Pro-Ject Audio Systems X2 Turntable Review

January 17, 2020 § Leave a comment

I”t’s an able information retriever too. Great song though it may be, Crosby, Stills and Nash’s ‘Wooden Ships’ [Crosby, Stills And Nash; Atlantic SD 8229] is not up there in the pantheon of superlative audiophile recordings. Despite this, the X2 was able to fish deep into the mix to communicate a surprisingly large amount of what was going on. It focused on the lead vocals and that sublime solo electric guitar playing, showing off the beautiful harmonies of the former and gravelly texture of the latter. Yet there was plenty more to hear, including the surprisingly crisp rhythm guitar work set towards the back of the mix, and the electric organ alongside it. And although the listener could hear right into the proceedings to enjoy quite remarkable levels of insight, the deck never sounded overly analytical, as some rivals can.

The deck’s fine speed stability and overall control make for a stimulating listen. Yes, there can be the feeling on some recordings that things could do with a little more punch, but the X2 is entering the territory of turntables all able to turn in quite a captivating performance and all are strong in some areas rather than others. In short, the Pro-Ject X2 has much to offer considering its keen pricing. Indeed it’s proof that you can get a lot of sound per pound from turntables these days, even from almost ‘plug and play’ designs such as this.”

Triangle Art Anubis Turntable $15,000 Review

January 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

“Moreover, wearing the white linen gloves complicates things.  In addition to protecting the shiny metal surfaces from fingerprints, they reduce friction, making gripping the heavy components, such as the platter, much more challenging—and potentially disastrous. 

When I lowered the weighty platter onto the plinth, gripping it tightly, the tip of one of my gloves’ fingers stretched out and got pinched between them. I had to remove both gloves so I could lift the platter and extract it (I thought for sure the glove would tear). Frankly, I would recommend not wearing gloves while handling the platter and plinth to avoid risking dropping them.”

Rega Planar 10 / Apheta 3 review

January 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

“The Planar 10/Apheta 3 resolves a great deal of detail but never comes across as overly analytical. All that information is presented in a coherent and wholly musical way. It simply helps to communicate the music’s message rather than impress in its own right.

Moving to Bob Marley’s Catch A Fire reinforces our impression of a rhythmically coherent sound but also shows that the package has an expressive and clear midrange. Marley’s voice comes through with clarity and passion on Concrete Jungle, while the backing instrumentation is presented with an insistent drive that has our feet tapping instinctively.”

Technics SL-1200G Turntable Review

December 27, 2019 § Leave a comment

Those, such as myself, who already own an SL-1200 mk2 will say, “okay yes, so what is new?” To that, I would reply that the difference between the two generations of decks is that the new one is subtly smoother, quieter and less aggressive sounding. It’s just as much fun as the oldie – indeed even more so – but has fewer obvious drawbacks, more of which later…

The SL-1200G’s overall musicality is the deck’s standout feature, and hard to ignore – even when compared to more expensive superdecks. Yes, this Technics does have character – but it’s a good one and hard not to love. Where a number of mid-to-high price belt drives fall over themselves to be detailed, incisive, even-handed and tonally accurate, this iconic direct drive just dives straight into the music and has a ball. Play Chic‘s Good Times or indeed any similarly beat-driven seventies disco-era tune, and you’ll see what I mean. “

Continuum Obsidian/Viper Turntable/Arm Review

December 25, 2019 § Leave a comment

“What the eye also doesn’t see is that the entire arm mechanism is magnetically attached to the base of the Obsidian, using tungsten contact points instead of fixed mechanical means, eg, bolts or screws. Continuum says that, ‘In a sense, the mechanism floats on these tungsten contact points’. Tungsten is also used in the bearing shaft, the bearing itself being a magnetically-opposed, if non-floating design. Continuum fits a 60V, servo-controlled, ‘zero-cogging DC motor’ designed and constructed specifically to accommodate the Obsidian’s platter and which is said to possess the highest power currently available in a motor of its size. The motor – dubbed ‘The Quiet One’ – uses stainless steel, pre-loaded ball bearings, and graphite brushes for better current conductivity when driving a heavy platter. Best of all, the motor is indeed super-quiet, and gets up to speed quickly./”

Vertere Acoustics MG-1 MkII/Mystic review

December 22, 2019 § Leave a comment

“The newest member of this package is Vertere’s first in-house cartridge, the Mystic. This 9.1g moving coil is arguably the most conventional design of the trio of components but still has a rigid aluminium body that’s machined from solid. Its top plate isn’t flat as is the norm but has three small raised sections that ensure a stable fit with the tonearm, even if the headshell isn’t machined perfectly flat. The body is carefully designed to work well with the internal generator providing good support and control of unwanted mechanical vibrations.

The Mystic’s body uses an aluminium tube cantilever and a micro elliptical stylus that’s claimed to track the record groove well without suffering from excessive surface noise or compromising on high-frequency response. An output of 0.5mV is healthy enough and shouldn’t cause any gain issues with sensibly designed partnering phono stages.”

Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Review

December 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Tracking through the crate full of classic rock LPs that are in the “party bin” in my living room, the T1 continues to impress. While digital audio converters (especially the ones in the $350-$1,000 range) have improved tremendously, there’s still a level of warmth and continuity to the sound that you won’t get with something like an AudioQuest Dragonfly. Granted, streaming 24/192 via Qobuz might offer a little more ultimate resolution, but the Pro-Ject wins hands down in the organic way it assembles the sound molecules from a vinyl LP. And Vinyl is all about the tactile experience.

An impromptu gathering of a few neighbors, has everyone joining in, playing a few records and marveling at how easy the T1 is to use. While the T1 makes a great start to your vinyl journey, I highly suggest that even seasoned audiophiles have one, for casual listening. And starting out your friends with one of these means that their records won’t get damaged either. Nearly everyone buying those cheapie tables is not doing their records a favor.”

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