December 16, 2022 § Leave a comment
While it may not be a Mercedes, the AMG Giro MK II turntable with the Benz Micro SLR Gullwing cartridge proved that another type of machine is capable of transporting you to wonderful, beautiful places. The elegance of the Giro’s design shows that a high-end turntable doesn’t need to look like someone’s junior high school science-fair project to be capable of creating beautiful music.
Five years ago, in his review of the original Giro, Herb Reichert wrote, “the AMG seems to have it all going on: exquisite style, superb build quality, ease of setup, ease of use, and the ability to steer cartridges and play records with the world’s finest record players.” All those observations apply to the MK II version, but now it can accommodate a wider variety of tonearms. Plus, even more than before, while it may look like a svelte supermodel, it can ball with the big boys.
December 10, 2022 § Leave a comment
Now, some vintage gear fans might say, for $2,400, you could get an OG Thorens TD 124 ’table — the best of all worlds if you are indeed a vintage maestro. That said, you’d have to refurbish the machine and add a tonearm and a cart, which could easily raise the price above the TD 1500’s $2,999 asking price. For comparison’s sake, MoFi Electronics’ UltraDeck with a tonearm is $2,499, while the Pro-Ject Debut PRO with tonearm and cartridge is a bargain at $999. But for me, the Thorens TD 1500 is a slam dunk.
For its stupendous dynamic range, rich tone, excellent soundstage abilities and consistently awesome scale, as well its given ability to switch out carts on the fly, the Thorens TD 1500 turntable is a no-holds success. If you’re in the $2,999 neighborhood, including tonearm and cartridge, the TD 1500 is a must-listen. It rocked my world, set me straight, and garnered fantastic enjoyment from my collection of cherished black discs.
December 1, 2022 § Leave a comment
The Clearaudio Reference Jubilee is a fitting milestone for this German brand – taking its first turntable design and updating it with 30 years of experience. Yes, setup is a little fiddly, but the effort is amply rewarded by the performance on offer. The deck can wear its ‘Reference’ tag with pride and with the hope that it sires a permanent version, as this stunning LP spinner begs to break free of its limited-edition shackles.
November 5, 2022 § Leave a comment
The Stealth’s 4lb, viscous-elastomer–damped, die-cast aluminum platter is topped by a 1/16″-thick, slightly hard, slightly sticky rubber platter mat, which bugged me due to its propensity to attract and hold dust. For comparison, the mat on the original Technics SL-1200 (which I still have and now use on my PLX-1000) is 3/16″ thick, much softer, and doesn’t collect dust. The Stealth’s S-shaped aluminum tonearm sports a light, detachable headshell that does not allow for azimuth adjustment. The arm is specified to accept cartridges weighing 6–10gm—more when the included subweight is installed. Its thick cylindrical arm-pillar housing features a “window” for viewing the movements of the arm’s calibrated (in mm) arm pillar. At the top of this housing is a knurled, 1.5″-diameter knob that allows adjustment of VTA even while a record is playing. A thick, side-mounted lock nut secures the arm in place.
October 26, 2022 § Leave a comment
I mentioned that Music Hall was started back in 1985. The fact that they are still around with a complete line of turntables and accessories tells you something about the dedication of Roy Hall, the president of Music Hall, to continuously improve their line of offerings. Music Hall and their authorized dealers continue to provide you with outstanding customer service.
Even though this turntable is a simple plug and play unit with everything ready to go, I still recommend purchasing it from your local authorized dealer. It is nice to have hands-on advice in case you have questions about setting up the turntable. You still need to set the tracking force. Your dealer can also be a great resource if or when you need to replace or upgrade the phono cartridge. The prices are the same and this ensures that, if you have any problems, they can be addressed right away. There are Music Hall authorized dealers all over the United States, so it is not necessary for most consumers to purchase this product online.
October 22, 2022 § Leave a comment
If you want to play records, this is the way to go in my view. (If you are totally focused on correct pitch, you could look for a used Nakamichi disc-centering turntable; otherwise, this is the one.) All the Pear Audio designs of Peter Mezek aim at the same goals of silence, solidity, absence of micro-speed variations, and absence of grit, grain, and resonance effects. In short, they are designed to reproduce what is actually on the record—and, of course, there are some definite things on it. One of the less expensive Pear Blue setups will likely get you close to the ultimate that the Odar/Cornet 3 combination represents. But if you want to go for the best, here it is. Typical analog playback reviews are usually “yes and then again no.” This one is all “yes.” The Blue Odar is different and better at a price that is lower than other super-tables.
October 10, 2022 § Leave a comment
With the SG-1 flaunting undeniable finesse above palpably powerful lower registers in recordings so endowed, it seemed to be in direct contradiction to my near-religious belief that an LP should be all-but-glued to the platter. Yes, the truly commanding TechDAS Air Force III Premium [HFN Jun ’19], at twice the price and with vacuum hold-down and air-bearing, can extract a trace more mass and solidity, but that’s not the point. The SG-1 satisfies nearly as much by going in a different direction. Like I said, Touraj is an iconoclast.
Even cacophony doesn’t faze the SG-1. Few saxophone solos are as madly screechy as that in ‘Astronaut Food’ from Sopwith Camel’s The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon [Reprise MS2108]. Think of the weirdest noises ever made by the astounding Sun Ra and you’re close: soaring treble, rapid attack, red hot transients. By the time I got to Carole King’s Tapestry [Ode Records SP-77009], chosen to relax me by wallowing in its deliciously convincing piano and yet more floor-filling bass, I was hooked