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RobertSlavin
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Joined: Mar 25 2007 - 8:01am
Not really $6,000

In his review of the Avid Diva II SP turntable (with SME 309 tonearm) Micahel Fremer wrote:

"While sprung 'tables do achieve excellent isolation from outside vibrations, I believe that once you set a platter spinning, no matter how carefully it's machined, it will cause the suspension to move. I much prefer the rock-solid performance of mass-loaded or elastomer-isolated 'tables like the Diva II SP, provided they're placed on a properly tuned isolation stand like the HRS SXR rack and M3 base-which is what I did.
This $6,000 combination was ridiculously good in every aspect of vinyl play."

The problem is that the combination can't fairly be said to cost $6,000. Setting aside the cost of the phono cartridge (Lyra Kleos at $2750) and phono preamp (unknown), the combination really costs more like $14,000. That is because the rack costs $6,000 and the base costs between $1,900 and $2,900, depending on its size.

The advantage of a sprung table presumably is that one does not need a super expensive rack and base for it.

On a different topic concerning the Analog Corner column this month, Ray Samuels seems to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory in his manufacturers comments. About the Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline F-117 The Nighthawk MM/MC Phone Stage, Michael Fremer wrote: "Its sound quality is about right for its price."

Samuels wrote that he was "shocked" by the review. He also wrote, "Sadly, the review of the F-117 phono stage by your reviewer was not in harmony with the rest of the writers, who truly enjoyed the Nighthawk and gave it the thumbs-up."

Anyone reading the Samuels comment would have thought that Fremer had insulted the phono stage, when in fact he gave it mild praise.

Michael Fremer
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Joined: Jun 26 2006 - 9:49am
Rack and base cost....
It's funny: on the one hand are readers who think racks are B.S.—that they can't make much of a sonic difference and on the other are readers like this, who insist that without the expensive rack the Avid would not sound as good as I said it did! Can't win! Look, there's no doubt the excellent rack helps but I have reviewed many turntables on the same rack and all things being equal, the Diva II SP is as I said it was. A built in suspension is hardly a guaranty that a good support system is unnecessary—I owned a VPI TNT (suspended) and had it on a VPI stand filled with sand and leadshot and it still bounced the stylus because the floor beneath was springy... I stand by my review of the DIVA II SP. Put it on any decent, not necessarily expensive stand and it will perform as I wrote---perhaps not as well as on an HRS stand and base, but neither will a suspended 'table IMO... and I reviewed it using a variety of phono preamps....but that's not really the point.... As for Mr.Samuels' comment, I too was surprised. I have given his phono preamps consistently good reviews. Most have performed beyond their price point. This one was simply up to par given the price point. I didn't think it surpassed it. There's not much I can do about the endlessly effusive, breathless style of "reviewing" currently in vogue. Too many reviewers with too little experience too generous with superlatives all in search of seeing their quote in an advertisement. The state of the reviewing art today is very, very low.
RPeck
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Joined: Feb 27 2011 - 11:14am
Lyra Kleos

Michael,

I could not agree with you more.

I currently own a Lyra Helicon because of your review. It has truly served me well for about four years. It is a great value and a excellent performer. But alas, it is starting to show its age and I was wondering how you like the Kleos or should I move up to the Skala?

Randy

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