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Thread: Shanes Roksan Xerxes turntable vers Project RPM10

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2009

    Location: Torquay, Devon.

    Posts: 171
    I'm Tim.

    Default Shanes Roksan Xerxes turntable vers Project RPM10

    Shane’s tt came on Tuesday. We set it up on my system. The system at this point had the two bridged Quad 405 power amps, and the Musical Fidelity A308 CR pre amp. Loudspeakers, martin Logan QuestZ. I removed the Project RPM 10, but retained the big heavy plinth and the stand. The cart has a new stylus, and this required some running in. I pushed the tracking force up. Initial listening was positive despite a lack of bass, and a bit sharp on the sax in Jazz at the pawn shop, then again this record came from E Bay for around £25.00 and is a tad worn! I think I will look for a new version. I was generally pleased with what I heard. Last night I listened on a subjective level, also my valve amps came yesterday, Opera Consonance M800 mono valve SE. (Bigearsaudio in Cornwall, check out his site, some nice second hand amps etc) I had listened earlier using CD, Nuyorican Soul on the Spark Cayin 17A. Once the amps warmed up I was really pleased with sound, mid range was lovely, and bass on track 14 George Benson's You can do it [baby] was fast, and tuneful. I usually use this as a ref for speed. Imaging was first class, and percussion top notch. Ok I am pleased with the amps. They push the Mls very well in triode mode (35 W) I have not yet tried ultra linear. (75W) In Triode mode the amps sound luscious. They push the Mls very well.
    The Roksan Xerxes tt sounds very good indeed with the Rega 200; what a gorgeous looking arm! and taking in to consideration the AR cartridge which retailed for around £14.00 back in the early eighties, therefore by today’s pricing it could be around the £50.00 mark? but it is very good, very good indeed! As a whole the package retrieves a lot of information from the record. The mid range is exceptional as is the pace. Dynamics are good. Jazz at the pawn shop rendered that great live feeling, the xylophone was beautiful, kick drums very nice. The deck sounds very stable, and Yello's 'desire' was great and as clear as a CD, and dynamics as it should be. I noticed that this deck has a quiet background. I tried my Bob James 'grand piano canyon' which is scratched as it is now quite old. Despite the surface scratches it was quite audible over the Project RPM10. In fact I prefer this Rok over the Project. The project lacks something in the mid area. Bass is exceptional in the Rok, and good speed as noted with yello. Going over to Sting's 'English man in New York' record 12" 45 I noticed that the vocal was very recessed and bass boomy. Reducing weight on the cart resolved this. I used the Roksan digital stylus gauge this morning to check, and the reading is 1.436, therefore looks like the cart should settle in at 1.2gm. I will apply the Denon DL160 later. One Project for sale soon, seriously! : doh: Well done Shane you picked a winner in the Rok. Ere, hmmmmm can I have it on my system for a while longer?
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,557
    I'm David.

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    I've NEVER seen an R200 with gold trimmings (Rega never offered it as an option to my knowledge) and the Roksan must be checked for correct fettle. Other than that, I thought Shane had a DL110?????

    The C77 was a nail of a cartridge in real terms, with little detail up top and only average tracking. We sold the C, E and P77 and the old Rega R100 with similar body beat them all, although its bass up-treble down balance wouldn't find much favour these days (the M3D/N21 has more top IMO).

    Get Shane to get a proper cartridge in there - that arm will take most things and I reckon the AT OC9 and 33PTG could work too with correct height spacers (Jonny at Audio Origami could probably fabricate just the thing in brass).....
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2009

    Location: Torquay, Devon.

    Posts: 171
    I'm Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    I've NEVER seen an R200 with gold trimmings (Rega never offered it as an option to my knowledge) and the Roksan must be checked for correct fettle. Other than that, I thought Shane had a DL110?????

    The C77 was a nail of a cartridge in real terms, with little detail up top and only average tracking. We sold the C, E and P77 and the old Rega R100 with similar body beat them all, although its bass up-treble down balance wouldn't find much favour these days (the M3D/N21 has more top IMO).

    Get Shane to get a proper cartridge in there - that arm will take most things and I reckon the AT OC9 and 33PTG could work too with correct height spacers (Jonny at Audio Origami could probably fabricate just the thing in brass).....
    The deck came with the C77 on board. I have a Denon Dl160, and an Audiotec AC09, Grado FCE+1. Wonder if the Grado would be worthwile trying out. Yes he does have a DL110, think it might need re tipping or trade in for new.
    Last edited by lonergan2468; 12-06-2009 at 19:18.
    Tim

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2009

    Posts: 219

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    I've NEVER seen an R200 with gold trimmings (Rega never offered it as an option to my knowledge) and the Roksan must be checked for correct fettle. Other than that, I thought Shane had a DL110?????

    The C77 was a nail of a cartridge in real terms, with little detail up top and only average tracking. We sold the C, E and P77 and the old Rega R100 with similar body beat them all, although its bass up-treble down balance wouldn't find much favour these days (the M3D/N21 has more top IMO).

    Get Shane to get a proper cartridge in there - that arm will take most things and I reckon the AT OC9 and 33PTG could work too with correct height spacers (Jonny at Audio Origami could probably fabricate just the thing in brass).....






    I find the AT OC9 to be a bright sounding cartridge and lacks deep bass a bit. I could be wrong, unless I might try it on my Rega R200.

    What's the AT33PTG like?

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2009

    Posts: 219

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    Also, tomorrow we are going to try out the Denon DL160 on the Rega R200. I'm sure it will match the R200 well?

    Anymore good cartridges that go well with the Rega R200?

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,557
    I'm David.

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    This is a bit controversial on here, but many LP's were cut with a boosted midrange and a mono'd deep bass that appears down in level when played with a neutrally balanced cartridge. Marco has fairly commented that he likes a more "romantic" sounding cartridge, especially as the Technics has become more truthful to the source played.

    The OC9 and many others with a non-drooping treble, appear to sound "bright" when compared to other popular models. HiFi Choice books of the early eighties are full of comments on excessive brightness with properly balanced cartridges, yet beefy but rather dull models like well run-in Karma's and Troika's were raved over. As Mr Popely on PFM has a system very heavily "voiced" in mid-eighties fashion, I'm not at all surprised that he loves his re-built Troika, yet found the OC9ML a bit "bleached out." With my Spendor BC2's, the opposite would be true, the Troika sounding too "beefy" I suspect, my old OC9 sounding great apart from preamp overload discussed elsewhere.

    By the late eighties, a chap named Richard Black (I think) was using a good master-tape copy with which to compare turntable and cartridge "systems" and his favourite deck at the time was a PT model with, I think, an SME V. By this time, 'Choice was a monthly publication and I spent many hours in later years trawling through all the back-copies at the shop (all gone now I think).

    The AT33PTG is an absolute steal at the moment, some amazing prices being asked on eBay (under £200 in one listing!). It has more "substance" lower down than the OC9 and this design goes back to the late seventies in one form or another, so they should have got it right by now I'd have thought (early versions were judged a bit "bitty" and not fully balanced up).
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2009

    Posts: 219

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    I know this sounds very stupid. Are some of the London Decca cartridges any good? Will they be OK for a Rega R200? I know these carts are old, but people are restoring them for use on today's HiFi. Is it because of their good trackability and detail?

    Any opinions welcome.
    Last edited by speakers-1989; 13-06-2009 at 13:53.

  8. #8
    MartinT Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonergan2468 View Post
    Wonder if the Grado would be worthwile trying out. Yes he does have a DL110, think it might need re tipping or trade in for new.
    I don't know that Grado model, but I do have a Prestige Gold. I can tell you that the Denon DL-160 is a much better cartridge all round.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jun 2008

    Location: London

    Posts: 228
    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speakers-1989 View Post
    I know this sounds very stupid. Are some of the London Decca cartridges any good? Will they be OK for a Rega R200? I know these carts are old, but people are restoring them for use on today's HiFi. Is it because of their good trackability and detail?

    Any opinions welcome.
    Love/hate things.
    A cartridge needs some compliance at the cantilever hinge so that it can track the groove properly and mid and low frequencies. The Decca models have no such hinge and have wildly differing vertical and lateral compliance, with medium compliance in the lateral plane and extremely low compliance in the vertical plane. This is because the Decca was originally designed for mono records where there is no vertical modulation.
    Fitted with a good tip and in a sympathetic arm, the Decca sounds stunning - direct and coherent like no other cartridge.
    Sadly, most of us want to play stereo records and here the Decca show's it's achiles' heel because the cartridge often cannot track the vertical component (the stereo difference signal) and the result is saw-like ripping distortion and break-up. It varies between samples - some manage ok with most discs while others can spell danger for your precious vinyl, such is the degree of mistracking.
    The best are the Garrott Bro's and the VDH rebuilt samples and I've used both with great results, with the VDH giving the best performance form a cartridge I've ever experienced, on some records.

    Not a cartridge for the casual or inexperienced vinyl user IMO but every vinylophile should experience the Decca at least once in their life.
    A great cartridge for the vinyl collector with many older mono recording and either two turntables or arms.

    As to using it in the R200, well I see no problem so long as the Rega doesn't have sloppy bearings and is in good condition.
    Last edited by RobHolt; 13-06-2009 at 16:25.

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,557
    I'm David.

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    Rob, can I disagree a little please?

    I owned a Decca London "Blue" for a while back in the seventies and although this one worked in a conventional arm quite well (Dual 1229 - I'm a fan in case you hadn't noticed ), I wouldn't recommend it. The R200 loves other things much better IMO...

    My current Decca Gold Microscanner has the Martin Bastin version of the DeccaPod and when working right it was VERY much better behaved with superlative tracking (of music anyway). I used it with the Mentor deck and arm - the two were designed with the Decca and other neutral to lively cartridges in mind and the sound was stunningly "vivid." I've had the thing re-built and I await the day when I can utilise it again. I would NOT put this one in the Dual 701 - totally unsuitable.

    To re-cap Shane, don't bother with a Decca. get a good OC9 instead..
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

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