H/K - Rabco ST-8


Had one if these in mid 80s until about 2003. Tbh it sat after about 1990 unusec eventually banished to a damp basement. I did a quick refurb and sold it on eBay for $399 or so with a mid level, old Grado cartridge. I will never go back to vinyl (sound was fine but DO high maintenance and tonearm balancing, fragility, wtc. I was DO glad to switch to CDs and now streaming. 

However that black ST-8 was just about the most beautiful, coolest, piece of industrial design I have ever seen to this day. Even those recessed lights were one-of-a-kind. But was it any good? How would it sound now, all refurbed with a good cartridge? Why didn't linear tracking persist?
jkf011
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It was fiddly as hell but it blew away everything I heard at the price point at the time and again, just gorgeous.   
I have an ST-7 in the closet with a DynaVector Ruby in it.  Still worked at last attempt some years back.
A Ruby in the closet :-) dust em off !!!!

Why?  I sold all my LPs years ago.
Right. Going back to LPs and TTs baflles me too. Was SUCH A PIA. 
But, gang, what about the sound? Why did they go the way of the do-do? Why are Technics heavy tonearms still being used? 
Right. Going back to LPs and TTs baflles me too. Was SUCH A PIA.
I feel the same way about all physical media.
Going back to LPs and TTs baflles me too. Was SUCH A PIA.
To some, that's the fun and enjoyment...
Linear tracking TTs never sold in sufficient numbers to justify the manufacturing costs.
Why were they more expensive to make? The tracking guide assembly across the TT? And perhaps the light tonearms? No one makes one any more? 
Have both a ST 7 and ST 8 and both working-rebuilt by me.  The ST 7 was problematic since the drive wheel on the arm drive shaft had a gum rubber wheel which disintegrated probably withing ten years.  I replaced mine with a neoprene rubber VCR wheel made a few adjustments and never had another problem in twenty years. They are a little touchy with the automatic pick-up and shut off.  The ST 8 is superior machine with a carbon fiber arm drive wheel and and extra belt to propel the arm.  I use this one as my daily driver and use it to transfer my vinyl to CD with a Shure M3D cart at 3 gms (for mono LP's and early stereo).  I have lots of TT's including Thorens 124's, multiple Empires, Gray's and Rek-O Kuts but I like the HK ST 8 the best since there is virtually no tracking error.  They were probably the best linear machines made-better that the B&O and as good as the Rabco and Revox.