SOTA Star Sapphire turntable J. Gordon Holt, January 1988
This expensive vacuum-holddown turntable and its "electronic flywheel" have never ceased to amaze me since I put them into my system about six months ago. (It has been temporarily replaced in my system by the Versa Dynamics 2.0.) The sound from the SOTA is so solid and utterly tidy that it is all too easy to take for granted what a triumphant achievement it is: a turntable which, for the first time (in my experience), can be completely ignored. Like the ground you stand on, it's just there.
The Versa Dynamics turntable may actually be better than the Star, but since it is impossible to remove its air-bearing tonearm without trashing the arm and the nonremovable mounting board, I was unable to tell how much of the Versa's remarkable performance is due to the arm and how much to the turntable. I believe, though, that the SOTA Star probably offers the best turntable performance you can buy for anywhere near its cost.J. Gordon Holt