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Transrotor Zet 1
Transrotor's Zet 1 is a classic turntable that is still one of the most sought-after turntables today.
And it's no wonder! The attractive and dynamic design of this turntable is equipped with an acrylic chassis and an aluminium platter and offers excellent sound thanks to its external precision drive.
The Zet 1 is a typical mass-produced turntable made of polished and noble aluminium and acrylic. Compared to the more massive Transrotor models, the Zet 1 is more compact and affordable. But thanks to numerous upgrade options, it can be progressively expanded and refined in sound.
This sleekly designed turntable has a two-centimetre thick acrylic chassis, which ensures resistance to vibration. It is also available in white and translucent with a matte finish, and the corners and edges of the base surface are strongly rounded and curved, giving it visual finesse and elegance. The Zet 1 is equipped with a three-point stand with two front and one rear foot, all of which are height adjustable for perfect alignment.
In the centre of this stand is the tray and bearing. The chrome-plated and shiny solid aluminium platter is turned from the ground and has a concentric structure that improves the resonance behaviour. The aluminium pressure plate serves as a weight to press the record against the platter. The bearing plays a decisive role in the playback quality. The round block in which the high-quality bearing is located weighs around four kilos.
This turntable is equipped with a high-quality synchronous motor, housed in a heavy, shiny metal case, for exact synchronisation. Six small rubber feet between the chassis and the case dampen any vibrations from the motor. Precise speed is ensured by the drive pulley on the top of the motor, which allows the two speeds 33 and 45 rpm to be achieved by two different sized rollers.
Ultra-precise power supply for perfect tension
But why make life difficult by mechanically changing the belt?
With the Konstant Eins Transrotor, the speed of the Zet 1 can be changed electronically, as if the Konstant Studio power pack were compressed into a housing that fits perfectly into the Zet 1. The housing contains a precise control for the motor and runs on its own generator to drive the motor with a precise voltage. With two adjustment potentiometers, it is even possible to finely adjust the speed by plus or minus five percent to exactly 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. Switching between these two speeds and switching on the Zet 1 is a simple matter of turning the cover of the aluminium housing to the left or right, with the Zet 1 transrotor in the middle position. A small cut-out in the cover allows us to see the speed indications "0", "33" and "45" engraved on the housing. The connections are placed at the back. This is where the Din plug socket is located, with the cable leading to the motor.
A high-end tone arm from REGA
While the drive is on the left rear, the arm is on the right rear. For visual consistency, the base is cylindrical in shape and made of bright chrome-plated aluminium. At the base, a plate houses five spacers on which sits a tray on which the tone arm base rests.
This is the base on which Transrotor mounts its Rega arm as standard. A sensitive MM Uccello cell
The Transrotor MM Uccello is a moving magnet cell based on the Goldring G1000 series. Transrotor has been the German distributor for many years and continues to have goldring cells modified for its Transrotor decks. On the Uccello, the system is refined with a special Super Fine Line diamond. The complex gemstone cut is an improvement on the Shibata cut. It was invented by Norio Shibata, a Japanese employee of JVC. In the 1970s, he worked on quadraphonic LP playback. Norio Shibata wanted to achieve a larger contact area when the needle scanned the vinyl, without putting more strain on the groove. The larger contact area means that the sides of the groove are less stressed at times, and the polishing of the needle tip reduces sliding friction. In short, this size allows for a smooth sweep with less noise and more sound.
Transrotor has designed and prepared the Transrotor Zet 1 to be easily upgraded to be optimised with different options.
The first option is to replace the cell. Another option is to upgrade to a better quality power supply, which then allows a second or even third motor to be added. For the bearing, you can opt for the famous Transrotor Magnetic Drive (TMD) bearing, or you can put a second arm on the Zet 1 where the motor housing is, with the chassis already pre-drilled. The motor is then placed laterally on a stand. There is also a separate base for a 12" arm. Optimisation can be taken a step further with a subframe that is adapted to the same design as the Zet 1.
The Zet 1 comes virtually ready to use and Transrotor provides everything you need to install it. The tone arm is already mounted and the system is adjusted. All you have to do is put the motor on the frame, connect the control to the power supply and adjust the horizontal alignment and bearing force, which is easy thanks to the clear instructions provided. With a spirit level and height-adjustable feet, you can align the Zet 1 so that it is perfectly horizontal. To adjust the support force, simply turn the graduated counterweight until the nominal value is reached. The Zet 1 is already equipped with an anti-skating device set to the appropriate value, so there is no need to adjust this. You can therefore start with a perfectly adjusted Zet 1 ready to use.
The sound of the Transrotor Zet 1
The Zet 1 offers an incredibly relaxed and immersive listening experience. The first few bars of the Eagles' "Hotel California" are flawless, with no sizzle or groove noise. The absence of extraneous noise transports you to the stage, where you can enjoy the reverberation and acoustics of the recording. Instruments are beautifully spaced out, creating an intoxicatingly spatial soundstage. Low frequencies are particularly impressive, offering remarkable fullness. All in all, the Zet 1 easily meets the high expectations of a Transrotor turntable.
The Zet 1 is an iconic Transrotor model, with its acrylic and aluminium design and impeccable finish. With the new Rega tone arm and Ucello system, as well as its external motor control and power supply, the Zet 1 offers excellent fluidity and a superb spatial image. The Zet 1 is capable of relaxing and electrifying music reproduction, with impressive low frequencies. If you are looking to further enhance your listening experience, there are various upgrades available. However, the standard version of the Zet 1 is already a great choice for all audiophiles.