vinyl upgrades; Dava, FCL tone arm, EMIA silver Phono Corrector, MC Trio

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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i've finished my digital push....and been working on a few odds and ends to fine tune my vinyl. had my 3 tt's for 3 years now, thought long and hard about consolidating the 3 into one 'big-boy' tt, but at the end of the day have decided that the three tt's cover state of the art vinyl rotating and so they are all keepers. i like what each does too much, and nothing else enough, to change. i will likely sell my 4th tt, the EMT948 i got a year ago, as i'm rarely listening to it.

a month ago i ordered the DaVa Ref (field coil) cartridge and did post about that. it's still approximately 3 months away. so May. it will replace one of my 3 Etsuro Gold MC's.

i've been working on a new tone arm for the last couple of months, and did finally order the 12" Primary Control FCL (field coil) tone arm last week. that's also scheduled to arrive in May. my initial plan was to combine the DaVa field coil cart with the field coil arm. but i've learned that is not a good idea. that arm/cart combo not synergistic. so the DaVa will be mounted on one of my Durand Tosca's. the FCL arm will then have one of my Etsuro Gold's.

right now, the plan is to mount the FCL arm on the Wave Kinetics NVS, and keep the Tosca on the Saskia with the Dava cart. but i will have arm boards for both arms, for both turntables. so i can play around with the best combinations. my goal is to have the best jazz/blues arm/cart combo on the Saskia, and the best classical/pop combo on the NVS to compliment the CS Port linear tracker for classical/pop. the Durand Telos which now has my Miyajima Infinity mounted will be moving on, and my other Tosca will now do both my Infinity Mono carts.

lastly; i have ordered today the EMIA Phono Corrector in silver, with 2 power supplies. it will hopefully be here in late April. it will replace my CS Port phono. once the DaVa cartridge arrives; Dave Slagle will work with me to identify the best SUT as a match for it, and Dave will then combine that SUT with a silver SUT for both Etsuro Gold's into an EMIA MC Trio. i'll trade my current pair of silver 1:10 EMIA SUT's in on the MC TRIO. so the Phono Corrector will service all three cartridges, leaving the mono carts for the darTZeel phono. the MC Trio will also have a mono switch, so i can use it for the mono's if i like.

to help pay for all these items, i'll be selling the EMT 948 with Durand Kairos arm, one Etsuro Gold, the CS Port phono, and one of my Studer A-820's (without the head switch and with 1/4" and 1/2" guides and head blocks) i have not been using. so there will be some pain, but not crazy amounts of it. it will be a few months, but i can ride off into the sunset once these things are in place and dialed in.

at least it's a plan. and checks have been written.
 
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Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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www.solypsa.com
Have not heard the FCL, but did hear the little brother Gravity arm \ Kinea table at the Primary Control workshop and its mighty impressive. Lots of fun in store ;)
 

hogen

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May 15, 2018
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Oslo, Norway
I heard the FCL in München 2018 and 2019, one of the rooms I liked most both years (Primary Control, Wolf von Langa, Air Tight etc), Primary Control has been high on my radar ever since. I might be interested in a used Etsuro Gold by the way;)
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Mike, "at least it's a plan"...the word "least" needs to be excised from your vocabulary, and "plan" is better written PLAN!
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Hi Mike,

Wow. Awesome update. Really looking forward to you getting all these items. I think you are about to enter a new realm of magic with the Emia combo + DaVa ref. I would be shocked if that coupled to Saskia doesn’t give you an insanely addictive and magical jazz presentation.

Looking forward to the photos and listening impressions soon. I don’t know the primary control arm but heard good things from those who have.
All the best.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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Studer sold. check!

EMIA Phono Corrector scheduled to arrive in 2-3 weeks; mid April. CS Port phono has a new owner ready to receive it when my EMIA ships.

DaVa cart and Primary Control FCL arm still in process (May/June arrival). got to get my arm boards done for the FCL for both tt's.
 

harleyguy

VIP/Donor
Mar 7, 2015
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You have to check out the KRONOS DISCOVERY AND RS TONEARMS better than master tape.they are the best table EVER MADE by far
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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You have to check out the KRONOS DISCOVERY AND RS TONEARMS better than master tape.they are the best table EVER MADE by far
maybe those Kronos products will be at Axpona and i can hear them. i have heard the Kronos tt a few times at shows.

lots of great analog i have not heard. but pretty happy with my tt's and arms, and the Primary Control FCL arm is a unique product. looking forward to enjoying it.
 
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harleyguy

VIP/Donor
Mar 7, 2015
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This is there new table you can see it on greg s audio analyst s page or gtt in new yorks page.looking forward to see your new arm and cart
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
9,859
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i've finished my digital push....and been working on a few odds and ends to fine tune my vinyl. had my 3 tt's for 3 years now, thought long and hard about consolidating the 3 into one 'big-boy' tt, but at the end of the day have decided that the three tt's cover state of the art vinyl rotating and so they are all keepers. i like what each does too much, and nothing else enough, to change. i will likely sell my 4th tt, the EMT948 i got a year ago, as i'm rarely listening to it.

Mike, I am curious what "big-boy" turntable you considered if your thinking got that far. Would such a move have been for simplifying and downsizing or more for sonics? How do you divide up your listening time between the three tables? I think you wrote that vinyl is about 20-30 listening time total, so each table would be 7-10% if you listened to them equally. A super table might change those percentages, but it seems like you have enough new things coming in to keep you well interested and experimenting for a while. I look forward to reading about the new stuff, especially the cartridge.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,756
6,769
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Mike, I am curious what "big-boy" turntable you considered if your thinking got that far. Would such a move have been for simplifying and downsizing or more for sonics? How do you divide up your listening time between the three tables? I think you wrote that vinyl is about 20-30 listening time total, so each table would be 7-10% if you listened to them equally. A super table might change those percentages, but it seems like you have enough new things coming in to keep you well interested and experimenting for a while. I look forward to reading about the new stuff, especially the cartridge.
Peter,

as far as a 'big boy tt'......all options were on the table for me. and i mean exactly that. i looked at my current tt's, arms and all my Studer tape decks as assets that potentially could be re-tasked to a single tt if it made sense. i investigated a number of options, and stepped back and got as objective as i could about the pro's and con's over an extended period of time. i did even make some runs at some options. but in the end, the ROI of staying with my current three tt's and adding the FCL arm was my best overall choice. bottom line was the quality of my tt's is already very high. and having the three drive types has it's attributes in my listening.

i'm not going to name names of the one's i considered.:eek:

as far as my vinyl listening time, i'll be retired in the next year and i expect to increase my vinyl listening time then. but also be in my room more overall hours a week.

Mike
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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my other post above was focused on the 'big boy tt question....below are responses to those other one's.
Mike, I am curious what "big-boy" turntable you considered if your thinking got that far. Would such a move have been for simplifying and downsizing or more for sonics?
sonics only. i'm lucky i have plenty of space. if i were to sell my home and simplify my system then i would be solving a different problem and might go to one tt to reduce my footprint. say if i had a great room instead of a dedicated room. right now not planning for that. 10 years from now i will be 80 years old. maybe then.
How do you divide up your listening time between the three tables?
the reason for the FCL added to the NVS is to bring it more into my listening than it is now. and the DaVa cart to the Tosca/Saskia is to make it more unique too. right now i tend to spend much time on the CS Port. which is mostly that i listen to mostly classical vinyl in terms of time. not that i don't love the Saskia.

we will see how this goes when i have these changes done.....and i retire....
I think you wrote that vinyl is about 20-30 listening time total, so each table would be 7-10% if you listened to them equally. A super table might change those percentages, but it seems like you have enough new things coming in to keep you well interested and experimenting for a while. I look forward to reading about the new stuff, especially the cartridge.
thanks. i look forward to discovering whether my expectations for this new gear will be met or exceeded.
 

djsina2

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May 31, 2019
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Would be fun to compare the Emia SUT with a DaVa SUT based off Bill’s latest revelation. But I guess your Trio won’t have MM?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,756
6,769
1,460
Would be fun to compare the Emia SUT with a DaVa SUT based off Bill’s latest revelation. But I guess your Trio won’t have MM?
yes; the EMIA phono corrector IS ONLY a single 40db MM input; the MC Trio SUT, in my case, since i have to support two Etsuro Gold's plus the DaVa, will have 3 inputs. 2 of those inputs will be both switching from the same 1:10 silver EMIA SUT for the two Etsuro Gold's, the other one will be for the DaVa. i suspect that one will be 1:50 silver, based on feedback from Bill and the value he said the DaVa SUT had, but we can't exactly know that yet until i get the DaVa in house to test it. Dave Slagle will send me SUT's to try to determine which one we want to have in the Trio for the DaVa.

it turns out my mono carts; the 2 Miyajima Infinity's, are the same output and impedance as the Etsuro Gold. so i can use them on the MC Trio too if i choose. so the Trio will be right for all my cartridges.

maybe at some point i will have a DaVa SUT to directly compare. but no plans for that at this point. no way to switch a stand alone SUT and the MC Trio. would need to plug and unplug :confused: cables to try it.
 

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