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Best-sounding turntable ever?

Wandered into my local dealer to-day in search of a cartridge and we fell into discussion about all things turntable, during which I mentioned that the best one I had heard was an LP12. He led me into the listening room, sat me down and put a record on the LP12 sitting there.

The system was all Linn, but don't know what model the amp or speakers were, except the latter were large floorstanders. No matter, the sound wasn't bad. Not perfect, given that I thought I heard a touch of hardness in the some of the brass, but otherwise it was very good indeed. Not quite like having the artists doing their thing in front of you, but not far off.  Certainly the piano, which can be a failing on vinyl, was the best I'd heard outside of the real thing. Depth, realism, you name it, the system, and above all the turntable, had it all.

At the end of the session, the dealer asked me what I thought, to which I replied that the Linn was better than my memory of it. I asked him cautiously about the price, to which he replied obliquely that they started at the 3000€ mark. He paused,  smiled, then told me the one I'd been listening to came in at 15000€.

Amazing turntable.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

I listened so many tables before changing my Project RPM 9.1. I demoed VPI, Clear Audio, Transotor etc. At the end Projet Xtension seemed to me like a bargain for that price. I am using with Project arm+Ortofon Kontrapunkt B. I can easily say that it can be competitive at any price.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

Impossible to say - a real world t/t like a modded Technics 1210 would be good for about £1000, Michell Gyro, etc, but when you get up to the super decks (more bits, more price, not so sure about the sound, but you're not just buying it for sound alone at that £20,000 or whatever a pop), it's a different world.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

I think it would depend on the criteria you're choosing it on. Even then, personal preference is such an important factor that even based on specific criteria, you couldn't really pick one turntable out. Same goes for any product really.


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

Some of the finest turntables i've heard and used irrespective of price are the Technics SL1210 (not forgetting its excellent build quality/reliability) and the Goldring GR2. Smile

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft

Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

Smile

Couldn't agree more...

Anonymous
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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

Funny how budget always comes into it when people talk about hifi on these forums.

I was merely commenting on the Linn and how it sounds, irrespective of price. It really sounds brilliant. No deck I'll ever own will touch it for quality, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it, in the way I would a Stradivarius over my Chinese-made violin.

By the by, the dealer played a 1000? Pro-ject turntable first, and it wasn't in the race, as you'd expect. More worryingly, it was a touch noisy, which I've always thought a problem with their budget decks, but obviously it's a problem further up the range, too. Highly revealing gear, though.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?
fatboyslimfast: Smile

Couldn't agree more...

Hi fatboyslimfast

The Technics SL1210 Big Smile 

Btw, the Denon DL110 is also an excellent cartridge. Smile

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

The SL1200/10 has got to be a tweakers paradise. I've had one and enjoyed my time with it but since the standard arm is, arguably, the weakest link people end up putting exotic affairs on it (SME 309. IV,V, OL Silver and whatever). By that time you've spent out £1000+ on the arm, new armboard and a cartridge and the initial cost of the turntable and whatever super duper updates for the motor and chassis................think I'll stick with my LP12 Wink

Anonymous
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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?
mitch65:The SL1200/10 has got to be a tweakers paradise. I've had one and enjoyed my time with it but since the standard arm is, arguably, the weakest link people end up putting exotic affairs on it (SME 309. IV,V, OL Silver and whatever). By that time you've spent out £1000+ on the arm, new armboard and a cartridge and the initial cost of the turntable and whatever super duper updates for the motor and chassis................think I'll stick with my LP12 Wink

I would have thought that the LP12 was one of the most tweakable tables around.

It must be Linns biggest cash cow, and has them laughing all the way to the bank, what with all their upgrades...............

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

£2,400 for a keel? must be mad! Thankfully tweaking on the LP12 can at least be done on a sensible budget with plenty of 'keel clones' out their without resorting to outlandish amounts being thrown around. If I ever want to upgrade the suspension then I will be looking elsewhere.

As for Linns cash cow? I should think so. It must be one of the few Linn products that's never been discontinued which must say something about the basic design.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

I love the Linn sound, of decks, not so keen on their electronics but the Kans are great with the right gear, but and a big but, there are so many great TT's. Rega's, great. Roksans again great, Michells, great, the list goes on and on and the endless tweaks for any bit of hi-fi gear goes on and on, there is no best deck, your ears are the best bit of hi-fi there is, advice is great, knowledge is great but knowing for yourself is even better.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?
mitch65:The SL1200/10 has got to be a tweakers paradise. I've had one and enjoyed my time with it but since the standard arm is, arguably, the weakest link people end up putting exotic affairs on it (SME 309. IV,V, OL Silver and whatever). By that time you've spent out £1000+ on the arm, new armboard and a cartridge and the initial cost of the turntable and whatever super duper updates for the motor and chassis................think I'll stick with my LP12 Wink



Horses for courses Mitch. I sold my LP12 for exactly that reason - I always had the nags in my head (EDIT - I need to stop the horse analogies) - should I get the Hercules II...what about a Lingo...cirkus...etc etc.

Also, I buy a lot of vinyl at boot sales, and feared for the DL's stylus. Now with the SL (and the main reason for keeping it's original arm, which I don't think is as weak as some say) I have four carts - the DL for archiving to iTunes and listening to pristine albums, an AT91 for day-to-day use (suprisingly competent), an Ortofon OM3 for my 45s (yep, 45s - at the touch of a button - no platter-lifting!) and a Shure M44/3 for archiving 78s. All in separate headshells and all can be fitted/adjusted in less than a minute.

Plus the fact that while I kid-gloved the LP12 for fear of upsetting the suspension, the SL seems bulletproof and as such gets a lot more use...

I will concede that the LP12/Ittok did dig out more detail, but for me it wasn't enough of a difference (given the above points) to warrant keeping it.

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

I take your point with regards car boot vinyl and using a cheaper cartridge
makes perfect sense (don't want to knacker a Denon, which I have a soft spot for). My thought on the stock tonearm is just my opinion but for me the Jelco is a more interesting option and probably more suited to the Technics than, say, a Rega which didn't really improve on what was already there (synergy?) and still has the benefit of the detachable headshell. The problem for the LP12 is that because of its 'status' it will always have Lingo clones, Keel clones,etc. Of course this not really a problem as such because it means I can choose if I want to spent over £1000 on a Lingo (overpriced?) or £170 on a Hercules II (my choice at the moment)or any choice in between.

For me it's not just the detail retrieval, it's that it does it on a bigger stage that appeals. As you quite rightly point out, it's horses for courses (got me started now!) I do not need more than one cartridge and to be honest I've always fiddled and tweaked things so maybe it just suits my fiddly, tweaky nature. Big Smile

Anonymous
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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

mitch65, I think this came up before, but when are you going to put an axe through the 640P and buy a proper phono preamp? To say the 640p is holding the system back is putting it mildly. 

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Re: Best-sounding turntable ever?

I know I know, I'm on the look out for one at the moment - just too many choices and never enough money!! Should take it off my list really as does kinda look out of place

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