Walker Audio lowers price of entry for audiophile disc spinners
There are turntables and there are turntables. Living room decks by such manufacturers as Thorens, Music Hall, Project and Technics will likely be sufficient for the high quality audio needs of most mortal vinyl lovers. But for audiophiles with a fine-tuned ear and a bottomless wallet, names like the DaVinci, TechDAS, TriangleArt and Walker Audio will be more familiar. The latter's Proscenium turntables have been on the receiving end of numerous awards from industry experts and audio journalists since the release of the first version two decades ago. Now the premium audio equipment manufacturer has announced a new turntable named Procession that comes in at a fraction of the cost of the latest Proscenium – which essentially means US$45,000 instead of $110,000.
Over the years, Walker Audio's highly-prized and highly-priced Proscenium turntable has attracted industry pundit accolades and applause a-plenty. The latest iteration, the Proscenium Black Diamond V, is described by the company as the most accurate, realistic-sounding turntable ever made.
The PBD V features an air-bearing arm and platter for friction-free operation, and is claimed free from resonance thanks to air suspension. There are two air supply variants. The standard version uses an oil-based compressor that can be placed up to 100 ft (30 m) away from the turntable. The filtered air is cooled and regulated and any moisture is automatically collected in a container for periodical emptying. An oil-free air supply is also available, which stays active so there's no waiting for the system to reach optimum pressure.
The PBD V also employs a crystalline material to reduce the build up of static and cancels EMI, RFI and microwaves. It features an instrument-grade AC motor that's housed in a cast crushed marble enclosure and has high end written all over it, with an appropriate price tag to match.
Walker Audio says that it has received many requests over the years from audiophiles wanting to buy into the Proscenium experience, but at a lower cost of admission or minus the air supply. The company says that it has resisted such requests until it could deliver a turntable worthy of its reputation. Enter the Procession.
This new addition to the Walker Audio audiophile arsenal features a 4-inch aircraft-grade aluminum plinth that tips the scales at 45 lb (20 kg), a 4-inch thick, 30 lb (13.6 kg) thermoplastic platter that's balance-checked and relieved for lead-in groove and record label and a 3-inch solid brass spindle, with a ceramic ball to the bottom and zirconia ceramic bearings which are said to make for precise, trouble-free, stable performance.
The three-legged arm pod base is made from the same Delrin material used for the platter, with cone-shaped brass feet, and supports a 4-inch round stainless steel housing with a Delrin arm box to the top. From this sprouts a 12-inch tri-bearing pivoted Delrin, brass, steel and aluminum tonearm, with a smattering of gold-plating on the hand-tuned arm tube. Up to three tonearms can be installed on the Procession, and the weight's mass has been positioned below the record for what Walker Audio describes as "incredible mid-bass and clean bass sound."
The DC motor that drives the belt is factory set to album and single speeds, but users can download an app to a computer and vary the speeds up to 78 RPM if needed. A Walker Crystal Reference Clamp helps to keep the vinyl flat, while also hosting crystals top and bottom to nip RF interference in the bud.
Claimed as a world's first, the Procession also boasts remote VTA/SRA adjustment. This allows Procession users to bring the edges of a stylus in precise alignment with the walls of the grooves of a record, and so bring out the best from the vinyl on the platter, from the comfort of a favored armchair instead of being hunched over the table.
The turntable comes supplied with two belts, but does not come with a cartridge or power cords. It can be connected directly to the Procession Reference phono amp (which makes it possible to adjust the loading to best match that of the chosen cartridge) and then onto a high-end system amplifier and premium speakers.
The Precession turntable with VTA/SRA remote is priced at $45,000, or you could save yourself some cash and opt for the manual VTA/SRA adjustment version instead, which comes in at $38,000. Prices do not include shipping.
Product page: Walker Audio Procession Turntable