October 28, 2020 § Leave a comment
“On a subsequent to Soundhounds they demonstrated the Audio Note UK TT2 – I was impressed. This had the tactile speed and lightness of touch of the Voyd – it had the nimble bounce and energy of the Voyd – well – almost. The TT2 sounded more transparent and “locked in” in terms of pace. It had energy and pizzazz where some of the store’s high mass turntables sounded bloodless and overly polite to me in comparison. I was drawn to the sound of the TT2 over some dearer turntables from Linn, Clearaudio, and Oracle.”
October 4, 2020 § Leave a comment
“That’s the real strength of the SL-1500C: precise timing and dynamics. Throughout my listening, those were the things I kept coming back to. It’s a feature of direct drives in general, but the 1500C in particular just felt alive and expressive. Everything was sharp, in focus, tight, energetic. The soundstage was wide and impressive, but the dynamics really won the day. Everything was lively, fleshed out, and vigorous. I felt myself wanting to put on up-tempo music with lots of physical drumming and bass playing.
At the end of my listening session, one thing became clear: This is an awesome turntable. If I were looking for something in this price range, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the SL-1500C. The only downsides are the odd built-in phonostage, which can be bypassed, and the tonearm lifting/lowering mechanism, which could be sturdier. However, the tonearm itself is very solid and can accommodate a wide variety of cartridges and headshells. Pacing and dynamics are spot on, tight, focused, laser-sharp, and just overall in that sweet spot. The SL-1500C is no fuss, no hassle, easy to use, easy to set up—a no-brainer recommendation.”
September 6, 2020 § Leave a comment
As with most things Audio Note there are multiple options with the power supply. Audio Note currently has three PSUs and a PSU4 is coming. The TT3 turntable itself remains the same. I can’t speak to the difference or improvements that can be achieved with upgraded power supplies. I am told by ears I trust that these power supplies offer striking levels of improvement. If I receive an upgraded unit in the future I will circle back to this review to provide additional thoughts.
September 1, 2020 § Leave a comment
“Turning the TT3 on for the first time I was happy to hear that noise is very low. With three motors spinning, noise is a concern and the old Voyd Reference wasn’t as quiet as compared to other turntables. I detect only slight noise from the motors and the physical operation of the unit. This is only audible when close to the table. There is no audible noise from the seating position or more than about 2-3 feet from the turntable.
Putting on Tom Petty’s “Full Moon Fever” the idea was just to play some albums to let the system warm up. However, my jaw hit the floor. This is not some Analog Productions high end recording – this is a second hand LP from a second hand bin that I purchased for $2 or so. Wow. I couldn’t get the grin off my face for the next 5 hours. I had liked the table in auditions at audio shows and at Elephant Holdings (Audio Note’s Hong Kong dealer), but having the ability to audition with my own system and with my music is a different animal.”
August 25, 2020 § Leave a comment
The EAT B-Sharp managed to capture what I will define, through an admittedly, wholly arbitrary measure, around 85% of what the TechDAS front-end delivered. The latter comes in at a price of over £60,000 for deck, arm and cartridge. Even if you fully accept the Law of Diminishing Returns, the B-Sharp’s delivery is thus nothing short of miraculous.
Above everything, ‘Roundabout’ features exceptional details that listeners love to focus on, all the while marvelling at what is a succession of heart-stopping transients. The opening swell, the delicate guitar work – the build-up promises a musical ‘happening’ rich with ornate keyboard figuring, robust percussion, lush harmonies and just about every sonic trope that would help define prog-rock.”
August 23, 2020 § Leave a comment
“Next up is a rather different test in the form of Orff’s Carmina Burana. Here the Vertere shows-off its insightful midrange performance, fine stereo imaging and impressive dynamic expression. Voices come through with clarity and are solidly planted in an expansive and nicely layered soundstage.
The presentation stays composed and stable, even when the piece becomes frantic, the deck refuses to sound stressed. Yet, given the music’s dramatic nature, we’re pleased to report that the DG-1 sounds admirably explosive when required. It’s a complete performance that’s all the more impressive when considering the relatively modest cartridge.”
August 20, 2020 § Leave a comment
“Now, obviously, short of mastertapes, there is no way one can with absolute certainty pronounce one component truer to the source than another. But thanks to DSD technology, not to mention carefully implemented PCM, you can come pretty close. Take Robert Silverman’s beautiful recital Chopin’s Last Waltz, produced by Ray Kimber for his IsoMike label. The original recording was made with DSD sampled at the quad specification of 11.2MHz. Commercially it is available only as a DSD download from Native DSD Music in 64, 128, or 256, or else on vinyl. According to Kimber, the transfer to vinyl is as accurate as is technologically possible and completely free from any processing of any kind except conformation to the standard RIAA curve. This, then, makes it possible in effect directly to compare the source in native DSD—in my setup at 128fs via an Aurender A20—to the vinyl. Such a comparison isn’t necessarily perfect, but it’s pretty damn close, especially as no decent or better music server or DAC that I’ve ever used has frequency-response aberrations that result in much other than tiny tonal anomalies (certainly not the Aurender), and nothing anywhere remotely as gross as most vinyl setups. The SME/Shure acquitted itself astonishingly well in the comparison. Was there a tad more warmth with the vinyl? Maybe. There was certainly a smidgeon less top-end extension, but that has always been the case with this Shure pickup (I should add that it was properly loaded as regards capacitance). Of course, the 12A can’t do anything about the slightly off-center pressing, so beautiful as the analog transfer is, I prefer the DSD file.”