Acoustic Signature Montana NEO turntable Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog sources: OMA K3, SAT XD-1 turntables; SAT CF1-09, CF1Ti-09, Schröder K3 tonearms; Lyra Etna Lambda SL, Ortofon A95 phono cartridges.
Digital sources: dCS Vivaldi One SACD player/DAC; Lynx Hilo A/D-D/A converter; Roon Nucleus server; Pure Vinyl and Vinyl Studio software.
Preamplification: Line: darTZeel NHB-18S. Phono: MC-20L step-up transformer, Ypsilon VPS-100 phono preamp, CH Precision P1 with X1 PSU.
Power amplifiers: darTZeel NHB 468 monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: Wilson Audio Specialties Chronosonic XVX.
Cables: Interconnect: TARA Labs Zero Gold, Zero Evolution, Zero and Air Evolution, Analysis Plus Silver Apex, Stealth Sakra & Indra, Luminous Audio Technology Silver Reference, interconnect. Speaker: AudioQuest Dragon, TARA Labs Omega EvolutionSP. AC: AudioQuest Dragon, Dynamic Design Neutron GS Digital power cord.
Accessories: AudioQuest Niagara 7000, CAD GC1 and GC3 Ground Controls; AudioQuest NRG Edison AC wall box & receptacles; RSX Industries Power8 box, ASC Tube Traps; RPG BAD, Skyline & Abffusor panels, Stillpoints Aperture II Room panels, Synergistic Research UEF products (various), Symposium Ultra platform; HRS XVR turntable stand, Signature SXR and 2 Stillpoints ESS stands, Thixar and Stillpoints amplifier stands; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Furutech record demagnetizer; Orb DF-01iA Disc Flattener, Furutech deStat; Loricraft PRC4 Deluxe, Audiodesksysteme Gläss Pro, and Kirmuss Audio KA-RC-1 record-cleaning machines.—Michael Fremer

Made by AS-Distribution GmbH
US distributor: Rutherford Audio
14 Inverness Drive East, Unit G-108, Englewood, CO 80112
(888) 279-6765

Oldsoul's picture

While I never owned one of their tables, I have seen a few in the wild and have always admired them. I have never owned a belt-driven table for that matter, but I promised myself that someday if I ever need to replace my current turntables, I would take a hard consideration of Acoustic Signature. Of course at that time their lowest priced table was around $3400 with arm. Not bad at all for what you get!
Of course, that model is long discontinued (but likely still giving great service to owners) and as with everything now the prices is also long from $3400 for the "lowest model". All the models at least to me are pleasing to eye as well.
So while I don't foresee myself ever able to own one now, their "lowest priced" model I see as nearly the same as their high $50k model in craftsmanship, quality and performance. There is nothing shoddy about any products from this company it seems.
My current tables are from the early 70s and 80s respectively and all direct drive. The early 70s tables are built like brick chicken houses, you have to hit them with at least two hand grenades to do any real damage it seems. So while I don't have choice of tone arm and whatever, they are deadly accurate at speed and can be dialed in just as close as the higher-end arms and such. (Although I admit that in the area of SRA, WallyTools would be required).So while needing to replace my tables may be an unlikely event (unless someone does toss real hand grenades at them) I would still look at the Acoustic Signature tables first.

volvic's picture

This turntable oozes quality and means business. If I had the cash, I would put it on my short list along with the Nagra. Great review.

Anton's picture

If it weren't for Stereophile and its Analog Planet satellite, I would have no awareness of this new range of ultra-turntables.

I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing! :-D

Indydan's picture

This "turntable" is a monstrosity and is gross. If vinyl needs this kind of contraption to sound decent, then it isn't a viable format.

It's time for Fremer to stop gaslighting audiophiles!

Michael Fremer's picture

And you get a foolish answer. You hit the jackpot: foolish question and answer! Congratulations! Vinyl can sound "decent" on a less costly turntable but it sounds better on a better one. MQA works too. So you are the gaslighter here...

Indydan's picture

So Fremer is not only a vinyl gaslighter, but a shill for MQA. Hey Fremer, I suggest you educate yourself with the following, before you continue making a fool of yourself:

ok's picture

..sound fine nowadays and are actually preferable to some hi-end monsters that mostly expose the weaknesses and limitations of the medium. Turntables have considerably evolved, vinyl per se not so.

windansea's picture

mid-level gear might be the sweet spot for enjoyable listening. At the high end, the limitations of any recording are exposed, not just with vinyl. Critical listening is not so fun. At the extreme end of audiophilia, the high prices warrant high expectations, which is a recipe for disappointment.

Michael Fremer's picture

Tastes delicious.

Anton's picture

I thought dental floss jokes in a turntable review would be related to Forsell, but I get you, man!

I'll be going to Montana, soon.