Acoustic Signature Montana NEO turntable $30,995 Review

December 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

With the Etna, I heard more of the small, wide, not-particularly-deep West Hollywood 500 seater—I played there once!—than I heard through the A95. King and Taylor were reproduced with more three-dimensionality and solidity. The Etna put me in the first few rows in front of the stage. The comparison demonstrated that the Montana’s designers met their goal of producing a neutral, well-damped cartridge-carrier that lets through varied transducer personalities without limiting them in any way.

Though the arm/’table combo will set you back nearly $50,000, my experience was that every time I put a record on the platter, pressed “on”—even the push buttons delivered precise authority—and lowered the stylus into the lead-in groove, I had no doubt about where the money went, especially because, having set up the turntable myself, I hear the ‘table’s well-hidden, ingeniously designed, skillfully executed guts in every play.

Nagra Debuts its New Reference Anniversary Turntable/Tonearm Record 

December 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

The 10.5” one piece arm allows for all set-up parameter, repeatable adjustability and features a dual concentric carbon fiber tube with an intermediary wood layer. The arm is composed of but eight parts. All parts other than the wand were designed by the Nagra team and manufactured and assembled in Switzerland and you know what’s coming and it involves watches and Swiss precision.

1938 rare Gramophone Restoration 

December 5, 2021 § Leave a comment

Coturn CT-01 Review

November 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

Andover Audio Model-One turntable with built-in speakers and Bluetooth

November 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

Naim Audio Solstice turntable system £16,000 Review

November 23, 2021 § Leave a comment

In a way, the Naim Audio Solstice turntable isn’t something that unveils endless amounts of new information off the groove (although the turntable’s overall performance is extremely detailed); it’s how it ties everything together so well and makes that sound natural and entertaining. All the elements that contribute to good sound (dynamic range, good stereo soundstaging, etc) are there and represented well, but the same could be said of almost any decent turntable. The combination of turntable, arm, cartridge and phono stage is well developed, and the individual products work in harmony (as much as it’s possible to check given there are limited swappable options at this time), but so do many well-assembled turntable packages. What the Solstice does so well, however, is render all that academic. Most other decks you experience or enjoy; this one helps you enjoy the music, all else is at best a secondary concern.

The arm in particular is a joy to use, retaining all the easy ‘plonk it on the record and play the thing’ nature of the older arm, but with just enough of a lift/lower to make cueing up a record possible. Looking into the past, some of the limitations addressed at the Aro of its time (I used one in the 1990s; it was great, but a little rolled off top and bottom, it errs on the ‘easy on the ears’ side of things, and it doesn’t take well to complex layered classical music) are either simply not an issue or are reduced to near-total inaudibility. Yes, the Aro’s mid-bass bloom (which gave music its characteristic ‘bounce’) is still around in vestigial terms, but it only serves to make the sound more beat-oriented and exciting,

DIY Turntable

November 19, 2021 § Leave a comment

How It’s Made – turntables

November 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

Capital Audio Fest 2021 Day One

November 13, 2021 § Leave a comment

Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable PackageReview

November 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

Whatever bizarre sounds Brian Wilson chose to employ, the Debut PRO handled with aplomb. And that includes the Theremin, the signature sound of ‘Good Vibrations’ and a rare example of electronic sound that doesn’t immediately suggest artifice. Throughout the album, though, were the harmonies of a group that ranks in the permanent Top 10, along with The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, The Hollies, The Everlys and the rest. As with The Lettermen (Capitol Records must have had a thing about harmony), the sound was ethereal yet palpable. How’s that for a juggling act?

Having spun over 30 LPs on the Debut PRO, I leave it convinced that it begs to be heard by the sort of audiophile-in-waiting Lichtenegger designed it for, just as it begs the use of a puck or clamp. I would love to have one just to see how far the various upgrades can take it, the easy swaps like trick cables, outré mats, and whatever MC cartridge one cares to fit. But even in stock form, it joins the best of sub-£1000 front-end combinations. ‘Entry level’ has a new champion.

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