Heavy Kit / Power Supply upgrade for Nottingham?

I have been so happy with my new Nottingham Spacedeck that I am contemplating the Heavy Kit and Power Supply upgrade. If I had known how well the Nottingham would work in my system I would have bought the Hyperspace. (had no way to audition Nottingham TTs so bought it based on what I had read) The upgrades are a bit pricey but after 3 months with the Spacedeck, I don't think I will be putting any more money in digital for some time. The Spacedeck is way more fun than my old ARC transport / DAC 1 which I let go.

My system is comprised of the following components which were purchased used over the last few years, except for the Nottingham:

ARC PH2 phonostage
ARC Ref 1 Preamp
Soundlab Dynastat Speakers
2 Golden Tube Audio SE-40s vertically bi-amped.

I am torn between upgrading the GTA amplifiers to Rogue M-120 monoblocks or doing the turntable upgrade. My listening room is small and don't really feel the need for more power but I think I need balanced in amps to take full advantage of the ARC Ref 1.

So do I do the turntable upgrade first or the amp upgrade? I can audition the Rogue monoblocks in my system but not the Spacedeck upgrades. The Spacedeck upgrade would be a leap of faith. (but then so was the Spacedeck purchase) Any ideas?

I'd first go for the psu upgrade and then take some time researching your amplifier decision.
Bypass the "heavy kit" entirely.It changes the character of the deck from rhythmic to sonambulent.For hifi squids only.
I'd look into amps- all tube or hybrid with a bit more power, small room notwithstanding. I, too, have Dynastats and they do like a bit of power as one might expect with electrostats. Currently have an upgraded Counterpoint SA-220 (along with an all-tube Audible Illusions pre)which seems to work very well. On the off-chance that you happen to be in the San Antonio area, you'd be be welcome to drop in.

Hey, Ken Caterham is alive! Hmmm, I'm going for a power supply upgrade for my TT next month, GW. I would look at Ridgestreetaudio's system before you think of changing amps. He's got a pair of heavily modified SE-40's and made his own TT. Robert makes great cables and also modifies gear. You might want to talk to him about modding your power amps:


What is a hifi squid?
An Audio Asylum inmate recommended the Mystic Mat for Nottingham TT's. His dealer, Definitive Audio, had them made and sold them for ~$150 at that time. Somewhat similar to the heavy Kit platter in that it's carbon/graphite but much thinner/less expensive. Now that the Mystic is imported to the US, it's $300.
If you're mainly considering a high performance platter mat, take a look at the Boston Design's Mat 1.
My experience to date on several other decks has been very positive.I suspect it would be an excellent adjunct to a Spacedeck.
Unlike other mats I've tried,it doesn't alter the spectral balance nor destroy pace and flow, upping fine resolution and detail but without hifi artifice.msrp US$195.

4yanx and I exchanged some e-mails about the Mystic Mat, hoping we could somehow still get one direct at a cheaper price (NO!). He went with the Boston mat, so maybe he'll be able to comment on its performance with the Spacedeck.
I have the Mat-1 on a Spacedeck and I love it. I also tried it on my buddy's Interspace with the same results. Improves dynamics and focus and just makes the whole presentation more involving.

Vannorm, since you've already got the Spacedeck as the base for your LP playback, those upgrades (mat and ps) will make significant improvements to the sound quality of your LP playback, provided the rest of your system is up to the task. Although the Dynastat is a hybrid design requiring min 50w, almost all panel spks benefit from higher power. I feel that the amp upgrade is therefore the path to choose.

I've no idea how much the Nottingham upgrade cost, but adding a mat upgrade won't break the bank and will certainly reduce unwanted resonances. My experience with the Mystic Mat was tantamount to a complete upgrade of the platter. YMMV.

4yanx, can you comment on how the Mat 1 compares with the Mystic Mat?

As it happens, given events of the past three days, I can address your request, Ken.

I will qualify all of my comments because I believe that the effect of any of these additions will be dependent on your specific setup (table/arm/cartridge). I speak from the experience of using these with Spacedeck/OL Illustrious/Shelter MkII.

First, I have had occasion to hear the Spacedeck with and without the "Heavyweight". My analogy is that the Spacedeck, in original configuration, is like Ali while, with the "Heavyweight", it is like Liston. Hopefully, ya'll are old enough to appreciate the comparison. Fer dem dat ain't, I found the "HW" stunted the quick, fluid, and rich sound to which I had become accustomed with the original platter, etc. IMHO, a waste of good money that one could spend much more effectively elsewhere.

I bought a Mat1 after reading carefully the website and being impressed with the detail and "philosophy" there provided. I was less than impressed with the "fit and finish" of the mat I received, particularly in light of the website's emphasis on tolerances and quality control. Mine had some grooving (a bit strong to call it gouging) on the underside. The upper side showed clear signs of overlapping finish coat application. As a former apprentice to my master craftsman grandfather, I am more than picky in that regard. But, it would not have left his shop without being classified as a second with an appropriate price reduction. I have heard from others that they have, in fact, obtained "seconds" of these mats for a substantial discount. I paid full price. Unless I received a second by mistake, I'd not wish to view other seconds. I am in contact with the "maker" but have as yet failed to achieve resolution.

To be fair, the PERFORMANCE of the Mat1 belies its appearance. It obliterates the original foam mat and easily bests the Ringmat I had laying around. I realized a better level of detail AND dynamics but I did not lose "PRAT" (everyone's definition is different) like I did with the Ringmat.

Three days ago a friend who owes me a favor brought over the Mystic Mat he purchased. I refused to pay the dough for the Mystic Mat for a variety of reasons that I will not detail. In comparison, I like the Mystic Mat better than the Mat1. The Mystic Mat provided an improvement that is hard for me to describe. For one, I found that it smoothed out the ever so slight sharpness of attack that I have heard with some other mats (and, yes, I allowed for VTA changes). The sound when using the Mystic was rather suspended in air, for lack of a better term, Kinda like when you hear something through a very good tube system, as opposed to a so-so tube system. If they weren't so damn expensive and I could overcome my personal issues with the distributor, I'd probably buy one. Oh yeah, the MM is designed to be used with a record clamp. It comes with the Michell basic clamp. There is a further improvement on the butt end of things when using the clamp, much to my amazement.

Anyway, I've blathered on too long and said little. Try different mats and keep the one that sounds best in your rig.


I would be interested in the outcome of your research as I was considering buying the Spacedeck, which I already heard and was very impressed by, with the heavy upgrades in place.

What happened?

Well since this thread has been resurrected, I am going to ask another question concerning the add-on power supply.

Has anyone had a chance to compare the NA Wave Mechanic PSU vs. the Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller.

Is the Walker worth the few hundred dollars more?
First, let me say upfront that am partial to the Spacedeck, having owned two different ones. Further, it is my opinion after having compared the two, that the original Spacedeck with the original platter is superior to the newer version with the thicker platter. I find that the original is much more lively and spacious (testing both with the same arm and cartridge).

With respect to the units mentioned. I have not tried the Walker with the Spacedeck, though the Walker is a very fine unit and I have heard it used with great success on other tables. I have, however, tried the NA and SDS units with my Spacedeck and with my friend's Spacedeck with thicker platter. Neither of us could tell ANY audible difference when used with my table. The NA unit DID improve the timing and "space" (if you'll excuse the term) on his thicker platter. The SDS was so-so in our estimation. In either case, the original Spacedeck bested the thicker platter version (even with the control). Whether the Walker would improve things further, I cannot answer.

Were it me, and I was buying a Spacedeck, I'd opt for the original and eschew the expense of a controller in favor of upgrading something else or buying a hundred or so LP's.
Dear Vannorm: What are you looking for ? what do you think
yours system needs ?. If you want a better quality music/analog reproduction, then you have to re-start at the begining: tonearm/cartridge combo ( I don't know what is yours ), if you don't have a top quality combo here it's the place to do a change for an improvement in the quality sound ( you can improve the reproduction in some other audio system areas: amp, preamp, speakers, room, etc..., but the original signal in the recording you can only improve through a better tonearm/cartridge combo, anything you do with the signal after this combo step reproduction only can degraded the signal ).
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Thanks for your thoughts 4yanx on the power supplies.

I actually recently ordered the Mystic Mat with Michell record clamp so will be able to report in the near future on my experience with it, as well.

I am currently using an original Spacedeck with the Hadcock 242SE tonearm. Adding the Mystic Mat will be one of my four eventual planned upgrades, the others are 1)adding the Walker PMC (6moons review has my interest perked), 2) adding either a Nueance shelf or a maple butcher block underneath the Spacedeck or maybe even both, 3)getting the Music Maker MM cartridge
As an owner of a Hyperspace you should try a bottle of Tom Fletcher's new oil. At $100 a pop it's a little pricey; but it will make a difference and is a lot cheaper than a heavy kit. I'm using the Hyperspace without a mat. I have Bob Benn's Insider weight to help control resonances in the vinyl and should have his Outsider ring weight by next week to try also. I'll post a report on its performance if anyone is interested.
John, please tell us about the new oil. The oil I have is red/orange in color and smells like a refinery from at least 20 paces? Same stuff or different?

I shouldperhaps mention, FWIW, that I have changed my mind with respect to the mats and wholly prefer the Mat1 to the Mystic Mat on the Spacedeck original after extended listening.
Yeah I knew you had changed your initial thoughts on the Mat 1 vs Mystic Mat, but based upon your preious positive report, my local dealer's enthusiastic listening reports, many other succesful reports on the web, plus the fact that I believe the Mystic was made with the Notts in mind I decided to go for it even though it costs $100 more but hey I am getting the $50 record clamp included. Anyways, it seems that they both work in a positive fashion, so to me it seemed a coin flip.

P.S. Don't tell anyone but I also like the darker color of the Mystic mat, as I imagine it blends in with the rest of the table better.
John Tracy,

I also have a Hyperspace. I am very curious about the new oil & the Bob Benn record clamp & outer ring. How do I go about ordering one? I have some bowl warped records that need an outer ring. Also what cartridge / tonearm are you using. I can be looked up by my system. I would love to know what changes you have made & your impressions. Have you compared your Hyperspace to any other top turntables?
Considering my upgrade path... is the hyperspace worth the extra money? anyone gone from the Space to the Hyper? Not to derail...