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Acoustic Signature CLD:
Constraint Layer Damping

Acoustic Signature CLD - Constraint Layer Damping

‘Constraint Layer Dam­ping’ (CLD) is a mecha­nical engi­nee­ring method for the absorp­tion or mini­mi­zation of vibra­tions. In audio compo­nents CLD techno­logy is usually imple­mented by using sand­wich designs that ’embed’ a damping material layer between mate­rials that do not them­selves have suffi­cient dam­ping proper­ties. A cart­ridge will only track a record unaffec­ted, if it finds a ‘quiet’ sur­face without reso­nance inter­feren­ces. Accor­dingly, it is neces­sary to deve­lop ‘vibration-free’ chassis and platter designs – this must be done in addi­tion to the reso­nance-reducing mea­sures for motors, drive and bea­ring cons­truc­tion.

In order to achieve this, we already exten­ded the typical CLD techno­logy approach more than 20 years ago. Beyond the classic sand­wich cons­truc­tion, we presen­ted an absolute novelty to the high-end world: the Acoustic Signa­ture ‘silencer’ platter, which imme­diately set new stan­dards in vibra­tion absorp­tion. Our ‘twin-track’ CLD approach, which is mainly used in our high-mass turn­tables, is still unsur­passed in its effec­tiveness.

In the course of plan­ning and deve­lo­ping our NEO product line, we have been working inten­sively on impro­ving our CLD con­cept. First, our tests led to an opti­mized material combi­nation consis­ting of two layers of a special alu­minum alloy and an inter­mediate brass layer. Second, this also led to a new arrange­ment as well as an adjust­ment of size, weight and position of our ‘silencer’ brass bolts when imple­mented in our platters.

silencer platter with CLD
The CLD sand­wich-platter of the Ascona NEO with 56 silencer modules.
Montana NEO with cld
CLD of the Montana NEO.

In addition, we had to ‘sensibly’ pair the two CLD tools descri­bed above with the NEO chassis to maxi­mize the effect. The elabo­rate material experi­ments and listening sessions were worth the efforts: in our NEO turn­table series we have succee­ded in taking the inter­action of all techno­logies to a stun­ning new level! A rigid, yet energy-absor­bing chassis based on finite element design princip­les, and our new CLD approach creates unbea­table units in terms of reso­nance behavior.

The CLD techno­logies that we imple­ment in the Acoustic Signa­ture NEO turn­table gene­ration have clearly excee­ded our metro­logical expec­tations and also show off in terms of sound perfor­mance – with an even blacker back­ground, larger ima­ging, increa­sed trans­parency and, above all, breath­taking musicality.

Silencer platter assembly

Silencer platter assembly

Produc­tion of a turn­table platter at the Acous­tic Signa­ture manu­factory in Suessen. The assem­bly of the Silen­cer modules is perfor­med with precise manual work by our highly specia­lized staff…

the manufacture…

Silencer on the Hurricane NEO

Silencer on the Hurricane NEO

The new Acoustic Signature Hurricane NEO with CLD technology and Silencer modules.

Hurricane NEO…

Silencer in detail

Silencer in detail

The Silencer modules lead to an extremely vibration absorbing platter – way beyond the “classic” sandwich material combination…

the technologies…

Silencer

Since we invented the ‘Silen­cer platter’ in 2000 we have conti­nuously impro­ved the perfor­mance results and have now achie­ved a platter dam­ping that is unbea­ten by any other product. The gold plated Silen­cers are of course visually attrac­tive and make the Acoustic Signa­ture turn­tables even more desi­rable than with­out them. But good looks was not the reason to imple­ment them into our products.

Silcencer Modul
Silencer module on the platter of an Ascona-NEO.

The Silencers absorb and reduce vibra­tions whilst the vinyl disk is play­ing and you are liste­ning. So, where do the vibra­tions come from, that we so wish to remove from the platter?

There are several sources. First, the cart­ridge needle itself, playing a record causes vibra­tions and reso­nance in the vinyl, due to the move­ment of the needle tracking the record groove. It’s easy to check by simply turning the volume down on your ampli­fier, you can still listen to the music directly from the needle/vinyl with your ear close to it. The needle is actually putting vibra­tion back into the record as it tracks the groove, cau­sing vibra­tion in the whole vinyl record. This leads to ‘micro’ mis­tracking of the cart­ridge, when picked up by the needle along­side the actual signal you want from the track, with a very small time delay between the two. The Silen­cers in the platter absorb some of this unwan­ted vibra­tion and improve the sound reproduc­tion drama­tically.

The second source of vibra­tion is air waves hitting the platter and turn­table body from your loud­spea­kers whilst you’re liste­ning to music. Your cart­ridge/stylus doesn´t care where move­ment comes from, be it the grooves or other vibra­tions. Your cart­ridge simply produ­ces an electri­cal signal when vibra­ting and all vibra­tions coming through the turn­table will result in unwan­ted signals, resulting in a loss of detail reso­lution and imaging from your pre­cious vinyl records. The Silen­cers absorb these unwan­ted vibra­tions, lea­ding to a huge improve­ment in sound fidelity, impro­ving your liste­ning expe­rience.

Silencer platter
The Silencer platter of the Montana NEO.

To give you an idea how much the Silen­cers will improve the liste­ning expe­rience, we have con­duc­ted tests in an inde­pen­dent labo­ratory on two identi­cal platters, one with and one without eight silen­cers fitted. The results are dramatic.

50 mm platter without Silencers

50 mm platter without Silencers
Here you see the ringing of an alu­minum platter. A peak at about 2.2 kHz and multi­ples up to 15 kHz. The peaks are more than 80 dB louder than a damped platter!

Frequency of a platter with Silencers

50 mm platter with 8 Silencers
Here you see the result with 8 Silen­cers in the same alu­minum platter. Virtually all reso­nances and peaks are removed. The Silen­cers dampen the reso­nan­ces more than 80 dB.