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The power supply gets its own aluminium housing whose long umbilical allows placement at quite a distance. The common speeds of 33, 45 and 78RMP are set with three switches and are quartz-driven for long-term stability. I verified this with a common strobe platter of the kind Clearaudio or Pro-Ject offer. During my time with the table, I had no cause for any corrections. Whilst AMG’s stout 12-inch arm would champion minimal tracking error by design, its unusual detail resolution wasn’t of the self-conscious showy sort. Even though the vertical needle bearing might be considered somewhat conventional, the horizontal bearing so eludes the conventional that one has it registered for a patent with Germany’s Munich office. As company tradition has it, founder Werner Röschlau’s previous career as Lufthansa pilot and passionate helicopter flyer found inspiration for his bearing in adjustable jet rotors. It’s a lovely example of technology transfers. But there’s more.

Whilst the contact point of the two ultra-thin steel pins of the horizontal bearing are height-adjustable, the arm itself sports a sensible azimuth adjustment that’s clever and not a run-of-the-mill feature. Anti-skating is handled by opposing magnets. Those can be shifted against each other. All these adjustments are set with from small to tiny hex screws. Obviously AMG include the necessary keys and at professional tool quality. As a homo analogicus who swaps carts and arms routinely, I would have liked scale markings to better reproduce arm height and anti-skating. Ditto on-the-fly VTA adjustment. In principle the latter can be handled after loosening the arm wand and turning a set screw. This simply lacks the charm which otherwise surrounds the construction details of this foot-long affair. The bubble level built into its bearing housing to adjust the arm is merely a good-looking booby prize. It does easily fix perfect arm level but only guesses at any repeatability with diverging arm heights due to insufficiently fine scaling.

That this arm wasn’t designed for iron benders fitted with two left hands became clear quickly with its pure copper wiring. It seemed so fragile that I dripped sweat from my forehead trying to connect the narrow cable boots to the matching pins of a Steinmusic Aventurin 6 cartridge. Fortunately the thin wires proved more resilient than I feared. During the review period I mostly relied on the included phono cable. It came with quality connectors and was exceptionally pliable. Switching phono cables will be a bit of a fuss since one must pull through the shaft to get at the 5-pin DIN connector. I thus recommend sticking with the stock option of solid cabling all the way to the phono stage. This not only spares your nerves, it eliminates redundant contact resistance junctions in the signal path. There is the optional terminal at the rear opening of the plinth which will be less critical during cable swaps but one still adds unnecessary contact losses.

Downright child’s play was leveling the 23kg table. Via a hex key and a bubble level built into the plinth, squaring the deck out was ultra quick. Two of its three spike footers were adjustable from above through small openings. This made it quite easy to experiment with different shelves or platforms and suss out how the AMG Viella might react to what it’s put on. An owner really cannot bypass such personal trials to squeeze out the final few drops of performance. Mounted to a 3cm thick shale platform made the sound cooler and more technical. Parked atop the top rock maple shelf of my rack, the performance grew a bit portly but also more colourful. My trials ended with the same Acapella base which had already worked best with my personal Horstmann & Petter Ulysses table. AMG champion a platform from US maker HRS. This luxury option customized for the Viella isn’t that affordable but expected to be shortly added to the German’s catalogue.

So, how did the Viella sound? Er – it didn’t. This strict refusal to ‘sound’ had my profound respect. Needless to say, I went through all my usual ‘test records’. What’s more rare, I also ended up spinning a lot of vinyl which normally doesn’t make it out of its holding crates. I had many sonic impressions of course but those were more due the actual licorice slivers. Naturally that’s the goal of all turntables. Don’t add anything, omit nothing. Getting as close to this ideal as AMG have managed with the Viella simply seemed beyond most in this class. And quite logically team AMG seemed to have imbued their arm with the same chops. I never heard it diverge from the deck’s non sound but rather, emphasize it. Non sound? End of my aural commentary already?