When setting out to design the Akula the first objective was to manage the relationship between the main bearing and arm connection (perhaps obvious). As demonstrated by the Keel, this is best achieved by a single connection; further connection points act as filters, ie, placing an armboard between the arm mount and rest of the chassis results in loss of information. However, a large piece of material between the two points gives rise to similar issues; not all materials can be machined to that shape and choice of material is critical in managing the harmonics between the two pieces. In car terms, this is the equivalent of designing a suspension component to link the hub to the chassis and then adding additional mass and shape in order to fulfill a non critical application; the ideal is to design a component that is correct for the job.
So with that principle in mind we use two pieces. One piece is the primary connection and locates the arm directly to the main bearing housing. Being a smaller assembly this gives us great choice in material and allows us to optimize that piece for its specific role. This is the connection that drives information retrieval and musicality. The secondary plate is used for holding the beam in place and is designed not to interfere with the performance of the primary assembly. To that end it is decoupled from the beam and acts as the carrier and suspension interface. Lastly, to preserve the original aesthetic of the deck we attach (an original) arm board to the main beam to cover the hole. Once again we are trying to ensure that it does not interfere with the way energy and movement is transmitted between the arm and main bearing.
In order to improve the way energy is transmitted, the main bearing and arm are both located with the familiar 3 point locating patterns. The main beam has been machined to ensure that standing waves are broken up and is curved in ordered to add strength. It is made of a different material to the spring carrier which is optimized for its specific role.
In terms of performance, we believe that it is the ultimate sub chassis that you can fit to an LP12. The Keel is without question, an excellent component; the Akula has been designed to produce similarly excellent performance. However, the two are not the same and preference will play its part here, but it will significantly out perform any other chassis that we have compared in terms of musical information and resolution. The Aro version is unique in dispensing with the original Aro mounting collar allowing direct connection of the arm pillar to the sub chassis - those who have found the Aro losing resolution at the frequency extremes will be pleasantly surprised.
Due to the modular nature of the Akula we can provide versions for Linn arms, the Naim Aro and Rega arms. As before, the Akula is available through competent qualified dealers who will be happy to demonstrate and carry out installation, or directly from ourselves.
We hope that you enjoy the considerable benefits of a high performance sub chassis and are proud to be able to explain to you the thinking behind the solution. We named it Akula after the double hull construction of a certain submarine; the two part sub chassis but single arm/bearing connection was a significant step in designing a component based on logical engineering principles to provide excellent and cost effective performance.