Best set-up for up to 9k retail?

What are your thoughts on the best table/arm/cartridge set-up. So far, what I'm leaning towards is an Avid Volvare (4k), Tri-Planar arm(3k) and Lyra Helikon(2k) cartridge. Also, what's a good phonostage match?

I'm considering an upgrade from a Nottingham Interspace table/arm and a Dynavector Karat cartridge. I'm using a Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibralter and a homemade Big Rock.

I'm a big jazz fan but also dip into Steely Dan, King Crimson and Mahavishnu.

I've got a Rogue Magnum Tempest and Von Schweikert DB-100 speakers (obscure, but great).

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
You can spend much more, but it is still difficult to beat a Linn table and arm (it also maintains its value well). I think many of today's playback systems are more about "show" than sound. However, I have been told that the new SME table and arm are excellent.

Selecting a catridges is much like choosing speakers. There are several good ones, but they all have dramatically different characteristics. This means that compatibility with other components is critical to good music. Preamp loading is the most obvoius compatibility issue, but creating synergy with all of the components is necessary. Having the world's best components does not always mean you have the best sound. They have to work well together.

Usually forgoten, is the fact that setup is very much like tuning a musical instrument. It is as much art as science, therefore, it takes time and experience to do it correctly. I have heard a well tuned Rega P3 sound better than a poorly tuned high dollar playback system.

I wish you success!
I'd recommend a Teres 255 with battery power option($2850), an Origin Live Illustrious tonearm($2170), and a Shelter 901 cartridge($1500).

I recommend an Aesthetix IO phonostage for a setup of this kind of quality.

I think that your suggested system will likely sound very good also. However, even though I have not heard the Volvere, the Teres soundly whacks anything that is better known up to and maybe over $12k, so I am skeptical that the Volvere would do any better than the Teres. The Triplanar is a very nice arm, but I think the OL Illustrious is better, and the Shelter 901 is definitely way better than the Helikon.


I think my suggested system will do at least as well, and probably better for significantly less money, which could then be spent on the IO phono stage.
Oh, man you gotta realy-realy love Linn to speak for it like Brookwood!

I do not attack rather than personally loving something Linn-ish but with more detail blended with music...

I'm also someway skeptical to highly priced tonearms and would still much more spend on table/cartridge. There is not too much sonic difference I heard between Michell Orbe/Kuzma Stogi and Michell Orbe/SMEIV with the same Helikon cartridge. Wilson Act.5 is also excellent budget tonearm that will work magics even with mega-priced decks. Tonearm to me, if above $1k has the smallest diminishing return in analogue playback.

I'm skeptical to Teres! Even despite I fully believe you that it's a nice deck in general simply by the same reason you're skeptical to Volvare. I also know that not too many nice-guy dealers left to realy do a great demo job with analogue. First, it's obvious that no dealer will allow customer to play with $9...10k analogue setup and must play it himself. Second, swapping tonearms requires VTA, tracking force and other neccessary adjustements to be made to demostrate the difference(truly pain!).
That's alright Marakanetz. I understand. It is a very good deck, though. I've heard alot of decks, arms and carts.
OK TWL I'm rather curious than skeptical or better say combo of both and want to ask if you don't mind.

How Teres 225/OL Illustrious is compared to let's say La Luce or something in that class...? with the same Aestethic IO and cartridges? Can that be the last setup (225/OL)? Why not getting away even cheaper with Kuzma arms? What kind of arms can Teres accommodate?
I don't necessarily love the Linn, however it is better than many of the new ones that are much more expensive. I guess I have become diinshcanted with some of the new tables that look cool but don't sound any better.

I also have to go back to my other commnet. Because I have used and sold many of them, I can tune a Linn to get the results I want. (I would like to say optimum results, but that sounds a little overconfident) I am also so familiar with it that I don't have to ask is it the catridge, the arm or the table. Maybe I am getting lazy?

I love analogue, but I have to admit to a steady transiton to digital. CD's on Avantgarde speakers sound very good!
Marakanetz, I can only relate the comparisons that I am aware of. I have not compared to SPJ LaLuce. But the Teres 255 has been compared to the Clearaudio Master Reference on 2 occasions, and has beaten that on both occasions, in the ears of the listeners. It has been tested against Verdier La Platine and found to be about a tie on at least 2 different comparisons. On one comparison I know of, it was tested against a Walker Proscenium and was very close, and the Walker had a better cartridge. So by now I guess that it is apparent it is in a very high class of turntables. I am not saying that it is the very best, but I do say it is competitive with the very best, and costs far less, so I promote it as a very good value. If I were to guess, I'd say it will beat the SPJ LaLuce, because the SPJ has primarily acrylic construction. This is a problem and gives poorer detail and bass response compared to other materials. I found this out first hand when I had my Teres acrylic-base 135, and then upgraded to the wood/lead shot loaded 245 base. This may also be one reason why the Teres beats all the Clearaudio TTs. After hearing the difference between acrylic and other base materials, I cannot recommend acrylic bases. Again, I am not saying that Teres is the ultimate. I am saying that it is close enough to the ultimate so that you would never need to upgrade and it could be your last table. Especially since it is so reasonably priced. As far as arms on the Teres are concerned, it is very easy to use any type of arm on it. It has alot of adjustability for rotation and position of the armboard, and can accept any arm. Even ET-2.5 and other air bearing arms will work quite easily. There is no suspension, so sagging springs are not a problem when using heavy arms like the ET. In fact, it sounds real good with an ET-2.5. I use an OL Silver arm. Many are used with OL modded Rega 250. Graham is also popular with Teres owners. You can pick whatever you want, and it works great. I like the OL arms, but it would accept Kuzma arms just fine. No problem.
How long have you had the Nottingham? Your system post date is 2/3/03 and indicates that you are getting new equipmnet in two weeks. Is the analog setup new? I am curious because I am looking for an analog setup. Thanks!
A very good friend of mine has a Volvare. You CAN NOT get a better table for the money. The Avid is incredible. I have heard Nottinghams, Regas, Clearaudio, Etc... The Volvare I heard had an SME 309 arm and a Audioquest cartridge which was modified by A.J Vanden hul. I can not comment on the Tri-planar arm, but I can only imagine. The Avid is one of the best tables out there regardless of price. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Go with nottingham Hyperspace or Dais/Anna Arm/Wave Mechanic PS and Lyra Helikon.
TWA,one day we may all rush and buy Teres tables;for now this is not going to happen.I like Gendut3's recommendation.
SME and Simon Yorke can be even better.Cartridge choice is a lot a matter of taste,you will have to try a few.Your downstream components will likely become inadequate after this upgrade.How far are you ready to go?Why not try Spacedeck/Spacearm if you generally like Nottingham and then think further?
Sorry, I wanted to say Twl.And stop promoting what you have,will you.We know your opinion;if you could sometimes just be quiet and listen to others.
Inna. If nobody promoted what they owned here, about 90% of the traffic would stop on this site. Maybe I'm sick and tired of hearing about Audio Aero, or Audio Research, or VPI. I'm not, really, but what if I was? Wanna count up the posts, and see who's promoting their equipment? It seems to me that this site is designed to have people ask questions about equipment, and the ones who own applicable components answer the questions. I didn't see the thread-poster specify "no comments from TWL". Perhaps you misunderstand my intention. My intention is to try to help these people get quality sound at reduced prices, compared with other products. Maybe you would prefer that they pay more and get less, but I consider that to be doing a disservice to one who would ask a question. If you want to know whether I listen or not, I read every new or active thread on this site every single day.
Inna. If I was constantly hawking VPI or Nottingham, that would be ok, right? Everybody else does. Look how many posts are up promoting the Aries and Scout. What's your beef with Teres? I'm the only person talking about it. You want to silence the ONE voice on this site about that. Sorry if I'm a bit more active on this site than you'd like.
I'd like to come to the defense of TWL.

I find his posts to be extremely knowledgeable, and helpful. Any time I have a question, his lengthy and thought out response has been e-mailed back
very quickly.
I think he is an asset to these boards, and look forward to his posts.
Thanks for your responses.

Stenersr - I've only had my Nottingham set-up and I like it very much. Finances dictate that I hold off on upgrades but I enjoy doing my homework.

For what it's worth, I'm the type of person who enjoys pursuing esoterica in most everything, including audio. I've only been in the audio hunt for about 3 months after a 20 year break so I've got lots of catching up to do.

Also, how important is a phonostage in terms of $$$, really? Right now I've got a Rogue Stealth phonostage and like it, but it's the only one I've heard.

By the way, auditioning equipment, especially stuff like phonostages, borders on the impossible unless one lives in a major urban area. I live in Miami, which is not the cornfields, but it just as well should be. Larry, from Hollywood Sound, has been the beacon of light in this area.

How have used turntable set-ups worked for you folks? My first impression is that since they are "handled" more than other components the incidence of wear or trouble would be greater. True?
Thank you, Carl. I'm only trying to help.
I must reiterate what Carl has said, lest anyone relatively new to this forum be left with a mistaken impression. Twl, has probably helped more people with analog questions than you have hairs on your head, Inna. And when suggestions are given they are clearly in the spirit of helpfulness and not such as "your Rega table is a toy and not worth much improving", or "Cardas is such a junk: clogged, colored, unbalanced..", or "your Nakamichi BX-1 in my opinion is not worth fixing".

Sure, Twl promotes the Teres as he has found it to be a great bargain from personal experience. I, too, get a bit testy at times when folks suggest only what they own. Would you rather suggestions come form a list of tables he'd never heard? Of course, there is a also huge difference between doing so when you've only owned one or two tables and when you've owned or listened to several dozen, as is the case with Twl.

Moreover, it is different when someone pimps a single component whether or not it is a viable choice for a stated preference or budget. If you do a bit of checking you will see that Twl has suggested a variety of TT's DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION, including the Nottingham (which I also happen to own). Look at some threads where people have asked about getting into vinyl or having a budget of, say, $1000 to start. You won't find there the Teres as a suggestion. Indeed, when Twl offers the Teres as an option, there is often inclusion, or at least recognition, that other TT's may do the job. Understand that after many of years of listening to different combinations of equipment, and finding ones that work the best for a given price point after failing with many others, SOME PEOPLE offer suggestions with in the spirit of trying to save others the same grief.

Audiogon is an open forum and everyone has their own opinion, which they are free to express. Take them or leave them. As much as I totally disagree with the message you send in your posts in this thread, Inna, I would fight for your right to make them. Please offer the same consideration.
I'll second the defense of TWL. I have learned more from Tom on this board than from anyone, anywhere. And although I have not personally heard the Teres TT, I would put money on his opinion in most circumstances.

As for his posts, if you don't like what he has to offer, don't read his posts.

Pretty simple -- IMHO.

Can you wisper if you took part in designing Teres deck so none hears?;-)
Thanks,guys, I think Inna gets the point. BTW, the stuff I mentioned above is not even what I own. I recommended a Teres 255, OL Illustrious, Shelter 901, and Aesthetix IO. For the record, I own Teres 245, OL Silver, Shelter 501, and MFA Magus. None of the components I recommended here are those that I own. Furthermore, they all fit into the requirements listed by the thread-poster, and I felt that they would meet his needs, and specified why. At no time did I disparage his own choices that were up for discussion, and even stated that they would likely be a very good sounding rig. My recommendations stemmed from an attempt to show him a way to get as good or better sound quality, and save him enough money so he could afford to spend more on a quality phono stage like the IO. I thought that was what he wanted to know, so that's what I responded with. I do the same thing when others ask similar questions. I don't think it's fair to the person asking the question, to hold back pertinent information about a product, just because some people don't want to hear about it.
Marakanetz, I didn't have a thing to do with the Teres design, nor have any relationship with the company, other than being a customer. I know it may not appear that way to some, but I assure you that I have only the best interest of the members here, at heart. No personal agenda. I simply am enjoying mine so much, that I would like others to know about it, so they can get the same level of enjoyment as I am having, or even more maybe. I have always tried to find products that are over-achievers for my system, because I have champagne taste and a beer budget. I think many of the members may be in the same situation. So I try to "turn them on" to stuff that performs well and is affordable. That's all.
Excellent.I would like to add that Tom is a big boy and does not need your support.But he does sound like a salesman,selling his opinions in the case of this forum.Who else has similar thoughts?
Kinda like your pimping of Purist Audio cables, Inna? Why not make that "outta", instead of "inna"? Who else has similar thoughts?
Ahrrrrrr! I didn't mean to start the war here dammit! My fault! Appologies to Twl!

Usually for me one answer on one question is enough to be satisfied...

As to being or not being a part of design team of Teres, I also didn't mean to burn someone on that! To me it's NOTHING-wrong-about situation as long as it helps to the members...

Rives advertises HIS PRODUCTS and his designes, ideas here on the forums and I think with great success and with great help to the members... Anyone has thoughts about Rives?
Yes,I do.Rives is good;reserved and intelligent.He has no need for a megaphone to speak his mind.
Even the casual lurker like me knows when someone asks for a 'table recommendation, Tom will suggest Teres. We can all count on that like the sun rising. Those of us who are not considering buying one in the near future take that en passant.

It really doesn't strike me as selling anymore than when other satisfied owners raise their hands for the equipment they own too. But the most meaningful endorsement comes when the endorser has made active comparisons to validate observations. Tom has done that, a/b'ing against other first-tier rigs.

I find myself 'filtering' out unqualified recommendations which don't note comparisons that support their conclusions. And I've never been in a position to compare my lowly VPI HW19 with other similar-tier 'tables, so any product recommendation I might make would be less than useful.

But what carries the most weight for me is that someone with that much experience with different 'tables, and who has helped me personally with so much analog instruction on so many different aspects, feels so strongly about a product that he doesn't sell. Whenever I think of upgrading, I'll seriously consider Teres, which I would never have heard of if Tom didn't consistenly stick his hand up.

Rives has also provided a lot of education for me with regard to his products. I'm better equipped for it, and I haven't bought any of his stuff yet either.

IMHO, if it wasn't for guys like Tom and Rives, there are countless aspects of audio I would still be ignorant about.

Geez, Marakanetz, why apologize for opening a can-o-worms with respect to Twl (needlessly, IMHO) and then open another with respect to Rives? Different ballgame, anyway, Rives having product and services to SELL, and Twl not.

That being said, Rives is, by ALL accounts, a straight-shooter and the very soul of discretion who, in addition to offering good and services at a PRICE, also dispenses very helpful tips FREE of charge both in these threads and at his website. In addition, Rives always PRESENTS himself as a seller and does not try to hide behind a moniker to drum up business (which cannot be said for a couple of cable hawkers that I could, but won't, mention). It is wholly unfair to drag him into THIS discussion, though.

In closing my last contribution to what has become a very silly and personally-laced thread, I admit that I agree with Inna in that Twl does NOT need anyone to defend his posts. His longstanding contributions to the site and his furtherance of audio knowledge speaks for itself. Anyone comparing the merits of his posts as compared to certain others within this thread should clearly “consider the source”. Present company not excepted.
That is being said, 4yanx I do not state and never STATED that Tom sells or designes Teres I only ASKED and probably that's why I do appologize.
This is tongue in cheek .... but how about my questions? It is interesting following your discourse. My feeling is if someone doesn't comment on or endorse something they own or have heard they are coming from a position of ignorance. Critiques, etc. are good but I enjoy vociferous personal opinions based on experience.
Oh, that's right...this thread started because you asked a question.

Off topic but based on your original post, I'm also a jazz head and Crimso devotee. But finding decent Crimson vinyl is not easy. DGM is selling all Fripp's remastered digital, but not vinyl. Nice that it's HDCD, but where's the beef?
I've never experienced difficulties finding KC albums whatsoever and paid a fraction of DGM remasters for them in VG+ to NM conditions.

BTW, How's King Crimson and similar progressive and heavy stuff going to sound on Teres?
Inna, Richard needs advise not debate.

TWL : Thanks for your analog advises to all of us.
Do you still have the EX3 ?
used record store near me.

It seems really scattered how the record companies decide to put out new 180 gm pressings. I wonder how they decide?
Tim - the above means I've got a great used record store near me.

Do you play 45 RPM records?

Had to be the Psychic...HA!
You may also want to consider a Redpoint Testa Rosa. It is at the same price point as the Avid Volvere without arm and gives you alot of value. I have ordered one which will arrive in a few weeks and will be using a Kuzma Stogi Reference arm. The turntable will work though with any arm. I am sure the tri-planar would be a great match. You can see at:
I agree that the Redpoint TT is a very good one. It is made by some of the same people that worked on the Teres project, and some feel it is an improvement. Another one of the better values in the TT arena.
TWL what would you venture to say a turntable which would better my Audio Aero Capitol Mark 2 CD player would cost? Read today the Teres 135 is better sounding than a VPI TNT 4 using the same arm and cartridge on both tables. Didn't know the lower priced Teres was this good.
Mejames,my MMF 7 $999 retail is not only better than my Audio Aero Capitole MKII,but MUCH BETTER !! (I have VPI Aries also)

I still own my Capitole right now even though I'm going to sell it soon. I have enough with digital for now.

I know my words above are not a good advise to the buyers of my player. (I should post it later after selling it.. LOL)

I'm sorry to all digital lovers.
Mejames, I know you have a very high end system. In order for you to really do justice to your system, I would recommend getting something that is a little higher in the line from the Teres 135. I had the 135 and it was very good. But the 245 or 255 is the cat's ass. These are not terribly more expensive at only $2150 or $2850 respectively. That is not alot as analog decks go. The main weakness in the 135 model is the bass response is weaker than the others, and detail and smoothness are not as good either. There is a major jump in performance at the 245 model. That is what I have.

I have listed in a previous post above my choices for the best performance for dollar. To reiterate, I think the Teres 245, Origin Live Silver, and Shelter 501 represent the best for the money in each of their respective categories. And by quite a fair margin, I might add. These will outperform units costing several times their prices, and approach the state-of-the-art. They may not be the ultimate pinnacle, but are very close and cost a reasonable amount.

IMO, there is no digital player made that can compete with this. At any price. The total for this analog setup is about half what a new AA Capitole costs.

I think you would serve your system well to have a rig like this on the front end. Go for the 245, it's worth the extra few hundred over the 135. I have used both. If you can stretch up to the 255, it's even better. The difference is not as dramatic as the difference between 135 and 245, but it is an improvement. Also, Teres is a very nice looking table, and is also pretty compact in the footprint. You don't need a square yard of shelf space for it.

You could also look at the Redpoint TT, but I selected the Teres because I preferred the appearance, performance is comparable, and Teres costs less.

It is factory-direct only, and the pricing is about 1/4-1/3 of what you'd normally pay for this performance at a retail level. You can see them at
TWL-I've read your comments sporadically for 2 years along with everyone else's and you have distinguished yourself sufficiently in my mind to elicit direct email queries from me on numerous occassions.
This time I'll pose a question to you for all to read as I'm curious about your answer and would like to present you an opportunity in this thread to demonstrate how you typically deal with like questions.
How would you compare my Well-Tempered Reference Table and arm with AQ7000 cartridge to the Teres rig you own?
And just remember the words of Jonathan Swift, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him".
I hope this puts you "Inna" better mood.
Tom, when I get a chance to come out and do a comparison, I'll let you know. I really can't give you a definitive answer on that, because I have not set them side by side and compared. If I said something about it and was wrong, I'd be doing people a disservice, and that is why I didn't say definitively that the Teres is better than the SME, even though I suspect it to be so. I can say the same about the Well-Tempered, but will reserve judgment until I can do an A/B comparison. I hope you understand that I want to be helpful, but calling a shot in the dark is not helping anybody. If you want to get a reference point, the Teres has been A/B'd to the tables I mentioned in my other post, like the Clearaudio Master Ref, TNT, Verdier, Walker, and Basis. If you have compared to any of these tables, you could get a good idea of how things would stack up. The Walker was the only one that was said to be a cut above the Teres, and the Verdier was a tie. All others were beaten in the comparisons done in the systems used for testing. Not everyone may agree with these assessments, but the listeners doing the comparisons agreed on these. YMMV. This was only pointed out to help understand the level at which the Teres performs, and not to glorify it over other TTs.