TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 5 plinth support

Previously, I used 4 x ‘mag-lev’ (magnetic levitation) support ‘feet’ under the new plinth on my TECHNICS SP-10MkII – similar to the mag-lev feet used under my previous turntable.

However, I found that this turntable sounds much better supported on top of (3) solid plywood blocks.

Supporting the plywood plinth perimeter – the sound is sharper, clearer, dynamic, rhythmic, with a light, ‘agile’ touch. Image height and scale are good. There is nice treble extension, nice tonal ‘sustain’.

This is an example of why you cannot just assume that what works on one turntable (eg. rim-drive) will work similarly on another turntable (direct-drive).

Always use and trust your ears! 

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Fidelity Research FR-64 tonearm

This vintage Japanese tonearm still enjoys a certain ‘cult’ status.

Fidelity Research Co. was founded by Isamu Ikeda in 1964 and the FR-64 tonearm was introduced in 1978. Fidelity Research closed down c.1984.

(A new company, Ikeda Sound Labs, currently again offers new cartridge & tonearm products.)

The detailing and machine-finishing is visually uncomplicated. After 40 years, it still looks elegant and the material is durable and un-tarnished.

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TECHNICS SL-1200/1210 – a hi-fi turntable? – Pt 2

After the previous first audition, I have high hopes for this Direct Drive turntable.

The sound was punchy, with good mid-range ‘presence’ and reasonably good treble quality (using an elliptical stylus cartridge).

But before we can listen seriously,, we need to fix the adjustable helicoid arm-height base, which has become difficult to rotate after so many years.

This will allow us to raise & lower  the tonearm to correctly to optimise VTA Continue reading

Kenwood L-07D tonearm

This extraordinary tonearm was fitted to the Kenwood L-07D turntable, the legendary flagship Direct Drive turntable manufactured by Kenwood from 1979-83.

This was the halcyon decade or so, when Japanese hi-fi was at a peak of industrial and electronic design and engineering.

Those were the days when analogue hi-fi was at a high point, with many Japanese companies participating and leading the innovation.  Sadly, some of those great names no longer exist – eg. Fidelity Research, Sansui, Stax, Supex, Coral, Grace, Micro Seiki,…. Continue reading

The WAND tonearm

The Wand tonearm was designed by Simon Brown (Design Build Listen Ltd) in Dunedin, New Zealand and was introduced in 2011.

This is a uni-pivot tonearm using Simon Brown’s own ‘defined contact’ uni-pivot implementation, a unique large diameter carbon fibre arm tube and stainless steel metalwork.

This model, The Wand Classic, is a ‘no-frills’ entry-level model with attractive pricing. Continue reading

AURA Turntable redux – Skipper Wise

The Aura turntable was designed by New Zealander, Dave Whittaker and was manufactured in NZ and Australia over a period of 20 years from the mid 1980s.

This beautiful example of the Aura, is still in use in California at the home of Skipper Wise – musician, recording artist and co-founder of Blue Microphones.

Skipper’s interesting story about his Aura TT tells us also about the affable and gracious man that Dave Whittaker was:  Continue reading