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Thread: Heybrook TT2 w. RB300 -- cartridge recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 110
    I'm Svend.

    Default Heybrook TT2 w. RB300 -- cartridge recommendations

    Hello All,

    As I mentioned in my Welcome post, I have recently purchased a Heybrook TT2 turntable. From my browsing through the Heybrook threads here, it seems to be a later model with cast aluminum subchassis, external TPS unit, and a laminated birch arm board that reaches not quite to the front of the table. It has a Rega RB300 arm with tungsten CW. The arm wires and cables seem to have been upgraded Ė there is what looks like Belden silver cable exiting the bottom of the arm shaft and going straight to some decent looking RCA plugs. There was a non-functioning Rega Elys cart on it, which has been tossed.

    Overall itís a little bit of a fixer-upper Ė in decent shape, but needs some cosmetic touch up of the black stain on the wood veneer (not sure how Iím going to make that bit look good again), and the external power supply is not giving any juice to the motor Ė thereís power into the TPS, but none coming out. Itís presently with the tech getting that fixed and the suspension tweaked. As it happens, the former Canadian importer of Heybrook is about a half hour drive from my house Ė Audio One in Toronto. Handy! So itís in the right hands for servicing.

    Well, I have a mental list of about a dozen questions about this deck, but I want to start with what is a good cartridge match for this table and arm combo? From what Iíve read here and elsewhere, the RB300 seems to be a good fit for the Heybrook....am I right in assuming that the arm is a keeper? If the affirmative, then I would like to stick with a MM cart for it, and have whittled my short list down to three brands and a few possible models from each that seem to be a good compliance match:

    + Grado Prestige Gold or Reference Platinum
    + Ortofon 2M Blue or Bronze
    + Goldring 1000 or 2000 series (there are so many submodels in these lines, I donít know which to choose)

    My sound character tastes make me lean toward the Grados for their reportedly warmer, more mellow sound. But not having heard one on a deck like this (suspended vs. unsuspended belt or DD), is the TT2 going to mellow out a Grado even more and be too much of a good thing? (FYI, I have never owned a suspended deck, only DD). Also, I have read that Grados will hum on a Heybrook Ė has anyone experienced this? Is there a fix?

    I have listened to the Ortofons, but on modern unsuspended Pro-Ject decks, and they sounded rather analytical and forward to my ear, but certainly extremely detailed and lots of drive and pace. To be fair, I can't say how much of that character was due to the TT, the electronics, or the speakers (this was at a dealer showroom). So...would one of these actually work well on the Heybrook? Perhaps the TT2 mellowing out that characteristic? A nice balance, in other words?

    Re. Goldring, there really is little written about them, other than the 2000's have a similar character to the 2M series, only better according to some. Anyone with any experience with the 1000's or 2000's on a TT2, please share your thoughts.

    Many thanks in advance for the insight.

    Best regards,
    Svend

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Liverpool, Merseyside.

    Posts: 870
    I'm Ben.

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    I had a Goldring 2500 cart on a rega arm which I thought worked well together bit I never compared it directly to anything else. I was very happy with it and had no plans to change until my wife "dusted" it a little too vigorously resulting in a knackered cantilever. I've still got the body in a box somewhere though (the cart not the wife).
    SL1210
    Jelco SA-750 & AT150 MLX,
    Firebottle phono stage,
    Jungson JA-88 amp,
    JBL L40 Speakers.
    M2tech Young dac .

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 79
    I'm Clive.

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    I have owned a TT2 since the mid 80's and upgraded with the TPS when that came out. Shane who designed the TT2 does post here and he mentioned that the TPS did come with a component that is difficult to replace if that component breaks but could be easily converted to a non TPS version. The post will be in this forum somewhere. Mine has worked fine since I had it but I recall it did have a pulley change when the TPS was installed so reverting to a non TPS version may require a revised pulley.

    I currently rate the TT2 as my best deck but only after installing a Zeta and fixing an armboard issue where I had to fabricate a replacement. Not sure of the reason but I have found the TT to be a bit picky with phono stages with regard to hum. I get some mild hum when I connect to my Kinshaw Perception Phono stage but it is quiet when connected to my Nakamichi CA5E. I also had a problem a few years ago with connecting to a Cambridge Audio phono when I had a Linn Basik Plus on the deck.

    Cant help you with the cartridge choice for the Rega arm but am happily using an Ortofon MC10 supreme on my Zeta.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 37,875
    I'm Grant.

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    as for wood stain I found this works very well for black ash etc. put on with a cloth usually. Liberon SDE1L 1L Spirit Wood Dye - Ebony
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 110
    I'm Svend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
    I had a Goldring 2500 cart on a rega arm which I thought worked well together bit I never compared it directly to anything else. I was very happy with it and had no plans to change until my wife "dusted" it a little too vigorously resulting in a knackered cantilever. I've still got the body in a box somewhere though (the cart not the wife).
    First glance at that and I thought "This guy needs to lower his caffeine intake!" So what did you replace the 2500 with? Was it not so much to your liking that it wasn't worth just putting on a new stylus?

    Clive -- I'm sure hoping the TPS isn't fubar. The shop guys seemed to think it was a couple of resistors that were known to blow on occasion - simple fix if that's what it is (cross fingers). Zeta -- nice arm! What did your TT2 have on it before the swap? In the long run, I am not averse to replacing the arm with something better, but really want to hear how the RB300 works before I make that call. That said, other TT2 owners here in Canada are liking the Jelco 750 as a good upgrade to the RB300, and it's available for sensible money here too. But one thing at a time...cartridge first and proper setup of the table and live with it for a while.

    Grant -- good tip on the stain. I was thinking along the same lines - a penetrating stain of some kind. The chipped edges of the old finish will have to be smoothed out somehow - I will try some 600 grit emery paper to see if that does it.

    Cheers,
    Svend

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 79
    I'm Clive.

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    Svend - I have a load of turntables - its a hobby. The deck came with a Linn Basik Plus which was ok but I switched to a Manticore Musician a few years ago which was good on the deck. I originally got the Zeta to install on a Systemdek Transcription but was not entirely happy with that combo so had a go on the TT2 and have been delighted with the result. I think it is the synergy thing where deck, arm and cartridge just work well together to give a quality of sound I like.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Liverpool, Merseyside.

    Posts: 870
    I'm Ben.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svend N View Post
    First glance at that and I thought "This guy needs to lower his caffeine intake!" So what did you replace the 2500 with? Was it not so much to your liking that it wasn't worth just putting on a new stylus?

    Clive -- I'm sure hoping the TPS isn't fubar. The shop guys seemed to think it was a couple of resistors that were known to blow on occasion - simple fix if that's what it is (cross fingers). Zeta -- nice arm! What did your TT2 have on it before the swap? In the long run, I am not averse to replacing the arm with something better, but really want to hear how the RB300 works before I make that call. That said, other TT2 owners here in Canada are liking the Jelco 750 as a good upgrade to the RB300, and it's available for sensible money here too. But one thing at a time...cartridge first and proper setup of the table and live with it for a while.

    Grant -- good tip on the stain. I was thinking along the same lines - a penetrating stain of some kind. The chipped edges of the old finish will have to be smoothed out somehow - I will try some 600 grit emery paper to see if that does it.

    Cheers,
    Svend
    I replaced it for a while with an ortofon 2m black but I didn't get on with it. That was replaced with an at150 mlx which seems to be very similar the th black but was far less hassle to set up and just goes about its job stress free day in day out. I've no plans to change it apart from wanting to try an AT mc at some point.

    Sent from my SM-T330 using Tapatalk
    SL1210
    Jelco SA-750 & AT150 MLX,
    Firebottle phono stage,
    Jungson JA-88 amp,
    JBL L40 Speakers.
    M2tech Young dac .

  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: East Anglia UK

    Posts: 1,201
    I'm Marc.

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    Denon D110 plays nice with my RB300 (on a systemdek, which is very similar to the heybrook as far as I can tell).

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 110
    I'm Svend.

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    Clive -- makes sense. These sorts of things are usually a work-in-progress for months or years until you hit on a combo that works. I expect it might be the same with this TT2...we shall see how it goes. First thing is to get it running and get a half-decent cartridge on it. Next step then is a proper phono stage (a topic for another thread). Maybe I'll get lucky and get great sound right out of the blocks...unlikely, but then I'm not a super-critical listener and can live with small imperfections...

    Ben -- interesting that you found the 2M Black fussy to set up, but not the AT150. I had heard the opposite. A few AT's were on my short list actually, but I got turned off by all the reports of those with the microline stylus being hyper-sensitive to VTA, azimuth, etc., and therefore sounding great on one record but lousy on another just 'cause it was a hair thicker. Thanks for the insight -- that's good to know, and I may have to reconsider the AT line. The new VM740ML looks interesting actually, and the compliance values of the whole AT MM line seem to me to be rather versatile in that they will work with my present RB300 and are more likely to also work if I swap arms to a slightly higher mass one.

    Marc -- I had overlooked the Denons, thinking that they were all really low compliance therefore not a good match for the light Rega arm. Maybe that was just the DL103...not sure...will have to check into that again. Thanks!

    On that note, this whole compliance thing sure is confusing. Some makers publish dynamic values; others static; some both; others still rate them at different frequencies Gives me a headache trying to sort it out and make an informed choice.

    Further to compliance, how important is it to have a cart fit into the 8 to 12 value range? If a cart is just outside the range, say 7.9 or 12.2, am I actually going to hear any problems?

    Best,
    Svend

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Cheshire UK

    Posts: 237
    I'm Martin.

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    Supposed to be a bit of alright the TT2. It used to get big recommendations in Hi Fi Answers

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