Turntables, Arms & Cartridges

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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
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.
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  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Twin Engined Audio Note has a range of new arms for its well established TT-2 turntable. Ed Selley finds out if two motors are better than one. Audio Note is best known for its extensive range of valve amplifiers and digital products, but it has been producing turntables and vinyl accessories for many years. The current range consists of three turntables, three new tonearms and a range of moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Are you Xperienced? Pro-Ject has added a unipivot to its Xperience turntable. Ed Selley cues up Pro-Ject seems intent on creating a turntable to suit absolutely everybody and its range is expanding on a seemingly daily basis. The classic decks, of which the entry-level 2-Xperience Basic+ is now a part, sits somewhere above the Essential and Debut ranges and runs parallel to the RPM series. Beefed up The deck itself looks more like a beefed-up Debut, than a member of the RPM series.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
The Planar evolution Jason Kennedy finds out what improvements Rega has included to turn its best-selling turntable into a giant-slayer The RP3 is the latest generation of a turntable that goes back to Rega’s roots in the seventies when it launched the Planet; a turntable that evolved into the Planar 3 and has been slowly improving ever since. The last iteration was the P3-24, but something dramatic has happened to this budget classic since then: it has grown an exoskeleton between main bearing and tonearm, in an effort to bring greater rigidity to this crucial link. This is a lot more than cosmetic – it signals a change from attempting to make the entire plinth as stiff as possible to concentrating on the inflexibility where it matters most. That’s not all, the tonearm has gone through its second stage of evolution to come out more sleek and rigid again.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Tiny Temper Die-hard LP12 fans have found a new haven in Well Tempered. Jason Kennedy looks at the entry-level Simplex, complete with silicone damping There are some radical turntable designs in the glorious world of analogue audio, but very few comparable to a Well Tempered product. The Simplex was first developed in the early eighties and this new entry-level turntable is still the least expensive in the Well Tempered range. The design, unlike all other turntables, doesn’t have mechanical arm bearings; instead the arm pivots on a silicone-damped golf ball that hangs from a nylon filament thread.
Ed Selley  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  0 comments
The art of sound Jason Kennedy puts a £1,700 German-made newcomer from Acoustic Signature against rivals from Pro-Ject and Well Tempered Just when you thought that you could relax with your record collection along comes another contender with a substantial range of serious-looking turntables. What’s surprising, however, is that despite having UK representation for some time, it’s only in the last few months that we have discovered Acoustic Signature, of which the Manfred Mk II is one of the German company’s more affordable offerings. It comes with an outboard power supply and a free-standing motor and the diamond polished platter sets it apart from an increasingly large crowd of competitors at this level, as does switchable speed control. It can be supplied with any Rega tonearm, or a base to the arm of your choice.