Based in Germany, Clearaudio has a long history of producing high-end turntables through skillful workmanship and quality materials. The Concept turntable is one of its creations. I want to see if it lives up to the company’s reputation by reviewing it. Read on to learn what I discovered. 

Clearaudio Concept Turntable Overview

The Concept is a high-end turntable from Clearaudio that comes with a preinstalled tonearm and cartridge. It also includes an aluminum sub-platter, a switchable 3-speed play, and a DC motor to minimize vibrations. The unit is quite pricey, costing around $1550.54. Overall, customers have expressed satisfaction with the turntable’s outstanding sound performance, build quality, and ease of setup.

Technical Specifications

The turntable features the following:

  • Concept Tonearm 
  • Pre-installed Concept Cartridge (Moving Magnet + Moving Coil available)
  • Switchable 3-speed play: 33 / 45 / 78rpm 
  • Dust cover sold separately
  • A platter made of synthetic material with an aluminum sub-platter
  • Medium-density wood fiber (or, optionally, pressure-formed solid wood) construction
  • Frictionless magnetic bearing

This unit has some lovely features, and the tonearm is one of them. It features a friction-free magnetic bearing that minimizes distortion and allows superb performance. The MM cartridge is another good addition. It’s generally considered high quality and can deliver optimal sound quality. However, I don’t like the idea of a separately sold dust cover. Considering the high price tag, it’s only fair to include it in the package. A phono preamp isn’t featured either, which is inconvenient, especially if you lack an external preamp.

Clearaudio Concept Turntable Drive Mechanism

This unit operates via the belt-drive mechanism, meaning a belt attached to the motor pulley drives the platter. The DC motor is decoupled and adequately suppresses the small amount of noise, ensuring a good performance.

Is Clearaudio Concept Turntable Automatic or Manual?

The Concept is a manual turntable. There’s no automatic start/stop function to regulate tonearm movement. While this may be bad news for vinyl enthusiasts who prefer the convenience of automatic features, for purists like me, the manual mode is a plus. It gives you greater control over the playback process through manual queueing.

Usability and Portability of Clearaudio Concept Turntable

Clearaudio has executed the ‘plug-and-play’ idea flawlessly with this turntable. So, you have to do very little to get it operating out of the box. The tonearm and cartridge have been preinstalled, while the tracking force has been set long before the device reaches your home. That leaves a few components to be fitted for you to start enjoying your vinyl records.

I am convinced that this turntable isn’t designed for regular transportation. It lacks core features conducive to portability, such as carry handles, a built-in battery, secure housing, etc. Concept is also relatively heavy at 7.5kg (16.5 lbs), making frequent relocation cumbersome and posing the risk of damaging its fragile components.

Clearaudio Concept Turntable Design & Build

The unit looks stunning. It is elegantly styled with a chassis made of medium-density wood fiber and finished in silver and black for a fabulous, contemporary look. The upper part of the turntable’s body integrates a high-tech satined plastic compound whose goal is to reduce unwanted resonance.

The Concept features 3 screw-in feet coupled with a bubble level for regulating its balance when you place it on a table, cabinet, or any other surface. You may want to spend a few minutes to get this right since a good balance can contribute to an enjoyable listening experience. A speed knob is available on the surface of the turntable, which is nice as it means you don’t have to change speeds manually.

Connectivity & Sound Performance of Clearaudio Concept Turntable: Overall excellent….

The conventional aux connection is featured in this turntable, where you connect some RCA cables to get the sound out. A built-in phono stage is absent, so you need an external amplifier to magnify the sound of music when connecting it to a standard auxiliary input. There are no modern connectivity options like Bluetooth or USB, either. 

The Concept’s overall sound is excellent, with a commendable weight and openness. The MM cart delivers a high level of detail and punch, devoid of harshness.  

Main Technology Perks of Clearaudio Concept Turntable

A precision tonearm is one of the main technological advantages of Concept. It’s built with a friction-free magnetic bearing to decrease distortion and enable accurate tracking of records. The decoupled DC motor is also a good integration as it effectively reduces motor noise for improved audio clarity.


The turntable is being sold for $1550.54, which is hefty for users on a budget.

How to Setup & Use Clearaudio Concept Turntable?

The Concept turntable is pretty easy to install as some components come preassembled. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Put the turntable on a suitable surface.
  2. Place the belt around the sub-platter and the motor pulley.
  3. Carefully place the platter onto the center spindle.
  4. Take out the tape and other security materials from the tonearm and cartridge.
  5. Use the level gauge featured to level the turntable by ensuring its bubble is centered within the black circle. You can achieve this by turning the feet clockwise or anti-clockwise until the turntable is leveled properly.
  6. Connect one end of the external power supply at the back of the turntable and the other end to a live AC outlet. The tonearm cable should be connected to your phono stage.
  7. You can now play your records.

Here are some helpful tips you can apply to achieve a better experience with Concept:

  • Always ensure the belt is attached correctly for the platter to spin uninterrupted.
  • Check all connections to confirm that every cable is where it’s supposed to be.
  • Remember to check the record for the recommended speed and select the appropriate speed option.  
  • Keep the turntable away from locations with temperature variations, sunlight, and high humidity. Also, don’t place the unit near heat lamps, heaters, or other devices that generate heat.  

Overall Impression About Clearaudio Concept Turntable?

The Concept is a good turntable that can give you the immersive listening experience you want but at a great cost.


Detailed sound, high-quality MM cart, fantastic aesthetic, premium build quality, and ease of use/setup.


It has no dust cover, no built-in phono preamp, and doesn’t support Bluetooth/USB connectivity.

Who Is It For?

Being a high-end turntable, Concept is ideal for advanced audiophiles, though newbies who can afford it can also enjoy the device’s features.

Final Verdict

Clearaudio has really outdone itself with this turntable. From using high-quality materials to crafting an elegant design, the company ensures users get value for money. The sound is also excellent, adding to the turntable’s allure. Nonetheless, Concept is expensive, and the lack of Bluetooth/USB connectivity may put off users looking for such modern conveniences.