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Continuum Audio Laboratories are an Australian-based company credited with creating the world’s reference analogue vinyl playback system, borne out of a collaboration of talented, knowledgeable like-minds, driven by a shared passion and desire to create something beyond the state of the art! In the presence of such a powerful cocktail, the ordinary constraints that normally limit most endeavours can suddenly disappear, and the result is the Caliburn-Cobra-Castellon, which guaranteed the company over-night world-wide recognition. The journey was one not based on design for design’s sake but rather solving fundamental problems that existed in accurately transcribing the vinyl medium. A collaboration of field leading like-minds all sharing a common vision culminated in the Caliburn-Cobra-Castellon. The first challenge in the design process recognised that materials can greatly affect tonal accuracy and this led extensive materials testing. Having not attained the required outcome with current available alloys, composites or organic material, the team developed its own proprietary Magnesium-composite alloy with sixty times the damping factor of Magnesium. This ensures resonance control within the chassis, arm board and platter. Having the ideal material was just the first step. How do we ensure it is used to its full performance potential? This challenge was met using Shape Optimisation software to ensure the turntable and tone arm had the optimum shape to allow for effective energy transfer and dissipation. Now came the issue of isolation from internal influences. A true zero cogging motor, a revolutionary vacuum system, microprocessor controlled rotational accuracy, mass rotational stability, oil re-circulation and bearing lubrication, all working in tandem ensured a playback performance level till then unheard. The final challenge was isolation from external influences and the Castellon was born. Using calibrated magnetic levitation, the Castellon ensures not only does your Caliburn-Cobra have a beautiful platform but also one that will allow it to reach its full performance potential. The Caliburn-Cobra-Castellon, a truly cost no object engineering masterpiece paradoxically presented another challenge to Continuum’s design team. How can we use the knowledge and technology to develop a product that breeches the price/performance gap? The result is the Criterion-Copperhead. Utilising a smaller chassis, easier to manufacture tone arm, low cogging motor, lower mass platter and a less complex lubrication/vacuum system allows for a cost saving that has lowered the entry threshold for vinyl lovers worldwide but not the quality. Does it equal the Caliburn-Cobra-Castellon? No, but it comes closer than anything else available. Indeed, the superlatives allocated to previous turntables have been transcended by the exquisite sonic performance of all Continuum products, which dig into the grooves unheard musical overtones, enabling a closer and better communication between music and listener.
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