Lurch

An upgrade or sideways move??

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Super Wammer

I am currently running an Elite Rock MK2/OL Encounter 3C combo. However for the last few days I have been looking longingly at the Michel Orbe in the classifieds. 

The one thing I need to clear up before I take my thought process any further is, would the Orbe with my Encounter 3C be a significant upgrade to my Rock, or merely a sideways move? 

I have been very lucky over the past 2 years with my seat of the pants (fook it, just do it) decisions to buy various bits of kit on a whim, each time getting a significant lift in SQ (to my ears anyway). Now, however I am at a level where genuine (lowish cost) upgrades are hard to come by so would appreciate some input from others.

There is nothing really wrong with my current TT or the SQ, but then again I thought my OL Aurora Gold MK2 was superb until I heard the Rock. So if the Orbe can provide 'more' at what I consider to be a reasonable outlay then I will investigate things further. 

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IMO it would be a sideways move. The Orbe is a beauty though.

Edited by oldius
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I can’t offer a direct response to the question as I am not familiar with the Townsend tt. What I can offer as a Michell user is that any discussion around the sound quality of these decks - Gyro and Orbe - now needs to consider whether the standard spring suspension is being used or has been swapped out with the rubber based version (think SME) known as Pete’s Pylons. The reduction in ‘smear’ - presumably due to improved speed stability and reduced resonance compared to the metal springs - lifts these decks a whole level higher compared to factory standard IMO.

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Super Wammer

Problem solved. 

Deck is now sold STP, (and not to me 😭😭). 

Edited by Lurch
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I actually think it would have been a backwards step.  The Orb is beautiful but if you were blind I think you would choose the Rock every time.  I hear all sorts about suspensions and pros and cons - the thing is with the rock Townsend sorted the best place to add damping is right at the head of the arm as close to the cartridge as possible.  

As to hearing the difference due to suspension what no one ever manages to show is that there is any audible wow and flutter actually caused by a suspension (ok on start up it may move a bit but once the flywheel action takes affect and the platter turns at a constant speed with no fluctuation .. then the difference in drive should be inaudible provided it maintains a constant speed.

Whilst the turntable may "pull" towards the belt on start up the arm being fixed to the same chassis as the turntable of course moves in exactly the same plane.  It only takes a second of two to settle down (the time it takes to use the carbon fibre brush - cue the arm up and lower it into the groove and all should be smooth and stable.

The thing to consider is how much of an improvement is there between top class decks?  To hear people speak you would think the difference was night and day but it is actually a lot smaller than people think.  At the end of the day ya pays your money and ya takes your choice .. but personally speaking I have got to a level of enjoyment with my turntable arm combination that even if I won the lottery I would be hard pushed to change it (unless a Win labs was available that is pure eye candy for me.

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Interesting point on the damping system used in the Townsend deck - but if this is an ideal why isn’t it seen on other high end decks, is this a practicality issue or due to patented design perhaps?

i have to admit I don’t know why the change from the springs to rubber suspension makes the difference it does to the Mitchell decks but for me - and others it seems- there is no going back to springs once you have tried it. There is a cleaning up of sound across all frequencies, most significantly through the mid band, and timing is improved hence my suggestion the impact of spring resonance and speed stability.

whatever the reason may be my ears are happy :rockin:

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