Turntable Reviews

Clearaudio Concept Turntable


Design and Setup

The Clearaudio Concept takes a modern approach with its aesthetic design, which I am quite fond of. It is the kind of component that you want to show off and not hide inside an AV cabinet. An aluminum finish surrounds the chassis, with three adjustable spiked feet on the base to provide a level-playing surface. The 30mm thick Delrin platter is a sturdy support for your media, and the Verify tonearm features a friction-free magnetic bearing. The motor is decoupled from the chassis to provide speed stability and minimize any added vibration, and a 3 position switch lets you easily select between 33, 45, and 78 RPM playback without messing around with belts, or an external speed control box.

Clearaudio has designed the Concept to be as plug-and-play as a turntable can be. The fussy nature of setting up a turntable for optimal playback is something that can turn people off from getting into vinyl. To make this easier, Clearaudio can ship it with either the Concept MM or MC cartridges pre-mounted for you. Once you remove it from the box, all you should need to do to begin playing is to put the platter back on the chassis, plug it into a phono preamp or phono input, and play. I would make sure to check the tracking force of the cartridge myself, as that is something that could easily be a slight bit off, but otherwise it is a very quick and simple setup process.

As my turntable came with the Concept MM cartridge pre-installed, I went for the easiest setup I could: Using the phono input of the Anthem Integrated 225 amplifier, which was powering a set of Paradigm Signature S2 speakers. For someone just getting into vinyl, or just getting back into vinyl after giving it up for the CD, this is a pretty simple and compact setup. I quickly leveled the table using the spiked feet and a bubble level and was ready to start listening.