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Thread: Reference Turntable, The Step Beyond

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Loheswaran,

    There are many variables when it comes to tts or anything else for that matter which you need to categorize and quantify values properly to reach the right conclusions. First we need to identify the value we're after, i.e what do we mean about better bass. In my case and for the types of music I listen to the overriding value is "Natural", balance is as important as realism here. Some people like their bass tighter, louder and want to get hit in the gut with it all the times so their idea of better bass is very different, its important to understand this. The next is category, the quality of DD bass vs other types is price dependent. Here we have a tiny group of tables considered to be the pinnacle of the art, outside a couple the best competing DD tables cost a fraction of the price of these tables. The DD technology seems to be a limiting factor at this level but if you look at it within a different price category, DD can have the upper hand. So clarification is important, please consider my comments limited to a narrow category and specific personal value.

    I don't know where you live but it may be more cost effective to purchase a working EMT 950 than refurbishing one specially if you have to crate and ship it long distance, they're priced very low today,way below their sonic abilities.

    david
    David, would you make a distinction between DD and other non belt technologies, like idlers and direct rim drives?
    I ask this because if you feel the speed hunting servos of DDs like the GP Monaco, Rockport Sirius, Brinkmann Bardo, Technics SP10 etc are a limiting factor, this wouldn't apply to idlers and rim drives like my Salvation, Saskia, Lencos, Garrard 301/401, where the speed is "set and forget".
    In my tt, the torque is high, the platter weight is high, the speed is set and chequed w/a strobe, and there is no feedback mechanism to alter drive based on what the platter is doing. The designer could never get a feedback servo to work w/out squeezing the life out of the sound presentation. Only when he perfected a 100% analog/non servo feedback system, matching exteremely high torque to high platter mass, did he manage to get secure speed stability w/full analog bloom of sound. And I do believe he has suceeded because the sound is in equal measure: detailed, neutral, transparent, propulsive, nuanced, tonal and textured.
    Do you have time for this kind of approach?
    As a result, I do believe tt's should not just be categorised as: belt OR servo-controlled dd, but belt OR servo-controlled dd OR non servo-controlled idler/rim.
    Trans Fi Salvation tt & Terminator arm/Soundsmith Straingauge SG200 cart w.Red Wine batt psu/Eera Tentation cdp/Nat Audio Utopia line stage & SE2SE SET monos w.NOS '48 GE tubes/Zu Definitions 4 spkrs w.Duelund caps & Lundahl transformers/Symposium Isis & Rollerblocks isolation/Sablon Reservas ic's, sc's & pc's/Westwick 8kVA balanced pwr w.Furutech US sockets/Entreq Silver Tellus & Olympus Minimus ground boxes, Silver Cleanus passive filter, Apollo ground leads/Shun Mook Diamond Resonators

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Marc,

    You need to go and listen to these tables with people who understand them and know what they're doing, they can explain their choices and make up your mind if its a must have for you. Yes, belt drive will sound different from an idler and I love both but I will tell you from direct experience that the AF-1 is one of the finest sounding tables ever made. Some of the conversation here might have given a different impression but that wasn't the intention, we were discussing very fine nuances in a very particular system and only in direct comparison to something else, the AF-1 is incredible. Please don't take offense but the past setups you mentioned leave a lot to be desired and shouldn't be used as a standard for belt drives, don't limit yourself based on them.

    Happy hunting!

    david

    Sure Dave, no doubt my Roksan and Michell were pretty basic. But in no way are the SME 20 and TW AC3 to be described as anything other than serious contenders at their price points, and excellently engineered products and superb examples of belt drive applications.
    It just so happens that a non servo controlled direct rim drive at a quarter of their prices, in my system, beat them in all categories (w/my tt just maybe being a tad less smooth).
    I can't help but surmise, that maybe one has to go to the far extremes of overengineering, and a commensurate price point, for belt drive to reassert it's pre emminence eg the AFO, Continuum Caliburn, Walker, Da Vinci etc.
    But in the mid point price wise, DDs and idler/rim drives may reign supreme - Saskia Ref 2, GP Monaco, Dobbins Koda The Beat, Wave Kinetics NVS, supremely reengineered Garrards/SP10's.
    Trans Fi Salvation tt & Terminator arm/Soundsmith Straingauge SG200 cart w.Red Wine batt psu/Eera Tentation cdp/Nat Audio Utopia line stage & SE2SE SET monos w.NOS '48 GE tubes/Zu Definitions 4 spkrs w.Duelund caps & Lundahl transformers/Symposium Isis & Rollerblocks isolation/Sablon Reservas ic's, sc's & pc's/Westwick 8kVA balanced pwr w.Furutech US sockets/Entreq Silver Tellus & Olympus Minimus ground boxes, Silver Cleanus passive filter, Apollo ground leads/Shun Mook Diamond Resonators

  3. #23
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritofmusic View Post
    David, would you make a distinction between DD and other non belt technologies, like idlers and direct rim drives?
    I ask this because if you feel the speed hunting servos of DDs like the GP Monaco, Rockport Sirius, Brinkmann Bardo, Technics SP10 etc are a limiting factor, this wouldn't apply to idlers and rim drives like my Salvation, Saskia, Lencos, Garrard 301/401, where the speed is "set and forget".
    In my tt, the torque is high, the platter weight is high, the speed is set and chequed w/a strobe, and there is no feedback mechanism to alter drive based on what the platter is doing. The designer could never get a feedback servo to work w/out squeezing the life out of the sound presentation. Only when he perfected a 100% analog/non servo feedback system, matching exteremely high torque to high platter mass, did he manage to get secure speed stability w/full analog bloom of sound. And I do believe he has suceeded because the sound is in equal measure: detailed, neutral, transparent, propulsive, nuanced, tonal and textured.
    Do you have time for this kind of approach?
    As a result, I do believe tt's should not just be categorised as: belt OR servo-controlled dd, but belt OR servo-controlled dd OR non servo-controlled idler/rim.
    Marc,

    Let me get my thoughts together, promise to get to start a new thread in the next few days.

    david
    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

  4. #24
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritofmusic View Post
    Sure Dave, no doubt my Roksan and Michell were pretty basic. But in no way are the SME 20 and TW AC3 to be described as anything other than serious contenders at their price points, and excellently engineered products and superb examples of belt drive applications.
    It just so happens that a non servo controlled direct rim drive at a quarter of their prices, in my system, beat them in all categories (w/my tt just maybe being a tad less smooth).
    I can't help but surmise, that maybe one has to go to the far extremes of overengineering, and a commensurate price point, for belt drive to reassert it's pre emminence eg the AFO, Continuum Caliburn, Walker, Da Vinci etc.
    But in the mid point price wise, DDs and idler/rim drives may reign supreme - Saskia Ref 2, GP Monaco, Dobbins Koda The Beat, Wave Kinetics NVS, supremely reengineered Garrards/SP10's.
    You seem to have a very fine vinyl front end, I like good idlers very much too.

    david
    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    I'm sorry... my mistake... it was the 948.
    I am disappointed - I was going to try to buy the 927 from you. I managed to find one in Holland, but the owner asked for over euro 30k ...
    Under construction around a pair of Wilson XLF's and a DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loheswaran View Post
    Hi David

    I really appreciate your insight and speedy response.

    That's very interesting what you say about the bass being the issue given that many say that is where DD excels. I have a few long-term projects on the go:
    1. EMT 950 - my black taj mahal - need to get the guys at EMT to do a full rebuild (I have the arm, but need to order cartridge)
    2. 2 goldring lencos (in the loft to sell on when the tie is right) - another Lenco that I need to get a few springs for (already rebuilt the motor)
    3. My favourite - Sony TTS 8000A

    I was drawn to the TTS8000 because the magnetic strip works much like a reel to reel, and a certain fine cartridge manufacturer said it combines the best of belts and DD - I will post once I have it all up and running - I am going to do a genuine comparison at some stage using same arm and cart on each deck

    I use my Amazon model one, or my Townshend Elite Rock - love the trough - in fact have a spare trough to use on my TTS project.

    A nice guy on Audiogon who goes by the name Syntax uses Micro Seiki decks - interesting that you have three in your list.

    So far as the Gramaphone - trying to find one that keeps speed constant and can mount a Helius Omega - only problem is I can't get a wind up amp
    I have a very good condition Townshend Rock V with the original Merlin power supply.
    Great deck IMHO

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    You seem to have a very fine vinyl front end, I like good idlers very much too.

    david
    Hard to believe, but my tt and arm are created by a retired dentist, Vic, a Canadian emigree living here in the UK. He's an inveterate inventor and tinkerer, and I believed came up w/some unique devices in his paid profession (medieval torturer would have been his vocation in the Middle Ages LOL!).
    He started w/the air bearing linear tracking Trans Fi Terminator T3Pro tonearm ten years ago, and this item has gone down in legend as an item which flies under the radar, but really outperforms some tonearms at 5x the price. At 5" length armwand, and minimal effective mass, the best thing I can say about it is, that it isn't there. I detect no sonic signature at all. I believe Scroeder and Thales have interesting variants on the linear tracking theme, and the Kuzma Airline is a major assault on the SOTA, but as a Real World linear tracking choice, it's a no brainer.
    Then five years ago Vic came up w/the Salvation tt. He had been disassembling various Garrards, Lencos, Technics etc tt's, and patching them up to try and find why these idlers and DD tt's sounded so much better than the belt drive he was using at the time. His first assault was the "Lenco-Burger" which was a Michell w/Lenco idler hybrid. From that he evolved thru trial and error to the finished article which I own. He's managed to come up w/a way to simply route vibrations from the rim motor AWAY from the platter/lp/stylus interface, maintain speed stability w/out relying on speed seeking servos, and max out isolation via magnetic levitation platter and feet, and excellent use of massy slate for the plinth.
    It bows to no tt i've heard at 4x the price, but can be criticised for lacking the last degree of refinement.
    And that's pretty much the only reason I'm even contemplating looking at the Monaco and Saskia.
    Trans Fi Salvation tt & Terminator arm/Soundsmith Straingauge SG200 cart w.Red Wine batt psu/Eera Tentation cdp/Nat Audio Utopia line stage & SE2SE SET monos w.NOS '48 GE tubes/Zu Definitions 4 spkrs w.Duelund caps & Lundahl transformers/Symposium Isis & Rollerblocks isolation/Sablon Reservas ic's, sc's & pc's/Westwick 8kVA balanced pwr w.Furutech US sockets/Entreq Silver Tellus & Olympus Minimus ground boxes, Silver Cleanus passive filter, Apollo ground leads/Shun Mook Diamond Resonators

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry2013 View Post
    I have a very good condition Townshend Rock V with the original Merlin power supply.
    Great deck IMHO

    I know Barry, I've heard it at your's. Tbh, had the Salvation not happened I might have tried to nab yr Townshend from under your nose!
    Another giant killer w/amazing engineering, ie the cartridge trough.
    Trans Fi Salvation tt & Terminator arm/Soundsmith Straingauge SG200 cart w.Red Wine batt psu/Eera Tentation cdp/Nat Audio Utopia line stage & SE2SE SET monos w.NOS '48 GE tubes/Zu Definitions 4 spkrs w.Duelund caps & Lundahl transformers/Symposium Isis & Rollerblocks isolation/Sablon Reservas ic's, sc's & pc's/Westwick 8kVA balanced pwr w.Furutech US sockets/Entreq Silver Tellus & Olympus Minimus ground boxes, Silver Cleanus passive filter, Apollo ground leads/Shun Mook Diamond Resonators

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritofmusic View Post
    Hard to believe, but my tt and arm are created by a retired dentist, Vic, a Canadian emigree living here in the UK. He's an inveterate inventor and tinkerer, and I believed came up w/some unique devices in his paid profession (medieval torturer would have been his vocation in the Middle Ages LOL!).
    He started w/the air bearing linear tracking Trans Fi Terminator T3Pro tonearm ten years ago, and this item has gone down in legend as an item which flies under the radar, but really outperforms some tonearms at 5x the price. At 5" length armwand, and minimal effective mass, the best thing I can say about it is, that it isn't there. I detect no sonic signature at all. I believe Scroeder and Thales have interesting variants on the linear tracking theme, and the Kuzma Airline is a major assault on the SOTA, but as a Real World linear tracking choice, it's a no brainer.
    Then five years ago Vic came up w/the Salvation tt. He had been disassembling various Garrards, Lencos, Technics etc tt's, and patching them up to try and find why these idlers and DD tt's sounded so much better than the belt drive he was using at the time. His first assault was the "Lenco-Burger" which was a Michell w/Lenco idler hybrid. From that he evolved thru trial and error to the finished article which I own. He's managed to come up w/a way to simply route vibrations from the rim motor AWAY from the platter/lp/stylus interface, maintain speed stability w/out relying on speed seeking servos, and max out isolation via magnetic levitation platter and feet, and excellent use of massy slate for the plinth.
    It bows to no tt i've heard at 4x the price, but can be criticised for lacking the last degree of refinement.
    And that's pretty much the only reason I'm even contemplating looking at the Monaco and Saskia.
    It is a very curious design. Do you know why does the designer of your turntable prefers an unsupported record, like the old Michell players? I would also love to know how he uses a DC motor without any servo system. BTW, my turntable was designed by a surgeon!
    Under construction around a pair of Wilson XLF's and a DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack.

  10. #30

    balance - and searching for the pot of gold

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Loheswaran,

    There are many variables when it comes to tts or anything else for that matter, IMO you need to categorize and quantify values accurately to reach the right conclusions. Let's take bass performance as a starting point, i.e what do we mean about better bass. In my case and for the types of music I listen to the overriding value is "Natural", balance is as important as realism here. Some people like their bass tighter, louder and want to get hit in the gut with it all the times so their idea of better bass is very different, its important to understand this. The next is category, the quality of DD bass vs other types is price dependent. Here we have a tiny group of tables considered to be the pinnacle of the art, outside a couple the best competing DD tables cost a fraction of the price of these tables. The DD technology seems to be a limiting factor at this level but if you look at it within a different price category, DD can have the upper hand. So clarification is important, please consider my comments limited to a narrow category and specific personal value.

    I don't know where you live but it may be more cost effective to purchase a working EMT 950 than refurbishing one specially if you have to crate and ship it long distance, they're priced very low today,way below their sonic abilities.

    david
    Dear David

    I always find that well considered and logical subjectivity is about the best insight and advice one can get, so 'comments limited to a narrow category and specific value' is very modest of you - you clearly have substantial experience.

    I find that we unfortunately never get to hear truly live music insofar as wherever one goes to hear music it is amplified to 'smitherines' often through cheap electronics.

    In regards to the EMT mine was working, and the price I was quoted wasn't too extortionate given that the unit was going to be refurbished to 'as new' condition.

    I read an interesting article by/about Harry Weisfield who spoke about the fact that DD motors of the quality in the 70's just aren't/can't be made now at a cost effective price, hence the cost of his own Classic turntable.

    I guess that at times we are in 'pursuit of the 13th note' and maybe we should just enjoy the many journeys to get there.

    Lohan

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