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eattoride
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Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

My wife and I were just at an audio dealer yesterday afternoon checking out tuners. But we were only able to convince ourselves to purchase an old Chicago album for 8 bucks. We listened to the album - not their best effort - and just as the last track was finishing, the turntable motor died. At first we thought that it was part of the music, but had to laugh when we discovered it was the turntable. Har Har.

That's just a long winded way of saying we need a new TT. My budget is less than $2000 cartidge not included.

What can you recommend? Rega P5? Michell Technodeck? Audio Note?

Thanks
Mike

Jan Vigne
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

VPI or Well Tempered.

Welshsox
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

Check out the Marantz package

Great value

Buddha
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

Wait and save another 250 bucks.

Music Direct has promotions on the VPI Classic, which retails for 2,500 with a great arm. This week there is a ten percent discount, so I bet if you save up for a month or two you can get the same deal!

eattoride
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

I removed the power supply from my Systemdek and at least one issue is a burnt resistor. Not yet sure if the motor or capacitor are also damaged, but I'll check these parts later this week.

Whatever the case we'll probably purchase a new TT and VPI tables look intriguing. However my significant other read some reviews of the Scout, and came away with 2 concerns:
- The tone arm wobbles and must be lowered with more care than usual
- Set-up can be very finicky
- My concern is with the lack of anti-skate

The Classic has an anti-skate device, as does the ScoutII...

Are VPI tables difficult to live with? Would the Pro-ject Perspex or Marantz be in the same league as VPI's Classic or ScoutII?

Thanks,
Mike Weber

Buddha
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

VPI's very easy to live with. I've used their tonearms many times with no greater care required than any tonearm with a tiny fragile needle at the business end!

The arms are unipivots, so they do make one feel different about their 'handling' at first, but I would consider this to not be an impediment after the first three minutes of use.

Set up with them has struck me as the opposite of finicky. Very close to 'set and forget!'

I also like the line because they keep models around for long periods and offer upgrade paths if one is interested.

The Classic is tempting to me to a greater extent than the other models you mention.

For the price, it seems a steal.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

I think you can still purchase the Scout sans arm if you like. But getting used to a unipivot is simply a matter of using the arm a few times. It is IMO far less finicky than many other arms, particularly anything of the linear tracking variety and the trade offs against conventional ball and race arms are almost all in the positive direction for the unipivot.

If you have reservations about the performance of any specific unipivot, then you might want to consider a more conventional design but you'll generally be trading for something not related to the actual performance of the arm. Otherwise, the VPI arms are all outstanding products for the money spent as are their tables.

Their designs can be pretty much set up and running in about 10-15 minutes from the time you open the box and have little that requires any constant attention unless you opt for an arm with adjustable VTA. And even that doesn't need to be fiddled with just because you have it. You would be hard pressed to find another table with longer term set up stability than any of the VPI products.

Anti-skate is virtually never correct so many designers prefer to omit it in favor of a higher level of performance overall. Consider that if anti-skate were so important, the Scout and other tables/arms lacking skating provisions wouldn't get the positive reviews they always pull in.

If there are things you don't like about the VPI's, don't buy them. But not auditioning them is a mistake.

enframed
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died


Quote:

Whatever the case we'll probably purchase a new TT and VPI tables look intriguing. However my significant other read some reviews of the Scout, and came away with 2 concerns:
- The tone arm wobbles and must be lowered with more care than usual
- Set-up can be very finicky
- My concern is with the lack of anti-skate

The Classic has an anti-skate device, as does the ScoutII...

Are VPI tables difficult to live with? Would the Pro-ject Perspex or Marantz be in the same league as VPI's Classic or ScoutII?

Thanks,
Mike Weber

The VPI Scout does have an anti-skate device, it's the coiled wires/hoop sending the signal, it archs from the pivot point to the box that houses the RCA plugs.

Set-up of the VPI is easier than a Porject Debut (any of them).

Unipivot arm is easy, move horizontally and let it sit for 3 seconds, then lower the lever.

In every respect it's the easiest to live with turntable I've ever owned.

I would go the extra length to make sure it's level and that the azimuth is perfect, however.

eattoride
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

Thanks to everyone for the response!

Three out of three very positive comments - . I'll try to find a dealer in my area to demo - the best possible would be to A-B at home against my Systemdek using my amp and speakers; maybe if I can fix my TT and find a dealer - we shall see.

Is there a good method to use when demo-ing at a dealer?

How would you describe the "house sound" of VPI? I tend to like all sorts of music so I need something of a jack of all trades in that regard.

Mike

JoeE SP9
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

26 years ago I bought a HW-19Jr. Over the years it has been brought to full HW-19 specs. It has all the options except the TNT platter and SAMA. I recommend VPI with no hesitation. Their service and support is excellent. If my experience is any indication, you will get tired of looking at a VPI before it expires.
I just sold it because I'm tired of looking at it. It works perfectly and will probably do so for another 20 years. The truth is I want something new.
I doubt anything I can afford will be better. I've got an urge for a plinthless TT. Maybe an Avid or an Oracle.

eattoride
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

I was able to fix my Systemdek - just a blown resistor, and the motor seems okay for now, table spins fine and sounds okay. Although the blown resistor may be indicative of a problem downstream.

I found a dealer in Montreal that has both the VPI Scout and Classic, and a Rega P5. So the plan is to bring my amp - a Simaudi i7, and audition the three TT's thru a pair of Cremona M's. This will be fun. My wife has proposed a blind test of the tables...this will be even more fun. We'll do this next Friday unless the weather is nice, in which case we'll go riding.

Has anyone heard the Cremona M? What should I expect with this speaker? As for the tables, the dealer thought the VPI would sound a bit dark, while the Rega would sound light.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

Dark and light, eh? Those are the two alternatives they hear?

Listen for yourself.

Remember most Rega tables run about 1% fast which gives music a forward momentum not actually existing in the table's sound once it is set to proper speed. If the dealer has the optional power supply on any of the tables, ask them to plug directly into the wall for a baseline comparison and check for any speed settings that might influence your decision. And don't forget to allow for the different phono cartridges on each table and any variables that might result from the use of your amplifier. If a mc cartridge exists on one table, it might not suit your amp's phono section without additional loading. Your amp might not care much for the Cremonas which could influence your decision.

eattoride
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Re: Need turntable - Systemdek IIX just died

Thanks Jan - good advice on the cartidges and power supply. About all that I can ask the shop is to have the same type cartidge - MM or MC - on all tables.

What would you consider the main mismatch between the Cremonas and i7? Why would my amp not care for the Cremonas?The shop has a variety of other speakers as well that we could audition with: B&W, Vienna Accoustics, Verity to name a few.

Mike Weber

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