Sparta, from Kronos

At the GTT Audio room, turntable designer Louis Desjardins introduced a more affordable alternative to the original Kronos turntable: the Kronos Sparta ($21,000, plus an additional $6500 for the companion Helena tonearm).

As the name implies, Desjardins' intent was to offer as much performance as possible in a less fancy package: "I don't want people to spend $20,000 and still feel like it's a shame they couldn't afford the 'better' one." The Sparta offers the same motor, same bearings, and same counter-rotational platter system as the more expensive model. And, as its designer demonstrated, the Sparta's suspension and the ball-unipivot Helena work together to create the most unperturbable combination I've ever seen: Desjardins grabbed hold of the subchassis during play and wiggled it over a range of at least a half an inch; the stylus remained in the groove.