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AVID_-_DIVA_II_TURNTABLE"

AVID - DIVA II TURNTABLE

Price: $7,100.00 
Quantity:    
This product can only be shipped to US addresses.
Brand: AVID
Category: Analog Gear, Turntables, Top-Rated Turntables.
SKU: WAVIDD2RB10X5
Availability:
* All specified ship dates are estimates
Overview
Full Description
Specifications
Reviews
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AVID Diva II Turntable

A Great Sounding, Incredibly Sophisticated, Unflappable Turntable

It might have taken 20 years for AVID to create the Acutus, but the Diva II proved to be the most difficult turntable design in the history of AVID engineering. The demand for a more affordable table was strong, but AVID's design guru Conrad Mas would not compromise engineering standards, even for a more affordable turntable. Continuing  AVID’s tradition of precision machining and the design philosophy established by the incredible AVID Acutus, the Diva II has finally arrived. AVID was not going to shy away from its primary design principle: channel vibration away from the stylus and transfer it to the primary bearing – a philosophy which creates an uncolored, dynamic, and detailed musical presentation from your favorite LPs.

"From the first bars of music, it was clear that the Diva II was a dynamic performer with plenty of emotion and presence. Bass lines were deep and confident, with fine amounts of detail thrown in for good measure. Across the top end, the Diva II is an open and inviting performer, with plenty of atmosphere while managing to maintain an underlying smoothness without ever sounding dull. The Diva II is a very fine turntable. Well-built, neatly styled and easy to set-up. It struck me as sounding like a “mini-Volvere” at a quarter of the price, it deserves a hearty recommendation!”
Adam Smith, HiFi World, 5-Star Review

The Diva II’s platter is made of MDF with the same cork mat as the Volvere and Sequel. To channel vibration away from the stylus and record interface, the Diva II’s platter creates an impedance mismatch with the record, forcing the vibration to away from the record. With the aid of the record clamp, this design reduces energy entering the platter, avoiding sound colorations. Vibrational energy is quickly and efficiently channeled away through the inverted stainless-steel bearing and Tungsten Carbide/Sapphire thrust point.

The record is clamped to the platter with a solid stainless steel clamp, so the resonance has no place to go but to travel down the spindle into the inverted bearing, releasing into the sub-chassis. Isolating the main chassis is critical to ensure low coloration and AVID has employed a triple-elastomer layer suspension system using a uniquely tailored Sorbothane compound also used in their Isolating Support Platform, giving optimum mechanical isolation of the playing surface, resulting in better information retrieval and resolution. This suspension completely isolates any external or internal vibration producing clarity, pace and rhythm, as the depth of the music penetrates your listening room. The Diva II will astonish you with its amazing pitch control, the result of a powerful stand-alone motor, external power supply, round drive belt, and smooth drive hub. Like all AVID designs, no amount of vibration will phase the Diva II.

Even if you were to jump up and down in front of the table, the speed of the platter would stay the same as there is no drive belt groove to change the length or tension of the belt. Enjoy the amazing feats of AVID’s hard work and determination to you bring you the best without hurting your budget. All of this - and it's gorgeous, too!

Configuration Options
The Diva II SP is available in four configurations, selectable from the menu above:

AVID Diva II Turntable

A Great Sounding, Incredibly Sophisticated, Unflappable Turntable

It might have taken 20 years for AVID to create the Acutus, but the Diva II proved to be the most difficult turntable design in the history of AVID engineering. The demand for a more affordable table was strong, but AVID's design guru Conrad Mas would not compromise engineering standards, even for a more affordable turntable. Continuing  AVID’s tradition of precision machining and the design philosophy established by the incredible AVID Acutus, the Diva II has finally arrived. AVID was not going to shy away from its primary design principle: channel vibration away from the stylus and transfer it to the primary bearing – a philosophy which creates an uncolored, dynamic, and detailed musical presentation from your favorite LPs.

"From the first bars of music, it was clear that the Diva II was a dynamic performer with plenty of emotion and presence. Bass lines were deep and confident, with fine amounts of detail thrown in for good measure. Across the top end, the Diva II is an open and inviting performer, with plenty of atmosphere while managing to maintain an underlying smoothness without ever sounding dull. The Diva II is a very fine turntable. Well-built, neatly styled and easy to set-up. It struck me as sounding like a “mini-Volvere” at a quarter of the price, it deserves a hearty recommendation!”
Adam Smith, HiFi World, 5-Star Review

The Diva II’s platter is made of MDF with the same cork mat as the Volvere and Sequel. To channel vibration away from the stylus and record interface, the Diva II’s platter creates an impedance mismatch with the record, forcing the vibration to away from the record. With the aid of the record clamp, this design reduces energy entering the platter, avoiding sound colorations. Vibrational energy is quickly and efficiently channeled away through the inverted stainless-steel bearing and Tungsten Carbide/Sapphire thrust point.

The record is clamped to the platter with a solid stainless steel clamp, so the resonance has no place to go but to travel down the spindle into the inverted bearing, releasing into the sub-chassis. Isolating the main chassis is critical to ensure low coloration and AVID has employed a triple-elastomer layer suspension system using a uniquely tailored Sorbothane compound also used in their Isolating Support Platform, giving optimum mechanical isolation of the playing surface, resulting in better information retrieval and resolution. This suspension completely isolates any external or internal vibration producing clarity, pace and rhythm, as the depth of the music penetrates your listening room. The Diva II will astonish you with its amazing pitch control, the result of a powerful stand-alone motor, external power supply, round drive belt, and smooth drive hub. Like all AVID designs, no amount of vibration will phase the Diva II.

Even if you were to jump up and down in front of the table, the speed of the platter would stay the same as there is no drive belt groove to change the length or tension of the belt. Enjoy the amazing feats of AVID’s hard work and determination to you bring you the best without hurting your budget. All of this - and it's gorgeous, too!

More About the AVID Diva II from Conrad Mas:

Despite receiving critical acclaim from press and public, events conspired against the original Diva and replacement was inevitable. Two main reasons made us rethink our product.
  1. Originally designed to satisfy the requirements of our distributor in Japan, it found favor around the world. However with our decision to withdraw from that market, its design concept looked out of place with our other models.
  2. The ever-escalating cost of materials, the Diva was pushed out of its intended original price position.

The second generation Diva does far more what we would of originally wished for.
Based on our fundamental philosophy and using many of the key components found in our more expensive designs, Diva II offers a sonic, engineering and value package impossible to surpass.

Design
In common with our other designs, the chassis is a one piece ultra rigid aluminum casting. Such a strong chassis prevents any relative movement between the arm and platter bearing, reducing loss of information and coloration. Vibrations continually created by the stylus during playback are channeled to the chassis, through the main bearing and pick up arm and then rapidly dissipated. By not using external damping materials the sonic neutrality associated with our turntables is maintained and add to this the lack of any detachable armboards, rigidity is maintained further.

The main bearing is the same quality as our other models, made from sapphire, tungsten carbide and stainless steel. Designed to pass vibration to the chassis it is also ultra quite, allowing us to clamp the record directly to the bearing and platter eliminating warps and coloration caused by unsupported records and slippage. The clamp is directly taken from the Volvere and Sequel models and has great sonic benefits, reducing surface noise, timing errors caused by slippage and rigidly clamping the record to the main bearing allowing for maximum transfer of vibration.

The motor, a high torque AC synchronous type is mounted within a solid massive steel enclosure. The motor housing is totally decoupled to prevent motor noise entering the chassis and with its mass preventing movement, the drive chain rigidity is maintained thereby preventing speed errors by the motor wobbling on the usual 'rubber band' mountings used elsewhere. With its high torque, start up speed is rapid and then with its power, controls the platter effectively making sure slowing under load does not happen, which would reduce its dynamic impact, especially on transients like drums and big crescendos in classical music. Platter speed is adjustable through placement of the motor housing and is supplied through an external power supply. This 'rigid loop system' of platter, chassis and arm needs careful isolation from external vibrations, which would affect the cartridge giving a false signal. This coloration is usually loss of information, frequency distortion or complete mistracking of the stylus.

At this price level we wanted to give isolation but avoid the sometimes-daunting task of setting up a sprung suspension. We wanted to make as close to a 'plug and play' design as possible, but having the same quality principles as our other established turntables. Subsequent to the original Diva, we undertook development work using a material commonly called sorbathane. A rubber compound commonly used for isolating sensitive items, its properties have been tailored to specifically suit our requirements for wideband linear vibration isolation. This has been successfully used with our Isolating Support Platform and now employed to great effect with Diva II.

A triple layer isolation system means the typical vibrations a turntable has to endure are absorbed, giving the stylus the freedom of external vibration it requires giving a coloration free sound. Placement of any turntable is critical and we would suggest a rigid, stable structure the best place to locate the Diva II. Visually the new Diva II is compact and purposeful with clean lines. A budget turntable yes, budget performance? No chance.

Configuration Options
The Diva II SP is available in four configurations, selectable from the menu above:
Drive: Belt drive
Speeds: 33.3 and 45.0 RPM
Platter mass: 5.5Lbs
Bearing: Inverted stainless steel
Thrust point: Tungsten carbide/Sapphire
Suspension: Triple layer 3 point elastomer
Tonearms: Std. cut for SME (adapters available for other popular arms)
Motor: 24v 12mNm AC synchronous
Power supply: Separate control unit
Voltage input: 120VAC 60Hz 20 watts max
Dimensions:
   Turntable (overall): 17.75"W x 15.5"D x 5.5"H
   Turntable (footprint): 15"W x 13.5"D
   Power Supply: 6.25"W x 6.3"D x 2.4"H
Net weight: 14 lbs excluding the Power Supply
Shipping Container: 23" x 22 x 10"
Shipping weight: 22Lbs

Tone Audio



May 2010 Ed Kobesky, Positive Feedback (USA)
It seems like everyone's spending less lately. One of my friends is even thinking about replacing his aging full-size Lexus with a Hyundai Genesis. It's not just thousands of dollars cheaper, he pointed out—it's tens of thousands. I haven't driven it, but I did poke my head into one at the dealership. It looks and feels expensive. It even smells kind'a like a Lexus inside. Still, I'd rather settle for a smaller Lexus. Call me a snob.

That's why I like Avid's Diva II: it has all the pedigree of its costlier siblings and an accessible price. Made in England, by people who earn a living wage, it looks just like one of the family. Sounds expensive, too: quiet, confident and detailed. With rudimentary care and maintenance, it'll probably last a few decades. The whole package screams sophistication in stark contrast to today's pretentious, blue-backlit audio jewelry. But not to worry, non-audiophiles will still think you're a wasteful asshole for buying one.

Basic elements of the company's flagship design philosophy trickled down to the Diva II, including the one-piece aluminum plinth, bearing and record clamping system. Cost cutting (such as it is) comes most noticeably in the form of an MDF platter and a less sophisticated isolation scheme (i.e., big gobs of sorbothane) plus a notable lack of chrome accents compared to five-figure Avids.

Setup may look a little daunting at first, but once you get the pieces out of the box, it's easy to imagine how they fit together. Simply place the bare chassis on your audio rack and assemble the main bearing, which is so precisely machined it needs no wet lubrication. Then position the motor in the cutout at the left hand side of the chassis. Slide the belt over the motor pulley and subplatter, then attach the platter. Plug the supplied tonearm cable into the arm. Plug the motor into the power supply. Plug the power supply into the wall. You can be up and running in 10 or 15 minutes.

Take your time and enjoy though, because the assembly process should add substantially to your pride of ownership. It reveals the high level of quality and sensible engineering at work here. For example, the chassis itself might seem small at first, especially if you subscribe to the popular ‘bigger is better' philosophy of high-end audio. However, small is good for a budget turntable because it's easier and cheaper to engineer something small and rigid than large and rigid. The platter is the most perfectly machined piece of round MDF I've ever seen on a turntable, while the bare chassis looks and feels like it fell off a Boeing.

I split my listening between a number of cartridges in the $200-$1000 range, played through either an Audio Research PH1 or Pro-Ject Tube Box SE phono stage. As you might expect given the rigid chassis and stout motor, the Diva II has striking immediacy. It does what the direct drive Technics 1200 can—superb dynamics, slam and attack, plus detail and remarkable pitch stability—without the truncated lateral soundstage, or lack of air, ambiance and inner detail.

Properly applied, I believe that a powerful, torquey motor is a good thing. Combined with a heavy platter for flywheel effect (the Diva II's MDF platter has surprising heft), it's a recipe for gripping, start-stop bass, musical notes that decay naturally and highs that shimmer. The Diva II serves up all of that, along with black backgrounds that add to the aliveness of the presentation. A very carefully arranged soundstage with superb image placement, depth and scaling adds to the sophistication. Music jumps off every record. On some recordings, I found it hard to divide my attention as note after note grabbed me and pulled me away from my book or laptop.

Rhythmically, it's fully competent but that's not an outstanding characteristic here. The Diva II draws you into the music head first, not feet first, by offering truly excellent overall resolution and ease rather than overt tunefulness, sorting out complex musical lines—ven in the background—with stunning alacrity. The downside is, like some other modern designs, it can sound vaguely aloof: technically excellent but emotionally detached. I suspect the liberal use of sorbthane in place of the sophisticated suspensions of more expensive Avids may contribute to this, compounded by the acoustically ‘dead' but dark-sounding MDF platter. A commendably tight but not super-extended low end adds to a sense of stoicism. To be clear, however, this is a matter of character, not coloration.

On a practical note, the Diva's external power supply merely turns the motor on and off. If you want to change speeds, you have to move the belt manually to the corresponding pulley. The record clamp can also be a little fiddly to use. I sometimes had to try a few times before I got the threads lined up, but it did function perfectly well and records generally sounded more focused with the clamp on.

Taken together, the negatives never rise above trivial given the price point, which proves how hard it is to criticize the Diva II. You can even send it back to Avid for an upgrade to next-level SP status. They'll replace the MDF platter with one made from machined aluminum and swap the basic power supply for a sophisticated speed control unit with convenient pushbutton switching between 33 and 45. They'll also add an improved bearing and replace the drive system with a dual-belt affair that is said to further reduce motor noise and vibration. With this kind of built-in upgradeability, it could be your last turntable purchase.

But even bone stock, the Avid Diva II is an excellent performer. It'll be a seismic step up for those currently living with entry-level analog. Yet it's so controlled, confident and effortlessly detailed that downsizing from more expensive gear doesn't have to feel like a huge sacrifice. The best part is, because the Diva II delivers solid value and lasting quality, it's a guilt-free purchase either way—a very, very slick little machine.



July 2009 Gary Pearce, Tone (NZ)

My first encounter with high-end turntable manufacturer Avid was through the Volvere. That stunningly crafted and beautiful-sounding piece of audio porn captivated me with the effortless way it went about making music, and proved that great looks can kill.

Just a few months on and an invitation was extended to audition the entry level model in the Avid range, the Diva 2.

And what a stunner it is. Bearing a distinct family resemblance to the more expensive model, the Diva misses out some of the Volvere's features such as the suspended subchassis, heavyweight platter and satin metal 'bling'. But otherwise, the Diva 2 is a serious vinyl player indeed - the presence of an outboard power supply and integral clamp more than underlining its high-end aspirations at a far more affordable price than the luscious Volvere.

It was a rare sunny day in Auckland when I turned up to view and listen to the Diva 2 in combination with the new Naim Nait XS integrated amplifier, these components in turn connected to a pair of Sonus Faber Auditor stand-mount loudspeakers.

This group of components certainly had bucketloads of hi-fi credibility, but the brooding Diva 2 atop Naim's naimframe rack was the obvious centrepiece of the system, its black skeletal appearance complementing the rack of Naim electronics perfectly.

First disc onto the Diva 2's MDF platter was Ernest Ranglin's Memories Of Barber Mack, a delightful instrumental journey through the world of jazz-tinged ska and calypso music. The album has excellent sound quality and a dynamic bass register, and the Diva 2 produced a stellar performance. Tuneful and warm sounding, the Diva/Jelco/Dorian combo filled the room with warmth and melodic involvement.

Jimi Hendrix's posthumous First Rays of the New Rising Sun on 180g vinyl showed that the turntable is a very competent rocker as well, with great attack and dynamics, excellent detail retrieval and nimble, easy to follow bass performance. I had the impression of the system acting as a cohesive unit, with each component doing its part in recreating the musical event.

The bandleader of the system is without doubt the Diva 2, its ability to extract the music from the groove being the prime mover in creating the excellent musical experience I experienced during the audition.

The Diva 2 must be an essential audition for those looking to purchase in this price bracket.



June 2009 Adam Smith, Hi-Fi World (UK)

Group test; Scheu Analog Cello - Thorens TD700 - Pro-Ject 6 PerspeX - Funk Firm Vector II - Avid Diva II - Acoustic Solid Classic Wood

This is a turntable that has no time for loudspeaker or room boundaries, and simply elbows them aside as if they are not there. Some decks pull the soundstage out into the room and some push it off into the distance, but the Avid seems to have perfected the trick of doing both. It really is a room-filler and is quite staggeringly detailed across the midband and treble.

What this means is the Diva II simply picks you up and plonks you into the concert hall or studio, and lets you hear every little nuance and inflection of what is going on. Cathy Dennis's vocals from the acapella version of 'Too Many Walls' had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, they were so vivid and lifelike, and the guitar being played at the far left of the soundstage in the Eagles 'Long Road Out of Eden' seemed to be coming from my bathroom!

I was also delighted that I had finally found a low-end companion that wasn't making me wish for the sheer power of my Garrard 301. The Avid's low end is the best you'll find at this price point, being confident, rhythmical and yet also deep and clean when required. This means that it never leaves you feeling that perhaps you are missing out on the end of the spectrum that is the foundation of the music.

This is my second encounter with the Avid Diva II and it again astounded me by simply doing such a passable impression of its bigger brothers, and at a markedly lower price! The deck is poised, sophisticated and blessed of the sort of scale, grandeur and authority that usually commands a much higher price tag. The Funk Vector II may well have pushed my loudspeakers out of the way to fill my room with sound, but the Diva seemed to push my entire listening room aside, judging by the way in which I found myself suddenly enveloped in sonic bliss.

As far as I am concerned, the Diva II leads the field at its price point, and is more than capable enough to worry decks bearing even bigger price tags. Our budget reference Rega P3-24 is indeed a modern classic, but if there is any justice, I feel that the Avid Diva II should be regarded in the same way in twenty years time.



April 2009 Deon Schoeman, AudioVideo South Africa (ZA)

Has the digital era spoilt us? Has the sheer convenience of the compact disc -- its hour-plus playing time, its resistance to damage, its portability -- and the vast range of CD playback hardware made the vinyl medium a mountain only true enthusiasts and nostalgics are prepared to climb? Put it this way: the majority of mainstream consumers were only too happy to get rid of their scratched, cumbersome long playing records when the CD came along -- and especially when the economies of scale pushed prices down to truly affordable levels. However, it is also true that the expected demise of the LP record never happened. And that the vinyl revival continues unabated. No, it's not a revolution, and the LP will never become a mainstream medium again. But vinyl is alive and well -- and there is a steady stream of new hardware to support it.

Regular AVSA readers my recall my piece on the Avid Diva turntable, about two years ago. That turntable represented an attempt by the British specialist turntable maker to bring its particular approach to turntable design within the reach of a wider audience. The Diva managed to exceed my expectations, both in terms of its robust engineering, and its sonic delivery. But I wasn't that enthusiastic about the assembly and set-up of the Diva, which was time-consuming and finicky, to put it mildly. The team at Avid must have read my mind. Perhaps more tellingly, it became increasingly expensive to produce the Diva, which made it difficult to position, relative to the rest of the Avid range.

Which brings me to the Diva II. It's still very much an Avid product. But it is a damn sight easier to put together, and also to set up, which makes it much, much more convenient to use than the original. And, between you and me, I think it sounds better, too -- with the potential of even greater performance with a couple of upgrades.

The Diva II has a simpler, arguably more elegant design than its forebear. The one-piece aluminium chassis is extremely rigid, providing a vitally inert platform for both the platter and the tonearm, while preventing relative movement between the two in the interests of accurate data retrieval. The design philosophy adopted by Avid for the Diva II addresses the vibrations inevitably created by the stylus during playback by quickly and efficiently dissipating them through the chassis via the tonearm and the main bearing, rather than attempting to absorb them with damping materials.

Also key is the high-quality bearing, made up of sapphire, tungsten carbide and stainless steel, and designed specifically to drain vibrations to the main chassis, while offering exceptionally smooth, quite running characteristics. A standard record clamp rigidly fixes the record to the platter and, by implication, the bearing itself, again contributing to the close, accurate dialogue between platter and tonearm. Of course, such rigid coupling demands extremely efficient isolation from external vibrations, an aspect addressed on the first Diva with an intricate suspension arrangement. Instead, the Diva II employs a Sorbothane-based, three-stage passive damping system to absorb external mechanical interference.

As reviewed here, the Avid Diva II is supplied with a Jelco tonearm sourced from Japan. I ran the Diva II/Jelco combination with a whole variety of cartridges, including the rather excellent, moving-magnet Ortofon 2M Red, a Benz Micro L2 Wood, and my regular Ortofon Kontrapunkt B moving coil. The pile of records used for the Avid seemed to get higher and higher as the weeks spent in the company of the turntable stretched into months.

You see, the Diva II captured my attention from the very first note of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', and never let go, regardless of the number of LP's I mounted on its platter and played. From the rousing rock of Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep to the delicate vocals of Carol Kidd, from the soaring guitar of Eric Clapton to the stirring strains of Jennifer Warnes' Famous Blue Raincoat, the Diva II found an empathy with the music that allowed it to deliver its sonic wares with compelling assurance.

The delivery was not only rich in musical content, but managed to translate the emotional impetus of the performances. It was like meeting old friends after an extended absence: even discs I thought I knew really well sounded fresh and revitalised, with more substance and tonal subtlety than I remembered. The music has a 'walk-in' quality, with a very strong, very believable sense of dimension and depth. The imaging was soaked in realism, with plenty of fine detail to act as spatial and tonal pointers, with the result that my compact listening room seemed to expand under the sheer force of the delivery. The music assumed scale and authority, with a presence that made the listening experience a riveting and addictive one. The black silences, and impressively low noise floor, did much to add vital contrast and colour to the overall sound, while also confirming the class and impressive engineering credentials of the Avid.

As much as I really enjoyed the Diva II/Jelco as reviewed here, I am convinced that the deck will fare even better with an upgraded arm. Rega's RB300 would be an obvious choice, or even better, the SME 309. But, of course, the latter would push up the price substantially.

Thus, in outright value terms, the Avid Diva II is hard to beat at its price point. Very few record decks can muster this level of cohesion, dynamic excitement and emotional content for the money. And with such a good initial platform, upgrades to both tonearm and cartridge could reap handsome future dividends. Which brings me back to that packaging. Even with the colour images in the manual, there's no way I'm getting the Diva II to fit back into the box. Which means I have no choice but to keep it. Let's hope the cheque doesn't bounce!

VERDICT:   Who said vinyl was staid, old-fashioned and noisy? Avid's Diva II eclipses the original in most key areas, and delivers the kind of musicality and emotion few CD players can match. Impressively engineered, and user friendly too.




January 2009 John Bamford, Hi-Fi News Magazine (Highly Commended) (UK)

It was a brave move going into business making record players in the mid 1990s when LPs were already relegated to niche status. As Avid's founder and chief designer Conrad Mas is wont to point out: 'My friends and family thought I was bonkers.' Conrad's bravery, coupled with his belief that there was still a market for high-end record players that were immaculately finished and built to last, has proved well founded. From humble beginnings Avid has grown to become an internationally recognised brand name among vinyl enthusiasts. Today the company's home is a 15,000 square feet factory in Cambridgeshire with CNC milling tools and lathes that make it entirely self-sufficient, manufacturing all parts in-house.

With a range of turntables, from the flagship Acutus Reference with its massive, 10Kg mirror-finished platter, through the Sequel, Volvere and 'entry' Diva models, Avid now exports to some 30 countries. In fact the Diva was first designed at the request of Avid's Japanese distributor in order to hit a specific price point. Now dubbed Diva II it was remodelled during 2008 to better match the rest of Avid's range and keep the price below £1000, the escalating cost of materials making the original Diva no longer viable.
As our photographs and captions describe the construction of the Diva II far better than words alone, I need only point out that the motor is in fact an entirely separate unit. The motor is driven from a separate power supply with a rotary on/off switch on the facia which is satisfying to use, the pleasure factor enhanced by the rapid start-up of the platter. The substantial record clamp comes from Avid's more expensive Volvere and Sequel models and is also a joy to use on a daily basis.

As with all skeletal decks it's going to be difficult to keep dust a bay and you're going to want one of Avid's acrylic covers-either the Flat cover which clamps onto the platter, or the Full cover.

Auditioning began with LPO's performance of 'A Sussex Overture' from the two LP set Arnold Overtures. An audiophile favourite since its release in 1992, this half speed master is a sharply-lit recording from Watford Town Hall. While lacking a little bass 'wallop' that I'm accustomed to (like Avid's biggest decks) the Diva II sounded bold and eager. Brass and percussion were crisp and vivid, the overall character of this recording remaining broadly intact. Initial impressions of the Diva II's explicit and vivid character were maintained when listening to the LP Castalia by jazz trumpeter Mark Isham. As I plundered my record collection it became obvious that this combination of Diva II/Jelco/Reson Aciore is a highly competent and most enjoyable package. Music tracks from the Swedish Opus 3 audiophile label, the track 'Moppin and Boppin' by the Peoria Jazzband highlighting the Diva's strong transient attack and great imaging, with clarinet forward of the stage and the drum kit further back-just like it should be.

HI-FI NEWS VERDICT:   While the Diva II might be Avid's cheapest turntable it nevertheless feels like it will last a lifetime. Build quality is reassuringly solid and finish is first rate. Sound quality is best described as explicit and up-beat, the combination we enjoyed with modest Jelco arm and Reson cartridge representing a really excellent value package.


August 2008 Adam Smith, Hi-Fi World Magazine - (5 Globes) (UK)
'Looking much neater, to my eyes at least, than its predecessor, the Diva II is based around a rigid one-piece cast aluminium chassis...'

'The bearing is similar to that used on the dearer decks such as the Volvere, and uses a similar clamping system to rigidly couple the LP to the platter.'

'From the first bars of music, it was clear that the Diva was going to be an engaging companion. It is a crisp and dynamic performer with plenty of emotion and presence, and a health dose of rhythmically. In this respect it actually has quite a direct-drive character to it, as it loves a spry beat and hangs onto it with pleasing tenacity. Bass lines were deep and confident, with fine amounts of detail thrown in for good measure.'

'This meant that the bass guitar from the Eagles' Hotel California was vivid, fulsome and highly tuneful, whereas it can sometimes drop into the background a little. In many ways, the Diva II apes its bigger brother, the Volvere Sequel in this respect, as both have highly capable low end abilities - more than those of us who are used to Garrard 301 levels of bass where expecting!'

'The rest of Hotel California was equally accomplished, with the musicians nicely set up within the soundstage. The image pushes well outside the loudspeakers' boundaries but is not as well ordered as bigger brother, the Volvere Sequel, in the centre. That said, it was still not difficult to place instruments within the performance, and the Diva II is more than capable of putting you nicely into the middle of the action. 'Across the top end, the Diva II is an open and inviting performer, with plenty of atmosphere and detail, whilst still managing to maintain an underlying smoothness without ever falling into the trap of being dull.'

CONCLUSION:   'In many ways, the Diva II struck me as sounding like a 'mini-Volvere' and, at a quarter of the price of its bigger brother, but with far more than a quarter of the performance, it deserves a hearty recommendation!'

VERDICT:   'Stylish, superbly built turntable that turns in an emotive and highly musical performance.'
FOR:            Solid, tuneful bass-fine image depth - smooth, detailed top end - build quality, styling.
AGAINST:   Nothing at the price

User Manual (PDF, 165 KB)

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