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Acoustic Signature

Manufacturer: AS-Distribution GmbH
Price (at the time of the test): 14 600 PLN (without tonearm)

Contact: AS-Distribution GmbH
Salacher Str. 88 D-73054 Eislingen


Product delivered for test by: AUDIO SYSTEM

he two models I already reviewed – the Challenger Mk3 for „Audio”, and Storm for “High Fidelity” proved to be a proper showcase of Acoustic Signature's achievements. Especially their shape was quite memorable – it was obvious that manufacturer tried to minimize the size of chassis and to integrate it, visually, with platter. Platter itself was heavy, tall, and in the more expensive models it also sported additional, brass inserts („Silencer”), that increased its inertia and lowered resonances The model under review is available with three different versions of platter – made of soft aluminum block, with 8 inserts and with 24 inserts. For this test distributor delivered basic version with 50mm tall platter that weights 11 kg without any inserts.

Another element that Mr Gunther Frohnhöfer considers very important, is power supply. And so this turntable sports an electronic PS with Electronic Beta DIG circuit based on a quartz oscillator that generates 50 Hz sinusoidal current for external synchronous motor. The bearing made of Tidorfolon is another key element of this deck. Tidorfolon is an alloy of vanadium, Teflon and titanium is relatively soft, but at the same time particularly resistant to abrasion. It creates a bed for a very hard tungsten ball, that is integrated with a steel axis.

The mane, Triple X, did not originate from adult movies, nor from Rob Cohen's XXX movie from 2002. The name came from the design of the chassis of this deck. It looks different than other models from this manufacturer, as it gives Triple X a more classic look – a rectangular shape and either wood veneer, or lacquer finish. One can choose one of many available finishes. There are four colors of upper surface to choose from, and three colors of chassis.

„Triple X” came in fact from three layers of three different materials that were used in chassis – MDF, aluminum and steel. Together these three layer constitute a 70mm thick chassis. This deck is not particularly big and it reminded me of Pro-Ject's Classic and Signature models, and larger Dr Feickert Analogue decks. The German turntable is much heavier than any Pro-Ject – it weight between 46 and 55 kg, depending on the version and it should be handled by two people. It can host tonearms of 9, 10 and 12 inches, which is possible due to a removable aluminum tonearm base somewhat similar to the ones used by Dr Feickert. The deck received for test was using a tonearm base for Rega RB303. Triple X, same as all turntables made by this manufacturer, was made in Germany. It premiered in 2013 during High End in Munich.


Not long ago Acoustic Signature belonged to group of deck manufacturers who didn't offer own tonearms. They didn't even modify arm from other brands for their own purposes. They simply focused on delivering best possible decks. But finally they presented their first tonearm, model TA-1000, available in three lengths: 9” (4200 PLN), 10” (4600 PLN) and 12” (5000 PLN). They also announced a top high end arm, TA-9000, that, according to the information presented by Adam Smith in his review of TA-1000, would cost around 14 000 GBP (Adam Smith, Acoustic Signature TA-1000, „Hi-Fi News & Record Review”, April 2014, Vol 60 No. 04. s. 52-53).

Since the version we received for this review was the very basic one, it was equipped with an OEM version of Rega RB-303, with anti-skating taken from RB-202, a successor of Rega's the biggest sales hit - RB-300. It is a unique design. It's a one piece (tube + headshell + bearing housing) high-pressure die-cast. It's predecessor, RB300, premiered in 1983 after a long development process that allowed Rega to master a process of pressure casting of tubes with variable diameter and different wall thickness. Until today 400 000 pieces of RB300 were sold..

RB-303 is crafted in even more precise way, and it uses a three-point mounting. It was designed using 3D CAD & CAM, which allowed to design a tonearm tube of similar dimensions as the one of RB-300, that at the same time is more rigid despite even thinner walls. Despite three-point mounting there is still no VTA adjustment. To mount this arm on Triple X one has to use an additional element between arm and deck that also allows VTA adjustment.

Tracking force adjustment is also performed in a different way that usually. Usually there is one balancing weight placed on the back of the arm and one adjusts tracking force by moving it along this back part of arm tube. In this case this weight is used only to achieve a “floating” status of arm and after that one uses a dial (placed at the side of the arm) to set a tracking force. The tonearm wiring continues unbroken into its own RCA, quite stiff, cable. RCA plugs are gold-plated. There is no separate grounding wire – Rega never used these.


Customer receives deck without tonearm, so one need to mount arm by himself, or ask one's dealer for help – that's another reason for having a “friendly” dealer, or shop. Apart from arm mounting deck is almost ready to use right out of the box. First one has to take motor out and place on the rack/platform, that one takes the whole deck and places it next to the motor in such a way, that the motor fits into to a cut-out in the plinth without touching it. Than one need to connect motor with deck, plug power supply to the electric outlet and that it, turntable is ready to play. Changing speed is carried electronically and executed by push of a button.

As one can read in the manual one can level (if needed) the chassis by using screws inside large feet. Well, it is surely possible but it takes a lot of effort. Chassis is very heavy and to adjust screws one needs to get to them from below, and to do that one has to lift chassis significantly. Along the deck one receives a practical and nice looking 2 Way Buble Level.

Usually an upgrade of a turntable (in my case anyway) starts with replacing standard power supply with more advanced one. In this particular case it is not necessary, as the BetaDIG offers very decent performance.

Another possible upgrade is a better tonearm – in this case one would be tempted to try out the TA-1000, if possible the 12” version. To switch shorter arm with a longer one, one has do unscrew one aluminum element and the mount it again turned by 180º. I was tempted to that too, so after a few day I used this way to mount my 12” Reed 3Q.

Manufacturer offers two record clamps – one can purchase separately any of them - a 280 g LOAD and Grip mk3. I used the Pathe Wings clamp.

And finally one could switch a matte. The leather one delivered with turntable is quite nice. But I would suggest trying out also a cork-rubber one made by Pathe Wings, and if you can afford it the Harmonix TU-800X Improved Version. In this particular case I liked the soft Pathe Wings most.

Acoustic Signature
Designer, Owner

Triple X was created as more and more people asked us for a classic looking turntable with rectangular shape and not round. But being a real mass turntable and able to handle 12 inch arms. All that for a reasonable price.
Triple X is constructed as a sandwich. This sandwich contains Aluminum, steel and 2 layers of wood. All of them bonded together with a flexible glue. So this Sandwich has a very high mass and also a perfect damping behavior.

All that combined with a thick armboard that gives the tonearm a very rigid and stable basis.
The motor looks like it´s part of the table but it is not. The motor has no contact to the chassis. The latest of our digital motor electronics is built in. If you touch the motor you don t feel if its running or not. That's a unique point as our competitors are not able to deliver such a smooth running motor.

• TEST: Acoustic Signature STORM – turntable, see HERE

Records used during test (a selection)

  • Cybernetic Serendipity Music, ICA Nash House/The Vinyl Factory VF129, “Limited edition of 500 copies”, 180 g LP (1968/2014).
  • Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms, Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL-2-441, “Special Limited Edition No 3000”, 2 x 180 g, 45 RPM LP (1985/2014).
  • Jerzy Milan Trio, Bazaar, Polskie Nagrania MUZA/GAD Records GAD LP 003, “Polish Jazz vol. 17”, 180 g, „red wax” LP (1969/2014);
  • KAT & Roman Kostrzewski, ‘Buk – akustycznie’, Mystic Production MYSTLP 019, 2 x 180 g LP (2014).
  • Miles Davis, Nefretti, Columbia/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL-2-436, “Special Limited Edition No 2140”, 2 x 180 g, 45 RPM LP (1968/2014).
  • Niemen Enigmatic, Niemen Enigmatic, Polskie Nagrania MUZA XL 0710-711, 2 x LP (1971).
  • NOVI, NOVI Sing Chopin, Polskie Nagrania MUZA SXL 0755, LP (1971).
  • Skaldowie, Krywań Sessions 1971-1973. The Complete German Radio Recordings, Kameleon Records KAMLP 8, 180 g, “purple wax” LP (2014).
  • Skalpel, Transit, PlugAudio PL02, 2 x 180 g LP (2014).
Japanese issues available at

This test did not start as expected. I still remembered very well a very good performance of Challenger and Storm, and remarkable sound (considering the price of this model) of Wow. I simply loved the sound of the latter, and I can recommend it to anybody, not matter what cartridge you use, or what kind of music you listen to. Wow looks great, it's a very solid, good design, easy to set up and to use. More expensive models of this brand require some more effort before, especially to pick the right cartridge, one achieves satisfying results (I'm not saying it is a particularly difficult job, but only that it takes some effort).

So initial failure this time was only my own fault. I conduct every turntable test in the same way, as this way it is easier for me to compare different models. I usually start using Denon DL-103 cart, Harmonix TU-800X Improved Version matte, and connecting deck to RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC phonostage. In this particular case that resulted in a lifeless sound with very limited dynamics. In general it sounded OK, but nothing more than just OK.

My biggest mistake was using Denon's cartridge. It works very well in 99% of cases, despite that fact that this cart is particularly heavy, it has low compliance, and requires rather high tracking force to be used. This „living fossil” simply does what it does in a remarkable way. I forgot that it didn't work well with Challenger Mk3 and RB303. So after a while I switched it with ZYX AIR 1000, and later for Miyajima Laboratory Madake. I also switched matte for a rubber-cork one and than it all started to work out, as a system, pretty well. Only than I could hear why there were so many fans of mass-loaders – huge scale of the sound, stability, and exceptionally accurate music reproduction. I squeezed an absolutely top performance of this deck after I switched Rega with a 12'' Reed 3Q arm.

An element that builds the whole presentation delivered by Triple X is a grand scale of the sound. This element alone might attract attention of some potential buyers even if they plan to purchase more expensive analogue front-end. The space between speakers, in both dimensions, if densely packed with information. And I mean all sorts of information regarding instruments, acoustics, and finally also noise (tape noise or mic's). The latter is an intrinsic element of recordings and it influences our perception of this recording. So it is very important that these elements are combined properly with music itself, that they “happen” in the universe, that is created between speakers.

I listened to many, many different records and I found none that sounded bland, dull, that didn't have its own sound character. If the recording was just mediocre, or the release was – I was made aware of the fact very quickly. But even in such case the system with Triple X turntable “respected” that, and did try to discourage me from listening to such poor record. Even with music from Cybernetic Serendipity Music, that was particularly difficult to interpret for any audio system (and for listener), Acoustic Signature dealt surprisingly well, offering sufficiently dense, rich, palpable sound, for a listener to forget about the form and to focus on music itself.

Perhaps, it was possible because it was a particularly accurate system – in terms of dynamics, details and tonality. This deck was amazingly resolving, and I mean more resolving that many, even more expensive decks. Even the Challenger Mk3 seemed, in comparison, less resolving. I couldn't compare these two turntables head-to-head, but, if memory served well, Triple X seemed to better differentiate presentation. I listened to all releases of the Niemen Enigmatic Red album, easily finding all the differences between them. What's more – I had no trouble at all to assess these differences. I am going to tell you more about this comparison in a separate article (I am working on it), but I can tell you already that I found the first „clap” cover issue the best, which is interesting as this is a… mono version. It was quite surprising for me, as I always thought material on this album was perfect for stereo presentation.

XXX is a non-suspended mass-loader. This type of design translates into certain sound characteristics which is sort of manifestation of its designer's believes/philosophy. Above I described the key attributes of such sound. That is, if such design is done properly which is not that difficult – when it comes to non-suspended mass-loaders any design flaw is particularly irritating, even if these are non-significant ones. That's why suspended turntables like Thorens, Linn and others have so many fans. Usually they offer acceptable sound with no irritating element even if the design is flawed. Flaws are simply “hidden”, unfortunately together with some part of information regarding the sound. To be clear – I'm not saying that such approach is wrong – I do understand it and accept it. But I also realize to pros and cons and am able to assess sound regardless.

Non-suspended design translates into the sound with slightly emphasized attack phase and upper bass. Triple X was no different here and thus I decided to switch both tonearm and cartridge. Once a proper setup was found sound became accurate, precise and more information was delivered. That lead to “more music in music” type of presentation. This German design didn't focus on perfecting the design just to make it better. It was perfected to offer better performance with rich, dense, deep, colorful, emotional sound.

And yet, this performance had some elements characteristic for this deck. The attack phase was particularly energetic. Interestingly enough, this energy wasn't delivered in treble, as this part of the range was rather mellow and perfectly blended with the rest of the range. Even on the new, 45 r.p.m. MoFi release of Brothers In Arms sound was amazingly coherent. And, as some of you surely realize, this recording has a very specific history, which directly translates into its sound (see HERE). Without getting into details, I can only repeat after Michael Fremer, that this album is sort of „time capsule”, that delivers a lot of information, positive and negative, about the trends in 1985, about musicians' and producers' approach to the sound at the time. It is quite bright sound lacking some richness throughout the whole range. Triple X, despite the fact that its design would suggest similar accents in ITS sound, didn't emphasize flaws of this recording. It delivered an accurate performance although adding a slightly softer touch to it.

This “reluctance” to shape the presentation using sharp “edges” created and interesting correlation between music and distortions that were inherent part of mechanical character of its reproduction, like cracks & pops. Scale of amazingly rich sound was huge. Pops&crack were never overly exposed but neither were they “hidden”. They were a part of the presentation. Having said that I would still say that they are “smaller” elements of the presentation than “musical” ones. From my perspective they seemed to exist as small, separate (from the music) element, that I could “turn off” in my head, that I could pay not attention to. So music always came first and then I heard some (if any) pops&cracks.


I had a great time with this Acoustic Signature turntable. In its way of music presentation it reminded me deck from another German specialist - Dr Feickert Analogue. They offered similar general sound character, although they obviously differed in details. AS offered “softer” presentation with a slight emphasis on midbass which allows it to create even bigger sound scale. But both offer similar accuracy of sound reproduction. Triple X didn't sound warm, nor soft, as suspended designs usually did – it was a mass-loader after all. The lowest bass wasn't as perfectly defined as by top mass-loader performers , neither from Acoustic Signature, nor from other brands. If that is acceptable than go ahead and buy this one. This way you'll become an owner of an “X-Ray machine” that will show you precisely a quality of both: recording and pressing, but at the same time will act as a jukebox, that will always play your favorite music in a way, that will let you enjoy it, no matter how good the particular pressing/recording actually is. Two-in-one – a rare combination in audio world.

Triple X is not the first Acoustic Signature turntable of a classic form (with rectangular chassis). One can find others in AS portfolio like: Wow/Wow XL, Barzetti and Manfred (now in mk2 version). But it is surely the most expensive one, and the only one that can use a 12” tonearm.

The key element of this design is a sandwich chassis, that is built of three different materials. It sports a MDF frame that is supported with slates of aluminum and steel. There chassis sports an elongated cut-out that hosts an armboard. There are many different armboards available upon order for different tonearms. A size of armboard allows to use it for arms of different lengths – 9”, 10”, and even 12”. For this test we used Rega RB303 (9”) and Reed 3Q (12”).

In front of tonearm, close to front edge of chassis, there are two push buttons, similar to ones used also for other Acoustic Signature models: „start/stop” and „33/45”. First of them starts/stops motor, the second one allows user to change rotation speed. It's a part of an electronic controller called Electronic Beta DIG. It controls a 50Hz, synchronous motor, that is placed inside a heavy, aluminum cast. It is placed inside a cut-out in the plinth in such a way, that there is no contact between them. There is an aluminum drive wheel on motor's axis. It uses a rubber belt of a square shape to drive platter directly.

A platter is 50 mm thick and its heaviest version weights 11 kg. It is made of a solid piece of soft Aluminum to improve his resonance behavior. The platter is additionally coated on the back side with a high damping material. There are two other version available, both sporting so called „Silencers”, which are brass cylinder-shaped inserts that increase platter's inertia, and reduce resonances. One can choose between two versions – with 8 or with 24 Silencers. These influence sound significantly, which is clearly audible, but Manufacturer also presents results of his measurements, that clearly confirm the role of these elements. Silencers minimize resonances at 15 kHz by impressive 80 dB (see more HERE). Due to damping material even the platter without Silencers behaves well.

The platter bearing axle is manufactured from special hardened and precisely grinded steel. The bearing housing uses perfectly matched sinter bronze inserts which are self-lubricating. This bearing design is developed to ensure a smooth run and tight fit of the axle. It is achieved by using Sinter bushes and Tidorfolon bearing ground. Ultra-tight tolerances and Tidorfolon bearing allow manufacturer to guaranty a lifetime maintenance free usage. The bearing is covered with a 10 year product warranty.

It's a very good looking, solid design and its fit & finish is simply perfect – but that is to be expected from any of Mr Gunther Frohnhöfer's products. Triple X gives its user many possibilities for its performance upgrades without having it sold and buying more expensive model. Setup is relatively easy and it is surely a user-friendly turntable.

Z bezpieczną szybkością
Polskie Radio/GAD Records GAD LP 004 (1978/2014)

Medium: Long Play
Premiered: Jan 12th 2015

It is not the first time when Mr Michał Wilczyński, a manager of GAD Records label, proposes a material that seemed lost for good, that many music fans didn't even know existed. This particular music material isn't even mentioned in most book, nor even on Wikipedia [see HERE, accessed: March 19th 2015]. In 1978 Polish Radio released on audio cassette a material of Arp-Life band (Wifon MK-519). Members were: Ryszard Szumlicz, Mateusz Święcicki and Andrzej Korzyński. It was a second album of this band. Music on this album was created on synthesizers between 1975-1978. Their first album called Jumbo Jet was released in 1977.

Z bezpieczną szybkością was intended as “music for the road”, primarily for professional drivers, I guess. It includes rhythmic, light, “easy-listen” music played by keyboards and rhythmical section. GAD Records offered the first ever edition on vinyl and CD. The latter includes also their first album Jumbo jet. For the review we received a limited edition (500 PCs), that initially was even more “limited”, with its 100 PCs, on a gray vinyl.

First, shortly about music itself. Partially because for me it was a sentimental trip down the memory lane, and partially because of the respect I had for these talented musicians, I truly enjoyed listening to this album. It is quite a particular album as it was created for a particular function in mind – to accompany drivers. But among other similar proposals this one clearly stands out, due to exuberant, lively performance, great sound, and very nice choirs sang by Alibabki.

Quality of the recording is surely not very good. Sound lacks dynamics, bass could be richer. But obviously the process of remastering was done in a meticulous way, as sound is quite clear, smooth, and simply good. It's a great reminder (souvenir if you will) of the 1970ties. If this means more for you than just another period of the past, this LP and/or CD is a must-have.

Sound quality: 5-6/10
Remaster: 8/10



- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One