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Al ears's picture
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Upgrade dilemma, what turntable

It's time to upgrade my turntable I feel.


I have the option of a Michell Gyrodec SE with RB300 arm or VPI Scout with its JMW-9 arm.


I'd value your opinions on which of the two would be the best option as a starting block. I know both of these can be upgraded by various means but am just interested in the basic package initially.


 Cheers! Smile

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

Anonymous
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Re: Upgrade dilemma, what turntable

Hi Aleras

Both of these are excellent turntables in my opinion. Funnily enough, both where on my shortlist (along with the Acoustic Solid Wood) when I made my recent turntable purchase.

I had a demo of the Gyro with the TechoArm fitted. Detail / resolution - excellent - possibly sounded a bit too clinical for my taste (had the slight steel edge of some CDs, I felt). The Gyro is visually very appealing and in part, I think this accounts for its popularity. It is also very upgradeable. 

VPI is also top class. Cannot remember which arm was fitted (I think it was a JMW-9). I do know it was a Unipivot and I couldn't quite get the hang of it. Sound-wise, it did appear to sound "more like vinyl", compared with the Gyro. The (Gyro) dealer told me that the Gyro can be tuned with the right choice of arm / cartridge to give a different sound. Maybe the TechnoArm wasn't going to be the right one for me. The Scout does look more like a conventional turntable (positive strength, I think) and is also probably less of a challenge dust-wise.

The "Gyro shop" also had an ex demo Orbe. Tried that, everything good as per the Gyro but without the steel edge, more analog, I thought. They do say set a budget and stick to it don't they! I felt that the Orbe was worth the extra money, albeit I had to go with a basic RB 250 arm. Wife went ballistic that I had spend nearly £500 more but she is very impressed with the sound (still a bit p***ed with me though!). I think that the Orbe was better for me longer term as I'm looking to reduce the number of upgrades I do. Like the Gyro it can complement the best arms and cartridges.

You need to demo both turntables, take some of your favourite vinyl and spend time listening and comparing. If you can, demo with similar speakers / amp. Maybe also take you current turntable in as an initial reference.

 Two things strike me as important differences between the two turntables that you need to explore further and maybe others can comment upon:

1. Motor / PSU - Gyro is DC, Scout is AC. This can influence the sound. AC motor might add some noise at a very low level which might be heard in the silent moments of a track. Gyro PSU can also be upgraded later, if you wish.

2. Suspension - Gyro is a suspended sub chassis design, Scout is not. I know nothing about the benefits of the differences really but a number of magazine reviewers seem to prefer suspended designs because of the increased isolation provided. The Scout is very heavy though and this probably counters vibration effects in the room / air in a different way.

 If you go for the Michell, I would recommend that you keep a cloth over it when it isn't in use (or buy the Unicover). I use both as the Unicover isn't that much of a cover really and the Orbe has plenty of surfaces that collect dust.

 

 

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