Massimo by Audiozen - Direct drive turntable with separate power supply unit

Massimo by Audiozen – Direct drive turntable

Massimo is the turntable conceived by Audiozen as an act of love towards vinyl record. Spin your point of view

Massimo by Audiozen team (from left to right): Ciccio Cusimano (CAD specialist) - Nino Pistone (founder & business owner at Audiozen) - Salvatore Longo (woodworker professional)
Massimo by Audiozen - Direct drive turntable with separate power supply unit

the approach

Massimo is Audiozen turntable conceited from a different point of view: dedicating our act of love to vinyl record.

The realization of a turntable oriented to the best sonic result without compromises, was the cornerstone of the whole Team, guided by Antonino Pistone, founder and business owner at Audiozen since the origin of this project.

The plinth was designed thanks to the collaboration of Francesco Cusimano (professional photographer and 3D CAD specialist). Salvatore Longo (musician, artisan designer and crafter of luxury furnishings with his genuine Italian brand Ornythos) chose the Wengé for its natural capabilities, creating a plinth in solid wood hollowed out from solid: its proper warmth and precious veins enrich the handmade article streamlining the appearance.

The plinth is shaped as the logo Massimo, as if the turntable is holding the record in an endless embrace, an act of love.

Great attention for the choice of the motor, a modern direct traction one, perhaps a counter-current choice awarded with excellent timing and dynamics qualities.

An uncommon material has been chosen also for the platter of a direct drive turntable, normally supplied with metallic platter: Delrin, an advanced material with extraordinary qualities of stiffness and strength.

Another buttonhole of the turntable is the separate control unit, with its two oversized current transformers, one for quartzed PLL speed control circuit, and one for motor supplying. The turntable is controlled by the keys flush mounted on to the unit.

Last but not least, after several test performed during designing Massimo, the arm chosen is an Origin Live, Anglo-Saxon thoroughbred that needs no introduction: the model Alliance, the first on their list, gives charm to the turntable, not only for its own excellent construction features noticeable upon listening but also for its innate aesthetic sobriety.

Discover all the details of a turntable born from love for the vinyl, designed to last and to offer hours of the best possible music reproduction performance: if you reached this point, anyway, even for mere curiosity, you are already beginning to spin your point of view.

Massimo by Audiozen - Rear view and power supply connector
Massimo by Audiozen - Embedded spirit level

the plynth

The plinth, the frame, the most characterizing item of a turntable.
The choice of the best compromise to avoid undesired vibrations and ensure the best timbre is crucial: after testing many different materials, each one with its own density and resonance, Wengé wood was the answer.

Wengé wood (Millettia Laurentii) is a very valuable wood, stiff and solid, a strong essence with its own personality, though and dark brown colored: it’s specific weight can be easily over 900 KG/M. Native to tropical Africa, where is used in drums manufacturing, it is also used in lutherie to produce stringed instruments thanks to its tonal characteristics. Due to its stiffness and solidness, Wengé wood is difficult and though to work, resulting in very expensive working processes compare to other materials. Wengé wood has a great durability, it is unassailable by both vegetal and animal parasites.

The plinth is a block of Wengé wood with a thickness of approx. 70 mm: the raw board is treated with refined cabinet-making techniques, once obtained the plinth it is worked by numerical control machinery, to shape it and to install the direct traction motor. The artisan, then,manually begin sanding and polishing with natural oils, and the patience of the craftsman is rewarded by an excellent result, where the extraordinary veins of Wengé wood stand out adding value to a project also born from the care for environment.

The balance of the plinth is achieved by optimizing the weight distribution, which rests on three aluminum feet of 60 gr each, formed by two parts decoupled from a steel sphere. The choice of three feet instead of four because only one plane passes through three non-aligned points, thus avoiding any unwanted oscillations and getting easy leveling.

The plinth has a built-in precision spirit level convenient for leveling the turntable by regulating its feet height (+-10mm).

A one centimeter thick glossy black plexiglass cover is fixed in the lower part of the plinth with nine stainless steel allen wrenches, which creates an overhang at the front in which the Massimo logo is engraved.

At the rear is the oversized power socket for connection to the power supply unit, from here it is possible to manage the turning on of the turntable and the choice of the speed (33/45) rpm.

Massimo by Audiozen - Direct drive turntable with separate power supply unit
Massimo by Audiozen - Power supply professional connector

the motor

Nowadays there are really a few direct traction motored turntable with audiophile qualities: since ever, belt traction is the “must have” for products aiming to high quality reproduction. Most manufactures comply with this scenario, offering excellent belt motored products, but for minor exception for DJ.

Massimo is a different vision, is the approach to a turntable with excellent sonic qualities equipped with a modern direct traction motor. Motor itself is the core of the project, surrounded by best quality materials: the aim is to reach the best listening experience and avoid unwanted vibrations.

The motor adopted has excellent electric characteristics, and it’s improved by Audiozen laboratories to get the best possible electric and mechanic stability. Motor speed is electronically controlled through a sophisticated Quartz PLL circuit, driven by a massive separate power supply unit.

Great care has been taken for the mechanical couplings: the metal pin is coupled to a platter made in Delrin, an innovative plastic material, providing excellent insulation in the whole turntable/motor and platter system.

The motor is settled in the plinth made of Wenge wood with four stainless steel allen wrenches decoupled with teflon washers. The superb mechanical robustness of the Massimo turntable is granted by the thickness of the plinth which is above 20 mm where the motor is settled.

separate psu

Audiozen is well known for power supply units designed with high care, preferably separated for a better building layout to avoiding unwanted interferences. Massimo turntable is also involved in this vision: extreme care lies in any particular of the project.

This is not just a simple power unit, it is a control unit made of shiny black plexiglas: inside it there are two oversized toroidal transformers (50 VA x 2). One is dedicated to supply the motor speed control unit, based on a precise quartz PLL circuit for maximum precision platter rotation; the other one supplies the motor, after being stabilized by an electronic circuit with very low ripple.

On the top of control unit there are the power switch (equipped with an elegant knob machined from solid aluminum) and the stainless steel keys for choosing the rotation speed (33/45) and for the play/stop switch.

The separate control unit is connected to the Massimo turntable with an oversized cable terminated with a professional multipolar connector; on the back of the turntable there is the complementary connector with forced coupling and screw tightening.

The control unit is no longer a technical part to be hidden somewhere, instead it is a completion of the Massimo turntable: the elegance of the dark and glossy tone, the dimensions that give importance to the unit without being bulky, the ease of execution of the switches placed on the top, the obvious and undisputed electrical benefits in electronic management: all that is translated into an excellent realization whose keys ask for nothing more than to be pressed by your fingertips.

Massimo by Audiozen - White perspex mat
Massimo by Audiozen - Direct drive turntable with separate power supply unit

the platter

Innovation can be traced back to the approach, to a different vision of a very important component of a direct drive turntable: the platter.

Projecting a direct drive turntable with audiophile features led to the search of new materials for the platter, materials not taken in consideration up to now (as usual direct drive turntables are supplied with metal platter).

As for the designing of the plinth, many tests have been conducted to choose the material with best results: Delrin.

Delrin (POM) polyoxylmethylene, invented and produced by DuPont in the early 60’s of the past century, cover the gap between metals and ordinary plastic materials by combining stiffness and resistance to traction; it is a crystalline polymer, an advanced material, extraordinary and versatile, with excellent properties of abrasion resistance.

Delrin main features are as follows :

  • Extremely stable material that allows to obtain close dimensional tolerances 
  • High mechanical resistance
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Rigid technopolymer,therefore stable at high and low temperatures (from -40C to + 100C)

It is a synthethyc material,born by human ingenuity to obtain excellent performances and low emissions.

Sonic benefit is a more precise sonic scene with improved airiness and without loss in dynamic response. High frequencies are superbly defined reproducing each detail. Extreme low frequencies are controlled giving high energy to the transients, for a first in class overall result.

The black finish Delrin platter of Massimo turntable is 18 mm thick and its weight is 1,8 Kg, it is manufactured with CNC machines that ensures micrometric precision in three dimensions, including the conical coupling hole with the direct drive motor pin.

A white perspex mat with a 3 mm thickness is supplied with the turntable, provided with a flare corresponding to the most protruding part of the record where the label is applied, for a perfect record/platter coupling. The perspex mat contributes to the excellent sonic qualities of the turntable and makes it easier to calibrate the VTA.

The Delrin platter in a direct traction turntable: an innovation ensuring best performance in listening overtime.

Massimo by Audiozen equipped with Origin Live tonearm
Massimo by Audiozen - Direct drive turntable with separate power supply unit

the tonearm

The whole project Massimo is made with high quality and prestige parts from external suppliers, either for the direct traction motor and for the arm.

After testing several tonearms from different brands, the final choice went to the award-winning English company Origin Live: beyond the excellent performances, the communion of intent to reproduce the musical event in the best possible way, was one of the mot convincing reasons.

The tonearms from Origin Live are handcrafted following high production standards, using high level materials: from aircraft alloy to low frictions bearings, from internal Litz cables to easy adjustment of the VTA with cork washer.

The turntable Massimo is available in two versions: without tonearm or with the Alliance tonearm from Origin Live; all the other models of the English manufacturer can be mounted on request.

It is also possible to request the turntable with the specific housing for other tonearms, just request it by contacting Massimo Team.

Massimo by Audiozen

Direct drive turntable
  • Price is for turntable without arm
  • Plynth: Wengé solid wood
  • Plynth thickness. 70 mm
  • Motor: DC brushless
  • Motor management: quartz PLL circuit
  • Platter: Delrin
  • Platter thickness and weight: 18 mm - 1,8 Kg.
  • Speeds: 33 - 45 rpm
  • Separate power supply unit with multipolar connector
  • Dimensions: 500x120x550mm (WxHxD)

To Tony Audibert (1936 - 2018)