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jonnyone

Advice required on new turntable purchase.

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Having decided to change my turntable the choices out there are making it hard to decide on a particular model or make. I am leaning toward the Michell Orbe but the SME 10, Kuzma Stabi , Avid and Clearaudio machines are turning my head.

Due to the fact that I am in Ireland I can't get to audition any of the above so am depending on reviews to make my decision. So if any wammers have experience good or bad of any of the turntables mentionedit would be most helpful.

I intend to use an SME IV or V tonearm and an Ortofon Jubilee cart.

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flatpopely wrote:

Your going to spend a lot of money there, I suggest by hook or by crook you get to hear it!

Very true. Some reviews you read are as accurate as politicians' promises. You really have to hear with your own ears. Speak to some UK dealers and arrange a few demos. SlimeAir do cheap flights from Cork to Stanstead these days. If you want some recommendations on which dealers to line up I'm sure there would be many here happy to provide names.

I'm also sure most dealers would be happy to ship to Ireland - given that you could hardly take hand-luggage on SlimeAir's hand-luggage policy!

M

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I find bouncy turntables are a pain the neck... but then I've got mine on a wall shelf so am happy with my DIY almost-solid suspension.

I don't know about the Kuzma, but the SME 10 is so easy to setup and use, and once setup it stays that way. Its also very compact and does not grab too much attention through its looks, while the clearaudios are big and make a real visual statement. I hada look/listen to a clearaudio Champion level 2 once, but I would have nowhere to fit it in my house!

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I also strongly rec a listen, but if a weight of opinion is what you want/need them my vote from list, ith your chosen arm/cart would be sme or zuxma = 1st choice....either will sound fantastic, but in slightly different ways, the sme being a little bit 'drier' IMO and might suit the ortofon a tiny bit more?

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Guest A.N.

i'm with the others here, try and listen to a few, could be an expensive mistake if you dont like it. alledgedly, the smeeee works lovely on an orb and an avid. i dont think any of the T/T's on your list are duffers tho. i'd add a hyperspace on the list too.

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I had an Orbe SE for a few years and eventually modified it to Gert Pedersen spec. In standard guise its a great deck, ultimately I'd say it had a little bit of an emphasis in the bass (coloured) but for the money it’s a super turntable and one of the best at the price.

When modified it tightened up the bass and gave the deck far greater stereo focus, would easily be on par with an SME 10 soundwise, but obviously wouldn't have have the same quality of build.

Clearaudio decks have a reputation for being very hi-fi in their sound, don't expect any analogue romance. I've yet to hear any acrylic deck that really floated my boat, but one mans meat and all that.

I'd add Acoustic Solid to you list of decks to listen to. SME build quality, German built and engineered. I was recommended mine over the current SME 20, nothing much between them soundwise and mine was around £700 cheaper. I think SME have just put there prices up though so the price differences are a bit wider now. Acoustic Solid appear to be one of the few manufacturers who've yet to increase prices since the recession hit. Could be a good time to buy or suss them out. Check out Cool Gales website if interested, nice folks to deal with.

And yes, if you can get a listen do so. Its not always possible, but I'm sure people here would invite you around for a listen if you were really interested in a particular deck.

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Super Wammer

Have to recommend the Acutus /SME V

Fit once and forget. 10years between oil changes

Suspension stays set and no fidddling required. Factory will even set the spring rates if you tell them what arnm you are going to fit.

From your list and the suggestions on here if you can't get to hear them first choose the one you likre the look of most. I like mine and the Acoustic solid.;-)

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Having owned a couple of Orbes, along with a SME20/2a and more recently an Avid Acutus (all with SME V), I would say they come out of two very different camps.

The Orbe has the lyricism that makes vinyl so enticing. It's big, bolstrous, and weighty when the SME is fitted to it.

The SME is very different, adding layers of information that the Orbe glosses over whilst sounding less voluptuous - keener and more focussed. This drier presentation is closer to the sound of mastertape to my ears, but it could easily be considered to be lacking in romance and warmth by some.

The Acutus seems to build on what the Orbe excels at. It offers a degree of warmth and roundness whlist adding the detail and information of the SME. It adds a rock solid foundation that the Orbe only intimates at. Build quality on the Orbe is excellent but easly surpassed by the others, and the Orbe power supply needs very careful positioning to avoid rfi issues.

Only you can really decide which is for you. I would obviously advise buying second hand if you cannot get to audition. Alternatively get a cheap flight and set up a dem at somewhere like Walrus in central London.

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Wow! Thanks to you all for the info and advice. I know I should get to audition the equipment before I buy it but its as much a time thing as the distance. So I'm begining to look towards the Avid Volvere it looks good, its upgradable and its in my price bracket. Its either that or the Orbe or the SME 10.

Any suggestions re dealers to try for any of the above or do any of you knowifthey are availableexdem or used anywhere. Also need a dealer for new or used SME IV or V.

Nice one Michaelb re slimeair I think I would row a bathtub to the UK rather than get on one of their planes. I hear they are to start charging for using toilets on board their planes!!!

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I personally think arms and carts have more of an influence on sound than the deck itself these days.... There's no "bad" high end decks these days, they just offer different presentations... You could always buy an sp10 and get a custom plinth made up.... It works great with an sme IV or V. If you keep your arm and cart, don't expect £2k worth of improvement.. It will be just different IMO . One thing I have learnt is that people get rid of things too easily, and unnessessarily because they haven't made the best of what they have had previously... I.e matching carts to arms or not matching carts for correct output into the phono stage .... the diiference when properly done so is staggering.

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To answer a comment above, the Kuzma Stabi S is easy to set up.

Being an unsuspended table an absolutely level support is required and unless you have a concrete floor a wall shelf would be required.

http://www.audionut.net/documents/KuzmaStabiSTAS.pdf

http://6moons.com/audioreviews/kuzma/kuzma.html

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