How Many Different Tables, Arms for each, Cartridges, and Phono Stages for Full Emotional Interpretation of music? Forget the Budget! What's Best?

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#1
Many of the hard core vinyl enthusiasts I know have a number of tables using different designs (Direct Drive, Idler, etc.), each table has multiple arms, and multiple cartridges. Of course, there could be multiple phono stages: tube, SS, or combinations of each.

How many does one need to own to get the full gamut of emotions and emotional interpretations of recordings?

Which ones?
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#2
Haha Caesar, breadcrumb trail neatly laid out. Or are you the Black Widow of threads?
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#4
The reality of this hobby is that different technologies do different things. At their best, they bring out different emotional interpretations of the performance. This is true for different speaker designs (box, planar, omni, horn, etc.), different amps - SS has standard SS vs. Class A and Tube amps can be SET vs. push pull. Different types of tubes (300 B vs 45 vs 845, etc., all sound different .

And we see this same reality with the vinyl guys, that there is no one best, but different shades of best
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#5
one turntable, one arm, one cartridge, one phono stage.

all you need is one of each that you love. the whole world of vinyl lays at your feet to discover. but if you want to explore more variables and nuances of vinyl then there is no end to how many. my own course down this path is well documented.

vinyl is an onion with unlimited layers (that's for Tang;)).

fifty people who own multiple turntables could have 50 different reasons for owning multiples. some are simply collectors or just like how they look. or just like to be around them.

it's a hobby within a hobby within a hobby.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#6
one turntable, one arm, one cartridge, one phono stage.

all you need is one of each that you love. the whole world of vinyl lays at your feet to discover. but if you want to explore more variables and nuances of vinyl then there is no end to how many. my own course down this path is well documented.

vinyl is an onion with unlimited layers (that's for Tang;)).

fifty people who own multiple turntables could have 50 different reasons for owning them.
Mike.
Thank You. Sincerely appreciate the reply. I've been too busy to follow, but you recently bought a second or third one... maybe I'm wrong...

And a jazz recording may sound awesome with a tube phono on some setups, but rock sucks. And it's completely the opposite on another table in the same system
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#7
Many of the hard core vinyl enthusiasts I know have a number of tables using different designs (Direct Drive, Idler, etc.), each table has multiple arms, and multiple cartridges. Of course, there could be multiple phono stages: tube, SS, or combinations of each.

How many does one need to own to get the full gamut of emotions and emotional interpretations of recordings?

Which ones?
What do you think, Caesar?
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#8
fifty people who own multiple turntables could have 50 different reasons for owning multiples. some are simply collectors or just like how they look. or just like to be around them.
Mike, there are the reasons for owning multiple combinations, and then there are the opinions of the various sounds. I would expect 50 opinions from the owners about the sounds of their own combinations, and then many multiples of that for opinions from the owners of the combinations in the other 49 systems. My simple mind can't come close to grasping the multitude of possible opinions. That is why there are so many discussions about different combinations and so many different approaches to vinyl.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#9
For me, and I'm sure 95% of enthusiasts, it's simply a matter of funds and logistics. I would rather choose one main tt source, and maxx it to the hilt. My cart has the advantage of being a stereo cart that excels at mono, so my 50 or so mono albums are covered. I've put a lot of effort into extracting ultimate SQ from my rig, and it would have been a compromise to split my spending.

Critically also, my cart sits right on the intersection of fleshy/dense Koetsu/SPU and lean mean fighting machine Lyra and uber neutral unflashy Transfiguration. I can't think of another cart that would suit me better on any of the genres I listen to.

If I was going down an alternative route, something like the Spec Corp GMP-8000 high inertia string-drive/Gunmetal platter tt with 12" SAEC506 arm and DaVa FC cart and appropriate tubed phono/SUT could tempt me.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#10
What do you think, Caesar?
Hi Peter, if I had a clue, I wouldn't be asking? How's your reply helpful? All we can do is observe the reality of what people do instead of what they say and try to understand the reasons behind it
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,439
213
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#11
Mike, there are the reasons for owning multiple combinations, and then there are the opinions of the various sounds. I would expect 50 opinions from the owners about the sounds of their own combinations, and then many multiples of that for opinions from the owners of the combinations in the other 49 systems. My simple mind can't come close to grasping the multitude of possible opinions. That is why there are so many discussions about different combinations and so many different approaches to vinyl.
Hi Peter,
I bolded what I am trying to understand. I am wondering if your 50 combinations can be boiled down to 5 or so
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#12
Hi Peter, if I had a clue, I wouldn't be asking? How's your reply helpful? All we can do is observe the reality of what people do instead of what they say and try to understand the reasons behind it
Hello Caesar, I often have discussions that start with one person telling me what he thinks about a subject, and then asking me what I think. Asking you the question would be helpful to me to better understand in what context you are framing your question, or if you have any of your own thoughts on the matter. Sometimes I have a clue about a subject, but still ask the question to learn more or at least different perspectives and opinions.

If all you think we can do is to observe the reality of what people do, then I would think you would have asked them to post images of their vinyl front ends. However, rather than follow your own thoughts, you are instead asking them to state their opinions by starting a discussion thread. I happen to think that the combination of their opinions and photos of their systems, and perhaps even phone videos, will best answer your questions.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#13
Hi Peter,
I bolded what I am trying to understand. I am wondering if your 50 combinations can be boiled down to 5 or so
Hello Caesar, I do not have 50 combinations in mind. MikeL introduced that number in his post as I presume an example. I do not have much experience with different turntable/arm/cartridge combinations, certainly not like some other members here. Other than the combinations I have chosen for my own system, the vinyl front ends in systems that I have very much enjoyed include:

1. The AS200/SME 3012R in Rockitman's system.
2. The Ascona/SME 3012R in Jeffrey_T's system.
3. The older Basis table/arm at Goodwin's High End.
4. The TechDAS AF3 at Rhapsody.
5. Redpoint?/multiple facets table at NYC show, 2012. High mass belt drive

These systems stood out to me as sounding natural while the turntable/arm/cartridge combinations demonstrated an ability to retrieve the information on the LP. I notice now that all turntables are belt drive.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#14
Hello Caesar, I do not have 50 combinations in mind. MikeL introduced that number in his post as I presume an example.
fifty people who own multiple turntables could have 50 different reasons for owning multiples. some are simply collectors or just like how they look. or just like to be around them.

it's a hobby within a hobby within a hobby.
what i commented on is the reasons 'why' people might have multiple tt's are going to vary from person to person dramatically. not what specific 50 turntable choices there might be.

10 years ago i owned 5 turntables at the same time; mostly because (1) i was curious and in learn mode, and (2) it seemed like the cool thing to do.

now i own multiple turntables since i'm in 'end-game' status and desire different specific high performance level visions of the sound to choose from......according to my personal viewpoints.

my descriptions of what those choices are is a different question.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,439
213
498
#15
Hello Caesar, I often have discussions that start with one person telling me what he thinks about a subject, and then asking me what I think. Asking you the question would be helpful to me to better understand in what context you are framing your question, or if you have any of your own thoughts on the matter. Sometimes I have a clue about a subject, but still ask the question to learn more or at least different perspectives and opinions.

If all you think we can do is to observe the reality of what people do, then I would think you would have asked them to post images of their vinyl front ends. However, rather than follow your own thoughts, you are instead asking them to state their opinions by starting a discussion thread. I happen to think that the combination of their opinions and photos of their systems, and perhaps even phone videos, will best answer your questions.
A lot of assumptions, Peter. We all make them. :)
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,439
213
498
#16
what i commented on is the reasons 'why' people might have multiple tt's are going to vary from person to person dramatically. not what specific 50 turntable choices there might be.

10 years ago i owned 5 turntables at the same time; mostly because (1) i was curious and in learn mode, and (2) it seemed like the cool thing to do.

now i own multiple turntables since i'm in 'end-game' status and desire different specific high performance level visions of the sound to choose from......according to my personal viewpoints.

my descriptions of what those choices are is a different question.
Hi Mike,
Thanks. So what did you learn from your earlier 5 setups vs. what are you shooting for now?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#17
Hi Mike,
Thanks. So what did you learn from your earlier 5 setups vs. what are you shooting for now?
that is a broad deep subject. ever evolving too. i'll see what i can come up with.

i'll have to gather myself.......
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,727
458
540
Pleasanton, CA
#18
He who croaks with the most toys wins?

I am satisfied with single turntable/arm/cartridge until run into the ground.

I have gone a bit berzerk with my high efficiency midrange ribbons used with amps. With different amplifiers/tube buffers/tubes/ drivers I figure I have well over a hundred permutations possible and all the ones I have deployed sound excellent and different. All the way from a 45 tube amp, to 2a3 or 6b4g/6b5g, Vfet, on up to 50 watt Wavac.

Strange psychology, but whatever is in the system currently seems 'best' and I defend it against all the others until, gasp!, I change to another and that is elected 'best'. If the goal is entertainment, it keeps me entertained if somewhat baffled by my own fickleness.
 
Jan 29, 2012
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#19
I'm adding a new turntable to my system for the single purpose of exploration. I've settled on the SME 3012R, Lamm LP2.1, VDH and SPU cartridges. I'll be interested in seeing how the same group of players will work with the Garrard 401 vs Acoustic Signature Ascona.
 
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Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
3,824
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Bangkok
#20
Many of the hard core vinyl enthusiasts I know have a number of tables using different designs (Direct Drive, Idler, etc.), each table has multiple arms, and multiple cartridges. Of course, there could be multiple phono stages: tube, SS, or combinations of each.

How many does one need to own to get the full gamut of emotions and emotional interpretations of recordings?

Which ones?
I think it really depends on the type of music you listen to most and how much you are into tt as a hobby.

Here is my opinion.

For rock, electro, amplified music, I see Shane, XV-1's vinyl system a very good one to follow. He is using Technic SP direct drive with Lyra Atlas SL and Lambda with Thales Simplicity arm. Speakers are Wilson.

For classical and jazz, you can follow the path of zerostargeneral's Vyger Atlantis with Red Sparrow cart.

These are what I consider could be great for the type of music and yield more SQ per $ you pay. Of course, they are still very expensive. Vyger $40,000, Red Sparrow $5,000.

One tt is enough. More is just luxury or passion. And It is a better buy with second arm cart than a second tt.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

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