Comparing Two Remarkable Turntables.....And the Winner Is!!!

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Mister Pig, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Addicted Member

    I don't know. Simple as that.

    Ok I have been posting a lot today, as I have been in the library a good part of the day listening to my two main tables, trying to get a baseline for when I bring the Technics SP 15 I just bought into the system.

    Recently the Thorens TD 124 has been hooked up and getting all the analog time in the system. Table is paired up with the Eminent Technology II arm, and a Clearaudio Signature cartridge. The sound is damn good, very immediate, vivid, and layered. I REALLY enjoy listening to it.

    So this afternoon I put Elements on by Stein & Walder for a listen. I went through side one and then unhooked the Thorens and put in my other table a Galibier Designs Serac, with Woody 12" arm and ZYX 4D cartridge. Now I really loved the sound of this album with the Thorens in the system.

    With the Serac in the rig, the sound was a bit smoother, slightly warmer with more texture, and just a nice flow to the music. Within a side I adjusted to the presentation of this rig, and felt everything was nicely detailed and in proper balance.

    To sum things up, both tables sound different. yet both tables sound excellent! One is more textured and refined, the other is immediate and engaging. Both have their positive attributes, and do nothing overtly wrong. If I had to choose one over the other, I honestly cannot say which one I would pick. The Thorens is cheaper due to how I acquired all the parts, the Serac is bullet proof reliable and uncomplicated. If there is one advantage, the ZYX cartridge seems to handle worn records better than the Clearaudio. Although I am not convinced I have the ET tone arm as dialed in as it can be.

    So , which one would I take if I only could have one? I don't know. Now I am really curious to hear how the SP15 compares to the Thorens, as I am going to have to remove the ZYX from the Serac to give it a play. Or should I take the Clearaudio off? I really don't know.......

    I do know that I am a content pig though!

    Mister Pig
  2. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

    Can't you just put the Denon on the Technics?
  3. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Addicted Member

    Well unfortunately that is not an option. I had sold a person a Benz Glider, and when packing I inadvertently touched a coil wire....they run the coil wires exposed on the outside of the cartridge!

    So I had him send it back to my re-tipper for repair. I also offered him the option of having my Denon DL 303 in replacement. Well he took awhile, and decided on the Denon. So, very reluctantly mind you.....I sent him the Denon DL 303. Kind of bummed about that, but I didn't want him to wait due to my mistake.

    So I am waiting for the Glider to come back to me. I also loaned my back up out to another AK'er, a Sumiko Blue Point Special that had an upgraded diamond and cantilever. He likes it so much compared to a very good Grado Wood bodied cartridge, that he wants to keep it. So down another back up.

    I sent a Dynavector Karat back to Soundsmith for a retip, and am waiting on that. Which is the cartridge I have planned for the Technics.

    Mister Pig
  4. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

    That's a shame as the Denon would have been a good option until the DV comes back.
  5. nailer

    nailer audionerd Subscriber

    Interesting observations on how these two vinyl rigs sound in your system. Any plans for further explorations? Impact of swapping current TA/cartridge pairings and impact of just a cartridge swap may present interesting sonic results, and provide further insight into each table's sonic attributes.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  6. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Thanks for the observations. Do have to wonder how much of the difference is TT & how much is the cartridges.
  7. Br1ck

    Br1ck Super Member

    You keep validating the worthiness of the 124. Glad I have mine already. Your comparisons are very interesting to read but I fear will lead me down the cart upgrade path. It is very interesting that you buy high end carts that need a retip as a cost savings strategy. Was it hard to pull the trigger the first time you did that?

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