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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 04:33 PM
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Question Merrill Replica ES Turntable ES-R1

Anybody have one of these?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:54 PM
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I spoke to George the day before Thanksgiving. He said that some will be ready for shipping before Christmas 2012. Unfinished/armless model around 1K and a ready-to-play finished package at around $1600.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 05:01 PM
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Thanks, Dave. Any intel on the motor or suspension?
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:50 AM
DFTrouble DFTrouble is offline
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Hear it on Saturday.

I went to the shop on Saturday to hear the new table.

It sounded good, but it had a Black Ortofon Cadenza cartridge on it, so I'm not really sure what it would sound like with a more modest cartridge. I heard the new REAL deck a few months ago and was astounded. Records almost sounded "digital" in its clarity and speed (but without harshness and with soul).

I've lusted after a Merrill turntable for years, and I'm planning on buying the new one. I'm also starting a doctorate this Spring, so I'm going to have to wait a few months to see about school expenses/scholarships...

Since George makes them at his shop, it would be easy to customize the deck to suit one's personal tastes (cartridges, finishes, arms, clamps, etc.).
George also told me that a power supply unit will be eventually available.

The suspension on the new table is based on his AR mods for the Heirloom.
George says that the table will compete with the Heirloom in terms of sound quality.

Heirloom level performance seems a bit far-fetched for the low price, but I'm sure it'll sound as good if not much better than my Music Hall 5.1 and I'm thrilled to support local business. I bought my first adult stereo from George and enjoy doing business with him.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:51 AM
DFTrouble DFTrouble is offline
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Subject should read "Heard it on Saturday".
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2012, 04:45 PM
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A $2500 cartridge? Really??

Oh, well. I guess that makes it somewhere between really difficult and darn near impossible to evaluate on its own merit. Any other impressions you had would be appreciated.

Best,

Mike
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2012, 05:01 PM
marcmorin marcmorin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_p View Post
Oh, well. I guess that makes it somewhere between really difficult and darn near impossible to evaluate on its own merit. Any other impressions you had would be appreciated.

Best,

Mike
Dunno I agree with the (non) ability to evaluate the table itself. The cart should be of high enough quality that if the table had an issue, the cart would expose that issue. I'm thinking more to the point the table is proving itself to be able to front any hi-end system. To put a $40.00 cart on it and say the table is a "dog" certainly isn't evaluating the table, that's evaluating the cart.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2012, 05:10 PM
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Modegard Modegard is offline
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Is Merrill Scillia still in play? Just curious.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:07 PM
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Russellc Russellc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modegard View Post
Is Merrill Scillia still in play? Just curious.
Dont think so, but the mods for AR tables can still be acquired from vinylnirvana.com

Russellc
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:26 PM
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kirk57 kirk57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFTrouble View Post
I went to the shop on Saturday to hear the new table.

It sounded good, but it had a Black Ortofon Cadenza cartridge on it, so I'm not really sure what it would sound like with a more modest cartridge. I heard the new REAL deck a few months ago and was astounded. Records almost sounded "digital" in its clarity and speed (but without harshness and with soul).

I've lusted after a Merrill turntable for years, and I'm planning on buying the new one. I'm also starting a doctorate this Spring, so I'm going to have to wait a few months to see about school expenses/scholarships...

Since George makes them at his shop, it would be easy to customize the deck to suit one's personal tastes (cartridges, finishes, arms, clamps, etc.).
George also told me that a power supply unit will be eventually available.

The suspension on the new table is based on his AR mods for the Heirloom.
George says that the table will compete with the Heirloom in terms of sound quality.

Heirloom level performance seems a bit far-fetched for the low price, but I'm sure it'll sound as good if not much better than my Music Hall 5.1 and I'm thrilled to support local business. I bought my first adult stereo from George and enjoy doing business with him.
George is a good guy. I called to ask him some questions about my Merrill AR and he took the time to tell me how to tweak it, gratis.

I like spending my money with guys like that rather than buying from GiantMegacorp. I can name the guys who built almost all my gear, and I've talked to most of them.

That said, I've not heard the new Merrill table, but given the company history, I have no doubt it's very good.
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:28 PM
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mike_p mike_p is offline
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Yup, but it would still be nice to know some more . . .

George by God answers his phone, and like so many real originals in this business, is happy to discuss what he loves. His reputation is impeccable and his prior products have been very well received. No question.

Still, Tennessee is a fur piece from Greeley, PA, and I was hoping to hear about its sound with something a little closer to the stuff I could afford. I'm holding on to a Jelco 750D arm, and thought I'd mate it to a DL-103R with either a decent step-up (maybe the K & K Lundahl Basic Kit) or a head amp (George likes the Lehmann Black Cube). I'm wondering how the ES-R1 would fare wearing that kind of an arm and cartridge against a vintage Thorens 125/SME 3009, a used VPI Scout with the unipivot asm, or an Oracle Alexandria,, something in that price range.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:33 PM
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KentTeffeteller KentTeffeteller is offline
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Given George's superb customer service and helpful nature with AR owners, I'd give this table an audition. For the price, it would be a hard turntable to beat. His products are well built and engineered soundly.
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2013, 08:17 PM
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Merrill Replica ER-S1 shipping on Monday

W/armboard drilled for a Jelco 750D, base finished in Tung Oil.

Almost done with the build for a Bottlehead Seduction phono pre, and the BH C4S constant current source upgrade is on the way. Waiting on Comet Supply for a DL-103R. A step-up based on Cinemag 3440A's is in the drawer; looks like the 150 ohm 1:18 ratio should be about right. If not, the AT7V puts out 5 mv, should mate well with the arm, and do the trick for the Seduction.

Gotta love this stuff.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2013, 06:15 PM
Logic6 Logic6 is offline
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Any update on the turntable?
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2013, 09:19 PM
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mike_p mike_p is offline
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Settling in with the ES-R1

This thing makes music. Vastly more alive than the Technics SL1210 I had with an AT-120E on the stock Technics arm. It has drive, snap, zip, (PRAT?) whatever you want to call it. George Merrill told me the motor is the same one he used in the Heirloom.

The drive platter and main platter assembly are beautifully designed and engineered. The drive and main platters are made of the same non-resonant poly material as the 3-point suspended frame and the massive armboard. The springs are easily adjusted for use with a record weight, and the poly main platter is ready for use with a rim clamp. The mating surface on the drive platter is the same cork/rubber composite used as the integral record mat on the main platter. The entire design is clearly aimed at eliminating resonance of any kind. And, at least to my ear so far, the turntable achieves its designer's goals.

My listening room has a floating floor over cork underlayment, and it bounces. Not surprisingly, in that environment the ES-R1 was really susceptible to footfalls. That problem went away entirely when I put it on a Target wall shelf. The 'table currently sits on an mdf shelf cannibalized from a solidsteel rack, under which are 4 Herbie's Audio Lab hard isoballs in their matching bases sitting directly on the Target's thick MDF shelf (Herbie's attaches some soft, compliant material underneath the bases ).

Now, with well-recorded vinyl, it sounds better to me than (most) Redbook CDs (with the exception of, e.g., audiophile CD's like Pierre Sprey's Mapleshade recordings.) The ES-R1 delivers deep, tuneful bass, sweet mids and extended highs. I don't believe you can go wrong with this turntable.
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