The Audio Technica AT-VM95 Family. Cartridges With A Built In Upgrade Path

Audio Technica have a very long and illustrious history in the cartridge world and their little AT95e which this replaces was for years the go to entry level cartridge.

The new AT-VM95E is a completely different beast eschewing the old plastic body for a metal one with threaded inserts for the cartridge bolts.

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Above is an Audio Technica AT-VM95E cartridge. It’s £45 and probably the cheapest upgrade you could make to an old turntable.

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The At-VM95E is a marked improvement sonically over the older model too with loads of detail and resolution for the money.

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The fun doesn’t stop there though. With the VM95 series Audio Technica have cleverly produced a single body and a range of styli which can take this from a humble budget moving magnet cartridge to something really quite special.

The range includes Conical (C), Elliptical (E), Nude Elliptical (N), Microlinear (ML) and Shiabata (S) styli.

Each one giving a marked improvement over the previous thus forming a nice logical upgrade path, there is even a 78 stylus for all you bakelite lovers out there.

To say that we are impressed is to put it mildly, even the humble AT-VM95E sounds wonderful with old classics like Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and more recent albums like Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer alike.

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We will happily fit one to your turntable, and maybe sell you some new records while we’re at it!

Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at Audio T Brentwood soon.

Audio Technica Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swansea

The Hills Are ALive With An ACE Sound. Benz Micro Ace SL MC Cartridge From Switzerland

Benz Micro cartridges have been in production since the 1980s, earning recognition throughout the world as one the top brands in the field. Ernst Benz, founder and designer of the original Benz-Micro cartridges, retired in 1994 and sold the cartridge production to Albert Lukaschek, his close associate and designer of the Benz-Micro PP-1 phono stage.

Ernst Benz (1932 - 2014)

Ernst Benz (1932 - 2014)

Albert relocated and modernized the factory, employed a highly skilled workforce, introduced many new models, including the ACE which we are looking at here. Though best known among audiophiles as a cartridge designer and manufacturer, Ernst Benz was also a well respected watch designer. He also developed and manufactured a high temperature vacuum oven for bonding diamond to steel that resulted in a line of diamond cutting tools.

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Hand-building a phono cartridge is a highly developed skill, requiring specially trained technicians working with microscopes and ultra small-scale manufacturing. A competitive global business environment and technically demanding jobs have made finding skilled workers a major concern. On-going changes in the Swiss workforce, including the growth of both the high-end watch industry and high tech, have reduced the pool of these skilled technicians and the potential for new trainees. Benz Micro’s current production team represents the best of the best for producing state-of-the-art phono cartridges. These changes in the labour force, combined with further advances in design and materials, have resulted in new Benz-Micro models that surpass all previous versions in music reproduction.

Hand built to perfection

Hand built to perfection

The Benz ACE S-L has become one of our favourite phono cartridges. It is a low output device (.4mV) based on the generator system and stylus assembly of the Benz Glider with a protective acrylic body, The ACE is the first handmade cartridge in the range and one of the only hand-built cartridges at this price point! The Benz ACE is simple to install thanks to the inclusion of threaded mounting holes, no nuts were needed during set-up, which was welcomed as, with its exposed generator and lack of stylus guard, any mistakes could have been costly. The translucent shell projects the vital parts inside. This low output version is distinguished by its red casework, and features a solid boron cantilever and line contact stylus, rather than conical or elliptical profiles. It is also available in both medium and high output versions

Complete with level and tool kit

Complete with level and tool kit

The Swiss pedigree is obvious from the packaging and accompanying accessories alone, which include a circular bubble level and stainless miniature screwdriver. Albert Lukaschek listens to every Benz Ace cartridge before it leaves the factory ensuring that they all meet the high level of sound quality he demands.

Dashing in its red livery.

Dashing in its red livery.

To describe it as both warm and neutral might sound contradictory but that’s exactly what it is. There is never a sense of “character”. The Benz micro is a pure musical tool; it delivers exactly what the record intends, whether it is life and propulsion or calm and introspection and without even a hint of harshness. Instruments are portrayed realistically and with occasional surprise; sounds sometimes leap out that you wouldn’t expect, giving that spine tingling sensation. This is a true music lover's cartridge, warm and natural through the mid-range, with great bass extension and silky smooth high frequencies. If you just want to play record after record with a big smile on your face...the ACE is the cartridge for you.

Fitted to A  Michell Techno “a” Arm”  ready to play!

Fitted to A Michell Techno “a” Arm” ready to play!

The Benz Micro SL MC Cartridge is available from all branches of Audio T.

2018 Record Recommendations And Ortofon Cartridges to Play Them On!

In 2018 the Danish Cartridge manufacturer Ortofon celebrated its centenary. Yes you read that right. One hundred years and still going strong! Still making some of the best reproducers of music that your vinyl will ever give up its information for! And guess what? We love them!

Whether you decide to go for a moving magnet type from the 2M range or a more expensive option from the moving coil ranges such as Quintet or Cadenza your vinyl will be reproduced in such a way that you will hear way more of those tiny details, more space around all the instruments and a more open soundstage with music coming at you from further outside of the speaker cabinets than ever before!

2M Red

2M Red

Of course the Cadenza range will be the logical port of call for those with a higher quality turntable and arm combinations and will eke out so much detail that you will be playing all your vinyl all over again because it will sound so amazing!

Cadenza Bronze

Cadenza Bronze

Of course the range we sell the most of are the 2M, which is a great range to pick from if you have something like an entry level Rega or Project deck and are hankering after a nice upgrade from the supplied cartridge (we will even fit it for you free of charge too!). The Ortofon 2M red is the place to start!

The Ortofon Bronze with its nude (ooh err!) fine line stylus is a great tracker and will help to reduce record wear and groove distortion. The body being made from a newly developed Noryl plastic/glass combination giving precise and accurate retrieval of the information. Designed by Ortofon former chief engineer and cartridge genius Per Winfield the 2M range really do punch above their weight!

Over the past year we have been using various of the Ortofon cartridges to play a selection of our favourite albums from the past year. Here are a few recommendations all of which sound amazing and all of which will help to show off just how good that new turntable can sound. So in no particular order, here goes………

Equinox Infinity

Equinox Infinity

This was Jon’s pick…..Equinox Infinity by Jean Michel Jarre. This one really is a welcome return to form from the French Synth wizard and quite possibly his best piece of music since the original Equinox. This one uses themes from the first Equinox but weaves them into lush undulating soundscapes of analogue synthiness that will make your hifi really come to life!

Riverside

Riverside

Next we have Farid’s choice cut of the year in the form of an album titled Wasteland by Polish prog rockers Riverside. This is their first album since the untimely death of their guitar player Piotr Grudzinski and it has a distinctly melancholy feel to it. Again it is superbly recorded with a lush expansive open soundstage and features a great set of songs beautiful in its bleakness and exquisitely played. wasteland features some of the most gorgeously painful moments any band has ever committed to vinyl.

All Traps On Earth

All Traps On Earth

Andy’s album of the year by miles and miles and miles is the very lovely thing that is A Drop of Light by All Traps on Earth. I have mentioned this one in a previous blog so will keep it short! A double album in a gate-fold sleeve beautifully packaged and even more beautifully sounding. This is proggressive rock of the highest quality and is one of those that just keeps on getting better every time you listen to it. This is basically what the band Anglagard have become and features twisted rhythms of astonishing virtuosity and has some of the deepest bass you will ever hear on a rock music album. And they have not one but two Mellotrons! Nuff said!!

GoGo Penguin

GoGo Penguin

A (very) honourable mention goes to this one ….. A Humdrum Star by GoGo Penguin. The bands fourth album and second one for the BlueNote record label finds them mixing electronic sounds with jazz rock elements and wickedly good interplay between acoustic bass grooves and wonderful rolling piano melodies (the drummer isn’t too bad either!). Another one of those albums that genuinely is of demo quality. Many thanks to Red House Records in Swindon for the recommendation.

You genuinely will not be disappointed with any of these and if you have any Christmas prezzie money burning a hole in your pocket……….well you know what to do!

See you again in the 2019 for more bloggy loveliness.

Andy, Jon and Farid - Audio T Cheltenham

Ortofon cartridges are available at all branches of Audio T.

Rega record players are available at all branches of Audio T

Pro-ject record players are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Michell My Belle! Customer Upgrades His Gyro Turntable With Michell Techno Tonearm

Christmas arrives a little early for one of our customers as he has treated himself to a new tone arm on his Michell Gyro turntable. He had an ageing Rega RB300 previously installed on the turntable that was starting to become troublesome. With our advice the customer chose the obvious choice, the Michell Techno A tonearm in black to match the existing finish of the turntable.

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

At the same time we have also removed the old acrylic plinth and lid giving the deck a much slicker look and feel. This was achieved by adding the Michell Gyro Spyder kit as shown below. The old deck is dismantled and the feet are removed from the plinth and threaded on to the new Spyder.

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Techno A arm unboxing

Techno A arm unboxing

New arm mounting plate

New arm mounting plate

The old arm mounting plate needs to be replaced as it is the single mounting point plate. The new mounting plate is seen fitted in place above. The new three point mount all ready for the new tone arm.

Tonearm mount from top

Tonearm mount from top

Techno A arm fitted

Techno A arm fitted

Next we need to fit the cartridge to the tonearm. Our customer decided to go for the Rega Ania MC cartridge as shown below.

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Now we need to adjust the height of the tonearm to make sure the vertical tracking angle is correct for the cartridge installed. This is achieved by the clever Michell thread at the mounting of the arm. In this case no adjustment was needed so the three mounting screws can tightened to fix the tonearm in place.

Tonearm height adjustment

Tonearm height adjustment

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Two different weight scallops are supplied depending on the weight of your cartridge. In this case the larger of the two has been used.

Scallop counter weight in place

Scallop counter weight in place

Checking tracking force

Checking tracking force

Above we are checking the tracking weight using Project Measure IT stylus balance gage.

Ready for the first play

Ready for the first play

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Above is the is older Michell HR power supply (this has now been replaced with a more modern looking box and case work) alongside the Nytech CDP122, our weapon of choice at the moment when it comes to supplying moving magnet or moving coil setups.

Final pic of the completed setup

Final pic of the completed setup

Thanks to Steve for his permission to blog about his latest audio upgrade. In the pic above we have the front of his home cinema setup. The classic Pioneer plasma, Arcam AVR550, REL S3, Oppo UDP-203 & the now discontinued Bowers & Wilkins 683S2 teamed with the HTM61S2 center speaker. He finishes off his surround system with two B&W M1 speakers on the rear and B&W CCM665 in the ceiling for Dolby Atmos, creating a very impressive 5.1.2 system. Michell Techno A arm and Rega ANIA MC cartridge is available from all branches of Audio T.

Michell Engineering turntables are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Cardiff, Manchester, Southampton, Swansea

Thanks for reading: Hefin, Nick (blogger) and Kerrin Audio T Cardiff.

New Rega Ania Moving Coil Cartridge

Rega have been pushing the boundaries of cartridge design for a good number of years, and none more so than the moving coil type.

The Rega Apheta was the first of these in 2005, and that was re-worked and improved when the Apheta 2 was introduced in 2014. The top of the range Aphelion followed in 2015 and demonstrated just how far Rega had progressed the design and manufacture in this highly specialised discipline.

All these turntable cartridges are manufactured by Rega at their UK facility in Southend-on-Sea which is quite an accomplishment.

The Ania is the new addition to the moving coil range which opens up ownership due to the wider compatibility with tonearms and turntables, and of course its price, which offers great value and exceptional sound for the money.

http://www.audiot.co.uk/products/rega-ania-moving-coil-cartridge-11615.aspx

Indeed the Rega Planar 3 combines very well with the Ania, and as you go up through the Rega turntable range greater musical delights become apparent.

Rega moving coil cartridges are the low output type and require a moving coil phono stage. It just so happens that Rega are also introducing the Fono MC that is an obvious partner, although other MC stages will work.

The newly announced Rega Planar 6 completes the perfect package of Planar 6 (inc Neo PSU), the Ania MC cartridge and the recently released Fono MC stage.

The Ania and Fono MC are already the beneficiaries of a fine review by Jason Kennedy in the-ear.net where he extols the virtue of their performance partnered with the Rega RP8 turntable.

We have the Ania, Apheta 2 and Aphelion on demonstration and expect the Fono MC in mid July and the new Planar 6 around the end of July.

So, give us a call to hear the combination of your choice, and we will arrange that for you.

Julian, Paul and John at Audio T Brighton  Tel: 01273 609431

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

The Rega Ania MC Cartridge, Hand Made By Rega In Southend-on-Sea

The new Rega Ania has just arrived here at Manchester, seen as the baby brother of the wonderful Apheta 2, the £498 moving coil cartridge could well a be winner in the making.

Officially the third in the range of moving coil cartridges from Rega, this is a much needed price point (in our opinion) and bridges the gap nicely between the Rega Exact and Apheta 2.

Can you spot the Rega Ania?

Can you spot the Rega Ania?

Hand made completely at Rega headquarters in Southend-On-Sea the Rega Ania is hand wound by the bods at Rega. Amazingly, but not surprisingly the build quality of the Ania is on par with our Japanese cousins, who as you know, can make a mean cartridge.

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The neodymium magnet is housed in the high quality and unique rigid plastic body, using the same technique Rega use for the Apheta 2 and the Aphelion but at half the cost of the Apheta 2 because of the materials used. With meticulously wound finer than fine copper wire (as seen below), it requires an infinite amount of patience during the process. This task is not for the coffee drinkers.

The Ania uses Rega's 3 point “tried and tested” mounting to remove any tracking errors. Rega have said it will be factory fitted as an option on some of the turntables. The RP6 and RP8 come to mind straight away, but what a great upgrade it would be to the ever popular Planar 3

The Rega Ania will make a great upgrade for the Planar 3. Watch this space for an update on how it sounds. 

The Rega Ania will make a great upgrade for the Planar 3. Watch this space for an update on how it sounds. 

You may have noticed the words “Hand Made In” in our blog. This is something we try and get across every once in a while just to remind  people that we still make great products "by hand" in good old Blighty. The beautiful pocket squares used in the photographs with the Rega Ania are sold by Doherty Evans & Stott, a high end bespoke tailors just up the road from us.

These colourful squares were a collaboration between the Manchester School of Art, silk weavers based in Macclesfield and DE&S. The winning designs were chosen by Andy, Matt and Tom at DE&S. So well done to Jazmine Darson, Kauser Farhan and Maya Elbourki. I'm going to be buying one.

So, in a nutshell if you want to add a bit of pizzaz and and splash of musical colour to your vinyl, why not take a look the Rega Ania. And if your suit needs a splash of summer to brighten your day try one of the colourful pocket squares from DE&S. Simple.

The Rega Ania will be on demonstration at our Manchester store and at our up and coming secret Rega product launch event on the 15th July.

Mike, Dave, Simon, Haden and Munir are usually loitering somewhere in the store. So feel free to ask any questions you may have. 

Hope to see you soon.

New Rega Ania Moving Coil Cartridge

Building on the success of the Apheta 2 and Aphelion moving coil cartridges Rega have introduced the new Rega Ania.

Rega's design approach is unique for moving coil cartridges using an undamped ultra low mass generator with a rhomboid pivot for the cantilever coupled with an exclusively designed neodymium magnet system. This approach requires a cartridge body that has virtually zero tolerances to allow exact positioning of the magnet system relative to the pivot mounting hole. This is achieved in the Apheta and Aphelion models by machining ultra high grade aluminium to achieve the tolerance levels required (Within one thousandth of a millimetre).

Rega Ania

Rega Ania

The process of machining aluminium to this tolerance level is exceptionally expensive so when Rega decided to design the Ania moving coil cartridge their solution was to use a moulding process using an unusual poly/glass combination called 'Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS-Forton). The special attributes of this material are its hardness and stability in shape and dimension after the moulding process. Rega have designed and built a new production mould tool to enable this extremely complex body shape to be achieved to the exacting specifications required.

To achieve the performance of the Ania cartridge they have combined the PPS body with an elliptical tipped diamond stylus and cantilever with an iron cross and micro coil assembly (one of the smallest MC generators). Special three point stainless steel inserts have been used for secure three point coupling to the tone arm.

Three Point Mounting System

Three Point Mounting System

Sound Quality:

With the Ania MC cartridge firmly fixed to a Rega Planar 3 my first impression was that it shouldn't be able to do that for the money. It wasn't just good, it was astonishing. I first played Crazy Love by Poco off the album Legend and even though I thought I knew this one inside out the Rega combination laid out the harmony vocals and acoustic guitars within a huge soundstage ....one of those "shivers down your spine" moments! To make sure this wasn't a fluke, on went another demo fave in the shape of Faron Young by the rather wonderful Prefab Sprout and sure enough everything was bigger more open and more detailed than I have ever heard a Planar 3 before. The Thomas Dolby production work really coming alive with great deep but tight and fast bass allied to a wide open mid-range and a sweet top end.

Appetite whetted we then decided to put the Ania in the RB808 arm on the Rega RP8 turntable where it really excelled. The Poco and Prefab Sprout tracks opening up to reveal yet more detail. This really is one of those items of Hi-Fi that makes music fun to listen to and that will have you rooting through your record collection to hear what delights it will reveal next. In fact we were so impressed that Jon has ordered one for himself and I am thinking that my Rega P7 turntable may be paired up with one when my Dynavector wears out!!

The unique design concept of the new Rega Ania MC cartridge has produced a market leading cartridge with exceptional musicality, speed, clarity and detail retrieval not before achieved at this price point (£499.00 Inc VAT).

We have fitted our demonstration Ania to the Rega RP8 and have coupled it with phono stages from the Rega Fono MC, Arcam R-Phono and Rega Aria with outstanding results. If you are looking for a new moving coil cartridge that does not cost the earth a demonstration of the new Rega Ania is highly recommended. 

Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Farid, Andy and Jon - Audio T Cheltenham

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

The Brilliant And Gorgeous Hana EL Cartridge

Audio T Manchester have just added a new range of Hana cartridges to our collection. This relatively new brand of cartridge from the land of the rising sun is causing quite a stir amongst people who have already heard them, and although first introduced in 2015 the company behind Hana, Excel Sound Corporation, have been producing cartridges for over 50 Years. We took in the Hana-EL and SL as our first foray into this new range.

Today's blog will take a quick look at the beautiful moss green Hana-EL MC cartridge and at the slick black Hana SL Shibata and maybe a few puns from a galaxy far far away.....

Hana in Japanese actually means "brilliant and gorgeous" which, for all intents and purposes is exactly how it sounds. Tested with our own Michell Gyro'SE' the Hana EL didn't let us down.  it gets you a lot of bang for your galaxy credits.

Stereophile magazine also took the Hana EL "low output" for a test drive and said "the EL's basic sonic character was highly musical and exceptionally non mechanical." (Vol.39 No.8 WWW)"

Excel Sound Corporation have being making cartridges for other manufacturers for over 50 years now and only recently have they decided to put their own name to a range of cartridges called Hana, which are hand made in Tokyo Japan.

All Hana cartridges have a highly rigid aluminium cantilever and a diamond stylus.

Ok, so our opinion on the Hana twins. Dave our manager and turntable jedi wanted to give the pair a whirl. He tested both the EL and SL Shibata on a Linn  LP12, Ekos arm with exceptional results. To begin with, the EL low output did an admiral job of sounding musical and detailed, certainly worth the admission fee.  

Then the Hana SL Shibata, is equally impressive, but is much more open, the extra height in the soundstage just lifts everything out and away of the speakers. What's more, the very low surface noise just adds to the detail, more than you would expect from just a Shibata upgrade, very good and again great value.

Hi-Fi Choice, Hifi World and Hifi Pig all gave the Hana cartridges glowing reviews.

Hana EL and Chromey (6 of 11).jpg

Headshell Chromey! Headshell!! Thats a half inch mount....not your headshell mate...ahh never mind, come on now move along, move along and put your helmet back on, there's nothing to see here. 

The Hana SL Shibata mounted on our Michell Gyro SE.

The Hana cartridges are both on demonstration at our Manchester store and we have the Michell and Rega turntables on standby ready to show off the Hana's capabilities.

So please do pop along to our store on Bridge Street in Manchester and just ask Munir, Dave, Mike, Simon or Haden (on a Sunday) if you're interested in listening to the Hana, they will be more than willing to help.

Oh, and may the vertical tracking force be with you, all 2 grams of it.

Hana products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodManchester and Reading

How To Take Care Of Your Precious Records In The New Age of Vinyl

With vinyl sales soaring and turntables becoming ever more popular it's important to care for your records and record playing equipment so here's a few tips and products that we'd recommend for seasoned vinyl addicts and newbies alike.

The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

KEEP IT CLEAN!
There are many products out there to help with this but first and foremost is a humble duster! If you keep the area around your turntable free from dust there will be less to build up around your stylus and on your records, remember records tend to generate static so they'll attract dust. This is where the humble anti-static brush comes in very handy like the one from Audioquest in the picture above. There is also a similar product for cleaning your stylus (also pictured above) It's not uncommon to have a major build up on a stylus which can make it sound like the cartridge is failing.

For cleaning records with a heavier level of grime Pro-ject make two great products. The Spin Clean is a manual "wet cleaning" system for only £90 and if you want your records restored to sparkling brilliance try the fantastic Project VCS machine, which removes dirt and grime brilliantly. Then store your records in anti-static sleeves to help maintain their condition.

Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "V inyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction ".

Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "Vinyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction".

CAREFUL SET UP
This is where we come in. Getting the set up of your turntable right will give the most rewarding musical experience, whether you're a Dire Straits or Ed Sheeran fan. We can adjust and set up almost any turntable here in store and are always happy to help you do this.

For those of you who like to tweak and play, and there are many opportunities for this with turntables, we have a wide range of mats, stylus force measures, and pucks and clamps available.

One other essential accessory to keep your precious vinyl safe in transit, is our wonderful limited edition Audio T 50th Anniversary record bag and teddy bear carrier modelled here by Boswell.

It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

THERE'S ALWAYS AN UPGRADE PATH
No matter what turntable, as long as it's working and of a decent standard, it is always possible to improve its performance. You can change the cartridge, sometimes the cables, and the phono stage as well. At Audio T we have always prided ourselves on our knowledge of turntables and getting the best performance out of them. Why not come in and see us, or give us a ring and have a chat about how we can do that for you.

We look forward to seeing you. 

Paul, Francis and Jason

Project Classic Turntable Arrives At Audio T Cheltenham

The Cheltenham Branch have just taken delivery of the new Project Classic Turntable. Designed by Project for their 25th Anniversary the aptly named Classic has taken design inspiration from 1960/70s classics such as the Thorens and Linn.

The Classic is a two plinth design allowing the motor to be well isolated from the main bearing and arm greatly reducing the transfer of mechanical and electrical energy produced by the motor. Rather than using springs for the suspension (renowned for causing set up issues) the Classic utilises Thermo Plastic Elastomers to isolate the two plinths. This not only offers excellent isolation and anti resonance properties but also allows easy set up straight out of the box. We had our demonstration deck up and running and sounding fantastic in two minutes.

Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

The deck is supplied with a newly designed tonearm with some radical design concepts. The arm tube is constructed of a composite sandwich material comprising of carbon fibre and aluminium. The carbon fibre offers excellent rigidity and reduced mass while the aluminium provides excellent damping. A new ultra low friction bearing assembly is used enabling excellent tracking. Even the the nickel counterweight is TPE damped to reduce resonances. The arm has full VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) and Azimuth adjustment allowing easy cartridge change / upgrade.

Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

The deck is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Silver moving magnet cartridge. This allows the Classic to perform to a very high standard out of the box but with the quality of components utilised in the deck a cartridge upgrade is a great opportunity in the future.

LISTENING
To audition the Project Classic we set it up with a Rega Elicit amplifier using its excellent on-board phono stage and coupled this with a pair of Neat acoustics SX2 Loudspeakers. We played a wide range of vinyl and achieved excellent results with all types of Music.

Phil Collins - I don't Care Anymore (Hello I must be Going Album):
The Classic provided excellent bass weight and control. The drums were extremely tight and fast and at no time did the sound become confused. Information retrieval was  very good with an excellent soundstage. At no time did the deck become confused.

Helen Watson - You're not the rule (Blue Slipper Album):
The Classic offered a great sense of timing. The sound was exceptionally tuneful and for such a complicated piece of music at no time did the classic get confused or appear to lose detail. The vocals were portrayed with excellent realism and emotion.

Stanley Jordan - Eleanor Rigby (Magic Touch Album):
This gave a superb sound stage with a great sense of openness and clarity. The attack on the strings was easily heard and again we were surprised how a deck at this price point held everything together. In fact my biggest problem listening to this track was concentrating on the deck rather than the music as the Classic made it sound so involving.

CONCLUSION
Overall this record deck offers outstanding sound quality for such an affordable price. It offers superb build quality and standard of finish. It is easy to set up and integrate into virtually any hi-fi system. It also offers the opportunity to upgrade with the addition of a better cartridge. The Ortofon 2M Silver offers great sound when purchased with the deck but a future upgrade will reap great benefits. Overall we cannot recommend this record player highly enough and would strongly advise a demonstration if you are in the market for a turntable at this price point.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future and be rest assured if you come in for a demonstration you will be given a warm welcome. (And tea and coffee).

Jon, Farid and Andy

Click here to read more about the Pro-ject Classic Turntable tech specs and customer reviews.

Pro-ject turntables and Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSwanseaSwindon