Helius Omega Tonearm and Alexia Turntable Review

January 4, 2021 § Leave a comment

When it comes to matching phono pickups he has some decidedly unusual (and rather confusingly explained) ideas regarding effective mass, but the bottom line is that the Omega is “best suited to medium-to-stiff cantilevers” typical of moving coils. Downward force is applied by the main counterweight, designed to be as close to the bearing housing as possible, with three minor weights for fine tuning (you’ll need to supply the gauge). Height adjustment is via the usual collar-clamp and set-screw in the base plate; uncalibrated antiskating adjustment is provided, which means you set it by ear or with test records. Dan Meinwald, whose EAR-USA imports Helius products, prefers to leave antiskating unengaged; I tried it both ways with equally good results, which is to say I heard no mistracking that I could attribute to bias issues. The Omega’s cueing is among the most accurate I’ve come across. The captive cables are very short, terminating in a pair of enclosed RCA jacks that can be attached to the base, after which the user supplies his own interconnects to the preamplifier. The Omega is offered in four versions: Standard, under review here, with Tungsten bearings and copper wiring, retailing for $3695; Standard with silver wire for $3895; Silver Ruby with ruby bearings for $5225; and a 12-inch Silver Ruby for $5295.

Helius Alexia TT & Helius Omega 10″ Tonearm

Yamaha GT-5000 review

December 30, 2020 § Leave a comment


It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers to find that that very first LP I placed on the Yamaha GT-5000’s platter was my new favourite recording of Eric Satie’s Gymnopédies as performed by Anne Queffélec (Virgin Classics 522 0502) whose tempi are perfect and whose rubato is glorious. I just love the liberties she takes with the score, which elevates it from just being ‘another virtuoso performance’ into another league completely. (Though as another reviewer was insistent I point out, she was not brave enough to omit the final chord.)

The reason for playing Satie was, of course, that slow (very slow, insanely slow) piano music will immediately reveal if a turntable’s platter is ‘wowing’ (slow speed variations) or ‘fluttering’ (higher speed variations) as it rotates. I can happily report that I heard zero wow and zero flutter when auditioning the GT-5000. I also did not hear any cogging effects which, of course, is precisely the reason Yamaha elected to use a belt drive rather than a direct drive for its GT-5000 in the first place.

How To: Setup Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

December 22, 2020 § Leave a comment

TOP 5 Record Players for Christmas 2020

December 15, 2020 § Leave a comment


November 27, 2020 § Leave a comment


Analogue could still be seen by many as a radically different medium compared to digital technology. It has its qualities, but at the upper level of the 21st century, the differences are not as great as they were a few years ago.

The younger generation, born and grew up in the digital world, is wrongly generalized as unfathomable for the analog. Many of them are rediscovering the vast musical heritage of vinyl records and going even further by trying to find music that was never released in the digital realm.

The analog is not cemented in the older generation. It finally broke out of the mold. As with books, there is a positive trend towards recognizing the qualities of the analog medium and a deeper appreciation of the physical interaction with record and album covers. “

Introducing Thales Turntable and Tonearm

November 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

Yamaha GT-5000 Turntable $1,399 Review

November 21, 2020 § Leave a comment


Better still, the feelgood factor begins when you unpack the GT-5000, as there’s the sense that much thought has gone into how a top-flight turntable should be presented. Both rubber and felt platter mats are provided, plus two counterweights for a range of cartridge weights. There’s also a pair of handles that screw into the platter, enabling it to be lifted onto the sub-platter without risk of marking the plinth’s finish.

Best of all is a stroboscopic disc, plus a dedicated strobe lamp that plugs into a socket on the rear of the plinth to provide accurate speed setting – the deck offers both 33.33rpm and 45rpm speeds – independent of mains frequency variations. Finally, the rear of the plinth has pre-drilled mounting holes (blanked off with glorious knurled screws) to take the hinges of the optional DCV-5000 lid, though this will set you back a rather eye-watering £849.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO Turntable REVIEW

November 14, 2020 § Leave a comment

“Again, I admit to being a mostly virgin vinyl enthusiast, but what experience and knowledge I’ve been lucky and humbled to absorb from vinyl mastering guys, our very own Dave McNair, and other members of PTA and the hi-fi world, has shown me enough that I feel confident saying the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO offers quite a lot of value for the money. As we head into the chilly months, I’m looking forward to what honestly feels like a hi-fi second puberty. It’s disorienting, emotional, obsessive, and erotic, and losing my turntable virginity was more confounding, less thrilling and placed greater demand on my manual dexterity than I anticipated. Cartridge setup is a task. With all that said, the Pro-Ject has kept the tubes glowing and brought the fun consistently as I journey through the dark arts of vinyl. Winter is coming and I know where I’ll be. Inside with a turntable.”

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo review

November 10, 2020 § Leave a comment


Of course, that is of little surprise. The company has long proven its ability to offer up a magnificently plush midrange, with vocals so often a particular treat when given so much warmth and held up by plenty of weight in the bass.

It is also partnered with a great deal of detail and texture. Where competitors might beef up their sound in an attempt to disguise a lack of real insight, Pro-Ject here welcomes you to explore its vast sonic range, proving its aptitude for making a deck that is both easy to listen to and prepared for deeper, more analytical sessions.

That easy listening, unfussy nature is invaluable for a turntable of this type, at this price, given the vast array of products with which it might be partnered, but again that would be next to worthless if the new Debut lacked the ability to engage.

Audio Note UK TT3 turntable system $10,795 Review

October 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“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.”

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