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tom collins
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Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
new tt

greetings all:

a year ago, i was looking at turntables (tts). my dealer showed me a rega p2 and a nottingham horizon se. i bought the rega for financial reasons (in my head, i could have gotten the nottingham then). i never could really love the rega although the glass platter seemed really cool. we demoed both units and the nottingham blew the rega away as it should have for the price. last week, the dealer had the nottingham marked way down with a nice microbenz mc already installed so i made the jump and he will resell my rega for me.
the horizon se is no longer made but there are a few about. the explanation was that the low end and very high end are selling, but the middle is not, at least in our market. it seems like a huge amount of technology for the price but is very basic as it does not even have an on/off switch, you start it by spinning the platter and stop it by stopping the platter manually. it has a very unusual suspension system and the motor is isolated in a separate housing. it has the rega rb250 arm, same as my P2. it is not as pretty to look at as the rega.
i got the tt home, adjusted and started playing LPs. the differnce is stunning. old records sound great, my newer 180 and 200 gram vinyls sound out of this world, lows are lower and cleaner, highs are smoother. i finally hear what sound stage means, both width and depth, a vintage recording of take 5 permits you to point to the instruments. the rega could sound as good as a CD with a great album, but like radio with an OK album. this tt blows away cd with a great album and sounds about as good with an average album. however, the stage is always larger and deeper except with a very few cds that i have.
if i have learned anything from this it is don't be penny wise and dollar foolish, although my rega will be sold, i will still lose money and i should have just bought the nottingham back then.
because they have the same arm, you can really see the difference in sound comes more from the solid chassis and motor isolation than from the arm or even cartridge. this tt weights much more than the rega.
at its price (about 500) the rega is hard to beat and i am a fan, but the difference in sound is huge.
i can highly recommend the nottingham product line and for under $2,000, i think it would be hard to beat a horizon if you can locate one before they are gone.

tom

dcstep
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Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: new tt

Good review Tom. Which cartridge did you have in the Rega?

Dave

Buddha
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Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: new tt

Wow, what a great take on the hobby.

I happen to think you are dead right about everything you mentioned.

I also believe that "buying right" the first time makes for the best 'investment' for the long run.

I'm a bit of a turntable nut, but I've only bought one since 1986. Even then, buying the new one may have been more of a "pent up energy" thing rather than a driving "need" to upgrade.

You will have that new deck for decades, if you want, and never need to upgrade. Talk about a cheap long term bargain!

Once again, thanks for the great post.

tom collins
tom collins's picture
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Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
Re: new tt

dc: it was a rega "bias", their base cartridge. i had spoken to the dealer about an upgrade in the cartridge some time ago. at that time, he said that he would sell me one, but that i would not be happy with it as the cartridge was the least important part. this ran contrary to what i had always believed, but he said that the best cartridge would not live up to its potential if the speed was not perfect and the vibrations were not sufficiently dampened and that he could take a $50 cartridge and put it on a very good machine and have it sound better than a lower priced machine with a $2000 cartridge. my new rig has only a micro benz silver and is great, it's the rest of the rig that makes it so.
Buddha: thanks for the input. prior to the rega, my tt had been a sanyo direct drive i bought in 1979. i am sure the rega would have lasted a long time as well and will for the next owner. it's good to know that you have a positive take on the nottingham products, its definietely built like it should survive a nuclear attack.

tom

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