Origin Live have announce the upgrade of their MK 2 turntables to MK3 after over 5 years. The new turntables look pretty much the same as the old ones but have “significant performance improvements”.
Improved features over previous MK2 models are:
New type of Acrylic platter material with reduced internal stresses.
Increased thickness of platter due to changes in overall design.
New Bearing hub designed for faster energy transmission.
Lower friction bearing.
Increased size of plinth for improved aesthetics and stability.
Improved power supply.
New belt Material now hand made.
Quieter motor from additional pod damping.
The Aurora MK3 now includes the upgrade platter mat.
Aurora MK3 £999
Calypso MK3 £1690
Resolution MK3 £2570
Sovereign MK3 £4770
It is not possible to upgrade MK1 or MK2 decks to the new specification as so many parts have changed.
The Proscenium Black Diamond V follows on from Walker’s previous incarnation of the PBD turntable and features improvements to the air supply, record clamp and motor base assembly. In addition, a specially-treated, fine-grained crystalline material, that “reduces static build-up and cancels the effect of virtually all EMI, RFI and microwaves”, is employed at strategic locations in the turntable’s operation.
The PBD V turntable is said to be friction-free due to the air-bearing arm and platter, resonance-free due to its adjustable air suspension and electrical-noise-free due to the use of the crystalline material mentioned above.
In early December we announced news that Avid Hifi were to launch a new turntable – the INGENIUM. Today they have confirmed the launch of the range of turntables which become their new entry-level product.
Ingenium shares the design philosophy of Avid’s more expensive designs, has “true engineered audiophile quality, utilises key elements of the Diva II and has an exposed minimal design that achieves new standards of style and excellence.”
Avid’s unique sapphire bearing and platter has been retained from the Diva II, with the option of using the company’s unique clamping system, which channels unwanted vibrations away from both the record and platter. The main chassis to which the bearing and arm are rigidly coupled is machined from two and a half inch solid aluminum and allows them to offer different arm fitting options to suit customer’s demands.
Ingenium’s basic package comes complete with a carbon fibre tonearm. Optional models offer standard 9″ SME fitting, 12″ SME fitting and also twin arm options. Other combinations and arm fitting are available upon request. Avid Hifi have employed the same optimised elastomer used in the Diva II giving “excellent mechanical isolation of the playing surface” and using a powerful mains powered motor giving stability and “the huge dynamic sound that is instantly recognisable as Avid.”
The INGENIUM is available now with a UK retail price starting from £800.00
Avid Hifi, the UK based high-end hifi manufacturer have announced plans to launch an entry level turntable which will be known as the Ingenium.
Full details are scant at the moment but the Ingenium turntable is expected to be available for around half the cost of their Diva II -so around £800.
A solid alluminium bar forms the main chassis allowing for 9″, 12″ or even two tonearm options. A base model will include the Project carbon arm along with 9″ and 12″ SME options. The platter will come straight from the Diva II as will the the sapphire bearing and the sorthobane isolation feet.
It looks an impressive bit of kit and will be available for order very soon.
Audio Suspension based in Brighton, UK are the latest company to launch contemporary hi-fi support systems, but they are taking a different approach to others we have recently run news items about. Audio Suspension have launched a wall-mount shelf, the ASU-100. The system has been designed to provide isolation from unwanted resonance, whilst offering a highly attractive platform to support turntables and other sensitive hi-fi products.
The ASU-100 is hand-made in Sussex and is the first product in a new line from Audio Suspension, is built from 20mm acrylic, will support up to 25Kg depending on fixings and is suitable for equipment up to 470mm x 420mm.
The ASU-100 is securely anchored to internal walls using two polished-chrome shelf supports faced with silicone-rubber to help damping at the connection point. Two front-mounted 1.5mm steel-wire cables offer further support and scope for leveling, and are secured by polished-chrome Posi-Lock supports.
Price is £250
With so many people re-discovering their record collections and many others relying on charity shops to provide them with the “black magic” these days, cleaning LPs has never been more important. Why bother? Some schools of thought (prominent audio industry folk) used to proclaim that records should never be cleaned (really!) but the truth is the humble LP needs to be kept clean for several important reasons. These include the prevention or removal of mould and grease marks from older records, removal of tiny gritty deposits of dirt that will otherwise for-shorten your stylus life, and last but not least because LPs sound far better when clean!
Clean LPs reduce stylus wear, which saves you £££’s long term and the records also sound great when properly cleaned. If they were undamaged to begin with, they should be near to silent when cleaned and in improving (lowering) noise floor, the dynamic range is restored and the music will sound great. It’s not enough to just clean the LPs without also storing them in anti-static sleeves after use and always taking care when handling them too.
Of the many different ways to clean records, a few are advisable and a few are not. Tap water is generally a no-no because it leaves mineral deposits and limescale on the surface when dry. Also, the water, without an anti-surfactant simply cannot get into the very bottom of the grooves to loosen the dirt up so some resort to washing-up liquid. That in itself isn’t the best of things to do because it contains lots of salt in its make up. So we come to the record cleaning machine, or RCM for short. Very effective at removing dirt and uses chemicals tailor made for the job, so all good? Not quite, most RCMs cost more than entire record collections are noisy in use and also take up space. More »
If you like colourful hifi, then the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable may well be an ideal place to start! It’s available in a range of plinth colours including high gloss yellow, red and the rather startling blue that was delivered to me for review. If your taste doesn’t run to rainbow hues, then high-gloss black, silver or white are also available. Looks matter to many folk, and I think that the range of colours on offer is a fine thing.
So, what do we have here? ….
A relatively low-priced deck which aspires to sound rather good.
It’s belt drive and the tonearm has to be manually cued.
Carbon as a material is rare, to say the least, in a low-priced tonearm. This exotic material is usually reserved for far higher price points where it’s qualities of high stiffness and low internal resonance are much appreciated. But Pro-ject have somehow managed to provide a carbon tonearm in this low priced package. Impressive. More »
Austrian manufacturer Pro-Ject Audio have announced that they have received “Best Product 2012 – 2013 ‘Turntable’” EISA award for their Debut Carbon turntable.
The Debut Carbon combines traditional technologies with modern materials and modern design at a low price.
It is available in different colours and various equipment levels from € 299.00. The USB Phono version is equipped with a phono-stage with USB port, which allows the digitalisation of vinyl directly on a computer.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems was founded by Heinz Lichtenegger 1990 in Vienna, with the idea that analogue playback is the most cost-effective way to listen to music of audiophile quality. Their products are exported in close to 80 countries worldwide and produce more than 15 different models.
Technical Spec’ for the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
- 8.6″ one-piece carbon fibre tonearm.
- Sorbothane-damped counterweight.
- Two isolation ‘feet’ made from sorbothane, used to decouple the motor from the plinth.
- 12″ platter.
- Junction box installed, allowing for the easy upgrade of turntable interconnects.
- New power supply.
- Ortofon 2m Red pre-installed.
PTP is a Netherlands based manufacturer owned by Peter Reinders.
PTP Audio’s new Solid9 and Solid12 turntables bring the idler drive renaissance to a wider market.
“PTP Audio knows idlers can sound fantastic, but at the same time we also know about the disadvantages a 40 year old machine can have. Our solution is truly unique: We take the drive system from a vintage Lenco, restore it to its former glory, and combine it with the best modern technology has to offer. All Solid9 and Solid12 turntables are made to order, available in a wide range of colours and assembled by hand.”
We hope to review one of their turntables very soon.
Despite the title of the press release reminding me of a particular Not the Nine o’Colock news sketch, this new turntable really caught Hifi Pig’s eye. The beast in question is from Hartvig Audio and they have launched “a new high-end gramophone” handcrafted in Denmark and which will get its will get its first outing at the High End show in May at Munich 2012. Hartvig say the new turntable will bring “recorded music alive – it is pure sound with soul.”
After many years of passion for hi-fi, Danish Soeren Hartvig set his heart on building a first quality turntable. “I dreamed about a turntable which would bring recorded music alive in my own living room.” More »
Is is it a bit sad to have a dream hifi? It probably is you know, but I bet a pound to a penny that the vast majority of folk reading this have dreamed of owning a particular set up. Well perhaps they haven’t physically dreamed it as that would be a bit wrong, but you get my point I’m sure. More »
I remember as a youngster seeing my first Dansette record player which my uncle used to spin up Elvis singles and thought it was the bees knees! That’s what really got me into vinyl, the diverse range of albums that relatives owned and regularly played. It just left an indelible impression that music over the airwaves didn’t seem to capture as well for me. I vowed on day to own a Dansette!
Time moved on, and no I never got to own a Dansette (although the historical interest means I may yet search one out!). Of the record decks that have been through my hands, three have stuck out for me as defining moments in my hifi journey. I’ll say, before I start, that these are not meant to be a comparison with other decks, but are quite personal to me for reasons I’ll go on to explain.
I stared out with a Dual 505-2 and whilst an inoffensive and pretty decent starter deck, it was nothing special and I never really minded selling it on. Following a brief affair with a Thorens TD260 which as ok too, I bought what I considered to be my first quality hifi deck which was the Rega Planar P25 in a Rosewood plinth surround. The attraction with this deck, was that it was and still is (for me) quite a statement. It was Rega saying “we’ve been around 25 years now and this little gem proves we can do quality at a sensible price”. That it was. Very nicely finished, the P25 filled the gap between the P3 and P9 decks. The platter may have been taken from the P3 but the plinth was more like the upmarket version used on the P9. The big upgrades over the P2 and P3 decks, besides the RB600 arm included the motor where the twin pots were hand adjusted to reduce resonance and the mounting was better isolated than the P3. The arm had improved bearing tolerances over the P3, was finished in anodised silver and used the same wiring as the P9, with klotz cable and Neutrik Profi RCA’s. All in all, it was a pretty remarkable deck for the princely some paid of £485. More »
Probably best to start the review with where the signal goes from the cart. It was installed on a magnesium armed SME309, fitted to a Gyro SE feeding an EAR 834P Signature Phonostage. This in turn fed my Lumley ST40 Reference power amp, a 40 w/ch push-pull design using Tung-Sol 803s and Brimar valves in the phase inversion and gain stages and Harma STR 6L6′s in the output stage. The amp was driving my Horning Agathon Ultimates positioned near to the corners of my 20ft by 15ft listening room.
Shelter 5000 Moving Coil Cartridge
Unpackaging the Shelter, I was struck by just how weighty and solid it felt (it tips the scales at 11g) and the counterweight on the SME had to go half-way back to get it tracking at 1.6g. Its a bit fiddly to fit, but non magnetic fixing bolts are provided, along with a stylus brush and instructions.
I started with Shure’s Obstacle Course MK2 test LP. My DV20 tracked 4 of the 5 levels in each test plus all five of the drum test pretty well, with the only noticeable breakup being on the violin section, where the DV20 only managed 3 of the 5 levels before the sound got a bit edgy. The LP states that top flight cartridges should track level 3 or higher and anything making a clean job of the first 3 levels is rated as a good tracker. More »
Five Dynavector MC Cartridges shoot it out.
Cacophany? Well, OK, that’s a bit harsh – all of these sound very presentable in their own ways. But it’s amazing the variety of sonic presentations that are to be found.
This ongoing set of mini-surveys covers a range of medium-priced cartridges, mostly moving coil (mc) but a few moving magnet (mm) types as well. Both high and low output.
Retail prices of cartridges cover an amazingly wide band from just a few tens of £ up to crazy multiple £thousands. I’ll be focussing here on some costing in the region of £100 to a few £hundreds, with a few tending toward the £1k mark. More »