I have not listened to the above tables other than hearing the SOTA in an unfamiliar system. I did much research and people that are in the know seem to love and respect the SME20/2. I changed from a Basis Debut Gold w/ Graham 2.2 to an SME20/2 w/TriplanarVII. The improvement was dramatic. The SME / Triplanar combo had far better resolution, better dynamic contrasts, blacker quieter backgrounds, much greater transparency with a more open 3D stage.
I have used several tables over the years. Suspended, low mass etc. I have not owned any of the tables you mentioned except my new Galibier Gravia. I have heard some of the others at shows. The Galibier is the finest table I have heard. Thom is fantastic to work with. I can not stress enough the level of service Thom provides.
I am using a VDH black beauty cart with a Mikro Seiki(sp?) arm while I await my Schroeder Reference.
I may try out an ZYX Universe after the Schroeder arrives.
What do I like better about this table? Everything.
After I receive the Schroeder I will post my impressions vs. the other tables I have owned over the past 30. years.
Doc, which platter did you get?
Hi Bkonig and Docsavage,
Thanks for your feed back and comments. I am looking forward to your review Doc.
Well, if you've got something in the area of $60,000 to spend, some might say it's the Walker Audio Proscenium Gold Signature turntable system.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have $60,000 to spend for my entire system. I do believe at least one of these tables is capable of the perfomance of the Walker. I am hoping to hear for the experience of the Audiogon members who may have been luck enough to hear some of these tables (and a Walker).
I was actually joking, knowing that the Walker is no real-world option for most of us mortals.
I seriously considered Acoustic Signature TT's last year before buying my Scheu. At first I was interested in The Final Tool due to reviews and owner praise, but it just so happened that a Canadian dealer was dropping the line and blowing out their remaing stock at 1/2 price. So, that meant I could get the Mambo for the same price as retail Tool - tempting?
Just my luck, the dealer had both tables listed here on Audiogon for almost 2 months, the day I decided to finally buy - the Final Tool had been sold an hour before. I shot an email off to a reviewer who had tried the entire line for his input on the Mambo and by the time I called the dealer the next day, the Mambo was gone, too.
So ended my dream for an Acoustic Signature......
Dan_ed, I went with the Teflon/alu platter with the new(TPI) graphite interface. My Gavia is simply more musical than others I have heard. I was concerned about over-damping with the high mass design. Not an issue at all. The table digs deep and lets me hear every detail without fatigue. High degree of emotional involvement.
The best part is that Thom says that I have only reached 3 on a 5 scale. The Schroeder is suppose to get me the rest of the way home. I will let you know. So far Thom has been right on the mark with all his predictions.
FWIW Thom is comming out with a new model which I believe will retail around 2500. At that price his new model may be a giant killer. Also, I should mention that I have no connection with Galibier except as a very satisfied customer.
Among those listed, the Galibier appears to be a good design and sounds good. I haven't heard the Acoustic Signature or Amazon much so don't have an opinion. The big SME tables are very good, as is the Walker. I'd heartily recommend the 'tables and arms (not listed) I sell over any of the above, but that wouldn't be cool :-)
Some time ago I listened to an Amazon Turntable ( not sure, but I think it was the Reference ) fitted with an Moerch Arm and a Lyra Cartridge ( Clavis or Parnassus ) and I was impressed. Very clean, very dynamic and loud. That's not a real comparison, I know, but I think, that's a interesting one.
Dear Mark: All those TTs are very good ones. I prefer the all metal one designs like Galibier or AS. The whole music presentation is firm, steady, thight bass, extended high frequencies, very natural mid range, etc, etc. The Wood/acrylic ones are really" soft " sound reproduction at both frequency extremes a little on the " dark " side.
Now, the Sota Millennia has an advantage that I love it: vacuum hold down record, this makes a difference for the better in the quality sound reproduction.
I own two Acoustic Signature TTs and I'm very happy with them. I like their clever design, quality control, up grade options and very trusty operation ( in 3-4 years I never had any single problem with it ). I use these TTs with a second hand Audio Technica vaccum platter.
My choice: Mambo or Galibier and the Schroeder tonearm is a very good mate for both.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Thank you all for the good dialog that is taking place. I have a Linn LP12 (that I bought new in 1979). I have upgraded it with a Cetech chassis and Graham 2.2 tonearm, but would like to go farther. I have been looking hard at the Galibier Gavia, but then saw the Acoutic-Signature Mambo and thought that it appeared to be a similar basic design (and very attractive).
I am very interested in the Schroder tonearm next time.
The Amazon and Sota I threw into the mix, because they look promising, and I would consider them depending on the feedback provided here.
I will strongly second the Galibier and the quality of character of Thom Mackris.
No one ever mentions Pluto turntables in these discussions. Why is that? They are rare, of course, insanely expensive, etc. They also seem to have garnered high praise from reviewers. I have never seen or heard a system with a Pluto turntable, but perhaps some of you turntable mavens know something about them. Any information would be interesting.
In 2016, How many of these manufacturers are still extant?
I think all of them are still in business.