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

TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 1

The Technics SP-10 Direct Drive turntable was manufactured by Matshushita from 1970.  It had 33/45/78rpm speeds and superb technical specifications for speed accuracy and stability, wow and flutter and rumble.

The MKII / MK2 version was manufactured from around 1975 I believe, until at least 1987.

The SP-10 was supplied as a motor unit without tonearm/s, for studio or commercial use.  Continue reading

REGA Planar 3 restoration

The iconic Rega Planar 3 turntable has been around since introduction in 1977.  The most recent editions are the P3 or RP3.

Thus, there are 30 to 40 year old Rega Planar turntables now in need of restoration.

This Planar 3 is from early-1980s, fitted with a Linn LV-V tonearm (and an un-branded Japanese moving magnet cartridge).

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