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There are lots of facts that could be covered in describing this equipment. I shall address the main points without being overly detailed, preferring to direct the inquisitive reader to view the Basis Audio website.

The 2800 Signature turntable system which graces my sound room is composed of many elements. This product resides just above the middle position within the range of turntables currently available from Basis Audio. Their statement product, known as the Work of Art is indeed a very special package and tips the scale at 400 lbs. A select few owners around the globe own and enjoy this ultimate expression of engineering expertise. It is sold at around the price of a nicely equipped Porsche. At the other end of the spectrum is the 1400 system offered as an entry-level piece, which certainly possesses the fundamentals of the family lineage.

1. The Turntable
Firstly, the fundamental spinner is a 2500 table specifically equipped with a vacuum record hold-down system, thus elevating it to the 2800 designation. A number of significant parts in the 2800 are the same as those utilized in the evolved bigger brother Basis Audio Debut turntable, which has enjoyed a long and admired reputation.

The review unit was delivered in clear acrylic, although a black version is also available for a surcharge. The heavy acrylic of the platter, sub-chassis and optional Calibrator base unite with a visual beauty that is very appealing to me. Everyone who has visited enthusiastically remarks about the excellent look and appearance of the combination. Designer Conti has gone out of his way to find superior quality acrylic, as well as machine shops capable of executing his stringent requirements in the components of all of his products. For example, the superb quality of the main bearing along with the exacting execution of the precise roundness of the platter goes significantly beyond industry expectations in order to extract every possible sonic improvement. This shows and is part of the intrinsic expression of build quality that reflects durability, clean lines and exquisite attention to detail.

The AC synchronous motor, which is shared with the Debut, provides accurate speed stability while the optional Synchro-Wave power supply allows for further enhancement of associated parameters. A Calibrator Base with the Cable Isolation System establishes even more refinement for optimal vibration isolation and quiet drive performance. This base allows the Resonance Annihilator assemblies, which are part of the feet, to perform with greater damping effectiveness.

Conti has recently pushed the envelope in perfecting an improved drive belt. While his previous and standard belt was already beautifully executed, the new ultra-thin Revolution reference belt takes things to a higher level. To round out the full package, I was provided the museum-quality acrylic dust cover, which encases the entire system except for the Synchro-Wave power supply chassis and vacuum controller. It fully complements the esthetics of the rig.

2. The Arm
The synergy required to make any of these turntables part of a distinctive vinyl playback rig comes with the opportunity to use the marvelously engineered Basis Vector Model 4 tone arm. This arm is a unique design, which may be best described as a dual pivot or dual plane pivot which is totally stable in all directions. The Vector 4 is beautifully machined and uses extensive resonance-controlling elements to neutralize vibrations. Part of this is achieved via silicon damping fluid in the pillar cup but significant attention has been devoted to everything else, including dressing of wires, fittings, precision machining and fundamental construction. I have never encountered an arm before which 'sounds' so quiet. What I mean is that when the record is being traced and the playback volume is low or off, there is absolutely no needle talk. This is spooky and attests to just how carefully vibration management has been addressed in this arm.

The uniqueness of the dual pivot implementation deserves a few more words. A jeweled bearing is utilized as one would expect from a pivoted approach, but a second bearing point is brought into play by the action of how the counterweight at the rear of the arm is constructed. It has a crescent-shaped cutout, which needs to be aligned carefully such that the arm actually tilts outward in order to rest on this second bearing as a stabilizing force. While this has obvious sonic benefits, for me the assured feeling which happens when moving the arm for cueing is a major plus. Remember, I have been a Naim Aro guy for a long time and adapted to dealing with its conventional unipivot tipsy nature. Utilizing this Basis arm removes any of those stability concerns and the solidity of it all is both utilitarian and confidence-building for the owner. Of particular note, I need to comment about how this arm compares in one very important way relative to my previous experiences. I've had many tonearms over the years including those from Grace, Rabco, SME and others. While always set up and tweaked carefully, I came to expect some level of mistracking from those tonearms either in the end grooves or close to that position on LP surfaces. It was typically an anxiety-generating thing to know where and when to anticipate such distortions. Now, mistracking is a thing of the past and records I had previously assumed to be worn or damaged are traced with clarity, ease and beauty. The Vector 4 is a marvelous tool and was provided with the optional VTA micrometer adjuster. My personal view on VTA follows closely that of A.J. Conti's in that I think emotional fixation and obsession over this parameter is just too much of an overstated and tedious pursuit. After experiments with different LPs, I concluded that one could find a stable fine-sounding VTA position, which required no further fussing. Of course, the Basis Audio VTA device matches beautifully to the arm itself and can be added as the owner prefers. Many other specifics could be mentioned regarding the excellence of this arm but for the sake of conciseness, I will keep things at this level.

3. Vacuum Record Hold Down
From the ancient past, I had seen and experienced the value of keeping an LP as flat as possible on the platter for improved playback. Those early tables executed this feature in a few different ways but I perceive that the Basis Audio approach is perfectly sensible. Once the provided record clamp is in place, the flip of a single toggle switch on the pump controller box engages a nicely quiet vacuum pump to draw the disc comfortably into position. Since the opportunity presented itself to locate the actual pump outside my sound room, I made those arrangements to keep things as quiet as possible. My guess is that for most listeners, the pump mechanics would not be intrusive in typical listening spaces unless those rooms were already profoundly quiet. A few seconds are required for the sucking sound at the platter to subside, thus indicating that the correct and appropriate vacuum force has been applied.

4. The remaining items under review include the newly developed Revolution micro belt, Calibrator base (which orients the Resonance Annihilator footer pods precisely) and the arm Cable Isolation system. Each of these elements reflects the same precision and critical attentiveness found in the main components of the 2800/Vector4 combo.

Clearly, A.J. Conti appreciates the value of evolutionary advancement. The collective whole of the elements noted above, as well as many others not described here, brings together a stunning, admirable and comprehensive approach to retrieving all the goodness vinyl can offer.

Sidebar I: 1. Please describe your reference playback system for our 6moons readership. Feel free to comment on listening preferences and your favorite types of music... continue