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Thread: Connoisseur BD1 turntable.

  1. #91
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,448
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by connoisseur_sme View Post
    Out of interest Geoff what modern deck could you recommend for a budget up to £1500? Maybe slightly more?
    That is virtually an impossible question to answer Richie. The choice is considerable and whatever I suggest, others here will probably be horrified and offer their idea of 'better' alternatives.

    Anyway, if you want a reliable decent sounding turntable that works as slickly as a Rolls Royce, I'd suggest a Mk.II Technics SL-1200 or SL-1210 (the numbers just denote silver or black finish). The problem with that option is that although the standard deck works brilliantly, there are a huge amount of 'upgrade' paths open to you, which can get addictive and expensive.

    Your budget could also buy a clean used recent Linn Sondek LP12. I dislike them, but many don't.

    A less obvious choice could be something from Clearaudio. The standard of engineering and sound quality are very good indeed. The products are also attractive to look at.

    Of course, you could always try what I use. A vintage Toshiba SR-370 direct drive turntable. Solid as a rock, very hefty and reliable too. It is designed to accept an SME arm and is still surprisingly modest in cost, although they are gaining some belated recognition for their abilities and prices are slowly rising, probably due to me going on about them on the net . Great turntable!




    .
    Last edited by walpurgis; 02-10-2017 at 23:18.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  2. #92
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 185
    I'm Kai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Technical and General are defunct as far as I'm aware. Last time I saw anything to do with them was about twenty years ago, when they had a stand at the Tonbridge Audio Jumble. I took the opportunity to stock up on Connoisseur spares (and still have a good selection ).
    I did business with them as recently as February 2015 - communicated with email and paid with PayPal I bought a twin pack of belts + an old style motor pulley (without the notch to aid in 33/45 speed change) + a metal headshell. They had some more parts in stock still as well, including replacement arm skeletons (I guess this was the tube only without bearings). For some reason I couldn't find the full parts & price list in my emails though I'm sure I received one. The belts were proper original "ground rubber" types instead of the o-ring replacements some places sell (and which don't really work as well).

  3. #93
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Kingston

    Posts: 8
    I'm Winston.

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    Hi,

    This is for anyone interested in TT alternatives: I recently tested my Ittok on my SL1700, Thorens 125, and standard Lenco 75. They all sounded as good or better than my vintage LP12 (unless the Linn's colourations count in its favour in anyone's opinion).

    The Linn is now sold, leaving all the others (plus a BD 2 and a Thorens 145). Besides a Lenco, the biggest bargain would be something like my SL 1700, which I'd bought for the equivalent of 60 bucks. My advice to anyone interested is to go for one of these, or their reasonably priced equivalents, and simply make sure to install a quality arm. (And the arm doesn't have to be as expensive as an Ittok either).

    For instance, the majority of the budget could be used on getting the best arm possible (Jelco, Rega, Mayware, Black-Widow, etc) since something like one of the lesser-known Technics DD TTs (SL1700, 1600, 1800, etc - which are all as good as a standard 1200, more or less) could be bought for peanuts.

    Nevertheless, I can't stress enough that a good arm is extremely important in that scenario, regardless of which TT.

    Perhaps it's a matter of personal taste, but I've also replaced my original SME3009II with the SAU2 arm from my BD2 as the preferred arm on my 125 Thorens. I did like the sweet tubelike mids and highs of the 3009II, but was also turned off by the soft midbass of my example. YMMV. I found the bass/midbass of the SAU2 as tight and as extended as that of the Ittok (with MMs) with only a very slight compromise in the extreme highs, relatively speaking - so that's my choice for that 125 'til my killer DIY arm is built.

    We all learn from others' experiences. So I'm hoping something I've said here turns out to be helpful to someone out there.

    Cheers,
    Winston.

  4. #94
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,448
    I'm Geoff.

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    Unfortunately, the SAU2 arm is terminally flawed. You'll get sound from it no doubt and you may like it, but it ain't right.

    If you watch the SAU2 end on, as the cartridge traverses the record, the headshell tilts from one side to other due to the action of the diagonal gimbal bearings. This means that azimuth is actually only correct at one point across the record grooves. This is wrong and may even damage records.

    I've had maybe half a dozen of these arms and have hastily moved them on.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  5. #95
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Kingston

    Posts: 8
    I'm Winston.

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    You’re right, of course – and many have criticized it for the same thing. And you don’t even have to place the arm on a record to see it. My own SAU2, even on its armrest, resembles someone leaning his head to one side. It looks so ridiculous, it borders on the hilarious.

    But, still, I’ve never heard its performance compromised in any way that could be ascribed to this ‘flaw.’ Apparently, its idiosyncrasies are within acceptable bounds, like so many of the gear we use.

    Let’s not forget that hifi is full of similar compromises. For instance, the fan of linear-tracking arms could (and do) make similar arguments against the pivoted arms most of us use (even though we find the known compromises of the latter acceptable – similar to how I’ve accepted the inaudible quirk of the SAU2).

    What’s most fascinating to me, tho, is that an arm averaging much less than 100 bucks, if sold by itself, could be so competitive with one broaching the kilo-buck mark on the used market, even if this parity is ONLY with moving-magnets. (The Ittok would murder the SAU2 with MCs, of course, and that’s perhaps where the bulk of its value lies – for MC users).

    By the way, I’m not alone in liking and using the SAU2 (pending the readiness of my DIY alternatives, in my case) as I’ve seen at least two others expressing similar sentiments. (I could quote or link them later, if I ever find them again).

    Still, my aim in highlighting the likes of the SAU2 and the likes of the lesser-known (and relatively inexpensive) Techies is merely to highlight options which perform at or near the level of the much more expensive alternatives, in my experience. Hope I didn’t break any rules in doing so.

    Cheers.

  6. #96
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonish

    Posts: 1,595
    I'm Peter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by connoisseur_sme View Post

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    PS - Out of interest Geoff what modern deck could you recommend for a budget up to £1500? Maybe slightly more?
    PPS - Geoff, it seems you are right about polarised views on this deck - across the web simply a Marmite appeal.
    Hi Richie.

    Just in case you're looking for an alternative, this .... http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-(Original-Box!) ... will comprehensively out-perform the connoisseur. I've owned both, I know! This is a bargain, and with a good moving magnet cartridge (Audio Note IQ1) would be less than £700, and be unbeatable at less than three times the cost. Trust me ... been there
    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” - William Bruce Cameron

  7. #97
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,448
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curry49 View Post
    The Ittok would murder the SAU2 with MCs
    Ha. I don't like the Ittok either. I found the armlift platform flexed too much on mine and the sound quality with Decca cartridges (which I used exclusively back then) was poor. It gave an unpleasant coarseness to the upper treble. I kept it a couple of years, but eventually gave up on it and sold it on.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  8. #98
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,133
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Ha. I don't like the Ittok either. I found the armlift platform flexed too much on mine and the sound quality with Decca cartridges (which I used exclusively back then) was poor. It gave an unpleasant coarseness to the upper treble. I kept it a couple of years, but eventually gave up on it and sold it on.
    I would have thought the very last cartridge to use with an Ittok would be the Decca (unless perhaps something like a Shure M3D or other throwback that also needs an entirely different approach). I had one for 20 years on my LP12, and ran it very successfully with an AT OC9, with which it's a nice match.
    Speakers - 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys with custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Preamp - EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII with Ikeda IT345-CR1 and Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges: Miyajima Madake, Zero Mono 0.7 and Premium 1.0 retipped by Ana Mighty Sound with bamboo cantilever, Ortofon SPU Royal N and Shure M3D with Jico stylus; phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport.

    'Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang der ist ein Narr sein Leben lang.'

  9. #99
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,448
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    I would have thought the very last cartridge to use with an Ittok would be the Decca.
    You live and learn, as they say. It was a long time ago.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  10. #100
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Kingston

    Posts: 8
    I'm Winston.

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    "Ha. I don't like the Ittok either."

    Au contraire!

    I actually loved my Ittok. Geoff, I don’t doubt it if you say it was awful with a Decca. But I used mine over many years with Grado’s Sonata – and later with a Signet TK7E - and found both combinations outstanding in different regards. Difficult to put into words, really. However (and I know I’ll be shot for saying this) tho the Ittok was outstanding at bass/midbass, I found that my lowly SAU2 was even slightly better here, IMO (with MMs ONLY) and only very slightly less extended in the highs, with the likes of my Signet. This revelation came after the SAU2 had already ousted another iconic arm of mine, IMO. And this all made it difficult to continue holding on to these two iconic arms, especially since the TT the Ittok came with was slated to be sold after being equaled or outperformed by two or three other TTs of mine – all tested with the same Ittok/Signet combo. Nevertheless, I still believe the Ittok is one of the greats, just behind those at the very top today, especially for those who prefer moving-coils. Perhaps a bit over-priced, though.

    Regarding the humble Connoisseur BD1/BD2 TT, however, I doubt mine was properly set up when I’d actually used it more than 30 years ago (at a time I wasn't adept at TT set-up) so I don't have great personal impressions of it. Still, I’m now convinced that the SAU2 arm played a very big part in why the BD2, especially, was so respected by audiophiles in general. Nevertheless, with my experience with the BD2 not being the most memorable, I never ever would have even tried the SAU2 on any frontline TT until I saw comments like this one comparing the SAU2 with an SME 3009II similar to what was frustrating me on my Thorens TT at the time;
    The SU (SAU2, really) is very good, in fact better IMHO than the SME at LF response with the Shure cart I had fitted but not as sweet in the mid band. Don't get me wrong, its very close, its just that I prefer the overall balance of the sme and it is a personal thing. Someone else might prefer it!
    https://www.vinylengine.com/turntabl...ic.php?t=23333

    Yes, it’s true that I much preferred the SAU2’s tight and deep bass over the bass of the SME 3009II, which is oft criticized as ‘soft’ and ‘wooly,’ and unrealistic. However, it’s possible that this would not have been so if I’d seen the likes of one of the tips I’m about to reveal. I’m not sure if this tactic would have improved the bass to the level of an Ittok or SAU2, but for those who love the 3009II’s outstanding and sublime midrange, while abhorring the softish midbass especially, the following quote might help in that regard. I’ve also seen at least two others advocating similar tactics and reporting similarly satisfying results;
    “…Instead I removed the grommets on the 3009 bedplate and reinstalled the arm on my TD-124. I noticed that the bass now seemed tighter, more dynamic, and some mid bass bloat had disappeared. Imaging and the quality of the extreme highs improved significantly. Overall it's a less euphonic and more detailed presentation - a significant improvement for a few minutes work.”
    https://www.vinylengine.com/turntabl...ic.php?t=33686

    So, apparently, the grommets at the 3009II’s base are what cause its softish midbass.

    And the application of the fore-mentioned tactic could possibly transform this arm into an even more outstanding performer. A 3009II installed without grommets on a BD1 could be quite a nice prospect, even in a modest system.

    I also see great advice being distributed here, including a Sony TT which Classic HiFi remarked about, here; “The PS-6750 was one of the best turntables Sony ever made and was manufactured during the golden age of high fidelity audio in the mid to late 1970's.
    http://classichifi.info/Sony_PS-6750.shtml

    Later in the same article they imply that this TT was very much in the category of Linn, Thorens, and Ariston TTs at the time. Jean Nantais (father of the modded Lenco) is also a Sony TT fan, btw.

    Outstanding.

    Can’t see anyone going wrong with the advice being distributed here.

    Getting a bit carried-away in my enthusiasm, however. Apologies for the longish post.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by curry49; 16-10-2017 at 16:45.

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