Forgive me for not addressing your specific question, but for whatever it's worth, one of my dealers, Sound by Singer, is very enthusiastic about the Avid tables. Given that they have had a 30/2 in the floor for about as long as I can remember, and are also a big Basis dealer and have regularly had the top Clearaudio tables on the floor, the endorsement would at least encourage further investigation if I were looking for a new table. That store has an enormous amount of product on the floor at all times, and the issue came up in response to the question I always pose to my salesmen when I go in there, specifically, "What's new that really has you excited?" I did not specifically discuss the top Avid table with anyone there, however.
I seem to recall from a prior thread that you have also expressed interest in the Brinkmann. Please come back and share your findings after you make a decision.
PS - I just went on Singer's website and their analog page discusses the SME 30, the Basis tables generally and the Acutis: http://www.soundbysinger.com/analogtf.html
I recently had the great privilege of auditioning 3 superlative analog front ends simultaneously: 1) the Avid Acutus/Triplanar VII/Benz LP Ebony; 2) the SME 30/2(A)/SME V/Lyra Titan i; and 3) the VPI TNT 6/Graham Phantom/Koetsu RSP. I have not heard the Basis or Clearaudio tables. Luck and fate have freed me from cost constraints and thus guided by audiolust I chose door #1. The Avid/Triplanar/Benz was my absolute favorite so I bought it. I must qualify that I have been a long time Oracle fan and to me the Acutus is the quintessence of that design. I have also come to appreciate and expect concommitant visual design and the black and chrome understatement of the Acutus/Triplanar/Benz Ebony allows your eyes to bathe in elegance as well. The SME/Titan is probably the pinnacle. But I have always preferred at least a strand of hair astray.
Dear Khrys: You choose for the whole analog rig. Not for the Acutus or SME 30 in specific.
The system that you choose is really a different one from the other two.
My opinion ( I already heard the Acutus and the SME 30, no the Basis V ) is that the SME 30 is a better TT than the Acutus: taked only TT per se and yes the Acutus is a very " good looking device ".
Regards and enjoy the music.
Yes Raul, I chose the Acutus rig over the SME rig by ear because I did not have the time or inclination to assess the 27 possible permutations of the 3 turntables, 3 tonearms and 3 cartridges at hand. I do not have the luxury of your incredible analog system that offers 12 different analog combinations simultaneously. I have to rely on my dealer whom I trust to do the footwork then go by my ears after he narrows the field for me. And to my ears the Acutus as assembled won. Beat the "best". Just like when those pesky Japanese cars upstage the Germans in those impertinent American car rags. Imagine that. For the record, I'm wondering which of the 243 possible analog combinations of your current system do you prefer?
Regards and do the math.
Dear Khrys: Good for your choice.
Maybe in the next 10 years I can tell you which one I prefer.
Regards and enjoy the music.
When you say "won," what does that mean. Won sonically? Or you preferred combination of sonics and looks on the Acutus?
Gladstone, that's a good question. I meant sonically but as Raul points out I was comparing analog front end "systems" and not the turntables separately with all other variables identically matched. But I think it is noteworthy that I still preferred the Acutus as configured to the SME without cost being a factor. And I don't think anyone would claim that there is a better mate for the 30/2 than the SME V nor would they believe that it was the Benz alone that accounted for my preference. The elegance of the Acutus was the icing on the cake, not the deal clincher. I am sure there are many who would see "form-as-function" perfection in the neo-industrial look of the SME but do those people even listen to records anymore?
The SME is pretty ugly. But let me followup: what was it about the sound of the Acutus that you preferred? Smoother, more detailed, more relaxed, more dynamic...?
Gladstone, to me the Acutus was a little smoother, a little sweeter but still had extraordinary detail. Though it was slightly less extended at the frequency extremes (the SME 30/2/V had the most powerfully refined bass I have ever heard) the Acutus had more presence, air and bloom in the midrange say from 60Hz-2500Hz where I found it to be incomparable. The SME sounded like the best CD player ever created but the Acutus sounded like the best turntable.
I had heard some of these tables at the Audiofest and I actually from a musical point of view prefered the sound of the Oracle V with the SME arm they used plus a Dynavector XX.
The sound of this setup had a coerence from bottom to top that was unmatched by a large degree then any other analog setup including the Walker.
This table just portrayed the most correct harmonic integrity of musical notes then anything else I have heard in a very long time.The Brickman Turntable with the Brickman Arm and Lyra Titan came in a very close second IMO.
This analog rig had a very extended natural top end and this huge carved out soundstage that was very impressive indeed.With that setup they were using all Nordost top of the line cabeling as well.
Interesting observations doublebass. I have always been a long time big Oracle fan and ran an Oracle V/SME IV with various pickups like the Lyra Parnassus, Koetsu RSP and the Benz Ruby and REF with great enjoyment. Replacing the SME IV with a Triplanar IV really improved the sound to my ears and made me a big Triplanar fan. To me the Acutus is a further refinement of the Oracle concept: tripod (the most stable footing), lightly sprung, non resonant, ideally clamped vinyl to the best mat available, simplicity of design (platter mass; no flywheels, additional belts, air pumps, vacuums or lasers) and visually stunning. Turntable guru Brooks Berdan whose mods for the Oracle III & IV were incorporated into the design of the V is most enthusiastic about the Acutus. So replacing the Oracle with the Acutus was an easy decision after listening. And as good as the Triplanar IV sounded on the Oracle V so much better the Triplanar VII sounds on the Acutus. And after extensive cartridge auditions I have to say I'm a Benz guy. The LP Ebony is the ideal balance of the romance of the KRSP and the hyperclarity of the Titan.
I have never heard the Brinkman rig but would love to. I have heard and even bought the top end Nordost line of cables and find them to be incompatible with my auditory acuity. Not enough deafening "live" concerts I guess. Fortunately they were really easy to resell unlike the MIT ripoffs (Audio Reference? with Karen somebody) Harry Pearson used to tout until he got on Nordost's dole.
I have an Avid Volvare with Tri-Planar VII and Lyra Helicon. My analog sales guy said getting the Tri-Planar and Helicon would have greater impact than moving up to the Acutus, given my budget. I'll never know, but I'm sure happy with what I have. What improved my sound dramaticaly was placing this setup on a Systrum rack. My next move probably will be moving up to a Lyra Titan because of the trade-in policy for my Helicon. I wonder what the improvement will be. I have a high powered SET with a Thor phonostage. The extreme detail Lyra carts provide seem to match well with my tube set-up. Not too detailed at the expense of warmth. Is the Titan "warmer" than a Helicon?
I found your observations interesting. I am using a Delphi MKV SE (granite base and turbo PS) with the Graham Phantom/Helikon. This is an incredible synergistic combination. I have always maintained that the Delphi MKV SE was a very underrated turntable. I am extremely satisfied with the level of musical performance of this combo, which compares favorably with some of the very expensive combinations that I have auditioned. Transparency, coherence, speed, treble purity and extension are exceptional. The harmonic richness, bass extension, articulation and solidity are improved markedly with the granite base compared to standard acrylic configuration.
Did your Oracle have the granite or acrylic base?
Gmorris, my Oracle had the acrylic base with Turbo power supply by choice and I agree that it is still underrated. With no disrespect, the use of quasi-exotic, hyper-reflective, noncompliant, regressively performing, unnecessarily expensive stone materials in audio is limited to the death-knells of pre-extinct companies such as Koetsu and unfortunately Oracle. Granite and audiophile are not often associated
Our auditory sensibilities are clearly at odds. Your combination of one of the cooler cartridge/tonearm combinations with one of the warmest turntables (except with your granite mod) contrasts with my attempt to minimize auditory discrepencies amongst the components.
But I know your system certainly makes great music and it would be a privilege to hear it.
Richard your analog advisor gave you very good advice. Your Volvere/Triplanar/Helicon would make music I could listen to every evening nigh until morning. You could not go wrong by upgrading to the Titan (not really warmer, (actually cleaner supra-red) but you might prefer some comparable alternatives if you have the opportunity to audition them. And that is always a big "if" with analog front ends. So many variables. So few afficionados. Especially in retail. If you are able try to listen to a Benz Micro cartridge in your rig, say a Ref 3 or Ruby 3. The Helicon is the best value by far but a Benz just might light your wick and save you the expense of upLyratization (all cartridges have liberal trade-in deals). The Revised Patriot Act requires that I inform you that I have purchased Benz-Micro products prior to the Bushformation. But never again; really I promise.
Phew!! What is the point you are trying to make?
Fact: The Oracle/Phantom/Helikon combo is very musical with a rich tonal balance, in my system. I tend to dismiss sweeping generalizations. My Helikon with 100 ohm loading is far from "cool" sounding in the clutches of the Phantom.
Have you auditioned this combination of components?
Gmorris, the point is that you may have been upsold on an Oracle mod (granite) that has more to do with the new owner's profit than the new buyer's auditory acuity. With no disrespect I await breathlessly for the Koetsu cognescenti to hyperpolize how the nuance of Onyx, Jade or Coral affords their victims any increasing sonic perfection. Have you considered other exotic stones for your Oracle's base? Is there something acoustically special about Granite besides its cost and weight? Is there a reason why current "cost no object" State of the Art manufacturers of any componenents do not use stone?
For the record I have auditioned your combination of components except the granite base of your "Oracle".
And again, that you have to load your Helicon to 100 ohms makes the point you that seemingly missed before.
My PH2 has remained unchanged with a 100 ohm resistor load proir to buying the Oracle. Next point?
The granite base is not a "mod", it was offered as an option by Oracle. I purchased the Oracle while Jacques Riendeau was still the principal at the company.
FACT: The granite base offers improved extension and solidity in the bass response without any negative impact on the treble response.
Gmorris, no one who has heard it could blame you for keeping the input impedance of the PH2 as low as possible regardless of the cartridge. I'd be using it myself if a one ohm resistor were available.
I'm pleased that you're enjoying your stoned Oracle. Perhaps the rest of your equipment would sound better stoned as well.
Reductio ad absurdum. Enough said.
Yes I have comapred sme and avid - I prefered the Yorke and the Brinkmann.