Stratosphere MK III

Stratosphere MK III Turntable



The Stratosphere was firstly conceived nearly 40 years ago and the philosophy I used then was down the solidity road. My theory was, as it is now, solidity has less chance of adding any unwanted problems or frequencies or what is know in the Hi-Fi world as ‘colouration’. In other words, deviation from the original program material. The world is full of vibrations. Even the ground we stand on can deliver measurable vibrations that can in the world of vinyl reproduction be detected albeit in very small quantities through the record grooves up to the stylus that retrieves the music from the grooves and then further up the chain, to the pickarm, cables and just about anything that may interfere with a true and accurate musical signal. My theory was if you start with solidity, there will be less corruption and less additives to the sound, the true music on the record being delivered in full.

That was the start of the Stratosphere some time ago. There are many users of the first MK 1 and MK2 versions which have been running successfully for many years and still are to this day. The Stratosphere is built to last. Although I believed at the time that the original Stratosphere was pretty good for it’s day, I have over the last few years realised that it needed updating and over the last 18 months I have been working on every aspect of the turntables performance raising it to Stratospheric levels (sorry) and I am now confident that it stands superior to many of today’s reference products where vinyl production is the most important part of an enthusiast’s life. The Stratosphere is a life product and hopefully the MK3 will be so for another 40 years.


So, how have these latest improvements materialised? Basically solidity of materials is the key plus the use of the quietest inert materials currently available. The Stratosphere has always been substantially solid but some of these latest improvements have taken solidity coupled with technical refinement to another level.

Key points of design


The stand base and top plate have been upgraded with even more solidity with solid aluminium. This stand supports the main turntable using 3 legs that can also be filled with sand if the situation permits rendering the operational part of the turntable to be sitting on an incredibly sturdy base offering maximum solidity.


The main turntable is further isolated from the stand by an in house designed supporting device known as ‘Air Pods.’ These clever items enable the main turntable to literally hover in air the connection from the stand to the turntable itself being almost 99% free without any vibration being transmitted from the ground.


After considerable research over the last few years, a very special plating material is used here (as used by NASA in some space products) which is incredibly quiet offering almost zero friction lowering the noise floor to be virtually un-detectable . A truly substantial development.


The main flywheel encompasses a sensor which supplies information to the power supply that controls the accuracy of speed ensuring any deviation or varience is kept to the absolute minimum. Another major improvement.


Lastly a new electrically speed controlled DC motor is housed in a substantial motor pod which then stands on a separate pillar on the base stand preventing any further vibration being transferred from one of the quietest motors current available.


The main flywheel weighing around 25lbs has a series of spikes on its upper surface. The substantial weight of this flywheel plus the platter spikes offer a further stage of isolation. The final level of isolation comes from a new 20mm Nylatron platter which sits on the spikes on the top of the flywheel. The record resting on this platter is held firmly by a record weight.

Sound Stage! MUNICH HIGH END SHOW: The Cream of Analogue

Honorary mention: Lumley Audio Stratosphere Mk3 turntable