A Great Sounding, Incredibly Sophisticated, Unflappable Turntable
The Diva II turntable 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 Diva II gives a good account of the way large and powerful musical forces can be controlled and kept in check, so sudden loud or quiet passages are all the more effective. There is a sense that the Diva II is more rhythmically confident."
– Steve Dickinson, Hi-Fi+
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
The Diva II SP is available in four configurations, selectable from the menu above:
- A standalone turntable with no tonearm or cartridge
- With the SME Model 309 tonearm and Dynavector XX-2 phono cartridge
- With the SME Model M2-9 tonearm and Dynavector 20X-2L phono cartridge
- With the Rega RB303 tonearm (with required mounting kit) and Dynavector 10x5 phono cartridge