♦️Dedicated to friends in Brazil, who gave us Tim Maia and Gal Costa.
Tribute to the late Tim Maia. Thank you for your beautiful voice.
(A studio recording overlayed with a visual live performance)
I am so happy to have completed this 3-TURNTABLE shoot-out for all of you!! Each of these is in the price range of US$400-450. I have again, bought ALL three of them with my own monies, just as what I have done with the Group A, B, C, D, etc Cartridges and Phonostages’ shoot-outs and reviews.
This is because I want total honesty, freedom of speech, unbeholden to any manufacturer/retailer. We are all consumers, and we deserve the best for our hard-earned money.
If I want to do it well, do it all the way, 100%. Spending such money, I had to grit my teeth again purchasing all three of these decks this time. Tough as it always has been (i am not rich), but i think, if i don’t do it, may be nobody would. So dearest friends, *let me take the sacrifice again, and do this for all of you 😀 * As long as I can afford it, I WILL continue to do my utmost best, and I am very happy to do so.
I purchased all three decks back in early July just immediately after my Japan trip. Once back, i had been running all three decks, setting them up nicely, checking their alignment parameters, timing each for a burn-in time of 100 hours, auditioning them A-B-C-A-B-C-…-wise going back and forth, back and forth, making sure their sonic parameters are compared in detail and expeditiously.
I have actually sort of prepared a “script” in my mind back in May before i had purchased the 3 decks, preparing for the Debut Carbon DC to walk all over the other two decks: the Rega Planar 1 and the Sony PS-HX500, by virtue of the former’s carbon fibre tonearm and a cartridge worth US$100. HOWEVER, my oh my, was I wrong:
After running them in, and getting to A-B-C-A-B-C-…auditioning them, I was surprised to realise: marketing hype can be extremely misleading! — There are MORE than meets the eye: OUR EARS easily can tell which manufacturer is dedicating the right efforts to make the best deck in the price range.
This kind of honest-to-goodness performance, earns my respect. This winner, not just won comfortably and clearly, but by an extremely huge margin. It has been hard work, please enjoy the fruits of my labour, my dearest friends.
Hearing my SL1200Mk5 with simply, the (*superb) Grado Green cartridge absolutely outperforms the Planar 1 by a huge degree. 1)Dynamics just so free flowing, up and down, much better than the P1, 2)Refinement…the treble and upper midrange is so much smoother AND composed, detailed and refined, 3)Bass extension is so much better, going easily deeper, and with lots of grunt and grip, articulation… 4)Soundstage and imaging are on a different level, the images are much better placed on the stage, believable… the whole presentation is carrying us from a good presentation in the P1, into the realms of live performance of high fidelity. Engaging, thrilling, engrossing. Of course the Nagaoka MP-110 carries us even further into the realms of high-end sound…and that is superb and affordable. US$450 for a used SL1200Mk3/3D/5 + US$120 for a Nagaoka MP-110. That is US$570+learnt skills of cartridge set-up as compared to a $400 Rega Planar 1. The former will also entail the purchase and use of a digital force gauge ~$!5, and a mirror cartridge protractor ~$15, and a digital USB 50-500x microscope ~$20 …all purchasable online from ebay/amazon.
Step by step, my friends:
– a $450 Planar 1 for a plug-and-play, easy Vinyl entry quality deck. I advise not to buy anything else below that price as I have realized they all fall short of quality and do not give a sound that makes it worth the while to come over from digital. The Planar 1 gives us that first quality dynamic and coherent analogue sound.
Then, when one is more confident:
– a $450-$500 Technics SL1200Mk2/3/3D/5 with a $95 Grado Green or $120 Nagaoka MP-110. This will put us much forward into the realm of beautiful and magical analogue music, and where we easily abandon the faults of digital: pre-ring, ring, post-ring, time smear and phase shifts. We will so fall in love with the magical, absorbing and enthralling sounds of analogue with this set up.
Test bed in this video:
Sony PS-HX500 vs Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC vs Rega Planar 1.
Phonostage: Avid Pulsare2 and Schiit Mani,
Amplification: Vitus RI100, Leben CS300XS(room)
Power conditioning and cabling: Zonotone, Shunyata Research.
(Other turntables: Technics SL1200Mk5, SL1200GAE, SL1200G, Avid Sequel SP with SME V)
Speakers: B&W 804D2, AudioNote AN-K(room)
Music used with permission