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A digression. Over the past decade countless visitors have seen and heard the Walker in my home. Inevitably two reactions dominate. First is a stunned, almost jaw-dropping appreciation of the sound followed by questions – lots of questions: What is like to own the Walker? The setup? Long-term reliability? Maintenance? Constant adjustments? Due to perceived complexity most people assume this to be a delicate tweaky device. The reality could not be farther from this perception. On one side yes, the Proscenium appears complex and intimidating and is not a plug’n play table. It requires knowledgeable setup and initial tuning.

But once set, it is spectacularly stable and virtually indestructible. Short of dropping the table on the floor or taking a sledge hammer to it, I don’t know how you would hurt it. Virtually every part is lead, stone and resin or brass. The bearings are air and therefore should last indefinitely. The only ‘moving’ parts are the AC drive motor for the table and the compressor. While it is a complex device I can’t image how one would mess up or damage this table. The only damage during the past decade was due to user stupidity – mine. I dropped the heavy brass record clamp on the ground and broke the internal collar. Thirty seconds later the new one was installed.

As to adjustments, the Proscenium allows for perfect dialing in as Lloyd often says. VTF, VTA, speed, azimuth, leveling all are easily adjusted. You might say that many tables have this adjustability but it’s not just the flexibility - it’s stability. For those in the ‘set and forget it’ groove, I’ve gone months without adjusting anything and found the level and speed to be spot-on. If you tend to OCD, have a ball. You can easily check the level, adjust the speed and tweak the VTF/ VTA all in a few minutes. The point is that when you are paying for this level of component, you expect and demand both adjustability and reliability. With the Walker you have both in spades.

People initially assume that if it is complex with hoses and gauges, it must be tweaky in a bad way. As a long-term owner I can assure you that this is not to the case. With other tables I’ve dealt with speed problems, mechanical and acoustic feedback, tone arm mount problems and dozens of other issues. Prior to the Walker I owned the top-line VPI TNT with air suspension. Don’t get me wrong, this was an excellent table. However, each leg was a manually inflated air bladder suspension system. The air was supplied using a bicycle pump via a traditional valve stem on the top of each leg. The problem was that each leg lost pressure at a different rate so I had to prep 30 minutes before each listening session adding and subtracting air in each leg to level the table. Also, when you are talking about a bladder with an internal volume of only 15in3, it was impossible to measure psi. Just the act of attaching a gauge materially altered the pressure. Therefore it had no precision or repeatability. Now that was tweaky.

Yes there is some maintenance with the Walker. Emptying a condensate bottle near the compressor about once a month and adding oil to the compressor a few times a year will keep it operating smoothly. That’s it. Simple and easy.

Clearly air plays a major role in every element of the Proscenium III design. Air is the bearing, suspension and decoupler. With such an integral design element it comes as no surprise that changing one of these critical elements would affect the sound. The surprise is the extent of the improvement. Walker’s upgrade has taken every positive characteristic of the table and improved it significantly. Walker has somehow extracted more information and detail from the records while never straying into an analytical hifi sound. The soundstage is larger and more seamless with an even deeper more defined low end. Walker has taken this state-of-the art table to a new level. There is only one word to describe the new Proscenium III – stunning!

Quality of packing: N/A - upgrade delivered and installed by the manufacturer
Condition of component received: Flawless.
Completeness of delivery: 100% complete.
Quality of owner's manual: Adequate but not relevant to this upgrade.
Website comments: New and greatly improved.  Walker’s website has been transformed from one of the worst in the industry to one of the best. Product info, news, setup and tuning hints are all available in an elegant site.
Warranty: 2 years parts and labor
Global distribution: Products available globally via multiple distributors. Contact Walker directly for US purchases.
Human interactions: Lloyd Walker is one of the most accessible people in the high-end industry. He answers questions honestly and directly.
Other: For owners of an existing Proscenium this is a must have upgrade.
Pricing: At the very top,nothing comes cheaply.
Application conditions: Upgrade typically comes as replacement parts with installation instructions.
Final comments & suggestions: None.

Walker Audio website