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Thread: Heybrook TT2 w. RB300 -- cartridge recommendations

  1. #11
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Sunny (occasionally) Devon

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    I'm Shane.

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    Hi Svend, sounds like you’ve got a good’un there! I’m not going to make any specific recommendations for arms or cartridges as so much depends on personal taste, and I haven’t listened to most of the options available today anyway. Having said that, there are certain combinations that are known to work well, particularly arms. from new, about 70% of TT2s left the factory fitted with Linn arm boards, 20% Rega and the rest either SME or blank, and by far the most popular arm was the Linn Basic+, but this is more a reflection of the fact that most Heybrook dealers were also Linn and Rega dealers and it was the path of least resistance! I was never fond of the Linn arms, and whilst the cast alloy Regas were an astonishing engineering achievement, they always sounded slightly flat and dull, although many love them. In recent years the world has begun to adopt a more balanced view as regards flat earth products v the rest, and the arms that now seem to be favourite choices for the TT2 are the Mission 774 (the John Bicht one, not the cheap Japanese one), the Alphasons, particularly the HR100s, various flavours of Jelco and the Formula IV unipivot. Zetas, Mission Mechanics and Heyook arms made by Zeta are brilliant but rare as hens teeth and expensive. If you come across a Heybrook arm made by Helius, avoid! It was dreadful.
    Any others? The original S-shaped Rega R200 is a lovely thing. Most have suffered from degeneration of the bias belt and replacement is challenging, but it can be done and they’re cheap as a result. Ant on Audio-Talk has just composed a very well written thread on repairing one. I’d also love to see an Ortofon 212 on a TT2 but new ones cost thousands and old ones just don’t seem to come up for sale.

    The TPS and the alloy chassis were the only significant developments in the life of the TT2. The TPS is rare and contains a chip which is prone to failure and unobtainable. Conversion back to non-TPS spec is reasonably simple if you can get a standard pulley (I may have one knocking around in the shed somewhere), but it would be a shame to lose the undoubted benefits. Similar units such as the Heed do the same job just as well, or you could DIY one. Forums like Audio-Talk or diyaudio will have suggestions.

    I’ve deliberately avoided mentioning cartridges, as I’m simply not familiar with any of the modern contenders. Suffice it to say I’m a big Denon fan.

    For myself, I ran an ally chassis TT2 with a Rega RB300 and Denon 103D through the 80s. The 103D then gave way to a 304, and the Rega to a Mayware Formula IV, both big improvements. I then got involved with idlers and gave my TT2 to my Nephew, but then a few years ago an immaculate steel chassis version from the very first batch of 100 turntables popped up on eBay with a Mission 774. How could a resist? The ally chassis is a bit more refined and tonally accurate, but the steel chassis version zips and bounces through the Music delightfully. I’ve gone back to a Denon 103, and I love it. Those earliest TT2s are closest to what I was trying to achieve when I started fooling around with bits of steel and old motors in my bedroom in 1976.
    Last edited by shane; 23-10-2017 at 08:35.
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  2. #12
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

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    I'm Geoff.

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    A Mission 774 should work nicely on a TT2. Not a combination I've tried, but the Mission seems to work well on sprung sub-chassis turntables. Excellent tonearm.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 451
    I'm Svend.

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    Geoff -- I don't recall seeing any Mission arms for sale here, but then they haven't been on my radar. I will poke around a bit and see what there is, now that I know to look for them. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Shane -- thank you very much for the thorough and insightful reply! Very good of you to take the time. You really cleared up a few things for me wrt. tonearms, etc.

    ...whilst the cast alloy Regas were an astonishing engineering achievement, they always sounded slightly flat and dull...
    Interesting and very helpful comment. This makes me think that a more lively, forward cartridge like the Ortofon 2M series or Goldring 2000's would perhaps be the best match. Worth a try to see if I can get the arm to sound it's best. If not, then it would be time to swap it for another.

    On that note, your suggestions are well taken. The Jelco name keeps popping up in connection with the Heybrook, and they are easy to come by here and reasonably priced. The others, Mission (see comment to Geoff, above), Zeta, etc., are perhaps harder to find. But again, I have not had those names in mind when browsing the for sale ads here.

    ...The original S-shaped Rega R200 is a lovely thing...
    This might be a great option, as there regularly are older Rega P2's (original wood trim versions) for sale here for low prices, and most still have the RB200 arm. You've given me the seeds of an idea here: buy said P2/RB200, swap arms with the Heybrook, and tweak the P2 with a few mods from OL, Groovetracer or the like, and use it in the basement system or give it to one of my daughters (who LOVE listening to vinyl ). Whaddya think? If I go this route, what should I look for to test the arm for wear and tear? Are there any tell-tales to watch out for? Looseness/play in certain areas? Any insight would be most appreciated.

    As for the Ortofon arm, I seem to recall that there was a Telefunken deck with a high quality Ortofon arm on it -- I will look into that and see if it's the same one you're referring to... One sees Telefunken decks on sale here occasionally, basically selling for peanuts.

    At some point soon I will most certainly have further questions re. the TT2, but I will save those for when I get it back from the shop and it's actually running. Fine tuning stuff mostly...

    Thanks again, and regards,
    Svend

  4. #14
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: East Anglia UK

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    I'm Marc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svend N View Post

    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
    I was under the impression that the RB300 was considered 'medium mass' rather than lightweight?

  5. #15
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 33,648
    I'm Geoff.

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    I'd keep away from the Rega R200 arm. This is what I found inside mine.



    A rotted bias belt. There are no suppliers for these anymore, as far as I'm aware.

    I bought one of the last that were offered on ebay.




    .
    Last edited by walpurgis; 22-10-2017 at 18:25.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rothchild View Post
    I was under the impression that the RB300 was considered 'medium mass' rather than lightweight?
    It is. Works OK with Denons. Not that I'm keen on Rega arms.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Sunny (occasionally) Devon

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    I'm Shane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svend N View Post
    This might be a great option, as there regularly are older Rega P2's (original wood trim versions) for sale here for low prices, and most still have the RB200 arm. You've given me the seeds of an idea here: buy said P2/RB200, swap arms with the Heybrook, and tweak the P2 with a few mods from OL, Groovetracer or the like, and use it in the basement system or give it to one of my daughters (who LOVE listening to vinyl ). Whaddya think? If I go this route, what should I look for to test the arm for wear and tear? Are there any tell-tales to watch out for? Looseness/play in certain areas? Any insight would be most appreciated.
    Svend
    Sounds like a plan! Beceause of the belt rot problem mentioned they sell fairly cheaply and they’re petty robust otherwise. This link to a thread showing how to repair:

    http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7078
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Sunny (occasionally) Devon

    Posts: 1,577
    I'm Shane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svend N View Post
    This might be a great option, as there regularly are older Rega P2's (original wood trim versions) for sale here for low prices, and most still have the RB200 arm. You've given me the seeds of an idea here: buy said P2/RB200, swap arms with the Heybrook, and tweak the P2 with a few mods from OL, Groovetracer or the like, and use it in the basement system or give it to one of my daughters (who LOVE listening to vinyl ). Whaddya think? If I go this route, what should I look for to test the arm for wear and tear? Are there any tell-tales to watch out for? Looseness/play in certain areas? Any insight would be most appreciated.
    Svend
    Sounds like a plan! Beceause of the belt rot problem mentioned they sell fairly cheaply and they’re petty robust otherwise. This link to a thread showing how to repair:

    http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7078
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shane View Post
    Sounds like a plan! Beceause of the belt rot problem mentioned they sell fairly cheaply and they’re petty robust otherwise. This link to a thread showing how to repair:

    http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7078
    As I said. The belts are unavailable as far as I'm aware. Yes, I have looked on ebay and Googled to see if there are any current sources.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

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    I'm kickinbacklistenintotchoons.

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    I believe that Jonny (J7) at Audio Origami can repair the bias mech on the R200 at a very reasonable cost.

    Being J7, you can guarantee it will be an excellent job too.
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