the ordinary models. It also contains recommendations of the equipment we think best complements the capacities of your future turntable, as well as some customer reviews. We hope that it will help you narrow down your options and find your ideal turntable!
Transrotor has been producing high-end turntables for nearly 30 years, and the production quality of its products has only got better and better with time. Today it is an industry benchmark, and the Dark Star turntable is one of its most acclaimed products. The German brand tends to utilise mass technology for its products, as well as neutral, dense production materials. For example, it has used Delrin, a resin with remarkable acoustic properties, to construct the chassis and platter of this record player. This turntable has far more musicality than its shadowy exterior suggests, producing a vivid, physical sound. The level of detail is remarkable, the textures impressively realistic, and surface noise is practically non-existent. This is a superb turntable on all fronts, and we recommended it without hesitation.
The DarkStar turntable is delivered with an excellent record clamp made of polished aluminium, but Transrotor designed it with further upgrades in mind. You could, for example, add an external power supply unit, such as the Konstant 1 which adds fluidity and precision to playback. This high-end power supply unit also lets you switch between 33? and 45 RPM.
The Full Circle turntable by Wilson Benesch is an all-round triumph, with an open, original and stylish design. Despite being released in the 20th century, this turntable has lost none of its edge. Aside from a few minor changes (higher accuracy machining), the original, fully developed principle has remained the same. The tonearm of this record player is an exceptional piece of equipment. Attached to an independent mount, it is, to our knowledge, the only unipivot tonearm ever made from a carbon fibre double helix. In terms of sound quality, it really lets the music breathe. The level of detail is incredible for this price range, and the sound stage is huge! It has been lauded by the industry press (awards from What Hi-Fi, Hi-Fi Choice Magazine, etc.), and rightly so, as this turntable is capable of drawing out an extraordinary level of emotion. It's a definite maPlatine.com top pick.
We have two recommendations of Hi-Fi cartridges by Benz Micro that will really bring out the true essence of the Full Circle turntable: the excellent ACE SL phono cartridge and the renowned Glider SL. We have tested them both and couldn't sing their praises enough! In terms of power supply for this record player, you'll need an extremely high quality preamplifier. In our opinion, the Sutherland PH3D preamp delivers remarkable results and is the most suited to the Full Circle. Lastly, we also recommend the essential Wilson Benesch stand, which was designed specifically for the Full Circle. It will really showcase the machine's abilities, make it easier to use, and dampen vibrations even more.
Each of these turntables has its own distinct features. You should base your decision on your tastes and the changes you may wish to make to your Hi-Fi system in the future. We hope that this guide has been useful in finding the best turntable for you from our selection of record players in this range.
- Comparison: entry-level turntables (for budgets under €500)
- Comparison: mid-range turntables
- Comparison: high-end turntables
> High-end turntables on a €1200 budget
> High-end turntables on a €1500 budget
> High-end turntables on a €2700 budget