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This review first appeared in the June 2012 issue of hi-end hifi magazine High Fidelity of Poland. You can also read it in its original Polish version here. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with publisher Wojciech Pacula. As is customary for our own articles, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of High Fidelity or AMG. - Ed

Reviewer: Wojciech Pacula
CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition
Phono preamplifier: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC
Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory Shilabe & Kansui
Preamplifier: Ayon Audio Polaris III Signature with Regenerator power supply
Power amplifier: Soulution 710
Integrated amplifier/headphone amplifier: Leben CS300 XS Custom
Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic + Acoustic Revive custom speaker stand
Headphones: Sennheiser HD800, AKG K701, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 600Ω vintage, HifiMan HE6
Interconnects: CD/preamp Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, preamp/power amp Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo
Speaker cable: Tara Labs Omega Onyx
Power cables (all equipment): Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300
Power strip: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate
Stand: Base IV custom under all components
Resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under CD player, Audio Revive RAF-48 platform under CD player and preamplifier, Pro Audio Bono PAB SE platform under Leben CS300 XS
Review component retail: €12.800 for the table/arm combo. Table €9.800 separately, arm €3.900.

As we learn the Viella V12 turntable, thus far the only model from the new AMG company, was to  initially feature an AMG Benz logo. Werner Roeschlau, AMG’s owner and designer, had the desire to sell his Viella together with the Benz-Micro LP cartridge since he reckoned they’d be perfect partners. However something misfired and Albert Lukaschek, owner of Benz, did not enter into this venture. I don’t actually know why. It really is a fantastic combination!

The basic component however is the turntable. Analog Manufaktur Germany is the newest brain child from Werner Roeschlau who previously manufactured turntables and components for other companies, most notably Brinkmann - which may explain why they look similar. It is enough to see the shape of the latter’s Balance or even more so Bardo to know that something’s up. But the devil as always is in the details. While Brinkmann’s Balance uses an external motor and control unit and the Bardo features 'magnetic direct drive' system, the Viella integrates its belt motor into the main chassis. The main bearing is also different. The AMG table uses the hydromechanical characteristics of the lubricant to simplify its bearing design. And there are further differences.

The Viella V12 is a non-decoupled mass-loaded belt-driven design. Its shape is very characteristic with a not overly large aluminium plinth. The platter attaches to one end, the arm board with tone arm to the other. In some way it reminded me of  the Kuzma Stabi S. Again, the motor integrates with the plinth since Werner aimed at best coupling between motor and platter. Naturally such a compact plinth does not allow for a lot of space hence the motor found itself in the line which connects the arm with the main bearing with its polished steel cylinder hidden under the platter’s outline.

The platter is truly massive. It is made of two layers - black-anodized ‘aircraft-grade' aluminum with weighted rim for enhanced flywheel effect and an integrated top layer of PVC. The whole affair is CNC machined by Werner. The 12J2 tone arm is very interesting too. It is light as a feather, 12 inches long and a thin straight tube made of aluminium just like the plinth. It features a dual pivot with magnetic anti-skating replacing the standard gimbaled bearing. VTA adjustment is easy thanks to a small level built into the tone arm board. The turntable arrived for review with the Benz-Micro LP cartridge. This honored Werner’s original vision. Certain photos on this page show an optional wooden rim. That’s no mere decoration but an actual part of the design. The basic version I reviewed comes without it however.

Sound. A selection of recordings used during auditions: Air, Love 2,Archeology/Virgin/EMI/The Vinyl Factory, 53361, 2 x 200gr LP; Andreas Vollenweider, Caverna Magica, CBS, 25 265, Halfspeed Mastered, LP (1983); Bill Evans, Selections from Bill Evans Live at Top of The Gate, Resonance Records, blue vax 10”, Limited Edition No. 270, 180g LP (2012); Billie Holiday, Songs for Distingué Lovers, Verve/Classic Records, 45 Series, One-Sided Pressing, MG VS-6021-45, 2 x 180g LP (1957/2001); Chet Baker Quartet, Chet Baker Quartet feat. Dick Twardick, Barclay Disques/Sam Records, Limited Edition, 180g LP (1955/2011); Chico Hamilton Quintet, Chico Hamilton Quintet feat Buddy Collette, Pacific Jazz Records, PJ-1209, LP (1955); Czesław Niemen, Postscriptum, Polskie Nagrania, SX 1876, LP (1980); ...

... Depeche Mode, World in my eyes/Happiest girl/Sea of sin, Mute/Sire/Reprise, 21735, maxi-LP (1990); Jean-Michel Jarré, Revolutions, Dreyfus Disque/Polydor, POLH 45, LP (1988); Jean-Michel Jarré, Zoolook, Dreyfus Disque/Polydor, JAR4 5, LP (1984); Julie London, Julie is her name. Vol. 1, Liberty Records, LPR 3006, LP (1955); Kraftwerk, Techno Pop, Capital Records/KlingKlang/Mute Records, STUMM 308, digital master, 180gr LP (1986/2009); Mikołaj Bugajak, Strange Sounds and Inconceivable Deeds, Nowe Nagrania 001, 45 rpm LP+CD+WAV 24/44,1 (2010); Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here, EMI Records, 029880, digital master, 180g LP (1975/2011); The Cult, Electric, Beggars Banquet/Sire, 25555, LP (1987).