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.