Pyon Sound Analog Sources
Pyon Sound’s analog sources are its shining stars. They combine an insightful blend of materials and techniques to address the usual analog problems: resonance and speed stability. While the materials and techniques used by Pyon Sound might not be brand new scientific breakthroughs, the sophisticated and pragmatic application of those materials and techniques address the key analog problems, without relying on overly complicated (and vulnerable) solutions.
For years, the gulf between various schools of thought on turntable design have drifted further apart as factions continuously point out the obvious flaws in competing schemes, while ignoring the weaknesses of their own favorite technology. Pyon Sound analog sources posses strengths that were, for the most part, mutually exclusive, like the quiet drive of belts and DC motors, and the ample torque usually found only in direct drive machines. In this way, Pyon Sound combines finesse with the unstoppable force of machine-tool motor drives (brushless DC motors with encoders are the domain of very powerful and precise machine tools). While Pyon Sound’s analog products make powerful visual statements, the design choices weren’t conceived as aesthetic choices. Everything has a reason . Form follows function, and function happens to be very beautiful in these outstanding source components.
Dynamically Balanced Uni-pivot Tonearm
- Effective length: 305mm (12 inches)
- Distance of pivot to spindle: 290mm
- Overhang: 15mm
- Offset angle: 19°
- Tracking error angle: + 1.42°, – 0.97°
- Horizontal sensitivity (first action, inner wire free): 15mg
- Vertical sensitivity (first action, inner wire free): 10mg
- Suitable cartridge self weight: 5gr-45gr
- Range of height adjustment: 50mm-100mm (distance between the arm base bottom and center of the arm pipe)
- Headshell: Chrome-plated bronze
- Arm wand: Picawood (improved Panzerholz)
- Bearing mechanism: Magnetic-assisted unipivot
- Balance: Quadruple balanced counterweight design, with independent suspension for the unipivot pillar
- Adjustment features:
- Fine antiskating adjustment
- Vertical tracking force (dual counterweight mechanism for fine adjustment)
- True “on-the-fly” fine VTA adjustment with controlled torque
Ultima Black Pearl Turntable
The Ultima Black Pearl is the fourth generation of Ultima series tables, and the most advanced incarnation of our world-beating turntable technology. It is the ultimate turntable, bringing unprecedented musical enjoyment to the most critical analog listeners.
We are proud of the Ultima Black Pearl as an engineering masterpiece, with extreme technologies, meticulous material selection, and soul-searching subjective tuning through extensive listening tests.
All aspects of the Ultima Black Pearl are engineered to last dozens of years. Someone making a significant investment should expect trouble free operation for year after year. To this end, electrical and mechanical tolerances are extremely demanding, close to the theoretical limit. Along with zealous precision, the finest possible components and materials were employed, regardless of cost. Picky listeners who invest sizable sums in their equipment, should expect, and demand, a repeat performance every day. The Ultima Black Pearl is designed and constructed to deliver, night after night, year after year.
We are convinced that the Ultima Black Pearl will add grace and satisfaction to your musical life. It will bring musical joy through aesthetic and sonic satisfaction.
We developed the Ultima Black Pearl observing three axioms for turntable performance:
- Rotate perfectly
- Control perfectly
- Isolate perfectly
During the development process, we wanted to be faithful to the basics, keeping them constantly in mind. Decisions were based on how they affected these three axioms of perfect vinyl replay. In this way, we constantly addressed the fundamentals of good turntable performance, without distractions, and without adhering to any particular preconceptions about “how it should be done”. Superfluous and superficial criteria were avoided.
The first element of a turntable is that it must rotate at constant speed without without unnecessary frictional losses or the creation of vibration by the method of power transfer.
The second element is that residual vibration created in the turntable mechanisms, and by the cartridge, must be critically damped so as not to adversely affect the performance of the cartridge. In the process of doing its job, the cartridge generates considerable vibrations. The driving and power transmission for a platter also produces vibration.
The last element is the importance of isolating the turntable from external influences. While the cartridge requires extremely quiet and stable conditions to perform ideally, the normal environment is hard on the cartridge. There are abundant air-born vibrations affecting the arm, cartridge and record surface directly. The vibration also affects the turntable itself, and the turntable platform. These are constantly affected by the external environment. The turntable must have appropriate mechanisms to address harmful external influences and isolate the turntable and the cartridge.
The Ultima Black Pearl is designed to conform to these axioms, and perform to the highest standard.
Reflecting the above design goals and principles, the Ultima Black Pearl represents:
- Simple use and maintenance
- Ease of set up and adjustment
- Longevity and durability
- Aesthetic pleasure, being an attractive addition to your room
- Ultra high-end performance at a reasonable high-end cost
- Type: Precision 2-Speed turntable
- Bearing: Inverted bearing with constant lubricant circulation
- Motor: Precision DC-servo with encoder
- W/F (Speed Accuracy): Better than 0.001%
- Motor Control: Two speeds, with infinite fine pitch adjustment.
- Motor regulation: Microprocessor monitoring and control of motor speed
- Power Supply: Universal input voltage (Input 100~240 volt 50/60 Hz), regulated power supply
- Suspension: Independently isolated tower with proprietary multi-structure suspension feet, incorporating fine height adjustment
- Platter: 90mm thick 25Kg four-part composite
- Plinth: Cast iron-disk-sandwich with triple Picawood wings
- Tonearm Platform: Double Picawood sandwich with vibration-control suspension mechanism
- Belt: Carbon-polyurethane-fabric composite
- Flywheel: finished to match the motor housing
- Overall dimensions mm: W 500 x D 400 x H3 00 (W20″ x D16″ x H12″)
- Weight: 83 Kg NET (185 lbs)
- Option extra: precision-machined stainless Platter Ring and a turntable platform
Benefits and Features of the Ultima Black Pearl turntable
The Main Bearing
Recognizing the inherent deficiencies of conventional bearing designs, we have developed our own proprietary bearing to overcome and advance the performance of the Ultima Black Pearl’s main bearing mechanism. The Ultima Black Pearl employs a Constant Velocity Design (CVD) with Infinite Circulating Lubricant Mechanism (ICLM)
First, we designed the Infinite Circulating Lubricant Mechanism (ICLM) for a theoretically frictionless bearing housing. This ICLM is executed by our proprietary mechanical design that circulates the lubricant oil along the interface between the bearing shaft and the sleeve.
Second, the 20mm diameter bearing shaft adequately supports the 25Kg platter structure. This thick and sturdy shaft keeps the rotational energy of the platter perpendicular.
Third, the absorption and transfer of vibrations are maximized through the precision zirconium bearing and massive brass housing that contains the bearing structure.
Conventional bearing designs used in most turntables are either a downward pointing bearing or an inverted bearing. Although conventional bearing designs would provide good performance, they are far from ideal at encouraging stable perpendicular rotational force and optimal frictionless rotation.
The Motor Drive Mechanism
The AC synchronous motor has been widely used for turntable drive for many years. Although AC synchronous motors are simple and easy to implement, they posses inherent shortcomings for turntable applications: vibration and unstable speed. AC synchronous motors tend to introduce excessive vibration due to inferior mechanical structure. Also, they maintain only minimally acceptable speed accuracy at around 0.1 ~ 0.05% of W/F. This is due to the sine wave pattern that has a gradual change from positive to negative, where the load causes the motor to slip or go slightly out of sync with the alternating sine waves. There is nothing that can stop this slippage. Increasing AC voltage to attempt compensation is only partially successful and can introduce different problems.
Recently, some turntable manufacturers have adopted DC motors and BLDC (Brushless DC) motors for their designs to improve on AC synchronous motors. With these motors, less vibration is achievable due to lower speed rotation of the armature. Another benefit is improved durability.
However, we adopted the ultimate solution for theoretically extreme speed accuracy and rotational stability: an encoder-based DC servo motor, assisted by a flywheel, massive platter, and unique high-quality belt.
Our DC servo motor is a 6-pole motor (in comparison to most AC motors that are only a 2-pole mechanism). The encoder enhances the rotational properties of the motor, making it one of the quietest/vibrationless motors in existence. The encoder generates 2,500 pulses per single 360° motor rotation, and sends the pulse signals to the controller.
The motor controller, employing a highly sophisticated CPU, uses the pulses from the encoder to monitor and control the motor rotation. The CPU computes 60,000 times per 360° platter rotation, to achieve extremely stable speed. The measurable W/F is less than 0.001%, which is more accurate than a CD player.
The belt is also carefully selected to effectively transfer energy with outstanding isolation, but free from cogging phenomena (unbalanced rotational energy at the belt), and unwanted excess elasticity.
The DCBL motor incorporates the encoder mechanism for exact synchronization between the motor and the encoder. The motor and the encoder are incapsulated in a single monolithic case. The manufacturing tolerance of this monolithic case is less than 10 microns.
The power cable for the motor, and the control cables for the encoder, are completely separated to prevent coupling and interference. In the above picture, the left cable with three sockets is for the encoder, while the right cable with one socket and three wires is for motor power.
This new motor system renders not only more accurate speed, but also quieter operation as it eliminates the cogging and jittery behavior of an AC synchronous motor being driven by polluted AC power. The end result is stable and silent platter rotation.
The Platter Mechanism
Our platter is designed to be most effective at controlling resonance and external vibration.
It uses three layers: the top acrylic platter with anti-resonance ceramic pockets, a 30mm thick Picawood sub-platter, and the bottom sub-platter milled from cast iron. These three different materials provide damping when used in combination. In addition, the three platters are mechanically decoupled for improved damping. Finally, the platter sandwich weighs a considerable 25 Kg (55 lbs) to provide sufficient mass damping and flywheel effect. The combination of the high mass platter, flywheel, extremely stable motor and loss-free belt means that the complete system is very speed accurate and dissipates unwanted mechanical energy.
The spindle is also mechanically decoupled from the platter and is precision milled from a solid block of stainless steel.
Consisting of four parts, conceived and crafted with extreme tolerances, our platter design offers extreme performance through absorbing, dissipating, and draining resonance/vibration from the playing surface.
The Suspension Mechanism
The plinth of the Ultima Black Pearl is certainly one of the most stable and firm foundations to support a turntable. The suspension of the plinth incorporates our patented proprietary suspension mechanism: the spiral spring disk. The spiral spring disk is made of tin-enhanced phosphorous bronze plate, CNC-machined to attain precise damping characteristics. The plinth is supported by three feet. Each foot is equipped with three spiral spring disks.
The bottom portion of the foot contains a triple ball mechanism. There are three high-performance zirconium balls sandwiched between the top aluminum plate and the polyacetal bottom plate.
This foot system not only absorbs, dissipates and drains vibration energy from the turntable, but it also isolates the turntable system from the external environment.
Picawood Tonearm Installation Platform and Arm Board
The Ultima offers more extensive use of Picawood. The Ultima Black Pearl features an armboard constructed of Picawood. Also, optional Picawood armboards are available to suit each user’s own selection of tonearms.
New Record Stabilization Weight
A newly-designed Record Weight is supplied with the Ultima Black Pearl. It is precision-machined from a block of black Picawood with a cast-iron top plate. In order to absorb the vibration from the LP, the new Record Weight incorporates the triple ceramic ball vibration-draining mechanism.
New Carbon-Rubber-Synthetic Fiber Composite Belt
The turntable belt is the weakest link for a belt-drive turntable design, and creates constantly changing length and tension in particularly bad examples.
The belt exists to transfer the rotational energy from the motor to the platter. During such energy transfer, the belt creates two problems. One is the cogging problem which is the belt’s tensional force difference between outgoing direction from, and incoming direction to, the motor pulley. The other problem is slippage that causes imperfect energy transfer from the motor to the platter. Both problems contribute to unstable rotation of the platter and reduces the turntable performance in a considerable magnitude.
In order to solve these belt problems, we have researched and found the best possible solution. After extensive research and experimentation with belt design experts, we have come up with the best composite belt to minimize the harmful effects of a belt, to the theoretical limit. Our new belt is composed of three materials: carbon, rubber, and synthetic fiber. Such a composite structure is difficult to make, but guarantees the best possible performance in maximizing energy transfer while minimizing the cogging problem.
Pyon Sound Analog Sources addresses every possible problem with a balanced approach. Elegant and pragmatic solutions were preferred over solutions that would correct one problem, but create a new one in the process.
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