Radius5 / Nima / Corus Black
While many turntables can trace their designs back through a list of classic models from the past, Rok-san 'tables have always banged on their own very different drum. Designer Touraj Moghaddam, rather than simply putting a new spin on what has already been done, creates his models using a firmly held set of principles rooted in his academic knowledge of fundamental mechanical engineering. His designs are inevitably pricey, but the Radius5 (curiously, only the second Radius model) is built around a carefully considered set of compromises while maintaining as many of the core features of its bigger brothers as possible.
With its clear acrylic chassis and translucent platter, the styling is striking indeed, although more conventional-looking, wood-veneer finishes are available for the somewhat less adventurous. The Radius5 ($1,495) comes with a premounted unipivot Roksan tonearm called the Nima, and this pairing can also be purchased bundled with a Roksan Corus Black moving-magnet phono cartridge ($395) to form a complete player.
As with the Pro-Ject Debut III, operation is totally manual, and you change the speed to 45 rpm by moving the belt to a different groove on the motor pulley - although here, everything is out in the open, making it a snap.
The Corus Black cartridge is based on a well-established moving-magnet design from Goldring. It uses a super-fineline stylus profile called a Gyger II and, as such, really benefits from extra-careful alignment. The lightweight Nima arm suits this cartridge well, and given sufficient fine-tuning, the pairing can extract a lot of music from your LPs.
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