the bests new tt's out there for the money are the rega9, the well tempered, the oracle, the linn, and the origin. i know some of these aren't considered massive, but they all perform near the state-of-the-art, and they will always be in demand.
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Jaybo, if you look at my history of tables, I have owned Linn, Rega, Michell - all on the light rigid side. Also, I am still keeping a classic Thorens TD150 (really a mini Linn LP12) around. I like the Rega sound in particular, but right now I am just looking to explore something different.
Also, talking about popularity, Nottingham had been around for a very long time - their Spacedeck being their most popular offering. There are supposedly more than 10000 out there but almost never one for sale.
Colitas, thanks for the suggestion to contact 4yanx - I just did.
Dear Rene: My advise on TT is to go for an all metal design and in the massive " road ".
I prefer the " solid " sound of the all metal TT designs. Of course these ones are not so beautiful looking than the acrylic or wood ones but I like how it perform.
I really like the Acoustic Signature, Galibier and Simon Yorke. There are three other non-metal TT designs that I like too: SME, Sota and Basis.
Now, all depend on your budget because, at least, any of those TTs are really good.
Your Moerch tonearm alternative is a very good choice.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul, thanks very much for your response. I have always been impressed with your analog setups and been following your responses on the forum.
I wish I would be able to afford a Galibier or Simon Yorke, or even just an Acoustic Solid One. The Spacedeck with its alloy platter seems like an affordable option using materials that make sense for a turntable design. So far I have not been a fan of acrylic tables or platters.
So far I am almost set on the Sapcedeck. As for the arm I am still not quite sure. The Moerch arm looks like a good choice for the Spacedeck as well, so that I am now considering either the Spacedeck with either arm. Especially the flexibility of the Moerch arm and to be able to adapt it to a wide variety of cartridges is tempting.
Does anyone have some comments on the different arms (Moerch vs. Ace space) on a Spacedeck?
I have not heard any Moerch arms, but I have owned two Spacedecks and both the Space arm and now the Ace-Space. Other arms I have had on this table:
To my ears, none had the synergy of Nottingham's own arms. And I believe the Ace-Space offers an improvement over the old arm. I think to hear this table at it's best, you will want to opt for the Ace-Space or the Ace-Anna.
Also, just an important update on the side: I started a similar thread on the Vinyl Asylum and got some very good and helpful answers:
Vinyl Asylum: Time for a "massive" turntable: Spacedeck vs Scheu
Vinyl Asylum: Nottingham Spacedeck: Spacearm vs Morch UP4
Rene,though you seem to be "sold" on a Spacedeck,which seems to be a fine design,I might suggest you take a look at the current Oracle units.These are,also,all metal designs,and don't let the fairly light(designed that way)platter fool you.These are "world class" tables!Gorgeous in design,and execution.The price has always been very fair,IMO,and the design is now quite well perfected,since they have been made for quite some time.Just a thought.
Oz, thanks for your responses here and on the Asylum. Interestingly the two arms that everyone recommends more than any other are the Ace-space and the Moerch. Also, I just heard some rumors that the Ace-space is being improved again. I will have to check with Tom Fletcher to see whether there is any truth in that.
Sirspeedy, thanks for the recommenedatio of the Oracle. Of course Oracle is in Canada and fairly easy to get to. I will make sure to check it out.
I was on the same way, choosing between a Nottingham and a Scheu, I ended up with a Scheu Premier, partnered with a Scheu-Tacco-arm. I think that the Scheu is without competition not only in his price bracket, but much above. You will get the latest on Scheu on the site of www.soundscapehifi.com, see Scheu-Eurolab. Also, Scheu has a new US-distributor, www.hudsonaudioimports.com
I've owned a Scheu for several years, and happily match it with the best arms and cartridges. I don't believe i've heard its inherent limitations yet. Build quality is superb, far above our UK competition (excepting SME and Simon Yorke). Nottingham make excellent turntables but reputation for quality control is not up to German standards - not sure that cnc work is either. The Scheu may well be going up in price soon. I also use Garrards, and just marginally prefer the Scheu. Another absolutely excellent turntable is the Kuzma Stabi (the one with brass t shaped plinth). The choice of arms will affect sound more. I prefer the DP6 to UP4 which I used on Scheu, but prefer Schroeder 2 or Cartridge Man Air bearing, or silver wired SME 4/5 to the Morch. It really is worth spending extra on the arm.
I love my Spacedeck. If I buy another 'table it will be a Dais with my old spacearm for mono and and an Ace-Anna. I wouldn't change over to anything else. It reproduces as well as a Nagra reel-to-reel - which I have spent much time with. The Nagra's been around for forty + years and is still THE standard for recording the human voice. The SME's, VPI's, Clear Audio's and the rest I have heard, don't reproduce like that. Yorke's to me seem like novelty devices. Thom Galibier is a great guy who knows his doodoo and is helpful honest and cool. Thom Fletcher is a shy brilliant engineer who's also great in his standoffish way. I have also had good experiences with Transrotor and Scheu. All in all I guess I'm in that opposing camp.
Teres would be my choice. I picked up a 255 here from Chris Brady. I put an OL Encounter on it and with the Teres VTA adjuster it's the best I have had in 30 years of owning tables. I have listened to the Spacedeck at a dealer several times and this bests it in clarity and weight by far. You can even put a Rega on it with the VTA adjuster...
In the end my choice of a Space was probably as much about the arm as the motor - the Spacearm is actually one of the better arms around, with a unique way of working - the carbon fiber and unipivot, plus many small fine tuning choices. This and the overall thoughtout-ness, and set and forget aesthetic. Scheu's are similar in this regard, though have a different thoughtout-ness quality. Teres to me was for people in the gimble tonearm camp, and the tinkerers, or DIYers. I would rather listen to music. I do think Origin makes a strong table, but I prefer the quiet genius of the Space and it's low-torque motor, etc.
Just to set the record straight...the Teres table is about as "tweaky" as a Rega P2. Probably even less with the VTA adjuster. Heck, you don't even have to use the power switch on the motor if you don't want to, just spin the platter to start and slow it by hand to stop. And if you want to play a 45 just hold down the power switch for 2 seconds and you have 45rpm. Oh yeah, no need for a strobe to check speed, it has one built in! And, and, and, the 1/2" recording tape belt might last 25 years.
Personal preferences aside, there are no good technical reasons to dismiss a table like the Teres. Especially if your personal preference leans towards unipivots....which, by the way, Teres recommends highly in many forms (Moerch, Graham, Schroeder).
The most valuable discussions are based on facts.
Wow, quite a lot of new answers while I was not looking....
I am pretty sure all suggestions are excellent. There seems to be in general a good consensus that all the mentioned tables, Teres, Nottingham, Scheu are all excellent examples of well executed turntables. From reading the archives for the last two years, the Spacedeck, Scheu Premier, Teres 255 seem to be all in about the same league so that at this point I think it all comes down to personal preference. Neither ones is really a "tweaky" table (at least compared to e.g. a Linn LP12).
Now here is one for discussion: The only thing I am still not sure about are the Acryl platters on the Scheu and Teres - any comments? I just seem to not like Acryl as turntable material very much so far...Anyone remember the acrylic Teres vs the wooden Teres comments?
The problem is that it is impossible to compare all the above tables in my system - any Teres or Scheu owners in the Toronto, Calgary, Bufallo area etc.?
Also, just a sidenote: Nottingham is coming out with a revised "hotrodded" version of the Spacedeck with improved motor housing, the Hyperspace bearing, and heavier armpod. Also, the Spacearm will feature additional damping and other small changes starting in May/June.
Thanks again for all the responses so far.
I think acrylic is a preference issue. I personally found on both Clear Audio and VPI deck's that it was not quite as quiet, and perhaps added a slight euphony. Anyway, it wasn't for me. Some people think the Space sounds too dead. I don't, I just think it sounds like ...nothing. I do think the Space is slightly more prone to placement issues than some decks I've seen in the price range, but I haven't gotten a good cart yet, and the one I have is fairly microphonic - a Grado red. Still it's actually not a bad combo, if a bit syrupy and definitely too colored. So you know if I'm saying the Grado's less so than the acrylics I've heard, you may find the acrylics that way. I know some people think acrylic and vinyl is a good marriage of materials, but somehow the difference in density or having a motor torquing it or something just made it wrong to me. It was very sexy, and then the more I listened the more everything started to sound the same. It seems possible to me the mass damped platter from Nott and others allows different types of recordings to show their nature rather than homogenizing them via sympathetic vibration (a theory). That's interesting about the updates. Seems like a hard set of updates to beat at the price level - it's already great. I like Sota, but I hear unipivots are problematic on them although I have nothing to back it up. Other than that, you would in fact be completely free to experiment with tonearms otherwise. Plus I personally couldn't audition a Sota or Teres, and I just wasn't going to pay that kind of money for something unheard. I have nothing against Teres, although all the owners seem like some militant splinter cell of vinyl-philes which always kind of makes me wonder: when will they all jump ship for the next thing? The Sota crew are true die hards as well, and many people who like VPI like them and say there is a similarity in their sound. I'm curious why you haven't mentioned VPI's Aries (you might be able to find one used) as a candidate?
Biomimetic, sorry for the long delayed response. So far I have not been very impressed with the VPIs (Scoutmaster, TNT), I listened to. I compared the Spacedeck (Benz Ace) directly to the Scoutmaster (Dynavector 17D2) and found the Scoutmaster to be slow and lifeless compared to the Space. The Space had blacker backgrounds, more details and texture, despite its much warmer sound.
Also, I noticed the motor on the Scoutmaster vibrating quite strongly (same on a Scout). And then there is the neverending upgrading policy with improvements every month for VPI that makes me a little suspicious.
Otherwise I might have just for the Scout. I even have an offer for a TNT Junior locally, that seems ok, but VPI has so far not convinced me. Just my short impressions though...