For the many people who want to enjoy yesterday's classic LPs and today's
premium new vinyl releases tends, the choice in equipment tends to be between
two uncomfortable extremes. There are inexpensive, ill-performing turntables at
one end of the spectrum, and at the other are tremendously expensive and
complex combinations built from separate decks, tone arms and cartridges.
"Expensive" in this case can mean multiple thousands of dollars -- and require
considerable expertise to install and maintain. The NAD 533 turntable is a
sensible and welcome alternative. It combines a precision turntable assembly
with a quality tone-arm and cartridge at a very reasonable price.
A high-torque, synchronous motor drives the 533's platter indirectly through a
belt. The platter spindle is supported by a precision bearing located inside a solid
brass housing that is bored out to within 20 microns tolerance to keep rumble at
bay. While most platters are made of metal, the 533's is manufactured from
medium-density fibreboard (MDF), whose high mass provides a flywheel action
for smooth rotation and consistent speed. Acoustically the platter is almost dead,
so it doesn't suffer the acoustic sensitivity at certain frequencies that is common
with metal platters and that frequently colours sound as a result. The platter's
thick felt mat damps the remaining acoustic energy further, and provides even
support for the record throughout.