AVID ACUTUS CLASSIC unboxing and setup 

March 20, 2023 § Leave a comment

Vinyl Record Mass Production Process. Korea’s Only LP Records Manufacturing Factory

March 16, 2023 § Leave a comment

Clearaudio Innovation Professional Power Supply £10,300 Review

March 15, 2023 § Leave a comment

Even in original form with stock power supply and round-section drive belt, the Innovation clearly shows the benefit of its advanced engineering and materials. There’s an overarching sense of ease in its timing and pitch stability, playing acoustic piano for example with such authority that you know that any hint of waver in note modulation is a product of the very piano’s tuning, the master tape transcription or the tiniest of non-concentricities from the record.

While settling in with this arrangement, I came to realise that the SMPS has no place on the same mains as the rest of the system. Sharing the Nordost QBase distribution board with the power amp and phono stage always betrayed a mild HF haze and midband muddle that was easily diminished by running from a separate outlet; in this case an IsoTek Sigma on a different wall socket.

That cleaning-up operation was magnified again with the PP24V now powering the deck. Focusing on the frenetic drumming in ‘Slow Yourself Down’ from Camel’s first album, the new supply gave not just more body to the percussive onslaught, showing the shape as well as placement of tom‑toms, it tidied and made sense of the whole backing track. No wonder drummer Andy Ward got a co-writing credit for the number.


SME Model 12 MK2 Turntable Review

March 7, 2023 Comments Off on SME Model 12 MK2 Turntable Review


Marshall’s higher, quieter organ notes seemed to be floating up in the air, rising behind and between my loudspeakers from an eerily quiet background. As things picked up in both pace and level, however, I could easily pick out the different location of the big organ pipes, as well as the sound bouncing off the cathedral walls. The Model 12 MK2 placed me in the centre of the action – if you took me to the venue itself, I’m pretty sure I could tell you the row, if not the seat, I had been ‘sitting’ in my listening room!

This degree of openness and detail made everything sound crisp, clear and lifelike. The deck cut though the crackles on my old 45rpm copy of Charlie Dore’s ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’ [Island Records WIP 6526] to pull an unexpected level of detail out of the grooves. Dore’s vocals were proudly centre stage and the music around him bounded cheerily along, just as it should.



The Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B phono preamplifier and Pro-Ject X2 B turntable combination is an excellent platform to build an analog playback system with. They produce an engaging and lively sound quality from vinyl records and are built to last. And to make them even better, there is a solid upgrade path to get even better sound quality out of both of them. The total combined MSRP price of the Pro-Ject X2 B turntable land Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B phono preamplifier is $2,298 USD. For that amount, you get an excellent platform for playing records with a Sumiko Rainer MM cartridge pre-installed and the tonearm balanced. You also get a phono preamplifier which does a great job of extracting musical information out of vinyl records but also does it with a sense of energy and liveliness. That phono preamplifier will also let you connect two tonearms at once and adjust cartridge settings by pressing buttons on its face, which is a real rarity in its price range. And if you want to extend the performance of this combo, you can purchase it from an authorized Pro-Ject dealer for a Superpack which gets you an improved Sumiko MC cartridge and a Connect It Phono S mini-XLR cable at reduced pricing.

AMG Giro MK II Turntable With 9W2 Tonearm

February 22, 2023 Comments Off on AMG Giro MK II Turntable With 9W2 Tonearm


It’s time for us to show some love to AMG (Analog Manufaktur Germany), who make Großartig (great, that is) turntables and tonearms. The recently upgraded Giro MK II turntable is the focus of our current platter affection.

AMG, which was founded in Bavaria in 2011, is, as noted above, known for high-quality turntables and tonearms, and the MK II is an upgrade of the company’s original MK ’table that was first introduced in 2015. The company doesn’t overtax its production lines, as the other two higher-end turntable offerings in their current line are the ones dubbed Viella (28kg) and Viella Forte (48kg). Meanwhile, AMG’s tonearm lineup includes 9in and 12in models available as both standard (9W2 and 12J2) and upgraded Turbo versions (9WT and 12JT). The other entry in this tonearm lineup, the 9W1, is a slightly longer 9in arm compatible with Rega’s mounting geometry, but it is not typically paired with AMG ’tables.

Ortofon Quintet Moving Coil Cartridge Series Review 

February 13, 2023 Comments Off on Ortofon Quintet Moving Coil Cartridge Series Review 

SME Model 60 Turntable and Series VA Tonearm £59,950  Review

February 9, 2023 Comments Off on SME Model 60 Turntable and Series VA Tonearm £59,950  Review


Summing up his overall impressions of the Model 60 with Series VA tonearm, Jonathan wrote: “This deck sets a new standard—not just for SME, but for vinyl replay in general.” He also proclaimed that it’s “a landmark product from a legendary firm,” and added that he believes the Model 60 is “the best-looking turntable SME has ever made.” Jonathan made his feelings known about the Model 60 in no uncertain terms: “In terms of design, execution, and finish, it is the supreme example of its maker’s art.”

Jonathan’s rave review of the SME Model 60 turntable and VA Series tonearm earned the combination a Reviewers’ Choice award when the review was published, as well as a prestigious 2022 Product of the Year award a couple of weeks later. This month, a Recommended Reference Component award has been added to that list of accolades.

Make your own vinyl records at home |

February 9, 2023 Comments Off on Make your own vinyl records at home |

VPI Avenger Direct Turntable Package £36,500 Review

February 7, 2023 Comments Off on VPI Avenger Direct Turntable Package £36,500 Review


Solo vocalists also benefitted hugely from the Avenger Direct’s abilities. The Kari Bremnes’ track ‘A Lover In Berlin’ from her Norwegian Mood album [Kirkelig Kulturverksted ARS-FXLP 221] seemed to soar free and unfettered from my speakers. Miss Bremnes’ voice was fabulous, larger than life and absolutely rock-solid in the centre of the soundstage, with a majestic sense of atmosphere and space accompanying it. The fine percussive backing effects were also sharply defined and easy to focus on, but never intruded on the main action. Everything was expertly underpinned by a taut and fulsome acoustic bass with a crystal-clear note structure. Superb.

Across the lower bass registers the Avenger Direct/Fatboy combo played a masterful hand, dealing back anything I cared to throw at it with weight and confidence. Whether it was the punchy synths on Kylie Minogue’s infectious ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ from her Fever LP [Parlophone 0190295846248], or the thunderous organ work of Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue’ from the Invitation To Denon/PCM Digital Classics Part 2 record [Nippon Columbia ST-6011], VPI’s deck sailed through without breaking a sweat. At all times there was a reassuring mass and momentum to the sound, combined with an ease and effortlessness that was captivating.

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