$12K Laser turntable vs $12k hi-fi turntable?


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I just read up on the ELP laser turntable. They have a model for $12k that plays 33&45 rpm records. You already know the skinny on laser tables that there is no contact with the lp. The question here is that will that same $12k put into a conventional table, arm and cartridge outperform its laser counterpart. I rarely see laser tables mentioned here. With their cost within the range of some conventional turntable setups, why don't we see more of them on Audiogon? Are they musical? I hear that they are very accurate.
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it's been 4 or 5 years since i heard an ELP turntable, so it's possible they've been improved. but at that time they had 2 major problems.

--any slight dust or dirt sounded like a gunshot (slight exageration).

--there was a 'veil' of mist over the music that seemed to take away the vividness and immediacey.

it was very detailed.

i could not live with what it sounded like.

in theory it could be good. maybe with 10 years of development the problems could be solved. but it was not ready for prime time when i heard it.
Mitch, From the tenor of your post, it would appear that you think there are a whole class of laser turntables. Not so. There is ELP and only ELP, as far as I know. Given the cost ($12K must be for their low end model; the top line one costs much more, AFAIK) and their idiosyncracies as touched upon by Mike, you would not expect to see many for sale anywhere. It's nice that the product exists, but it has not really caught on so far. Meantime, $12K can purchase a very high end conventional turntable, tonearm, and cartridge, especially in the second hand market.
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Yeah, $12k is the entry level unit, $18k for the flagship model. I saw an $8k Koetsu cartridge here on Audiogon and I started to wonder why audiophiles aren't lining up to get a laser table.

I guess in theory, a laser table sounds like a great idea. In reality, I guess it doesn't measure up to conventional high-end table setups.
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Dear Mitch4t: ++++++ " and I started to wonder why audiophiles aren't lining up to get a laser table.

I guess in theory, a laser table sounds like a great idea ..." +++++

I have no doubt is a great idea and between other things is great because everything happen in the analog domain.

IMHO the main subject why we can't see it " everywhere " is because we analog advocates/customers are really not aware of its today quality performance against a top other analog rig.
Not only we are not aware of it, we almost don't know nothing in the subject an almost never think on that ELP laser turntable and we almost can't read about on audio magazynes.

Maybe is time to " worry " about, who knows till we heard today in our system we can be aware of its real quality performance, advantages and disadvantages.

Who say I?.

http://www.audioturntable.com/

Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Forget the laser. A few years ago when I and a partner wanted to distribute Keith Monks record cleaners, we found that the laser needed a super clean record. Otherwise, your sound will be magnified for defects.
Dear Buconero17: There is nothing perfect out there always we have to deal with trade-offs.

What if a " superclean " record is the only trade-off to achieve better/improve whole LP quality performance over top TT based analog rigs?, this is not a big deal: I think ( I can't be sure. ) maybe we can deal with.

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Even if the ELP and a conventional system gave equal performance, I would still go conventional.

Why? Because with an ELP I would end up using it like a CD player...skipping from track to track to only play the tracks I really like (like TV channel flipping).

One reason I got back into analog was to just listen to the record; a complete side at a time. I love picking an album, placing it on the TT, cueing it up and then just relaxing for 15 to 20 minutes w/o messing with a remote to jump between tracks.

Once I realized that I 'like the process' of playing records, it became obvious that an ELP would completely defeat the record playing experience for me.
Dear Bigbucks5: You only need to ask the ELP seller that your unit send it with out remote!

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Try to hear it for yourself and then compare it with a conventional rig. $12K can buy a pretty good used analog front end. Add the cost of an excellent record cleaning machine for either. They are essential.
I have friend who has one. For the brief time I got to hear it, to me it had a digital sound opposed to an analog
sound IMO.
drjoe
09-23-10: Drjoe
I have friend who has one. For the brief time I got to hear it, to me it had a digital sound opposed to an analog
sound IMO.
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I can imagine not liking the sound, but I wonder how it could sound 'digital' when it is all analog in the playback chain. Could it be that it is more resolving and we're not use to that, or that since the record was cut with a mechanical device, the ELP is in essence trying to read stuff that isn't there in the first place?
Dear Drjoe: Could you explain about that " digital sound "?, because the unit works the audio/LP signal in the analog domain only.

Regards and enjoy the music,
raul.
To Rauliruegas and Bigbucks5, I wasn't implying that the
unit was digital. I guess what I meant was if you took a CD
and the LP of the same recording and compared the two
sources, the LP sounds more musical and pleasing to the ears. The ELP just didn't have the sound of a fine
turntable playback system. I hope this explains my comments. Also , are the electronics that convert the
laser to an analog signal doing something ?
drjoe
above i called the ELP 'veiled' with a mist over the music. certainly not like digital in a sense that good digital is not veiled, it's just missing information compared to analog. the ELP adds an artifact of the reading process which i heard as a greyness that always drew attention to itself. OTOH it was quite detailed and neutral tonally. the more i listened the more the artifact drew attention to itself.

there are reproduction artifacts i can live with and even enjoy, such as a touch of added warmth or maybe added bloom. but this particular artifact i heard in the ELP is a deal breaker for me.
Dear Mikelavigne: +++++ " it's been 4 or 5 years since i heard an ELP turntable, so it's possible they've been improved. " +++++

as you said maybe things are better today.

I think that the prove is tohave an opportunity to hear it in its today status because in those 5 years many things could happened for the better: I hope.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.