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Thread: Schopper Thorens 124, Audiograil Garrard 301, Zyx Uni II, and Miyajima Madake

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    Schopper Thorens 124, Audiograil Garrard 301, Zyx Uni II, and Miyajima Madake

    Busy week. It was good catching up briefly with Marty on Tuesday (and no, he did not tell me which speaker), when my gf, I, and Marty attended the Verdi Requiem at Barbican. Marty had a ticket for the dress circle and for stalls, to check for the difference in sound. Verdi Requiem is unique that it goes straight through for 90 mins, with some pauses in between. Marty left the dress circle after the first pause, pretending to go to the Men's, and tried entering the stalls at the next pause. However, the gatekeepers did not let him enter, and therefore he had to leave half way!

    Anyway, Thursday at Barbican I attended Debussy La Mer/Haydn Trumpet Concerto/Shostakovich 5th, all of which were brilliantly performed. The Verdi Requiem had overloaded the Barbican, but this one was awesome. Tomorrow I have Sibelius Violin Concert and Mahler 4 at the Barbican, but before that in the afternoon my gf and I go to King's Place for Prokofiev 1 and Mozart's Oboe concerto

    Today, I went to an audiophile buddy outside London who is also a classical aficionado, has been through Brinkmann Lagrange, all of the SMEs, and mentioned he had got bored off vinyl and wanted to sell of his record collection till he heard the Garrard. He then bought the Shindo 301, followed by the Audiograil modded 301 with the Bob C plinth (pretty famous in the UK), realized there was not much difference, and sold the Shindo to keep the Audiograil.

    He later bought the Schopper modded Thorens 124, which I now realize is quite well respected on the web.

    The Thorens had the FR 64s arm and was playing through the Shindo Giscours phono. The Garrard had the EAT arm, a copy of the vintage ortofon arm but played through a different vintage japanese SS phono (forget the name now).

    I initially played a Bach cantata and Scheherazade through his Esoteric K01 to get a feel of the system. The Shindo pre connected to the top of the line shindo amps and Tannoy GRF corner speakers.

    I then played Scheherazade, same peformance, via the Thorens. I was gobsmacked, it killed the Esoteric. For a complex symphony, it had much more resolution, bass, dynamics, air, and tone of course, then a supposed modern day digital.

    I then moved the LP over to the Garrard, and immediately realized I preferred the Thorens. The Garrard was excellent, just something about the 124 drew me to it. I kept playing an LP on one followed by the other - and realized I was preferring the Thorens.

    At this time, the Thorens had the Zyx Uni II on the FR 64, while the Garrard had the Miyajima Madake. So I swapped the mIyajima to the Thorens. My conclusion is that Zyx has better dynamics, more frequency extension, more bass, and better resolution.

    I was surprised though that the Thorens had better bass, because Garrard is reputed for bass. My host explained that the FR 64 does have more bass and dynamics as well, which could be accounting for part of that effect, and I later read on the web that the Schopper mods do increase the bass and resolution of the Thorens.

    After that, we changed the cartridge on the Thorens to the Audionote IO Gold. I did not think there was anything to choose between the AN IO and the Zyx, slightly different presentations. The Zyx had more bottom end on piano, easily audible on Richter playing Liszt concertos. But then AN gave a slight more top end, but don't think it would compare to an Ortofon, Lyra, or Vdh on that front.

    Overall, I was really, really impressed by the Thorens Schopper 124 with the FR 64.

    One of the vinyl veterans here had told me that I would prefer the Lenco (which I have not yet heard), and then would have to check if my preference was for the Thorens 124 or the Garrard 301. I now need to listen to the PTP 12 Lenco at some stage.
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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Can I ask some details about the system and the recordings used for this listening session?
    Under construction around the DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack and a pair of Wilson XLF's : Forsell Air Force One, ARC Phono 2SE, cj GAT + Lamm M1.2 ref, TA OPUS MM2 +TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables and CenterStage footers ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Can I ask some details about the system and the recordings used for this listening session?
    Hi Micro,

    my standard demo recordings are:
    Decca Bruch Scottish Fantasia Oistrakh
    Scheherazade Analog reproductions reissue Reiner CSO - the recent reissue is really good quality
    Rubinstein Emperor Boston Symphony RCA - which I bought after extensively using it at DDK's for compares
    Richter Liszt Piano Concert 1 and 2 Philips
    Melaudia Winterreise
    Argenta Espana

    System, as mentioned in first post, are these TTs, going through the Shindo pre to top of the line shindo amps and Tannoy GRF corner horns. Esoteric K01 CDP. Not a big room

  4. #4
    What did he step the IO up with?

    Did you like the GRFs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    What did he step the IO up with?

    Did you like the GRFs?
    SUT was a kondo. He mentioned some Japanese brand I was not familiar with.

    No. Not my types, as you would guess. Plus I love the looks of the Westminsters, never got the sound. I want to listen to the Autograph though.

  6. #6
    Aurosound Vida.

    Those Jap Kondo SUTs are a bit mad. The expensive ones i.e. S6a sound brilliant.

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    Hi yes Vida

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    The TTs retail is around 7 to 8k each. I need to go back at some point to compare both through Shindo phono

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    Busy week. It was good catching up briefly with Marty on Tuesday (and no, he did not tell me which speaker) (...)
    Just noticed this sentence. Pentothal is illegal in the UK?
    Under construction around the DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack and a pair of Wilson XLF's : Forsell Air Force One, ARC Phono 2SE, cj GAT + Lamm M1.2 ref, TA OPUS MM2 +TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables and CenterStage footers ...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    Hi Micro,

    my standard demo recordings are:
    Decca Bruch Scottish Fantasia Oistrakh
    Scheherazade Analog reproductions reissue Reiner CSO - the recent reissue is really good quality
    Rubinstein Emperor Boston Symphony RCA - which I bought after extensively using it at DDK's for compares
    Richter Liszt Piano Concert 1 and 2 Philips
    Melaudia Winterreise
    Argenta Espana

    System, as mentioned in first post, are these TTs, going through the Shindo pre to top of the line shindo amps and Tannoy GRF corner horns. Esoteric K01 CDP. Not a big room
    Thanks - IMHO your feelings about digital were mainly due to the system and setup.
    Under construction around the DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack and a pair of Wilson XLF's : Forsell Air Force One, ARC Phono 2SE, cj GAT + Lamm M1.2 ref, TA OPUS MM2 +TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables and CenterStage footers ...

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