Teres turntable update.
I am reporting, as promised, on the performance of my new Teres Model 135 turntable with Origin Live Silver 250 tonearm and Denon DL103 cartridge.
After breaking in the system with about 48 hours so far, I can say I am happy with the purchase. Everything performs as expected, with performance levels far exceeding the cost.
The table exhibits fantastic weight in the bass, and is terrific at allowing low level detail to be extracted. Dynamics are excellent, and PRAT is foot-tapping good. Even though it has no suspension, the table is surprisingly immune to vibration, even with my wooden floor that is slightly creaky. Manufacturing quality is great, and all parts fit together perfectly. It not only sounds great, but is a real piece of eye candy too.
The Origin Live Silver 250 is simply a great arm. It does it all. I would put it up against any arm made for comparison. It is just that good.
The Denon DL103 took a little while to show its stuff. It also took me awhile to get the VTA settings to where it sounded right. Very VTA sensitive. It needs heavy tracking force. I found that 2.75 grams was about right. The manual says 2.5-2.8 grams is the range. I have found that I always prefer the heavier end of the recommended tracking range for low output MC cartridges. So this is not a surprise. It was a little bit stiff at first, but now it is really starting to open up. Of course, I was breaking in the tonearm wiring at the same time, so that may have added to the mix. OL says 2 weeks for break in of the tonearm. The detail and smoothness of the DL103 is far beyond what could be expected of any $150 cart. Easily a Class B performer. I would like to say it is higher, but I have heard better, although at much higher prices. If you have an arm that can handle this very stiff compliance, and there are not many that can, this is easily the best value in a cartridge that is available today. You need a Class A level gimballed arm with very good bearings to use this. It will "wag the dog" on lesser tonearms. It has been known as a tonearm bearing killer for years. But in the right arm is sounds great. It has the classic low output MC sound. Just like the old days. If you liked the old Koetsu cartridges from when the old man was making them, then you will like this DL103. Very similar character, but affordable price. I expect this cartridge to continue to improve with break in for at least 100-200 hours. I am already very happy with it. If it gets even better, I will be ecstatic.
Altogether, as a package, this is a very solid setup. Sure, you can get better, but not at this price. $2300. If you can beat this for $2300, then you are a better man than I am.
For the real world, this is about as much turntable as anyone would ever need. The small performance increases that may be available from other tables would come at hugely increased price levels. I would classify this setup as a high-end value leader. I will not try to gore anyone's ox, but suffice it to say that this setup would not be embarrassed in comparison to any other turntable. Some setups may do better, but nothing is going to kick this thing out of the room. It is good enough to reasonably hang in there against just about anything. With a Shelter 901, or Transfiguration Temper Supreme, or a big Koetsu, this would really be a "big boy's" turntable rig.
After really listening to this analog setup on my system, I could emphatically recommend it to anyone who wants great performance. The lower price of it is just an added benefit.