Review: Bluenote Bellavista Signature Turntable

Category: Analog

Review of the Bluenote Bellavista Signature Turntable:

I initially posted a lengthy “initial impressions” note ( so I will keep this review short. I still stand by my words in that initial post & feel that it can supplement this review (if you have not read that post). I’ve had this ‘table for slightly over 1 month. The cartridge needs much more breaking in but despite this, the combination sounds very good indeed.

* Bluenote (Italian) Bellavista Signature ‘table (double plinth), Origin Live Silver 250 tonearm & Goldring 1042 MM cartridge.
* Bluenote site: Click “Products” on the left side, then, “Turntables” & scroll down a bit to see the “Bellavista Signature” model.
* The platter is very cool looking & weighs about 10 lbs. It is made from polyvinyl. There is no mat & the LP is placed directly on the platter. The polyvinyl is very close to the material the LP is made of hence the acoustic coupling is pretty tight.
* Delrin spindle insert at the bottom of the main spindle that can be used to raise or lower the platter for correct VTA. If you flip the ‘table over you can see a flat-head screw head, which can be rotated clockwise to raise the platter. I found this to be indispensable to set up the OL Silver 250 with the provided VTA sleeve.
* The entire spindle bearing assembly is brass, threaded on the exterior & attached to the underside of the top plinth by a huge hex nut.
* The fit & finish of all the parts is just impeccable & very impressive. What is even more impressive is that the materials are chosen very judiciously so that ‘table resonances are kept to a minimum. Brass is used for the motor assembly & the dual plinth separaters. The ‘table looks very simple though but its looks are quite deceptive – often simple looks imply mediocre performance but no so in this case, I reassure you!
*The Rega & OL tonearms are supposed to be drop-in replacements for the Bluenote tonearms.
*The mounting hole was not wide enough for the collar to slip into the hole so the entire VTA collar sat above the plinth.
* The tonearm grab screws were metric – 1mm metric.
* The Goldring 1042 MM cartridge weight = 6.3gms & the mid-range VTF = 2 gms, which is in between the manuf. spec’d 1.5 & 2.5 limits.
* The freebie protractor + got one from OL with the cartridge purchase do not require a reference set before alignment. So, it took a lot of sliding the cartridge back & forth in the headshell before the inner & outer null points lined up.
* I set the bias/anti-skate to approx. 1gm as a starter. I have now increased it slightly so that the bottom of the round green slider is touching 1gm.
* Sound-wise: Clear, detailed, great bass extension, crisp high frequency extension. The ‘table just gets out of the way of the music & lets the music flow effortlessly. Low level details are easy to hear & I can make out the details within it. Like-wise for high level details. Passages that go from low levels to sudden high levels are also easily reproduced by the ‘table effortlessly. I would also say that the ‘table is quick, which makes the bass tight – high immediate impact then fades away.
Overall, the foot-tapping coefficient of this ‘table is very high. Music always sounds good, right from the get-go i.e. it doesn’t seem to need any “warm-up” time. Always seems to involve me with the music – never over analytical or cool/aloof.
* The ‘table sit on my DIY sandbox, which is separated from the rack with 3 DH Labs cones. The ‘table itself has spiked feet so it couples at only 3 points on the sandbox plinth.
* The sound has lived up to very expectation I had of it & I love every bit of it. It is a major upgrade from my previous MMF5.

Associated gear
CAT SL1 Sig Mk3 pre
Symphonic Line RG4 Mk3 power
B&W DM604S2 speakers

Similar products
MMF5, Dual CS506 - owned
VPI Aries, Nott. Ana Spacedeck, LP12, Nott. Ana Mentor - heard/auditioned
Thanks for posting a nice review of a TT that many are not familiar with. This can be of good use for those who are looking out of the mainstream for their analog needs.
Great Review, It`s too bad that people here are going to keep on spending their money on those mainstream little league turntables, when they can spend the same money and get in a better league of TT and Tone arm. that makes me SAD,they are not getting big bang for the buck.That`s too BAD. BLUENOTE TT.and Tone ARM are much better than those Mainstream TT. and Tone Arm
Just wanted to share this with all of you - I happened to get more discussion on Audioasylum & the key question I was asked was how this 'table compared to my previous MMF5. Here is the text of that post:-

I used a stock MMF5. Thus, it had the factory-fitted Goldring 1012.
Major upgrade in 2 depts : (1) physical appearance - the fit & finish is superb on the Bluenote. Looks like it is professionally made. Nothing "homely" about it. No cheap parts used anywhere. Extensive use of acrylic & brass. Milled aluminum feet & tonearm mounting collar. No MDF or plastic anywhere. All this makes the physical appearance many times better than the MMF5 & (2) sound - the MMF had a slightly fat bass, slightly forward highs. None of that characteristic in the Bluenote. Resolving power of the 1012 was nothing compared to the 1042. With the 1042 the bass is rich but tight. Highs are much more extended. Shimmer on the cymbal crashes have lustre. Mids are rich & organic unlike the 1012.
The 1012 vs. 1042 comparison is not entirely fair since the MMF5 had the factory arm + cart whereas I now have a much superior arm + cart. Even if I could get hold of a MMF5 now I'm not sure I could mount the OL Silver on it to make a direct comparison! So, you will have to bear this in mind.
However, the Bluenote's rhythum & pace, bass attack, black background & the whole sound delivery package is much better & more effortless than the MMF5. It seems to have strong abilities in the bass, mids & highs wherein no 1 freq. spectrum dominates over the other. The balance of all 3 seems to be perfect. It is also a "quick" table.
The 'table is musical w/o being over-analytical (to my ears the Aries & the Clearaudio Champion are a bit more analytical). To my ears, it's like listening to live music with this 'table. So, I feel the music, I hear the details but it doesn't allow me to get caught up in those details wherein I begin to analyze them. Just like when you are in a concert. There seems to be just the correct amount of music resolving ability put into it without throwing it over the edge.
It is my personal opinion that the slightly analytical characteristic of the Silver 250 synergizes with the musicality of the 'table to give a good overall balance.