Jelco TK-850L review


Just received the new Jelco TK850L.
It is a drop in replacement for the previous model 750L. It retails for around $1100 from a few online retailers. However I got it from GEM Dandy's George Merrill who retails it for $895. I used the headshell from the 750. It looks like it’s the same one. I am running a Decca Super Gold with Paratrace stylus on an Audiograil early model 401 with an Audiosilente idler (just buy it) in a slate and maple plinth. Initial impression is that it is a solid improvement on the 750. Listening to Buddy Tate and Walt Davenport in Nice, France 1974. An improvement in soundstaging is immediately obvious as is speed of attack, or rise-time. Depth and width are improved. The music is more colorful. Trombone sounds more golden than I recall while the guy playing tuba sounds like he is huffing and puffing into the instrument. An added realism. Rim shots are faster and snares portray more insight into the rattles -the metal has color and feel...a mechanical quality. Percussion is much improved. Surface noise seems reduced, supressed even. Now playing Jay McShann and Janis Siegel, Ain’t Misbehavin’. Wonderful vocals and very dynamic with jump out of the stage piano fortissimo that I have never heard before. Highs better with oodles of detail but no harshness. More black space between notes... all of that.
I could go on about the minutiae but I’ll stop. This thing makes music like I’ve never heard. It is a taste of the high end which is lacking in the 750. More anon.


noromance
noromance, since your already dealing with Brian talk to him about a rewire he's an real honest and good guy, if undecided on rewire you could try replacing tag wires, but what a pain breaking in wire all over again. I don't use it much anymore but I have a 750 with Expressimo weight and rewire it did improve the arm.

@noromance I rewired a lot my arms (mostly SME & VPI) arms myself. I used wire all the arms for VPI in the past. If you are interested in a warmer sound, I might have a wire good for it.
Guys, not interested in a warmer sound. The more air and transparency the better!
Just ordered the new 10" TK 850M
Thanks jtsnead, I was about to ask if anyone knew if Jelco would be adding a 10" version of the new arm.

Please report after you have it installed.

BTW, people talk about "break in" with a tone arm.  I guess it could be the wire, but what else would change?