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High End Turntables

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by 4-2-7, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,035
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    Let's see your $1,500 and up tables!!

    Detailed photos and how you put your vinyl playback togeter, what you feel it provided you in sound quality and function. This will help others that might be interested in stepping up their system and gain a little insite.

    Besides I want to see all the hot rigs here!!!:D

    I'll add to mine after work and explain what I do for my front end.

    SOTA Star Sapphire, SME Series V Arm, Sumiko Blackbird


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  2. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,399
    Location:
    103 miles N. of S.F.
    Nothing special here.
    VPI Scout SE/DV 10x5
    BH Stereomour SET
    Musical Surroundings Phononema II
    Cornwall I

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    This tt really put some meat in the middle of everything. Very detailed. I like the robust build. It's probably the DV doing the work. My other tables are sporting Shures not quite in this price range. It's our critical listening set up.
     
  3. miner

    miner Super Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Location:
    Texas
    Aries 3 with 3D arm and Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. JP

    JP 7480 74111110101115

    Messages:
    2,550
    Location:
    NYC and Brookfield, CT
    SP-10 MK3, Boston Mat II, EPA-B500 with EPA-A505 arm, EPC-P205CMK3 cartridge and an SH-10B3 plinth.

    I'm still experimenting with it, so withholding comments on sound. That, and I've an SH-10B5 plinth on the way from Japan, and a friend found me an EPC-P100CMK4 that I want to try first. At some point I'll drag the Tri-Planar and XV-1s out as well.

    I sold a 'good as you can get' original 401 and GB 301 to move in this direction - no regrets.

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    Attached Files:

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  5. schlachet

    schlachet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    San Francisco, California US
    Clearaudio Ovation

    I started with a Pro-Ject Debut III (with its included Ortofon 2M blue) and a Yaqin MS-22B phono stage. It was a great, relatively inexpensive starter kit for me.

    I realized later, that my proximity to a transmission tower here in SF was causing a lot of interference picked up by the tubes. My first upgrade was to a solid state phono preamp - the Clearaudio Nano. It was quiet (I won't call it dead quiet) and not susceptible to the interference. A good upgrade.

    My next upgrade was to swap the 2M Blue for a 2M Red. That was a noticeable change. Definitely far less sibilance, and it sounded more refined ("clearer") overall.

    Then I was able to substantially increase my audio budget and decided to go for a super nice setup. I ended up choosing the Clearaudio Ovation, as a kit. It included the Clarify tonearm and Concept MC cartridge.

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    This is admittedly a far jump from a Debut III, and there are definitely very nice turntables in between, in terms of price. So here are some things I liked about the turntable that made me choose it. First, it is a very classic looking turntable. It has a refined look to it, without being too overstated. Second, it's technically and sonically advanced enough to to satisfy my upgrade-itis for quite a while.

    I can't imagine having a nicer experience than operating the Ovation. Everything about it feels perfect and capable. It feels like a platform at its peak, and striving for more is just asking for fussiness.

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    For a short while, I swapped out the CA Nano for another phono stage (an attempt to splurge on a more "high end" phono stage), but I wasn't impressed. For $400, I think the Nano clearly holds its weight in terms of quality. And it's small enough to sit underneath the turntable!

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    Down the chain from this is a Moon 350P preamp, McIntosh MC302 power amp, and Vienna Acoustics Mozarts.
     
  6. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,507
    Location:
    SE PA
    $1500 limit leaves out the vintage crowd almost completely if you are talking about cost new. If you are talking about value today, some might have to wait for their machine to bump up just a bit more, or get discovered to have that value. Others have that valuation now with some of the tables and arms that get all the buzz. All depends on what is put together.

    Kenwood KD-600 Fidelity Research FR-64s Koetsu Black
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
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  7. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,981
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    All beautiful. All nice and chosen with thought and taste. A beautiful thread.
     
  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,507
    Location:
    SE PA
    And I was hoping you would comment on how I have emulated 4-2-7's enlarged bolding of the model numbers of the gear.
     
  9. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,035
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    I love the Rock!!!

    btw, tone arm and cartridges can push any turntable over the $1500 price.
     
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  10. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,507
    Location:
    SE PA

    Yes, each retails for over the entry fee on this thread. The 64s has the OTF VTA adjusting base with the added mass attaching nut.
     
  11. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Super Member

    Messages:
    1,113
    Location:
    The Silver State
    I'll play..... :)

    Micro-Seiki RX-1500
    ET II arm with high mass arm wand
    Denon DL103
    Quicksilver SUT
    Custom Quicksilver Phono Stage

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  12. Billfort

    Billfort Addicted Member

    Messages:
    8,486
    Location:
    Newmarket, ON, Canada
    [​IMG]


    There's a lot more 'high-end' that this but here's mine;

    VPI Aries Series-1 table with JMW-10.5 Memorial arm
    On a Boos hard-maple butcher block sitting on an old Rata Torlyte 3-leg stand
    Black-Diamond Racing carbon-fiber clamp
    ZYX Airy 3x-SB low output moving coil cartridge
    Modded Sonic Frontiers SFP-1 tube phono-stage
    Final Labs copper & cotton ICs

    I happily lived with a Sota (Premier FT-3, Denon DL-103 & ZYX Fuji cartridges) but always wanted this specific model of VPI (that platter!) and waited till one finally came along on the used market. Good price from a great seller (original packaging and the guy delivered and set it up!) and it has proven to be everything I'd hoped. The Fuji was incredible on it and the Airy just took the strengths of the Fuji even further.

    I loved that Sota which was a step-up from the first generation Oracle I had but this VPI was a significant upgrade. The Sota kept me very comfortable through those dark days of digital but I might just be done now with this VPI – it was relatively affordable and just pushes the right buttons for me.
     
  13. Billfort

    Billfort Addicted Member

    Messages:
    8,486
    Location:
    Newmarket, ON, Canada
    Is that ever a cool mix of components - would love to hear this!
     
  14. matteos

    matteos Stereotype Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,646
    beautiful table... Did the Garrards you sell have custom plinths?
     
  15. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,035
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    WOW...Some sweet tables dropping in here from new to old.:banana:
     
  16. JP

    JP 7480 74111110101115

    Messages:
    2,550
    Location:
    NYC and Brookfield, CT
    James Campbell stacked birch ply.
     

     

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  17. Sprags

    Sprags Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Elgin, ILLINOIS
    I'd love to have a high end turntable some day. They are all so nice. For now I'll settle for my SL-1100 and SL-1200 MkII.
     
  18. oilmanmojo

    oilmanmojo Member

    Messages:
    83
    Maplenoll Apollo AirBearing table

    my Maplenoll apollo turntable. (click link for pic) This is a highly modified table that was originally built by Maplenoll (bob dilger company) but was modified by Lloyd Walker (proscenium table) when he worked for Maplenoll. It has the outboard motor which was an upgrade and his first attempt at an on the fly VTA. i modified the tonearm to put a lightweight stiff carbon fiber headshell/arm assembly. I have my Universe ll on the table with a RCM sensor ii phono, Pass Labs x10 preamp and Pass Labs 30.8 amp. my speakers are AudioPhysics Caldera II. Its a dedicated vinyl rig that is my evolution over 40 years of building my system. I am close to the end of my quest for perfection in vinyl. The sound is flawless with deep bass, huge soundstage, black background and superb range. A 250 lb monster that is a daydream to listen to. I am biased however!
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=576549&d=1424142760
     
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  19. Funky54

    Funky54 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    876
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  20. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    29,035
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    Ok, I said I will add to my post, turntables are my weakness I used to buy them all the time. For me, it's like the cherry on top and they all look good to me. When I bought my first SOTA and used it, well my search pretty much ended. I found a table that just worked right all the time, even when jumping up and down and watching the platter bob around.

    I have 4 of them, but in my main system I have 3 SOTA Star Sapphires 2 are set up identically with SME Series V arms and Sumiko Blackbirds. The third one has an SME 309 arm and Sumiko BP EVO III

    All the cartridges are high output, but I stage them into the SOTA Phono Head Amp prior to the Preamp stage of my McIntosh C100. The head amp is adjustable in gain and loading, loading is 100 and the gain is set at 30%. The 2 identical tables, then are fed into the MC input of my C100. The 3rd table the head amp is set at 100 loading and 100% gain fed into the MM input of the C100.

    Why use the head amp? it sounds awesome and made the room sound very large like a concert hall, it really raised the roof. The boosting is also a plus for me as the overall system volume is equal to any other source. I get no distortion with this combination so it's a win win that I wish others would give a try. I have 4 SOTA Head Amp now so you will not be fighting me for one on the bay when you see one. After getting my first one anytime one popped up on the bay I guarantee I was going to win it...:D

    Head Amps are connected to the C100 with Kimber Kables Hero's


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