Of course, it is absolutely unusual for turntables in this price range, but I have got the Pluto 12A carbon Cobra and the Greece arm along with van den Hul-cartridge and a carbon base plate by Eddie Driessen as a Plug & Play device – and right after the first preview it was clear that nothing in this wonderful combination should changed.
|The Pluto 12A Cobra with the tonearm 6A has a really impressive appearance|
Fortunately the analog specialist in the Netherlands is not one of those designers who comes out with new models on the market every minute. Eddy Driessen founded Pluto Audio in 1974, to develop and manufacture Tonearms. 18 Years later he presented two turntables, the 10A & 11A to the public. The model 12A appeared in 1995, to make the best analog sound accessible to a wider range of customers as the short history on the Pluto-audio web site tells. That should probably mean that the 12A was the cheapest turntable of the company. This is right for the 12A, which like all other turntables mentioned before received the name "Special" in the meantime, even today. By the way, the 12A standard can be found with nearly 9000 euros in the price list. The 12A carbon Cobra, the subject of our consideration – as already apparent at first glance – is very much more complex built and with a price of 25000 euro has moved significantly closer to the 10A, which is even 5000 euro more expensive.
The 12A carbon Cobra can be described best as a turntable, that in his enormously long production process has been refined continuously. The remedy of choice for Eddy Driessen was a sophisticated mix of materials, with the primary goal to eliminate resonances as far as possible, caused by scanning the record or by air-borne noise. So, the platter is made of a stainless steel material number 1.4301, which is relatively soft and can be polished well. The platter was lathe from solid metal and to reduce resonances a cork mat is glued on the underside. The holes on top of the plate have the same purpose. They are filled with a special compound. What material it is exactly, was not revealed to me by Bernd Berling, who is responsible for the distribution of Pluto Audio in Germany for a long time and who operates the HiFi-Studio KlangStube. It was certainly hard enough, to get detailed information about the turntable and the tonearm from the developer. When Eddy Driessens paid a short visit to Gröbenzell I could not manage to get concrete statements about his creation from him. He prefers that the sound of his products speak for themselves.
|Not only the copper plate, but also the copper part of the plate pin ensures a safe dissipation of static charge. The latter unfolds its effect only in conjunction with the ebony audio puck, which is available as an accessory. Here the image of the standard puck|
Thankfully, the distributor helped me gather the information. But back to the material mix of the turntable platter: The copper plate, which makes contact with the record is also made from a soft alloy, as the soft material can be better machined. The copper plate is placed to ground static charges on the plate better especially in combination with the the new record clamp. The turntable chassis is made of solid aluminum and is based on the 12A Standard. The 12A Cobra is additionally covered with carbon, benefiting also the appearance of the turntable, but on top the stiffness of the whole construction is heavly improved. The shiny end ring is like any other high gloss parts polished by hand - and not just chrome-plated. The chassis is based on three ceramic feet.