TechDAS Air Force Zero (real final photo)

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
468
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North Shore of Boston
The amount of ignorance and speculative foolishness expressed by some here is truly appalling. Are you sure this isn't the "What's Worst Forum" when it comes to how low human nature can express itself? I most certainly compared all of these SAT arms in my review and you can listen for yourself to direct comparisons between the original SAT arm, the aluminum yoke model and the new CF top of the line model.

They are "blind" 96/24 files using the Ortofon MC Century cartridge on the Continuum Caliburn.
Thank you Michael. That is my mistake. It was indeed an ignorant comment, but I don't see how it was foolish. You compared three versions of the 9" arm. I was thinking about a comparison of different lengths.

My comment about people perhaps preferring the SME 3012R was in jest, as the photo of the TechDAS shows a 3012R arm on it, and not an SAT which was surprising to me (I have since learned of the separation of SAT and TechDAS). Additionally, the SME 3012R is fairly popular around here, and in fact, some people prefer the sound of the older SME to the SAT.

I remember, around the time of your review, hoping that you would directly compare a 9" to a 12" version of the same arm because at about that time there was a fairly active discussion about arm length and your stated preference for 9". Is it still the case that you have not directly compared those arms? I am not aware that a reviewer has directly compared an SAT tonearm of two different lengths and written about it. If you know of such a review, could you please share a link?

Myles also did not do a review of the two different lengths. Here is a link in which he discusses why: https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/...alog-technologies-lm-12-tonearm-project/page2
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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I am not sure if this is a thread about tonearms as analogplanet is expressing. Analogplanet, are you on the wrong thread? SAT and SAT-tonearms might be a different thread. Anyway, what is interesting is that TechDas has successfully established very good copies (great technology!) of the old Micro-Seiki line. I used a Micro Seiki 8000 II from 1995 and was very sad to give it away to New York. I still own a 8000 with a Double Platter as well as two sided motors.
In the end I am a bit disappointed about the Zero One. Despite of it´s greater mass I miss a powerless bearing or a real bi-radial air bearing. Also I do not see an adjustment of the horizontal leverage. No active air suspension or a concept of sound conduction in the table.

Yes, we might look back and remind of the good old technology Micro Seiki and Nishikawa san established in the field of turntable building. But now we should look into new concepts and new technology which is possible to invent. Should ´nt we begin a new chapter?

www.audiocirc.com
I do not understand at all the purely speculative theorizing in which you are engaging.

Nishikawa by all accounts is one of the greatest turntable designers in history. The Air Force Zero is his crowning turntable design, his state-of-the-art turntable legacy.

I have heard the AF1, the AF1P, and the AF3P in easily over a dozen systems and I personally think they are fantastic turntables.

You have not heard the Air Force Zero, no one here has heard the Air Force Zero, and yet you are criticizing the manufacturer’s design choices? I just don’t understand this at all.

Why don’t we all reserve judgment until we actually hear the new turntable?
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Nishikawa san has used both original SAT tonearm and the latest model in his listening room and in various demo. He like the original one over the new model.

How do you know this to be a fact?

Very subjectively I personally have always found the original SAT tonearm to be a bit on the analytical side. If Michael tells us the new version of the SAT ameliorates a touch of edginess which some people perceived as detail then I am sure I personally would prefer the new version of the SAT.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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. . . I most certainly compared all of these SAT arms in my review and you can listen for yourself to direct comparisons between the original SAT arm, the aluminum yoke model and the new CF top of the line model.

They are "blind" 96/24 files using the Ortofon MC Century cartridge on the Continuum Caliburn.

There's another file that's an unidentified turntable arm and cartridge.

. . .

As for what happened between Nishikawa-San and Marc Gomez, it was not about the quality of the arm, but rather something else that I won't get into here.

The new CF is considerably better than the original, which was considerably better than any arm I've heard though of course I've not heard them all. An AnalogPlanet reader who owns the SAT, the Axiom and the Vertere said he thinks the SAT best. Of course whatever you prefer......

Why not go to AnalogPlanet and listen to the 3 unidentified files? Decide for yourself. The interesting thing about the new top of the line arm is that it doesn't reveal its superiority immediately. The original arm has 'more' but less well controlled bass and a bit of edge that can be confused for 'detail'.

What went down between Nishikawa and Gomez was very sad because the combo of SAT CF-09 and Air Force One Premium is quite special and the "fight" has not stopped people from buying the SAT to use with the AF-1.

Ultimately it is the customer and not the manufacturer who makes these decisions! Even in Japan. Myles can speak for himself....

Thank you, Michael, for participating here once again. Thank you, also, for informing us that whatever happened between Nishikawa and Marc Gomez it was not about the quality of the SAT tonearms.
 

analogplanet

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
43
17
8
Thank you Michael. That is my mistake. It was indeed an ignorant comment, but I don't see how it was foolish. You compared three versions of the 9" arm. I was thinking about a comparison of different lengths.

My comment about people perhaps preferring the SME 3012R was in jest, as the photo of the TechDAS shows a 3012R arm on it, and not an SAT which was surprising to me (I have since learned of the separation of SAT and TechDAS). Additionally, the SME 3012R is fairly popular around here, and in fact, some people prefer the sound of the older SME to the SAT.

I remember, around the time of your review, hoping that you would directly compare a 9" to a 12" version of the same arm because at about that time there was a fairly active discussion about arm length and your stated preference for 9". Is it still the case that you have not directly compared those arms? I am not aware that a reviewer has directly compared an SAT tonearm of two different lengths and written about it. If you know of such a review, could you please share a link?

Myles also did not do a review of the two different lengths. Here is a link in which he discusses why: https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/...alog-technologies-lm-12-tonearm-project/page2
I did review the 12" arm in conjunction with the Technics SP10R in the OMA cast iron plinth. Marc Gomez makes the 12" arm because people wanted one and because the rear position on the TechDAS turntables requires a 12" arm but he like many other manufacturers believes all things considered a 9" arm is superior in the groove where "the action" is.

Nishikawa also distributes in Japan SME and of course Graham so he has many arms from which to choose. I will be hearing the Zero next month in Los Angeles, not sure with what arm. I am really looking forward to that!
 

analogplanet

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
43
17
8
I did review the 12" arm in conjunction with the Technics SP10R in the OMA cast iron plinth. Marc Gomez makes the 12" arm because people wanted one and because the rear position on the TechDAS turntables requires a 12" arm but he like many other manufacturers believes all things considered a 9" arm is superior in the groove where "the action" is.

Nishikawa also distributes in Japan SME and of course Graham so he has many arms from which to choose. I will be hearing the Zero next month in Los Angeles, not sure with what arm. I am really looking forward to that!
As you know, irony doesn't travel well on the Internet so I thought you were being serious! Sorry!
 

analogplanet

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
43
17
8
How do you know this to be a fact?

Very subjectively I personally have always found the original SAT tonearm to be a bit on the analytical side. If Michael tells us the new version of the SAT ameliorates a touch of edginess which some people perceived as detail then I am sure I personally would prefer the new version of the SAT.
You should listen to the files!:

https://www.analogplanet.com/conten...ickup-arm-and-compare-it-new-lm-09-and-cf1-09

before reading which is which!:

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/sat-pickup-arm-comparison-reveal
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Thank you for the links, Michael!
 
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KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,722
662
113
Marina del Rey, CA
It is kind of interesting that after SAT launched the four new tonearms with some great reviews from Myles Astor and M. Fremer that the brand is so rarely discussed. What happened? People must have simply rediscovered the SME 3012R instead.
maybe because they cost $50k for a tonearm. A tonearm.
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,924
449
83
Utah
Pity the Axiom does not have an auto correction software like SAT when comments do not go in a positive way.

Tang
:)!

david
 

TLi

Active Member
May 27, 2016
113
113
43
I use original SAT on AF1P turntable with Ortofon MC Century . Make no mistake, I prefer SAT over Graham Elite arm used in the demonstration. Elite was my previous arm before SAT, so I know quite well how the two compared. Last time when I visited TechDAS in Sep, 2018, they have SAT CF-9 on the AFIP, they sounded great.

To my surprise, they used Graham Elite in the demo. I was the first one there to bring this up as I was expecting SAT CF-9. Only later in dinner that Nishikawa san mentioned the unhappy relationship with Marc Gomez. But he did mentioned he preferred the sound of the original SAT over CF-9, this is his personal choice.

Having said that, the sound in the demo was still top grade. Very often in such an event, the manufacturer has only one morning to unpack and setup in a unfamiliar room. It is very easy for an experienced participant to identify some deficiency in the sound. Not for this demo, I found no short coming. The sound was just so good.
 

ALF

Active Member
Mar 15, 2012
295
27
28
Southwest
I am not sure if this is a thread about tonearms as analogplanet is expressing. Analogplanet, are you on the wrong thread? SAT and SAT-tonearms might be a different thread. Anyway, what is interesting is that TechDas has successfully established very good copies (great technology!) of the old Micro-Seiki line. I used a Micro Seiki 8000 II from 1995 and was very sad to give it away to New York. I still own a 8000 with a Double Platter as well as two sided motors.
In the end I am a bit disappointed about the Zero One. Despite of it´s greater mass I miss a powerless bearing or a real bi-radial air bearing. Also I do not see an adjustment of the horizontal leverage. No active air suspension or a concept of sound conduction in the table.

Yes, we might look back and remind of the good old technology Micro Seiki and Nishikawa san established in the field of turntable building. But now we should look into new concepts and new technology which is possible to invent. Should ´nt we begin a new chapter?

www.audiocirc.com
Sigh, again...Echart, he is, aka, the marketing arm.


ALF
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,317
276
83
Manila, Philippines
TLi it looks like I will be holding off on ordering the 12" Da Vinci as I await what TD will bring to market. I hope it will have swappable head shells.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,298
396
83
Hong Kong
I use original SAT on AF1P turntable with Ortofon MC Century . Make no mistake, I prefer SAT over Graham Elite arm used in the demonstration. Elite was my previous arm before SAT, so I know quite well how the two compared. Last time when I visited TechDAS in Sep, 2018, they have SAT CF-9 on the AFIP, they sounded great.

To my surprise, they used Graham Elite in the demo. I was the first one there to bring this up as I was expecting SAT CF-9. Only later in dinner that Nishikawa san mentioned the unhappy relationship with Marc Gomez. But he did mentioned he preferred the sound of the original SAT over CF-9, this is his personal choice.

Having said that, the sound in the demo was still top grade. Very often in such an event, the manufacturer has only one morning to unpack and setup in a unfamiliar room. It is very easy for an experienced participant to identify some deficiency in the sound. Not for this demo, I found no short coming. The sound was just so good.
Hello Thomas,
Has Nishikawa san mentioned about any timeframes Techdas will launch their own tonearms for Air Force Zero/One ...etc?
 

Vienna

Active Member
Oct 14, 2018
132
56
28
43
Athens Greece
I am involved in the world’s most crazy industry, characterized by the craziest prices, the yachting business (my portfolio includes yachts of over 80m in length and value of more than 90 mil euro) .The R&D and engineering of yachting is unbelievable but still the extrageration of the hifi industry is beyond any logic.
 

TLi

Active Member
May 27, 2016
113
113
43
Hello Thomas,
Has Nishikawa san mentioned about any timeframes Techdas will launch their own tonearms for Air Force Zero/One ...etc?
I don't know, Nishikawa san mentioned his next project is tonearm for his turntable. He now needs to complete the development of Zero and put it in production before the tonearm. So I imagine it will take a while. Maybe WBF members who attend the LA launch event next month can ask him and report it here.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,680
1,475
113
London
Well none in a side by side test :) I am a piano player and know that the AF1 sounded very natural. I do think vacuum hold down turntables have a slight signature and can have a tendency to sound over damped, but I hear this as more obvious on something like Basis than the AF1. I don't think this over damped sound has anything to do with midbass bloat.
Well piano is done well by other tables too, and some do it better. The question is not whether techdas is good at piano, but whether you compared it to other tables on piano. I guess the answer is no..

I have nothing against vacuum tables. The Vyger has vacuum hold down as does the micro seiki BL 111, a very good lower priced higher value table , one of the best analog set ups i heard is based on this MS table, by Gian's friend Carlo, and the best analog set up I heard includes the Vyger.
 
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May 2, 2012
155
21
18
Munich - Germany
I do not understand at all the purely speculative theorizing in which you are engaging.

Nishikawa by all accounts is one of the greatest turntable designers in history. The Air Force Zero is his crowning turntable design, his state-of-the-art turntable legacy.

I have heard the AF1, the AF1P, and the AF3P in easily over a dozen systems and I personally think they are fantastic turntables.

You have not heard the Air Force Zero, no one here has heard the Air Force Zero, and yet you are criticizing the manufacturer’s design choices? I just don’t understand this at all.

Why don’t we all reserve judgment until we actually hear the new turntable?
Ron,
where did I not show my respect for Nishikawa san that you are asking me for that? All my conceptual ideas ground on the bases that air bearing became my hobby. May I ask you which of my "so called theories" are already implemented in the Zero or not? Please give me a clear and simple answer and not insulting me with that "speculative nonsense" of others here.
We are not talking about opinions like on the SAT arms but about facts.
As the Zero is a prototype we may see some more innovative progress in the final product.
Hope I could motivate a little all the people being involved in this project. A real airbearing design and a fully air based solution would be my desired solution for the Zero.
 
May 4, 2013
64
35
18
Well piano is done well by other tables too, and some do it better. The question is not whether techdas is good at piano, but whether you compared it to other tables on piano. I guess the answer is no..

I have nothing against vacuum tables. The Vyger has vacuum hold down as does the micro seiki BL 111, a very good lower priced higher value table , one of the best analog set ups i heard is based on this MS table, by Gian's friend Carlo, and the best analog set up I heard includes the Vyger.

The Micro seiki BL111 is a mighty fine turntable indeed extremely capable performer, it might be added that the BL111 is the non vacuum variant of the SX111FV http://www.thevintageknob.org/micro_seiki-SX-111FV.html. These are getting harder to source these days I obtained one with a Air Tangent 10b tonearm for a good friend last week.
 

TLi

Active Member
May 27, 2016
113
113
43
Ron,
where did I not show my respect for Nishikawa san that you are asking me for that? All my conceptual ideas ground on the bases that air bearing became my hobby. May I ask you which of my "so called theories" are already implemented in the Zero or not? Please give me a clear and simple answer and not insulting me with that "speculative nonsense" of others here.
We are not talking about opinions like on the SAT arms but about facts.
As the Zero is a prototype we may see some more innovative progress in the final product.
Hope I could motivate a little all the people being involved in this project. A real airbearing design and a fully air based solution would be my desired solution for the Zero.
If you look for new technology in Air Force Zero, actually there is none. One can say the air bearing motor is quite new, so as the multi layer platter with different metals. All Air Force series turntable use similar air floating platter, air bearing may not be the best description as there is no bearing as such. The slightly hollow platter base is lifted by a thin layer of air over a flat platter base. AF1, 2, 3 etc use a glass platter base. AF0 uses a flat aluminium base. The three phase motor is driven by three 120W amplifiers which supplying one phase.

The essential concept of Nishikawa design for AF0 is to perfect his original turntable design and execute it in the best possible way. He explained it in his presentation. Although I don't completely understand it, my Japanese is very limited. He mentioned AF0 uses a new type for air hose after he tested many different types. He said the AF0 hose is the best he can find in the market for turntable. He also compared direct drive mechanism with belt drive and he prefers belt drive. He also compared the use of different metals for the armboard. His favorite one is tungsten and then titanium.

It is the attention to details which the Japanese and TechDAS are at its best.
 

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