Calling all analog experts

Currently I'm using the entry level MMF 5 with stock goldring cartridge. Recently listened to some high end Avid and Basis tables and now feel analogically impotent. VPI, Linn, Teres, Clearaudio and Basis are all products that I'd consider. Cartridges and tonearms I don't really know much about. Like anyone I'd like to get the biggest bang for the buck and have no problem buying used . Please suggest a strategy. Other components include:

ARC LS16 MK2 preamp
Cary 306 cdp
ayre v5-x amp
Revel ultima studios
phonomenon phonostage.


by the best suspension table with its own arm and a cartridge that suits your tastes.

i have a TNT HR and the arm table are a very solid combination. don't know your phono stage so a cartridge that will work with it is important

good luck finding what sounds to your liking, congrats on having ears or the sense to hear what they have heard! Not many have the ability...
The VPI Aries Scout is a heck of a table at $1600. It comes with the JMW 9 tone arm. Pick one of the various phono cartridges that give the sound you like and you've got it.

We have similar systems. I use the ARC LS-2 preamp, with an ARC PH-3 phono preamp, Mark Levinson No. 23 amp, and Revel Studios speakers as well.

I initially bought the Basis 1400 TT, with RB300 arm. I bought them used. I originally put a Benz Micro Glider II on it (0.84MV). It sounded quite good. I paid $1,000 for the TT and arm (and a marble plinth to set it on). The Glider cost me $800, new.

I enjoyed the sound so much, that I am now upgrading to the Basis 2001, with a RB900 arm. I already upgraded to the Koetsu Black cartridge. (Although the later upgrade was more a matter of taste. For your first cartridge, I would suggest the Glider II, although with our speakers, I found it a trifle bright. I have also heard the the Shelter line is a good bang for the buck as well.)

All of the turntables you list are all good, it is really just a matter of taste, and getting the best bargin.

Therefore, my strategy for you would be:

1. Go to a few stores and friends houses and listen to their systems, and figure out which TT's, arms and cartridges you like. (There will probably be several).

2. I really suggest keeping an eye on the used market places (Audiogon, Ebay (I found my TT & arm there), and takefiveaudio (a stereo shop in Canada that seems to always have a few decent used turntables.) When you find a good bargin, buy it. (Don't get hung up in a price war, (or even on a particular TT, arm or cartridge), as you will always be able to find a good deal if you are willing to wait a week or two.)

3. After buying the TT and arm, I suggest you take it to your local stereo shop who has an analog guru. (I use Brian at The Analog Room in the S.F. Bay Area, who is a great guy!) Have him put on your cartridge of choice. He will be able to check out the TT and arm, and properly setup the cartridge, which is not so easy for a newbie with out the proper tools, as the azimuth, vta, tracking force, etc., must all be setup correctly to get the best sound out of the unit.

4. Sit back and enjoy. If you don't like it, you can always sell it and not be much out of pocket. If you really like it (as I did), you can still sell it and move on up.

Good luck and have fun!
Cartridges must be hard to audition as I doubt a retailer will keep changing cartridges till your ears dictate a sale.
How much of a difference in sound is there between a vpi scout which I imagine to be the lower end of really hi end tables and the upper echelon basis clearaudio and avid tables? Bigtee: How does a JMW 9 arm compare to a RB300 or RB 900 or Graham 2.2 etc?
Nice dilemma you have, there are lots of good 'tables on the market. I've heard most of the front ends you've listed, but again arm and cartridges are always different so it's very hard to say which is "best".

My choice would be an Oracle Delphi V with a SME Series V arm and a Koetsu pick-up. My boss has this set up and it's the best front end I've heard yet. Visually stunning, easy to tweak, and offers outstanding performance. Seems like Oracle isn't that well thought of here on the 'Gon, they are rarely mentioned. Don't let that dissuade you.

Cartridges are funny cuz they interact with every part of the analog chain, you may want to check with Phonomenon and see what they recommend? Enjoy! Jeff
Jsonic, I feel it is better than the RB300-600 and on par with the 900(if not better.)( Of course, I've read numerous articles that have said the RB250 w/ Incognito wiring is better than the other Rega arms-who knows-can't try everything) I don't know about the Graham. The JMW seems to form one of those synergy's on the Scout. Most of the Mags are pretty high on it---for what that is worth. I do think is pretty much unbeatable for the bucks, especially with a little discount. Ultimately---you have to be the judge.
Jsonic, I've done plenty of raving on the Teres tables in the past, so I won't bore everyone with that again. They are great, and they are low cost(as high end TTs go). Buy anything else, and risk getting beat by a Teres in an A/B. 'Nuff said.

As far as the arms go, I would say that interest in anything higher in the Rega line than a fully OL modded RB250 should be redirected at the OL tonearm lineup. These start at about $800 retail and go up. Performance is high.

I won't comment on the JMW arms, other than to say that I only buy gimbal-bearing arms, and shy away from unipivots of any type, for my own reasons regarding tonearm design criteria.

I knew that it'd only be a matter of time before your welcome advice would materialize. My dealer says that when making an investment in a high end tt it's best to buy from a company that's been around for a while (of course he doesn't sell Teres) and has a track record. Teres tables are beautiful although I've only seen pictures. I don't know anyone who has one and can't imagine where I could even listen to one. I live in Northern N.J. They aren't cheap and I don't often see used ones offered for sale. My dealer sells Avid, Clearaudio Basis and possibly VPI. What are your opinions on Linn and Nottingham? I appreciate your input and BTW am happy for you regarding your new career. Congrats!

Good advice from all the above. I'll echo Twl's advice with the unseemly enthusiasm of a new Teres owner. Clearly there's some risk in buying from a younger company, but the performance advantages overwhelmed those concerns for me. FWIW, Chris Brady addresses reliability and service quite well on his website.

You didn't mention a budget, but if $1500+ is available for a table I don't think you will match a Teres. Come listen to mine in CT and you'll know why used ones are so rare. OTOH, if you're more comfortable in the mainstream many say Nott' offers great bang for the buck.

Teres, OL and Shelter all provide superior performance while controlling costs by avoiding the mainstream distributor/dealer/big magazine ad channels. If you're able to accept that risk, the musical rewards will be higher.

YMMV of course. Enjoy the hunt and whatever prey you find!
Jsonic, I would say that although the Teres only has about a 3 year track record, the track record it has consists of beating the holy crap out of anything in its price range. The dealer has to say something, and he can't sell the Teres, so there you are.

I think you should take up Doug's offer to listen to his Teres.

Regarding your question about Linn and Nottingham, I've owned several variations of Linn LP12 turntables and several Linn arms and cartridges. I was happy with a Linn for more than 10 years. I am also a trained Linn setup technician, but am out of date now, as I did this mostly during the 1980s. My Teres is in a totally different(and better) league than the Linn. The Nottingham tables are quite good, and good value for money. I might say that they could be a 2nd choice for me, if Teres wasn't around, for the money vs performance.
I think statements like "it beats the holy crap out of anything in its price range" are more than a bit of exageration. I have heard the Teres, in fact Doug was generous enough to allow me to listen to his, which, while it cetainly had some margin of performance over my Michell Gyro SE and Shelter 501 did not "beat the crap out of it" whatever that is supposed to mean. I think the base was the biggest difference that I noticed. It was more more defined with the Teres with plucked base strings being more precisely articulated in the pieces we listed to. Of course, Doug also has the excellent B&W Nautilis 803's compared to my Matrix 804's which will have something to do with good base. One the other hand, his system cost twice mine which does not mean mine will only give half the quality of sound. In my experience the marginal return in sound quality for each additional dollar invested is 10 to 15% at this level. So double the price and you may get 10 to 15% better sound. The Teres vs. my system seemed to fit this to my listening. Of course, this improvement can be very important to you compared to its cost - that is all a matter of personal taste and priorities.
The Teres, like all the TT's mentioned above is well worth a listen but it would perhaps be more usefull to those evaluating if more precise and accurate terms were used to describe the TT differences.
Responses like these are why I love Audiogon. Objective opinions from the well-informed are rare. Jyprez: What is the cost differential between your rig and Doug's? Doug I live near the Tappan Zee Bridge and CT. is not that far ,depending on what town that is. I may very well take you up on your generous offer when time allows. My system uses the Revel Studios so I think a hi end analog rig would reap big dividends. In percentage terms I'm sure most of these tables would be a 60-80% improvement over the MMF5 I'm currently using. TWL , my phonostage is the phonomenon. I'm guessing this wouldn't do for one of the higher end tables we're speaking of. What would a rig like this cartridge ,arm, phonostage ,set-up cost? Thanks to all of you for your input.
the table mmf is fine for analogue play back, however it cannot deliver detail, bass and attack because like a subcompact car straight from the factory it is limited as compared to a say porsche boxster...a boxster is a nice vehicle but still lacking compared to many other cars on the road but certainly delivers greater satisfaction than what 95% of the driving public are accustomed to.

a higher end table given where you are coming from will certainly reap tremendous dividends like heaps more micro detail, extended bass, quieter bachground and greater dynamics to name but a few improvements

i have owned many tt's including japan models (subcompact)many rega III's (honda accord) with various factory arms they are nice like your mmf, but thats it. oracle delphi's (mazda rx7 twin turbo) offered greatly improved bass and high frequency extension, good value performance. vpi aries (acura 4 door)very quiet but like a rega somewhat limited due to lack of a active suspension. tnt hr (911)where i currently reside is easily a noticably improvement in the realm of delivering greater sonic information

is there better, likely. am i going there, likely least until i hear and appreciate the differences

then you need to add a cartridge! good luck
Well, this discussion beats the crap out of everything!

I'm in Middletown, a bit of a hike from the TZB. Still it's always fun to meet other audio-phools so the invitation stands. Sundays are generally my only free day, though not all of them. Let me know if it makes sense for you to travel this far. We'll have Jyprez stand by to moderate!

It's certainly difficult to compare components in different systems. We have lots of brands in common (Shelter, OL, c-j, B&W) but not a single model except our tonearms, almost. If you heard better bass I'd suspect multiple causes:
N803 vs. M804
240wpc SS vs. 60wpc tube (I bet yours sounds sweeter)
Shelter 901 vs. 501
HIFI Modded OL Silver MkI vs. unmodded OL Silver MkII
two cats vs. no cats
and maybe this brick of a TT

Since your visit I improved my cartridge mounting and alignment based on your observations (thank you). I also lowered VTA a touch. Mids and HF's have more 3-D palpability and clarity than before. We didn't listen to any female vocals, but now they're to die for.

Let's try a theoretical TT shootout. Yesterday on AA there was a post about a new VPI, the Scoutmaster. Picture a Scout with a double thick plinth, taller platter and upgraded AC motor. Without arm it would cost around $1500-1600, similar to a Teres 135. Let's compare feature-for-feature:

Teres is more massive, tighter toleranced (12+ hour seat time vs. 2) and viscous-damped

Teres is 57% taller/more massive

Teres is taller/more massive but VPI has a steel layer, call it a draw

Teres mylar is more speed stable than VPI rubber

Teres DC is quieter and more speed stable than VPI's AC

Teres monitors platter speed and self-adjusts; VPI, umm, you fiddle the belt up or down on the pulley!

Teres will accommodate virtually any arm, the armboard is easily replaced or swapped; VPI must re-drill and/or replace the plinth to change arms, forget swapping.

Plinth & platter upgrades
Teres offers upgrades with trade-ins for your old parts. VPI?

Power supply
Teres offers a fully isolated, self-recharging battery power option for $110. VPI offers just an AC power conditioner that costs many hundreds more.

At this price point the Teres 135 clearly "beats the crap" out of one major competitor. Other $1,500 tables might come closer of course, but I don't know any that would match it. Twl's statement was a bit enthusiastic, but not totally unrealistic.

I like everything Sayas said except his implication that the oft-noted limits of the Aries are due to its lack of an active suspension. That's actually its best feature! I'd guess its problems are due to:
- too much acrylic (excessive warmth/rolled off HF's)
- a lousy motor (very well known now)
- an unstable tonearm (cartridge can't do its job)
Unless you can afford a Walker or Rockport, I believe a properly implemented non-suspended TT will retrieve low level information best. IMHO of course! :)
There is no question that the Teres is a fine table deserving of consideration in any hgh end system but of course it all comes down to price for performance. I paid $1000 for my 6 month old Michell Gyro. Gyro's can be readily had for $1200 or so here on A'gon. I believe the Teres model 365 lists for $3750 (almost never available discounted since there are so few) not to mention several hundred more for the 901 vs 501 cartridge. So the question comes down to not whether it performs better (as certainly it should) but just how much better performance one should get for about 2500 more and whether that performance is there or not.
Perhaps I could bring my Gyro over to your house and we can A/B them with some other impartial judges and let others on the forum know what they think? (Doug and I actually live within a few miles of each other in Central CT)
Sorry if I offended. Simply my opinion. YMMV.
"Other $1,500 tables might come closer of course, but I don't know any that would match it."

I understand, very few people have a KAB modded Technics SL-1200MKII. The day before I took my 1200 to Kevin for installing the outboard power supply I was at an antique steam & gas engine show in Blue Mountain, PA. There were all these single piston engines with massive flywheels and I started thinking about TTs. Hmmm, to get the belt drive TT spinning right one needs one--preferrably two flywheeels, just like VPI does. That's a good, albeit primitive solution. Just like modern, lighter and powerful gasoline engines which have inboard sensing/correction computers, the linear quartz lock drive can do an effective job w/out relying on massive amounts of lead and/or a flywheel. It just uses a flared platter to lower the center of gravity and add rotational velocity. There are two issues at stake here:

1) How do you take care of speed control issues as the stylus tracks transients (stylus drag).

2) How is speed kept constant while modulating a groove?

One lesson I've learned since having the outboard power supply is that in my TT I can get OUTSTANDING performance with the modded Stanton Groovemaster II. It is a moving magnet design and sounds better than my Ortofon X5 moving coil! Aren't moving coils supposed to be faster, more natural, etc? The answer is simple: the platter can drive the magnets & cantilever assembly rather effortlessly.

The more I look at the Teres the more I see it as a direct drive wannabe!
Errata: #2 refers to stylus drag.
Psychicanimal, does stylus drag refer to your Stanton in a party dress and panty hose, or did I misunderstand?
DougDeacon, my comment on TT's related to the original Aries and not the Scout. I have no comment on the Scout as I have not seen or heard one play music.

I am confident that VPI TNT HR belts are not rubber, synthetic rubber likely, thermoplastic likely also, although most likely a combination of synrubber and thermoplastics.

Mylar belts is that for real if so what is the benefit...I think that mylar is a thermoplastic, so are mylar belts really different and once again what is the benefit to mylar belts over thermoplastic or synthetic rubber drive belts?

I have seen mylar build a static charge and then discharge, how does Teres eliminate this occurance.

Curious comments on some stuff in this thread...
Albert, the stylus is *nude* to begin with!
unless the stylus is dirty, then of course it is dressed very don't want a filthy needle
Apologies to anyone if I came on strong. I just love my TT too much. My motor had a circuit board bug and I just got it back from Chris Brady. He turned it around in one day and installed the $70 Signature II board upgrade for free! Hugs, kisses...

Agree you can get great stuff used, better than anything new for the $. That's how I got my 901, otherwise we couldn't have afforded it. (Also my CDP and amp.)

If your Gyro is portable a side-by-side would be great fun. We could probably swap arms pretty easily, to make it as apples-to-apples as possible. I'd offer to return the visit but an assembled Teres is not easily transported. Tilting it even a little would spill oil from the bearing.

BTW, did you hear John Michell just passed away? Sad new for analog lovers, RIP.

I don't know if the Teres project considered DD or not, great question. Eldartford suggested the same thing a little while ago. Controlling stylus drag is the goal of course. DD "should" do that very effectively, assuming other problems can be avoided. Since the Teres motor is claimed to be virtually noise and vibration free (as much as that's possible) it seems like an obvious candidate.

After testing many materials, mylar belts proved the best performers on Teres, Redpoint and Galibrier TT's. VHS tape was a close second. The advantage of mylar vs. rubber or neoprene is its dimensional stability. A non-elastic belt provides a direct torque linkage between motor and platter, instant resistance to that stylus drag Albert loves so much! If slippage can be avoided, a rigid link best emulates Psychicanimal's direct drive. Obviously this requires a motor that is vibration-free and speed-stable, so that dampening is not required. The Teres motor seems to fit the bill, and I expect the Redpoint/Galibrier motors do also.

You can check my thread "TT Drive Belt Comparison" for a description of the sonic benefits of mylar vs. the silk string Teres used to use. Also Agaffer's recent thread.

I've never observed any static buildup between my belt and platter. Perhaps because the Teres bearing is grounded? Perhaps because my wood platter is a poor conductor? Don't know if this is a problem for a Teres with an acrylic platter.

If you're still following this very hijacked thread, are you old enough for some of this? How can a nude stylus be in drag?
OK boys calm down! I asked for help buying a hi-end table and now find myself in need of an audiophile to English dictionary. Mylar vs. neoplastic? Stylus drag? I'm in the beginners class not the advanced one. Jyprez: I think your Teres comparison regarding my situation should be with their entry level model not the 365. Must say though my dialogue via email with Chris Brady has impressed me as to his character. Now if I could just find one in my area to listen to.
Jsonic, you'll get a good TT anyway you go in that price range. We just have certain ideas what is the best for that price. Yes, we are biased, because we own them, but we know them well, too. I wouldn't trade my Teres for anything else near the money I have in it.
Is the Teres finicky to set up?

Can you move it once set up?

Seems to me the Linn tables are no longer in vogue from a new purchase because they are so finicky to set up and keep in play without more adjustments. They, regardless of comments here are not lower octave players...major reason for this is the open bottom box that they are collects air borne vibrations and amplifies them. Muddies up all sound when driving lower registers.

Most of the latest designs are simplifying analog with a simple suspension premise, layering materials to further break up vibration and better materials/parts, same for arms.

There is a reason Oracle and Linn are no longer a force in the TT business, there are better technologies with simplified engineered solutions.

Level it and play it, enjoy the music.
Jsonic, dope slap accepted.

You're right about CB. He won't sell you more than you want, but he may deliver more than you expect. He's done that for me twice. Thus my loyalty.

I haven't heard any TT at the $1,500 price point. Nor have I seen one whose specs, design elements and user reactions better the Teres 135. Just my observations.

Totally agree with everything you said. A Teres is the very embodiment of "simpler is better". Model upgrades get you better materials but the design is a constant, except for that crazy model 340.

Setup is simple. It's not quick, but only because the bearing needs 12-24 hours to seat and must not be handled during that time. The instructions on their website actually helped convince me to buy.

A Teres is not portable. There's an oil bath at the top of the bearing well that would spill over if you tilted it. Set it up where it's going to live and leave it alone.

Except for armboard angle there is nothing to adjust.

In my system the limiting factor for bass response is the 32Hz rolloff of my speakers. My TT goes lower, stronger and cleaner than my CDP.
Lest this thread turn into a total Teres lovefest,my experiences with those devices would indicate that it just isn't going to be a stock answer for every listeners taste or musical value system.
I guess that I must be missing the point of the thing as I simply don't understand all the fuss and fawning.
A general comment from an engineer with long experience in the design and testing of precision servo loops..

If you want to maintain precise uniformity of mechanical motion (such as RPM of a turntable) in spite of variable drag and/or motor torque, there are at least two ways to approach it.

The old fashoned way would be to use a massive (heavy) turntable/flywheel. Variations of torque, either due to drag variability or motor torque fluctuation will be very slow to change the RPM, and since these torque fluctuations a very brief, the RPM change is very small.

The modern way would be to use a very lightweight turntable/flywheel driven by a powerful computer-controlled motor. The motor, under control of the computer, applies the torque that, with the old approach would have been generated by flywheel inertia. In fact, the computer could simulate a flywheel much heavier than any real turntable. This approach needs a lightweight table so that its inertia doesn't "get in the way" of what the computer and motor are trying to do.

I really don't know if anyone has found it worthwhile to design a turntable using the latest technology (the market is very small) but I would warn anyone with a direct drive turntable that adding turntable mass may degrade rather than improve speed stability.

Same goes for adding extra capacitors to a regulated power supply.
Eldartford: While I gladly will acknowledge your level of technical knowledge, I must ask you what relevance does your last post have to my original topic? I'm sure you have an opinion that could be useful in this matter.
Doug, Caterham, Sayas, Eldartford and Jsonic,
I would reiterate my willingness (and I think Doug's) to host a comparison of the alteratives (e.g. my lower cost Michell Gyro, vs, Doug's "ultimate in analog" Teres) (P.S. Doug if we arrange it at your place I'll provide the "refreshments") Send notice by private email if you have an interest and perhaps we can set something up.
Jsonic, you should be glad we've turned this discussion into a real, serious one looking at TT design parameters and constraints. If you search the archives you'll see it over and over--people just parroting away belt drive choices without any real technical considerations--especially in the lower price range, where *glass and particle board* TTs abound.

From this thread it is evident that there are two choices in your price range: Teres (belt drive) or the KAB modded Technics SL-1200MKII (quartz-locked direct drive). I chose the creature on steroids and am very glad I did. I am getting phenomenal performance on a real world budget--and will keep getting better as I do some more tweaks to the power delivery and have the tonearm rewired and new interconnects. I just love direct drives. They're for people who want to *play* records. Here's some input from the owner of Bear Labs, who owns a top of the line Denon DD:

You just discovered several of the the advantages of Direct Drive 'tables!

In order to make an informed choice you MUST listen to a high quality direct drive unit, be it a Technics, Denon, Micro Seiki, Goldmund, Rockport.
Jasonic...These threads do tend to evolve into discussions related to, but not directly answering the original question. Frankly, we often answer one of the prior posters, rather than the original thread author. In this case Dougdeacon's mention of me by name, referring to a prior discussion, caught my eye. Sorry to confuse the issue.

Regarding the particular units that you have under consideration I claim no expertese. To put it bluntly, I am very well served by my high tech but definitely non-approved by audiophiles Sony ps X800, and have, for some years invested money elsewhere in the system. I follow TT technology just for the interesting ideas involved: not with the idea of buying a new TT.
Ok, I guess if you can't beat 'em ,join 'em works for me too.
What are the differences /advantages of mm vs. mc cartridges and do certain tables require one type or the other? Do certain arms require a specific cartridge type?
I can see you read Bear's thread. Good for you. What I'm understanding since having the outboard power supply installed less than two weeks ago is that transients do require significant torque delivered instantly in the case of a quartz locked DD or through inertia on a good belt drive. My modded Stanton Groovemaster has the midrange of a $1,500 moving coil. How can it happen in a moving magnet design that is comparably 'heavy' to move vs moving coils? Part of the answer has to do with magnet alignment and part of the answer is that my platter CAN move the magnets no sweat. If the same arm and cartidge were placed in, say a Rega P9 or a Linn Sondek the results would be substandard.
Jsonic, you asked, so here goes. Long but hopefully pertinent post alert!

Most audiophiles prefer MC to MM. Unfortunately MC's are more expensive, sometimes hideously so, and there are many who either can't afford them or decide they're not worth it. Obviously that's a personal choice. FWIW, to my ears a good MC is decidedly superior to any MM.

Think of the cantilever of your cartridge as a horizontal teeter-totter:

moving stylus moving coil or magnet

The coil of a MC is lighter than the magnet of a MM. Lower inertia allows the stylus to trace rapid groove modulations more accurately. Your stylus is expected to reverse direction up to 20,000 times per second, accurately. A lightweight car will handle those twisty roads better than a heavy truck.

Psychicanimal is surely correct that his MM cartridge performs best on a manly TT that can haul modulated grooves forcefully past its higher moving mass. Nevertheless, he would get still better performance with a cartridge of lower moving mass. Cars handle better than trucks even if the truck "has a hemi"! :)

Besides cost, another downside of a MC is that its lower moving mass generates a lower level electrical signal. Most MM cartridges output 5.0mV. The output of MC cartridges varies, but the best ones rarely generate more than a tenth of that. MC's require more high-quality amplification from the rest of the system, and component matching becomes critical.

The cartridge/table match matters, as Psychicanimal noted, but cartridge/arm matching can be even more critical. The following will be controversial for some, though I also know many will agree.

Great handling cars have fairly stiff suspensions to maintain tire contact with the road. The best performing cartridges have fairly stiff suspensions too, for exactly the same reason. These low compliance cartridges need an arm that resists lateral deflection well. Otherwise big groove transients will let the cartridge wag the arm instead of generating maximum signal.
Here's more information. First, audio equipment is NOT an investment--that salesman is trying to grease you, Jsonic! Second, being aware of compromises, making educated choices and learning to live with them is a must. Let's use the example of the modded Groovemaster I use. Here's some info from KAB's website:

The unique 4 coil circuit performs a hum canceling operation and also aids in improving the channel separation. The low mass, incredibly short cantilever tracks demanding passages with ease.

Stanton's standard mount cartridges have the coil assembly mounted at right angles to the moving magnet. If we induce vertical and lateral vibration into the tonearm, this cartridge output shows a random phase pattern.
But with the inline design of the Groovemaster 2, vertical vibration induced into the tonearm produces a vertical signal, lateral vibration produces a lateral signal. This "phase alignment" tells me there is an advantage to the inline design. All things being equal, the GM2 delivers more realism and less distortion.

This is a nude cantilever design.
The cantilever is not protected in any way. You must decide that you can offer the respect that a nude stylus demands. They are easier to bump, hit and destroy. Keep all that in mind before you purchase it.

So, with my direct drive unit I am driving a moving magnet design wich, albeit heavier than a moving coil, it is really responsive, having a short cantilever whith less flexing. The fact that it is an integrated headshell design lowers the mass and improves trackability (this "DJ cartridge" has some serious bass). Now comes the real hard part. How much signal degradation I'm subjecting myself by going to a lower level signal? There's going to be more succeptibility to electrical line noise plus degradation of the signal as it travels from the cartridge leads to the phono preamp. Manipulation lower signals is also more challenging and the potential for increasing distortion increases. Not easy choices at all.

In my case I was using an Ortofon X5 high output moving coil (2.5 mV) at the time Kevin sent me a Beta release of the modded Groovemaster to try out. My Ortofon X5 is one of the *classics*, models that have been around for 20+ years. After the Groovemaster broke in I reallized it was better sounding than the Ortofon. It has the midrange of a $1,500 moving coil and so far is not the weak link in my analog setup. Last night I installed five Marigo green discs on the tonearm assembly and one under the Groovemaster and the improvement in clarity and dynamics was *really* good. One of my guys who modded his 1200 had told me to work on vibration control at the gimbal and the improvements would be substantial. I placed one of the discs at the top bearing housing, and three around the base of the gimbal. Things just keep getting better and better. I'm getting sound that reminds me of a friend's Monster Alpha cartridge...
I agree that the best pickup I ever had was MC, but for practical reasons I now use a Shure V15MR, and it ain't bad at all. Two points with reference to prior comments.

1. I don't think that trackability explains MC superiority. No cartridge beats the V15MR on this score, and it is a MM design. I think that Shure invented the term "trackability" and put out the test record that is commonly used.

2. Although a MC pickup usually puts out a lower voltage signal its impedance is also low, so noise pickup is not the problem that one might suppose.

Finally, I don't see where anyone has yet mentioned the issue of the user-replaceable stylus. This is a big plus for MM units.

IMHO, a MC is like one of those women that you really want to date a few times, but is hard (and expensive) to be married to.
Teres must be compared to tables costing at least 50% more. There is no distributer no dealer or arrogant periodicals to support. The value of a Teres is realized by sound design, quality materials and tank like construction. Most important a very musical instument to enjoy. When Teres is compared in its price range the other tables offer half of what you get in a Teres the other half of the price is not realized by the consumer. I do not work for Teres. Just my views.
How tough is it to set up a tere? This includes arm and cartridge. I have no skills in any of these areas.
Ummm... That's Teres.
I have a Teres 265 that I set up by myself. Before that I had only owned a $100 Denon record player and the Clearaudio Champion, which my dealer set up.
The Teres was very easy to put together. From a beginners standpoint, know what arm you are going to use and see if Chris Brady wont drill the holes for you. I felt very uneasy about doing it myself and would have paid an expert to have done it for me if I could have.
For setting up the cartridge go to the website for Wally Malewicz, that is "". Click on Wallys Analog corner and download all of his instructions. Then call him up. He will let you know what minimum tools you need and will walk you through the cartridge set up, step by step. He is truely one of the Audio Goodguys.
Agree with Agaffer. The Teres was my first serious TT, and was easy to set up. Not many steps, just follow the instructions.

Also agree that you should decide which arm you're going to use before ordering the TT (any TT). In the case of Teres, Chris will pre-drill the armboard to suit. Most other serious manufacturers would do the same.
Thanks for the tips Agaffer. I just downloaded & printed all of Wally's stuff.