Idler drive REK O KUT thoughts...
I Just completed setup of an older CVS-12 (original from 1950s, NOT the new DD model with same model #.) Mounted in solid 30 lb block of mass-loaded plywood. Linn Basik arm, Grado black, didn't know what to expect. Has the square "general industries" motor, nothing fancy. Really impressive sound-- maybe on par with my modded Thorens TD166/Grace/Grado, only very different sounding.
Very "clean", coherent sound, direct, powerful. Large classical orchestra (Liszt/Masur orchestral works EMI box sets) was stunning! My struggling Thorens could not even make sense of these records. Not sure why-- the Thorens really shines on smaller scale recordings, quartets, etc, and some mono orchestra, but large scale stereo works get confused and rough sounding. Maybe the microvibrations of heavily modulated grooves mess with the suspension.
After a few hours of listening, I could easily live with the Rek combo. Sure, some slam, zing and upper-mid energy is MIA, and the bass is not quite as deep as the TD166, but the presentation is equally valid. Perhaps a tad more polite and well behaved--not necessarily a bad thing however.
Amazing how two completely different designs can sound so different yet both work astonishingly well.
Anyone know if upgrading to the Papst hysterisis or round Ashland motors would improve things further? The GI motor has some ambient noise but not too bad when mass-loaded.