Acoustic Sounds
OMA vs TechDAS
By: Michael Fremer

October 10th, 2023


Editor's Choice

Turntable Comparison Video Yields Hundreds of Fascinating Comments

new "if someone tells you that, show them this" feature on trackingangle YouTube Channel

A new video on the TrackingAngle YouTube channel has gotten thousands of views in a few hours. It lets viewers hear the same record playing back on two different turntables using the same arm, cartridge and phono preamp. The goal was to put an end to "all turntables sound alike" trolls it certainly did that!

The turntables are the OMA K3 prototype I own and a TechDAS Air Force III Premium both fitted with the same SAT CF1-12 arm and Lyra Atlas Lambda SL cartridge (both properly set up of course) into the new CH Precision P10 phono preamp.

The song differenced produced by the two turntables were clear to almost every listener, but the conclusions drawn couldn't have been more different with some preferring the OMA and some preferring the TechDAS. The record was a Japan-only East-Wind release of a jazz trio featuring Hank Jones, Ron Carter and Tony Williams recorded by David Baker in 1977 at The Village Vanguard. Check it out!

The photo was taken at the Record Industry pressing plant in Haarlem, The Netherlands late September during the "Making Vinyl" and "Vinyl Alliance" conferences


  • 2023-10-10 04:09:38 PM

    PeterG wrote:

    OMG--incredible! Especially interesting is that both tables are WAY more expensive than most high end systems have, closing in on perfection? But these cannot both be "perfect"-- which one is "right"?

  • 2023-10-10 04:42:59 PM

    Michael wrote:

    No wonder that there are differences! The turntables/tonearms are located at different positions in the listening room and thus catching different room modes/ airborne vibrations!

    • 2023-10-11 06:59:24 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      Michael, the recordings are pre-amp out to a Lynx HiLo A/D converter. Not recorded by microphone!

  • 2023-10-10 07:39:16 PM

    Roger Staton wrote:

    One turntable has a record clamp and a deioniser adjacent to it the other hasn't. Could these things add to the obvious sound difference?

    • 2023-10-10 09:00:51 PM

      Mike Lavigne wrote:

      the Techdas has vacuum hold down. which is suppose to lower noise, but the K3 is quieter to my ears. could the vacuum reduce life and energy? it might. hard to know.

      the K3 sound is more propulsive with more clarity and energy in the highs. K3 has better flow and is more real sounding. Techdas a bit subdued. just my 2 cents based on the video.

    • 2023-10-11 07:00:06 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      The TechDAS has vacuum hold down and doesn't need a clamp or weight

  • 2023-10-10 08:59:08 PM

    Zaphod wrote:

    You measured it by recording it thus changing the outcome, it is purely quantum mechanics.

  • 2023-10-10 09:47:41 PM

    Bill Heady wrote:

    Neither one sucks, but I think the K3 has a lot more space in the music. Whatever the reason, that’s how I hear it on my iPhone.

  • 2023-10-10 10:42:09 PM

    Chris Humphrey wrote:

    It won’t settle any arguments, evidence has little chance against a firmly held opinion.

  • 2023-10-11 02:41:30 AM

    JACK L wrote:


    "The goal was to put an end to "all turntables sound alike" trolls it certainly did that!" qtd M Fremer.

    No turntables sound alike, period !

    Otherwise, the Kondo Audio Note Japan belt-driven TT+tonearm (custom-design/built by SME)+ MCC+step-up transformer+base/stand would not be sold as a floor model for special price of USD125,000 some 10 years+ ago. The rich buyer did want to wait for half a year for the same brandnew hand-made model.

    JACK L

  • 2023-10-11 12:04:37 PM

    PTG wrote:

    Absolutely fascinating ! Of course, it should sound different as the physics of it comes into play. However, at what point do we say it is darn good enough ? I expect that at $100K turntable should sound better than a $10K turntable else they should go out of business.

  • 2023-10-11 01:47:42 PM

    Ian Melville wrote:

    I had not encountered the OMA turntable before, but now I understand it more and it's much higher price than the TechDas. It's very difficult to judge them via You Tube on a laptop with headphones, but I preferred the TechDas although the music was not something I'd normally listen to either!

  • 2023-10-11 06:00:08 PM

    Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

    It only took a few bars after the OMA to hear how superior it was to the Techdas. The OMA is more organic with less hash in the hi hat, and the drum set def has a cleaner taps on the snare. More presence to the snare and just more real without trying. The table also has just unerring speed stability and completely fool my critical mind into just letting go and loving the music. Same as the air in the recording- nothing is spotlit and obvious, but there is no denying the 'air' in the OMA. The Techdas seems more like a 'hifi spectacular' reproduction, but has a deeper lower end, but I don't think it is more accurate, but may be more fun in the bass range. None of the drum kit hits stuck out as enjoyable or as real or just holistically whole as the OMA. The piano might have more bubbly, treble-focused joy on the TD, but OMA was just more real on every note. The Techdas reminds me of a great hifi, where as the OMA reminds me of just plain live music. No comparison IMO.. The OMA just is effortlessly amazing.

  • 2023-10-11 10:43:24 PM

    topround wrote:

    OMA has more air and speed to the sound, more open. The airforce has better tone and texture to my ears, stainless platter would be better suited for this situation. A combo of the two would be killer!

    • 2023-10-11 10:49:34 PM

      topround wrote:

      While your at it I would love to hear my favorite TT. The TW Black Night in there to compare these ne plus ultra TT's on our laptops! It can be done.

  • 2023-10-12 03:58:49 AM

    Urbain du Plessis wrote:

    One turntable is Great and the other Excellent ! What a privilege to share in such an experience, and thank you MF for taking the time to create this artefact.

  • 2023-10-12 04:33:48 PM

    David Terry wrote:

    Is it possible to explain why I hear the following differences in the TechDAS:

    1. More hash in the cymbals
    2. The front end and back end of notes sound lazy and soft
    3. Much less 3-dimensionality - the toms sound like flat pans
    4. Less presence - I feel like I have to "lean in" to hear more
    5. Much less in the pocket, rhythmically.

    And Mr. MF, did you at one point in the past say that you would not consider a TT that didn't have vacuum hold down? If you did, how did the K3 change your mind?

  • 2023-10-13 12:00:02 AM

    Lemon Curry wrote:

    So, there's another variable, the set up of the cart. Can we assume same curve, same VTF, same SRA, same parallax correction (if needed) same anti-skate? Maybe small adustments might have yielded similar precision in both tables?

  • 2023-10-14 09:08:28 PM

    Aaron Kerry wrote:

    I can't say I heard much of a difference. While I do agree that everything makes a difference, I don't know that everyone can always hear it. Mr. Fremer says "The song differenced [sic] produced by the two turntables were clear to almost every listener." It's true that almost everyone professed to have heard a difference, but that is not the same as actually having heard a difference.

  • 2023-10-15 03:56:25 AM

    Tasi Daoussis wrote:

    I’m listening through a pair of Bose noise reduction headphones via an Audioquest cobalt Dragon fly and Jitterbug attached to an Apple I-Pad. I find the Techdas more velvety smooth and quieter to the slightly more open and dynamic OMA K3. I went back and forth 3 times now, there is definitely a difference.