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

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#1
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.
 

Attachments

May 30, 2010
14,113
78
48
Portugal
#2
Can I ask some details about the system and the recordings used for this listening session?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#3
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
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#5
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.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#8
The TTs retail is around 7 to 8k each. I need to go back at some point to compare both through Shindo phono
 
May 30, 2010
14,113
78
48
Portugal
#9
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? :D
 
May 30, 2010
14,113
78
48
Portugal
#10
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.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#11
Thanks - IMHO your feelings about digital were mainly due to the system and setup.
No. I have demoed CDP this in 3 systems now, and compared it to Lampi in all 3, including this one before, so not surprised
 
May 30, 2010
14,113
78
48
Portugal
#12
No. I have demoed CDP this in 3 systems now, and compared it to Lampi in all 3, including this one before, so not surprised
I have no experience with the Lampi, but my conclusion in such case would be different from yours. ;)

IMHO there is no "best" component and WBF is not my exclusive source of information. But having listened to the challenging Shostakovich 8th Symphony digital being played in a very large room with a top system, that allowed the real dynamics, spatial accuracy and weight of the sections of a symphonic orchestra to de displayed, I understood that many times the "limitations" of digital were due to our players, rooms and systems.

I will try to get some of your references in CD.

Currently MHO is that each format has its winning aspects, depending a lot on system and recording.
 

marty

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,134
17
38
Far Hills, NJ
#13
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!
.
Yeah, who knew? I felt like an idiot when I could not get back in. Still, it was an enjoyable (1/2) performance. Excellent orchestra and a very good hall (at least in the front row of the balcony- never got to hear it in the orchestra seats! Once again, don't even try to reproduce a piece like this at home folks. It's just not possible. I thought the chorus, in particular, was fabulous.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#15
Is the highs used price for a Thorens really better than just buying a VPI or such?
By reports, yes. They owner himself moved off top of the line brinkmann and SMEs. Art dudley raves about the Schopper.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#16
I have no experience with the Lampi, but my conclusion in such case would be different from yours. ;)

IMHO there is no "best" component and WBF is not my exclusive source of information. But having listened to the challenging Shostakovich 8th Symphony digital being played in a very large room with a top system, that allowed the real dynamics, spatial accuracy and weight of the sections of a symphonic orchestra to de displayed, I understood that many times the "limitations" of digital were due to our players, rooms and systems.

I will try to get some of your references in CD.

Currently MHO is that each format has its winning aspects, depending a lot on system and recording.
Micro, I have my references in CD (Argenta espana, brunch, scheherazade, I also have better recordings, i have different recordings in CD as well which are less compressed. The room and system limitations you mention exist in most places. In fact, the better the room and the system, and more transparent, the more the gulf. You might get some limitations on compression at times on large pieces of vinyl, but that's about it.
 

User211

Active Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,060
17
38
#17
Vinyl only really gets seriously good when you have about 5-10 minutes of music dedicated to a 45 rpm 12 inch record. The grove modulations can be much more substantial, allowing far better bass and excellent dynamics. Such pressings greatly increase the amount of retrievable information stored per track in the vinyl. Hence the obvious, and it is obvious, apparent improvement in SQ.

That's something classical as a genre doesn't really do as far as I am aware. But I expect some mad, 12 inch 45 rpm box sets are available.
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,264
34
48
#18
I have a bergmann sindre with Goldfinger Statement,and i am very happy.
One year ago i lesten a td 124 schopper with ortofon arm and i was very surprised for his sound and dynamic.
I bought and also in my home sound was very good.I sold ortofon arm and i am wayting to buy the schopper arm that my friend listened in comparison with ikeda,always on td 124 and told me schopper arm is much better.
I bought a ortofon spu 95 anniversary and i am wayting this arm.
I will post a small report when will arrive this arm.
Regards
Gianluigi
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,005
102
63
London
#19
Hi Gian, I am very happy to hear this. My experience in analog is relatively less, so I am really happy to know I picked up on this sound which some veterans like you and others like. Do you have any experience with micro seiki 5000?
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,264
34
48
#20
My friend living 5 km from my home had Micro 5000 with dynavector 507 mk II and air tight pc3.
He has Pre Viva,amp Viva Aurora and Wilson Alexandria in a good room but not very big so amp are perfect.
With Micro he had a sound heavy with too many bass and not very fast sound,no bad but not excellent.
I suggest him to try Bergmann sindre like mine,because has very fast,open,natural and transparent sound.He bought Bergmann,he put his pc3 cartridge and after one year always thanks me for this suggestion.
When we changed the Micro with Bergmann the sound was much better in every parameter.
So i think TD 124 is better than micro 5000,but until you dont compare with same arm is difficult to understand.
I have also other friend with micro 1500 and others,but after one month he sold micro.
I never listen micro 8000.
Ciao
 

About us

  • Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing