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my turntable odyssey---answer for Fred

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  • my turntable odyssey---answer for Fred

    on another thread Fred Crowder asked me a question, i did not want to derail Fred's thread with this very off topic subject. so i began this thread separately.

    Originally posted by fcrowder View Post
    Thank you both for your kind words.........

    Mike, I find myself curious about your turntable odyssey from the Rockport to your current tables. If and when you can find the time I would really appreciate your thoughts. My Rockport is almost 30 years old and is currently working well; however, I will at some point probably need to consider a replacement.
    Fred, as you know i owned the Rockport System 3 Sirius tt for 9 years, 2002-2011. loved that tt, one it would be nice to still own. when i sold it overall i leaned toward the Wave Kinetics NVS + the Durand Talea tonearm to the Sirius III. it was a matter of trade-offs between the 2, mostly i think i felt stuck with the limitations of the Rockport arm and so off i went. there were dollars also involved in the thinking at the time as the two tt's were fairly equal in my eyes. at that time i also owned a Dobbins 'The Beat' and also around that time had had a Dobbins SP-10 Mk2, SP-10 Mk3, and Garrard 301. i felt that the NVS and 'The Beat' were the best of those, "slightly" preferring the NVS for various reasons. i preferred the plinth and arm board design on the NVS being more stout than the rotating 'Beat' arm boards, and thought the platter on the NVS imparted more space and life than the 'Beat' copper top platter. both of those tt's had excellent drive and low noise. all my opinions of course. YMMV.

    two years later, after moving up to my MM7 speakers with the separate bass towers, i was getting bass feedback into the NVS so added the Herzan TS-140 active isolation platform. that was a boost in the performance of the NVS, along with the Durand Telos Sapphire tonearm. this set-up really took me to a very high level and especially did big music in a way i had never heard before. this was my trusty mainstay for a number of years. in 2016 or early 2017 i heard the AS-1000 tt at David Karmeli's and a few months later did order his upcoming AS-2000. but 6 months later, with my NVS getting a performance boost, i changed my mind about that. Taiko Audio had connected with me and did some research on the active isolation, refined it and created the Taiko Tana active "system' with a super hot rod LPS along with other modifications that made for a step up in performance for the NVS. this jump up made me re-think the considerable commitment of the AS-2000 (although my respect for it remains).

    in the meantime i had spent lots of time and effort to improve my digital, and finally ended up with the MSB Select II with dual power supplies. then i added the Extreme server. i was nearing the end of my system building time, i had gone over the top on the digital, and so decided i wanted to add more turntables with different drive systems to experience those at high levels while i was still able to devote the assets to that effort. then i could retire and enjoy what ever i wanted to keep. about this same time Joel Durand brought out a new tonearm, the Tosca gimble bearing; similar to the SAT. wow, this is a great tone arm.

    getting back to turntables, i found a relatively new Saskia model two idler turntable for sale and bought it. i knew Win Tinnon from years prior, and had heard the Saskia a few times at shows and felt it was a very special turntable. it combined the best of idlers with the best of belt drives. a heavyweight with 170 plinth and 40 pound platter. it came with 7 arm boards and was in perfect condition. i ended up putting the Tosca on it. it does tone and focus like no other. it has the idler type drive, but the super low noise of a great belt drive so very refined. every listen is a special experience. so now i had a top level direct drive with the NVS, and a great, maybe the best, idler.

    i needed a great belt drive tt to complete the set. i had reconnected with my friend from my Rockport days, Mik in the UK. and he had a new turntable he really enjoyed, the CS Port LFT1, which included a low flow, low pressure, air suspension and a linear tracker. i ended up getting the CS Port. and it has scratched that belt drive itch. it has the most delicate nuanced presentation. just sucks me in. yet it can do big bass and lots of space.

    i've added a second Durand Tosca for my NVS, the Telos Sapphire unipivot is gone. i do have a standard Telos remaining on the NVS for one of my mono cartridges.

    i love owning three different turntables with different presentations now for over a year. ask me in another year whether they will all be permanent, right now i would say YES!!!! i feel that i am getting as good a turntable performance as anything out there. and having lots of fun with it too.

    6 months ago i did add 2 new mono cartridges, which caused me to add one more turntable, a modest addition that plays way above it's price point; the EMT948 direct drive + the Durand Kairos unipivot. it's a delight to use and hear. so now i have 4 turntables and 5 tonearms. very happy and i feel i can get the very most out of any pressing and any type of music.

    that's my story.

    Fred; as far as my recommendation; i think any of my three main turntables are stone cold locks as center pieces to a top level analog system. each has a great tonearm. the NVS does allow for two tonearms; the CS Port also does have that option. fly up here when you get the chance and let's listen.
    Last edited by Mike Lavigne; 02-25-2021, 12:07 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. The multiple turntable approach certainly makes sense as does a multiple cartridge approach as I am finding out.
    Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.


    • #3
      The word odyssey sums it up, there is no end game to anything in this hobby. I always felt the Rockport Sirius was the be-all end-all table. I see Grellberg is selling his right now on A'gon and so people move on to different things. Does anyone know if he's replacing it with a different table?
      Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke