Please help me sort through this turntable mess

Hi all,

I purchased a parts turntable yesterday that is equipped with a Fidelity Research FR-1 moving coil cartridge. All of the information I have been able to gather online is minimal. I did find that MFSL used this cartridge for demonstration purposes back in their heyday of the early '80's. Also, it seems the designer went on to work for Shelter. I would like to know if this cartridge is worthy of investing in a costly rebuild.

My search also found that in the January/February 2002 issue of Listener there is an article on this cartridge. I don't have access to this magazine so I'm asking one of you fine folks to read it for me and post the results of the article here on the forum or send directly to me through the Audiogon mailer.

I'm also looking for some input about the Fidelity Research FR-12 tonearm that also came with this table. It's apparently one of the highly regarded, entry level arms offered by that company around 1979 and appears to be rather nice. I don't need setup advice as I have the original documentation. I would appreciate anyone with "hands on" experience regarding it's performance and current value to post their opinions.

This table began it's life as a very early LP12 and it still retains it's serial number of 13242. The poor thing has really been butchered. The plinth is home made and the only piece that is suspended is the motor. I have many parts left over from the upgrade path my trusty Linn has taken over the years and it's possible to resurect this one from the dead but oh, what a job it would be. I'll likely part this out and need some help on the value of the platter, Audio Technica Safety Raiser, etc. Any help from anyone here?

If you go to the UHF magazine site ( ) and click on the "contact us" link, you'll be able to ask the editors about the FR cartridges. I know they have some experience with them.

Best of luck !

Which FR1 is it? If it is a Mk2, Mk3 or MK3f it is definitely worth rebuilding by either VDH or Allaerts if he is still doing rebuilding ( to check on rebuild schedule.) If it is an original (not a mark) I would post it on eBAY for an Asian collector.
The FR12 is definitely a sleeper and I would rank it in the Ittok category or better. It was designed for the LP12 and is a dynamic-design arm like the best Linns, etc.
Ikeda is the designer of these gems and I was not aware he was involved with Shelter...Ikeda's current cartridges are like moving coil Deccas!
If you send me your fax number I will fax you the Listener article. My own opinion of the FR1 3 series is that it a bit soft in the bass and less detailed than today's best cartridges but it has enough magic to deserve the best rebuild. These rebuilders will correct the shortcomings if you request it. IMHO you will then have world class cartridge at a fraction of today's prices. I am not familiar with other rebuilders but they may do a good job too.
The cartridge is the Mk2 version so it appears to be a keeper. Does anyone know the value of a used Linn platter, a 50hz motor, a 50-60hz motor and the FR-12 arm? Thanks for the input so far.


I don't have any idea what the value of the Linn platter is but I would buy yours if your selling. Is it the stock LP12 platter?

Yes, it's the real deal. I don't have a clue what it's worth though.

Ivanj, the Shelter cartridges are produced by Mr. Ozawa, who was involved with the Fidelity Research cartridges. Ikeda is making his own stuff separately, as you mentioned.

I don't have a fax. Could you forward the article through the Audiogon email?

Twl, thanks for the info. I guess the Shelters are a contemporary alternative to the Koetsus just like the Fidelity Research of yore....certainly the descriptions I have heard of their sound and cost-effectiveness would lead me to believe this.
Patrick, I don't think I have an online version but I will look again. I dread using she who must be obeyed's scanner....
Thanks to all and especially Ivanj (sorry about having to use the scanner) if I get the article. You are a great bunch.