This amazing turntable is quite familiar to me as I have been using one for over 10 years! And this machine has aged perfectly well! It was a groundbreaking product when it was released in the 20th century with regards to the technology and materials used, and it seems that it still is to this day, faced with a competition more focused on more conventional and less innovative solutions. Despite a few changes, especially in terms of crafting precision, the principle is exactly the same and why would it change? When it's already perfect!?
The round vinyl turntable actually consists of two MDF isolated plinths. One to hold the synchronous motor and the other for the bearing and tonearm mount. The aluminium hub is perfectly crafted and rests via its stainless alloy spindle on the bronze bearing. The tonearm rests on an aluminium base, connected to the turntable via two carbon cross pieces. They were selected for their rigidity and vibration resistant properties. The ACT 0.5 is a legendary tonearm, and the only unipivot tonearm made from a carbon dual helix, as far as I know. This design makes it extremely rigid and gives it optimum damping properties, for an effective weight of 9 g! The high quality cables are made up of a Litz wire starquard isolated with silk. As with all unipivot tonearms, its adjustment requires some level of expertise… But don't worry, it will come perfectly set up by our technical team and ready to use!
We tried it with a Benz Micro Ace cartridge and a Sutherland PH3D preamp. From the opening bars we were surprised by the subtleness it brings to the music and the openness to the pieces of music. The sound stage is huge! It is both wide and deep and is supported by the reproduction of the natural reverberations from the recording sites. The level of detail is one of the greatest we have ever experienced in this price range. It does not however favour one register in particular. The dynamics are also amazing, this Wilson Benesch is a killer on fortes and also shows great class and sensitivity on the most subtle pieces. The bass is present and well articulated, though not the deepest ever, but it is very precise and spot on, and I personally like the sonic performance. Actually, the major asset of this turntable is its evenness and dynamics, delivering an amazingly authentic sonic performance! This is naturally illustrated with plenty of presence and emotion.
This Wilson Benesch Full Circle is a great turntable, that has made it over the years, oblivious to any competition… It can be coined as an essential benchmark in this price range and beyond… A top pick!
Best Buy Haute Fidélité, Haute Fidélité, 2012 (FRANCE) Franck
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2008, Hi-Fi Review Magazine, 2008 (HONG KONG)
Best turntable, What Hi-Fi Magazine, 2005 (UK)
Best For Sound Award, Stuff Magazine, 2005 (UK)
What Hi-Fi Magazine, 2004 (UK)
Best turntable, What Hi-Fi Magazine, 2004 (UK)
Best Buy, Hi-Fi Choice Magazine, 1999 (UK)
CIRCLE Drive principle: Belt
Bearing: Phosphor bronze
Spindle: Stainless steel
Design: Low weight
Cross pieces: Carbon
Platter: Acrylic ACT 0.5
Dimensions: 430 x 170 mm
Weight: 8 kg
Overhang: 18 mm
Effective weight: 9 g
Total weight: 340 g
Effective length: 235 mm ,9’’
Mounting distance: 217 mm
Wiring: 4 x Litz copper isolated with silk
Capacitance: 70 pF
Resistance: 0.108 Ohms
Cartridge weight: 5-16g