“Pirueta” by Dalby Audio Design

Piano Tuner
edited March 2020

Listening notes of Pirueta record weight by Dalby Audio Designs at Divin Lab of Audio Exotics on March 20, 2020 when the world was taken hostage by a pandemic.  

Pirueta – Bridge Over Troubled Water

I always admire the talent of Sir Winston Churchill eloquently mobilising the English language at will to inspire millions at times of difficulty. Our world is now in trouble.   Physical connectivity is broken. Isolation is encouraged. Social distance is a new normal.  But our mind is free and spirit is alive. The perseverance of Lee inspires me to share with fellow AE followers of almost 10,000 worldwide, about the magnificent “Pirueta” to the service of music which is a crucial part of humanity. 

The pending arrival of the “Pirueta” created a celebratory expectation on my part. Even though I had seen a few images prior, I wasn’t prepared for an instant astonishment.  The Pirueta is simply an art, but not the artificial type for typical commerce. The orange leather pouch and the walnut presentation box exemplify tremendous attention to details. Blending art and science in harmony to achieve perfection of a specific functional goal is rare.  

For those discerning souls that follow every step of mine in Divin Lab shall triumph the excitement and joy.  Extraordinary is a norm here.  However, I reckon many would not be on the same page as they don’t know me as a person and have never been to Divin Lab.  Trust me, and I shall try to convey my feelings faithfully as much as I can.  

The scent (from the East African Ebony) of the “Pirueta” drove me spontaneously to pick “The Central Park Concert of Simon and Garfunkel” album released in 1982.  The epic song - “Bridge Over Troubled Water” came to mind. I began spinning it on the Da Vinci EQ analog deck, in partnership with Fuuga 風雅 cartridge mounted on the latest Tosca Arm by Joel Durand. An Argento FMR phono ground cable was connected between the arm board and the Zanden 1200 signature phono stage (Columbia curve, reverse phase, Westrex cutting machine). The entire system is always connected to the Troy ELITE NG by Tripoint Audio. I began listening with the Dalby Constellation Record weight introduced in 2017.  

It was flawless as though I was teleported back to Central Park in New York in September 1981. The system is resolute to display the balmy tonality of the vintage Yamaha CP6 piano championed by a great pianist, Richard Tee, displaying powerful emotions from the very beginning all the way to the crescendo of the 3rd verse. He fed off his pianistic strength onto the vocal strength of Art Garfunkel.  I could easily comprehend how Art formed his vowel shape.  What a phenomenal feat!  The overall musical arrangement rendered a gospel atmosphere.  I was engulfed by an ocean of people in Divin Lab, sharing the same space with them.   I was touched when the song was faithfully finished.  I am proud of this system.

I didn’t know what to expect from the “Pirueta” because of excellence achieved in all known parameters verified by Alan SIrcom of Hi Fi Plus, Roy Gregory of Audiobeat, and Stirling Trayle of Audio Systems Optimized. I listened to the same song again with the Pirueta.  Once the Fuuga needle fell on the grove, I was drawn into Paradiso in the next 4 minutes 38 seconds. I could visualize Art was standing there with his hands in his pockets. The tenderness and smoothness of Art’s voice were demonstrated in some lyrical lines at the beginning for instance - “when tears in your eyes, I will dry them all.........”. Art elongated the word “all” in a whisper mode with a soft punctuation, before naturally transiting next to “I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough. And friends just can’t be found”.  I was held captive by his melodious voice.  

His composure remained calm despite the technical difficulty of this song in front of half a million people.  The communicative power of Paul Simon’s lyricism offers hope and radiates compassion via the vocalism of Art in a hallowed manner. Art was almost wailing out towards the end and yet hitting all those high notes flawlessly. That was phenomenal because everything was straight to the microphone, with every nuance and mistake, naked to the whole world.  I had goosebumps chilling up and down my body all through. I wasn’t aware a thin mist was quietly developing around my eyes until the last 30 seconds.  

I sat on the Chieftain Chair in awe without any motivation to do a comparison with the Constellation record weight.   I knew the presence of my ego in the absence of Pirueta in the first audition. The 2nd session did not shock me.  Instead it was spiritual, sentimental, and graceful. I was touched by the fullest extent.

I do not want to amplify the contributing share of the Pirueta to the overall emotional experience because it is an accumulative effort of every single item working in unison. That said, I wasn’t prepared for what it had accomplished.  The Pirueta delivers unspoken tranquility in the first verse and exuberant vitality at crescendo.

I would like to express my earnest gratitude once more to Lee Dalby who had gone so deep into the research of a record weight - the Pirueta.  Lee Dalby is a maestro in this subject, period.




  • This is an extraordinary piece of writing. It is awe inspiring to read at such dark time of the world. Thank you! 
  • Damn this is an art. It is so beautiful and so is the writing. I’m in. 
  • Dalby is crazy.  I am in for sure. We supported this brand for many years. I now sort of understand he never shows up in any international show. Essentially he is redistributing one piece of mass into a sculpture with a open frame design to reduce weight. That ball in the center is to augment the weight of the central mass. That is brilliant blend of art and science. 
  • Thanks for this and the Bridge Over Troubled Water Video.  That is very clear even from the iPhone I could tell the superiority of Pirueta over the Predecessor. It is just like you said - “didn’t prepare for such accomplishment”.  I like the fact that you highlight let’s not amplify the contribution of one piece because all is working with each other in unison to achieve the end result.  
  • 呢個東西好靚,尤如藝術品的水平,究竟有什麼實質用途?
  • Have anyone of you here had auditioned the magic of Pirueta on site?
  • PT 又一次精彩嘅示範,兩小時、六張唱片

    首先係 Zanden 1200 signature Phono Stage,EQ curve 嘅重要性,相信已經無需再引證,今次1200S 係山田先生喺既有五條 curve 嘅基礎上,再細分 Westrex / Neumann 兩重 cutting machine,用上Westrex 嘅Belafonte at Carnegie Hall,,sound stage 之大係前所未見,從容、精準、自然,還原50年代一場經典嘅演唱會,值得一提係用上全平衡設計嘅1200S,,聲音係相當穩定,要知道 PT嘅示範,必然係大音壓,只要其中一環欠決穩定性,將會無所遁形。

    壓軸示範係 Pirueta,對1200S有咗基本認識後,PT 將 Constellation同 Pirueta 作 A B 比較,試聽係 Simon and Garfunkel live in central park 嘅 Bridge Over Trouble Water,從理性角度分析,動態範圍、透明感、細節、能量都比 constellation 優勝,從感性角道看,佢賦予咗 Bridge Over Trouble Water 「生命」,我諗今日在場各位都唔會反對,用上Pirueta 後嘅 Simon and Garfunkel,就好似在現今世界困難嘅處境下,淡淡然咁用歌聲去安撫我地嘅心靈。

    PS : Pirueta 真身係比相片靚幾倍!

  • 長知識的一個早上,從新對vinyl playback 的認識,主要是針對不同硬件配搭和不同軟件產生的的互動關係。Full balanced design 及single end circuit design phono 對重播不同軟件的影響以及終極 Dalby Pirueta record clamp 點樣將整個重播效果扭轉,挽狂瀾於既倒!

    首先主角Zanden  1200s全平衡phono 放大器,當然平衡放大線路一D不出奇,但pt解釋不是一般訊號放大用上平衡設計咁簡單,而係在equalisation process 已經用上,這個就是精華所在,據聞可能是世上唯一一部用這發燒精神去設針,因為難度非常之高,從零件配對到缐路設計是費盡心血。

    第二,就是加了黑胶母盤切割機選擇這選項,又是聞所未聞,不同playback curve 就明白及在很多highend phono 都有設置,但切割機就真係百思不得其解,為什麼會影響playback effect ?當然當你親自體驗過不同軟件用了正確及一般預設的效果分別後,只能對山田先生的神級設計,佩服得五體投地,無話可說,試問世上有多少人會有如此音樂修養去發掘如天上繁星般眾多Lp 的背景故事及生產資料,去真正還原lp上最原始的錄音真貌,相信只有對音樂及音響真正執著的人才可完成!山田先生無出其右。

    最後出埸是Pirueta, 出場時間雖短,但已經1⃣️聽不能回頭, 測試主要用在Divin lab 兩套Lp system 及兩部Zanden phono 作AB比較,Pirueta發揮的作用,我不想用太複雜语言形象,最簡單來說是把整首歌演繹昇華到去另一層次,有D似聽普通版同頭版Lp 的分別,, 換言之,用了Pirueta 後,聽普通版即時升級左頭版,從經濟角度分析,這個投資回報長遠來說的確不菲。當然從藝術角度分析,它絕對是一件珍藏品,非常有衝動据為己有。

    整個早上demo非常educational but completely not boring, 2.5 小時眨眼渡過,在這疫情下簡直如沐春風!非常榮幸受邀出席,最重要是認識了兩件vinyl playback 可能影響至深的新產品。

  • I was also one of the attendees for this breathtaking demo not just on the Zanden 1200 Signature, last but not the least, the Pirueta really shock me to max.  8 curves setting, full balanced end to end from curve modulation to amplification, comparison with Jinpu...flipped through my ears and minds like reading an exciting adventure storybook in my childhood, one never knows what would happen next minute but lots of exclamation marks afloat.  It is a no brainier for vintage vinyl lovers especially those owing thousands of US made LPs where the cutting machine is different from those from the UK.

    The level 10 real roller coaster for me was the last 10 minute when PT put the Pirueta on top of the Simon and Garfunkel live concert in the Central Park.  The globe is sick, everyone is alerted and tries to isolate from each other to avoid infection, bad news of record breaking numbers of infected come everyday, economy is cliff falling with no sign of rebounce by Easter (sorry DT!).  Bridge over Troubled Water with Pirueta just arrow thru my heart sweeping and soothing all the mixed feelings and pain in such difficult period.  Art’s voice is so caring and encouraging like whispering next to my ears that a better tomorrow is awaiting all of us!  I clapped my hands at the end of the song and found tears bursting out from my eyes and I could barely talk.

    First time ever but an unforgettable experience in my entire life.  The value of Pirueta far far surpasses the price it is asking for, a gateway to let us come much closer to the original music!

    I took one home with no hesitation!

  • Marvel 

    How is the performance of Pirueta on your own Lp system ? As Same shocking level as what you have experienced in Divin lab?
  • Huber,

    Using Pirueta on my own system renders a new musical passage unwalked of for every single LP in my possession.  Really awesome!

  • Marvel

    I can imagine your pleasure as I can feel the same even I only replace the new Dalby mat 

    If match with Pirueta , it will fly to the heaven , I am quite sure about this