I have only auditioned one WT table. I never heard a Teres before I built mine. Enough said. Well, maybe not. I, like you, asked advice about this before proceeding. I originally wanted to do it all for 2k. Yeah, right! It has now progressed to all out vinyl madness. The Teres design just seems "right". As I'm sure you are aware of through this forum and VA, there has been basically no one who is dissaisfied with the Teres (one exception, CB took care of it). That's because you flat out cannot beat it for the money.
I can tell you that the sonic difference between MY Staron plinth and MY cocobolo plinth is minimal, almost nothinig. But, there is a difference. But remember, I built these, they are not "stock" Teres items, just loosly based on CB's design. I like the wood. I can change the sonics by changing the arm boards more than changing plinths.
Use the RB250 in one of it's many variations. I use an OL1, a modded 250, & a modded 300. The OL1 is the best of this particular group. It will allow you to put a significant amout of money away for the 300b's.
What's your budget? Cartridge preference? It may help with the recommendations.
Thank you for your input, I have followed the documentation of your build process and want to take a moment to say thank you for providing what must have been a very exciting process-- not to mention the end result!
You ask about budget, For the table itself, if it takes a little longer for me to put together what is required for the Teres Cocobolo table so be it.
As far as budget for cartridges- I am presently using a Dynavector 10x4, (I like the way it handles surface noise, or the relative lack thereof), but the Shelter 501 or 901 are really on my mind.
More than likely I will visit the Denon DL103 in one of its various flavours until I get the 300b dream dialed in.
Once again, I really prefer a black background, dynamics etc (Alnico Klipschorns are one of my more listened to pairs of speakers right now)
Of course when the audio upgrade bug bites, it does so without hesitation, or regard for much other than self gratification :) so....
I use a 103r and really like it with the K&K step up. Since any Shelter requires a step up too, you can save about $550 by using the 103r, more with a 103.
I'd go with a cocobolo 245, RB250, K&K, and Denon to start. You will be amazed! Remember, I have the non lead loaded platter. That saves about $1225 over a 265. In my case, I wanted to do my own platters to see what I can come up with.
You are looking at about $2800 for a 245, $250 for the K$K, $241 for the 103r, and probably $300 for an arm. So, for about $3600 you are looking at a setup that IMHO NO Well Tempered will touch. At least the one I listened to isn't even close.
Using my Audio Note Soro SE Phono is almost dead quiet. I'm having a bit of frustration with my ic's between the K&K and the Soro, but when I get that figured out it should be absolutely black. I retubed everything in the amp, and that took the phono stage to NO NOISE when the ic's aren't connected.
What's the rest of your system?
I also took some more pics of the new armboard that will be going up today.
Your recommendations are certainly in line with my thinking, the cocobolo 245 and the RB250 is what I am leaning toward as my initial new table and arm. Since I find my system a work in progress the arm, and cart choice will be always subject to a change in time. (the Denon sounds lke a great idea too!
My system consists of:
Teksonor turntable (Italian table with a plinth made of a solid block of olive wood.)
Marantz 150 tuner
Threshold SL10 Pre (I like this pre, build quality second to none, and extremely quiet with a great phono stage.)
Bottlehead Paramours, upgraded
And also a mint GAS Son of Ampzilla that I sometimes listen to.
At this point,my Khorns are the only thing that is destined to stay for a long, long time.
look forward to your addititions to your Teres Site!
I have never heard a WT so I can't comment on them. I can say that if you want black backgrounds and powerful dynamics, a Teres will supply them in spades, especially with the cocobolo base.
Do a search for cocobolo + acrylic + Teres and you'll probably turn up the post by Twl where he compared the two directly in his system. For him, the cocobolo won hands down. Night and day, etc. etc.
For tonearms, again with the goal being maximum dynamics, I'd stick with a gimball based design. Few unipivots will stabilize a cartridge as well, and a stable cartridge body is essential for allowing maximum cantilever acceleration and extension. That's what creates dynamics. My Shelter 901 on an appropriate arm is dynamic as hell. I wouldn't put either Shelter on a Unify.
Enjoy the hunt!
Interesting point with regard to the Gimball based design arms and dynamics, now that I think about it, it does make a lot of sense.
In my heart of hearts I really do feel that the Teres Cocobolo is becoming more of a reality day by day. (Now I just need to take the plunge.)
In addition to Twl's logical arguments, one of the factors that convinced me of the advantages of dual bearing arms for bass and dynamics was the way I acquired my cartridge.
I knew I wanted a Shelter 901. We listen to a lot of large scale classical, and last year the 901 was being widely discussed as the best cartridge on the planet for that kind of music. People were marveling at its perfect control during the most complex and dynamic passages. They were also remarking on its deep, powerful and musical bass.
Then one showed up for sale here with just 100 hours on it. This is pretty rare so I grabbed it. Out of curiosity I asked the seller why he sold it. "Didn't like the bass." was his answer. WTF?! So I asked what arm he'd used it on. It was the Well Tempered arm. Not exactly a unipivot but certainly not a gimbal design either. I didn't say anything of course, but he should have kept the Shelter and sold the WT arm.
Everything everybody was saying about the 901 is true. Properly supported and set up, it continues to astonish us every day. IMO a low compliance cartridge like this performs best when provided with a very stable platform, ie, a high mass non-suspended TT and a dual bearing arm. Really good suspended tables like a top Basis, SME or Walker might do as well, but they all cost $15K+.
Appreciate the story, sure sounds like you did well on the Shelter purchase :)
I see that you have done the "TWL's HiFi Mod" on your Origin Live Silver Mk I, that mod has always interested me and with my present setup I am unable to implement it.
I am thinking maybe starting out with a stock RB250, (Juki's got the RB250 for ~ $200) then doing a one shot rewire from cart clips to RCA's, stub and counterweight replacement, and of course the TWL mod.
Any thoughts on the difficulty factor of doing the rewire ? (I like to "get my hands dirty", am detail oriented, with mechanical/electrical ability.)
Of course, this RB250 arm thing may be just a passing thought--
Now what I REALLY need to do is get my pen a little closer to my checkbook and make out a check to Teres! (I am giving myself a 2 month deadline to do so.)
I have trouble changing the batteries in a flashlight without screwing up, guess I'm electrically challenged. I've never rewired an arm, but lots of others have done the Expressimo rewire so I guess it's doable.
Chris Brady is totally swamped at the moment so his lead times are a little stretched. Be prepared to wait some if you do decide to take the plunge.
The HIFI mod is a killer. If you go the Rega route and buy the weights from Twl, you get the extra benefit of being able to add my mod to his mod. Twl's weights accommodate a micro-VTF adjuster I discovered. It lets you change VTF over a .15g range without moving the counterweight! Big benefit for VTF-sensitive cartridges like the Shelters.
Yes, I'm nuts and no, it never stops!
Thanks for the heads up on the Teres wait, (I saw 6 weeks on his website) I guess I will have to live with that--
I would most certainly purchase the TWL Mod from TWL, as I feel its the least I can do in order to help support the inventor and credit is due, where its due :) I highly enjoy TWL's informative plus posts.
Is there a thread that covers your VTF mod? (adjusting the VTF in those increments without moving the CW sounds really slick!)
Now if I could get my nose outta the forums, and get some work done...
Six weeks is a long wait, but well worth it. You will never "kick yourself inn the ass" for buying it.
The rewire is not hard at all. You should have no problem. The hardest part of the TWL mod is popping off the caps! I did it for a minute, to see how it sounds, then took it off. Only because of the amount of swapping things around at this stage. When I have it set up for me & only me, it goes back. It's amazing.Doug's VTF thread
Pretty neat, huh? It's fun to see what people will come up with to make our vinyl lives easier & better.
Feel free to email if I can help in any way.
It just keeps gettin better and better--
I love this forum but it sure isn't gonna help my bank account any.
Ever see a hearse with a trailer hitch ? how about a luggage rack ?
Ya can't take it with ya!
Get a Teres 255 with a ET2 tonearm and if you can swing it go for the Shelter 901 cartridge, this setup will be very hard to beat. I have this setup and love it, very musical.
If you need an arm, get a Schroeder - you might wait six months, but it will be worth it. I have Schroeder Model 2 on my Platine Verdier with an Allaerts MC1B (also have a Hadcock GH228 - very underrated arm- and Decca London Gold).
The Schroeder arms deserve their rave reviews. Frank Schroeder makes 3 arms - the Model 2, Model 1 and Reference. The Model 2 gives you most, but not all of the quality of the Reference at about 1/3 of the cost (in the UK about 1000GBP). The Allaerts pickups also have a cult following. Jan Allaerts only makes 70 cartridges a year. The combo has fantastic deep and wide soundstaging, a refined top end and midrange and is transparent. Sure it doesn't quite have the slam of my Decca London Gold, but what does. I listen to an eclectic mix of music. In small groups, or with piano sonatas, I feel like I'm in the front row.
rest of my kit
Verdier Control B tube pre-amp with tube PSU
Avantgarde Duo Horns
Musical Fidelity, and PHY-HP i/cs
QED Genesis silver spkr cables
It looks like you're going to be VERY broke. I wouldn't count on that hearse, more like a donkey cart! ;)
I am currently bedeviled by a trace of inner groove distortion. Try as I will I cannot quite eliminate it, despite multiple cartride realignments and fiddling with every adjustment known to analog man.
I presume your ET2 is immune to that little problem. Have you ever had another arm on the same table as your ET2? Can you compare the sonics? I don't want give up bass, dynamics or transient speed (or anything!) just to solve the inner groove problem.
Donkey cart, then so be it! I will have a Cocobolo based Teres....
tick tick tick, the countdown is on-- just need a lil mo' time :) (1.5 months and counting)
I'm gonna be joinin' the fold---
Hey, at least make it a cocobolo donkey cart!
Another vote for Teres. Buy the best model (definitely Cocbolo) you can get. The 340 is awesome and has extremely quite / black background and fabulous sound.
Graham 2.2 is a great match for the Teres and easy to adjust.
Glad to hear the 340 is working well. I thought I remembered from the other thread that you also tried a Vector arm. If so , did you use the velcro method to attach the tonearm wires to the Teres?
No, we did not use any Velcro. I am not familiar with the "velcro method". Can you describe it ?
On my vector arm there is a small acrylic block where the tonearm wires intersect/become the larger shielded leads to the phono amp. The prescribed method of attaching this block to the table is to use the supplied velcro strips so that the whole assembly does not hang from the delicate tonearm wires. Maybe this method has been changed by Basis?
I do have the lucite box velcro'd to the side of the turntable platform.
I'm making plans for my future Teres.
Glad you are moving towards a Teres table - you will be quite happy.
Please feel free to conact me directly via email and I will be happy to share any of my experience or insights with you.
Dear Richard: You already solve the TT issue, one important step in the music/analog reproduction. Now you have to deal with a more important step: tonearm/cartridge combo, your money would will be here ( if you love and want the music ). Your 300B can't do anything for improve the sound that comes from your analog front end ( anything can't do it ), so you need the best quality signal from your analog front end: you have to put your money here.
Then, if you care about music, you have to choose a tonearm with a good design and a good execution design ( it does not matters if is unipivot, gimball,knife or anything else ) ( the Rega is not a good design. That's why the people try to do changes on it and that's why exist Origin Live ): Moerch, SME, Audiocraft,Pluto,Vector,Schroeder ( Topoxfordoc recomendation ), are really great tonearms and do a good match with Shelter 901.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Cello and Doug... how would you compare the Vector to the other arms you auditioned?
It's a little hard to talk about Cello's Vector. IIRC we only heard one cartridge on it, his Shelter 901, and that clearly hasn't broken in yet. My 901 sounded less constrained, edgy or peaky than Cello's no matter what arm we put it on. Keeping that in mind, here are my impressions of the Basis Vector and Graham 2.2:
The Vector is more dynamic. Those dynamics sounded a bit strained or "hifi" at times, but I'm pretty sure that was due to the new cartridge.
The Graham seemed a bit smoother, rounder or warmer, though again that could be due to Cello's newish 901 making the Vector sound edgier.
For useability and ease of adjustment it's no contest, the Graham wins by a mile. It's an easy and pleasurable arm to use. The Vector's lack of VTA adjustment is a major oversight. Cello was wise to order the Teres VTA adapter for it, without that the Vector would be a non-starter for me despite it's considerable sonic merits.
For clarity and neutrality however I think the eventual winner may be the Vector. Once everything breaks in I think the Graham's very slight warmth may be more noticeable. This is very subtle however, and either arm could be right for certain systems, tastes, or cartridges. It may even depend on the recording. Electric guitar and female pop or jazz vocals on the Graham/Koetsu RSP were just magical. Nice to have a 340-2 and two such fine setups to choose from.
Here's a revelation for you: either of these fine arms clobbers my modded OL Silver! Who'da thunk it? I heard no inner groove problems on the Vector or the 2.2. I have those constantly with my OL. It's nothing to do with cartridge alignment, the OL just won't let the stylus trace those tight inner groove modulations cleanly. The Vector and 2.2 both do a better job and they're both less colored. Since returning home, Paul and I now both hear the OL's limitations on every record. (Curse you Cello! I knew something like this would happen.) Of course a $900 arm has no business playing in this kind of traffic, and Twl's $20 HIFI Mod gives the Silver every inch of the Vector's stunning dynamics. It actually beats the Graham there, if nowhere else.
At the opposite end of ridiculous was CB's Schroeder Reference. It's in a class of its own, price-wise and performance-wise. With my Shelter 901 on it we had an open pipeline to the music, there were no sonic artifacts from arm or cartridge at all. It was like both components had just disappeared. Fairly amazing stuff, as you'd hope for from an arm that costs nearly as much as a Vector and a 2.2 combined.
Say, anyone wanna buy a lightly used, lovingly modified OL Silver - for about $5K? We'll even throw in Paul's paper clip VTF adjuster, which works better than the VTF on any of those overpriced sticks we heard at Cello's! :-)
FWIW, I have also audtioned both the Vector and the 2.2 with a Shelter 501, 901, a Benz Ref 2 (Silver and Copper), and a Koetsu Urishi. These arm/cartridge combos were run on a Nottingham Spacedeck, Hyperspace, and an SME20. I did NOT find the Vector to be more dynamic than the 2.2 in any of those instances. In fact, it was one of the reasons (along with great ease of VTA, VTF, and azimuth settings - and the fact that Bob Graham is a prince to deal with), that I selected the 2.2 over the Basis arm for my Spacedeck. Now, the Spacedeck does not compete with the 340, to be sure, but the SME20 is clearly no slouch.
I think Doug is correct to say that the table may make a big difference in evaluating an arm/cartridge. Always best to listen whenever you can. I first heard a Vector on a Basis 2800 and if I had not heard it AND the 2.2 on my 'Not, I would have bought the Vector.
Did you buy a Teres, Dennis? Thought I heard you mention you did or were leaning toward... If it is only the Teres you're concerned with visa vis the Vector, I'd certainly trust Doug's ear.
Hey Yanx, yeh, I've had my Teres 240 for about 18 months, and the vector for maybe 4 months. I'm not one to mess with VTA much, but now that Teres has their adapter, I'm putting it on my wish list. RCM is first though, and that will come soon.
I was waffling between getting a used Graham and a new Vector. Believe it or not, the prices offered were about even. I went with the Vector, and compared to my Expressimo Rega, I was totally floored. I've told people and still believe that it was one of the most significant upgrades in sound for my system.
All is good for you then, Dennis. Congrats.
Nice writeup on arm differences. If you like the Schroeder sound, or lack thereof, but don't like the price, I'm with Topoxforddoc and highly recommend the model 2. For a little more than your OL, you'll get most of the way there.
I've had the arm for a good 6 months now, and it doesn't have the inner groove distortion which most gimbal arms have. As to dynamics, with the carbon fibre armwand, it is super fast.
Thanks for the tip. We're taking a close look at all Frank's models. It was indeed the lack of any sound attributable to the arm that was so stunning.
Interesting comment about gimballed arms being more susceptible to inner groove problems. I'd love to hear more, whether experiences or theories, about why you think so. (I'm not challenging, just curious.) Is it based on your experiences with several gimballed arms? Theory about bearing chatter? Or...?
As I mentioned above, we've had inner groove problems since our ears got smart enough to recognize them. We also have a bit of coloration across the record, more at some frequencies than others. Resonances are the obvious culprit, and I suppose bearing chatter excited by resonances could make a gimbal design more vulnerable. Am I getting close?
Dear Cmk: Can you be more specific on the gimbal tonearms inner groove distortion?
It will be interesting to know wich gimbal tonearms and with wich cartridges they were mated.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Look into the Loricraft cleaning machine - It costs a ton, but is well worth the price and then some -
You will never regret getting it and you can save a bit on the ear plugs you would need with either of the VPI machines.
I don't have extensive experience with gimbal arms, but my experience parallels yours. I used the Kuzma Stogi Reference prior to the Schroeder. A well made gimball arm, very tight tolerances, ABEC 7 bearings(same as SME). Same cart - Dyna TK. Try as I as might, with spot on alinement, I just couldn't get rid of the inner groove distortion. Actually it was thanks to you guys that I started listening for it. I only experienced it on certain LPs, but after knowing what it was, it was an irritation [urgh].
I reckon it is a combination of factors which lead to this inner groove problem, (1) bearing chatter, (2) tracking error, and (3) imperfect/worn LP cutting.
For your problem about coloration across the record, I suggest the use of the Mystic Mat from Living Voice. 4yanx tried it too and I basically agree with his findings. It reduces unwanted resonances.
It was a Kuzma Stogi Ref mated with the Dynavector Te Kaitora.
Point to note was that it was only audible on certain LPs. So I reckon that not all LPs are ideally cut, so a certain amount of give is desirable to reduce the inner groove distortion. Just IMO.
My only experience in comparing arms on my system took place on the same weekend with Doug Deacon & Paul using Graham 2.2, Vector & Schroeder Reference tonearms.
There were 7 of us listening that weekend (for two full days) and the Schroder, owned by Chris Brady of Teres was the hands down wipe the drool off your chin winner.
After that there was a split group that preferred the sound of either Basis Vector or the Graham 2.2. I was of the Graham preferring group.
We used my Shelter 901 cartridge with only 50 hours of use on it and Dougs 901 with several hundred hours (fully broken in). I think cartridges change so dramatically in their sonic presentation after breaking in that we did not have an ideal situation to make a fair comparison. I am hoping that Doug and Paul will be back after my 901 is broken in and we can really come to understand the differences between the Graham 2.2 and the Basis Vector.
At this stage of the game. I would pick the Graham over the Vector. The build quality (sturdiness), ease of changing the azimuth and easy access to the VTA adjustment knob, dramatically ease of set up of the Graham ( Vector was harder to set up than the Schroeder) are a big factor.
The Graham also allows you to have multiple removable arm wands that are quickly interchangeable. You can use two or more arm wands with a different cartridge mounted on each and quickly change out from one cartridge to another. The removable arm wand also allows you to take the arm wand off the main mechanism and sit down comfortably at a table and accurately install a cartridge. That is a huge plus in mounting and accurately aligning a cartridge safely with out risk of damaging the cartridge (easier on your back from not having to stoop over your table as well).
During our weekend of comparing tonearms and cartridges, I came to prefer the sonics of the Graham over the Vector. I think that it is way too early in the game for me to have a final opinion. In the future, I could come to wish for more dynamics that the Vector offered as Doug correctly stated in lieu of the warmth and musicality of the Graham that we heard. That being said, I really think the break-in period needs to take place and we need to listen to the comparison of both arms on the same system using two of the same fully broken in cartridges (same model) after both tonearms and phono cables are broken in.
If you would like to make the decision easy for yourself, get the Schroder Reference and put a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum cartridge on it (that was just heaven). You just have to part with some serious money, but it could easily be a lifetime purchase (until Schroeder comes out with the Reference model II).
In the end, I think the arms are close enough that the break-in needs to take place, another comparison done and then it may turn out that the sonic positives are so close that the convenience and sturdiness of the tonearms might be your deciding factors.
Hi Cmk: Yes, I agree with you about it. I don't have personal experience with the Kuzma tonearm but I read very good experiences on it and for the Dynavector I know it very well and I never did have any problem with it.
TKS and enjoy the music.