I have heard the Space deck, not the 294 and I have to say Nottingham Analogue make very fine decks. I have the One and am more than happy with it. I went from a more expensive Origin Live set up and the TW accustic is clearly better, better base, less congestion, more neutral. It can accomodate most arms and Thomas the maker is a fan of the Ortofon 12" arm, which I heard it demonstrated with. I went for the cheaper Vivid arm, but plan to upgrade the arm, possibly to the Ortofon at some stage
David, thanks for your kind reply. I was wondering about switching speeds to 45 RPM... it seems that with the 294, I'd have to go through a manual process that might prove to be too arduous. How is it done with the Raven One? Do you have to manually move the pulley/platter?
I agree with David12 in recommending the Raven One. It could definately be the last TT you will ever buy. I have a friend with a Space Deck in a very nice system and it is a fine TT but he is now considering a Raven One. I have a Raven Two (a Raven One with two arms) with a Graham Phantom with Air Tight PC-1 and an Ortofon 309S 12" arm with an Ortofon Rondo Bronze cart. While the Ortofon combo isn't up to the Phantom/PC-1 level, as you would expect, it holds it own very nicely and I could be happy ever after with this combo alone. Regarding the switch from 33 to 45, all you do is push a button on the motor control. The control holds speeds exactly and the whole design is simple and elegant with exemplary engineering. Jeff Catalano will help you through the decision making process and is fair and honest in his dealings.
I'm the guy Inman29 is referring to (hi Bill!) and from my perspective the Raven One is in a whole different class than my Spacedeck and Ace Space Arm. The level of musical detail, dynamics and tone I heard on Bill's Raven TT was the best I have ever heard from any system. I'm sure the Graham and Air Tight were an important part of it, but the Raven seems to be a TT platform that you can mate with the best arms and carts available.
To be fair though, the Raven with suitable arm is going to be about $7,500 - $9,500 depending on the arm. So the proper Nottingham comparison would probably be the Dais with Ace Space or Ace Anna arm. I think the 294 with arm is about half the cost of the Raven even if you use an inexpensive arm on the Raven.
Regarding changing the Nottingham from 33 to 45, it is no problem. It takes all of 10 seconds and the speed stabilizes dead on 33 or 45 after just a few rotations.
In my research, and now listening, I am down to the Raven (arm TBD) or Dais for my "final" turntable.
Thanks for your great feedback, guys... very helpful! Any 294 owners want to chime in here? No disrespect to Spacedeck, but I heard the 294 was in a different league? That 294 price point is really the sweet spot for me, and I'm really wondering if the Raven One, which would end up costing twice the 294, would be a bona fide step-up or another example of law of diminishing returns.
Dave, and thanks for letting me know about the 33 to 45 on NA. That's very good to know!
I upgraded from an older Spacedeck (with the thinner platter) with Space Arm to a Space 294 and it was a significant improvement. A dealer told me the difference between the Space 294 and the newer thicker platter Spacedecks with Ace Space arm is not as great.
Just recently I replaced the Ace Space 294 arm with a used 12" Moerch DP6. The Moerch arm took the table to a whole new level. The DP6 gives me better bass, improved detail and dynamics. I kept the same Dynavector Karat 17D3 cartridge. I also use a Boston Audio Mat 1 instead of the supplied foam mat.
Good to hear, Scompracer. I have a feeling that, although excellent as is, the Raven One can't be 2x better than the 294, especially if you equip the 294 with a superior arm as an upgrade later. 294 seems the better value, no?
I believe the Space 294 is a great value, especially if you can pick one up used or get a dealer demo like I did. You can always swap the arm out later if you want to change how it sounds.
Ive never heard a Raven, but have heard more expensive tables/arms and didnt care for the way they presented the music. Who knows, I might feel differently in a year or two. Vinyl is highly subjective and the best thing is to demo them, if possible.
Vinyl can be a deep, dark rabbit hole. I have been through a few tables and spent way more than I planned to be happy. Good luck in your quest!
Picking up the thread a little bit late. I own a 294 and it seems to me it's the best value in the Nottingham range. Like Scompracer, I would recommend using a Boston Audio Mat and most of all, to not use the Space Arm, which is not very good (if still musical) and quite poorly made. Any quality tonearm will elevate the 294 performance to a whole new level. The table in itself will give you amazing back for your buck.
C: The Raven AC was purchased by a friend who has upgraded the power supply, motor housing & chip. In his case he uses a Schroder Ref. Tonearm and a Shelter 9000 w/ Soundsmith upgrade. Nothing on this planet sounds better and we have heard them all. Save your money buy a Raven and upgrade as you can, you will never buy another turntable. The Raven One is about 90+% of the upgraded AC out of the box , sans Tonearm & Cart.
I agree with Charlie (Crem) - BUY A RAVEN!!
WHY? It's a known entity and it will be the last TT you EVER buy!! And...if not... there will be a long line of folks that will want to buy it from you if you ever decide to sell it!!
Try THAT with an N-A product!
As an acid test (no not the LSD type!) ask yourself this......
If the N-A is soooo good why do they need to keep changing/upgrading it?
Downside: No instant gratification with the RAVEN - TW can't keep up with demand (another clue!). So you will probably have to wait a bit to get one.
I know, it's CUBIC MONEY...but in this case it is worth every penny of the investment to get a known, solid performing turntable in your system instead of a passing "trendy" turntable that you will probably end up wanting to sell off in 5 years or less and take a huge financial hit on.
"If the N-A is soooo good why do they need to keep changing/upgrading it?"
This is as childish as it gets, and pointless. The post above yours mentions upgrading the Raven too!
Grow up a little bit. The reason everything can be upgraded is because products are made at a price point. Some upgrades wouldn't make financial sense for the manufacturer, but can be undertaken by the owner of ANY product, unless you buy a Rockport turntable, which is built with a cost-no-object philosophy.
It's not about who has the biggest one here. Have you owned the Raven and the Nottingham to write "BUY A RAVEN!!!". Personally, I own the Nott and haven't heard the Raven, which I'm sure is very good too. I shared my experience with the Nott, including possible upgrade, but I didn't comment on the Raven. So if you have experience with any of them, even if you dislike the Nott, just tell us why, and let the original poster decide. Your post is not much help to anyone, and actually turns me off the Raven slightly.
So if I understand correctly, the Raven is great because TW Acustic, which is a new company, can't keep up with the demand? And the Nottingham is a "passing trendy" turntable from a company which has been in business for 30 years?
Thanks for the laugh.
J: I have extensively listened to the Raven and to a lessor degree the Nottingham. My listening experiences with the Raven are by far many more hours. For the "record" the Raven is the only turntable I have ever listened to gives an un-shakeable feeling of reality that can raise the hairs on your neck. Of course, the turntable was fitted with a Schroder Ref. tonearm and a retiped Shelter from Soundsmith, nothing shabby.
The man asked for an opinion and I gave it to him, nothing held back including the modifications mentioned. If I was going to spend 4K for a "Not", why not spend 20% more to get to own a Raven . Your defense of a Nottingham is fine. I personally feel my Ariadne Reference runs circles around most turntables including yours but I respect the fact few want to go to the "care and feeding" issues of Maplenoll's so I did not recommend it. As I said I know the Raven AC well and I stand by my suggestion. All the best.
I'm perfectly fine with your post and support of the Raven. My problem is with Jhendrixfan's post below yours. I find it immature and uninformative.
Look - Nottingham has been in business for 30 years and they make some excellent stuff but they are absolutely lame at literature, support and mostly they just upgrade things periodically and create new models to keep things "fresh" as far as money flow goes. Their products will NEVER, EVER be as good as the German craftsmanship - period.
You do not like my posts - so be it - but you grow up and face that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is based on re-sale and that is based on "known entities". For example everybody knows what a Marshall Major guitar amp is but some others never even heard of Ampeg amps. So, to me, it is always better to select high $$$ items that are "widely accepted" and hold or even increase in value over time. If you elect not to then that is certainly your perogative but don't put me down for being sagacious.
definitely raven one! i had the pleasure of listening to the spacedeck years back, it was a great tt.
however now that i have the raven one. wow, gorgeous sounding and beautiful tonal palette.
as many have said, this might well be the last tt i will have to buy unless i win the lotto for the raven ac.