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shahsy
13-01-2009, 19:05
Just replaced an SME V tonearm on a Technics SP-10/Obsidian combo with a newly acquired Technics EPA-100 and I'm a little gobsmacked at how much better everything sounds.

Granted that the EPA-100 was part of the original SL-1000 offering from
Technics but how very bloody right did they get it!

A bit unfair on the SME.......

Maybe it'll wear off so I'll enjoy it while it lasts?

s

Spectral Morn
13-01-2009, 19:14
Just replaced an SME V tonearm on a Technics SP-10/Obsidian combo with a newly acquired Technics EPA-100 and I'm a little gobsmacked at how much better everything sounds.

Granted that the EPA-100 was part of the original SL-1000 offering from
Technics but how very bloody right did they get it!

A bit unfair on the SME.......

Maybe it'll wear off so I'll enjoy it while it lasts?

s

Hi Did you get rid of the awful VDH arm cable. Replacing this makes the Arm leap in quality. Its not in fairness as amazing as some would have you believe, I prefer the Graham 2.2 to it or even The Graham Phantom, which is better than both IMHO. I suppose it could just be a compatibility issue Arm to Deck or Cart to Arm. I would have thought that the SME 5 should be better than what you have changed it to ? I could be wrong though.

Regards D S D L---- Neil :)

Marco
13-01-2009, 19:15
How very interesting, Shahsy! I've always thought that the SME V was pretty overrated, particularly considering its cost. It's a good tonearm but doesn't offer the highest SPPV (sound-per-pound-value) available in my opinion. The 312 is excellent, but so it should be! I don't think I'd entertain using any other SME arm.

I've discovered that many Japanese tonearms, particularly the S-shaped ones, both current and classic, are generally superior to the Regas, Linns, and some of the SMEs sold in large quantities in the UK.

The Jelco SA-750D (as reviewed in this month's HFW) fitted to my modified SL-1210 was for me a revelation :)

Marco.

MartinT
14-01-2009, 00:46
The Jelco SA-750D (as reviewed in this month's HFW) fitted to my modified SL-1210 was for me a revelation

Hi Marco, I finally got a copy of that HFW review of the 750. It's a good review, although perhaps a little grudging when comparing with other arms that were obviously not directly compared. I was also annoyed at the throw-away remark on the 250 when it also seems that it was not directly listened to. What did you think?

Marco
14-01-2009, 07:29
Glad you got a copy at last, Martin. Yes, I agree that it was an excellent review of the 750, but when I was reading Adam's comments about the 250 I was thinking the same thing you were.

I guess that reviews will never be perfect but I thought that Adam should've just concentrated on the 750, since this was what the review was obviously about, and if he was going to mention the 250 to do it in such a way as just to mention it is as part of the range without making any other remarks about it without comparing it to the 750 properly in a sonic sense.

Little does he know that the 250ST you've got (as confirmed by your own ears) is as good as an SME IV you used to have! :)

Both are exceptionally good arms and quite obviously can hold their own with much more expensive designs.

Marco.

Peter Stockwell
14-01-2009, 09:07
Little does he know that the 250ST you've got (as confirmed by your own ears) is as good as an SME IV you used to have! :)



I know somebody who won't be happy about that ;)

shahsy
14-01-2009, 09:19
Hi Did you get rid of the awful VDH arm cable. Replacing this makes the Arm leap in quality. Its not in fairness as amazing as some would have you believe, I prefer the Graham 2.2 to it or even The Graham Phantom, which is better than both IMHO. I suppose it could just be a compatibility issue Arm to Deck or Cart to Arm. I would have thought that the SME 5 should be better than what you have changed it to ? I could be wrong though.

Regards D S D L---- Neil :)

Hi,
The VDH arm cable is in a drawer and I've been using a pure silver ebay one for a few weeks.

The only difference in set up was a new armboard but as the main difference there was the location of a hole and the colour of the armboard, I think that can be discounted.

So, same motor unit, same plinth, same cartridge, amp, speakers etc

To be honest I think it's a synergy thing.

I won't be getting rid of the SME as I could put it to good use on another deck when space permits.

That Technics crowd certainly knew what they were doing when they threw together the SL-1000 combination.

Cheers

Syed

pure sound
14-01-2009, 09:49
I have the SME and also a J7 rebuilt Alphason Xenon. Both are wired throughout with Audionote silver from headshell tags to phono plugs. Both have a very different way of presenting the music. The SME does some things better, the S shaped, titanium tubed Alphason does others. I don't think I could say which was more correct & fortunately I don't have to. I can happily live with either. It very much depends on an individual's listening priorities.

I would say that I don't think it can help the SME to be mounted in wood. It rather goes against SME's own design ethos & may mean it loses some resolution at HF. That's been my experience anyway.

Yiangos
14-01-2009, 10:36
Guys,there is no such thing as a "better" arm or any component for that matterunless it is defective or of really low quality.It took me many years but finally i've realised that the actual performance of a particular component is linked to the rest of the system and the acoustics of the enviroment/room.I won't go further into the subject but i'll give you an example regarding the sme v vs the epa100. For any particular reason,the epa100 performs better using a denon 103 or shure m75 cartridge.Now,substitute the denon with a koetsu and you'll see what i mean.For other reasons,it is also impossible to make a Grado gold work with a Rega rb250/300 arm.

Marco
14-01-2009, 12:07
I have the SME and also a J7 rebuilt Alphason Xenon. Both are wired throughout with Audionote silver from headshell tags to phono plugs. Both have a very different way of presenting the music. The SME does some things better, the S shaped, titanium tubed Alphason does others. I don't think I could say which was more correct & fortunately I don't have to.

Yes, but think of this: how much is an SME V brand new now, and how much do you think the Alphason would be now brand new if it were still made? ;)

Once you've established those figures, which offers the highest SPPV?

No offence, Guy, but when there are arms around of the sheer quality of the Jelcos (and offering very near SME performance) selling for not much more than pocket money it makes you realise that you're paying an awful lot for that SME badge!

Marco.

Yiangos
14-01-2009, 12:11
True,i agree with you.I didn't hear all the arms in the world and to be honest,i would love to listen to a few but what keeps me with an sme is the ease of setup and the sound quality which might not be the absolute but is it good.

pure sound
14-01-2009, 12:23
Funnily enough, the Alphason & the SME are probably about the same age ie 20 years old. The difference was that the Alphason was bought as a bag of bits. That says quite alot about how both, (but particularly the SME) were made. It has been on and off various turntables. It's had a good number of cartridges fitted. It is possibly worth more now than what I paid for it. That attribute of durable & tangible engineering quality costs money. It's an arm I'd happily supply to my granny to use. They don't seem to go wrong. There aren't too many other 'high end' tonearms that would give me that confidence.

With regard to the Jelco, it looks very nice. It'd be interesting to see how it coped with the Io and to see whether you'll still be using that very arm in 2029!

I regard 20 years plus worth of reliable service and top performance to be something worth paying for.

Marco
14-01-2009, 12:48
With regard to the Jelco, it looks very nice. It'd be interesting to see how it coped with the Io and to see whether you'll still be using that very arm in 2029!


The world might not even exist in 2029! :eyebrows:

How many brand new Jelcos can you buy for the cost of a new SME V, in the extremely unlikely event one should need replacing? Somehow, Guy, I don't think this is an issue ;)

We'll try it with the Io when I come down in the spring. You might be very surprised... Dave has already stated on his website that he wouldn't hesitate using it with 2000+ cartridges. I'm not saying that the SME V isn't a 'bit' better - but it's not 1000s of pounds worth better in the area that matters most: audio performance. SPPV will ultimately always be the most important consideration, or at least it should.


I regard 20 years plus worth of reliable service and top performance to be something worth paying for.


I think you'll find, if you ever use one, that an SA-750D, and some of the arms Jelco make for 'prestigious' manufacturers, are just as well engineered as an SME, minus the 'badge' price tag.

How long have Jelco been making tonearms and related audio ancillaries for - do you know their pedigree or longevity as a company?

We're not talking about some 'Toytown' outfit, you know!

http://www.jelco-ichikawa.co.jp/e_home.htm

:)

Marco

pure sound
14-01-2009, 13:27
Jelco have been going a long time & certainly have plenty of experience in making decent pivoted arms at a variety of price levels. If only they'd do a 12" version of the 750 I'd consider getting one.

An SME wired as mine is would be well over 2K now maybe 2.5K I don't know. Alot anyway! If I were buying a new one now I'd probably go for either the 312S or the new 12" version of the V.

The whole 'not 000's of pounds better' thing is something of a red herring. Different levels of performance have different degrees of relevance to different people. I could fit a 20 mm cartridge to my arm. It would doubtless play the records well enough for 99% of people. Is an SPU, a Denon, a Shelter or an Io worth hundreds or thousands of pounds more? It depends on the priorities of the end user. Personally I wouldn't pay more than 15 for a watch. All it has to do is tell me the time. Some people will pay thousands for a watch. Are they mad? No, but they have different priorities to me. Ditto cars. I'd like a Bentley but wouldn't pay 100K+ for one. If I won 20m on the lottery (I'd have to start buying tickets first!) then I might consider it. The point is that performance per pound means different things to different people and no two people's priorities and values are the same.

Marco
14-01-2009, 13:34
I understand that point perfectly, and I also think you understand mine without repeating myself anymore ;)

The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the listening - so when I come down we'll do that SP10 v. modified SL-1210 thing we've been meaning to do; particularly now I've got the Jelco and 103SA.

I think the results could be very interesting; particularly how close my deck gets to yours with the SME V and Io. It'll certainly make an interesting write-up for the forum :)

Marco.

StanleyB
14-01-2009, 14:08
I reckon my HS-100 can chew up both the SME and the EPA-100:eyebrows:.

Stan

Dave Cawley
14-01-2009, 14:17
I have an expensive watch, an expensive car and a SME V. But I don't holiday, it's my choice.

Dave

Marco
14-01-2009, 14:23
Yes, but would you still have an SME V if you weren't a dealer, and party to the perks thereof, or would you be using a Jelco like the rest of us who know what we know? ;) ;)

Marco.

StanleyB
14-01-2009, 14:23
What's a holiday:scratch:?

Dave Cawley
14-01-2009, 14:49
I'm not a Mercedes dealer, or a Longines dealer, yet I still buy them, love them and cherish them. Just like my SME V and Jelco on my second system. So yes, if I weren't a dealer I would buy an SME V, no question. :violin:

However, just about to play a reverse direction, vertical cut Pathe 80 something rpm..... On the SL-120 with Jelco.

Now how is the time going? oooooh what a lovely watch :kiss:

Dave

Gerry
14-01-2009, 14:50
I reckon my HS-100 can chew up both the SME and the EPA-100:eyebrows:.

Stan

Would that be an Alphason HR-100s/MCS???

If so IMHO yes. I have one and it certainly is better (IMHO) than a EPA-100 and more musical, with the same analytical abilities, as a SME IV.

I had a Jelco 750 derivative....Sumiko MMT. It was so so (IMHO), much better than a Rega or any of those clones. But not in the league of the Alphason, Audiocraft, Fidelity Research etc.

Problem with the Alphason is the mounting distance espcially on the SP10. 211mm is very tight, without having the arm half way down the side, or at the rear ala BBC.

(Sorry the above is just my opinion and I don't mean to upset, or offend anyone. I know Marco feels that all this expensive stuff is over-priced by comparison to his SL & 750 etc. I'm sure his set-up is perfect/the best value for money.)

Regards
Gerry

MartinT
14-01-2009, 14:53
No offence, Guy, but when there are arms around of the sheer quality of the Jelcos (and offering very near SME performance) selling for not much more than pocket money it makes you realise that you're paying an awful lot for that SME badge!

Hang on there, that's not quite true. The Jelco is a very well made arm and performs well. It has poor adjustments, few tools, no accessories and absolutely no documentation to speak of.

The SME has engineering of world class, and I mean that. Having owned a II, III and IV, there is nothing to touch their quality of finish, level and ease of adjustments or sheer beauty. They come with everything you need, a comprehensive manual written in proper English and superb presentation. They also have superb service - I had a major cueing problem repaired on an out-of-warranty arm for the princely sum of 1. They actually brought the whole arm up to latest spec.

Your SPPV may well say that the Jelco offers better value for money, and I won't necessarily argue with that, but it doesn't tell the whole story and we should be grateful that a British company like SME exists and beats the world in its niche expertise.

StanleyB
14-01-2009, 15:02
Would that be an Alphason HR-100s/MCS???
.
:exactly:.

pure sound
14-01-2009, 15:06
Problem with the Alphason is the mounting distance espcially on the SP10. 211mm is very tight, without having the arm half way down the side, or at the rear ala BBC.



It goes on alright Gerry. Sounds good too!

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh107/pure_sound/SP10.jpg

As with the SME you need to get rid of any of the godawful vdH cable (internal or external) that Alphason were spoiling their arms with. :doh:

Marco
14-01-2009, 15:07
I agree with your last point, Martin. However:


The SME has engineering of world class, and I mean that.


So have Jelco "world class" engineering. You're letting your 'Britishness' get the better of you. Have you seen some of the tonearms they make other than the one you use? Also, there is a marked difference in the fit and finish of the 750D to the 250ST. You need to examine the two side by side to understand where I'm coming from.


Having owned a II, III and IV, there is nothing to touch their quality of finish, level and ease of adjustments or sheer beauty.


I disagree. I've owned a Series II, III, and (briefly) an M2, and used at some length, a IV and V. The Jelco SA-750D I've got is every bit as well engineered as any of those arms, and the V aside, sounds as good as or better than any of them!


They come with everything you need, a comprehensive manual written in proper English and superb presentation. They also have superb service


I care not a jot about comprehensive manuals in English or any other language. They're unnecessary with something like a tonearm - it's not a Blue Ray player, AV amplifier, or something of that complexity we're talking about setting up. And besides, Dave does all the initial setting-up and also supplies excellent service - it's called having a good dealer, so I don't worry about such things. I can do the rest myself without a manual :)

Nice pic, Guy! :respect:

Marco.

MartinT
14-01-2009, 15:07
I have a Longines watch bought for me by my (sadly departed) wife back in 1990. It is beautiful and very accurate, a thing to behold and priceless to me. It is definitely an object to cherish, something I could not do with a 15 watch.

MartinT
14-01-2009, 15:10
I care not a jot about comprehensive manuals in English or any other language

Fine and good, but don't say that people are buying an SME for the badge. There's a lot of cost in tooling up everything they supply in the price, including the manual. Production runs are probably smaller than Jelco too.

Marco
14-01-2009, 15:33
Martin, please don't be so nave. The sad fact is some people do buy SME for the 'badge', just as they do with Linn, Naim, Krell, and a host of other hi-end brands. You make a valid point about production runs, but at the end of the day most people (who aren't badge conscious) will simply go with whatever offers the greater SPPV, and care not about which company has the highest overheads - that's the bottom line :)

Marco.

MartinT
14-01-2009, 16:28
Martin, please don't be so nave. The sad fact is some people do buy SME for the 'badge'

Whoa Marco, no need for that. I really don't believe any but a tiny minority of people would buy an SME for the badge. Vinyl buyers are discerning and would listen first. Perhaps a rich banking investment manager (are there any left) would buy, say, a Michell Orbe with SME for its pose value, but there won't be many of those.

Marco
14-01-2009, 16:55
Whoa Marco, no need for that.


LOL! No need for what, Martin - realism? ;)


I really don't believe any but a tiny minority of people would buy an SME for the badge.


Do you believe that people buy, say, Linn and Naim gear for the 'badge' - if so, why should SME users be any different?


Vinyl buyers are discerning and would listen first.


Haha... Now that definitely is naivety of the highest order!


Perhaps a rich banking investment manager (are there any left) would buy, say, a Michell Orbe with SME for its pose value, but there won't be many of those.

Well I can think of a reasonably well-paid physician, who used to post on forums a lot, and who bought an SME20 for its 'badge'. You may have heard of him. If not, I'm sorry, but I can't name names. I also know of someone else directly out with of forums who bought and SME20 mainly for its 'badge'.

So who knows how many others have done the same?

I'm afraid that 'badge snobbery' happens in SME-land the same as it does anywhere else!

Incidentally, I hope you're not getting terribly upset about all this because we usually get on quite well. However I will always tell it as I see it, directly and to the point, so no offence! :)

Marco.

pure sound
14-01-2009, 17:11
If we're talking vfm the SP10 pictured above with double layer slate plinth & rebuilt Alphason arm came in at about 450. Now how much was the KAB1210 & Jelco combination again? ;)

Marco
14-01-2009, 17:13
LOL. And which one is all brand new again? ;)

Marco.

pure sound
14-01-2009, 17:13
like that matters! :)

Marco
14-01-2009, 17:20
'Course it does - most of the 'gubbins' inside those ol' SP10s are getting a bit stale! ;)

Marco.

Mike
14-01-2009, 17:23
Well I can think of a reasonably well-paid physician, who used to post on forums a lot,

Someone beginning with 'B' maybe? ;)

As for the 'badge' thing, is it not the case that these badges are 'earned' somewhere along the line? I tend to find that there's a reputation that goes along with them, generally for excellence in some field or other. Reputation's (good and bad) tend not to come out of nowhere.

Anyway, on to another matter....

Jelco 750 Vs Ittok

I saw an opinion offered in the magazine previously mentioned, where the writer suggested that the Jelco may not be as good as a Linn Ittok. Assuming, that is, the the Linn's bearings where 100% healthy!

Discuss... :)

(Tonearms are a hot topic for me ATM)

Mike
14-01-2009, 17:26
the SP10 pictured above with double layer slate plinth & rebuilt Alphason arm came in at about 450.

Jeez! :stalks:

I'll give you 500! :)

Spectral Morn
14-01-2009, 17:28
I care not a jot about comprehensive manuals in English or any other language. They're unnecessary with something like a tonearm - it's not a Blue Ray player, AV amplifier, or something of that complexity we're talking about setting up. And besides, Dave does all the setting-up and supplying of excellent service - it's called having a good dealer, so I don't worry about such things

Hi Marco

If we keep going at the rate we are, there wont be any dealers good or bad. Having played about with a lot of arms over the years(not Jeleco, unless the arms, on I think Revolvers count), even I(no arrogance intended) and apart from some classic vintage arms,Air Tangent,Morch, I have worked with all the good arms, so Iam not a novice find a good set of instruction useful. It always pays to just have a look, just in case something is different than the norm(you can't always tell by just looking,I can't anyway). The finest set of instructions anywhere are those supplied by SME. Accessories second to none. You want to see the instructions Graham's have. Great arms, crap instructions. My wife could install a SME arm.


Well I can think of a reasonably well-paid physician, who used to post on forums a lot, and who bought an SME20 for its 'badge'. You may have heard of him. If not, I'm sorry, but I can't name names. I also know of someone else directly out with of forums who bought and SME20 mainly for its 'badge'.

I am surprised by this, he always wants to portray himself as above such things including everything else in Audio too.


As with the SME you need to get rid of any of the g.........l vdH cable (internal or external) that Alphason were spoiling their arms with. Guy

Guys right this is the single biggest thing that ruins the SME arm range. I must get my SME 5 rewired sometime(I wouldn't try my self) SME have a reputation that IMHO stands above the Badge snobbery thing(Yes some do buy it for this reason but thats not SME's fault is it). The other issue is that they are not universally compatible with every TT. I know this well as many years ago I used to run a Voyd Valdi TT. I had a Rega RB 300 on it, Fantastic sound IMHO. I wanted an upgrade so I bought a SME 309(based on reputation,not badge) arm. What a disaster, the sound quality dropped a lot. It wasn't until I put the 309 on my Oracle (which suits the SME arms) that I heard what the 309 could do. In saying that my ET2 arm was better on the Oracle(boy I should not have sold that arm:doh:).


Regards D S D L---Neil :)

Marco
14-01-2009, 17:50
Mikey,


Someone beginning with 'B' maybe?

That's the chap!


As for the 'badge' thing, is it not the case that these badges are 'earned' somewhere along the line? I tend to find that there's a reputation that goes along with them, generally for excellence in some field or other. Reputation's (good and bad) tend not to come out of nowhere.


Agreed, but when it comes to hi-fi the only considerations I have are SPPV, reliability and back-up. "Reputations" don't interest me one iota, however well earned they are, or not, as the case may be. I judge things on an individual basis from a clean slate.


I saw an opinion offered in the magazine previously mentioned, where the writer suggested that the Jelco may not be as good as a Linn Ittok. Assuming, that is, the the Linn's bearings where 100% healthy!


Yes that was a strange one. I've never carried out a direct comparison so wouldn't know for sure. I only comment conclusively on things I've tested.

However, I've owned both arms and I know which one I'd be using on a 1210 with a 103! Moreover, Ittoks are designed for use on an LP12 where their balance of colorations combine to 'great effect', that is for those who like that sort of thing ;)

Marco.

Mike
14-01-2009, 17:57
I used an Ittok for many years, in it's natural habitat, and quite liked it.

Anyone ever used one on a different deck?

Marco
14-01-2009, 17:58
Neil,


I am surprised by this, he always wants to portray himself as above such things including everything else in Audio too.


Yes I'd forgotten you'd, erm, 'crossed swords' with him on Zerogain.

I could say plenty but I'm not prepared to go into any more detail on the matter, as he isn't a member here. Safe to say though he's not renowned for his 'ears-first' selecting of hi-fi kit ;)

Ok, I've got Al, (alb) on the forum, bringing his D.I.Y OBs and valve-based DAC coming round for a session, so I'm off to organise the music play list and the beers :cool:

Much later, chaps!

Marco.

Mike
14-01-2009, 18:00
Enjoy! :)

Marco
14-01-2009, 18:01
I used an Ittok for many years, in it's natural habitat, and quite liked it.


Yes, it can be fun on an LP12 in the right system. Must run!

Laters,
Marco.

MartinT
14-01-2009, 18:25
I hope you're not getting terribly upset about all this because we usually get on quite well

Not at all, disagreement makes for lively debate.

pure sound
14-01-2009, 21:05
I put an Ittok on a Voyd once, ....for about 5 minutes. It was all midrange, indeed flicking the tube told you exactly what it sounded like. I can see why, in combination with the overly warm LP12 & their fizzy cartridges it was a combination that worked albeit without much dynamic range. However, it was like a fish on a bicycle on any kind of neutral platform.

Mike
14-01-2009, 21:09
I'd have tought it would have been more like 'tits on a fish'!




Hmmm..... Smiley deleted. Smiley central seems to have some sort of inbuilt 'spam engine'. Not good!

MartinT
14-01-2009, 21:35
Conversely, the SME III had such a poor reputation yet I got good sound from it mounted on a Strathclyde STD-305M running a Dynavector 20A cartridge. Not the last word in dynamics, but smooth and very listenable.

I still have an SME III and Michell TecnoArm(A) to sell. Must get photographing.

blake
15-01-2009, 00:16
Jelco have been going a long time & certainly have plenty of experience in making decent pivoted arms at a variety of price levels. If only they'd do a 12" version of the 750 I'd consider getting one.

An SME wired as mine is would be well over 2K now maybe 2.5K I don't know. Alot anyway! If I were buying a new one now I'd probably go for either the 312S or the new 12" version of the V.

The whole 'not 000's of pounds better' thing is something of a red herring. Different levels of performance have different degrees of relevance to different people. I could fit a 20 mm cartridge to my arm. It would doubtless play the records well enough for 99% of people. Is an SPU, a Denon, a Shelter or an Io worth hundreds or thousands of pounds more? It depends on the priorities of the end user. Personally I wouldn't pay more than 15 for a watch. All it has to do is tell me the time. Some people will pay thousands for a watch. Are they mad? No, but they have different priorities to me. Ditto cars. I'd like a Bentley but wouldn't pay 100K+ for one. If I won 20m on the lottery (I'd have to start buying tickets first!) then I might consider it. The point is that performance per pound means different things to different people and no two people's priorities and values are the same.

Not a 12", but a 10.5 available here:

http://www.puremusicgroup.com/cart/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=53

for a very reasonable $400 U.S. ballpark price. Seems like a steal.

I was about to spring for one for my Gyrodec until I discovered it will only take a 9" arm and am now seriously considering the 750D. Does anyone know anything about the bearings on the 750D. Are they upgraded over the 250S and 250 ST? I'm assuming they would be based on the price difference. Perhaps someone can shed some light on what the actual differences are with respect to the 250S and the 750D beyond the fluid damping capability of the 750?

I've tried to download the review of the 750D but for some reason can't do it and they're still selling the December issue of HFW here in Canada so it may be months before I can read it!

Also, any thoughts from anyone on using a heavier aftermarket headshell than the stock Jelco and if the standard counterweight that comes with the 750 would be capable of balancing out a heavy cartridge (an 11 gram 103R in a wood body) with a heavier headshell?

Marco
15-01-2009, 00:43
Hi Blake,

Welcome to AOS! I can answer all these questions - just off to bed now so I'll come back to you tomorrow :)

Marco.

Prince of Darkness
15-01-2009, 08:23
Conversely, the SME III had such a poor reputation yet I got good sound from it mounted on a Strathclyde STD-305M running a Dynavector 20A cartridge. Not the last word in dynamics, but smooth and very listenable.



From what I can gather, the III's poor reputation was largely a result of bad timing. When SME were designing it, high compliance MM cartridges were very much in vogue and it was designed for such cartridges. Unfortunately for the III , by the time it was released, MC cartridges were very much taking over with their potential customers and it's performance was not as good with low compliance cartridges.

chris@panteg
15-01-2009, 12:02
I put an Ittok on a Voyd once, ....for about 5 minutes. It was all midrange, indeed flicking the tube told you exactly what it sounded like. I can see why, in combination with the overly warm LP12 & their fizzy cartridges it was a combination that worked albeit without much dynamic range. However, it was like a fish on a bicycle on any kind of neutral platform.

Doug Dunlop used to describe the linn as tizzy bom bom,bless him.

Guy' what do you think was the best arm match for the voyd, John still has the Helius orion with the IO ,i think this was a better combo than my SME310/Music maker.

Marco
15-01-2009, 13:02
Hi Blake,


I was about to spring for one for my Gyrodec until I discovered it will only take a 9" arm and am now seriously considering the 750D. Does anyone know anything about the bearings on the 750D. Are they upgraded over the 250S and 250 ST?


As far as I know the bearings are the same. I doubt that Jelco would supply different types for two arms in roughly the same price bracket. Also, Jelco make their own bearings, which is somewhat of a rarity amongst tonearm manufacturers, so you can rest assured that the bearings in either the 250 or the 750 will be of the highest quality.


I'm assuming they would be based on the price difference. Perhaps someone can shed some light on what the actual differences are with respect to the 250S and the 750D beyond the fluid damping capability of the 750?


I doubt that the price difference is anything to do with the bearings - it is to do with the fit and finish of both arms (the 750 being just that bit better finished overall) and the fact that S-shaped detachable headshell arms are more expensive to manufacture. 'Straight' one-piece tonearms, such as the 250, are easier to manufacture off the production run, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're inferior.

The 250 and 750 are both superb quality tonearms at quite frankly bargain prices due to the refinement of Jelco's production techniques and lower overhead costs in Japan compared to here in the UK. I would chose between them mainly as far what type of cartridge is going to be used. If it's something such as a DL-103 which needs plenty of mass, particularly at the headshell end, then I'd go for the 750 (and if you prefer S-shaped arms), otherwise for most other cartridges either the 250 or the 750 would do.


Also, any thoughts from anyone on using a heavier aftermarket headshell than the stock Jelco and if the standard counterweight that comes with the 750 would be capable of balancing out a heavy cartridge (an 11 gram 103R in a wood body) with a heavier headshell?

The stock headshell on the 750 is of good quality, being very similar to the Sumiko which is popular at the moment. However it's not quite heavy enough for a DL-103, so if you're planning on using one of those I would invest in a super high-mass headshell such as the Audio-Technica LH-18, which is available from Dave at Sound Hi-fi. There's no problem either with the stock c/w balancing out heavier headshells and cartridges. It can do so with my 20g Fidelity research headshell and a DL-103SA, so it would have no problem doing so with a DL-103R in an 11g headshell.

However, I would stress that 11g is not really enough headshell mass for a 103 - you need the minimum of 18, or preferably 20g for the cartridge to 'sing'.

Marco.

pure sound
15-01-2009, 13:41
Doug Dunlop used to describe the linn as tizzy bom bom,bless him.

Guy' what do you think was the best arm match for the voyd, John still has the Helius orion with the IO ,i think this was a better combo than my SME310/Music maker.

The Mk 1 version of the Orion was a very good arm particularly with the Io. A friend of mine still uses that combination & it sounds excellent.

The Cyalene ( a good one anyway) was also a decent match. Trouble was they weren't always as free moving as would be desirable. Providing the wiring issues were addressed I liked the SME's on the Voyd and used my V for a long time on it. The FR64 also worked well. The deck does let you hear the particular qualities of arm & cartridge quite clearly.

With reference to Neil's point about the Valdi it was really made for lighter weight 9" arms such as the RB300 and Helius Scorpio/Aureus or indeed the Alphasons. I'm not sure the suspension would have been quite so happy trying to support the bulk of an SME or FR.

blake
15-01-2009, 14:56
Hi Blake,



As far as I know the bearings are the same. I doubt that Jelco would supply different types for two arms in roughly the same price bracket. Also, Jelco make their own bearings, which is somewhat of a rarity amongst tonearm manufacturers, so you can rest assured that the bearings in either the 250 or the 750 will be of the highest quality.



I doubt that the price difference is anything to do with the bearings - it is to do with the fit and finish of both arms (the 750 being just that bit better finished overall) and the fact that S-shaped detachable headshell arms are more expensive to manufacture. 'Straight' one-piece tonearms, such as the 250, are easier to manufacture off the production run, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're inferior.

The 250 and 750 are both superb quality tonearms at quite frankly bargain prices due to the refinement of Jelco's production techniques and lower overhead costs in Japan compared to here in the UK. I would chose between them mainly as far what type of cartridge is going to be used. If it's something such as a DL-103 which needs plenty of mass, particularly at the headshell end, then I'd go for the 750 (and if you prefer S-shaped arms), otherwise for most other cartridges either the 250 or the 750 would do.



The stock headshell on the 750 is of good quality, being very similar to the Sumiko which is popular at the moment. However it's not quite heavy enough for a DL-103, so if you're planning on using one of those I would invest in a super high-mass headshell such as the Audio-Technica LH-18, which is available from Dave at Sound Hi-fi. There's no problem either with the stock c/w balancing out heavier headshells and cartridges. It can do so with my 20g Fidelity research headshell and a DL-103SA, so it would have no problem doing so with a DL-103R in an 11g headshell.

However, I would stress that 11g is not really enough headshell mass for a 103 - you need the minimum of 18, or preferably 20g for the cartridge to 'sing'.

Marco.

Thanks for the info Marco. Just to clarify, it is my 103R (in the wood body) that weighs 11 grams and I wanted to know if I could go with a heavier headshell (am I reading you correctly in that your FR headshell weighs 20g on its own without cartridge installed) and still be able to balance out as the 11g is very close to the max 12g cartridge spec on the Jelco arm (and a few grams heavier than your SA). That being said, the counterweight on the 750D appears to be more substantial (at least from viewing photos online) than that of the 250 and the 250S (go here:
http://gon5.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1187645377.jpg to see a photo) and similar to the counterweight on the 10.5S on the Pure Music website.

There do appear to be pretty big cosmetic (fit and finish) differences between the 250S (which is available for $290 U.S.) and the 750D which also offers fluid damping, which I'm inclined to use with my 103R. But the bearing thing had me confused. The Pure Music site (as well as the Feickert site) make reference to the quality of the bearings (gimbal in the vertical axis and needle roller in the horizontal plane) implying that this might be a better bearing spec than on the less expensive Jelcos. I've made inquiries but really haven't been able to establish whether there is in fact a difference in bearings between the 10.5S and the 750D let alone the 750D and the less expensive 250 and 250S. I'm inclined to agree with you that the bearings are probably the same but the "built to spec" remarks on the Pure Music website got me wondering.

One thing is for sure though and that is that the 750D and the 10.5S on the Pure Music site appear to be the same arm and identical in terms of fit and finish, the only difference being the difference in length.

One final question: do you know how much the stock Jelco headshell on the 750 weighs? Thanks in advance!!!

Spectral Morn
15-01-2009, 15:25
With reference to Neil's point about the Valdi it was really made for lighter weight 9" arms such as the RB300 and Helius Scorpio/Aureus or indeed the Alphasons. I'm not sure the suspension would have been quite so happy trying to support the bulk of an SME or FR.

Hi Guy

You may be right, though at the time I never felt this was the case. The Valdi I used was easy enough to level and bounced evenly with the 309 arm on it. I even ordered the arm board from Guy Adams direct at the time ,and he did not indicate it would be an issue. However the simple fact is for whatever reason the Valdi 309 combo did not sing like it had with the Rega rb 300 arm. But if the suspension was over stressed that could indeed be part of the answer. I would love to hear a Voyd ref with any arm on it. That was some TT. Especially if you put an original Torylite stand under it, as I had with my Valdi.

Its a shame that Guy Adams left audio, whats he up to these days ?

Regards D S D L----Neil :)

pure sound
15-01-2009, 16:35
He works for Hewlett Packard now. I still speak & exchange emails with him from time to time.

My first prolonged exposure to a Voyd Ref was using one at the Belfast show one year. Extraordinary thing! It did something with the sound of records that I've never heard from any other TT. Absolutely boundless energy.

MartinT
15-01-2009, 23:17
the Helius orion with the IO ,i think this was a better combo than my SME310/Music maker

I used to have a Helius Aureus arm on a Michell Syncro. The turntable was extremely nice and well made for a bargain price, but unfortunately the Helius was a piece of crap. I could never get the stiction completely out of the bearings no matter how hard I tried and the fit and finish were very poor.

chris@panteg
15-01-2009, 23:31
Well its funny you should say that' my m8 john is having some problems with his Orion it desperately needs a service i think, i agree that fit and finish are not in the same league as the SME .

Spectral Morn
15-01-2009, 23:35
He works for Hewlett Packard now. I still speak & exchange emails with him from time to time.


My first prolonged exposure to a Voyd Ref was using one at the Belfast show one year. Extraordinary thing! It did something with the sound of records that I've never heard from any other TT. Absolutely boundless energy.


Hi guy

I was working at that show and I well remember the sort of sound that you guys were getting. PQ was particularly happy generating bass booms in the middle of the hall in the hotel. I have never felt, heard anything like it before. Some of your fellow exhibitors complained. I went to investigate. As I walked down the corridor this invisible force like a wave hit me in the stomach, and then rolled across into the rooms opposite. Not hi-fi more like a Sonic attack, but in the room wonderful sound and PQ enjoying himself. Those were the days.

During following shows he got a larger room, where he could do his thing and not annoy anyone. He did a musical evening once , fabulous showman and sound.

I am glad that Guy Adams is well. Its a pity Voyd died (I don't consider Peters decks to be Voyd's, despite similar design ideas. No nice plinths)

regards D S D L--- Neil :)

pure sound
16-01-2009, 09:03
Well its funny you should say that' my m8 john is having some problems with his Orion it desperately needs a service i think, i agree that fit and finish are not in the same league as the SME .

Helius seem to be making arms again. He might be able to service it although if it were me I'd send it to J7 at Audio Origami. It'll come back better than when it was new. (not joking)

http://www.heliusdesigns.co.uk/

chris@panteg
17-01-2009, 00:39
Thanks for that Guy'

i think John will be keen to do that , i will also tell him about your Phono amp the p10' he is a big fan of the p2 which i believe you designed i never heard one myself alas but he tells me its one of the finest he has ever heard.

Marco
18-01-2009, 00:12
Hi Blake,

Sorry for the late reply - I got caught up in one or two things!


Just to clarify, it is my 103R (in the wood body) that weighs 11 grams and I wanted to know if I could go with a heavier headshell (am I reading you correctly in that your FR headshell weighs 20g on its own without cartridge installed)


Yes; it's nearly 30g with the cartridge included, so you should be fine with your combination.


That being said, the counterweight on the 750D appears to be more substantial (at least from viewing photos online) than that of the 250 and the 250S (go here:
http://gon5.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1187645377.jpg to see a photo) and similar to the counterweight on the 10.5S on the Pure Music website.


It is quite a substantial counterweight balance on the 750, but it's not the same as the one shown in your link.


There do appear to be pretty big cosmetic (fit and finish) differences between the 250S (which is available for $290 U.S.) and the 750D which also offers fluid damping, which I'm inclined to use with my 103R.


There are quite big cosmetic differences but I suspect that they're not too significant in terms of how both arms perform sonically.


But the bearing thing had me confused. The Pure Music site (as well as the Feickert site) make reference to the quality of the bearings (gimbal in the vertical axis and needle roller in the horizontal plane) implying that this might be a better bearing spec than on the less expensive Jelcos. I've made inquiries but really haven't been able to establish whether there is in fact a difference in bearings between the 10.5S and the 750D let alone the 750D and the less expensive 250 and 250S. I'm inclined to agree with you that the bearings are probably the same but the "built to spec" remarks on the Pure Music website got me wondering.


I know what you mean but I wouldn't worry about it. Whichever Jelco you go for the bearings will be of a very high quality.


One final question: do you know how much the stock Jelco headshell on the 750 weighs? Thanks in advance!!!


It weighs 11g (bare).

Marco.

1200reasons
15-04-2017, 23:01
Stumbled upon this thread after a Google search and it's certainly one of the most lively threads I've come across here!

Years on, how do participants feel about their views on various arms? I've heard Jelco Trash-talked over at over forums, so it's particularly surpising to see comments like:



Little does he know that the 250ST you've got (as confirmed by your own ears) is as good as an SME IV you used to have! :)

Both are exceptionally good arms and quite obviously can hold their own with much more expensive designs.

Marco.

Jelco 250ST as good as SME IV???? They're certainly not in the same price range

walpurgis
15-04-2017, 23:17
Erm. Eight years on? Some of the original contributors to this thread may be in sheltered housing for the elderly by now :).

Anyway. I've not done the comparison. But others may respond.

struth
15-04-2017, 23:29
Erm. Eight years on? Some of the original contributors to this thread may be in sheltered housing for the elderly by now :).

Anyway. I've not done the comparison. But others may respond.

if not many probably should be :eyebrows:

1200reasons
15-04-2017, 23:56
Senior citizens are the main target audience of our hobby anyway. As old as this thread may me, I think it has a little life in it. Many comparisons here that I haven't seen elsewhere

shahsy
16-04-2017, 00:20
The EPA100 was different........I reverted back to the SME V and have been using it ever since.

The EPA100 was rewired with Cardas by AudioOrigami (he has has rewired all of my tonearms) and the SME V is with Kondo Silver Fairy.

Cartridge is Denon 103SA, Phono Pre is a World Designs Pre/Phono Pre 3 specifically tuned for Denon 103's (had a 103R retipped/catilevered) by Expert Stylus).

The arm is used on a Technics SP10 in the original Obsidian plinth with either a Radford STA 25 or a Krell KSA80 or a Mr Liang 845 or Rotel Michi with spekers Yamaha NS1000m or Tannoy DMT15's.

I'm happy with the set up....

The only upgrade needed is a man cave at the bottom of the garden and some four face 18's where the bass is driven by the the Krell and mid/tops (Yam NS1000M) by the Radford.

Nothing else to add as it's all subjective. May get Garrard 401's and the SME 3012's (also rewired by AudioOrigami) out someday!

s

drSM
16-04-2017, 02:00
The EPA100 was different........I reverted back to the SME V and have been using it ever since.

The EPA100 was rewired with Cardas by AudioOrigami (he has has rewired all of my tonearms) and the SME V is with Kondo Silver Fairy.

Cartridge is Denon 103SA, Phono Pre is a World Designs Pre/Phono Pre 3 specifically tuned for Denon 103's (had a 103R retipped/catilevered) by Expert Stylus).

The arm is used on a Technics SP10 in the original Obsidian plinth with either a Radford STA 25 or a Krell KSA80 or a Mr Liang 845 or Rotel Michi with spekers Yamaha NS1000m or Tannoy DMT15's.

I'm happy with the set up....

The only upgrade needed is a man cave at the bottom of the garden and some four face 18's where the bass is driven by the the Krell and mid/tops (Yam NS1000M) by the Radford.

Nothing else to add as it's all subjective. May get Garrard 401's and the SME 3012's (also rewired by AudioOrigami) out someday!

s

Very interesting thread this that author of thread made just 2 posts on 1st page then there is this lively discussion, all 8 yrs go
...and now he gives us his verdict, to the relief of SME fans.

Wow thats some super gear there Shahsy
I am sprucing up a 3012 with new wires and a few other bits and bobs
I use NS1000 too. Do let us know when u get the man cave and the 18'' subs :eyebrows:

1200reasons
17-04-2017, 05:10
Fantastic indeed. The SME V opinions are what had me the most curious. It's always been my out-of-my-league dream arm.