I just ran across the two year old personal speaker evolution and personal amp evolution threads. I am amazed that so far nobody has ever posted the question with respect to turntables/cartridge combinations.
Same deal as the other threads. I will start with my short odyssey through the worl of turntables:
1993 Linn Basik/Akito/K9 1998 Rega Planar 3/RB300/Elys 2000 Rega Planar 3/RB300/Denon DL103 2004 Michell Tecnodec/RB600/Ortofon Kontrapunkt A and Denon DL103R
1967 Magnavox suitcase record player/ceramic cart (yum!) 1972 Dual 1218/Shure something or other 1975 Dual 1229/same model Shure (1218 stolen from dorm) 1977 Rabco ST-4/linear mistracking arm/ADC XLM 1978 HK Rabco ST-8/ADC XLM MkII (still works fine!) 1984 upgraded stylus to MkIII 1986 captured by tiny aliens flying little silver discs, returned safely to Earth after 17 yrs of aural torture 2003 Teres 265/OL Silver/HIFI Mod/Shelter 901 2004 upgraded arm to Tri-Planar VII
started listening/collecting vinyl seriously in the late 70's, but i'll be damned if i can remember what the heck i played them on(although i remember not having any interest in audiophile..probably a cheapo rack system). and in the mid 80's for various dumb reasons, sold a very nice collection. anyhow, came back to vinyl in 2002:
2002 pro-ject 1.2/shure m97 c 2003 music hall mmf-7/goldring eroica/benz glider l2 2003-present vpi scout/jmw-9/benz glider l2 originally, recently upgraded to benz ref2 silver
1978 - Technics SL-B20 later upgraded with Ortofon VMS20E 1980 - ADC 1600 DD deck with alloy "Black Widow" like arm and ADC QLM 36 1981 - Thorens TD160/Hadcock GH228 - Decca London Maroon + Ortofon MC10 MC cart - sold ADC deck 1982 - upgraded cart to London Decca Gold (Garrott Brothers rebuild) 1983 - Bought my first Thorens TD124/II in SME plinth with SME 3009 - sold SME, bolted on Hadcock. Sold TD160 1984 - Second deck - Logic DM101 with Audio Technica (Signet) AT1100 and Micro-Seiki LC80W MC cart 1985 - Added another deck! - this time a Thorens TD125/II with Grace 707 1990 - Bought second TD124/II. this time with Rega RB300 - ran Dynavector DV23R Ruby Ran for 10 years with TD124, Logic DM101, TD125 2002 - Bought my final deck (???) - Platine Verdier with Schroeder Model 2 and Allaerts MC1B - sold the Logic , TD124 and TD125 (by the way lost one TD124 in a house moveback in the 1990s!!)
Still got my Hadcock arm, two London Decca Carts as well as broken MC10, DV23R and LC80W (kids. don't you know?)
Now just spinning LPs with a glass (or bottle) of wine. Think I've now had enough.
I've rarely had fewer than 2 turntables (currently 4) at any given time, so there's a great deal of overlap and much of the timetable is lost in the mists of five decades, but here goes:
* Silvertone 78 player with steel needles and thorns (circa l945) * Magnavox floor-stander from record store a friend and I owned in college (late 40s) * Collaro changer * Presto transcription turntable with Rek-O-Kut arm * Scott 710 (worm-drive!) with Grado wooden arm * Kenwood KD 500 with Infinity Black Widow * Dual 1229 * One of the first Sota Sapphires with MMT arm * Thorens TD 160 (can't remember the arm) * Dual 608 (still own) * Well Tempered Record Player * TNT Mark 1 or 2 with JMW l0.5 arm (still own) * Empire 398 (recent purchase, still own) * Lenco L78, replinthed, with SME IIIs arm (still own)
I probably missed a few, but that's most of them.I remember a Mayware Formula 4 arm on SOMETHING.
Carts: at least 25 over the years. The current cache includes Shure V15VxMR and Shure M97, Dyna 10x5, various Grados, Stanton 881S, ADC XLM, and a tired AT OC-9.
Right around 1978 I bought a Phillips GA 312 (the one with red touch controls). It gave up 4 months ago and I bought a Linn Sondek LP12. I expect another 15-20 years from it, by that time I'll be close to 70 and maybe a Gramaphone will be in order.
Great thread! I started with a Thorens TD125(?) back in the 70's, using a Shure arm and cartridge. I bought a Linn LP12 with Basik arm in the late 70's and have been using that ever since. I forget which cartridge I used originally, but I got a Denon 103 real soon after I got the LP12. I stuck with that (getting the tip replaced a few times) until a few years ago, when I tried a Benz Micro Gold. Last year, I changed the motor to an Origin Live DC motor.
Late '60s-'70s, McDonald/BSR auto-changer. Loved it, innocent non-audiophile simply looking forward to new releases!
Late '70-'80s, university student with Akai belt-drive, Accutex cartridges. Loved it, looked forward to new releases!
CD comes out, I hear my first one (a Yamaha) and hate the sound (cold, hard, unnatural). I make a bet with the Yamaha-owner that for the same money I can build a vinyl-based system which will cream his. I eventually buy a Rega Planar 3, Musical Fidelity A1 amp, and Rega Camber speakers. Am astonished at the increased information hiding in my vinyl, Yamaha owner sells his CD-player and buys Revolver/Sumiko MMT/Grado system....He still does not own a CD player, even though I now do. I eventually upgrade the cartridge to a Fidelity Research MC. Buy my first crap audiophile album. Innocence is over.
Late '80s, I buy a Maplenoll air-bearing turntable, with various upgrades and in various iterations over the years. A very lively, slamming 'table. Buy a Decca Super Gold, various high-end Grados, a Kiseki Blue Silverspot (which I still own), and a Kiseki Purpleheart Sapphire (I stupidly sold).
1990, tired of clamps, troughs and pumps, I buy an Audiomeca turntable, to which I mount a re-wired Rega RB300 tonearm. Beautiful, musical sound, again with tremendous verve.
1992, trip over an idler-wheel drive at a fleamarket in Helsinki, strip it down, hook it up, and am astonished at what I hear. Never even heard of "idler-wheel drive" before. End up with a reconstructed Lenco in new plinth with Rega arm. Never looked back. Cartridges include Grado Platinum, Shure V15VxMR, Audio Technica OC9, Kiseki Blue, Ortofon M15E Super. Large collection of other 'tables and tonearms as well. Keep the Maplenoll for historical/coolness factor to astonish friends (party trick).
I knew I forgot a couple. Before buying the TNT (used), I had a wonderful VPI HW-19, Mk III with an excellent ET-2 arm. The later TNT also came with an ET-2, but this one was a disaster (traced, too late, to a faulty pump and surge tank).
And earlier, sometime in the 60s, I bought my first Empire 298, which I missed so much after selling it that I just acquired another one.
Well, I guess I missed a table or two in there. From 1973-1976 I owned a Garrard table which had a ceramic cartridge. It was an idler wheel job that also had a built in tube amp. My Dad gave me this and I truely enjoyed listening to 45's. I cut my rock and roll teeth on this unit when I bought my first Lps, Pink Floyd, "Dark Side" and Zep 1 and listen to them until I wore a groove through them.
I think shortly after that, when it bit the dust in a house fire, I got a Zenith "solid state", circa 1972. It was built like a tank, used a cermanic cartridge but did not have the same sound as the Garrard, which was fun and easy to listen to.
My dad saved the day when for x-mas he bought me the Pioneer belt drive listed above!
well, in 1970, i had this electrophonic combo unit. it looked good with its wood cabinet. but i knew there was more, i had a neighbor with ar3s and dyna tubes and a garrard tt and had seen other stuff in the barracks in guam.
pacific stereo, here i come.
dual 1215/shure m91e (plus a sony 40wpc rcvr, dynaco a25s).
rabco st4/adc XLM!! then a second arm wand and a grado F1+, a great tracker and vg cart, wish they were still available as i do the XLM. then i got another complete arm so i could swap carts in a flash (which is why i just got the sota sapphire/mmt and keep the phase linear tt).
technics SL120/grace 707/XLM.
kenwood kd500/707/XLM,grado fte+1 (epuiv of todays black, you should have seen the orbital grado dance in the 707! wish i had videotaped it. cured with a 1 gram blob of black modeling clay on top of the headshell)
pioneer PLL1000a (exactly the same as phase linear 8000a)
vpi hw19III/sme IV/sumiko virtuoso dti vdh (for sale in LA area only)
numerous carts-XLM (retired), F1+ (sold), atML170/150, krell mc, ortofon mc200, atOC9, shure v15Vxmr, stanton 881s, original sumiko blue point (actually a pmount in a crappy styrene adaptor) with aluminum block mount, and a grace f9e.
1970s Original LP12, Grace 707 with a Dyna 10x4 Stopped for years...then read in Stereophile that no system is complete without the analog experience, so jumped back in again.
1987 VPI HW19 Jr, AT PT9 with a Dyna 10x4. Somehow wasn't quite satisfied with this setup, so traded up to 1989 Kuzma Stabi, Stogi Ref with a Dyna Te Kaitora. 2003 Got the Herron VTPH-1mc phono stage - a real gem. 2004 Got the Living Voice Mystic Mat and the Schroeder Model 2 tonearm - another gem.
1977-1979 Plastic all-in-one changer with speaker (RCA?) 1979-1984 Bic changer with ceramic cart 1985-1999 Thorens TD-145 with standard arm and Stanton 681 EEE, later replaced with Grado Silver and then Gold; arm later replaced with Origin Live/Rega RB-250; then cart changed to Benz L2 2000-2003 Acoustic Solid One with 3 arms: the aforementioned Rega, the Graham 2.2 with Shelter 901, and the Ortofon RS-212 with SPU GM Classic 2004 Been using a Thorens TD-125 Mk II with the Ortofon arm/combo noted above and preferring it to the much more expensive Acoustic Solid, who knows
6. regression to Basik LVX (sold Ittok to help buy Ekos, but got laid off work the next day; got good deal on used LVX)
7. upgraded to LP12 Cirkus/Ittok LVIII (though I bought this package with the basik power supply and intended to later add the Lingo, the Cirkus upgrade alone proved so satisfying that I just haven't felt the need; no further changes since 1993)
With the exception of a brief flirtation with a Linn Asaka, I've stuck with reasonably-priced moving magnet or moving iron models (various AT's, Shures, Pickerings, Stantons, ADC's, Goldrings, Grados, all the K series Linns, etc.). My ears have tended to prefer the balance of strengths offered by the Pickering/Stanton fold, but Grado also has some very appealing qualities.
My experience has been that Linn's hierarchy of 'table, arm, then cartridge is correct, and that satisfying sound can be had even from quite inexpensive cartridges when mounted on a quality 'table and arm. I'm satisfied with what I've got, but should the upgrade bug hit, I think I would get a better return on my investment by moving to a Lingo power supply than throwing money into expensive annual re-tipping fees.
brianhutch late 70,s rega 2 with grace707 and 30 doller grado no idea of musical appreciation at all, so slowly through the grado line up to tlz. a happy if innocent period in my hi fi development. one of the very first oracle turntables delphi style with uni pivot hadcock and supex 900 rare periods of sublime bliss and much angst and tuning lessons and parts swapping and the start of the red wine appreciation stage of my hi fi development. in a rare lucid moment traded back to rega3 system with a koetsu black,listened to lots of music but deep down missed the best moments of the canadian beast from hell. enter the linn phase,lp12 basic with alphason hrs 100mcs starting with the black.bouncy bounce thru every linn mod authorised or not and cumulating in full blown lp12 lingo ekos arkivb ten years later,not a terrible era with fantastic highs and lots of ho hum better start tweaking moments ivor was everything from genius to huckster depending on the mood or the wine[inter related often at this time] in a moments inspiration caused by intense depression and a strong desire for stability bought a nottingham dias with 12"anna had the ancient black rebuilt by the cartridge man on a rix rax wall stand, by far the best sound ever in my house and not a drift of any kind in the last year,listening to lots of music no desire to tweak thinking about benzlp12 but no turntable mods, tom did send some new oil, it was an improvement but no mod feeding frenzy followed, life is bliss,on the turntable front anyway.
That already pretty good turntable history so far. I certainly enjoyed the thread so far. Compared to most of you I really am a newbee to analog.
I guess I could add my dad's Dual automatic turntable to the list: I still remember listening to the Freischuetz opera bei Weber on that table. I guess that must have been somewhen around 1980 (at age 6).That Dual is still lying around and hasn't been used for I don't know how many years.
Curious what the future has for me as next turntable: Maybe something that starts with a T...
BIC 980 (model #?)/Shure V15-type III new AR table/arm Mapenoll table/arm (living hell) Well tempered record player/Genesis 2000 VPI HW-19 IV/Graham 1.5t/Lyra Lydian, then Lyra Helikon Basis Debut V (vacuum clamp)/Vector arm/Lyra Titan
It hasnt been so much an evolution for me. I just buy whatever strikes me at the time, and sometimes that means taking a step backwards. Wish I put the money into mutual funds instead (or at least an LP12), but here goes
1970s Fisher Price close n play, Emerson all-in-one changer/AM/FM radio 1980s BSR changer with ceramic cart, Dual CS-505 with Empire cart 1990s Denon DP-47F (people said direct drive sucks, so I sold it for nothing a few years later), Linn Axis/Basik 2000s Luxman PD284, Thorens TD115, Music Hall MMF-2.1, Rega P2 and too many cartridges to mention (Rega Elys, AT OC7 and 440ML, Denon DL-160, Benz Micro MC20E2, Shure V15 Type RS and M97xE, Ortofon OM10 and X1-MC, many Grados, the list goes on) 2004 Just ordered a Technics SL-1200Mk2 because I finally figured out that direct drive doesnt suck if done right. HOPEFULLY this 30-lb. beast will serve as atonement for selling my Denon, and also last me for many years.
Dual 1019, 1219 Pioneer PL50 Sony psx55 Thorens TD160 Super/Grace 707 Mk II (chrome) (ex got it) Rega Planar 2, early model with Lustre arm Harmon Kardon T60 Systemdek IIx Audio Note TT1/ARM2/Dynavector DV20XH
Wish List: Teres 150 (or better) or a Scheu Premier II with Morch DP6 or SME 309 or something along those lines. Like the aesthetics of the Scheu better than the Teres. Like the Teres due to the great owner support and Chris Brady is always there for his customers. Never heard of an unhappy Teres or Scheu owner. The Teres is a better value if it must be resold, too, I think.
1986: AR ES-1 with MMT Cartridge: Grado Signature 8M
1986: TEAC TN-400 Magnefloat with Grace G840-F Cartridge: Grado Signature 8M
1987: Maplenoll Athena Cartridge: Grado Signature 8M, Sumiko Blue Point (yeccch!), Grado TLZ
1994 Thorens TD124 with SME 3009 S2/imp Cartridge: Stanton CS-100
2002 Teres (original basic kit) with rosewood plinth, still under construction
2004 Technics SP10mkII in birch ply plinth with JMW-10 Cartridge: Shelter 501/II
At this time, I still have the TEAC, Maplenoll, TD124, Teres and SP10mkII tables. The only arms remaining are the SME, the one built into the Maplenoll, and a Grado Signature (the metal one from the '80's) that hasn't been mounted to a turntable yet. The Shelter cartridge was defective so I returned it, and sold the JMW arm. I have ordered a Music Maker III cartridge, which I plan to try on both the SME and Grado arms. I'll probably eventually pick up a Hadcock 242, which is supposed to be especially good with the Music Maker.
Anymore, the turntables just seem to accumulate, rather than old ones leaving to make room for new ones!
I began with a hand-me-down 70s vintage Dual 1248 table and a Micro Acoustics MA2002e cartridge, given to me by my dad when I was in the eighth grade ('95). That kept me at bay until I graduated college in May '03 and I purchased a Pro-ject RPM4 with the Grado Platinum high output MI cartridge. A little over a year later I replaced that with the VPI Scout / Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood setup which I'll keep to perpetuity.
Yes, I think so -- it was a bronzey colored, supposedly rare tonearm by Grado, manufactured in the early 80's?
It was very nicely constructed, had an S shaped wand and was relatively high mass as I recall.
It was hyped and sold to me by my audio mentor and I took his possibly biased advice primarily based on my respect and enthusiasm for the Grado signature cartridges.
Perhaps I would have liked the tonearm more on a different turntable, but I always worried that it was too heavy for the floating suspension of the LP12 and in summary, that Linn set up was the most tedious, least sexy, least enjoyable turntable I ever had.
Dual Technics Systemdek Transciption/Mission 774/Empire Mc1000 (vdh)* (Various come and go) Scheu Premier II*/Morch UP4/Allaerts MC1B 3 Old Thorens* Shroeder 2 then DPS* SME 20A/SME 5 Garrard 301/Hadcock 242 SE/Music Maker 2 &3* Various brief appearences, not least arms and carts (ET2, Audiomeca, Clearaudio Accurate, Koetsu Urushi) Allaerts MC1B Mk2 and finally the incredible MC2 Finish* Cartridge Man Conductor Airbearing* Garrard 401 (still setting up)
Ammendment to my post of 8/14/04: From the Scoutmaster/JMW 9/Dyna 17D MKII to: Scoutmaster/JMW 9 Signature/Shelter 501 MKII to: Walker Audio Proscenium Gold Signature/Micromagic Magic Diamond.... End of the turntable line for me :)
Yes CW that was the same arm I have. I am having a bit of trouble getting the arm to lower enough so that it is level at the headshell. Rushton and slip, my friend has the Walker....very nice! I was lucky enough to be able to help him get Loyds new phono board for $4000 off list.
As a teenager in the '70s (don't you love "That '70s Show"?) I had a nice Pioneer I received as a gift from a family friend. 1985 The AR turntable with Shure VR15 cartridge 1989 Sota Saphire, Alphason Xenon, AT OC9 cartridge 2003 Micro Seiki RX-1500, SME 3012R, Shelter 901 2006 Micro Seiki SX-8000, SME 3012R, Ortofon SPU 85th Anniversary cartridge
I also discovered a neglected Garrard 301 in my parents closet last year. I brought it home to renovate it (someday).
2003- Dual 12something... 2005- Music Hall MMF-5 2006- VPI Scout maybe...
The Dual was a great starter to vinyl, as is the MMF-5, though I have to admit, the benefits of the MMF-5 over the Dual aren't immediately noticeable. The best thing I've done for my stereo in the last year is buying a quality integrated amp (rotel ra-1062). I'm currently in the market for a VPI Scout--I really want to hear the massive jump in sound quality again that I heard when I moved to the rotel amp. I find a lot of people on this board and on others are going from the MMF-5 to the Scout and are very happy.
Now I just need to convince my girlfriend that I need a $1600 turntable!!!
1978-81 Technics Belt drive and cheap Ortofon cartridge. 1981 or 82 - Rega Planar 3, Grace 727 , Grace F9e or Ruby. 1994-95 - VPI JR with RB300 and Blue Point - then a Grado Sonata Around 1999-2000 I started playing around with an SP 10 MK II in a 175 pound McCurdy Plinth, Mounted an RB 250 SE - Incogniti wired and Mitchell counter-weight, I then had a massive plinth built for it and ran several different arms - including SME IV , SME Series III and a few others. Then settled on a 3012 MKII - Shure V15 Type III , IV and M97HE. In 2003 I started on my first L75 Lenco project(with a friend's help) And now My latest 2 arm Lenco is nearly complete, with an MG-1 air bearing arm And my trusty SME 3012, A Platinum and DL103 on the MG-1 and a variety of Shures for the SME 3012 MKII and its many headshells. I think this may be my last turntable!!