Rockport Technologies System III Sirius turntable and tonearm Page 6
The Rockport Technologies System III Sirius has been designed to rotate the record at an exact and constant speed. Based on its technology and the sonic results, I'm confident that it does so with greater authority than any other turntable in the world. It also puts the stylus on a straight and true path across the record surface, while allowing for precise adjustment of all performance parameters, which it then reliably holds indefinitely. Designer-manufacturer Andy Payor has tackled the linear-tracking tonearm's problem of moving mass and brought the resonant frequency down into the comfort zone, above warp/wow and below low-frequency musical content. The Sirius tonearm has serious bass. The turntable also offers extremely effective systems for energy dissipation and isolation from vibrations.
"Analog overkill"? I don't think so. The Rockport System III Sirius is the finest piece of audio equipment I have ever heard or reviewed. It is the one piece that has been here and gone that it really hurts to not have around.
I am not alone in this assessment. I spoke with legendary recording engineer Roy Halee (Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Bernstein/New York Philharmonic, etc.), who has owned a Sirius III for four years. Halee's listening room includes some of the finest equipment you can think of (Mark Levinson, Jadis, Genesis, Wilson Audio, etc.), and he told me the Rockport was the finest single piece of audio gear he's ever owned. He also told me he's used it about three hours a day, almost every day, for the past four years with no trouble whatsoever.
As for the price, consider this: Payor's parts cost is over $30,000, and it takes about six months for parts procurement and assembly. So the retail is only a bit over two times parts, which makes it...? Yes—a relative bargain compared to most other high-end gear, where a multiple of four or more is the norm. There are assemblages of acrylic out there selling for ten times their parts costs. Compare Payor's platter with a slab of acrylic: You could make a platter as tall as a top hat and machine it to perfection, and it still wouldn't cost more than a few hundred dollars.
The System III Sirius is so expensive to make and so difficult to build that Payor no longer stocks it or builds it in runs, which, of course, only adds to the price. If I can convince nine Stereophile readers to order Sirius IIIs, the price could come down to $60,000 apiece for the ten of us. I don't know where my $60,000 is coming from (donations welcome!), but I'm already saving—there's no "industry accommodation" price on this baby.
Yes, it's a great deal of money, but I figure it this way: I have 10,000 LPs. If I play them all on the Sirius III, that's only six bucks a play!