I've had the Roksan Xerxes original deck for about 4 years now in my second system. Got it for about 450 off somebody on the 'wam. Rega arm - not sure if it's a 250 or a 300 to be honest.. and an Audio Technica AT-F5 MC cart.

Apart from the issues with the PSU - I cant get it to run at 45rpm reliably despite changing the Electrolytics and the massive 11w resistors - it's always been a bit of a disappointment sonically. I know the Xerxes can sound really good. Just not this one.
For the last 18 months I've been using a Rega Planar 2 / RB250 / Ortofon 520 Mk II MM instead, just sitting on top of the Xerxes dust cover. And it sounds pretty good. better than the Xerxes.

So last week I decided to investigate, out of boredom, why it sounded so bad. Which is when I had a go at the PSU. I'd like to replace a lot of the components on the board, but in all honesty the board is of low quality and I've lifted pads and tracks just changing the caps and resistors. I think attempting a major component replacement programme will destroy it, so ultimately the options are going to be expensive. For reference, in case anyone knows about the Xerxes, when I flick the switch to 45 the thing slows down completely - lack of torque. I've got diagrams and repair instructions but I think an upgrade of the PSU will be required.

Anyway once I'd got it up and running again I discovered that it still sounded pretty grim so I started to look a bit more closely. Being an original deck it's got the top-plate sag, but that's also pulling the bearing so it's not that. I know the AT carts can be fickle but I was convinced that I wasn't having the standard 'sonic issues'.
Then I spotted that the VTF was well out. I mean the arm was nose up when playing a record and the back of the cartridge was close to the vinyl. And this has been the issue. Fortunately there was a 2mm shim between the arm securing nut and the underside of the armboard. I had to cut the cable tie to remove everything and move the shim to raise the arm up. I've also got round to setting up the cart - the VTF and the antiskate. It successfully played the 'Torture Track' on the HiFi News Len Gregory Test LP.

It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than it was. I think it needs a new belt which may sort out the torque issues a bit. and I'm tempted to add another shim to see if that makes it any better again.

But now at least it's sounding better than the Rega P2/520 I've been using.