Post your turntable setup...can't get enough of those spinners!

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by shaizada, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    This Scheu turntable looks fantastic with some a light and a colored record on it.
     
  3. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Good god, im beyond jealous. I heard the marten's the other day with a Nagra VPA, just divine. I'm sure you'll be enjoying this for years to come. I honestly cant even bear thinking about how much it cost to pick to many stuff up at the same time lol!
     
  4. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    Wait. Let me get this straight. Your wife. Got you. A VPI.

    What kind of sorcery is this? You are one lucky guy.
     
  5. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    I'm always the one who seems to turn the men in my life onto vinyl.
     
  6. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    Josh, please convey this message to your wife:

     
  7. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    G'day all,

    Here's a shot of my fairly modest setup:

    [​IMG]

    I'd lay money on my being the only person in the southern hemisphere with this turntable. It's a Swedish deck, a Simply Black Magic, which I bought from the guy who builds them at Veteran hifi in Stockholm. I don't really have any idea what it's comparable to, maybe something like a VPI Scout. But it's a pretty little thing!

    The rest of the deck is Clearaudio: Unify tonearm, Maestro cart, Basic+ phono stage. All feeding a QED A230 amp which is basically bits of rust held together with transformers, into a pair of Mordaunt Short MS10s shoved under a sideboard...

    ...which despite its ultra lo-fi nature puts out a perky, lively mid-forward sound that has _something_ to it which my much more refined Gungnir Multibit+Mjo2+Neumann KH310 setup can't quite capture!
     
  8. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    Thoughts from this wonderful musical evening I am having tonight....

    It really has come full circle for me in a way. What I was reaffirmed today with tonights listening session is that price really has no correlation with the capability and enjoyment of a system AFTER a certain level. Seems like in the earlier stages of audio, there is a linear relationship between how much you spend and the performance capabilities you acquire.

    Then once that linear relationship hits a ceiling, it becomes more about what magic one can weave out of a system. This thought comes to mind tonight in light of an old Supex 900 Super Moving Coil phono cartridge I installed (sells for about $500 tops), installed on an African ebony wood headshell made in Japan. This is a vintage cartridge made by the Sugano San, the founder of Koetsu cartridges. The cartridge has been out of production for over 25 years almost (I'd avoid looking for one as suspension components could be questionable in this day and age).

    This meager cartridge has gripped me so tightly, I have no desire to spin my newly acquired Dynavector XV-1T ($10k cartridge) on the Triplanar VII tonearm that sings with the angels. I am giving you prices here to make a point. People tend to get impressed with costs etc. Please don't. Strive for synergy and musical contentment/satisfaction with a system you put together.

    From what I have observed on SBAF, this site tends to put people on the Fastrak of the cost/performance highway. I suspect the readership will get to that ceiling sooner rather than later. That is a good thing and I hope everyone here gets even more happiness and satisfaction from their rigs than even my own elated self tonight!

    So here it is...."The Spoiled Child", aptly named by the turntable designer. It is an absolute "One Off" piece made by the designer, so he named it in back in 2007 when it was created.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  9. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    @shaizada thank you for sharing! @drfindley shared with me quite a musical experience this evening as well, courtesy of an EAR Disk Master chain. Never before have I heard studio recordings turn in to live performances in front of me. This so called G-factor I now know to have a pristine cleanliness and realism about it which I wouldn't want to try to describe. It must only be heard. And I think even the most analytical of SBAFers would let go of any reflexive urge to formulate impressions and just let themselves simply get lost in the music.
     
  10. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    @bazelio , so glad to heard that setup! Not much, if anything I'd change with that one! ;) I'd strongly urge the Norcal folks to try and hear it...if for nothing else, but to establish a common reference point to see why I make the comments that I do. I think it would help to communicate a given direction better for someone on their own journey. Might want less of something and more of another thing etc. It can be achieved but a reference point should be established.

    With that said, I was going to wait another year or so before I moved into my idler wheel turntable journey. Well, I just went ahead and moved that planning forward!
    I bought a Steve Dobbins Garrard 301 (cream colored, oil bearing version) with the upgraded copper platter. I haven't decided what tonearm and cartridge I want for it, but it should all happen relatively soon. The turntable ships tomorrow!

    Here she is:

    [​IMG]

    :headbang::headbang::headbang: \/ :punk::punk::punk:
     
  11. Mikoss

    Mikoss Friend

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    image.jpeg

    Picked up the used VPI outer ring weight today, and some vinyl of course. Just listening to some 90's stuff... No Doubt/Tragic Kingdom sounds good. Lots of instruments popping out, and the guitar sounds great.

    Not really audiophile music, I see they also remastered all of Sublime's stuff and gave it the vinyl treatment. I was thinking of picking up 40 oz to Freedom, but the remaster is probably baaaad.

    Edit: dammit, apparently the remasters are worthy. Should have picked it up! http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/sublime-reissues-july-1st.545892/page-2

    If anyone is interested in thoughts/impressions using the ring weight, I'll spend some time with it and post. Not a cheap accessory by any means, but I had heard good things about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  12. TooPoor

    TooPoor New

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    Decided to go with one of Dave's tables from Vinyl Nirvana as he's very local to me. Great guy and the table feels and sounds amazing (based on my limited analog experience).

    [​IMG]


    Current Set up: Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction-> 2M Bronze-> Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ -> Sys-> Emotiva XPA-2 -> HE-6/Custom HT speakers
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  13. Mikoss

    Mikoss Friend

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    Love these vintage sleeves... This is from the inside of a Herbie Mann and Joao Gilberto LP.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  14. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    That's a cool insert. The things you find in vintage. I once bought a promo copy and inside found the press release it came with, and the artist's dedication on one of them. Makes up for all the shiny records t ever bought that play badly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I don't need to tell you this, but you dinged about 5 levels. Be sure to hit your trainer and get new spells. You are pretty much done with your TT. Unless you want to spend $30k more, or get something with a different flavor.
     
  16. Mikoss

    Mikoss Friend

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    The difference with the weight is actually startling. I've had a couple of listening sessions where everything that I put on the table sounds the best I've heard it, and I was wondering if it was the weight, or just some other magic. It turns out that just having the record as flat as possible really opens things up... dynamics and resolution are both noticeably improved. I had a lot of slightly warped records, and I'm glad to hear them open up sonically with the weight. A well recommended upgrade; thanks Friends.

    I'm thinking a nice Lyra cart would be the next upgrade... I just love their sound.
     
  17. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    There is a lot going on with the HRX center weight and periphery ring combination. Increased moment of inertia, flat and hard coupled vinyl to the platter, change in resonance character of the whole platter, vinyl, weight, ring system, elimination of any warpage etc.

    If you want another interesting "sound" to play with, get the Steel / Delrin VPI Clamp. This one screws on to the record with a washer that goes under the record on the spindle. This helps the screw down clamp to kind of bow the record down onto the platter. This clamp has a different sonic presentation and actually helps enrich brighter sounding records. Sonically, I find it fattens things up a bit and sometimes takes care of warps that the center weight and periphery ring don't do. ALSO, sometimes the records are not cut perfectly round and the periphery ring doesn't work. In those cases, the screw on clamp works beautifully as well!
     
  18. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    I found two really good deals on a VPI HR-X and an SME 3/20. Though I suspect these would be more like sidegrades to my Kuzma Stabi Ref. 2 + 4Point?

    I've actually never heard an SME table before, tho I'm definitely familiar with their arms. The HR-X I heard a while ago, and on a completely different system. Listening to way too many decks over the years has really clouded my memory on these things. I do have a soft spot for VPI however.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  19. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    An update to previous post:

    Decided to skip the side-grades and move up a bit, and this time I absolutely must be able to use 12" tonearms. That rules out the SME 20/3, but I suppose the SME 20/12 is still an option. Just the most expensive and, frankly, least exciting on my short list.

    Which brings me to the subject of the Stabi M. I'm a big Kuzma fan, and I feel "safe" with their tables---and having a dealer I have a working relationship with helps---so when Kuzma announced their new 14" 4Point arm which is compatible with the Stabi M... it got me thinking.

    The other two choices benefit from being able to have multiple tonearms, and thus allowing me to return to a mono cartridge setup. I had planned on getting something like the JA Michell Gyro Dec to use as an exclusive mono setup if need be, but saving space and having it all in one package is admittedly more attractive.

    So there's the TechDAS Air Force III which supports up to four arms and has the benefit of TechDAS' lineage and obsession with vacuum and air suspension technology. The US distributor is Graham Tonearms, and he seems pleasant enough from some brief email correspondence, though it took ages for him to get back to me which was a bit of a turn off. Customer support for such a COMPLICATED deck is a bit worrying in this sense.

    And then there's the new VPI Avenger Reference. Their Direct Drive table seemed doomed from the start: the motor was finicky and delicate, and they essentially ditched their original prototype and crammed it into the Classic chassis at the last minute, and for $30k it probably bombed (though PR spins it as being a matter of not wanting to deal with repairs for overseas customers, as shipping the fragile motor would be problematic, and that's probably true!). To be blunt, it seems like VPI has been floundering a bit lately with their lineup, changing it constantly with revised models of products that don't do so hot, and that is coming from a self proclaimed fan of VPI.

    The Avenger Reference looks good, though. It's 2/3rds the price of their direct drive, and instead it uses a magnetic drive system that supposedly comes fairly close to the former's performance. The magnetic drive will be available for the Classic models too, which is a good thing for Classic owners (at least I think so, being very much a fan of direct drive and idler drive sound). In terms of the actual deck itself, it looks a bit... messy. I mean, it IS basically a scrapped HR-X prototype that was brought back to life and repurposed to be a replacement for their failed direct drive. Interestingly enough, it can be upgraded to have direct drive apparently down the road. Which brings me to the two biggest draws of VPI: modularity / being able to upgrade your system, and decent customer service and consumer relationships.


    TL;DR version:

    -- I suppose my concerns about VPI's Avenger Reference would be their lineup's instability (outside of the Classic range) and their possibly cutting corners by repurposing old funky designs and parts.

    ++ On the plus side, VPI will always be around in one form or another, and tweaking their systems is always on the table (har har). Also I don't think it would be too difficult to establish a good relationship with a dealer. I've talked to folks there via E-mail, and they were helpful and prompt.

    -- Concerns about the Air Force III would be overly complicated setup and maintanence without having a local dealer, especially since TechDAS is based in Japan. Not sure how "involved" Graham is as a distributor.

    ++ On the plus side, the TechDAS has immaculate build quality and some of the best sound quality I've heard from a belt driven turntable at any price point.

    -- Negatives about the Kuzma Stabi M is that it only supports a single tonearm. Also I'm not entirely as motivated to upgrade from the Reference 2 to the Stabi M as I would be something with a magnetic drive or air suspension system.

    ++ Benefits of the Stabi M would be support and synergy with the new 14" 4Point tonearm and a more solid, straight forward design ("less to go wrong"). Also I have a good relationship with a dealer.


    ...Sorry for hijacking the thread. I'm really just 'typing out loud' more than anything at this point. It helps to see the pros and cons in front of your face, organizationally speaking. If anyone has some thoughts on any of these decks though, or if you just want to comment about what a nut job I can be, feel free.
     
  20. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    Have you considered the Stabi XL? Should allow for multiple tonearms and have the sound you know and love. Also, what about a Redpoint Model XX? @shaizada should know if the TechDas Air Force III is a worthy contender. I'm not sure I'd trust the VPI to be meeting your needs, something about them moving past the Classics doesn't seem to go well.
     

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