Döhmann Helix Two Mk3 (B)
Reference Turntable in Black Finish
The Helix Two Mk3 incorporates the Döhmann Audio technologies into a smaller footprint with a single tonearm facility and is engineered to deliver unparalleled performance in analog playback. It is the result of many years of research, development, collaboration and listening by internationally acclaimed analog designer Mark Döhmann and his team.
When a stylus moves through the grooves of a record, it converts vibrational energy into an electric signal. The shape and cut of the grooves contain an immense amount of information and the objective of any quality analog music system is to interpret this information as accurately as possible. For that to happen the stylus needs to operate in an environment that is free of any vibrational energy & resonance that is not a result of its interaction with the grooves. However, in practice there is a lot of energy moving through a turntable system that the stylus picks up in addition to the vibrations associated with the grooves that it is designed to do. This unwanted energy can be heard as distortion, smear, added harmonics, channel imbalances and these types of sonic phenomena often obscure the micro details within the recording as well as add a colouration to the music.
The first step in designing a high-quality turntable is to carefully measure where is this unwanted energy is coming from and how does it move through the system. At Döhmann Audio, we have spent a lot of time using sophisticated test equipment to measure the resonance profiles of common turntable designs because in order to improve the performance of a turntable, you must first have an accurate understanding of where the resonance is generated and how it behaves. Our research indicated that some resonance originated from the mechanical systems of the turntable (eg. motor, bearing, platter, etc), some from the environment (eg. building, floor, sound waves, etc) and some from the electrical systems (eg. power supplies, control circuitry, etc). Furthermore, the turntable also acts as a physical eco-system where resonance moves through the various parts and interacts with itself. We also made some ground-breaking discoveries about how the vinyl record itself interacts with these energies.
Once these insights are understood, the next objective was to find ways of minimising the sources of resonance and eliminating how they are propagated throughout the turntable. When we started our journey, we discovered that many solutions used by turntable manufacturers for decades where not really very effective and in some cases introduced their own set of challenges. Even well regarded, positively reviewed turntable models didn’t perform well when we measured them. If we wanted to make major improvements to the sonic performance of turntables, we had to look outside the traditional methods and technologies used by turntable manufacturers.
This approach is at the heart of what differentiates Döhmann Audio from other turntable manufacturers. Mark Döhmann looked at other industries that had similar challenges and investigated how they solved them. For example, electron microscopes in research labs cannot operate accurately if there is even the smallest of vibrations present. How do they isolate a microscope? How do fighter jet manufacturers deal with vibrational energies when breaking the sound barrier? How do NASA engineers isolate & insulate sensitive equipment in satellites from damaging resonant energy? How does electronic equipment used in volatile environments such as mining shafts dissipate energy without interacting with the surroundings? By investigating the research and solutions employed within other challenging environments and industries, Döhmann Audio has been able to develop new innovations and technologies that have never been applied to audio before, and the results are exceptional.
Another important philosophy of the company is ‘evolution’. In a similar approach to Porsche with their iconic 911 sports car, the best results are achieved from creating a great design in the first instance that is based on solid scientific principles and research, then continuing to test, measure, change and make incremental improvements as they become available. This way of developing and perfecting a design can be heard immediately when experiencing a Döhmann turntable and the turntables have been designed in a way where all previous versions can be upgraded to the current specification.
The Helix Two Mk3 was designed with the objective in mind to create a reference turntable system which incorporates all of the Dohmann technologies in a compact footprint. To achieve this ambition, Döhmann Audio has incorporated some unique design features and technologies, including a fully integrated MinusK vibration isolation system utilising NSM technology, a mechanical crossover network which is designed to dissipate mid and high frequency vibrations, a floating armboard, a custom designed Swiss-manufactured motor designed to Döhmann Audio’s specifications and carefully designed resonance dissipation pathways within the chassis. A separate box contains the external power supply and power filtration circuitry.
In October 2022, Döhmann Audio introduced the new Mk3 version of the Helix One which has the following improvements over the previous Mk2 version:
- New Advanced Composite Bearing
- New DC Power Supply
- New Drive System
- Improved Platter Design
- New RSA resonance control technology
- New Advanced Composite Armboard (ACA)
- New Record Clamp with RSA Resonance Control
The Helix Two Mk3’s sound is immediately recognised for its purity and realism. It is designed to operate flawlessly in non-ideal environments such as older houses with wooden floors, upper floors, attics where external vibrations are carried through buildings – even those made from concrete, steel, and brick. Due to its revolutionary vibration isolation system, it is also not dependent on a high-quality audiophile stand. The design has made it possible to incorporate a level of engineering previously not possible at this price point and as a result, the Helix Two Mk3 is considered to be outstanding value. The more compact dimensions allow it to be used in smaller spaces and standard sized stands.
The list of innovations and unique technologies is extensive however it is greater than the sum of its features. It is a highly engineered precision instrument that serves as a perfect platform for the music to emerge and engage the listener emotionally. Musical information is released from the grooves of a vinyl record with energy and soul. Often chosen by discerning audiophiles around the world as their reference analogue system, as well as being the turntable of choice for many high-end brands exhibiting in major international hi-fi shows, the Helix Two Mk3 simply allows the music to flow and the full potential of the system to be achieved.
- State-of-the-art custom designed Swiss-manufactured motor
- Push button Speed Adjust
- Separate external advanced DC power supply
- Micro Signal Architecture© (MSA)
- Negative Stiffness Mechanism Vibration Isolation (NSM)
- Mechanical Crossover Technology (MCT)
- Tri-Modal Platter system (TMP)
- Edge Damping Ring (EDR)
- Tone arm Damping System (TDS)
- Resonance Tuned Suspension (RTS)
- Diamond like Coating Amorphous Material Bearing Friction Modifier (DLC)
- High Torque Adjustable Drive (HTAD)
- RSA resonance control technology
- Advanced Composite Armboard (ACA) using custom ballistics grade energy absorbing technology
- Record Clamp with RSA resonance control technology
- Facility for one tonearm
|Drive System||Fully integrated Swiss-manufactured high torque motor.
Dual belt platter drive designed to reduce static electricity and vibrations.
|Platter||Four-layer platter system. The Mat is a special damping elastomer attached to a triple layer construction platter with an air gap between the upper and lower platter. The upper platter is an alloy composition which includes magnesium, manganese, titanium & Silicon Carbide. The Lower Platter is an Aluminium Alloy Outer shell with a metal matrix composite system inside.|
|Top Plate||All Helix Two Mk3 turntables come with a black anodized aluminium top plate as standard. A carbon fibre top plate is available as an upgrade which compliments the new optional Advanced Composite Armboard.|
|Tonearm Mounting||The Helix Two Mk3 turntable is capable of mounting one tonearm up to 12” (305mm).|
|Armboards||All Helix Two Mk3 turntables come with a new Mk3 Advanced Composite Armboard. The armboard is removable and allows simple interchange and calibration.|
|Clamp||The Helix Two Mk3 incorporates a new clamp featuring RSA resonance control technology. The clamp absorbs resonances located within and on the surface of the vinyl record.|
|Operation||The Helix Two Mk3 is operated by two push buttons on the table surface for speed selection/on/off.|
|Speed Control||Speed is constantly calibrated over 130,000 times per second to deliver a precise 33.33 RPM or 45.15 RPM (factory default). Simple user-adjustable speed control is accessible via two push buttons on rear of chassis. 78 and other RPM’s are available by request.|
|Power Supply||The Helix Two Mk3 turntable has a new DC ultra-quiet outboard power supply which comes in a separate box.|
|Dimensions||Turntable (without clamp, tonearm or power supply):
480mm (W) x 400mm (D) x 200mm (H)
18.9 inches (W) x 15.8 inches (D) x 7.9 inches (H)
|Weight||Turntable: 38kg (84 pounds)
Power Supply: 5kg (11 pounds)