Acoustic Signature Barzetti review

With a refined yet expansive sound and stunning finish, the Barzetti offers delights few could resist Tested at £1750

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine performer that misses out on class-leading status by the smallest of margins. It’s lovely to use and beautifully built – hear it


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    A composed, stable presentation

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    wide dynamic limits

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    build and finish

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    ease of use


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    Lacks just a little sonic subtlety

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Acoustic Signature may be a new name to many readers, but this high-end German brand has been available in the UK for over seven years, albeit in a low-key way.

The brand’s new UK distributor, Air Audio Ltd, wants to make more impact. With products like this, we think it has a good chance.

This is a beautifully built turntable that oozes quality, from the black gloss finish on its 50mm-thick MDF plinth to the immaculately machined aluminium platter.

The platter weighs in at 6kg, and sits on a clever bearing that combines a hardened steel shaft, carbide ball bearing and a housing that uses ‘sintered’ bronze (a material made from compacted powder), and a material called Tidorfolon – an exotic combination of teflon, titanium, ferrite and vanadium.

The point of all this clever engineering is to make a low-noise bearing that doesn’t need oil.

Rega arm is a fine performer, too

The Barzetti is supplied with a Rega arm, which is a standard choice at this price level for good reason: it’s an excellent performer and great value, too.

This turntable/arm combination doesn’t come with a cartridge so we used Goldring’s excellent 2400 – a moving magnet design that works well in the Rega arm.

Once properly sited the Acoustic Signature works very well. The deck’s solid, non-suspended design means it’s simple to set up, and an electronic speed change makes it easy to use.

It’s a confident-sounding player with a stable, large-scale output. Detail levels are good, and the ability to stay composed with music as varied and complex as Holst’s Mars and REM’s Automatic for the People is impressive.

The Barzetti has wide dynamic limits and the ability to deliver an expansive, well-focused soundstage. It’s a fine performer, but lacks just a little finesse. It can’t quite lock onto a fast-moving rhythm track with total conviction, either.

Take build, finish and ease of use into account and it’s hard not to be impressed by this turntable. As an overall package it’s a viable alternative to the class-leaders.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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