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struts
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Spend my money for me!

Okay, I'm going to say I blame it all on Stephen, but I need to get another record deck. I sold my last one (an SME 10) when we had our first baby (we now have two, aged 4.5 and 1.5). Foolish me. I thought I could live without high-end sound. I thought I could live without vinyl (but hey, at least I didn't sell my records). I was wrong. I admit it and I repent.

Since I (and THE BOSS) am now a firm believer in the convenience of streamed audio I have to be realistic and admit that vinyl will not be my primary source anytime in the immediate future so I want to limit my budget to a 'reasonable' SEK 50,000 (think $7000) or so all-in. And I want something that apart from offering great sound is pretty robust and offers 'set-and-forget' convenience; I don't want a tweaker's dream or anything 'way out there' from a maintenance or aesthetic perspective.

My main system currently comprises Boulder 1012/mbl 8006B (considering upgrading to Boulder 860)/Verity Audio Parsifal Encores. The Boulder has a built-in (balanced-only, switchable MM/MC) phono stage which I assume is of reasonable quality.

The principal alternatives I am considering are the Wilson Benesch Full Circle and the Rega P9, either with their matching cartridges (Ply/Alpheta) or something like a Lyra Dorian or Argo i. But I am open to other suggestions. Availability is a major factor; I live in Stockholm, Sweden, so my choices will pretty much be limited by what is available here.

So, I am looking for recommendations or thoughts on a balanced-out vinyl front-end for under $7000 (or thereabouts) that will gel with the rest of the system.

  • Any other decks I should consider?
  • Any other cartridges?
  • Thoughts on the Lyra Dorian vs Argo in this price and system context?
  • Balanced tonearm cables in an appropriate price-range?
  • Any other thoughts?

Audiophile siblings, I have a vinyl itch I badly need to scratch! Please share your wisdom and help me spend my money!

smejias
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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:
Okay, I'm going to say I blame it all on Stephen, but I need to get another record deck.

I will gladly accept the credit, but you should really blame Michael Lavorgna and John DeVore. They are bad, bad men.

And, by the way, I'm flattered. Have fun, struts! I can't wait to see what you put together.

dcstep
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Re: Spend my money for me!

I don't know the Wilson from experience, BUT if you're considering the Rega then I think you should also look at the Pro-ject RM10. I assume that it's readily available in Europe, since the company headquarters are in Vienna. I'm using it with a Sumiko Blackbird cartridge.

My system is Rowland based. Boulder and Rowland are equidistant from my home here in Colorado, just in opposite directions. (Interestingly, Colorado Springs and Boulder are political opposites also).

Anyway, the Pro-ject is an incredible bargain and will leave about half your budget. If you want to spend $7000, then I think you need to consider SME also.

Happy hunting and please report back with your final choices.

Dave

KBK
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Please name the local dealers that you deal with and the brands they support.

I'm damned picky about turntables, and your system's components will need a certain mix of TT components to show them best, and vise-versa. I'm an 'analog or death' kind of guy (who tries his best with digital)..but really..more of 'high fidelity' is the ONLY acceptable compromise in my life.

Please state the music you listen to and your favorite performances, specific records will be the right thing to list. As well, what aspects of them are the most important.

It ain't the money-it's what you get back out of it.

For example, to me, there are only about a dozen or so turntables designs on the planet that are acceptable..and any one of them can be seriously degraded via bad ancillary equipment like cartridges, preamps and stands.

I will call a friend of mine who had those and/or similar boulder pieces and ask him what he thought of them, and that will tell me, to important degree what they sound like. The Verity speakers, I already know.

Edit:
Sounds like a low output MC cartridge with a step-up transformer is in your future..with the transformer output converted to balanced cable ends.

That would likely be the cleanest sound you'll get.

Buddha
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Alrighty...

7K

Michell Gyrodec SE for 2,500 USD.

Add the Tecnoarm for 1,200 USD. I would put it up against the Rega RB 1000 for 800 less!

With the Argo-i, you would rule and still have lots of money left. The Argo-i is a great great cartridge.

In fact, if you were looking to spend the 7K no matter what, I'd say to keep the Argo-i and Gyrodec and just upmarket your arm choice! Maybe stretch the budget to include an SME IV. The Gyrodec would be good enough for it.

linden518
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Re: Spend my money for me!

The table that I've got my heart set upon is Nottingham 294 with Ace Space 294 tonearm. I like that it's a 12-inch tonearm system, especially, and it's praised for its musicality. $3999.

Another table I'm intrigued by is Consonance LP 5.0. The whole thing comes with a killer stand, got tremendous reviews, and all for $4000! Probably the most ravishing looking table at that price. Can you believe the stand comes INCLUDED in the price? The Consonance site says Silverline Distribution has the rights to sell in Sweden -

Silverline Distribution
Box 32
14932 Nyn

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Thanks for the feedback folks! Some interesting ideas, hadn't considered the Pro-ject or the Gyro but both are available here and fit the budget...

To KBK's questions:


Quote:
Please name the local dealers that you deal with and the brands they support.

I mainly deal with Audio Concept who carry Rega, W-B, Thorens, Bluenote, McIntosh and Nordic Artist (their own). I also have access to Pro-ject, Michell, VPI, Clearaudio and Nottingham, possibly others.


Quote:
Please state the music you listen to and your favorite performances, specific records will be the right thing to list. As well, what aspects of them are the most important.

Wow, tough question! Feels like whatever I put I risk leaving so much out! I listen mainly to the following genres:

  • Rock e.g. The Who, The Kinks, Prefab Sprout, Travis, Magic Numbers, Manic Street Preachers,
  • Soul e.g. Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder
  • Blues e.g. John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Robert Cray
  • Jazz e.g. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chet Baker
  • Reggae/Ska e.g. Toots & The Maytals, Bob Marley
  • Choral e.g. Bach, Handel, Buxtehude, Haydn
  • Opera e.g. Mozart, Handel
  • Piano e.g. Bach, Haydn

Favourite recordings would include:

  • Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen
  • Various - Saturday Night at the Apollo
  • Patricia Barber - Modern Cool
  • Aretha Franklin - Aretha Now
  • Dunedin Consort - Messiah and Matthew Passion
  • Gardiner/EBS/Monteverdi Choir - Membra Jesu Nostri, Bach Cantatas etc.

The sonic parameters I am most sensitive to, or which most upset me if they are messed up or absent are probably soundstaging and dynamics, I seem to be less sensitive to tonal aberrations. I also appreciate a system that reproduces rhythm/timing well.


Quote:
It ain't the money-it's what you get back out of it.

Amen to that!


Quote:
I will call a friend of mine who had those and/or similar boulder pieces and ask him what he thought of them, and that will tell me, to important degree what they sound like.

Thanks. I will be very interested in his feedback on the phono section and any hints on pickup matching.


Quote:
Sounds like a low output MC cartridge with a step-up transformer is in your future..with the transformer output converted to balanced cable ends.

That would likely be the cleanest sound you'll get.

What is your rationale here? I wasn't really considering that route just because I am trying to minimize the number of boxes but I am open to be persuaded.

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Thank SD! I can get hold of the Nottingham here but I'm not sure it would be possible to audition beforehand. Will need to make some calls.

The Consonance is certainly a looker, but seems to be more expensive here. Also, I don't have room for it to stand on the floor, it will have to sit atop my rack, maybe just maybe on a wall shelf, which kinds rules that one out.

At this point my options seem to be increasing rather than narrowing. Based on my answers to KBK's questions above could you kind folks with experience of multiple contendahs help me to narrow the field? With small kids I simply don't have time to spend forever auditioning so I want to get down to say a shortlist of two, listen and then pull the trigger.

dcstep
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Re: Spend my money for me!

I vote for high output MC cartridges. Good ones, like the Sumiko Blackbird, get timbres, air and dynamics right, comparable to LOMCs that cost up to twice as much. IMHO, the trouble with LOMCs are that they demand very good stepup and phono-pre to combat the added potential for noise.

Dave

linden518
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Re: Spend my money for me!

I agree w/ dcstep. LOMC does require more attention, but that said, you'd probably appreciate the level of resolution achievable with LOMC, given your standards of listening. It seems that you can audition Bluenote TTs, so have a look at the Bellavista Signature. My friend went with Origin Live Encounter precisely because of LOMC; the Encounter is a pretty heavy arm... excellent match for quality LOMC. From all accounts, Bellavista Sig + OL Encounter seems like an impressive set-up. I think I'm going to NJ one day to hear it for myself, so bear in mind that I'm only relating my friend's experience. He went from Walker TT & Goldmund Studio to Bluenote, finally. He likes the Bluenote for its unfussiness, and great musicality. Doesn't miss the pricier TTs at all.

piinob
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Re: Spend my money for me!

I bought a Pro-ject 9.1 with a Blackbird Cartridge. It has been great. The 10 is probably a killer rig. High output cartridges prevent some problems and decrease the number of componants for sure. Some folks find a value in going the more complex route. Your dollars, your call as to value. I am pleased with Sumiko's return on my investment. Good luck, I will be curious to hear your results.

KBK
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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:
Thanks for the feedback folks! Some interesting ideas, hadn't considered the Pro-ject or the Gyro but both are available here and fit the budget...

To KBK's questions:
The sonic parameters I am most sensitive to, or which most upset me if they are messed up or absent are probably soundstaging and dynamics, I seem to be less sensitive to tonal aberrations. I also appreciate a system that reproduces rhythm/timing well.


Quote:
It ain't the money-it's what you get back out of it.

Amen to that!


Quote:
I will call a friend of mine who had those and/or similar boulder pieces and ask him what he thought of them, and that will tell me, to important degree what they sound like.

Thanks. I will be very interested in his feedback on the phono section and any hints on pickup matching.


Quote:
Sounds like a low output MC cartridge with a step-up transformer is in your future..with the transformer output converted to balanced cable ends.

That would likely be the cleanest sound you'll get.

What is your rationale here? I wasn't really considering that route just because I am trying to minimize the number of boxes but I am open to be persuaded.

OK. the best information possible has been gleaned.

Contrary to seemingly popular belief, purely acrylic platters are very likely off your list. Methacrylic platters may still be about...or combination platers.

You see, purely acrylic patters do well when asked to absorb excess energy with high level transients and noise but they also dull things a bit to much through that ever-so-slight aspect overabsorption and overdamping.

Purely metallic platters do a great job of not stealing energy out of LP's to darken the sonics too much..but they can also explode with ringing noise under high levels.

Combination platters or platters that use combination materials (mixes and or layered designs) have the best chance of 'doing the least damage'. The Nottingham mixed platter is likely their most sonically neutral design to date. I've actually heard all three platters, one after another, in one sitting. All that did, is confirm to me something I already knew, is that what I just said about materials for platters- is obviously true.

Platter design is the art of just the right amount of absorption vs just the right amount of reflection. Not as easy to do as it may seem. One would have to cast their own acrylic designs with custom chosen resin designs to really get anywhere. And then experiment until one is throughly sick of turntable platters. Turntables are right up there with loudspeakers with respects to LOOKING easy..but brutally complex and near impossible - to do right.

Edit: The problem with casting your own designs..is that to properly cure an acrylic to the point that no more 'curing' takes place and the platter is stable in it's sonic and damping/reflecting/noise control attributes..is this cure time is about 6 months. You'd have to cast about a six to a dozen variations at a time and then wait out the cure time..and then test. Otherwise, you'd never release a turntable design in this lifetime. the problem comes when the surface of the acrylic seals off..and the outgassing/curing is still going on in the innermost core of the material, thus changing it's attributes-over time. For example, Goo Systems Video screen coatings take 6 months to fully cure and reach their final point of 'clarity'. This involves the final point of the end of the out-gassing and the perfect cross-linking of the matrix of acrylic molecular structure. Granted, Acrylic platters are notably different in construction and execution of the raw materials, but the sheer density of the platters alone-ensures that there is more than a touch of the truth to what I say. I have a friend who is an expert in deep acrylic casting, and I speak with him all the time, he comes into the factory often and we do projects together. We've spoken on the deep casting considerations/problems/aspects before.

The manufacture of acrylic platters and 'rim drive' have become synonymous, but most are mistaken when they believe that Acrylic is superior. What is partially going on, is that the high mass of a given huge platter provides a cleaner transient via a lack of 'microchanges' in torque or 'roational stability'. This comes out sonically as 'transient slam'. The rim drive provides the torque and the follow through on the 'micro tearing' of rotational stability that a high level recorded transient on a LP causes, through extremely high levels of lateral movement on the part of the stylus. Highly modulated records have been shown to play about 1-2 seconds slower than a blank (quiet grooves) LP. Seriously. The motion is literally micro-slowed on the transient delivery due to lateral shift in the stylus tip. This is why the rim drive (Wheel drive:Garrard, etc)players of yesteryear have a following. The acrylic platters and high mass platters are mistakenly seen as having superior performance, when in fact they principally excel at micro-stability due to sheer rotational torque/speed stability. They end up giving these transients but can kill off micro-detail at the other end through too much damping and absorption. Note the types of systems that this gear goes into. Note that it is likely not the way you like to listen to music.

I like the idea of matt-less turntables that seem to be the norm at the upper end of things these days, but this only serves to make the given combination of record and platter excruciatingly sensitive to the choices in platter design. And that ain't always equal.

Low output moving coils tend to have the best dynamics and drive (slam) you'll ever get out of analog, due to a few things. Low Inductance of the coils, due to a lower # of turns in the winding be a principle one, along with the lower mass of the moving parts (for a moving coil unit).

I'll state that although music choices may be slightly different, the way you listen and what is important to you, is largely the same for me.

For example, I'd bet you'd enjoy the 12" 45rpm single of Billy Idol's 'White Wedding'. Holy crap! That LP just simply tears your head completely off with slam, speed, and drive. If you don't own Ike Quebec's 'Heavy Soul' album, run down to the store to get a copy-today. Listen to track 5. If that doesn't curl your toes-nothing will.

OK. pricing. Divide what I see on their site by 5.8.

Hmm..OK. Consider what I'm saying here..and then from the rega site:

The P9 is, in our opinion, the ultimate performance turntable available to the music-loving public. We designed the P9 with no financial restrictions whatsoever. The ceramic platter alone costs more to produce than our P5 turntable! With the right cartridge, you will be astonished at just how much information this turntable retrieves from your vinyl LP collection.

What I'm saying is that suspensionless-high mass turntables are very likely off your list. Regardless of platter design. Your listening to such will likely prove this observation to be correct.

I'd say something like a fully blown LP12/Ekos rig..or a Rega P9. I know the Rega is suspensionless. But IT IS designed with low mass in mind, which is a critical point to maintain 'drive' in a LP playback system. Specifically the kind of drive you are looking for.

Both the Rega and the Linn will need a good stand and a good location to be set in. The Rega will REALLY sound like the stand it is sitting on. It is low mass, so it is more sensitive to the stand it is on that most.

Transistors for amplifying the Low output MC cartridge as the active amplification stages in any piece of gear, for low output MC have always -not- worked as good as a transformer, in my opinion and experience - ever. And I greatly doubt that there's been some fundamental change in amplifier and transistor design in the past while to change my mind on that. What is needed, is a known transformer/LO-MC combination that is known to work well together.

A P9, with the right stand, and LO-MC/transformer design (matched set) gets you to a very ass-swinging sound that is dead simple to use. No tweaky crap, and grief, like my LP 12 brings. Even though JA and AD as well- both still use a LP 12. They are great tables.

What the P9 will need, is a true 'balanced cable' designed cable, NOT a standard coaxial design cable. Does a P9 have a removable cable? This is important to know.

Transformers and cartridges are inherently balanced in design, so the transformer cable can be balanced and run right into the MM balanced input on the Boulder. We run cartridge cables like they are 'single ended' (RCA jack and single ended circuitry) but it is inherently balanced in design. With a transformer in use, and the right arm cable - all we have to do is convert the wiring and termination back to what it actually is, that is..to feed a balanced phono input.

I like the idea of the Rega set up, as it is inherently a "music lover's" choice, once it has been properly positioned and set up. Listen to the tunes-no wasting of time tweaking. Just play the damn record. I Just read the Rega P9 manual, and they talk about XLR's ..so I expect they are aware and are capable of proving the correct wiring. As for the Linn, I do know the cable is removable, so the right cable can be made or purchased.

The reason I can say these things about resonance and noise control with some authority, is that we've (Taras and I) been designing some of the best loudspeakers that can be had, and I've spent a lifetime running down 'noise' in audio systems. Mechanical, acoustical (Taras moreso-to a truly fanatical degree ), etc...and learning exactly how to do it best. The loudspeakers we've worked on without releasing a single product, for nearly what..14 years now? We're finally going to publish product. The lead in into that, is the liquid metal cables, which might make all other extreme cable designs obsolete-overnight. The sonic and emotional view on the signal with these cables is quite significantly different. The speakers accomplish the same kind of trick, with respects to the high end loudspeaker market. It's bizarre when people here either the cables or the speakers. Some don't get it, and some are totally blown away with what they are hearing, and will absolutely refuse to ever listen to anything else ever again, period. Seriously. The dividing line is roughly at the same place mentioned above in the LP playback tastes with respects to purchasing and design aspects.

Art Dudley on transformers:

http://www.stereophile.com/artdudleylistening/1007listen/index2.html

...And that leads me to an important parting observation: Remember that every pairing of an MC cartridge model and a given step-up transformer primary will perform differently

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Thanks for your advice everyone, I am very flattered by the time and thought you have all invested in this. With the above pointers I have done a fair bit of research today and, based on availability, price and my own biases have pretty much come down to a shortlist of three. Apart from the recommendations in this thread all seem to have received multiple positive reviews in the press and online where some/all of my key sonic priorities have been notes as strengths. All have particularly been praised for their 'musicality' which feels especially comforting. On paper at least I am reasonably sure I could be happy with any of them:

  • Rega P9. Price incl RB1000 arm SEK 35,000. Pros: Good experience with Rega (my first ever "proper" deck was a Planar 3), definitely set-and-forget, dust cover a big plus with small kids around, definitely able to audition. Cons: price tests top end of budget. "The head choice".
  • Nottingham Ace Space or Space 294. Prices incl Ace Space 9" or 12" arm SEK 27,700, SEK 31,800 Pros: I particularly like the design philosophy, v. cool looking, carbon fiber tonearm, review comments push my buttons. Cons: bias against unipivot arms, no dust cover, may not be able to audition. "The heart choice".
  • Pro-ject RPM10. Price incl 10cc arm SEK 18,500. Pros: Seemingly outstanding value, carbon fiber tonearm, pretty cool looking. Cons: slight bias against acrylic platters, no dust cover. Arranging audition. "The wallet choice".

I need to speak to the dealers involved and will hopefully be able to listen to all three contendahs. With business travel and family commitments that may take 2-3 weeks.

Once again humble thanks for all the advice. More as it happens.

dcstep
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Re: Spend my money for me!

There is a dust cover availabe for the RM10, at least I see one on the Sumiko USA web site.

Dave

dcstep
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Oh, another plus for the RM10 is the included isolation base, a must in almost all applications. It seemed "almost free" to me. I've done a "with and without" comparison and it's a big factor in my system. (My TT is mounted in an armoire, between the speakers.

Dave

linden518
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Re: Spend my money for me!

If you go Nott, I think you should definitely go the 294. On the tonearm, you can just try it and upgrade later. I've heard from people who've tried from Moerch to Brinkmann arms & they all report significance performance boosts. I think there's a guy who can make a cover for Nott... if I'm not mistaken, the guy's contact info is in one of the threads here somewhere, I think dbowker gave me the heads up (?) I forget exactly who, now.

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

A quick update. Sweden really is a very small market for high-end audio and although a maybe surprising number of brands are available here I have found that very few of them (except the budget models) are readily available for audition. We're not in London any more, Toto!

Anyway, rather than chasing round after hard-to-audition 'tables, hearing them in totally unfamiliar rooms/systems, learning little and getting very hot under the collar in the process I have decided to take a different approach. I have basically made a decision based on trust of a knowledgeable and attentive dealer, an approach I hasten to add, that has served me extremely well in the past.

After a very considerable amount of time discussing my tastes and priorities with a dealer able to supply all the candidates on my shortlist (but unfortunately with none of them on dem) I have decided to go with the Nottingham 294 combo. Apparently there is only one demo unit of this particular piece in Sweden right now, it is about 500 miles away and won't be coming to Stockholm until September at the earliest. Maybe. However I have taken the plunge and placed an order. Cartridge choice looks heavily skewed towards the Lyra Argo i, especially after finding it is the reference cartridge currently used by Boulder for developing their phono sections!

I should stress that this is a personal choice, dictated by my tastes, priorities and biases. It shouldn't be taken as ignoring or contradicting any of the other great recommendations made in this thread. However, I am convinced that as far as I am able to judge and based on the best available information, this is the 'table for me.

So there we are. Huge thanks again for all the advice. Just waiting to hear now how long the delivery time is.

I got a fever, and the only prescription is....VINYL!!

smejias
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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:
I got a fever, and the only prescription is....VINYL!!

Oh man, I know what it's like to feel that fever. Congrats, Struts! I'll look forward to hearing how you and the new 'table get along.

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Three really weird things happened today and three is more than enough for anybody. Anyone who has read 'The Curious Incident...' will immediately recognize that three is a prime number...

Anyway, the world changed, and I backed out of one of the more carefully researched audio decisions I have ever made. Three months (give-or-take) of painstaking research undone in a second. I'm still taking it in myself.

The epilogue will follow in a couple of months.

Itch, itch, scratch, scratch...

mrlowry
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Re: Spend my money for me!

I hope that real life didn't intrude on this hobby of ours. I hate it when that happens.

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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:
I hope that real life didn't intrude on this hobby of ours. I hate it when that happens.

If it did, I hope struts and his are well. All that really matters. I had a heart attack first of the year. Needless to say life and "perception" have been dramatically changed.

Put a steak on the BarB, some tunes in the spinner and enjoy. Life is short.

RG

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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:

Quote:
I hope that real life didn't intrude on this hobby of ours. I hate it when that happens.

If it did, I hope struts and his are well. All that really matters. I had a heart attack first of the year. Needless to say life and "perception" have been dramatically changed.

Put a steak on the BarB, some tunes in the spinner and enjoy. Life is short.

RG

Hey, man, I'm really glad you are OK and you come here.

You are absolutely right about what really counts.

I wanna catch a Cowboys game in their last season in the classic stadium. If I get there, I'd love to buy you a beer.

RGibran
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Re: Spend my money for me!

Dude, your on!

Try to make it because I don't think we can afford the price of admission to the new stadium. JJ is really putting the screws to us!

RG

linden518
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Re: Spend my money for me!


Quote:
Three really weird things happened today and three is more than enough for anybody. Anyone who has read 'The Curious Incident...' will immediately recognize that three is a prime number...


I just hope there weren't any dead poodles involved. Kidding aside, hope things are well, Struts. I myself moved recently and was w/o internet for a while. Read some books I've been meaning to but couldn't b/c of audio obsession, etc. It was very nice. I totally had the case of audiophile nervosa for the past 5 months, and this little pause from life made me realize I don't have to step on the gas all the time. Anyways, give us an update later, dude.

struts
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Re: Spend my money for me!

My dearest audiophile siblings. Thank you for all the expressions of concern for my well-being which were as touching as they were, happily, unwarranted. Myself, my family and the poodle are all fine.

It was nevertheless immensely gratifying to see this thread, with its self-absorbed, materialist title, take a little off-road excursion into "what really matters". It gave me, and maybe some of you, pause for thought. Nevertheless my post was only intended to be enigmatic, not alarmist. So that said, back to business.

The three weird things, like three red cars, that came in such rapid succession that they left me quite dizzy were:

  1. The bass unit of one of my beloved Parsifal Encores survived (just) a near-death experience at the hands of my one-and-a-half-year old. I might post a separate thread on this one, once I have got over it. If I ever get over it. Suffice it to say it had me so distraught that it left me questioning the compatibility of my hobby with this current phase of my life. I decided after much reflection and discussion with THE BOSS (i) to put the whole turntable project on ice (ii) pack up the bigrig and put it in the cellar until the kids have left home (iii) only listen to headphones for the next few years. Then...
  2. ...the very next day and by some cosmic (or maybe karmic) quirk of synchronicity I heard the most amazing, lifelike, alive reproduced sound I have ever heard in my life. Ever. As in EVER. I only went in to pick up a record (I love that by the way, "I only went in to pick up a record...", how many times have we uttered those fateful words?) I had left there for a needle-drop, but found myself sitting on a sofa transfixed as some other-wordly sonic time-machine recreated a musical event before me that took place some forty-six years ago. I just stared in disbelief as the record I have heard a hundred times since birth rotated slowly in front of me trying to comprehend how this familiar piece of vinyl could have anything to do what my ears were telling me was taking place right there in the room. It was quite extrordinary and quite shocking, I really don't know how else to explain it. In fact just trying to find words to describe it leaves me with a whole different respect for the art of hi-fi journalism. Which rapidly led to the third weird thing...
  3. ...I suddenly and quite unexpectedly became a lot poorer...

Details to follow as the summer progresses.

Elk
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Quote:
Myself, my family and the poodle are all fine.


<whew> As long as the poodle is OK.


Quote:
Details to follow as the summer progresses.{/quote]
ARGH!

[in best one and one-half year old voice]

Now! Now! Now!

Buddha
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MBL?

struts
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MBL?

Buddha is indeed wise!

mbl was indeed heavily involved in this 'Damascus' experience (a 6010D pre, a pair of 9008A amps and those infernal 101E 'Radialstrahlers' - damn they sound good). However Wolfgang Meletzky was not the beneficiary of my green this time round...

dcstep
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Hang in there. Having children should NOT be the end of a hobbie; however, make plans to mount and TT well out of the reach of little ones. It's very easy for an adult to destroy a very expensive cartridge, but little ones only need to look cross-eyed at it and damage will be done. Therefore, proper isolation from little hands is a must.

Dave

Buddha
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Dynavector?

struts
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Dynavector?

Buddha is indeed wise.

Dynavector will indeed be one beneficiary of my newfound poverty, but only a peripheral one*.

I'll give you a clue, you may be one of the very few readers of this thread to have seen or heard the piece in question, as it was launched at CES 2006. If you had time to go walkabout you might have caught it. It was being shown in the context of a system that was a bit of a 'statement'. Slightly surprisingly the 'phile show report missed it...

* The Dynavector was not in the system I listened to which actually featured the Soundsmith Strain Gauge - which conincidentally also debuted at CES 2006. However going that route would have taken me even further out of my budget. Maybe in the future, it is an extrordinary piece.

Buddha
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Nordic Concept?

Elk
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Having children should NOT be the end of a hobbie; however,...


They certainly are a hobby onto themselves, however.

struts
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Nordic Concept?

Buddha is indeed wise

So Robert is making a run of ten 'Mk.IIs' this summer. He has promised to document the project with a photo diary which I'll share on this thread if it materializes.

Here's a taster. Ain't she purdy?

So much for my big tease

Elk
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Gorgeous!

KBK
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That looks like a composite platter.

As for the Nottingham. I saw the metal, the acrylic, and the composite Nottingham platters all at a dealer, who had them in for evaluation.

What platter does yours have?

struts
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According to the website, it is a "ceramic-like polymer". I don't know if Robert will give more away but I can ask if you're interested.

I had always secretly coveted this turntable (as well as the design the build quality is other worldly) but had never listened to it seriously because I couldn't afford it. However when I sat down and heard it together with the Strain Gauge in a Breuer arm it blew me away. Without question the best vinyl reproduction I have ever heard.

Now I am agonizing over arm/cartridge choice again. The default choice (based on price/availability from this dealer) is a SME IV.Vi w/ Dynavector XX-2 Mk.II. But after my "Damascus" experience with the Strain Gauge (which I really can't afford) I am considering SS's The Voice, probably then with the Nordic Concept Magnapivot (as shown in the pictures), which is a sort of "poor man's Schroeder".

Choices, choices...

KBK
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I think I've been told enough already, thanks! I do know my materials, so it tells me that it should be a 'good sounding' platter. Platters are very important!

struts
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I managed to winkle out of Robert that it is a Polyoxymethylene (POM) plastic called Susterene (google doesn't turn anything up so I may have the spelling wrong). He used to use an acrylic platter in the first version but says it was too 'dead' and strangled the treble a bit. I have heard the version with the new platter but not the old so I can't vouch for the difference, however I thought the tonal balance of the new version was extremely even with no obvious reticence or prominence in any area.

Elk
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Polyoxymethylene is a wonderful polymer. A know of it as Delrin. I have not heard of Susterene as a name for it. It's been around for many years.

I used it for the plectra when building harpsichords (it's self lubricating, low co-efficient of friction, low wearing, light, easy to work).

I have a custom shift handle for my Corvette Z06 built of the stuff. It does not get hot or cold, and does not flex in this application, and is non-brittle. Even has a nice feel to it, inherently lubricious.

Buddha
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Mmmm, Delrin.

The first Hot Wheels cars had Delrin axle inserts! Kicked the crap out of those British made Matchbox Cars.

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Mmmm, Delrin.

The first Hot Wheels cars had Delrin axle inserts! Kicked the crap out of those British made Matchbox Cars.


That's the stuff!

The self-lubricating properties of Delrin made those cars fast! The special ones were called "redline" or something like that if I recall correctly.

Buddha
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Yup, Redlines.

Coincidence or not, Hot Wheels eclipsed Matchbox about the same time British cars were eclipsed by the rest of the sporting automotive world.

(I'm just JA baiting.)

Elk
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Maybe, but I still have my favorite Matchbox: a dark red E-Type Jag.

I don't think a pretty car has ever been made, model or real.

struts
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Coincidence or not, Hot Wheels eclipsed Matchbox about the same time British cars were eclipsed by the rest of the sporting automotive world.

(I'm just JA baiting.)


Maybe that is why I was so gratified to see the Aston Martin DBR9 kick Corvette's butt at the Le Mans 24 hours this year!

(I'm just Buddha and Elk baiting)

struts
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I don't think a pretty car has ever been made, model or real.

I almost agree:

Elk
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You are right! Exceedingly pretty.

And better quality coachwork.

smejias
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Oh my. That might be the most beautiful car I've ever seen.

struts
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As is so often the case, she is even more beautiful 'in the flesh'...

smejias
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And, as is so often the case, I can only imagine.

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