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Turntables, Arms & Cartridges

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Ed Selley  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  0 comments
The art of sound Jason Kennedy puts a £1,700 German-made newcomer from Acoustic Signature against rivals from Pro-Ject and Well Tempered Just when you thought that you could relax with your record collection along comes another contender with a substantial range of serious-looking turntables. What’s surprising, however, is that despite having UK representation for some time, it’s only in the last few months that we have discovered Acoustic Signature, of which the Manfred Mk II is one of the German company’s more affordable offerings. It comes with an outboard power supply and a free-standing motor and the diamond polished platter sets it apart from an increasingly large crowd of competitors at this level, as does switchable speed control. It can be supplied with any Rega tonearm, or a base to the arm of your choice.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Launched by Divine Audio’s head honcho Tim Chorlton and Mark Groom, and with power supplies designed by Garrard guru Martin Bastin, Analogue Works is a new turntable manufacturer that brings plenty of experience to the table, which has been ploughed into the company’s carefully crafted rangeof record players and accessories. The One is positioned slap bang in the middle of the company’s record player range, sensibly sandwiched between the Zero (£650) and Two (£1,600) models. All three decks get the same bronze/steel bearing and the Zero also packs a Rega RB202 arm within its price, but gets a bamboo or MDF plinth and wall-wart PSU in place of the One’s birch-ply plinth and standalone PSU. The cheaper Zero also comes equipped with an acetal platter instead of the more substantial damped alloy platter sported by the One and Two decks.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Twin Engined Audio Note has a range of new arms for its well established TT-2 turntable. Ed Selley finds out if two motors are better than one. Audio Note is best known for its extensive range of valve amplifiers and digital products, but it has been producing turntables and vinyl accessories for many years. The current range consists of three turntables, three new tonearms and a range of moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2010  |  0 comments
Beautiful bolt-on The most dramatic Rega arm rebuild yet encountered sounds as good as it looks according to Jason Kennedy People have been modifying Rega’s classic RB series tonearms for some time now, but never have we come across such a dramatic transformation as the one achieved by Audiomods. It uses the arm tube, lift mechanism and rest clip from an RB250 and replaces everything else with machined aluminium parts that, like the tube, are polished for a perfect finish. If that weren’t enough, Audiomods adds a micrometer to the system that allows precise VTA adjustment on-the-fly. The arm is also presented in a padded wooden box and comes with alternative counterweights.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
When a manufacturer hits on a design philosophy that works it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that it will use the same basic pattern for as many products as it can. However, in the case of Avid, this methodology is taken one stage further. The company’s extensive range of turntables has all been designed ‘top down. ’Theflagship Acutus turntable wasdevelopedfirst and every other turntablesince is effectively as much of the Acutusas it is possible to retain at the new lowerprice point.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Clearaudio Concept £1,100 (inc. arm and cartridge) Budget-priced deck with an almost plug-and-play versatility offers stiff competition to its higher-priced peers One of the undeniable advantages of CD players over turntables is that you can take them out of the box, plug them in and use them, with no fancy setting up required. The Concept turntable, however, very nearly equalises on that score, with arm and cartridge factory-set and user set-up limited to putting the platter in place (pretty hard to get wrong, really). One big no-no that has traditionally stood in the way of this is transporting an arm with the counterweight in place, which is usually a good way of busting the bearings, but the Concept’s arm has a unique magnetic bearing which can’t be damaged in this way.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Clearaudio Performance SE This turntable’s simplicity belies some refined engineering technology and a performance to match The latest incarnation of the Clearaudio Performance is a more substantial turntable than it looks, thanks to a plinth that’s made from a sandwich of aluminium and HDF. You can’t see the highdensity fi breboard because it is framed by the natural coloured aluminium in the sandwich, but it performs the critical task of damping any resonance that manages to get through the three adjustable feet beneath it. The platter is a 40mm slab of acrylic that sits on a ceramic magnetic bearing, the shaft of which has been polished to an even higher degree than on the original Performance. The magnetic suspension means that the ceramic shaft doesn’t need a ball bearing or thrust pad to take the weight of the platter, which should reduce noise from this critical component quite considerably.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2010  |  0 comments
Altered images Jason Kennedy investigates an intriguing turntable from Dr Feickert which takes a new approach to the challenges of perfect vinyl replay This stylish German turnable is the first we have encountered from the elusive Dr Feickert, seen and heard at Munich’s High End show in May. The Woodpecker is the least expensive turntable that he makes, yet it embodies the principles that you find in the top Twin and Triple designs whilst managing to look entirely contemporary. It’s distinguished by a large cut-out which means you can slide the armboard along and accommodate tonearms between nine and twelve inches in length. This makes it one of the most flexible, yet elegant turntables we’ve seen in a long time.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Needle- sharp Dynavector has added two new moving coils to its small, but well formed range. Jason Kennedy finds out what they can do for your vinyl We have yet to encounter a Dynavector cartridge that we don’t like, but new ones don’t come along very often, so when two arrive like buses on a cold night, it’s a cause for celebration. As is the Japanese company’s style, the new DV-20X2 is available in low and high output varieties, the low output version requires a transistor phono stage or step-up device, while the high can be used with valve and MM phono stages. This, combined with a traditional two-gram down-force, makes the DV-20X2 a very easy cartridge to accommodate on modern turntables, or even older ones so long as they don’t have a very low mass arm.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Edwardian splendour Malcolm Steward assesses a Rega-based turntable from Edwards Audio, a new outfit from the Talk Electronics stable The Edwards Audio TT1 starts at a very reasonable £325 without a cartridge, but is also available with an Edwards Zephyr £60 cartridge for £375 (a £10 saving when purchased with the deck as a complete record-playing package). This cartridge is similar to the popular Goldring Elektra, supplied with this review sample on the highly respected Rega RB250 [OEM] tonearm. Clearly this turntable is targeted at those who want to be able to enjoy their vinyl, without having to remortgage their homes or sell any of their internal organs to fund the investment. Rega revisited The TT1 differs from the timeless Rega P2, upon which it is based, in that it features a clear, naked acrylic platter.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
The original TT2 from Edwards Audio – an offshoot of Talk Electronics – was essentially a modified OEM design made for low cost, ease of use and mass appeal for vinyl fans going back to black and newbies alike. Now though, it sports some meaningful tweaks, which give it extra character of its own. The SE version offers a number of revisions; for example the original had a basic painted MDF plinth, whereas the Special Edition gets a 25mm full-gloss finished affair that’s a big improvement in looks and feel – and it should translate to a fractionally better sound, too. It comes in a choice of gloss black or white, with the red you see here as a special order (at no extra cost).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
The very fact that the Omega 100 exists at all is a testament to the extent of the revival in vinyl’s fortunes. The RIAA BT is the flagship of six models that effectively break down into two groups of three – the more affordable Alpha models and the premium Omega range. The playback hardware of the Omegas is identical and comprises a completely bespoke design that’s been developed inhouse by the French brand. Chief among the new technology is a computer-controlled motor with electronic speed switching.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 26, 2010  |  0 comments
Tube upgrade Funk Firm's dramatic rethinking of the armtube has finally born fruit, Jason Kennedy finds out if it’s ripe for the listening Arthur Koubesserian is one of those audio engineers who genuinely thinks outside of the box. He has been doing so since he set up Pink Triangle in the late seventies and his Funk Firm continues the theme with its first tonearm. The FXR takes a radical approach to the problem of resonance by placing a carbon fibre cross section in the middle of a thin, walled aluminium tube. An approach which he claims makes an incredibly stiff, yet light-weight tube that’s far superior to the beams found on other tonearms.
Ed Selley  |  May 31, 2011  |  0 comments
Funk Firm Vector 3 Funk Firm’s Arthur Khoubessarian has broken the mould once again with the Vector 3, his latest non-resonant turntable The Funk Vector is based on a very simple chassis made into a curvy shape and with a DC motor controlled electronically – fine control for each speed is available via a small screwdriver adjustment just behind the speed switch. The ‘Vector’ part of the name refers to the Vector drive system, which uses two small idler pulleys in the belt path, in addition to the motor. The idea is to balance out the sideways pull from the belt so that the platter is less inclined to ‘precess’ around the spindle. A flat belt is used, which in principle should be more stable than a round-section belt, though the one on our review sample showed some tendency to twist.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Inspire Eclipse SE V2 Combine this turntable’s presentation attributes with SME’s M2 arm and you have a fine piece of audio engineering The newest kid on this particular analogue block, Inspire, clearly has a penchant for acrylic. It started out offering mods for Rega decks in the material and the Eclipse SE V2 is almost entirely made of the stuff. The black shiny fi nish says it all really, but it’s more than a couple of slabs of the stuff, between the two are three cones with acrylic tips, alloy bodies and sorbothane damping. The bottom half of the plinth sits on three low-profi le feet with no option for height adjustment.

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