New Planets discovered

Master recordist Rene LaFlamme of Fidelio Records marked the release of his first LP—a remastering of Melanie Barney’s and the Buzz Brass Ensemble’s colorful recording of Holt’s The Planets—by adding to his demonstration system an interesting new turntable called the Kronos. Designed and manufactured in Montreal by Louis Desjardins and photographed here by JA, the Kronos is described as the first commercial turntable to use both a fully sprung suspension and a system of twin counter-rotating platters. (The perpetually fascinating 47 Laboratory 4724 Koma turntable, reviewed in Stereophile by Michael Fremer, pioneered the latter but lacked the former.)

The sample on display was fitted with an SME 312 tonearm and Lyra Kleos cartridge, and drove a Nagra VPS phono preamplifier, Audio Research Reference 5 preamp and Reference 210 mono amps, and a big, beautiful pair of Sonus Faber Stradivarius loudspeakers, with Siltech cabling throughout.

The sound was, you’ll pardon the expression, fucking amazing: How LaFlamme manages to achieve a combination of both openness and sheer flesh-and-blood solidity in his recordings is utterly beyond me. Incidentally, the price of the Kronos is projected to be in the neighborhood of $25,000–$30,000, and Desjardins plans a first production run of approximately 200 turntables.

directdriver's picture

It was Sansui that first pioneered the idea of counter-rotation in their XR-Q7 and XP-99 direct drive turntables from the early 80's, which featured the Silent Synchrotor system. It was only implemented in their motor, if not the platter, so there's an extra motor below the top motor rotating in reverse to cancel vibration. It'll be interesting to see how this is incorporated in a belt-drive turntable. From your listening impression looks like it's working well. The Kronos has a extra pulley equidistant to the motor pulley to balance out side torque of typical belt drive designs. Good idea.

You can read about Sansui here: