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My newest acquisition (pics of actual unit):

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No cartridge installed as I haven't taken it off the other Thorens 125 I have (which will be put on sale).

The above is a fully reconditioned, rewired Thorens TD125 in custom plinth with reconditioned SME 3009 tonearm.

Did you pick this one up from Audiogon?

Thats one great looking Table.

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After many, many years with BAT/Avid/SME YG Acoustics systems this is what my wife and I have spent the last year building for listening to records through. VPI HR-X w/12.7 arm, and VPI ADS power supp

The horror, the horror. Basically this is the final Erno Borbely design. It is a current mode phono stage, where the cartridge looks into close to zero impedance. First stage with parallel J40/K170, a

Fired up the vinyl rig after two years - damn I forgot just how great vinyl can be Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Would love to hear your thoughts on those phonostages. Especially the EAR 324 :)

The EAR is really good, though I've never heard it with the SUTs in the signal path since he uses high output cartridges.

The Aesthetix sounded great, but I wasn't there long enough to make any conclusions compared to the EAR.

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Has anyone here heard any of the Aesthetix IO phono stages? I will get to hear one against an EAR 324 this weekend.

yup, I've heard it as well several times. The Aesthetix was a constant factor in some gear swapping that took place over a day or so, so it's very hard to pin it down. I'd pay attention to the frequency extremes as well as the noise floor and instrument separation. Looking forward to what you think!

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JP came over and helped my set up the Air Tight PC-1 on my second VPI 10.5i tonearm, with Nordost cabling unlike the original. The Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum is on my original 10.5i tonearm. The great thing with the arm is that you can easily pop one off and the other on without any need for further adjustment.

We played Naima from the remastered Giant Steps on the Koetsu first and then the Air Tight. They certainly both sounded great, but the differences were significant. The Air Tight is more dynamic and fast, and was clearly digging out more of what is in those grooves. The sax tone and details through the Air Tight really were remarkably better and the piano was like listening to different recordings it was so different. The overtones and vibrations of the wires were so nuanced and the air around the notes was something else. The cymbals were also clear and detailed without harshness or glare. I'm pretty stoked. JP can make his own comments if he feels like it, but he had the same impressions, but an apt one he made was the the Koetsu is obviously more euphonic although still very nice sounding.

I'm looking forward to trying out the Skala vs. PC-1 soon, and JP had the good idea of trying the Koetsu on the new arm with the Nordost silver cable to see if it brightens/sharpens it a bit. The idea of switching both carts/arms is less than appealing at the moment, but I will at least get to the Skala and PC-1 combo because it has been awhile since I had the Skala.

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JP came over and helped my set up the Air Tight PC-1 on my second VPI 10.5i tonearm, with Nordost cabling unlike the original. The Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum is on my original 10.5i tonearm. The great thing with the arm is that you can easily pop one off and the other on without any need for further adjustment.

We played Naima from the remastered Giant Steps on the Koetsu first and then the Air Tight. They certainly both sounded great, but the differences were significant. The Air Tight is more dynamic and fast, and was clearly digging out more of what is in those grooves. The sax tone and details through the Air Tight really were remarkably better and the piano was like listening to different recordings it was so different. The overtones and vibrations of the wires were so nuanced and the air around the notes was something else. The cymbals were also clear and detailed without harshness or glare. I'm pretty stoked. JP can make his own comments if he feels like it, but he had the same impressions, but an apt one he made was the the Koetsu is obviously more euphonic although still very nice sounding.

I'm looking forward to trying out the Skala vs. PC-1 soon, and JP had the good idea of trying the Koetsu on the new arm with the Nordost silver cable to see if it brightens/sharpens it a bit. The idea of switching both carts/arms is less than appealing at the moment, but I will at least get to the Skala and PC-1 combo because it has been awhile since I had the Skala.

Nice set up!

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JP came over and helped my set up the Air Tight PC-1 on my second VPI 10.5i tonearm, with Nordost cabling unlike the original. The Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum is on my original 10.5i tonearm. The great thing with the arm is that you can easily pop one off and the other on without any need for further adjustment.

We played Naima from the remastered Giant Steps on the Koetsu first and then the Air Tight. They certainly both sounded great, but the differences were significant. The Air Tight is more dynamic and fast, and was clearly digging out more of what is in those grooves. The sax tone and details through the Air Tight really were remarkably better and the piano was like listening to different recordings it was so different. The overtones and vibrations of the wires were so nuanced and the air around the notes was something else. The cymbals were also clear and detailed without harshness or glare. I'm pretty stoked. JP can make his own comments if he feels like it, but he had the same impressions, but an apt one he made was the the Koetsu is obviously more euphonic although still very nice sounding.

I'm looking forward to trying out the Skala vs. PC-1 soon, and JP had the good idea of trying the Koetsu on the new arm with the Nordost silver cable to see if it brightens/sharpens it a bit. The idea of switching both carts/arms is less than appealing at the moment, but I will at least get to the Skala and PC-1 combo because it has been awhile since I had the Skala.

I would echo Al's overall statement and say that the airtight is the best cart I have heard to date. The Koetsu is great but really in a different and lower league than the airtight. While I guess lush can be fun, lush also tends to obscure and simplify. I felt that the airtight absolutely provided greater sonic content you hear into the body of the piano on Tyner's solo and you hear more of Coltrane's interaction with the reed with the airtight. Now on balance it also never got bright or spitty. This was the sole downfall of the lyra skala. While the skala it is not spitty in a sumiko blue point special way it is on the brighter side of neutral which to me lent it sound to be slightly thin. The pc-1 has all the detail and a very natural sound, I am in love with something I will never likely own. The only minor quibble and it is really unavoidable is the stylus profile is one that gets in deep into the groove so it picks up slightly more noise and imperfections. This was to me a small price to pay for the sonic leap over the other two carts Al has.

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Nice review JP#s !

I am vinyless right now as my Modwright SWLP quit last night. The PSU does not turn on. Tried another rectifier tube no diff. On one of the input tubes the silver top is now black, I wonder if that means that tube is blown, and the unit is self-protect shutting down?

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Bummer Pete! Hope you can get it back in action without much delay or trouble.

JP nailed some things right there. And by far the PC-1 is the best cart I have had on my table. Very happy to have gotten it in nearly new condition for $4K less than list! :)

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Thanks for the impressions. That AirTight sounds like a very interesting cart, though I'm afraid it must be damn expensive, isn't it? It could be a candidate to replace the Shelter when it (hopefully in a long time) dies.

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Vinyl rig back in business. A buddy came over with a NAD PP2 he had in storage..... :)

hey for a hundred dollars this phono stage sounds shockingly good!!

Ooops, I thought mine was just average and returned it after 3 weeks. Maybe I didn't burn-it in enough. :P

I figure it's gonna be 4-6 weeks before I can afford that Pass Pearl unless my sale of the Single Power Square Wave XL goes through sooner, dammit. I have a buyer lined up who is waiting on a refund for something before he can send me the money.

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