Who sells a Threshold anything at a Garage sale? Lucky you!
11 responses Add your response
Good (humorous) point Hifiharv. When I worked in Audio back in the 80s, I always paired the Technics tables with Grado cartridges. The Grados were a good match for the mass of the Technics tonearms plus theyre just more musical and have more body than all other budget cartridges Ive heard. Id go with the best Grado you can afford, at least the Blue or the Red (s-mount). The rest of your system is dependent on what this little sucker can do! Do you have anything for setting the overhang and VTA?
Thanks - Grado sounds like a good place to start - no, I do not have stuff to do the proper set up, so that will be a another learning experience - again, I welcome your suggestions. How hard can it be...
I paid less for the Threshold than I usually pay for a used CD - power supply missing, but have a source for that who will also look over the whole unit. (...Typing at my computer surrounded by ESS monitors, $5 bucks ...powered by Rotel receiver, $30- both thrift shop.) I guess these things end up at garage sales and thrift shops due to death of owner. How many people really want to inherit a Threshold phonostage?
Wow! You really are the thrifty audio shopper. Now I feel bad about urging you to spend >$100 on a cartridge this would exceed the entire cost of the rest of your system. Compounding this asymmetry is the fact that cartridges are typically sold at margins of 70-80 points. Of course, its tough to find a quality cartridge at a garage sale/thrift store; although, I get a sense you might find a way. The Grado Red and Blue have the same design. What distinguishes them is that the Reds spec out better under testing. Quantifiably how much better we dont know Grado claims the cohort represents the top 10 percent. Then I guess Joe and his Lab buddies paint every 10th one red:) Ive always used a Dennesen protractor for cartridge alignment, but, since youre not likely to come up with one of these or an equivalent, youll need to go the DIY route. Below is a link for a DIY protractor to help you set the overhang and VTA. Ive never used it but its based on the Lofgren geometry (both A & B versions) so it should be sound. Good luck!
Thanks. It's worth spending on the cartridge for my precious jazz vinyl.... (The analog goes with the bedroom system bought at retail, it's the computer system that was only $35.) I've heard about the grado 10% thing. After I try to set it up hope it won't be sounding like the bottom percentile again. Thanks for the link.
Orph: I have a confession. Ess's came with no diaphragm, just a big hole. I had no idea what brand they were - I assumed it was a manufacturers defect - which I promptly corrected with plywood.Years later I noticed my freind had the exact pair with the ESS logo - 610s for sure. Not sure I could find a replacement diaphragm anywhere...maybe just cut a smaller hole with lots of dampening material.... maybe they've had enough mutilation.
Gdoodle, great find. I used a Threshold FET-10 for several years. The only reason I sold it was the need for external gain and load switching -- those 10 screws securing the top plate were a pain if you wanted to change often.
At one point a buddy with electronics background built a fully regulated power supply for me to replace the stock Technics unit. That improved performance with quieter background and deeper, more solid bass. At an informal shoot-out of phono units among friends my upgraded FET-10 was preferred over a Manley Steelhead by 3 out of 5 of the others present.
Two other friends also had the FET-10 years ago but both of their units developed noise. Mine remains quiet to this day, a friend now owns it, so if that is a problem it could be fixed.
One cartridge I used with the FET-10 was a Grado Reference (more than your budget) and it seemed to be a very good match, for whatever that might be worth.