Elipson Omega 100 RIAA BT

The Omega flagship shows that an extensive spec need not come at the expense of performance

The very fact that the Omega 100 exists at all is a testament to the extent of the revival in vinyl’s fortunes. The RIAA BT is the flagship of six models that effectively break down into two groups of three – the more affordable Alpha models and the premium Omega range. The playback hardware of the Omegas is identical and comprises a completely bespoke design that’s been developed inhouse by the French brand.  

Chief among the new technology is a computer-controlled motor with electronic speed switching. The arm is also unique and features a carbon fibre armtube connected to an innovative bearing arrangement that combines vertical and horizontal yokes into a single knuckle and applies the antiskate down the bearing axis using a patented rubber torsion system. It is extremely elegant but has no armlift and although it is easy to place it lightly and accurately on a record, this may deter some vinyl fans. An Ortofon OM10 cartridge is also fitted.

There’s also an onboard phono stage with the ability to connect via aptX Bluetooth to a suitable device (see box out). Unusually, the internal phono stage can’t be switched out of the system. Aesthetically, this is a smart deck with some pleasing design touches and genuinely great build quality. The gloss black finish looks smart, but white and red versions are also available.

Sound quality
You might reasonably expect that the Elipson’s dependence on its own internal phono stage might put it at a disadvantage to some of the other turntables here that are connected to the Cyrus Phono Signature. The fact that it isn’t offers a clue to just how good a performance it’s capable of. The internal board is encouragingly quiet with no hiss or hum, which allows the Omega to show off its performance to good effect. The Portico Quartet recording is the pick of the pack with a fantastic combination of effortless space and an appealingly lively presentation.

What makes this such a capable design is the way that it manages to balance excitement and refinement in such a way as to let the Portico recording sound refined and tonally accurate, but then conversely give the Nothing But Thieves track the attack and energy it needs to sound just right. Some of this is undoubtedly down to the Ortofon OM10, which is a comparatively expensive cartridge in the context of this roundup and one that offers a level of refinement that others struggle to match. This means that the way the Elipson replays the Fischer-Z recording is also comfortably the best here.

By the same token, the weaknesses of the Omega are comparatively slight. There is the merest sense of midrange congestion with the Låpsley track that means that voices and instruments are slightly less well defined than some other decks while some fine detail is marginally harder to discern. When the other decks are tried with the more sensibly priced Graham Slee, however, it becomes clear that not only has Elipson provided the Omega 100 RIAA BT with a useful convenience feature, but something that can hold its own in exalted company. The result is a seriously impressive turntable. ES

Like: Refined and lively sound; excellent build; some useful additional features
Dislike: No armlift; phono stage can’t be bypassed
We say: Combines lovely design, useful features and excellent performance

AptX factor
Like the Akai, the Elipson can communicate via Bluetooth. This is a straightforward process and is easily connected to a receiver on an amp or speaker system by placing the other unit in pairing mode and then activating Bluetooth on the turntable. The big difference over the Akai’s Bluetooth connectivity is that the Omega supports aptX and connected to the Naim Mu-so Qb (HFC 409), the result is a cleaner presentation.

It is also worth noting that the basic Omega 100 without phono stage and Bluetooth (HFC 412) offers the same vinyl replay hardware and would be comfortably the most affordable model in the group. If you don’t want the extra bells and whistles, the entry-level model of the Omega range represents exceptional value and is an interesting alternative to the minimalist designs also on test here.

PRODUCT: Elipson Omega 100 RIAA BT
PRICE: £500
ORIGIN: France
TYPE: Belt-drive turntable
WEIGHT: 5.9kg
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 450 x 120 x 380mm

● 33 & 45rpm
● Built-in MM phono stage
● Ortofon OM10 cartridge
● ‘OTT’ Tonearm with torsion based antiskate

TELEPHONE: 01628 484968
WEBSITE: elipson.com

read the full Group Test review here