When I bought my Decca Super Gold Mk.VII, the distributor/seller (Warren Gregoire) was adamant that these carts needed to be mounted on damped unipivot arms. My VPI JMW 10.5 met this requirement. Very impressive sound, but I could never get rid of the hum no matter what I tried. Not a loud hum, but definitely there.
The Sumiko may well work with your Decca--try it. The damped unipivot arms (think Graham for example) are sure bets for Deccas, as Dopogue reports, but other designs can work too. One such was the Sugden Connoisseur arm, perhaps oddly enough because it was not a very high-spec'd device.
If you are open to something different you might contact Vic at Trans-Fi. He mentioned to me that the London Reference is his favorite cartridge on Terminator Pro. To eliminate hum problems with this cartridge he developed a screened 4N silver IC that runs uninterrupted from cartridge to phono stage.
I've not used the Reference, but I've had two Deccas since the early 80s. Damped unipivots were the conventional choice; I use a Hadcock. These compensated for the lack of vertical compliance in the Decca design. Air bearing arms should also do the trick as they aren't rigid in a vertical plane either.
How about classic SME 3009/3012?
Thanks for your advices.
Any other suggestions?
Dear Breezer: I don't own that Decca cartridge but seems to me that The Mechanic is very good match and as you own the MDC 800 this one seems to me very good for it too. Do you already try it in the Sumiko? do you have some problem with the Mechanic/Decca quality performance?
If you want some improvement on both tonearms maybe a fresh internal re-wiring could help.
Regards and enjoy the music,
i´ve tried the London just in the Mission already. It is good, but as i don´t know, how it could sound, i can´t answer the question, if it is at 70, 80, 90 or nearly 100% of its performance. The Mission Mechanic is rewired with Cardas.
In the Sumiko my DV XV-1s is mounted, and it is so wonderful, that i don´t like to dismount it at that time. Maybe later. The Sumiko has its own silver internal wire wit directly soldered Discovery Four Plus external wiring. Maybe i will rewire it with one continous Cardas some day.
Maybe any experiences with the LRC in a Graham Phantom or Wheaton Triplanar?
The Decca is famous for the need of ultra rigid tonearms, because it moves endless vibrations into the Armtube. Superior bearing, rigid Design and speed for removal are important. Triplanar is the wrong choice, even the Phantom won't be the right choice (of course, they all "work" more or less with it, I know reviewers who use it in a Rega 250), the Arm to go is FR-64s/66s.
Agree with Syntax. In the FR-66s the London Reference provides fantastic mid-ranges. This cartridge is somehow magic, not sweet or soft but really beautiful with verve and precision - and going to the heart !
A really great cartridge. I think it is a must for the vinyl lover
I have no experience with the Decca Reference cartridge, but I long ago had the Fidelity Research FR-64S tone arm and the Decca London cartridge of that day. The Fidelity Research was not suitable for this cartridge. I had two tone arms that worked with it-the Keith Monks and the Decca International.
I also presently have the Decca Jubilee although I have yet to install it on my Bergman Sindre turntable. The Jubilee did work well on the Schroeder Reference tone arm on my Loricraft/Garrard 501 turn table with much depending on the space between the magnets.
Tbg, the London Reference and the former Decca cartridges are completely different, even not from the same company although it should continue the tradition. I had the Garrard 501 TR. Try the Kuzma 4 Point or any other heavy arm on the Garrard. You will love it!
Thuchan, I don't know how different the Jubilee and the Reference are. I sold the Loricraft and bought a Shindo Labs, which I have also sold for the Bergman Sindre.
Tbg, you are faster than me. The airpump of the Bergmann should be very good (as the TT is too of course!)
It seems not so many people have experience with the Deccas or Moving Iron cartridges.
There have been some changes: The mass of the needle mounting system was minimized by half. The bearing which carries the diamond is shaped in an L-form and does transfer the signal into electrical energy with just 1 mm of the transport way.
There are many indicators from the design aspect why this should be one of the best cartridges at all. Nevertheless the production quality improved too which used to be a small problem in the past. The differences between the Deccas are not that much anymore.
It is easy to detect that this cartridge is one of the most natural sounding transponders ever built. It displays the tone and sound like it was recorded maybe a problem for digital ears.
Untill now i use the London Reference in my Well Tempered Signature (predecessor and more costly version of the Reference) tonearm, and this is a nice match.
Any other recommendations?
I've read on VA a good match with the SAEC WE-308 SX when mated with the heavy 18 gr ULS-3X headshell.
I've just bought this arm and I'm ready to give a chance to Decca Reference. I use the TD 124 II also !
I must admit that I have high expectations for this set-up.
My worst nightmare is a wrong cartridge/arm that could change the overall character & spirit of the Thorens.
ie : Steve (user510) reports bad about Ortofon Jubilee / Graham 2.2 and this is that I wish to avoid (a modern aspect of the usual hi-fi trends that betrays the rare quality of this TT while this arm/cart combo, performs really great in every contemporary Belt-Drive TT !!!)
We must stand with respect & integrity behind our TD 124 !
I haven't heard the Decca in years, ...thought the sound extraordinary (don't remember the arm, but was with Audio Research electronics and Infinity IRS speakers) but greatly affected by setup. The cartridge puts lots of energy into the arm. I would think that the VPI is a good choice since you can adjust every parameter. I would experiment with damping at the pivot...use just 1 drop and add a drop until the sound closes in...take out 1 drop. Its actually easy to hear.
The Super Gold sounds incredible on my Air Tangent.
I use a Jelco 750L 12" with my Decca MkVII with Paratrace stylus and it works great. So much so, I feel no need to upgrade. I've no idea what more expensive arms must sound like but the music just sounds right with the Jelco. There is a head shell upgrade available somewhere that allegedly brings some major improvements.
I read many years ago that the best tonearm for the top Decca is the Dynavector 507.
The Decca is a great cartridge, but sends a LOT if energy back into the arm which ruins the sound. If it were I, I would use the new Dynavektor arm...this arm will tame those resonances and bring out the best that cartridge can deliver.
evidently, Vlad and I have the same suggestion
1. Terminator T3Pro air bearing liner tracker from Trans-Fi Audio, UK
2. SME III with liquid & teak damped hyper rigid S-shaped 5.5 gram titanium-nitride wand, with option of extra mass that can be added on headshell (2.2 or 4.4 g) if necessary
evidently, I'm in good company ;)
I have set up around 20 Decca's over the years, mostly Garrott modified Decca's.
Best arm I've heard was with the Zeta, but can confirm the Decca works well in the Dynavector arms. I heard a Dynavector 501/Decca with Futterman OTL's & Stax electrostatics and the sound was excellent - Decca speed with a little more warmth than with other arms.