J.Sikora Initial Turntable

For some time it has been J.Sikora’s wish to help a wider range of audio enthusiasts reach the experience that their premium products deliver, at a lower price point. Their newest model in the range, the J.Sikora Initial, eventually emerged from this desire.

Unquestionably: the J.Sikora’s magic is in the details of its design.

—HERB REICHERT, Stereophile | June, 2020

The company’s engineers reduced the number of materials and overall complexity, while maintaining superb performance, significantly reducing the production costs. Additionally, alternative methods of resonance control have been developed, helping J.Sikora create a product, a new leader in its price range, based on elements of the premium models. The all-important main bearing, motor and controller, providing excellent speed stability, are all sourced from the upper-range models.

All US Initial turntables are bundled with the upgraded power supply from the Standard line and are available in silver or black finishes.

Optional Accessories:

  • 2nd Plinth
  • Glass Mat
  • Record Weight (requires 2nd plinth option)
  • Extra Armbase (requires 2nd plinth option)
  • Extra Motor (requires 2nd plinth option)

Technical Specifications:

  • Total weight [kg]: 28
  • Platter weight [kg]: 4
  • Platter material: derlin
  • Material: aluminium,inox,cast iron
  • Bearing type: ceramic ball-inverted
  • Motor [pcs]: 1 DC
  • Belt: rubber
  • Rotation speed [rpm]: 33; 45
  • No. of tonearms: 1
  • Armboard: yes
  • Clamp: optional
  • Glass mat: optional
  • Power supply: optional
  • Dimensions [mm]: 440 x 330 x 160

I listened with my stethoscope to the plinth area between the motor-run­ning at 33.3 rpm-and the tonearm mount. To my surprise, the sound of the Initial’s high-torque motor was nearly inaudible. The bearing housing on the Jelco TK- 850M tonearm was even closer to silent. The glass platter mat was silent.

I believe I discovered that intangible something Michael Trei alluded to when he first told me about ].Sikora turntables. I have not auditioned the Standard or Reference models, but my Initial with the glass mat and two-piece weight delivered a more proactive, emotionally tangible silence than any turntable I have used since the Palmer 2.5 I reviewed in 2017.

The Initial made my 1957 Thorens TD 124 sound like a barrel of bolts rolling down a hill. My 1984 Linn Sondek LP12 (Valhalla) is very silent, but its silence is more cerebral, less physically tangible than the Sikora’s. The Dr. Feickert Blackbird is silent, too, but the Blackbird’s silence does not noticeably affect the feeling of the music. In contrast, the Initial’s silence has a distinct, almost subliminal pres­ence that frames voices and instrumen­tal sounds while exposing microtex­tures. And—surprise, surprise!—the J.Sikora’s weighty silence was happen­ing despite the not-fancy Jelco knife­ bearing tonearm, which I would never describe as super-quiet or super-precise.

During my auditions, J.Sikora’s Initial gave me what I consider to be a majority portion of what the Porsche-­Maserati turntables do at a Cadillac-0ldsmobile price.

—HERB REICHERT, Stereophile | June, 2020
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Hear the J.Sikora Initial at Command Performance today!