New Turntable Journey - What's Great

StickMan451

Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2010
36
0
336
Castle Rock, CO
Getting ready to look for my 'retirement' TT. Currently using a VPI Aries III with a Dnyavector 507 MKII arm and XX2-MKII cartridge. Going to sell the cartridge and the TT plinth and Super Platter. Going to hold onto the arm for now.

In the "retail" market of $50k or below, what are your favorites? I say "retail" because no one pays retail anymore at that high of a price point; there's almost always some give and take.

The Kronos Limited looks VERY interesting, so do most of the TW tables (beautifully designed and machined mass loaded designs).

Have you tried a lot of table and arm combos? What do you like in this general range?
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,880
908
600
Manila, Philippines
Bias alert!

I would put my favorite sub 50k table at the moment to be the TechDAS Air Force III. I would also seriously consider the Wave Kinetics, the DD VPI. I still own and love the TW AC-3 so that is still in there obviously. This is a very sweet sounding table with some of the most lovely decays and atmospherics but lacks a bit of drive and punch. So why the AF3 for me? At one point in time when I owned a VPI HRX with the Periphery ring, I scooped up a ton of warped records that would otherwise be NM. Over time the ring became cumbersome and a hassle and one night I almost dropped it on my toe. The floor still has the mark it left to this day. The vacuum hold down system of TechDAS has allowed me to revive all these LPs. Sonically the TDs are not in the colored camp, albeit not to say they are totally devoid of color. The higher models are more linear to the extremes with the AF3 a tiny bit more centered around the mids. Their greates strength IMO is the greater perceived dynamic range and the shading and attack that that brings. They are some of the quietest tables around. On good LPs the space between cuts are so quiet it can be shocking. The AF2 would come in, in the sub 50 mark used but so far I've not seen a single one go on the used market. It will happen eventually however so that would be something to look out for. Just my opinion of course.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
5,746
1,263
400
Eastern WA
That's a hard decision. I might hold out for a better tonearm than spending it all on the table.

Whatever it was, I'd want to either get something like a Kuzma 4point 14in arm, Thales Simplicity II, and maybe a Terminator. Truth is I'd want 4 arms total. That's absurd right? Almost. Two mono arms for heavy and light records, and two arms for stereo for heavy and light records. It would be hard to do this with the Terminator tonearm, there just isn't room.

I've found that VTA is so sensitive that to get it just right switching between 180gr/200gr and welter weight, has the potential to steal a touch of magic. Maybe I just need a better cartridge, but so far small adjustments make big differences for me.

As far as turntables I do have an interest in PTP tables. I think you would need something good to put it on. I don't know if they offer or can offer an enlarged table to allow 4 Kuzma's... but that would probably be the ticket for me. If they don't I would consider just building something myself.

Well, there's my eccentric answer. But if I could be satisfied with a single tone arm I'd probably consider the Thales Simplicity II mounted on one of those more custom tables that use Lenco/Garrard/Thoren's hearts.

IF Tonearms and cartridges are not part of this equation at all, then the Wave Kenetics NVS is something I'd look at, too. I've heard one and doubt it has any faults to be mentioned.
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,880
908
600
Manila, Philippines
That's a hard decision. I might hold out for a better tonearm than spending it all on the table.

Whatever it was, I'd want to either get something like a Kuzma 4point 14in arm, Thales Simplicity II, and maybe a Terminator. Truth is I'd want 4 arms total. That's absurd right? Almost. Two mono arms for heavy and light records, and two arms for stereo for heavy and light records. It would be hard to do this with the Terminator tonearm, there just isn't room.

I've found that VTA is so sensitive that to get it just right switching between 180gr/200gr and welter weight, has the potential to steal a touch of magic. Maybe I just need a better cartridge, but so far small adjustments make big differences for me.

As far as turntables I do have an interest in PTP tables. I think you would need something good to put it on. I don't know if they offer or can offer an enlarged table to allow 4 Kuzma's... but that would probably be the ticket for me. If they don't I would consider just building something myself.

Well, there's my eccentric answer. But if I could be satisfied with a single tone arm I'd probably consider the Thales Simplicity II mounted on one of those more custom tables that use Lenco/Garrard/Thoren's hearts.

AC-3s and Air Force 3s can accommodate 4 arms. Maybe they should have named them AC-4s and AF 4s instead LOL
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
5,746
1,263
400
Eastern WA
I don't find it very attractive to look at, to be honest. Also I'm interested in direct drive or idler, more so. But it matters not, really. The OP is in the market where I'm just good at oogling gear while I'm also working on designing it :eek:
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,775
1,176
580
Boston, MA
+1 on the Monaco - an engineering marvel
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
18,698
8,748
1,515
London
That's a hard decision. I might hold out for a better tonearm than spending it all on the table.

Whatever it was, I'd want to either get something like a Kuzma 4point 14in arm, Thales Simplicity II, and maybe a Terminator. Truth is I'd want 4 arms total. That's absurd right? Almost. Two mono arms for heavy and light records, and two arms for stereo for heavy and light records. It would be hard to do this with the Terminator tonearm, there just isn't room.

I've found that VTA is so sensitive that to get it just right switching between 180gr/200gr and welter weight, has the potential to steal a touch of magic. Maybe I just need a better cartridge, but so far small adjustments make big differences for me.

As far as turntables I do have an interest in PTP tables. I think you would need something good to put it on. I don't know if they offer or can offer an enlarged table to allow 4 Kuzma's... but that would probably be the ticket for me. If they don't I would consider just building something myself.

Well, there's my eccentric answer. But if I could be satisfied with a single tone arm I'd probably consider the Thales Simplicity II mounted on one of those more custom tables that use Lenco/Garrard/Thoren's hearts.

IF Tonearms and cartridges are not part of this equation at all, then the Wave Kenetics NVS is something I'd look at, too. I've heard one and doubt it has any faults to be mentioned.

I am on the same wavelength. Having heard the NVS and the techdas, while awesome, out of my budget range. I intend to do a shootout of the PTP lenco you mentioned with Schopper thorens 124. The AF3 might come down in the used market later
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,427
1,751
318
I had a lot of good in past years like Be Yamamura air turntable,Godmund reference,Vyger indian signature,Symphonic line,Lurne' J4 with Pluto arm,Grand Prix Monaco 1.0,Emt 950,ecc
now i have 2 very very good at really good price,Thorens TD 124 swissonor/Schopper,i am wayting to buy his arm,and Bergmann Sindre with his arm.
I find Bergmann incredible quality,very fast,dynamic,natural,and the cartridge seems work without arm at cost in italy 15.000 euro price list including arm.
I would like to sell and buy Sleipner.
My friend had Micro 5000 with Dynavector 507 mk II,and also him bought Sindre and improvment over Micro was big in every parameter.

Mr Bonzo,i am incredulous you travel in all the world to listen all the system in all the world.
His your job or only your passion?
its really incredible

Regards
Gianluigi
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
18,698
8,748
1,515
London
I had a lot of good in past years like Be Yamamura air turntable,Godmund reference,Vyger indian signature,Symphonic line,Lurne' J4 with Pluto arm,Grand Prix Monaco 1.0,Emt 950,ecc
now i have 2 very very good at really good price,Thorens TD 124 swissonor/Schopper,i am wayting to buy his arm,and Bergmann Sindre with his arm.
I find Bergmann incredible quality,very fast,dynamic,natural,and the cartridge seems work without arm at cost in italy 15.000 euro price list including arm.
I would like to sell and buy Sleipner.
My friend had Micro 5000 with Dynavector 507 mk II,and also him bought Sindre and improvment over Micro was big in every parameter.

Mr Bonzo,i am incredulous you travel in all the world to listen all the system in all the world.
His your job or only your passion?
its really incredible

Regards
Gianluigi

Lol no, my job is in banking...I started out to investigate some stuff, and realized that by traveling I could learn a lot from people who had already been there, and done that. I also get to see radically different approaches and that takes out preconceived notions and bias, something that is a big hindrance in this hobby, I think. By traveling, you get to see so much difference that you are always attacking your own current preferences, and listening to a component under multiple different settings.

I travel only on holidays and weekends. Therefore travel is always intense, more like a commando op with me parachuting in, doing a shock and awe with an exit strategy, and flying back.

What started as a minor trip to check something turned into an addiction - there is always this checkbox mentality people in such hobbies have.

Back to your Turntables. What did you prefer between your Goldmund and the Vyger? How does the Bergmann compare to those, and the EMT. These are some stellar TTs
 

Halcro

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2012
130
34
270
That's a hard decision. I might hold out for a better tonearm than spending it all on the table.
So I assume you've heard the 507/II in detailed comparisons to other arms?
And you're certain it is outclassed by the 4Point?
 

daytona600

Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2012
674
102
355
scotland
Vertere Ref & Arm
 

MRJAZZ

Industry Expert
Jan 21, 2014
305
120
275
Getting ready to look for my 'retirement' TT. Currently using a VPI Aries III with a Dnyavector 507 MKII arm and XX2-MKII cartridge. Going to sell the cartridge and the TT plinth and Super Platter. Going to hold onto the arm for now.

In the "retail" market of $50k or below, what are your favorites? I say "retail" because no one pays retail anymore at that high of a price point; there's almost always some give and take.

The Kronos Limited looks VERY interesting, so do most of the TW tables (beautifully designed and machined mass loaded designs).

Have you tried a lot of table and arm combos? What do you like in this general range?

IMG_0027.JPG IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0029.JPG
A direct drive table from PBN Audio which uses the VPI DD motor and platter, with a more substantial power supply.
Cheers....
 

StickMan451

Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2010
36
0
336
Castle Rock, CO
Well, I opted for the Kronos Pro Limited; got a decent deal on a demo table along with the 12" Black Beauty arm. Now I need a new cartridge...that's a tough choice too...
 

Halcro

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2012
130
34
270
Well, I opted for the Kronos Pro Limited; got a decent deal on a demo table along with the 12" Black Beauty arm. Now I need a new cartridge...that's a tough choice too...
Good choice on table.
The cartridge choice has now become easier
 

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