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Thread: Timestep T-01HS Ebony Headshell on JELCO TK850S

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 2,990
    I'm Adrian.

    Default Timestep T-01HS Ebony Headshell on JELCO TK850S

    So having sold a few bits on and bobs and some CD's one of little upgrade I wanted to try was a better head shell. Having looked at several and asked around it seems the best VFM and possible high sonic improvement might be with a Timestep T-01HS Ebony Headshell, I ordered one from Hugo at Ammonite Audio and it arrive earlier in the week but I resisted playing until today as was tired from working, and I really do not like playing around with arms and expensive cartridges when tired.

    So this morning I got the Voyd off its shelf and onto the table, and carefully went about swapping the LP-S over from the standard Jelco HS-25 Headshell to the Timestep. The Timestep is reasonably easy to set up although the setting up the azimuth is a little tricky as the grub screw to secure the head shell is underneath, so patience is required. I used a Tonearm VTA & Cartridge Azimuth Alignment Ruler Headshell Alignment Block to get it spot on, a process I do not enjoy with an expensive cartridge on board. Anyway all went well and once I had balanced the arm and set tracking weight the TT was returned to its shelf.

    So first impressions listening to 4 prime listening tracks are as below.

    Firstly I thought things sounded a little bass heavy, but immediately I also noticed an slightly improved mid-range and what sound like a sweeter top end.

    I listened to Ravi Shankar - Portrait of a Genius track 1 and Eva Cassidy Fields of Gold several times, and came to the conclusion that there were definite improvements but I suspected the VTA was not quite right. I am lucky in that my Jelco is mounted on an Easy VTA adjuster and so can fine tune it on the fly. I never do this with a record playing but adjust up of down listen and then go up or down again depending on what I hear. So after 30 minutes of so tinkering and careful sight examination of the base of the cartridge in relation to the record surface. I actually found I needed to raise the rear of the arm by about 0.3mm not much but it got the sweet spot. The result being improved clarity and bass was still there but as you would expect more controlled.

    So I re-listened to the two track above and went on to 10cc - The Wall Street Shuffle, Alan Parson's - I Robot (MFSL 45rpm) and Sinéad O'Connor - Feel So Different & Am Stretched On Your Grave (I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got), all great tracks with superb dynamics.

    So this is my final thoughts on these.

    Ravi Shankar - Improved low end detail evident in the drums, mid-range is more fleshed out, there seems to be better top end

    Eva Cassidy - What is clear here is that tonally the voice rendition is improved, also there is more detail and presence from the recording. I would also say that the blackness is more present (quietness), Guitars have a more natural timbre. Top end is sweeter.

    10cc - Some great bass extension, piano has better tone, depth and sound stage feel better defined.

    Alan Parson - A wonderful experience this, great clarity and depth superb punch on the bass line and ver good mid-range.

    Sinéad O'Connor - Feel So Different, I find this is a very telling track, Sinéad's vocal have a great subtlety that is easily lost of smothered by the bass lines from the plucked basses and cellos. Not so with the tilmestep, this was the best I have heard it form my system, bass superb great extension and detail, cello definition and clarity top notch, vocal was wonderful, no harshness just purity of voice. I also noticed that separation is better across the soundstage, presumably because of less resonance in the head shell than the stand one. I went on to listen to the rest of side one, Stretched On Your Grave came to life with the drums and echo the recording was clear to hear, bass drum deep and tight, felt like the snare drum was in front of me, detail and attack extremely good. The vocal is improved with more detail and clarity, seems more real, better intonation. Violin at end has great sound/tone and clarity, no harshness.


    So to sum up if you have a reasonably good cartridge and an arm that will take a Timestep T-01HS Ebony Headshell I would recommend that you think of giving it a go it gets more from the groove and makes it very musical, just make sure it can take the overall weight, and make sure you get set everything up properly then sit back and enjoy. For the relatively low cost it is worth IMO.

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    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Tannoy Legacy Arden speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but don’t tell anyone

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 33
    I'm Paul.

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    Nice short review and a lovely match up with the Benz LP.... Chapeau...
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Jul 2013

    Location: Kingsbury, NW London

    Posts: 1,113
    I'm Clive.

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    Nice review and lovely pics. I am interested in the VTA adjuster that I see in your pics but am worried that the lid would be a problem with clearance.
    SOURCE:Auralic Aries G1, OPPO UDP-205 BluRay, SkyQ, Technics SL1210M5G/Achromat/MN Bearing/Isonoes with Boots/Jelco TK-850S Tonearm/AT-OC9XSH or Hana SL, PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter
    DAC: Chord Qutest, Chord Mojo/Poly
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    CABLES: Analogue: Speaker - Chord Signature. Interconnect - Atlas Mavros XLR x2, Atlas Mavros Ultra, Chord Indigo Plus XLR, MCRU Silver Tonearm cable
    Digital: Atlas Mavros Ultra x2, Atlas USB, Chord Optichord.
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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,697
    I'm Hugo.

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    Those Jelco VTAF adjusters are neat but quite challenging to fit to the SL-1210 because of the need to accommodate the bulk of the ‘inboard’ structure that holds the micrometer, unless a flat armboard is used in which case the arm is then set high in relation to the SL-1210 platter and actually setting correct VTA becomes difficult. VTAF is an alluring prospect for audiophiles but after intensive initial fiddling it’s a feature that most will leave alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 2,990
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ammonite Acoustics View Post
    Those Jelco VTAF adjusters are neat but quite challenging to fit to the SL-1210 because of the need to accommodate the bulk of the ‘inboard’ structure that holds the micrometer, unless a flat armboard is used in which case the arm is then set high in relation to the SL-1210 platter and actually setting correct VTA becomes difficult. VTAF is an alluring prospect for audiophiles but after intensive initial fiddling it’s a feature that most will leave alone.
    Not quite sure I understand, as the Easy VTA replaces the usual mount and at its lowest setting is the same height under the arm I believe. They do 2 heights of micrometer I believe the shorter one that I have needs 75mm from the arm board to cover leaving 2-3mm clearance. The knurled locking bolt that comes out at 90 degrees from the mount plate needs at least 30mm clearance to the cover side. http://www.purusaudio.pt/easyVTA.html

    I tend to use it to set VTA up if I change head shell/cartridge and to find the sweet spot, it is certainly much easier and more accurate than with manual adjustment I find. Once done I tend to leave alone as I set it up using a medium thickness LP, although I know some people like to change the VTA for thick and thin LP's.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Tannoy Legacy Arden speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but don’t tell anyone

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 2,990
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive197 View Post
    Nice review and lovely pics. I am interested in the VTA adjuster that I see in your pics but am worried that the lid would be a problem with clearance.
    Hi Clive see my reply above, Cheers Adrian
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Tannoy Legacy Arden speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but don’t tell anyone

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,697
    I'm Hugo.

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    My observation relates solely to fitting it to a Technics SL-1210 and not to a turntable like yours, where there is plenty of space for the adjuster and plenty of height difference between armboard and platter top. On a Technics deck, the shallow platter means that an arm mount should ideally be recessed so that the arm can be set low enough, otherwise correct VTA can sometimes only be achieved by the use of cartridge tilting shims, with all the hassle those bring.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Not quite sure I understand, as the Easy VTA replaces the usual mount and at its lowest setting is the same height under the arm I believe. They do 2 heights of micrometer I believe the shorter one that I have needs 75mm from the arm board to cover leaving 2-3mm clearance. The knurled locking bolt that comes out at 90 degrees from the mount plate needs at least 30mm clearance to the cover side. http://www.purusaudio.pt/easyVTA.html

    I tend to use it to set VTA up if I change head shell/cartridge and to find the sweet spot, it is certainly much easier and more accurate than with manual adjustment I find. Once done I tend to leave alone as I set it up using a medium thickness LP, although I know some people like to change the VTA for thick and thin LP's.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 2,990
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ammonite Acoustics View Post
    My observation relates solely to fitting it to a Technics SL-1210 and not to a turntable like yours, where there is plenty of space for the adjuster and plenty of height difference between armboard and platter top. On a Technics deck, the shallow platter means that an arm mount should ideally be recessed so that the arm can be set low enough, otherwise correct VTA can sometimes only be achieved by the use of cartridge tilting shims, with all the hassle those bring.
    Of course I forgot about that, cheers
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Tannoy Legacy Arden speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but don’t tell anyone

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