Mobile Fidelity Ultradeck Turntable
Mobile Fidelity is the company from the 1970's and 1980's responsible for the Half Speed Mastered vinyl recordings which have become folklore.They still produce what is considered to be the best vinyl recordings available.Drawing on 5 decades of making the world's best sounding records,Mobile Fidelity has designed a range of turntables, cartridges and phono that continue the Mobile Fidelity tradition of getting you closer to what the original artist intended.Designed in collaboration with some of the world's finest audio designers, UltraDeck features an incredible amount of ingenuity and technology usually reserved for much more expensive products.
The word “Ultra” is synonymous with Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's philosophy. It represents our extreme pursuit of the highest level of reproduction of recorded sound—beyond the status quo—to provide music lovers with the experience of hearing the Original Master Recording in their home. Whether you're enjoying a standard LP or one of our UltraDisc One-Step limited-edition records, UltraDeck will deliver faithful playback of what's in the grooves.
Mobile Fidelity adroitly enlisted Allen Perkins of Spiral Groove fame, who is said to have designed and overseen all aspects of production with Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck. Allen Perkins is a San Francisco turntable guru, whose own Spiral Groove turntables start at $18,000. Spiral Groove’s well reviewed and fabulous looking turntables routinely soar into the tens of thousands and legitimately have staked out their own corner of the ultra high-end echelon. One can see why Mobile Fidelity felt they had landed big fish, so to speak, when they empowered Mr. Perkins to see what can be accomplished using his wits on their new decks.
The base of the UltraDeck features Constrained Layer Dampening: Sitting atop the MDF bottom layer are three pieces of aluminium. Each piece of aluminium isolates the three major components from each other- the motor, the platter/bearing assembly, and the arm each have their own aluminium plate. The motor is further isolated from the base as well. Both aspects of the design help block vibration reaching the platter from moving parts inside the turntable or from outside influence.The platter and pulley system are made from Delrin™ material. Delrin™ is a proprietary polymer material developed by the DuPont Corporation, the crystalline structure of which is thought by Mobile Fidelity to be ideal in effectively shielding the stylus from unwanted motor noise or vibration.Although both the MoFi decks come with Delrin platters, the UltraDeck’s is 1.3" thick and weighs almost twice as much as the StudioDeck’s (6.8 lbs. versus 3.8 lbs. and ¾" thick).
The UltraDeck’s tonearm contains upgraded bespoke Cardas Audio wiring from the head-shell through the gold-plated RCA connectors. George Cardas is very well respected in the industry and his products are quite popular. The 10" aluminium arms on both models use high-quality ball bearings in a gimballed design for lower friction and operation. The arm has an effective length of 10 inches. Most models in this price range are 9 inches. The extra inch is important. All pivoting arms have tracking error. The longer the arm, the more gentle the arc as the arm travels the playing surface. The more gentle the arc, the lower the tracking error. One last detail is that there’s an O ring between the arm tube and the head-shell to assist in isolating the stylus from unwanted vibration.
The first thing that’s striking about the Ultradeck is the ease that it produces music, almost like open reel tape. It’s nearly impossible to describe to those who haven’t experienced it, but the difference isn’t subtle. The music just flows, it sounds far more real and lifelike via the Ultradeck. This is potentially due to excellent speed stability and the heavy Delrin platter, but it’s probably the sum of all the parts that make the Ultradeck well, ultra.
The second thing that’s noticeable is that the Ultradeck is an exceptionally quiet turntable . By that, we mean no hum, no hiss, nothing. What the silent background gives you are huge dynamic swings. Quiet recorded passages aren’t mixed with noise, which in turn makes the loud parts seem louder. The third thing that became immediately apparent was that the 10” arm and UltraTracker are tracking champs. No matter what you play, the UltraTracker will sail through effortlessly. Inner groove distortion is non existent. MoFi designed the arm and the cartridge to work together. Speaking of the UltraTracker, it’s one of the best (if not the best) cartridges as far as suppressing surface noise.
Tonally, the Ultradeck is about as neutral as you will hear. You’ll get pounding bass if it’s on the record to begin with, but the Ultradeck doesn’t “warm” or “sweeten” anything. Through the midrange, it’s clean and clear, and the highs are crisp and sparkling.With the Ultradeck, MoFi has produced an American made turntable that’s well engineered and built, looks great, and sounds sublime- and they brought it to market at a very reasonable price.
Custom-developed and manufactured in the USA, the 10-inch Ultra tonearm uses smooth, high-quality ball bearings for low friction in the vertical and horizontal plane so all you hear is what is in the grooves. Cardas Audio wiring maintains signal purity from the headshell leads all the way through to the high-quality, gold-plated RCA connectors.
ISOLATED AC SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR
Our stepped-pulley AC motor provides excellent speed stability for pitch accuracy and rhythmic drive. The Delrin® pulley has two positions for 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speed selection. Motor vibrations are kept away from the platter and stylus by using advanced dampening materials that decouple the motor from the rest of the turntable.
CONSTRAINED LAYER DAMPENING
UltraDeck features three aluminum plates carefully bonded to an MDF body to add mass and eliminate tonal coloration, maintaining the true sound found on the record.
ANTI-VIBRATION FEET BY HRS
Any vibration of the stylus that is not created by the grooves in the record is a distortion that will mask musical detail. Developed in conjunction with the engineering team at Harmonic Resolution Systems, the world leader in vibration isolation for audio equipment, the included MoFi anti-vibration feet isolate your turntable from bad vibrations.
1.3-INCH DELRIN® PLATTER
UltraDeck features a massive 1.3-inch Delrin® platter. The increased mass creates blacker sonic backgrounds and a lower noise floor. Delrin® is a next-generation polymer developed by Dupont. In the world of audio, Delrin's® highly crystalline structure presents a wonderful impedance match to vinyl records, effectively grounding unwanted noise and keeping it away from the stylus.
HARDENED-STEEL INVERTED BEARING
Our hardened-steel inverted bearing system is designed for smooth, quiet rotational stability. The extremely low tolerance combination of steel, bronze, and sapphire—found in much more expensive turntables—will provide you many years of high-performance playback.
300 RPM AC Synchronous
33 1/3 RPM, 45.0 RPM
6.8 lb Delrin®
Wow & Flutter
0.017% – 0.025%
Power Supply Requirements
120V 60Hz, 220-230V 50Hz, 100V 50Hz
19.69" x 6" x 14.25"
10" straight aluminum, gimbaled bearing
22.8è_ (+/- 2è_ adjustable)
Cartridge Weight Range
5g – 10g
• 33-1/3 / 45.0 RPM belt drive turntable
• Custom design and manufactured in the USA
• 10-inch MoFi Ultra Tonearm
• 1.3-inch Delrin® platter
• Isolated 300 RPM AC synchronous motor
• Anti-Vibration feet designed by HRS