My Raven One sports a Graham Phantom and Dynavector XX2Mk2
My former table was a Scoutmaster with SDS, Ring clamp/center weight and the JMW 9 Signature. The single largest difference is RESOLUTION. Not upper midrange emphasis type resolution, but real music type resolution. Attack, decay tonal colors type resolution. Incredible speed stability type resolution. Realistic imaging and sounstage with and depth type resolution.
It's really an unfair comparison due to cost differential. but a major upgrade in sonics and a musically more communicative presentation....The music just sounds like the real thing.
Hope that helps....
I have a new Raven Two (a Raven One with two arms). My last TT was a Garrard SL95 from the early 70s and the Raven comports itself well musically with that meaningless comparison. I have a Graham Phantom with an Air Tight PC-1 and an Ortofon 309S with an Ortofon Rondo Bronze on the Raven. Both run through a Tron Seven with Telefunkens and then to a BAT REX. The synergy between these components is quite remarkable. I did a lot of research before buying the Raven and while there are many fine TTs out there, nothing in my mind came close to the value/ performance of the Raven One. The engineering tolerances are superb and the sound, well, glorious to my ears. Good luck with your search.
I switched recently from the more expensive Origin Live Resolution /Illustrious. The OL deck was good, the Raven, better in most aspects, base, neutrality across frequency spectrum, transparency. At the moment I use the basic Vivid arm with a Zyx airy 3. It is already excellent. I have to say, I am waiting to see if Thomas from TW, produces the arm, he is working on.
I upgraded from a tweeked out Well Tempered Classic.
It was a great table that bettered many others, but the Raven One is just simply stunning. I am using the Phantom arm, and the table sits on a Sistrum SP-1 stand which took the table to the next level.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. It has really got me excited!
I went from a 1989 Lp12/Akito/ATOC9 cartridge, over the years upgrading to Lp12/Lingo/Cirkus/Ekos/Troika ending 2007. My Raven One, Vivid arm (Graham Phantom is late coming), and newly acquired XX2 MkII is far and away a superior source component. It is better in every meaningful way except one. The LP12 is better at playing bad recordings. I am very pleased.
Have you ordered a Raven or just giving consideration among other tables?
I can tell you Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound ,the only North American distributor of the TW Raven tables is areal pleasure to deal with.
One of the hardest working guy's in the audio business.
I spoke with Jeff acouple of times over the phone. He,s down to earth and a straight shooter.
Prior to ordering a Raven One this past Monday,I had a VPI ScoutMasterSignature with options.
VPI put out a fine line of turntables and tonearms, heard them all.
However I believe VPI and many other manufatures do not make a table that can compete even with the Raven One.
This record player matched up with a great arm, cartridge and especially the phonostage,could verywell be your last table.
I have not ordered one as of yet but am seriously considering the Raven One. I currently am using a Linn LP12 modified with the Pink Triangle Pink Link DC motor, top plate, battery power supply; Naim ARO tonearm; Benz wood body cartridge; and Artemis Labs PH-1 tubed phono stage. A very musical source that I've enjoyed for many years. But, after reading the recent reviews on the TW Raven's, it has me wondering. I absolutely agree with you about Jeffrey. We have shared emails and I believe that he is quite a gentleman and lover of music and will be a pleasure to deal with. I sure would like to be able to hear one prior to ordering it. This will be problematic, considering I'm in Wisconsin. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.
I used an LP12 with Origin Live DC motor and Ittok arm. Very nice, musical, but the Origin Live Resolution was a big step up in detail, base and neutrality. The TW Acustic Raven one, is another big step up on the Origin Live. Even with the utilitarian, Vivid arm, it is very good indeed.
Any sign of spring weather down your way yet?...
I also owned a Linn for many years which I bought in 1984 and enjoyed up until 2001.
My first e-mail to Jeff of High Water Sound ,I asked if there were any owners of the Raven tables here in Ontario Canada.
Jeff e-mailed back with names and e-mail address of three happy owners.
There could very well be an owner near you.
Well, I'll tell you, it's been a long winter here in Wisconsin. It seemed as though it snowed every other day. We had record snow falls this season...thank God for good audio or I would have gone stir crazy. The last few days have been in the 40's, birds are singing, so I hope spring is on the way.
That is an excellent point you made, and I think I'll ask Jeff if he knows of anyone between here and say Chicago that may have one.
David12, you mentioned that Thomas is designing a tone arm for the Raven One. Do you have a link to any information on this arm. I hadn't heard anything about it as of yet.
NO REGRETS..... No, when I bought my table from Graham at GT audio in the UK, he mentioned it. Thomas is certainly working on an arm, which may be available later in the year. I suspect he will not release it, unless he is happy with it. He seems something of a perfectionist, so nothing is certain yet. Designing an arm seems a very different engineering challenge to a table. At least it seems different to a non engineer. Someone said it was mentioned on the TW site, but I can't find it. He is coming to the UK show next weekend, given the chance I will ask him.
Has anyone gone from a Nottingham Hyperspace to a Raven One? If I went this route what differences in presentation should I expect?
I went from a Hyperspace to a Raven AC. The Raven One is similar to the AC having compared them side by side quite often. The Hyperspace basically has a slight warmthm, a touch of bloated bass and a slightly rolled off top end. The Raven corrects that while maintaining the same dynamics as the Nottingham. The Nottingham can be "tuned" by choosing the correct arm to some extent. The Raven will let you hear the arm and less of the table. Hope I helped.
Touch a Hyperspace motor. It vibrates. The Raven motor has almost no vibration.
Thanks Dgad. You've been a great help.
Looks like an upgrade to a Raven may be a priority for me.....
It looks as though the overwhelming majority of people are using the Phantom to great success. Has anyone out there heard the Naim Aro on the Raven One yet. Also, is the Phantom a huge jump up in performance over the Vivid?
The answer to the last question, is yes. I heard the Vivid on the one and Phantom on the AC, side by side when I bought my Raven one. Now clearly they were'nt on the same table, but you could hear the clarity, expanded soundstage etc, the Phantom was bringing. The Vivid is excellent for the money, but it is only a few hundred dollars. There is a review of the one, in one of the online magazines, where the reviewer started with the Vivid and went onto the phantom, have a look at it
The Phantom is a $4400.00 decision if you want new and your going to wait for one.
Then you have to mount a decent cartidge on it,you will quickly equal the price of a Raven One alone.
On top of this you have a phono cable to connect from your Phantom to your phonostage.
Don't compromise at this stage.
My top choice of a phono wire is the Nordost Tyr at $1,100 new.
I just want to point out, the overall price is getting up there.
Even a second hand Phantom and phono wire could easily go over ones budget.
I'm sure Thomas Woschnick of Raven choose the Vivid arm for VERY specific reasons.
Go to HighWaterSound.com for the Vivid reveiw and others.
There are more reveiws on the way shortly in major magazines of the Raven One and AC models.
Hopefully Roy Gregory and staff of Hi-Fi + magazine is one of them.
I would speak to Jeffrey from Highwater. He's a great person to deal with and definitely not a high pressure kind of sales person. He'll be best positioned to give you answers relating to arms and what compromises you'll be making.
I originally bought my AC with an Ortofon AS-309s arm as a way of saving money with the knowledge that I'd be adding a Phantom down the road. Jeffrey recommended the Ortofon as an arm that "just" played music really well, (he's right).
We'll down the road came much quicker than I thought when a local dealer took my old table on trade towards a new Phantom. So other than cart's my analogue front end is done.
I would suggest if you can, start with an arm you would want to keep as a second arm and if you have the itch to upgrade down the road you can add a second arm to the Raven One if you want.
Either way, if as people say, the Raven One is a good percentage of the AC, jump on it as you'll not regret it. Best of luck.
You would be best served to call Jeff at High Water Sound if you are located in North America. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. 212.608.8841 FWIW, I started with a Vivid arm as well and my Graham is on its way a year later. I would say the Vivid is not the best arm but it's also not a throw away either.
Thanks to all who posted and expressed your experiences. It is greatly appreciated. I talked to Jeffrey and he is not aware of any Raven owners in either Wisconsin or the Chicago area. We are currently in the midst of a home remodel project that should be completed early summer. My hope is to take a trip out to see Jeff and hear the Raven first hand. It will be hard for me to wait so long, but I think it will be worth it.
I spoke to Thomas at the recent London show, he was very helpful. His arm is well into it's design, he plans it to be very flexible, VTA adjustment on the fligh etc. However it will be more than the Phantom, not finalised, but 5000 to 6000 euro, but not definite yet. Too much for me, but he again said how much he likes the Ortofon, 9 or 12" arm on the one. He thinks it may be ready and presented at RMAF this Autumn
David12, Thanks so much for the update. Did you happen to have a chance to hear the Naim Aro arm on the Raven One at the show or elsewhere?
Did Thomas by any chance mention a phonostage he is working on?
Thank you for the info.
Hey No Regrets and Dgad,
I hope I have no regrets. I placed my order for a Raven AC. I will use my Moerch DP-6 to start then upgrade later. I might just be one of the first with this combination.
No regrets: the Aro was on the Raven one, with a special bent arm support. The cartridge tags broke twice, trying to set it up, so it was'nt working. Maybe says something re build quality. Thomas confirmed he likes the Ortofon 312 and uses it on his own one. Graham, the UK importer, also recommends it
Stiltskin: Thomas did'nt mention the phonostage and I did'nt ask. I did'nt know about it. As you know, he likes the Tron, made by Graham the UK TW importer. I tried my K&K phono stage against the Tron when I auditioned the table. It was better I think, a bit quiter, more dynamic. It was not massively better and the tron is more expensive
Congratulations. I love mine. I only wish I had more time in the day to listen.
David12: I would say that the leads on the Aro are indeed quite delicate and must be handled with the utmost of care. With that being said, I do think that the Aro is a remarkable performer. Very balanced and natural sounding. Sounds like music to me, not hi-fi at all (on my table in my system). I wish you would have been able to hear it on the Raven. I would of loved to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for your comments though.
David , I believe it was Jeffery of HighWater that told me about a phonostage from Raven coming soon.
And your K&K phonostage ,I had alook and couldn't find their web site. Would you past it along please.
Motnic congratulations on the A.C. model.
Jeff received my cheque for a Raven One acouple of weeks ago. I can hardly wait...
Stiltskin the web adress is
Our lakes are still froze over and still agood bit of snow on the ground up here.
Though today its bright sunshine,28 degrees and warming up fast....
K & Ks phonostage from what I have read is of GREAT value for the money.
Like the Supratek Chenin that I have, the selling price has absolutely no bearing on performance.
The phonostage in the Chenin triode is near silent in operation and will drive a MC cartridge down to 0.1 milivolts without the need for a step up device,according to the owners manual.
Over and above this I have put it head to head with acouple other popular phonostages and pres at double the price of the Chenin.
Its still in my system.
I will be giving anew preamp and phonostage carefull concideration to go with my Raven and Phantom.
K & K audios maxxed out phonostage with all options looks like a good place to start.
I must say your preamp is absolutely beautiful looking. A work of art!
Could you share with us what cartridge and amplifier you are using with it?
The Chenin is an attractive style especially in the optional piano black finish and chrome.
A very flexible well thought out design.
I've been happy with it's performance over these past few years.
I would like to share my audio journey in a nut shell.
I have it mated to a pair of Atma-Sphere model 2 60s which drive apair of overhauled Quad electrostats or apair of Dynaudio speakers depending on my mood of music.
The Atma-Spheres are an exceptional match for both sets of these speakers.
After 17 years owning a Linn LP12, by the year 2000 I was taken in by the excitment of some audio magazines of a new format called S.A.C.D.
Sold my Linn in 2001,bought a Sony 777 SCD,my first ever digital player.
Had it modded a year later, brought home other players to try and by 2004 I was back to vinyl.
For me,it would be digital or vinyl , not both.
Though something wasn't right with digital.
In 2004 I bought a VPI Scout Master with options including a Dynavector Karat MK2 cartridge.
A year later I changed the arm to the VPI Signature,then later bought the superb Dynavector Karat MK3.
I sold this combination afew months ago and started hunting down a new front end.
I want more of what vinyl has to offer and I truly believe that I will get it with the Raven One and Phantom arm.
My musical taste range,in no particular order, Jazz, Folk, Blues, Rock, Big Band and some Classical.
Sounds like a great journey with some really great gear along the way. I was able to hear some Quads with atmosheres down in Chicago several years back. Magical midrange that I'll never forget. A great experience.
Thanks for sharing with us.