Turntables, Arms & Cartridges

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Paul Miller  |  Mar 04, 2009
Naming a cartridge after a firebird that rises from its own ashes may be a portentous omen, given Transfiguration’s previous success in crafting high-class pickups. So maybe the incendiary title is supposed to serve more as a pointer to a fiery performance? After the revamp of the brand’s lineup, this model doesn’t have a natural predecessor, by price at least, since it’s pitched below the former top Temper model, and above the similarly obsolete Spirit. But at £1350 it sits neatly between the award-winning Orpheus (£2750) [March ’07] and the new entry-level Axia at £890, and closely resembles the Spirit in body shape. Like former Transfigurations, it uses an unusual ‘yokeless’ generator inside with ring magnets surrounding the sets of coils.
John Bamford & Paul Miller  |  Feb 04, 2009
In the run up to Christmas 2007 my 14-year-old daughter announced one evening over dinner that she’d like a record player. What brought this on I don’t know. She takes little notice of the hi-fi system in our living room, using it only to deliver ‘big sound’ when watching one of her favourite music channels on TV. I’m not sure that she’s even clocked the Townshend Rock Reference that’s been sitting on the top shelf of my equipment rack since before she was born.
Andy Whittle and Paul Miller  |  Feb 04, 2009
The TD 2030 sits just below the top of Thorens current range of turntables and retails for £1725 including the TP 300 VTA tonearm, but no cartridge. Thorens, thoughtfully, includes a pair of cotton gloves to keep your dabs off the acrylic plinth during setup, so gloves on and off we go. Since the acrylic plinth has no suspension, it’s a simple matter to position the deck on a suitable surface/table, and the plinth can then be levelled by screwing in/out the tip of each of the three feet. The heavy platter is an aluminium affair, weighing in at a substantial 6.
Andrew Harrison and Paul Miller  |  Jan 30, 2009
If you’re going to invest in a new moving-coil cartridge, who better to turn to than the first company to produce the MC cartridge – Ortofon. As discussed in last month’s ‘On Location’ report [Dec ’07, p112], Ortofon of Denmark has been building fixed-magnet cartridges since day one of the LP record, and it has continued to innovate, priding itself on high production runs with consistently high quality. From the late 1970s, one name at Ortofon became associated with refinements to the art which were realised in legendary cartridges such as the MC20, the MC3000 and MC5000, the Rohmann and Jubilee – Mr Per Windfeld. Now retired, it befell new Chief officer of Acoustics and Technology, Leif Johannsen, to honour the company’s long-term designer with a high-end design that would bear the PW name.
John Bamford & Paul Miller  |  Jan 04, 2009
It was a brave move going into business making record players in the mid 1990s when LPs were already relegated to niche status. As Avid’s founder and chief designer Conrad Mas is wont to point out: ‘My friends and family thought I was bonkers. ’ Conrad’s bravery, coupled with his belief that there was still a market for high-end record players that were immaculately finished and built to last, has proved well founded. From humble beginnings Avid has grown to become an internationally recognised brand name among vinyl enthusiasts.

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