DOHMANN IS BACK WITH THE HELIX TWO TURNTABLE
There were turntables aplenty at this year’s Munich High End show. There’s no doubt, the vinyl ship has far from sailed yet, at least the second time around.
Last year’s show was almost dominated by the world’s craziest and uber-expensive models from manufacturers the world over. And like a motor show, we all love looking at things we’ll never be able to afford.
Thankfully this year, some of the ‘crazy’ has trickled down into more realistic offerings, albeit still high-end. After all, is it the High End show.
The name Mark Dohmann will need no introduction to enthusiasts who have been around the traps. Over a decade ago he was Chief Designer for arguably one of the world’s best turntables with the Continuum Caliburn, along with the Cobra tonearm, which both still fetch ridiculous prices on the used market today.
More recently, Dohmann is a key member (Systems Architect is his actual title) of a team of experts from around the world, collectively known as Audio Union.
Together, they created the Helix One turntable which debuted in 2015 and exclusively featured in Australia at the 2016 International HiFI Show in Melbourne (July 1st – 3rd). Many show attendees regarded the Telos Audio room hosted by Dohmann as the best sound of the show.
As their flagship product, many of us wondered where Audio Union could go from there. Had they peaked too soon? When whispers started about an upcoming release, Helix Two, it started to make more sense.
Showcased for the first time at the 2017 High End show in Munich, Germany, Helix Two is the smaller brother to the One. And while it may be a slimmed and scaled down version, it’s become a more affordable version while still offering the very best in analogue playback.
We caught up with Dohmann in Munich who took us through a few of the Two's features. Ultimately though, you just need to hear it for yourself.
The Helix Two has been engineered to deliver unparalleled performance in analog playback. It raises the benchmarks for noise reduction and preservation due to its unique Micro Signal Architecture (MSA) design.
Intensive research has been undertaken by the Audio Union team, and the plinth, chassis and supporting structure of turntables has been found to be a key component to sonic bliss when it comes to vinyl.
The complex chassis design of the Helix Two incorporates all Audio Union have learned from developing the One, and the technology is said to eliminate cloudiness and time signature smear inherent in a turntable’s basic design premise.
While how they achieve certain outcomes remains a trade secret, new innovations by Audio Union also include active transmigration of vibrations away from the bearing and platter. They’ve also employed technology developed by Minus-K and in conjunction with Audio Union, implemented additional isolation of low frequency floor vibrations.
According to Audio Union, with such focus on isolation, the Helix Two can be placed on just about any furniture rated to support 70kgs, negating the necessity of ultra-expensive and specialised racks and stands.
The understated styling of Helix Two leaves just two push buttons on the table surface for factory calibrated speed selection (33/45/78 RPM) and on/off.
The Helix Two uses full integrated high-torque motor and a dual belt platter drive designed to reduce static electricity and vibrations.
Weighing in at 60kgs and just 480mm W x 400mm D, the Helix Two is provided in a custom road case that should see it safely arrive anywhere in the world.
Audio Union have also created an authorised specialist dealer network around the world who can provide set-up assistance and ensure the Helix Two is performing to its absolute best.
We suspect we haven’t heard the last from Audio Union yet. With the decades of experience behind each of the team’s members, there’s no telling what might be next.
Audio Union’s Helix Two Turntable is available to order now, and will sell for around (EUR) $26,000 with Schroder CB 9” arm. Local pricing will be announced shortly.
See the Helix Two turntable in action at the 2017 International HiFi Show, Melbourne, November 3rd-5th in Albert Park.
For more information visit the Audio Union website.