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Test driving a "new to me" TT...

73.236.194.50

Posted on January 10, 2022 at 05:24:57
dark_dave56
Audiophile

Posts: 5296
Location: Ohio
Joined: August 29, 2019
...a Rotel RP-955. I owned one of these (years ago), and regrettably, sold it. It's nothing special--super-basic actually, but decent-sounding for what it is.

I found this one rather randomly, and for some reason, just had to have it. I purchased it from an estate (directly from the son of the deceased). His father purchased it new and meticulously maintained it (including a couple trips back to Rotel) with impeccable documentation from Day 1. Original box/packaging/manuals and every service record/receipt. It's been sitting here for a couple months, so it was time to get it set-up.

Very basic--fully-manual belt-drive, but speed is rock-steady and the arm was actually manufactured by Jelco for Rotel. It's not going to replace my LP12, SOTA Sapphire, or Dual CS5000s, but it's a nice addition to have back in the rotation.

Had an old Stanton (of unknown wear/hours) on it, so I mounted a NOS Shure M97xe that I had lying around. Sounds pretty decent through the on-board phono stage of my ARC SP-6.


"So I talk to the night, I head for the light, try and hold it on the road. Thank God for the man who put
the white lines on the highway"--a very dear friend for decades Michael Stanley (Gee)--RIP

 

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well, it's about time, posted on January 10, 2022 at 06:06:31
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 5705
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
welcome back to Vinyl and do try to stay away from central as best you can. I myself have had enough there lately.

Don't forget to drybrush the vinyl properly, and watch the static which can be severe in your particular neck of the woods. No need to go through the wet clean every time unless you are obsessed. Clean stylus etc.

Which Stanton and which Jelco? You can do better than that Shure, maybe someone else can give a recommend on a nice recent MM. Otherwise Stanton/Pickering's are so nice. I got my old Pickering up and running with a NOS Stereo Hedron II 4000 stylus, it's a wonderful MM.

Have some fun spinning as is said.



 

I had an RP-1000Q. It was the first TT I paid for with my own money., posted on January 10, 2022 at 06:52:40
ghost of olddude55
Audiophile

Posts: 21288
Joined: July 14, 2017
Made by CEC. Total POS. Got it in 1974, had a Transcriptors Vestigal arm installed on it in 1976. Sold it during the 1980s when I was flat broke and desperate to keep the lights on.




The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?

 

RE: well, it's about time, posted on January 10, 2022 at 06:54:48
dark_dave56
Audiophile

Posts: 5296
Location: Ohio
Joined: August 29, 2019
I haven't really been adding or modifying any of my rigs for a while now. I keep picking-up some new vinyl here and there, but the gear isn't changing.

I've got a drawer full of carts, some NOS, some need styli (or might--I need to put them under the scope). I've got a couple NOS A/T 440 MLa/b and a couple Grados Gold/Silver I could try. I'll have to check to see which Stanton that is (it's not handy ATM).

Cold today, and getting colder, rather than warmer, so maybe I'll hide in the audio room later. The last of Christmas came down yesterday--I grew-up with a bunch of Serbian Orthodox, so I leave some stuff up until their Christmas--Jan 7th.


"So I talk to the night, I head for the light, try and hold it on the road. Thank God for the man who put
the white lines on the highway"--a very dear friend for decades Michael Stanley (Gee)--RIP

 

I'm an AT fan. Go with the MLb., posted on January 10, 2022 at 06:56:27
ghost of olddude55
Audiophile

Posts: 21288
Joined: July 14, 2017
Tracks like nobody's bidness.

The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?

 

Not the same, but a decent table, posted on January 10, 2022 at 09:28:03
M3 lover
Audiophile

Posts: 6134
Location: SW Mich
Joined: May 29, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
July 4, 2007
Many years ago I had to downsize my system. I found a Rotel RP 3000 which looked like a reasonable design. I used it for more than a year and had an overall good impression. It appeared to be well made and the arm possibly influenced by SME. It was quiet and dependable and seemed to be a bit of a sleeper since Rotel was not well known for turntables.

"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk

 

About that Stanton..., posted on January 12, 2022 at 12:45:03
dark_dave56
Audiophile

Posts: 5296
Location: Ohio
Joined: August 29, 2019
It's a 681EEE. As for the arm, it was manufactured by Jelco for Rotel, and is basically almost identical to the 250ST. I've got to put the Stanton under the scope and check for wear, but if the care taken with the table by the PO is any indication, it is probably in good shape (I have the original wood box and all accessories/tools that came with the cart, as well).

All of my vinyl has been cleaned--ultrasonic and/or RCM wet cleaning, and yes I dry clean before each play. Got the full ZeroStat system too. I make my own record cleaning solutions, as well. I use LAST products for stylus cleaning/maintenance.

I intend to stick with MM/MI on this table. I have all LOMC carts that I use on my SOTA Sapphire (SME 309 arm) and my heavily-modded LP12 (Ittok arm). LOMC carts are (2) Dynavector 23K RS (rebuilt by SS--ruby cantilevers), a Sumiko Blackbird, A/T ART9, and a Dynavector xx-2 MKII. I have two heavily-modded Jolida JD9 phono preamps to support the MC carts, but also purchased a Pro-Ject Tube Box DS2 and matching Power Box DS2 linear PS a while back. The two Dual CS5000 tables are currently running an AT150MLX and AT440MLa.

Currently fairly happy with everything TT-wise. Thoughts?


"So I talk to the night, I head for the light, try and hold it on the road. Thank God for the man who put
the white lines on the highway"--a very dear friend for decades Michael Stanley (Gee)--RIP

 

you can do better, posted on January 13, 2022 at 03:12:59
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 5705
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
the 681 is legendary because of it's tracking ability and wide usage on radio stations by the thousands (probably because of the damping/dusting brush), but it's a moving iron cart and I never thought it was one of the better carts - too much inductance in the windings and it just sounded a bit funny compared to others and the better 881 and equivalent sister Pickering's. My 4000 is a blast of goodness and I'm going to miss it when it's gone, it's my last one.

I wouldn't mess with anything other than a new MM for the table, possible vinyl damage is not worth the risk. Most people are using the still in business AT carts although I was never thrilled with their sound and the comparisons were made using my Quad electrostats and I'm very picky. I've had different Signets all the way up the 440 AT's. My MC's are on a different table, Accuphase Talisman Fidelity Research. I will say that AT's do sound good and the tracking is excellent. The other ones to consider I can't remember their names because the recent flood destroyed many papers I've saved listing the contenders of new ones.

There are a couple guys here who may know which are the better recent MM's beside AT's as I've seen them give their praise before although you can't go Wrong with AT's

EDIT- I just remembered one of names of carts- HANA. Many accolades



 

The Stanton cart is not on the Rotel table right now..., posted on January 13, 2022 at 04:37:07
dark_dave56
Audiophile

Posts: 5296
Location: Ohio
Joined: August 29, 2019
...it came with the table, but I mounted a NOS Shure M97xe that I had lying around, just for S&Gs. I had bought a "lot" of them from a store-closing (on the cheap) a few years back. I even grabbed a couple JICO SAS styli for them (same deal). That was before they went through the roof, JICO had supply issues, and Shure bailed on the cart business.

I've got a couple NOS Grado Silver 1 and Gold 1 carts lying around too--from the same "going out of business sale". I know about their infamous "Grado hum" on certain tables, so I don't know if they'd work.

I've heard of HANA, but never "heard" a HANA cart. A MC cart that has been recommended to me in the past was ZYX, but I've never heard one of those either. It's tough, unless you know someone that owns one--no dealers around to demo anything, anymore.


"So I talk to the night, I head for the light, try and hold it on the road. Thank God for the man who put
the white lines on the highway"--a very dear friend for decades Michael Stanley (Gee)--RIP

 

the Zyx, posted on January 13, 2022 at 06:06:38
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 5705
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
the guy and company who designed the Accuphase AC2 that I've had (3 different ones) went on to design and build the Zyx. There is something about the coils and the winding directions and other stuff I've long forgotten. My most recent NOS one was doing regular MC duty for me and when moving back in after the flood the tonearm went on an unintended ride across the patter and broke the Sapphire pipe cantilever pissing me off to no end.

It was once top rated on TAS and I was always thrilled with it.

Godammit. That's when I spent a few hours mounting my Talisman and that made me feel better anyway. I haven't checked Zyx out lately but I would highly recommend their carts. Incredibly good. Good luck and hope you enjoy whatever you decide, the guys here are very knowledgeable for sure



 

"the tonearm went on an unintended ride across the patter and broke the Sapphire pipe cantilever", posted on January 13, 2022 at 06:44:34
dark_dave56
Audiophile

Posts: 5296
Location: Ohio
Joined: August 29, 2019
Don't you hate when that happens? If you're really into vinyl, you've messed-up at least one cart/stylus over the years--it happens. If you say "never", you're either lying, or your TT is for "decorative purposes only".

I whacked one of my Dynavector 23K RS. Fortunately, it was right before I was sending it off to be re-tipped, so I didn't feel soooo bad, but it still pissed me off, for sure. Mine was up-there in hours/age, and I had recently purchased a second one that I knew needed to be re-tipped, so they both went off to SS together--they even "cut me some slack" doing two of the same cart for the same customer. Lesson learned--at my age, ALWAYS put on your glasses before f**king with the TT!

I may have to check-out a ZYX for the SOTA. I don't even know what price-range they're running-in right now. IIRC, the guy that recommended them had paid somewhere around $1,000-1,200 for his, but that was a while back (several/maybe 5 or so years ago).


"So I talk to the night, I head for the light, try and hold it on the road. Thank God for the man who put
the white lines on the highway"--a very dear friend for decades Michael Stanley (Gee)--RIP

 

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