Today many component reviews are based on the premise that if is more expensive it must be better. In turntables, it seems like the higher the mass the higher the cost hence the higher degree of merit. Here is a test of turntables, admittedly of the suspended chases variety, founded on engineering principles, listening tests informed by these principles, and measurements that relate to usage in the real world.
Note that the manufacturer posts meaningful specifications like rumble, wow and flutter, and arm bearing friction. The review, by the late Peter Mitchell who you may remember from Stereophile, I recall, actually measures not only the specs like rumble - when was the last time you saw a rumble measurement or specification in one of these 275 lb behemoths - but characteristics like acoustic breakthrough, resonance frequency and possible damping of the cartridge-arm combination? These measurements actually make a difference as an indicator of sonic quality and usefulness in a system.
Today it seems anyone with a CNC machine or a machine shop in the E.U. can foist their unspecified goods on us unsuspecting audiophiles. There is no "Turntable Guild" in Europe as there is with watchmakers - perhaps there was one once. American audiophiles who worship at the feet of those reviewers, who take little pains to measure, listen, measure, listen, are being taken for a ride. The characteristics of these vinyl interfaces and subsystems are well known. Acoustic breakthrough is a real problem if you put your 'table between your speakers, more so with box speakers or hybrids - or should I say mongrels? - but who today measures for it?
Who specifies rumble besides Linn, perhaps SME and SOTA? Does Mikey Cyrus measure it even if it isn't specified?
Ears may rule, but one needs to have something between them before entering the turntable realm with just a checkbook and a scale....As in most things, follow the money!
We are having a limited sale on certain Accusound Cables. They are exactly the same cables as current 2017 production, but may have some minor cosmetic differences. Sonically they are identical. Rather than send them back to the factory for exchange we have decided to pass on some savings to you. Please call!
Carver ALS Towers Only
We have a demo pair of Amazing Line Source Speakers selling at a very attractive price without the SUBRosa subwoofer. If you are in a 300 mile radius "piano mover quality" shipping can be arranged for an additional charge at our cost. For local pick-up bring your truck. Please call!
Pass Labs X-1 Preamp
A client trade-in with a 90 day warranty. "Best sounding X-1 in the country" according to Pass Labs $2000 plus taxes and shipping. In original box, remote, power supply, PS cable, strong display - make sure you check these things on eBAY specials!
Email us for pictures. Except as stated prices do not include any applicable taxes and shipping.
If you miss these you'll want to drown yourself in Guinness! An extra goody for the first buyer who knows what "Blooms-day" is and how it came to be without looking it up!
Does your boutique gear meet FTC spec?
:Lately we have been chagrined by tests of amplifiers, DACs and so in the magazines that still actually test equipment such as HFN/RR and Stereophile. What we notice is:
If the equipment doesn't meet the FTC or FCC rules the manufacturer or importer is not supposed to sell it to consumers or retailers.
At BSOLLC we are approached by equipment manufacturers and importers frequently. If they have a sample we test them in our test department to see if they meet FTC spec or their other published specifications such as jitter, rumble, power bandwidth, rated power and so on depending on the type of unit. If they don't we let the representative know. Sometimes they take the gear away and we never hear from them again.
As a "client first shop" we feel we owe it to you not to sell defective designs or defective implementations of designs.
We have had many units come through the door and fail to meet their specs. No, we do not publish a list of this equipment - we just don't carry it. We cannot in good conscience sell this gear to our clients no matter what the cachet. I do not want to get into the old morass of whether something that measures well might not sound like the songs of the Cherubim - although I chuckle when a box or horn loudspeaker with a rising, extended high frequency response sounds "just like an electrostatic."
One problem is that many manufacturers will not send us a demo/test unit for evaluation like they do the magazines. Sometimes we have to pay up front but make it very clear in writing that we can return it. No wonder there are so few places where people can get honest advice and service! It's not just Amazon and eBAY killing the audio salons!
Remember that clients can request their present equipment, or something you have on loan, to be measured and have a safety inspection by our service department for nominal charge. Armed with that information, you can make a decision about how to proceed.
Sound Lab Ultimate 745 Review June 1 2017
Here's quote from the Norwegian distributor about the new Ultimate-745s he just installed at a client's home:
"Congratulations (!) for having made the best speakers I have ever heard, and at 52 years of age I have heard a few. The speed of the transients and the accuracy in reproducing instruments are impressive. Our ... (famous much more expensive 3-way "German-Expressionist")...horn speaker has speed but lacks the the same accuracy. I was also impressed by the amount of bass coming from an electrostatic speaker."
If you have the proper room and the requisite front-end equipment, U-745s are an final purchase.