Turntable/Arm in $1500-2000 Range


Hi,

(This is a duplicate of my post at VA, in case anyone else visits both sites) Am about to purchase another turntable. For any of you that remember my posts, I had a Michell Gyro SE/SME 309 setup for about a year. Sold it about four months ago, intending to buy either an Orbe or Xerxes, but I spent most of my upgrade funds on other things instead (new CD player, new tubes for my amp, interconnects, speaker cable etc.). Bought a Planar 25 used from my local dealer and used a couple months just so I would have a decent table to listen to my vinyl collection; sold it for about what I paid for it. Things I liked about the Michell: neutral tonally to my ear, dynamic and powerful sounding, fair amount of detail and resolution. Things I didn't like as much: frustrating to set up ideally, not quite as subtle on low level detail as I would like, bounced a lot on my wood floors, didn't "swing" quite as well as Linn/Rega tables. The Planar 25 had a little more "swing", not the dynamics or detail of the Gyro.

Unfortunately, my upgrade fund is still more limited than ideal, so tables like an Orbe, Xerxes, or full-blown Aries are still not a consideration. Tables I'm considering are some of those often recommended/discussed here: get another Gyro; Spacedeck; Well Tempered; Bluenote; the entry level Teres; the Eurolab; or at a little lower price point, a Scout, Innerspace, Music Hall 9 or the new Roksan table. I would ideally like a table that "has it all": neutral yet w/ good "swing" and rhythm, good low level detail and dynamic. I don't want a table/arm that is a "tone control," that imparts too much of its own character to the music; on the other hand, I don't want a table that is lifeless and boring, that doesn't capture the soul of the music. Is there such a table in my price range? For now, I will probably have to use a Rega 250/300 or OL arm (OL1, not Silver), or maybe the entry level Bluenote, if that arm is as good as some say. At this point, I'm undecided between going back to a Gyro, esp. if I can find a good deal on a used one, or trying something like the Bluenote, Teres or Eurolab. I know the sound of the Michell; can audition VPI locally, but no dealer for any of the other tables w/in hundreds of miles. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Terry
tlh28
All of those tables are good. It is very hard to say whether you will like one better than the other. If you pressed me for a recommendation, I'd say that since you like the British tables, then the Nottingham Spacedeck would offer a better sound than a Gyrodec. The better Teres tables are out of your price range. I never heard the Bluenote. Eurolab is where the Teres started from.

If you are starting with an OL-1 arm(good arm), than try to get a DL103 along with that, and a phono stage that has enough gain for it. That is a very good low cost setup.
Terry, I personally Have not compared these two tables, but 2 people I know have and below are there comments.
You need to see the Aurora in the flesh. It looks much better than in the picture, Really.

I just did an AB of the spacedeck to the aurora. If you prefer a thick, duller sound and confuse that with 'analog' the Spacedeck is it. Its a fine performer but I think the Aurora is much better; way more open, faster, detailed but not fatiguing.

I don't have a hyperspace deck here now, but as I must have told you, I did before. When I compared it to the resolution it was smoother but less detailed and open. The Nottingham's are like tuby tube gear while the Origin is more like refined SS that maintain the naturalness of analog. Personally, and as a guess as I haven't done an a/b, I could go either way between the Aurora and hyperspace but for my taste would leantowards the aurora, I have to hear them. Between the aurora and spacedeck, no contest - the aurora.

Ron,I am still trying to learn how to install the fishing weight mod. Will search the threads and do more research. We have an Origin Live dealer here in San Diego. I was able to hear the Aurora. It is a fantastic table and will stand its ground against the top notch ones. Did you know that Expressimo just updated their Heavyweight? It now has 2 rubber "O" rings around the edges. Check out the website. Will order mine next week.


Hope that helps you Terry, Origin live makes Very good sound. Have you heard about the Hi Fi mod for the silver arm. Ask TWL,(Tom Lyons) tell him I sent you, this mod is a mind blower!

Let me know how you make out I guess YOU really need to hear both for yourself to be sure.
I didn't do any comparing myself I live in south Georgia close to Jacksonville FL. nothing around here to listen to.
I got the Aurora based on their reputation of producing big sound for little money.

The Origin live silver arm with TWL,Tom's HI FI mod and a shelter 501 cartridge is state of the art, at it's price point. You will have to spend thousands of $$$$$$ to beat it's stellar performance. I wonder how much better it could possibly be? That's why I recommend them.
check out this thread,
Strange Tonearm Tweak. Long

Sincerely,
Ron

Ron, I am ROFLMAO right now! You say that Expressimo has updated their Heavyweight with 2 rubber O-rings around it? Take a look at my virtual system, and click on the OL Silver tonearm, and then click on the small picture, to enlarge it to see the detail. You will see on my old Heavyweight counterweight, 2 rubber O-rings around it. That photo has been on my Virtual System since last October. I wonder where they got the idea to do that? Oh, well. The new advanced counterweight I developed is where it's at now.
Anybody looking for a Heavyweight for OL end-stub, with 2 rubber o-rings on it? $55 and it's yours.
OK, Ron, without using quotation marks in your post, it is hard to tell what YOU are saying and what you are saying SOMEONE ELSE is saying. I will say that whomever made the comments regarding the Spacedeck/Aurora comparison and the description of 'Nots, in general, sounds like they are either 1) a dealer who does not carry 'Not, 2) a dealer who is simply pimping the Aurora, 3) a person who has not done a real audition, doesn't know how to set up a TT, and/or is full of crap.

While I try to respect other folk's opinion on components, everyone having different tastes, some of the "quotes" in your post deserve serious rebuttal.

One:
"I just did an AB of the spacedeck to the aurora. If you prefer a thick, duller sound and confuse that with 'analog' the Spacedeck is it. Its (sic) a fine performer but I think the Aurora is much better; way more open, faster, detailed but not fatiguing."

I have had a Spacedeck for almost two years and to characterize it as "thick and dull" and a confusion to analog sound is a total disservice. I took part in a comparison of the Spacedeck and the Aurora with a group of audiophiles at a local analog dealer and it was absolutely no contest. The Spacedeck destroyed the Aurora on all votes. Better space, better timing, more detail, deeper bass, more extended highs. And that was with the OL silver and a Shelter 501 on BOTH tables.

Two:
"I don't have a hyperspace deck here now, but as I must have told you, I did before. When I compared it to the resolution it was smoother but less detailed and open. The Nottingham's are like tuby (sic) tube gear while the Origin is more like refined SS that maintain the naturalness of analog. Personally, and as a guess as I haven't done an a/b, I could go either way between the Aurora and hyperspace but for my taste would leantowards (sic) the aurora, I have to hear them. Between the aurora and spacedeck, no contest - the aurora."

Just what was whoever wrote this smoking (and make sure it stays out of your stash)? Putting the Aurora in the same league as the Hyperspace? Please, do me a favor. You might recall a post I made about a very extensive, and very controlled comparison between a number of tables using the OL Illustrious and the Shelter 901. The Hyperspace competed in nearly a dead heat with the Teres 265, some preferring one, some the other, but all thinking it very close. Giving a favorable comparison between the Aurora and the Hyperspace is, frankly, laughable.

I say this not to denigrate the Aurora because it is a very nice table in its product position, and a good deal for a bit less than retail price. But letÂ’s keep things in perspective. Just my opinion (along with about 12 of us here locally who took part in the comparisons).

I also say all this because Terry is looking for answers and should not be mislead, though if he has owned a Michell, I'm sure he probably isn't deceived easily.

David
Thanks for the info. For what its worth, a dealer I spoke w/ that carries both OL and Michell recommended the Michell, w/ an OL arm. At this point, I think it comes down to another Gyro or a Spacedeck, or maybe the Eurolab.
Terry
Best of luck in finding what sounds right to YOU, Terry! :-)
Thank you 4yanx for your unbiased opinion.
As I stated in my post, I live in a smaller town, I cannot do comparisons.
If you can do comparisons this is always the best advice.
This information I shared was from e-mails, from people that had done comparisons.
This was the only information I had up until your informative and colorful post.
your brother in the Analog front.
Ron
hows that Tom?
I, for one, can separate ownership from subjectivity.

You say color, I say colour.

You are, if nothing else, consistent, Ron. Do check with Tom for approval with regard to any possible move.

I'm outta here. C'ya all.
I think that this is all a little too much, and to the extent that I had a part in it, I apologize. My desire is to have everyone enjoy their turntables, and not to cause alot of strife. I can't comment on the Aurora, because I've never heard it. I know the Nottinghams are good tables. I even recommended one at the top of this thread.

Ron, you really don't need my approval on your post.
4yanx:
>
> Just wanted to send a "thank you" for your post. I am also looking in that range, and interested in Michell Gyro, Nottingham Spacedeck, OL Aurora, etc. I read the post by the guy you responded to, and it just reminds me that a tribute to this "hobby" is that we all love it a lot and that makes us passionate, which can have its good and bad side. Comes with the territory, so although sometimes are nerves get raw, it's still great information that has been shared.

With that said, I must thank you since I have heard the Spacedeck, but not the Aurora, so gullible me, just before your e-mail I was ready to find an Aurora and forget about Nottingham. I owe you a big "thank you" for pointing out that opinions certainly can differ, and actual experience is what counts.

It is so difficult to actually compare 'tables. No dealer I know of will let you audition them in your home, and even though I live in Houston TX, there are no dealers in the city that even carry turntables (that I know of, and if I am wrong, some of you Houstonians please let me know)!! I heard the Spacedeck at a wonderful showroom in the Adelphi in Singapore. Fantastic!! But the equipment used was not my own, so who can say what piece contributes/detracts what from the overall sound. So when I hear the next 'table, with a different system, there is no way to know what difference is directly attributable to the 'table only.

Makes me very dependent on experienced posters like yourself. So I wanted you to know how appreciated you are, and keep up the good work!!! It means a lot to many of us in Audiogon land to have people like you with direct experience with a lot of equipment to give us comparative information.

I am certainly not taking sides, only asking a good poster to keep it up!! Makes me really want to go hear a good setup of the Nottingham, not to mention the Teres I keep reading about!

Thanks to all of the above who have helped me a lot in this thread!!
Seldenr,

If you are looking to hear some turntables, Sound Mind Audio here in Austin carries them, although most of his in-stock tables are Notts because he says he has always prefered the Nott at a given price range over his other lines.

Galen Carol in SA also has turntables, so if you are up for a road trip you might want to arrange in audition with one of them.
Seldenr- If you do decide to take a road trip to SA as Soliver suggests, you'd be welcome to come over to my place to check out a Well Tempered Classic. I'm only about 5 miles away from Galen's place.

Regards
Jim
Soliver and Jimbo3:

I haven't logged onto this site in a few weeks (uncharacteristic of me), but am pleased and honored that you guys took the time to respond.

I once met with Brian Kurtz, the owner of SMA-A, here in Houston, and if I decide on the Nottingham, he will be getting a call from me. Great guy!! So I do need to pay his store a visit.

Jim, I had forgotten about Galen Carol Audio. My father lives in SA, so next time I come into town I'll send you an e-mail. Maybe if you have time we can visit GCA, then I'll treat dinner for an invitation to hear your Well Tempered Classic. That would be a great evening in my book!!!

Thanks and very best regards to you both,

Rush Selden