For those daunted by the idea of setting up a record player, many of which seem to arrive in kit form, the DG-1 is as close as you’re going to get to ‘plug and play’ in a high-end, high-performance record player, and yet packed with innovations. The DG-1 is our simplest record player, yet also our most highly-developed. Here’s why… When it came to building a new, easy-to-use, entry-level model for our record player range, we could have taken the easy route of simply replicating much of what we’ve already done in our flagship models, just using less expensive materials and components. But that would have been too easy and rather unsatisfactory – after all, we’re all about designing to a level of performance, not a price. So a complete re-imagining was the only approach to take.
In case you thought the motor’s only job was to make sure the record rotates at the right speed, think again: as the only source of energy for the signal generated by the cartridge and fed out to the amplifier, it’s arguably the most important part of any record player. The DG-1’s 24-pole Precision Synchronous motor is individually tuned to minimise noise, uses an offboard power supply, and is controlled by circuitry derived from that developed for the flagship RG-1 Reference Motor Drive. For the DG-1, the advanced electrics have been designed down to a single microprocessor PCB, which is both addressable for precision setting during manufacture and programmable for future upgrades. Copper/stainless steel shielding protects it from unwanted interference.
Drive to the platter is via a precision machined aluminium alloy pulley on the motor and a bespoke silicon rubber drive belt for smoothness and durability, while electronic speed change, via a switch to the rear of the plinth top-plate, adds to the ease of use and removes any need for belt-handling. Like the pulley, the platter itself is also precision-machined alloy, to the top of which is bonded a PETG record interface mat. On the underside a cork/Neoprene/nitrile bonded disc controls platter resonance.
The platter rotates on a highly polished stainless steel spindle, which rides in a main bearing housing using a super precision tungsten carbide ball, avoiding the need for complex regimes of lubrication, while still retaining the smoothness of rotation essential for the accurate playback of records. That’s another example of the many ways in which the elements of this record player have been simplified to optimise performance.
The DG-1 tonearm is uniquely Vertere, and differs from established thinking in its use of a flat profile – one of the most striking visual elements of the whole record player – in place of the usual tube. Conventional arms use tubes for stiffness, but these bring all kinds of problems with resonances, and thus need damping if they’re not to ‘ring’, and pass those distortions back to the cartridge. The DG-1’s three-layer, non-resonant tonearm beam avoids these problems and, in place of conventional tonearm cabling, uses a flexible PCB sandwiched into the arm itself to carry signal from the cartridge to the output terminals. It’s a one-piece design, running continuously from the cartridge connections all the way to the output to the amplifier.
The Thread Bearings
The bearings allowing the arm its horizontal and vertical movement are also innovative: there aren’t any – well, not in the conventional sense! Many solutions have been sought in the past for these precise bearings, which need to be small, precise and as near-silent as possible, but for the DG-1 we have developed a very simple solution: twisted nylon threads – one for movement in the horizontal plane, and two for the vertical axis.
These threads are simple, exhibiting none of the stiction – or initial resistance to movement – of conventional bearings, as well as being super-light and noiseless. They’re also self-damping, with just the twist of the thread controlling their movement.
Like the tonearm, the DG-1 plinth is a sandwich construction, using non-resonant cast acrylic to form the main plinth and the sub-plinth for a clean and sophisticated look.This three-layer design incorporates thecontrol button,the speed indicator and the user-selectable standby mood-lighting, as well as the silicon rubber isolation between the plinth and the platter assembly. The whole assembly sits on a steel chassis, chosen for optimal stability, housing the motor drive circuit and the motor all supported by three adjustable feet.
The DG-1 comes complete with a non-resonant acrylic dust-cover, where its hinges are integrated into the plinth for a sleek and modern profile.
Type: Belt Drive
Motor: 24 Pole Synchronous
Acetal Spindle Thrust Bearing
Motor Mount: Axially De-coupled
Pulley: Super Precision Aluminium Alloy
Drive Belt: Bespoke Silicone Rubber
Platter DG-1: Precision Machined Aluminium Alloy
PETG Bonded Record Interface Mat
Underside Bonde Resonance Control Disc
Bearing Spindle DG-1: Stainless Steel
Super Precision Machined and Polished
Roundness / Concentricity: < 5 Microns Bearing Housing: Brass
Super Precision Machined
Bore Tolerance < 5 Microns Super Precision Tungsten Carbide Ball Plinth Structure: 3 Layer Acrylic
Top and Sub-Plinth, Internally Illuminated
Isolation System: 4 Point, Bespoke Silicone Rubber
Three Adjustable Feet
Motor Drive: Advanced Microprocessor Controlled
Fully Programmable and Motor Noise Reduction
Speeds: 33.3 and 45 rpm (+/- 0.2%)
Dust Cover: Non-resonant Acrylic
Dimensions (W x D x H): 469 x 384 x 130mm (including dust cover)
Power Supply: Wall Adaptor Type
UK, US, EU and AUS Exchangeable Plugs
100 – 240 Vac with 1.5m Cord
Type: Fixed Axis Bearing
Effective Length: 240mm
Offset Angle: 22.9°
Tonearm Beam: Aluminium/Polymer Sandwich
Bearing Structure: Twisted Nylon 6.6/6 Thread
Counterweight: Stainless Steel
With Adjustable Tracking
Internal Wiring Gold Plated Flexible PCB
With Gold Plated Cartridge Tags
One Piece From Cartridge