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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Marc’s Trans-Fi SALVATION + TERMINATOR system

Marc Czerwinski has a nice music system in the attic space of his home in England.

The room is a 5.5m wide x 14.5m long x 2.75m high loft-attic, with 1.2m high side walls.

The loudspeakers are 2.45m spaced apart and the listening position is 4.6m away.

With Marc’s kind permission, here are some pics of his highly-tuned music system and equipment, including:

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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

TECHNICS SL-1200/1210 – a hi-fi turntable? – Pt 1

Encouraged by the success of the TECHNICS SP-10MKII that I have been playing with, I thought it would be a good idea to try out the humble TECHNICS SL-1200/1210.

We have 2 of these ex-DJ ‘work-horse’, direct-drive SL-1210MKIIs in the house.

The choice of cartridge falls to a venerable Ortofon VMS20E MkII moving magnet (which I’ve owned since the 70s) – Ortofon say that the popular VMS20E MkII is “probably one of Ortofon’s most highly acclaimed magnetic cartridges“. 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