Michell Orbe SE Turntable

code: T002
£3,460.00 (FREE UK Delivery)
Item in Stock  |  Usually dispatched within 24 hours
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  • Top level Michell turntable

Michell Orbe SE turntable

By eliminating much of the expensive acrylic, the Michell Orbe SE offers most of the Orbe's qualities in a cheaper, smaller, and to some people aesthetically more pleasing package. An Orbe SE can always be upgraded to a full Orbe by purchasing the double plinth and dustcover. When teamed with an RB250 or RB300 tonearm, the Orbe SE is a surprisingly affordable entry to the Orbe-class of performance.

Spider double chassis, suspended pendulum subchassis

Damped subchassis

60 mm thick massive acrylic/vinyl platter of high inertia

Screw-down record clamp

Inverted bearing

Custom arm boards available for most tonearms

High-quality standalone DC motor with tacho feedback speed control

Orbe Controller NC supply with Never-Connected circuit

Optional dust cover

Finished in black or clear acrylic with black metal parts

Making a turntable...

The task of a turntable seems to be simple. At audio frequencies, the arm should be kept locked above the groove, without any extraneous motion relative to the cartridge. And the groove should be dragged at a constant angular speed underneath the stylus. This means that over the whole frequency band of 10Hz up to 20kHz and beyond, the whole loop made by record, platter, bearing, (sub)chassis, arm board, tone arm, and cartridge body should behave in an utterly rigid and non-resonant fashion. Any flexure of the same dimensions as the microscopic undulations in the groove detracts from sonic fidelity.

At lower-than-audio frequencies, the arm should be made able to freely follow the groove's warps and excentricities, so as not to damage LP or cartridge, and this without inducing any spurious signals into the cartridge's generator.

Only when these demands are fulfilled can the stylus trace the actual information embedded in the record's groove walls.

A simple task, you said?

LP records are warped. LP records vibrate along with the music as the stylus traces the groove. And LP records tend to move and bend under the pressure of the arm and cartridge when they are insufficiently supported.

Michell turntables clamp the record to a hard platter. This flattens out warps, and it also couples the LP tightly to the platter so that internal resonances can be drained away from the stylus, as if the LP effectively is of a much higher thickness and rigidity. The Gyro SE and GyroDec models use a simple clamp to press down the LP record; the Orbe and Orbe SE benefit from a more advanced screw-down clamp and a washer that raises the LP at its center: under action of the clamp the record's playable area is then very tightly pressed down onto the flat platter, right to its edges.

We make the platter from a proprietary self-damping compound of carbon/vinyl -loaded acrylic. This material closely approaches the mechanical and acoustical properties of the vinyl record itself, enhancing the coupling between both. Indeed, at boundaries of materials with like acoustic impedances, transmission of vibrational energy occurs. Whereas at boundaries of dissimilar materials, be they LP versus felt, metal, glass, or just air, only part of the energy is transmitted, the remainder being reflected back into the album, towards the stylus.

Above measures not only result in a neutral and precise sound, but also in a very low susceptibility to record blemishes, ticks and pops. This is one of the reasons why a Michell Engineering turntable not only excels in the replay of good LPs, but also pulls the same trick with less than pristine records. Surely a benefit in this age of scarce fresh vinyl ...

The platter should be supported so that it can revolve smoothly, without any extraneous vibrations and motion. This is the job for the main bearing, the very heart of a turntable.

We employ a unique inverted bearing that locates the point of rotation above the center of gravity of the platter, and exactly at the height were the drive belt invokes. This makes the platter/bearing a self-stabilising component that can not be provoked into rocking modes.

The precision bearing has a case-hardened steel shaft that is secured upright in an oil well, threaded into the subchassis from below. A massive bronze housing, precision-machined as a pair with the shaft, is attached to the platter via the integral record spindle. A thrust ball sits on the flat top of the shaft centralized by an inverted cone in the top of the housing. This housing has a spiral machined into its inner bore to draw a high quality synthetic oil from the bath to the top of the bearing shaft as the housing rotates with the platter. A hole is drilled from the top of the shaft down to the oil well to allow the trapped oil to return to the bottom. This unique oil pumping mechanism results in low friction and wear, and in low rumble and noise. Year after year of operation.

The LP/cartridge/arm trio is to reside on its own 'island'. The suspension decouples them from the outside world with its motor noise, footfall, acoustic vibrations, and other potential disturbances.

All of our turntables, except the TecnoDec, suspend the heavy subchassis and platter from three extension springs. This is an elegant and self-stabilising solution as the center of gravity of the floating mass is conveniently put below the suspension points. Rocking and nodding modes of the subchassis are hence discouraged, while overall turntable setup is straightforward, and drift is virtually inexistent. In addition, the total suspended mass of about eleven kilograms ensures that any incoupled energy can not result in large displacements.

The spring towers double as the actual turntable supports, terminated in heavy aluminium cones. The towers are sectioned in two vertical parts, making a high-pressure point-contact with a bearing ball. This makes for a true three point support, which gives the springs and the suspended subchassis a firm reference to ground.

The floating chassis' task is to keep the bearing and arm board rigidly in relation to each other. It is a heavy and rigid cast aluminium component, internally strengthened with beams and ribs. The Orbe and Orbe SE benefit from an additional layer of DensoDamp mastic which results in an acoustically inert subchassis with excellent self-damping properties.

Offering a wide range of custom-made arm boards, we can keep the mass, and the mass-distribution, of the subchassis, platter, and arm a known constant. This translates into a suspended chassis turntable that works optimally with almost any existing tone arm.

Off-the-shelf boards can be delivered for the following tone arms: Michell, Rega, SME (both types), Graham, Wilson-benesch, Morch, Origin-Live, and Linn. Others can be made to order.

The most obvious task of a turntable is to keep the record at a constant and precise angular speed, without low-rate drift, without audible wow, and without high-frequency noise components which detract from the music's delicacy.

The 3.5 kg heavy platter, precision balanced, acts as a large flywheel. The Orbe's platter is made of three GyroDec platters bonded together to form one massive slab of acrylic. The GyroDec and Gyro SE employ a single-thickness acrylic platter, loaded with the gold-plated brass weights which over time have become Michell's signature. Once up to speed, and aided by the low-friction bearing, the platter only wants to maintain its motion, and not much extra input from the motor is needed.

This motor is a very precise, reliable, and low-noise DC motor that has been selected only after extensive listening sessions and reliability tests. The Orbe models use a version of the same motor with a tacho speed control loop back to the supply. With all turntables the motor is a stand-alone unit, housed in a heavy base of metal (almost 3kg for the Orbe), to elimate vibrational breakthrough to the turntable. The HR and Orbe Controller NC supplies effectively isolate the motor from the potentially poluted mains network.

Drive is relayed to the platter via a precision-ground soft round-section neoprene belt, which runs around the platter's circumference. This results in a very high reduction of noise transfer from the motor.

We endeavour to despatch same day for orders placed up to 2pm on available stock items (items with stock message "Usually dispatched within 24 hours"). Please remember to check with us first for a physical stock check if next day delivery is important to you. Any items with stock message "Usually dispatched within 72 hours" are items that we do not hold in stock but order in from the importer or manufacturer as soon as a customer order is recieved. Occasionally these may be delayed beyond 72 hours due to importer/manufacturer stock levels but we will inform you as soon as we can if this is the case.

UK ORDERS:  We despatch the bulk of our UK mainland items on a 24 hour service – Free of Charge.  Non Mainland locations - Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, the Scilly Isles, the Scottish highlands and Islands, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland may take a day or so longer and are not Free of Charge. Smaller items are delivered using Royal Mail recorded delivery or special delivery. Larger items are delivered using a courier service such as Interlink Express, DPD, UPS or DHL. 

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS: We offer competitive rates which can be confirmed by email. Please just ask – we will need a full delivery address and telephone number. Smaller items are delivered using Royal Mail Small Packets Airmail with International Tracked and/or Signed depending on value of item and availability of the service. Larger International shipments are sent by insured and tracked services using DPD, DHL or UPS. If there are any delays due to specific customs regulations, etc, you will be contacted by Turntableworld or by the courier with a request for any further information required. Customs duties do not apply for shipments into any EU country (for a full list please refer to the EU Country List). Customs duties can apply for countries outside of the EU. Customers in these countries are responsible for all taxes and duties incurred when the items enter their country.

COLLECT IN STORE OR HOME INSTALL:At the request of the manufacturer some items cannot be supplied by mail order but you can click and buy them and then elect to collect them from our store or arrange a home install (if applicable). Applicable items clearly state that they are Collect in store or home install. Once ordered you will receive a message prompting you to contact us by phone or email to arrange for us to deliver and install or to reserve and collect from our store at your convenience, you will also be advised of the delivery time / stock availability as not all Home install / collect in store items are held in stock. 

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