the home of the turntable

Library / Empire

Empire 698

Belt-Drive Turntable System (1976)

review this turntable (3 reviews)

Empire 698


The new 698 arm moves effortlessly on 32 jewelled, sapphire bearings with bearing friction a mere 0.001g.

The aluminium tubular arm, dramatically reduced in mass, responds to the slightest variation of a records movement.

A self-cooling hysteresis synchronous motor drives the platter with enough torque to reach full speed in one third of a revolution.

To prevent any variations of speed each belt is ground within one ten thousandth of an inch thickness.

Every two piece, 7ib, 3" thick, die cast aluminium plater is dynamically balanced, and once in motion it acts as a massive flywheel to assure the specified wow and flutter value.

The suspension system consists of piston damped, 16 gauge steel coil springs.

The main bearing features a stainless steel shaft with a precision ground tip sitting in self lubricating bearings, reducing rumble to one of the lowest figures ever measured in a professional turntable.


Motor: hysteresis synchronous

Rumble: 68dB

Wow and flutter: 0.04%

Startup time: 1/3 rev

Platter: 12", 7ib 3oz, aluminium

Tonearm: aluminium

Effective length: 9 inches

Bias control: diminishing spring

Tracking force range: 0 to 4g

Dimensions: 8 3/16 x 17 1/2 x 15 1/8 inches


In sum, the Empire 698 is a beautifully constructed and finished product, one of the few remaining truly manual record players. It should be able to extract the fullest measure of performance from any cartridge and record. It is certain, too, that no one will wish to hide it from view since it is one audio product that looks as good as it sounds. - Popular Electronics


flyer  English

independent tests  English

instruction/owners manual (low res)  English

instruction/owners manual  English - master_fo

Please login or register a free account in the forum to download files

If you have additional documentation please consider donating a copy to our free archive.

NOTE To view PDF files the latest version of the official acrobat reader is required.

Empire 698 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Empire.