HIGHLY COMMENDED TURNTABLE
Burmester might have been making audio components for more than 45 years, but the new 217 is only the second ever turntable by the brand. While the 217 from Burmester's Top Line does not have the built-in phono stage and rack-bending 60.8kg weight of the flagship 175 turntable, the 217 is still a formidable design and an exquisite performer.
The turntable is supplied as a complete 'turn - key' device, with arm and moving coil cartridge both installed and preset. Like its bigger brother, the 217 is belt-driven, with two motors, the belts and pulleys of which are supplied pre-fitted. The drive axle and motor arrangement is housed in a massive, low resonance unibody housing of solid aluminum. The turntable is matched with a straight, gimbal-mounted 9in tonearm, which features an armtube of unidirectional carbon fibre and an aluminium headshell and arm base. The cartridge too is housed in a body of aluminium, a moving coil design with a Shibata stylus profile.
In his review, Alan Sircom said, "There is a clever combination of extraordinary refinement with a stentorian bass that takes the listener a little time to process." This is a road well worth taking because, "Record playing through the 217 is both a voyage of rediscovery and a lithe and articulate performance, with the large-scale soundstage that's a Burmester trait. Music is fully three dimensional with excellent solidity of instrument images within that stage."
Alan concluded the review by saying the 217. "makes the sort of sound that will keep you listening to vinyl for years and is built so well it will still be doing the same for your great-grandchildren. In sound and build, it's consistent and exacting. It's the ideal partner for a Top Line Burmester system, and yet its standalone performance makes it a turn-key high-end turntable for almost any system. In short, it's a stellar performer."