Turntables, Arms & Cartridges

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 08, 2016  |  0 comments
If you’re in any doubt that vinyl has returned to almost mainstream status, the latest turntable to join the format’s rapidly growing ranks should remove any uncertainty as to its popularity. The rather unassuming PS-HX500 deck is made by Sony, the company that jointly developed the compact disc and worked hard to commercialise the SACD format. The fact that the PS-HX500 exists at all is a fairly clear indicator that the Japanese giant sees which way the wind is blowing, and demonstrates the entertainment brand’s continued commitment to hi-fi. Of course, Sony has also been working hard to provide a cohesive range of audio products that demonstrate the advantages of high-resolution digital and in order for the new deck to fit into this brave new world, it’s equipped with the ability to rip vinyl to digital files via USB and some nifty software.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Not wishing to rest on its laurels, Austrian-based audio specialist, Pro-Ject, has introduced another model to its comprehensive line of turntables that spans an impressive range of models to suit just about every budget. The RPM 9 Carbon sits towards the upper end of the range and makes use of modern materials combined with new manufacturing processes to produce a deck with an extra-heavy, mass-loaded sub-chassis that is decoupled from its support surface using magnetic feet. The teardrop-shaped plinth is manufactured from an advanced sandwich construction of MDF, carbon fibre and steel pellets that has all been subjected to a thermo treatment. The polished 7.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
The original TT2 from Edwards Audio – an offshoot of Talk Electronics – was essentially a modified OEM design made for low cost, ease of use and mass appeal for vinyl fans going back to black and newbies alike. Now though, it sports some meaningful tweaks, which give it extra character of its own. The SE version offers a number of revisions; for example the original had a basic painted MDF plinth, whereas the Special Edition gets a 25mm full-gloss finished affair that’s a big improvement in looks and feel – and it should translate to a fractionally better sound, too. It comes in a choice of gloss black or white, with the red you see here as a special order (at no extra cost).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Given that the functions a turntable must perform successfully are rather set in stone, the number of different approaches taken to carrying them out are impressive. Inspire Hi-fi is very aware of this as the company’s portfolio includes, belt, direct and idler drive turntables and a variety of construction techniques, all with the common aim of great vinyl replay. The latest arrival in this range is the Elevation. This unsuspended deck combines birch ply and acetyl to be as inert as possible.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments
When The Funk Firm releases a new turntable, you can expect innovation to be high on the agenda. Challenging the norms of turntable design is what company founder Arthur Khoubesserian is all about. Let’s not forget that this is the man who some decades ago first introduced novel ideas like fitting DC motors to belt drive decks alongside acrylic platters for placing your LPson sans mat. Back then this wastruly leftfield thinking, but now it’s commonplace on many of today’s high-end vinyl spinners, showing that Arthur was clearly ahead of the game.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2015  |  0 comments
Choosing a turntable is never an easy business and often the more you spend the harder and more complex the choices become. After finding your preferred basic deck, you’ve then got to consider what cartridge to go for to complement your tonearm, and which phono stage will get the best out of your cartridge while allowing for upgrades further down the line, all of which makes choosing a CD player seem like child’s play in comparison. That’s why for many a plug-and-play vinyl solution makes a lot of sense, provided the components are carefully chosen and quality prevails over convenience. Step forward New Jersey’s VPI Industries, a company renownedfor its high-end decks usually with four-figure price tags.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Launched by Divine Audio’s head honcho Tim Chorlton and Mark Groom, and with power supplies designed by Garrard guru Martin Bastin, Analogue Works is a new turntable manufacturer that brings plenty of experience to the table, which has been ploughed into the company’s carefully crafted rangeof record players and accessories. The One is positioned slap bang in the middle of the company’s record player range, sensibly sandwiched between the Zero (£650) and Two (£1,600) models. All three decks get the same bronze/steel bearing and the Zero also packs a Rega RB202 arm within its price, but gets a bamboo or MDF plinth and wall-wart PSU in place of the One’s birch-ply plinth and standalone PSU. The cheaper Zero also comes equipped with an acetal platter instead of the more substantial damped alloy platter sported by the One and Two decks.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
When a manufacturer hits on a design philosophy that works it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that it will use the same basic pattern for as many products as it can. However, in the case of Avid, this methodology is taken one stage further. The company’s extensive range of turntables has all been designed ‘top down. ’Theflagship Acutus turntable wasdevelopedfirst and every other turntablesince is effectively as much of the Acutusas it is possible to retain at the new lowerprice point.
Ed Selley  |  Jun 20, 2012  |  0 comments
Michell Engineering GyroDec SE Full spring suspension and a competitive performance makes the Michell a strong contender. . . This deck is relatively unusual these days in that it includes a full spring suspension, which in turn is rare in using springs in tension rather than compression.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Clearaudio Performance SE This turntable’s simplicity belies some refined engineering technology and a performance to match The latest incarnation of the Clearaudio Performance is a more substantial turntable than it looks, thanks to a plinth that’s made from a sandwich of aluminium and HDF. You can’t see the highdensity fi breboard because it is framed by the natural coloured aluminium in the sandwich, but it performs the critical task of damping any resonance that manages to get through the three adjustable feet beneath it. The platter is a 40mm slab of acrylic that sits on a ceramic magnetic bearing, the shaft of which has been polished to an even higher degree than on the original Performance. The magnetic suspension means that the ceramic shaft doesn’t need a ball bearing or thrust pad to take the weight of the platter, which should reduce noise from this critical component quite considerably.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Inspire Eclipse SE V2 Combine this turntable’s presentation attributes with SME’s M2 arm and you have a fine piece of audio engineering The newest kid on this particular analogue block, Inspire, clearly has a penchant for acrylic. It started out offering mods for Rega decks in the material and the Eclipse SE V2 is almost entirely made of the stuff. The black shiny fi nish says it all really, but it’s more than a couple of slabs of the stuff, between the two are three cones with acrylic tips, alloy bodies and sorbothane damping. The bottom half of the plinth sits on three low-profi le feet with no option for height adjustment.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Michell Orbe SE The Orbe SE incorporates the latest Gen 2 power supply, resulting in fine dynamics and a full-scale soundstage The SE is the ‘sport’ version of Michell’s Orbe rangetopper. It cuts down on costs by removing the acrylic casework of its namesake and, in many respects, looks the better for it. Like the well-regarded Gyro, it is a fully suspended design that floats the armboard and platter on three springs, which sit under three posts that stick up from the cast aluminium subchassis that surrounds the platter. Underneath are two acrylic layers in a tristar shape that reach out to support the suspension posts and fix-to-turned aluminium feet.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Pro-Ject RPM10. 1 Despite its low price, the RPM10. 1 has more features than most, including a carbon-fibre tonearm We looked at the RPM10. 1 back in HFC 348 and found a lot to like in its high-mass, magnetically isolated design.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Roksan Xerxes. 20plus A highly refined and beautifully finished design, the Xerxes. 20plus has its own distinctive approach to musical nirvana The 20plus is a considerable refinement of the original Xerxes design. It is far better finished and thought out, but the essential principles remain the same.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
VPI Classic A lot of turntable for the asking price, here’s an impressive package from a classic American manufacturer The VPI is a lot of turntable for the money, it’s easily the biggest and heaviest in this group and if that weren’t enough, it has the longest tonearm in the JMW10. 5i. The latter is an elaborate unipivot design, with balance weights around the pivot point that can be rotated so that the stylus sits upright in the groove. VTA variations are accommodated with a substantial stainless wheel on the arm base.