This is my original PT that was sent back to PT for upgrading to TOO specs

PINK TRIANGLE PT TOO: review from Hi Fi Choice 79 February 1990

Ten years ago, Pink Triangle made a serious attempt to alter the image of the typical high class record player, which at that time had a metal platter, felt mat, synchronous motor and metal subchassis. PT produced a design with a plastic (acrylic) platter, no mat, a DC servo motor and a light rigid composite subchassis. And PT's basic design philosophy has not changed since then.

One significant change however was made to the motor. A while after the PT deck was introduced, it was suggested that the low torque supplied by the motor could cause the turntable to suffer from 'dynamic wow', or slowing under load. In other words, high modulation levels on the records might cause the platter to slow down, affecting the pitch of the music. PT took the suggestion seriously, investigated it, found it to be without foundation, told the world and was ignored. (I did a very simple but sensitive test myself, and could detect no effect in the PT or any other deck).

In fact, although servo motors do have drawbacks they also have some real advantages. For commercial reasons, however, the PT has for the last few years been fitted with the more common synchronous motor which drives so many turntables and PT has done its best to suppress its relatively high vibration levels. This review is an evaluation of the PT TOO in its latest incarnation with a brand new power supply.

To recap briefly on the basic PT design, it has an acrylic platter, a subchassis made of Aerolam (an expensive aluminium honey comb 'sandwich' material which is used extensively in the aerospace industry), three-point fully floating suspension and an inverted bearing. The acrylic platter is intended to match the record's acoustic impedance and absorb (and dissipate) vibration rapidly; the Aerolam subchassis is light yet very stiff in order to minimise intrinsic ringing while still dissipating vibration (or in the rather misleading jargon used by some companies, avoiding 'storing energy'), and the bearing is designed to avoid the instability and precession that necessarily affect conventional geometry bearings (if only slightly). The motor is also unusual, mounted opposite the arm mounting so as to transmit a minimum of vibration into the platter in harmful directions.

On Test

The Pink was supplied with an armboard cut for an SME arm, and this is how it was tested. My initial reaction, not to put too fine a point on it was, 'Well, I'll be . . . .' I'm accustomed to a pretty detailed sound off records, but the PT TOO has the edge on everything I have heard to date in terms of openness and clarity, without resorting to the coloration and what can be perhaps be described as 'false transparency' of some hi fi products. I listen to a lot of dense orchestral music and know several such records particularly well, yet the PT found detail on them that I had never fully appreciated before.

The PT TOO was duly compared with some master tapes, and in mid-range and treble regions there's not a lot to choose. The tape is perceptibly clearer, but only just. Similarly, the odd coloration is detectable, but only by careful direct A/B comparison. Only in the bass does the PT loose out - and then not by much. My favourite test of piano music shows that the PT lacks the total stability and weight of the tape, but at least the bass sounds quite natural and controlled.

Measurements on the PT TOO turned up one big surprise: the disc impulse is lower in level than with almost any other deck I have tested. Why it should be so much lower than on any other acrylic-platter decks I'm not sure, but it does seem that PT has got it sums right. Elsewhere the PT TOO measures pretty well - the rumble figure is mostly hum pick-up from the motor as I used a moving magnet cartridge for this test - and highish wow and flutter due I suspect to the bearing not having been sufficiently run in (wow follows disc rotation).

Conclusion

I have no doubt that this is one of the mega-decks, For clarity, it can be rated as 'first class plus'; for most other aspects good to excellent. The PT TOO can be confidently recommended.

Test Results
Type manual belt-drive motor unit
Platter type acrylic, no mat
Build and finish good
Mains connection captive lead plug into exterior PSU
Speeds 33 / 45 rpm
Wow and flutter (DIN wtd) 0.1%
Speed error + 0.1%
Start-up time 3 s
Rumble (DIN B wtd) - 69dB
Size (h x w x d / clearance for lid 155 x 450 x 390 / 70mm
Ease of use fair
Acoustic breakthrough good
Hum level slight hum with MM cartridge
Vibration breakthrough excellent
Shock resistance moderate
Subjective sound quality excellent
Typical purchase price £398.00