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Review: Elipson Alpha 100

Launched a few months ago, the Elipson Alpha 100 turntable is, together with the Elipson Alpha 50, part of the entry-level line of turntables from the French hi-fi manufacturer Elipson. This is an entirely manual, belt-driven model. It comes with an Ortofon OM10 phono cartridge.

Platine vinyle Elipson Alpha 100 lecture

Elipson Alpha 100: a complete range

The Elipson Alpha 100 turntable is part of Elipson’s Alpha range. The Elipson Alpha 50 turntable, the range’s entry-level model, features an Ortofon OM5E phono cartridge (exclusively offered by your favorite online hifi distributor). This model is followed by the Elipson Alpha 100, Elipson Alpha 100 RIAA and Elipson Alpha 100 RIAA BT. Each of these three models features an Ortofon OM10 phono cartridge and offers different functions. The first (which we have chosen for our test), is a standard model and is not equipped with a preamplifier. The second (Elipson Alpha 100 RIAA) includes an integrated phono preamp (MM and MC) and can thus be connected directly to an amplifier’s line input. The last (Elipson Alpha 100 RIAA BT) also includes a phono preamp in addition to a USB port for digitizing records and a Bluetooth receiver for wireless diffusion via a portable Bluetooth speaker, for example.

Elipson Alpha 100: turntable design

The Elipson Alpha 100 benefits from an elegant design and many innovative technologies. This turntable inaugurates an OTT tonearm entirely developed by Elipson’s team of engineers. The tonearm is composed of two different materials: brushed aluminum for the tube and PVC for the headshell. These two components are fused together. From a technical standpoint, this choice enables enhanced performance while reducing vibrations, which are common with detachable components. This tonearm is equipped with an antiskating system created by the torque of an internal cable. A wheel, located on top of the antiskating system, can be used to make adjustments when changing the cartridge.

Platine vinyle Elipson Alpha 100 réglage antiskating

Adjusting the Elipson Alpha 100 turntable’s antiskating mechanism

The platter is driven by an MSD motor which is separated from the rest of the sub-chassis by a mechanical suspension system and regulated by an ASC (Auto Speed Control) card. The card generates a precise frequency in order to maintain a consistent rotation speed. Passing from one playback speed to another is easy thanks to a dedicated switch. It is possible to play 33 and 45 rpm records without changing the drive belt. To play 78 rpm records, you have to start the turntable in 45 rpm mode, and stop the rotation for few seconds before starting playback in 45 rpm mode once again. It is also necessary to change the phono cartridge. As for the rest of the turntable’s construction, there is a platter made of pressed steel and a sub-chassis made of PVC. All of the turntable’s components put together weigh 5 kilos.
The icing on the cake is the fact that this turntable boasts the label “Made in France.” 70% of the production process occurs within the country (in Saint Fargeau in the Yonne department, to be precise).

Platine vinyle Elipson Apha 100 selecteur de vitesse lecture

The Elipson Alpha 100 turntable’s speed selector

Elipson Alpha 100: Ortofon OM10 cartridge

The phono cartridge delivered with this turntable is the Ortofon OM10, a choice that is appropriate and commonly seen on similar models. The cartridge is pre-mounted and pre-adjusted (just like the antiskating), making it possible to use this turntable right out of the box. The user only needs to set the drive belt into place and connect the turntable to an RIAA phono preamp or an amplifier’s phono input and a mains outlet in order to start listening to records.

Platine vinyle Elipson Alpha 100 cellule Ortofon OM10

The Ortofon OM10 phono cartridge and its protective cover

Elipson Alpha 100: listening conditions

For this test we brought out a Graham Slee Amp 2 Communicator phono preamp. We then connected the preamp to a Hegel H80 hi-fi stereo amplifier with a Viard Audio Premium HD RCA-RCA cable. At the other end, we opted for Elipson’s new floorstanding speakers: the Prestige Facet PF14F.

Platine vinyle Elipson Alpha 100 enceintes colonnes Prestige Facet

The Elipson Alpha 100 turntable flanked by a pair of Elipson Prestige Facet PF14F speakers

For this test, we listened to the following records:

  • Ibrahim Maalouf – Red and Black Light (180 gram vinyl)
  • Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison (180 gram vinyl)
  • Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

The entirety of this configuration offers a coherent restitution. The soundstage is well presented and wide. The instruments are easy to identify, and the placement of each can be distinguished without difficulty. The various registers are all easily audible, with a particularly pleasing restitution of the lows and mids. The highs, for their part, are easy to hear when the music calls for them. As is common with vinyl records, the overall restitution is marked by its fidelity as well as its ability to offer a musical experience far superior to what a digital source at this price would be able to propose (network player).

Platine vinyle Elipson Alpha 100 lecture cellule

Elipson Alpha 100: conclusions

As is the case for all Elipson turntables, the Elipson Alpha 100’s design is characterized by its elegant lines. Its warm sound restitution and ease of use make it a staple for this price point, with a little something extra: design and construction “Made in France.”

You can view a video of our first steps with the Elipson Alpha 100 turntable here:

The Elipson Alpha 100 in photographs:

This post is also available in: French

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Mikaël Joly

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