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Thread: Turntable Mythology -

  1. #1

    Default Turntable Mythology -

    Prompted by the comments of someone on another forum and some comments om this forum , I am curious to explore the virtues of a number of orthodoxies on turntables .

    Namely :
    That deck is not good enough for that arm ? How , a deck is a motor , plinth , platter and bearing . What is a cheap deck missing that a good deck isn’t , bear in mind a basic LP 12 uses the same AC motor as many a cheap deck .

    That arm is not good enough for the cartridge ? How , what is the arm missing [ assuming compliance is not an issue ]

    This leads us in to the daddy of them all , source first hierarchy and the turntable should always come before the arm and the cartridge a view espoused by many

    I suggested that a Rega RP 3 with a rb300 arm and a benz micro ace cartridge would sound better than any turntable arm combination with a AT 95 E in it .

    Seems to me these so called orthodoxies are marketing tools not actual truth ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    Prompted by the comments of someone on another forum and some comments om this forum , I am curious to explore the virtues of a number of orthodoxies on turntables .

    Namely :
    That deck is not good enough for that arm ? How , a deck is a motor , plinth , platter and bearing . What is a cheap deck missing that a good deck isnít , bear in mind a basic LP 12 uses the same AC motor as many a cheap deck .

    That arm is not good enough for the cartridge ? How , what is the arm missing [ assuming compliance is not an issue ]

    This leads us in to the daddy of them all , source first hierarchy and the turntable should always come before the arm and the cartridge a view espoused by many

    I suggested that a Rega RP 3 with a rb300 arm and a benz micro ace cartridge would sound better than any turntable arm combination with a AT 95 E in it .

    Seems to me these so called orthodoxies are marketing tools not actual truth ?
    there is a lot of bollocks spoken in Hifi in general.

    In my experience all components are important, but some are just poor.

    As for an RP3 with RB300, the thing sounds shockingly bad to me with ANY cart on it, horrible grey sounding thing, with little dynamics, but lets look at it this way, I disagree with your comment mainly because I have heard a cheap carts sounding great on great TT's but rarely have I heard a good cart sound great on a crap TT, thats what leads me to the conclusion that the arm and deck are more important in the chain than the cartridge. To mention an analogy, you can have a crap handling car with huge power, but it will still be beaten round a track by great handling car with little power. Think Paddy Hopkirk, Austin Mini and the Monte Carlo rally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    What is a cheap deck missing that a good deck isn’t
    An awful lot, otherwise we'd all be using budget Pro-Jects and Regas.

  4. #4

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    the rega was just an example of a well sold TT , I personally would not use any turntable with AC motor .
    but all TT do is spin the record . There will clearly be an interaction between the plinth , motor , bearing and platter and the type of material they are made of and tolerances will influence matters .

    However , you look at well respected motor units [turntables ] and there is a plethora of materials for platter or plinth [ 301,401 spacedeck , gyro , pink triangles , Avid, technics sp10 ,Japanese direct drives ]

    there is no universal material or way of doing things , it is suggested that each as their own compromises , I may suggest that because in the end they do not make a shit load of difference

    it cannot be that difficult to design a turntable for less than £1000 that is as good as it gets . The most important aspect being the motor .

    You can and I did buy the motor used in the radikal for £150 .

    Seems to me there is lot of mythology going on here .
    Last edited by Daniel Quinn; 28th April 2016 at 08:51.

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    Daniel, I used to have absolutes like you mention, DC only, non bounce etc, but that was based on my at the time limited experience.

    Thats how the newer systemdeks came about, I said to the Dunlops that bouncers don't work, they saw that as a challenge, designed a Tt that bounced but bounced well, not giggled around on some conical springs.

    When developing the Systemdek the idea was to use a DC motor, as at the time current fashion dictated DC as the best, mainly based on peoples experience of changing things like Gyrodeck from AC to DC, it's not that DC was better per se, but that the DC motor and controller used was better than the current AC motor and controller, it wasn't because DC was inherently better than AC, when the Systemdek was first launched it was with a DC motor, however quality control of the (bought in) motors was at best sketchy, a high % (1in 4 !!!) seemed to develop inconsitant speed problems when months old. DC was again looked at, and as Ramsay Dunlop said, due to the speed controllers for DC they are never settled, allways pulsing power to speed up, or slow down the motor, i.e. they constantly 'hunt' and as a result their speed is always modified after the fact. They looked at an AC solution, initially with a common solution for controlling speed with AC, the difference in sound was staggering, for the better, huge increase in bass definition, much clearer leading edge definition, so they topped it all off by employing an electrical engineer to manufacture a bespoke controller that used computer control to control motor speed, the difference between this and the DC solution is that the AC controller controls the motor speed BEFORE it deviates, the DC version controls motor AFTER it deviates.

    So absolutes about DC being better than AC in this respect are not really suitable, if you heard your deck with the new systemdek AC motor and controller instead I'm confident you would prefer it, however it's quite an expensive solution especially given the manufacturing quantities involved.
    Last edited by The Professor; 28th April 2016 at 09:13.

  6. #6

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    I am a Marxist , I believe in historical materialism , I don't even believe the speed of sound is an absolute


    The maxon motor i now use can be found in TT'S cost upwards of 20k - go figure

    DC drift over time is a known problem.
    i had an origin live thing - awful thing .

    I now use a £50 dc bench power supply variable output , i don't have any problems with speed drift , I calibrate it every month ,but it usually runs optimum on 3.036 volts .

    as for bounce - my issue is belt , subchasis and motor causing an axis of movement , not all bouncy tt's do that. However the systemdex you mention costs 5/6 k doesn't it ?

    I seem to recall reading a review in mag when it came out , big white thing from memory ?
    Last edited by Daniel Quinn; 28th April 2016 at 11:34.

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    Yes, that's how the reviewer described it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIU View Post
    Yes, that's how the reviewer described it.
    What, "...big white thing..."?

    Mine was a big black thing but I chipped it. So, now its a big white thing. But I chipped it again. . Its just a small ding so I'll get the tippex out.
    20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon

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    You all got one , can I have one ?

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    They did launch an MDF bodied model but only with DC motor, called the 3D Precision it was £6k, they have basically two models now, the 3D signature at £14k and the Reference at £25k, on this forum one of us has the £6k model you are talking about, another has the older Signature, and two of us have the Reference. All of the Systemdeks can be any colour the owner wishes, mine is black, coz thats the proper colour for turntables IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    You all got one , can I have one ?
    yes in exchange for the required number of beer vouchers.

    BTW if ESK keeps chipping his, does that make him a marks-ist too?

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    I've promised not to polish my lid in situ again.
    20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
    yes in exchange for the required number of beer vouchers.

    BTW if ESK keeps chipping his, does that make him a marks-ist too?
    No it makes him clumsy .

    alas , I have 4 kids and a wife on permanent maternity leave , no prospects of a 25k turntable in this lifetime .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESK View Post
    I've promised not to polish my lid in situ again.
    That's a euphemism, isn't it.

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    20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon

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    I think there is a reasonable argument for having a balanced system. If you spend a fortune on the source but have a nasty amp and speakers then no matter how much more you spend on the source to improve the sound quality then you're not going to get the same level of improvement from sorting out the other bits first.

    I also think that chasing ultimate sound quality using an analogue source like a turntable is ultimately going to be futile given the obvious limitations of the medium. Some people I feel forget that the whole point of hi-fi is to enjoy listening to great music on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
    yes in exchange for the required number of beer vouchers.

    BTW if ESK keeps chipping his, does that make him a marks-ist too?
    Makes him a "Marx-his", I'd say. ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    I think there is a reasonable argument for having a balanced system. If you spend a fortune on the source but have a nasty amp and speakers then no matter how much more you spend on the source to improve the sound quality then you're not going to get the same level of improvement from sorting out the other bits first.

    I also think that chasing ultimate sound quality using an analogue source like a turntable is ultimately going to be futile given the obvious limitations of the medium. Some people I feel forget that the whole point of hi-fi is to enjoy listening to great music on.
    Why are peeps still asserting digital is better than analog. This is to assert that a part equals more than the whole from which it is derived.

    Like the (new age) notion that an effect can precede its cause, it is a logical impossibility. Argument resolved, case closed. :-D

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    IMO digital is the musical equivalent of taking Cow , chopping it up in to mince , reforming it as 24 hamburgers and then saying there you go a cow .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Quinn View Post
    IMO digital is the musical equivalent of taking Cow , chopping it up in to mince , reforming it as 24 hamburgers and then saying there you go a cow .
    And it's even "BETTTER than the original!" goes the marketing hype.

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