Kronos Sparta or TechDas Air Force III?

Hi all,

I have the opportunity to buy one of them. They are both used but with one year warranty. Soon I will have the chance to listen to the Kronos, but it is difficult to listen to second and this is why I need your opinion and experience.




I’d be happy with either. I’ve heard the Kronos-amazing. Air Force One-WOW! Not a fair comparison, but I would imagine the III isn't giving up much.

It’s a shame you have settle for the "lower tier" Tech Das(smirk)

Engineering and the vacuum hold down of the Tech Das would sway me.

If it was me I'd be going for the Tech Das no question. I believe it has a better heritage and better isolation but sadly I can't afford either, even used.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Reviewer Greg Weaver has the Kronos TT and absolutely loves it.  I would go with the Kronos. Kronos is an established company, Tech Das is not.  What happens if Tech Das folds in a few years and you need parts?   You will have a very expensive boat anchor. 

I do like the History of the Chief Designer from Tech Das and the TT's left in the wake of the career moves have been nothing short of very much sought after.

I also know that he still has a passion for TT design and will be seen delving into the designs that are present at a attended commercial event.

I would not suggest this is the sole reason to consider a TT, but it in reassuring to know where some of the design considerations may have evolved from, and how successful they have been as an older generation technology. 

Dear @renatocomes  : Both turntables are very good looking aND OBVIOUSLY WILL MAKES THAT YOUR AUDIO FRIENDS EXCLAIM: WOW !


The issue is if that same of Wow is similar on its quality level performance.


By definition a TT should has not a " color/signature by it self, a TT must be just neutral with out adding nothing other that its main target that's seep stability in the short time.

This is what the Air Force designer post/says in his site:

"  Furthermore, as gunmetal is relatively a soft and tensile metal, you will notice that a subtle glow is added to the sound. ""

Obviously that that unit is really far away to be free of listen colorations and the Kronos it's not better not even in sspeed staBILITY THAT MUST BE YOUR FIRST PRIORITY TO CHOOSE ANY tt OF THE LEVEL YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

In your other thread you received very good options to as the DD NVS unit that's closer to an " ideal TT ".

As important as is the TT the cartridges/tonearms combination perhaps are more critical an important and these cartridge/tonearm combination really can makes a differences for the better in any audio system where a TT is not closer to that characteristic. Curious that in both TT sites do not exist the speed stability measures.

Of course that seems as you can get good price for either unit but price as important I think is more important that this TT you want to buy probably be your last TT , think a little about.

Now, if you are " sticked " to either unit then buy either of them because our opinions are only that opinions an even the owners of those TTs their room/systems arwe different from yours.

Btw, the vacuum hold down LP you always can add to any TT as after market new devices/item.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,



@rauliruegas   Uhmm, I tried to add vacuum hold down on my Linn LP12...was not a pretty site, nor a pretty sound, ;0)

The hold down on the Tech Das AF impacts the playback significantly - that's been my experience comparing the AF VP with an AF Technics SP10 Mk2 (no clamp) and Kuzma Stabi R w clamp. For that reason, if I were spending that kind of dough, I'd definitely chose the TechDas AF over the Kronos. It's the most sought-after technologies for modern turntables - Dohmann is trying to add hold down to their next update so that says a lot.  I will add that TechDas customer service isn't that great - so if that's important to you - keep that in mind.  Either way, you can't go wrong.  Good luck - it's fun shopping for turntables (and almost everything else audio related - amps, speakers, carts etc).

IMO, if you have to ask that question of a forum, you shouldn't be wasting your money on either.

"Uhmm, I tried to add vacuum hold down on my Linn LP12...was not a pretty site, nor a pretty sound,"

daveyf-perhaps RR was implying the highly advanced AT666 from the 80's?

He's knowledgeable of everything in the audiophool universe, so his comments must be true-WOW!

Dear @daveyf : "  nor a pretty sound..""

Well nothing is perfect and there are some issues with the vacuum hold down mechanism. 

Some Micro Seiki TT models that came with the hold down the surface material where the LP rest is metal one and here exist a problem of resonances/vibrations not well damped but other MS models fixed that with a hold down non-metal contact LP surface and ovbiously all improved with this change. In the AT after market item happened the same and AT had both the metal and felt like contact surface.


In both kind of hold down mechanism exist other issue and is that the LP side in contact with the hold down must be perfectly cleaned as the hold down contact surface because the microscopic dust be sticked for ever if not perfectly cleaned.

The hold down it's not very good with the LP waves but because the LP is almost " sticked to the platter making that the stylus/cantilever " feels " less movements and we can listen its " integrity " in the reproduced sound.

The after market items gives too or works too as a flyweel adding its weigth.



Proper vacuum clamping, like that employed by Basis and Sota, enhances pitch stability without any ill effect. In that regard you would think you were listening to a digital source. A record that is not perfectly flat alters pitch. An unsupported record resonates. Vacuum clamping controls that energy by passing it on to a much larger mass, the platter. 

IMHO the Kronos is a silly design and not worth a second look. The Air Force III is a serious piece of work and has a significantly better bearing system and vacuum clamping. I would never buy one because I think it makes a relatively simple situation much more complicated than it needs to be. The turntable I would buy is the Dohmann Helix 1 as soon as Mark gets his vacuum system and isolation dust cover done. The wheels of progress are unfortunately, slow. Patience is a virtue. 

Why is the Kronos a silly design? It seems to me to be an honest attempt to address issues that plague any belt driven turntable. Whether it works well or not in that capacity is a matter of the opinion of those who own and use it.

So full disclosure I am a TechDas III premium owner and very satisfied.   Until you actually try a vacuum hold down from TechDas you probably shouldn't be commenting on the system.     They are a well established company and a subsidiary of Stella.   They will be around a long time.   

Ciao rsf507,

il mio hifi pusher ( 😉 ) sold me a brand new AVID Classic + Benz LP cartridge for a great price. I reused my beloved tome arm, SME V (which is the perfect AVID companion) .

AVID is great, simpler to manage and robust as a tank. Sparta has 2 engines therefore the probability that you can be in trouble is twice .. Tech Das is not well supported in Italy.

Anyway, the TT cable is FM Acoustics and I reused it too.

Thanks for asking me. Next step will be interconnect cables.