what would YOU choose over Artisan Fidelity?

Jul 2, 2015
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#1
Hi guys
If you had a friend who was considering pulling the trigger on either an Artisan Fidelity 301 Statement or AF Technics Sp10Mk3 NGS, (or both), what would be your advice?
Would you steer them towards Kronos, Techdas or someone else?

I liked what I was hearing about Wave Kinetics decks, but was slightly put off by the lack of any dealers on my side of the pond.
Who else should be on my shortlist?

My listening material is predominantly bass-driven electronica with a side order of acoustic. So deep hard banging and gospel house, drum and bass, roots rockers reggae and dub with a bit of Alt - j and James Blake. It needs to sound huge, powerful but also delicate and musical. Bass extension and soundstaging are a close second to musicality on my wishlist. I don't like overly faffy record changing rituals, the two stage screw down clamp of my Avid was a no- no, and I plan to have at least two decks in order to keep the musical flow going.
Current phono stage is a Boulder 1008, I missed the last 2008 by about a fortnight and will upgrade to the 2108 once it is released. With four arms on two decks another phonostage will be required tbd.
Support is an Artesania Esoteric rack with tt shelf.

My plan is to go with dual armboards so I can optimise one arm and cartridge for dance music and the other for acoustic.

If I do go AF the mooted arm cartridge combos are:
Sp10Mk3 NGS - Kuzma 4Point / Miyabi Fuuga for dance music
-Schroeder CB-1 / Miyajima Madake for acoustic
301 Statement - Ikeda 407 / Fuuga
- Schroeder CB-1 / VanDenHul Colibri XGW

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated
Thank you very much
luvgav
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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#2
I liked what I was hearing about Wave Kinetics decks, but was slightly put off by the lack of any dealers on my side of the pond.
Who else should be on my shortlist?
If you are interested in a direct drive another interesting one is Lumen White Mystere. Very less is more looking and seems to be the only direct drive with air bearing.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#3
Luvgav, IMHO if you're a massive bass driven fan like me, you really need to consider moving away from belt
Look at idler or even rim
The best vfm potential giant killer Id look at now if I was in the market is the Peter Reinders PTP Solid 12
For all out assault consider the Saskia Ref 2
In the middle, the magnetic drive Kodo The Beat
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#4
Luvgav, IMHO if you're a massive bass driven fan like me, you really need to consider moving away from belt
Look at idler or even rim
The best vfm potential giant killer Id look at now if I was in the market is the Peter Reinders PTP Solid 12
For all out assault consider the Saskia Ref 2
In the middle, the magnetic drive Kodo The Beat
Marc, by "massive bass" are you talking about bass quantity or quality? And are results more about turntable drive typology or quality of implementation? I'm not sure owners of the AF one or two, or Kronos with the new power supply, both belt drive turntables, think their systems are lacking in the quality of bass reproduction.

I don't listen to too much electronic bass music, but one example in my collection is Lorde's Pure Heroine. The bass - drive, impact, power, nuance, shadings - is amazing on my limited frequency two way speakers and belt drive table. I imagine it would be even more impressive on a full range system.
 
Jul 2, 2015
577
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#5
If you are interested in a direct drive another interesting one is Lumen White Mystere. Very less is more looking and seems to be the only direct drive with air bearing.

Kind regards,
Tang
Hello Tang,
thank you for your recommendation ☺
I'm Going to research Lumen White Mystere now
 
Jul 2, 2015
577
0
16
#6
Luvgav, IMHO if you're a massive bass driven fan like me, you really need to consider moving away from belt
Look at idler or even rim
The best vfm potential giant killer Id look at now if I was in the market is the Peter Reinders PTP Solid 12
For all out assault consider the Saskia Ref 2
In the middle, the magnetic drive Kodo The Beat
Wotcha Marc, how's tricks?
I'll be checking those out now.
I have heard the received wisdom that idler and direct driven tt's offer something special in the bass department, hence my intetest
gav
 
Jul 2, 2015
577
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#7
Marc, by "massive bass" are you talking about bass quantity or quality? And are results more about turntable drive typology or quality of implementation? I'm not sure owners of the AF one or two, or Kronos with the new power supply, both belt drive turntables, think their systems are lacking in the quality of bass reproduction.

I don't listen to too much electronic bass music, but one example in my collection is Lorde's Pure Heroine. The bass - drive, impact, power, nuance, shadings - is amazing on my limited frequency two way speakers and belt drive table. I imagine it would be even more impressive on a full range system.
Hello Peter
That's a really well sorted system you have there
Congrats ☺

I certainly wouldn't rule out belt drive. So far in my limited experience nothing has approached the mind boggling depth and solidity of the bass from my, belt driven, Cranfield Rock Reference turntable with a really good moving magnet cartridge
(a Reson Rica, which was a heavily tweaked Goldring 1042)
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#8
Marc, by "massive bass" are you talking about bass quantity or quality? And are results more about turntable drive typology or quality of implementation?
I agree, the OP's question is so difficult to answer I don’t see how someone can give a definite idler drive only answer. It is difficult to isolate these components too, unless one has owned multiple TT, arms and carts. And I think budget has not been specified here, which means there are multiple combos in play. Techdas definitely, but the phono matters here so much, Bill’s bass went up when he replaced his BMC with the Aesthetix IO Signature. Lyra Atlas has explosive bass, as would Ortofon A95 and Zyx, and tonearms would matter. The Ikeda definitely had more bass than the Thales, probably a heavier arm thing. So we can discuss everything from FR 64 to SAT, SS and valve phonos, belt, direct, and idler.

IB, If your friend is looking at Artisan Fidelity, looks matter too. As that is art.

The Audio Consulting battery powered TT is supposed to be dead silent and high on bass. Will try to hear it.

Regarding the PTP Lenco Marc mentioned, I am scheduled to do a compare two Saturdays from now. But I am sure I won't be able to say if that is the bass standard
 

thekong

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May 10, 2012
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#10
Just sharing my experience, I have directly compared a basic Rockport Capella II (ruby bearing, non-vacuum platter) with the 6000 airbearing arm, to a highly modified slate plinth Lenco with PTP 5 kit and Jeremy’s bearing (so pretty close to the PTP Solid 12 mentioned by Marc), and the Terminator airbearing arm.

On macro dynamics alone, the modified Lenco really had the upper hand, and it seemed to have even better macro dynamic than direct drive like the Exclusive P3a. The only direct drive that I have auditioned that could rival the modified Lenco on this area maybe the Technics SP10MK3 (but I have not done any direct comparison between them).

However, what it lags behind, as compared to other high grade belt drives and direct drives, are the finesse, micro dynamics, sound staging and layering of instruments within the sound stage. That could be due to the unavoidable higher vibration transfer from idler drive.

To answer Peter’s question, in my experience, the modified Lenco had very good bass quantity, but not quality.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#11
Thekong, I run the Terminator air arm you mentioned on the matching rim drive Salvation tt (both are Trans Fi Audio)
I'd agree w yr overall assessment
I had a chance after 3 yrs of running my rim drive/air arm to listen a v well regarded belt drive/12" pivoted, and despite the upstick in transparency and layering, the belt drive really sounded soft and unfocused, the music kind of delicate and nuanced, but floating and ungrounded
On balance, on the basis of this a/b, I wouldn't switch away from my rim drive/air bearing
I'm looking at trying to bridge some of the "nuance gap" by maxxing out isoln to the tt using a bulletproof inert Rogoz rack and passive (Minus K or Stacore Adv) or active (Kuraka) isoln platform
From what I've heard of re it's super high torque/start up speed and heroic build, the Kuzma Stabi M would likely be the only belt drive I'd reconsider
 

thekong

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May 10, 2012
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#12
the belt drive really sounded soft and unfocused, the music kind of delicate and nuanced, but floating and ungrounded
Hi Marc, those are probably not the words I would choose to describe belt drive, rather I would use the word polite, and in a good way. But, of course, personal preference is always the determining factor.

We have also try putting the modified Lenco on a pneumatic table, and while it did improve on the background darkest, it was still behind on the other areas I mentioned in my previous post.

I think you are right about high torque motors, so I am contemplating having a custom made high torque motor plus controller, to drive my belt drive turntables.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#13
Sure Thekong
Do look at the Kuzma Stabi M
It gets up to speed, and stable speed, in less than 2 revolutions and I believe is the highest torque belt drive out there
What did you think of the Terminator? It has my vote for biggest bang for your buck of any audio component in history
 

thekong

New Member
May 10, 2012
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#14
Yes, Marc, the Kuzma XL DC, which uses the same (or similar) DC motor as the Stabi M, is on my "to audition" list :)

I agree, the Terminator is a very good arm for the money! The only problem is that many audiophiles just couldn't take the industrial look!

I actually have an extended version of the Terminator, designed for 16" platters :cool:
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#15
A special order from Vic?
So, is the Terminator yr arm of choice?
If it is, you obv don't feel it's a "weak link" as you do idler drive
 

thekong

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May 10, 2012
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#16
One of my friends has a Commonwealth turntable with 16” platter, so we group ordered a few extended Terminators.

Actually, among airbearing arms, my top choice would be the Kuzma Airline and Rockport. But the Terminator is definitely a good arm to have, being much less demanding on the air-supply.

Whether idler drive is a weak link really depends on the owner’s preference, some of my friends swear by it. For me, it wouldn’t be my first choice if I can only have one turntable, but again, it would be a good turntable to have for certain kind of music / mood!

For the record, I have not had the chance to audition the Saskia, so not sure whether my general comment on idler drive applies to it.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#17
One of my friends has a Commonwealth turntable with 16” platter, so we group ordered a few extended Terminators.

Actually, among airbearing arms, my top choice would be the Kuzma Airline and Rockport. But the Terminator is definitely a good arm to have, being much less demanding on the air-supply.

Whether idler drive is a weak link really depends on the owner’s preference, some of my friends swear by it. For me, it wouldn’t be my first choice if I can only have one turntable, but again, it would be a good turntable to have for certain kind of music / mood!

For the record, I have not had the chance to audition the Saskia, so not sure whether my general comment on idler drive applies to it.
Have you heard any good restore of the Thorens 124? Heard that kuzma sounds better with the airline than with the 4p by someone who owns both arms and many kuzma. WI'll try to compare at some point
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#18
And what did you think of the common wealth, since I was very impressed by the 12 in Schick plinth in the WE room at Munich
 

thekong

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May 10, 2012
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#19
Have you heard any good restore of the Thorens 124? Heard that kuzma sounds better with the airline than with the 4p by someone who owns both arms and many kuzma. WI'll try to compare at some point
Have not auditioned any restored Thorens 124 unfortunately, but have done so with restored Garrard 301 with Kokomo bearing kit. The sound was even warmer than the modified Lenco, so really not my cup of tea!

The Thorens 124, having both belt drive and idler drive mechanism, is supposed to have the best of both worlds. But I actually fear that it might have the worst of both worlds! I would be interested to know how you feel after the audition.

I have the Airline, 4Point and 4Point14”, but have not done any serious direct comparison yet! However, I think I prefer the Airline overall!
 

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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#20
Personally, I would be looking at the AF Technics Sp10Mk3 NGS or the Wave Kinetics. For those $$, try to visit each dealer and listen for yourself.

Both have the ability to have any tonearms you like, which is ultra important at this level.