The Basis Fluid Damped Suspension
THE NEED FOR SUSPENSION
Isolating the turntable from the listening environment is crucial for you to really hear the music on your record. Any less than total isolation reduces your turntable to an expensive tone control, with the sound becoming colored by feedback and ineffective handling of energy fed into the turntable by the tonearm.
The corner assemblies of the suspended Basis models house the ultimate turntable suspension system. This system totally isolates the turntables and damps the subchassis by turning vibrational energy, which has been fed into the subchassis by the tonearm, into heat energy. No other integral turntable suspension in the world performs the first function as effectively, and no other turntable suspension performs the second function at all.
Additionally, the Basis system provides 48 db of isolation between the motor and the record-stylus system. This means that any other non-suspended turntable system produces 48db more motor noise which will mask the true details of the musical experience from ever making it to your phono stage!
Without the huge strength of the Basis suspension system no turntable can approach the neutrality, silence, and natural detail levels of Basis suspended turntables.
HOW BASIS FLUID-DAMPED SUSPENSION WORKS
The Basis suspension is unique in the audio world as well as in the isolation system world. Using discrete damping and spring components, the designer has the ability to independently manipulate both spring and damping values to achieve an optimized system.
In a series configuration the components could not effectively avoid ringing. In a classic parallel system higher frequency information would break through the isolation system. Only in the Basis asymmetrically balanced, progressively coupled system can this 13 octave isolation be achieved. The result is vibration absorption, which is equal from both sides (subchassis and platform sides) of the isolation system, defeating feedback, motor noise, and tonearm energy.
The isolation and energy absorption increase at a rate of 18 db per octave above the low system resonant frequency. The system is critically damped, which, along with the perfectly balanced and centered Basis platters, results in zero relative motion between the platter and motor while preserving the incredible 48db of isolation.
For its total effectiveness and the complexity of a true analytical analysis of the system, the Basis isolation system requires nothing of the owner. The isolating units come charged with damping fluid from the factory and are sealed with elastomer seals. The fluid is stable for decades. No external power sources are necessary (no compressors, tire pumps, hoses, or power cords) and there is absolutely no maintenance ever required by the owner. In use the system is as simple as a non-suspended turntable.
Most importantly, the Basis isolation system means that your Basis turntable will operate as effectively in every installation. Turntables with lesser suspensions or no suspensions at all will suffer from feedback and be affected by room location, floor construction, stand details, proximity to loudspeakers and the volume level of the music being played.
Basis suspended turntables combine the often mutually exclusive traits of relaxed musicality and effortlessness along with tremendous low-level detail. You will hear true detail. You will hear deeper into the music to receive the full reaction based on the intent of the music writer, the true character of the vocalist’s voice and inflections, the instrument player’s intonations and unique style, and the actual signature of the exact instrument being played. Basis suspended turntables move the listener toward this true musical experience. Unsuspended and lesser-isolated turntables are like gimmicky special effects filters that are placed in front of camera lenses; they interpret the music and color it with their own noise and resonances. In the long run, for the music lover, being immersed in the uncolored soundfield of a Basis turntable is the most satisfying and stimulating situation. With this Basis neutrality the excitement of listening is renewed with each listening session. With lesser products boredom sets in when the listener notes “everything starts sounding the same”. This explains why so few Basis turntables appear on the second hand market: owners tend to keep their Basis!
DESIGNER’S NOTE: You have read, in this paper, strong statements about the effectiveness of the Basis suspension. You will read other manufacturers’ statements about how their unsuspended products somehow perform the impossible, isolating through the use of cones, multiple layers of different materials, and “special resonance-canceling shapes”. I invite you to do the following test, which I have performed many times at shows, to help you separate the fact from the fiction. Caution: Performing the following test with a non-Basis turntable will most likely cause loudspeaker damage. Continue at your own risk. Cue the stylus down onto a stationary record. Turn the volume up to a loud listening level. Hit the turntable stand, directly next to the turntable foot, with a hammer. With a Basis you will hear silence from the loudspeaker. With others you will hear a terrible noise and may hear the self-destruction of the drivers.