Basis Audio A.J. Conti Transcendence Turntable and SuperArm 12.5 Tonearm

Magnum Opus

Equipment report
Basis Audio A.J. Conti Transcendence Turntable and SuperArm 12.5 Tonearm

The Transcendence doesn’t sound like any other turntable I’ve experienced. In fact, it doesn’t seem to “sound” at all, but rather disappears from the playback chain—providing a transparent window on the mastertape that created the LP. Through this disappearing act, the Transcendence more fully reveals the beauty and musical expression encoded in our LPs. Although you can listen to the Transcendence and identify a list of sonic attributes, what really distinguishes this turntable is the way that it conveys more music, more expression, more beauty, more musical intent. Discovering rich new meaning in well-worn LPs is perhaps the most profound testament to the Transcendence’s preeminence. I consider the Transcendence one of the greatest achievements of high-end audio, not just in turntables and tonearms, but across all product categories.

It’s impossible to consider the Transcendence without thinking about its creator, A.J. Conti. The turntable is an embodiment of the ethos he brought to his work. I’m glad that Basis named it after A.J. and chose the name “Transcendence.” It’s a fitting moniker on many levels. The turntable, and the pleasure it will bring music lovers, transcends A.J.’s time on this earth, and its sonic performance transcends not just that of other turntables, but also what we had assumed were the limitations of the LP format.

Specs & Pricing

Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Tonearms: Up to four tonearms of up to 12" each
Wow and flutter: 0.01%
Speed drift: 0.012%
Rumble: –90dB (the limit of measurement equipment)
Isolation at 60Hz: 50dB
Isolation at 1kHz: 72dB
Dimensions: 18.375" x 11" x 18.375" (height is to top of tonearm)
Weight: 135 lbs. (turntable only)

Vacuum Hold-Down
Features: Vacuum adjust, meter, on/off switch
Dimensions: 6" x 3" x 8" (control unit); 8" x 5" x 8" (pump)
Weight: 6 lbs. (control unit); 15 lbs. (pump)

Synchro-Wave Power Supply
Speeds: 33 1/3 and 45rpm
Dimensions: 13" x 3" x 10.5"
Weight: 12 lbs.

SuperArm 12.5 Tonearm
Effective length: 317.57mm
Pivot to spindle distance: 304.75mm
Overhang: 12.82mm
Offset angle: 17.11 degrees
Total mass: 1220 grams
Furnished accessories: Integral 4' interconnect cable terminated in RCA or XLR connectors, engraved alignment gauge, cartridge-mounting screws, all necessary tools
Optional accessories: Mounting flange for non-Basis turntables
Warranty: 10 years parts and labor
Price: $19,500

Complete System
Weight: 166 lbs.
Warranty: 10 years parts and labor
Price: $127,000 with SuperArm 12.5

Basis Audio
25 Clinton Drive, #116
Hollis, NH 03049
(603) 889-4776

Associated Equipment
Loudspeakers: Wilson Benesch Eminence, Wilson Audio Alexx
Digital sources: Aurender W20 server, Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 MQA DAC; Berkeley Alpha USB USB-to-AES/EBU converter; Audience Au24 USB cable; AudioQuest Wild Digital AES/EBU cable
Amplification: Constellation Altair 2 preamplifier; Constellation Hercules 2 monoblock power amplifiers
AC Power: Shunyata Research Triton V3, Typhon QR, Sigma power cords; Shunyata AC outlets, five dedicated 20A lines 
Support: Critical Mass Systems Olympus equipment racks and Olympus amplifier stands; CenterStage2 isolation
Cables: Shunyata Research Sigma interconnects and loudspeaker cables; AudioQuest WEL Signature interconnects
Acoustics: Acoustic Geometry Pro Room Pack 12, Acoustical Surfaces Studio 3D isolation door
Room: Acoustic Sciences Corporation Iso-Wall System
LP cleaning: Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200, Levin Design record brush