Obsidian is the latest result of Continuum Audio Labs’ decade-plus of research into turntable design. Following the launch of the Caliburn turntable in 2005, we have explored new areas of materials science, experimented with new mechanical ideas, developed new industrial designs, and recruited new experts to our team—all in the effort to bring the incomparable musicality of the Caliburn to a new generation of listeners, in an all-new design: Obsidian.
In ways, creating Obsidian was much like engineering an elite sports car. The knowledge our team gained in more than a decade of reference turntable design work could be considered its chassis. Obsidian’s innovative new DC motor, designed specifically for this turntable, is obviously analogous to the engine. As in auto design, metallurgy was critical—particularly in Obsidian’s extensive use of tungsten, an extremely high mass, inherently damped metal that our recent research shows is ideal for use in turntables. Of course, every great sports car deserves an innovative design, which in Obsidian takes the form of new elements such as a decoupled arm mount and a plinth-less base.
As do the world’s finest autos, Obsidian combines the work of many specialists into a perfectly coherent creation that delivers extraordinary performance. In fact, the creation of Obsidian demanded that we expand our “dream team” of top engineers and designers, bringing in new members with expertise in materials, physics and mechanics.
Obsidian’s visual aesthetics are as arresting as its sound. The plinth-less design places the tonearm and motor on separate, mechanically isolated mounts, so that any vibrations are thoroughly damped and/or channelled away from critical components. The simpler design eliminates many potential sources of resonance while creating an entirely new look that is revolutionary, yet driven by function.