In 2023 I visited Vertere Acoustics, a small London-based manufacturer of turntables and related products. The company was founded in 2006 by mechanical engineer and turntable designer Touraj Moghaddam after he separated from Roksan, a company he had cofounded some 20 years earlier. Roksan achieved early success with Moghaddam’s first turntable design, the Xerxes, which is still in production, after many iterations, and is still highly regarded.

VertereTouraj Moghaddam and a brace of Vertere turntables

During my two-day visit to Vertere, I was shown its assembly facility and spent some time in its listening room. I was so impressed with what I saw and heard that I requested a sample unit of the MG‑1 turntable for review.

Vertere’s turntable range currently comprises the RG‑1 ($39,995; all prices USD unless noted otherwise), the SG‑1 ($26,995), the MG‑1, subject of this review ($15,995), and the DG‑1S ($4899).

I selected the MG-1 for several reasons, not least because it is the cheapest model in the range that incorporates Vertere’s unique suspension and middle-tier tonearm. The MG-1’s price point allows its manufacturing budget to be sufficient for building it without major compromises. It also gives it a better stance in a highly competitive market segment, replete with impressive spinners from firms such as Linn, Rega, Michell, Clearaudio, Pro-ject, Thorens, and SME.

The package

Each of Vertere’s turntables is offered as a package that includes a Vertere tonearm, motor drive, connecting cables, and mat. The MG‑1 package I was sent for review, at $17,495, represents a substantial saving over the cost of its parts when purchased separately.


My MG‑1 review sample was equipped with Vertere’s Super Groove tonearm (discussed below), fitted with the company’s Mystic moving-coil cartridge ($3599), an attractive electric-blue design weighing 9.1gm, milled from a solid block of aluminum and tapped for mounting hardware. A bonded micro-elliptical diamond stylus is mounted to the cartridge. The generator assembly—a samarium-cobalt magnet with a pure-copper crossed coil—and the all-aluminum cantilever are both from Namiki of Japan. The recommended tracking force for the Mystic is 2gm.

The most unusual aspect of the Mystic is its high recommended impedance loading, 680 to 1500 ohms, which limits the choice of suitable phono stages. The phono stages I use, a Trichord and a PS Audio Stellar, top out around 1000 ohms, which worked quite well; other models may not offer a sufficiently high load impedance.


To ensure compatibility, Vertere included its Phono-1 Mk II phono stage ($1995) with my MG-1 review sample. Finished in a rather fetching orange color—orange, Vertere’s signature color, is used to good effect in many of its products—the Phono-1 Mk II proved an ideal match for this turntable-cartridge combination.


The MG-1’s motor is a 24-pole synchronous design driven by a small dedicated off-board power supply. Vertere produces various grades of power supply. The MG-1 package includes the base-level Tempo motor drive, which costs $4595 if purchased separately. A pushbutton on the Tempo’s faceplate is used for mode (on/standby/off) and speed selection, 33⅓ or 45 rpm. One level up in Vertere’s motor-drive line is the $11,995 Imperium. For perspective, Michell will sell you its top-of-the-range HR power supply, used in the GyroDec and Orbe turntables, for £800 in the UK. Linn’s latest Lingo 4 power supply, used for the LP12 turntable, is about twice that. Linn’s top-of-the-line power supply for the LP12 costs £6955. Vertere’s power supply for the flagship RG-1 turntable costs an eye-watering $46,995.

The Vertere Redline cabling provided for connection to the phono stage and motor control unit is of exceptional quality, which is no surprise considering Vertere was manufacturing cables before it built its first record player. Various upgrade options are available, but the Redline looked more impressive than pretty much any cable I have ever seen supplied as standard with a turntable. The mains cable looked equally impressive. It wouldn’t look out of place among the umbilicals tethering a Saturn V rocket to its launch gantry.


Something to be aware of is that the MG-1 does not include a dust cover. Like all acrylic turntables, it is something of a dust magnet, and the multi-layered plinth isn’t the easiest thing to dust. But a Perspex place-on dust cover is available ($995) as well as a deluxe full enclosure ($1695). I would be tempted to get one of these to keep dust in check.

The MG-1 package I received for review, with the Mystic cartridge and Phono-1 Mk II phono stage, would cost a total of $23,089. This is about the same price as a fully loaded Linn LP12 or a mid-range SME and a bit more than my resident GyroDec/SME IV with a nice cartridge and phono stage. While I am taken aback by some of the prices at the upper reaches of the Vertere line (the price of the flagship Reference tonearm, for instance, is a staggering $64,995!), I feel that the MG-1, in terms of design, execution, construction, and performance, is in a sweet spot pricewise.

Design features

Vertere turntables have several unique design features. Each of the four models employs an attractive acrylic plinth, offered transparent or, except in the DG-1S, in a choice of three colors: Black Metallic, Pearlescent White, and Champagne. Each plinth structure comprises several thick layers of acrylic separated by precisely tuned, strategically placed rubber isolation mounts that damp vibration through the structure. Apart from the sub-platter, a three-layer plinth structure is found on the RG-1 and SG-1, a two-layer structure on the MG-1, and a single layer on the DG-1S.

The MG-1’s isolation mounts are not nearly as compliant as the springs or elastomer dampers used on many suspended designs. Structurally, the Vertere feels closer to an unsprung deck, like that of the Rega, exhibiting little detectable movement. The plinth does yield to manual pressure, though. No other turntable, insofar as I know, has a comparable system for vibration mitigation.

VertereIsolation mounts’ positions as seen from above

Another unusual design element is the motor unit, which rotates about its shaft; typically, it is the shaft that rotates, while the motor housing is fixed in position. The MG-1’s Acetal motor platform is derived from the SG-1’s. It uses two precision bearings to mount the motor and three spike-pointed screws to align it. This makes for an ideal coupling between the motor and its platform, according to Vertere. This design ensures that belt tension, and therefore speed, remains constant. Vertere argues that with conventionally mounted turntable motors, unavoidable fluctuations in motor speed, including cogging, cause platter-speed instability.

The MG-1’s platter is also unique. It is based on the one in the SG-1, a one-piece aluminum-alloy body topped with a 3mm bonded acrylic disc. The platter is capped with Vertere’s Techno Mat, a two-layer affair itself: a cork/polymer substrate with a bonded felt-like top that is said to support the record almost like an air-cushion. This layered mat design constitutes an inert, neutral interface between platter and vinyl, Vertere says.

Techno MatThe Techno Mat in profile

One other unique feature of Vertere’s turntables is their removeable spindle top. The top part of the spindle serves one purpose only: to facilitate proper placement of records on the platter. Once a record is centered on the platter, the spindle top can and should be removed. This eliminates direct contact between the record and the main bearing, a source of vibration. Controlling vibration is clearly a primary goal in Vertere’s turntable designs. The MG-1 is an engineer’s turntable where form follows function and the designer’s intent is patently evident, rather like the Townshend Rock and Michell GyroDec. I like that.

As mentioned, the MG‑1 is equipped with Vertere’s Super Groove tonearm ($2995 with standard tonearm wiring when purchased separately). This tonearm incorporates what Vertere terms Tri-Pivot Articulated (TPA) bearing, which comprises three precision silicon nitride balls in an Acetal ball-retaining ring supporting the machined stainless pivot. Conventional unipivot arms use a single point sitting on a flat pad. The TPA bearing eliminates bearing point skating and is self-centering, so the tonearm feels more stable than any unipivot arm I have tried. And while it fell short of the utter stability and ease of cueing of my SME IV tonearm, it was never difficult to cue accurately—even after a couple of glasses of fine single malt. The tonearm tube is constructed from roll-wrapped carbon fiber; the headshell is titanium. The pivot point and counterweight are positioned to have as low a center of gravity as possible, which helps the tonearm ride warps. A pleasantly damped cuing mechanism completes the design.



It’s telling that Miles Showell of Abbey Road Studios uses a Vertere RG-1 turntable to test his cuts—an impressive endorsement. The MG-1 shares many critical components with the SG-1, which is built to the same standards as the RG-1. Needless to say, I was looking forward to hearing the MG-1 in my system.

I had the opportunity to try the Vertere Mystic moving-coil cartridge on my Michell GyroDec before the MG-1 was delivered and found it an intriguing cartridge in many ways. It was fast, dynamic, and open, and it was capable of recovering a remarkable level of detail from recordings. Surface noise was average. In terms of tonality, it had good bass extension and was fairly neutral, but I did notice a certain tonal grayness on both the GyroDec and, later, on the Vertere MG-1. Fewer shivers raced up my spine than I’ve experienced with some other cartridges.


Once the Vertere MG-1 arrived, I inserted it into my resident system: a Naim Audio NAC 82 preamplifier, Naim HiCap power supply, and Naim NAP 250 power amplifier, driving a pair of ATC SCM40 loudspeakers. I placed the turntable on my Ash Designs Cosmic five-level audio rack, which has tempered glass shelves on rubber suspension and spiked feet. I tried the Trichord Dino phono stage for a short while but decided to use the Phono-1 Mk II stage that Vertere supplied instead—it seemed better suited for the character of the MG-1.

From the beginning, it was clear that the MG-1 is an accurate, high-performing turntable with a very distinctive sound. I began my audition with a rendition of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood,” from Big Band Spectacular (Chasing the Dragon VALDC002), by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. This was a treat. The jump factor of drums and brass had me tapping my foot within seconds, agog at the sheer gusto of the performance. The MG-1 does not hit you with immense bass power the way an SME can; it tantalizes you with a lean, agile presentation. The soundstage was wide, and imaging distinct—instruments were located with pinpoint accuracy. Compared to the GyroDec, however, which casts a deep soundstage, the MG-1’s soundstage was shallower. Images were therefore a little flatter and did not project out into the room as far. Dynamics, though, were first-rate with the MG-1, especially on uncompressed recordings like Big Band Spectacular where its ability to convey the full force of the brass section and drums was well demonstrated.


It’s hard to believe, but half a century has gone by since ABBA won the Eurovision contest. I’ve always loved the Swedish group for their melodious tunes and clarion clear vocals. I grabbed my 1970s pressing of The Album (Epic S-EPC 86052) and dropped the needle onto “The Name of the Game.” The opening drum rhythms were not particularly full or weighty, but they were whip-crack fast and crisp. Agnetha’s intro vocal cut through with tremendous separation and pinpoint imaging. In the chorus, Agnetha’s and Freda’s celestial, ice-clear voices were delivered with enough Scandinavian chill to give me goosebumps.

I recently acquired the 2017 remaster of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Universal Music Group / Parlophone PCS 7027), an album I adore and own in just about every format. It is a demanding recording, with a hugely busy mix in places, which played to the strengths of the Vertere, allowing it to flaunt its facility for separating musical strands and delineating instruments. The cacophonous orchestral climax of “A Day in the Life,” for instance, was presented with far greater separation of instruments than with any other turntable I have ever heard. The MG-1 was a scalpel excavating the groove with forensic dedication. The RG-1 is at least as capable in this regard, which made it ideal for testing lacquer cuts in the vinyl mastering suite at Abbey Road. This latest vinyl master has brought many previously buried sounds to the fore, sonic subtleties of sound effects and backing instruments, which the MG-1 fully exposed. Despite huge swings in dynamics, it maintained a tight grip on the presentation.


I decided to move on to a simpler production: the beautiful “Time Has Told Me,” from Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left (Island Records 0602537347568). Drake’s acoustic guitar was rendered with superb articulation, which highlighted the percussive nature and mechanics of his fingerstyle. The distinct timbres of the vocals and guitar were perfectly preserved. The leading edge of notes was accentuated, propelling the song along. Piano interjections from the left and electric guitar licks from the right were rendered sharply, distally, over the broad soundstage.

This tendency of the MG-1 to deconstruct music to its constituent parts seemed to diminish the cohesiveness of presentation sometimes. But this may have been merely a reflection of the multitrack recording process. The Vertere may simply be better able to discriminate and relay such detail than other turntables. In many ways it is akin to digital in its precision and raw honesty.


The Vertere MG-1 has been a fascinating and an enjoyable turntable to review. It’s not often that one encounters a turntable so distinctive in sound, so unique in design: the rotating motor mount, the tri-pivot arm mounting, the removable spindle, the triple-plinth suspension system.

The MG-1 is not the sort of turntable that is likely to appeal to people who entertain romantic notions about soft-sounding vinyl. It doesn’t paper over the cracks but rather lays bare everything it finds on a record, exactly as recorded. It is probably the most energetic-sounding turntable I have yet encountered, and I loved it for that. It made recordings sound incredibly engaging.


The MG-1 is a beautifully designed and well-engineered vinyl spinner built with great care. It would make a beautiful centerpiece in any system, which is not always the case with high-end turntables. If you are in the market for a top-flight turntable at this price level, the MG-1 is a leading contender. Alternative cartridge options will allow you to season its sound to taste and may be worth exploring.

Touraj Moghaddam’s deep desire to uncover every last sonic nuance that resides in the shadowy world of vinyl grooves is clearly manifest in the design of the MG-1 and other Vertere turntables. Moghaddam loves music and has amassed a truly incredible record collection over the years. Having had the MG-1 in my possession for a while, I can appreciate how this came about: I acquired more vinyl during this time than ever before. What could possibly be a greater endorsement!

. . . Jonathan Gorse

Associated Equipment

  • Cartridge: Vertere Acoustics Mystic.
  • Phono preamplifiers: Vertere Phono-1 Mk II, Trichord Research Dino Mk 3 with Never Connected Dino+ power supply, PS Audio Stellar.
  • Preamplifer: Naim Audio NAC 82.
  • Power amplifier: Naim NAP 250.
  • Power supply: Naim HiCap.
  • Streaming DAC: Naim Audio NDX2.
  • CD player: Naim CDI.
  • Turntable: Michell GyroDec turntable with SME Series IV tonearm and Audio-Technica AT-ART20 cartridge.
  • Loudspeakers: ATC SCM40.
  • Power: Dedicated 100A mains spur feeding two Graham PowerBlocks, Naim Hydra, Naim Powerline Lite.
  • Cabling: Chord Company Sarum T loudspeaker cables, Naim NAC A5 loudspeaker cables, Naim interconnects on all Naim amplification, Chord Co. Sarum T Super ARAY XLR, Chord Co. SignatureX Tuned ARAY DIN-RCA, Chord Co. SignatureX RCA-XLR, Chord Co. EpicX ARAY RCA, Chord Co. Chameleon interconnects for phono stages, QED interconnects for secondary sources.

Vertere Acoustics MG-1 Turntable
Price: $17,495, including Super Groove tonearm and Redline phono cable; $23,089 as tested, with Mystic cartridge and Phono-1 Mk. II phono stage.
Warranty: Ten years, parts and labour.

Vertere Acoustics
5 Oliver Business Park
Jubilee Road
NW10 7JB
Phone: +44 (0) 203 176 4888.


North American distributor:
Rutherford Audio
14 Inverness Dr. East, Unit G-108
Englewood, CO 80112
Phone: 1-888-279-6765