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The engineering refinements have resulted in heartening gains in fuel economy, while maintaining performance. Features of the gripper: SME has produced "a tonearm that has all of the 12" arm's theoretical advantages and none of its disadvantages," MF said. Warmest epoch in hundreds of millions of years, but began cooling midway into epoch, beginning Icehouse Earth conditions. Times as low as 12 minutes have been cited, but these require large numbers of satellites in low orbit to achieve continuous coverage, and the projectiles will enter the atmosphere at low velocity, reducing lethality. The risk for subsequent carcinoma is not confined to the segment of the breast involved by the in situ change.

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Used Instruments

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How things function at Tour2India4Health Group: Antiskating force is applied with a calibrated filament-and-spring mechanism, and overhang is adjusted by means of the sliding-track mount that typifies most contemporary SMEs. It was extremely quiet, with stunning resolution and clarity, and had an uncanny ability to reproduce the tonal and dynamic elements of deep bass notes. It is not leaving my listening room," declared BD.

The Spiral Groove SG1. A universal version with standard arm mount is also now available. It offers superb fit and finish, with a clean, spare bearing cradle and a smoothly solid pickup-head socket.

According to Art, "The Schick tonearm is an outstanding value and easily the most accessible transcription-length arm on the market. AD bought the new headshell for himself and reported that, compared to his wooden Yamamoto headshell, the Schick offered "far tighter, cleaner bass. This unipivot's removable armwand is made, on a 3D printer, of an epoxy-like resin said to impede the transfer of vibrations.

MF was very impressed with the new model's smooth, transparent, well-balanced sound, likening it in those regards to his reference Continuum Cobra tonearm, and declaring the Classic 3D the logical upgrade for present owners of the JMW Memorial arm: Nonetheless, he enthused over its lush midrange, ultra-smooth top end, and rock-solid imaging and soundstaging: Inner detail was outstanding.

The background is blacker and the arm seems to float an infinite well of inner and low-level details. What BD found most impressive was the "obvious-once-you-see-it" touch of the small V-groove machined into the top of the headshell. This allows the user to more easily gauge headshell tilt while setting azimuth. Its unipivot bearing, and the jeweled cup within its bearing housing, have been improved. A weighted collar has been added to the counterweight, and can be rotated asymmetrically for azimuth adjustment.

Though lateral instability remained a problem, any adverse effects were inaudible, said Mikey. The TA1L has an S-shaped aluminum armtube, and its removable aluminum headshell is anodized black. Cup-and-point bearings are used for vertical movement, while the horizontal bearing is a traditional ball-and-race sort; AD found all bearings to be free of both friction and excess play.

A spring-actuated antiskating device is fitted, while downforce is applied statically. AD also noted an inaccuracy in the TA1L's installation jig, advising prospective users: AD tried the 12" TA; his only complaint was of "noticeably high" residual friction in the arm's vertical bearings, a problem described by the US distributor as limited to only the earliest samples of the arm.

But he enthused over what he described as "one of the finest brand-specific alignment gauges ever supplied with a tonearm. The PU7 seems better finished than its forebear, though creature comforts are thin on the ground: It uses Clearaudio's proprietary Direct Wire, a five-conductor configuration of copper with Teflon insulation, implemented as a direct run from the cartridge clips to a 1.

The Ovation-Clarify combo had a resolving, nuanced, musical sound, said EL. See listing for Clearaudio Ovation in "Turntables. Versatile and user-friendly, it comes with a removable cable, a plug-in headshell for use with standard-mount phono cartridges, and a simple, accurate installation jig.

Compared to the EMT and Schick Tonearm, the Ortofon lacked some scale, presence, and impact, but sounded consistently smooth, serene, and uncolored, with no apparent stressing on dynamic peaks, said AD.

See the Rega RP3 entry in "Turntables. See HR's review in this issue. The armtube, of metal and wood, has threaded weights for adjusting azimuth, and coarse and fine degrees of vertical tracking force; provisions for applying antiskating bias are not included.

AD enthused about the combination's sound. It uses a reverse-missionary bearing with a hardened tungsten-carbide point and a machined and hardened-steel set-screw for a cup. A quick-connect plug makes for easy removal and easy cartridge swapping, but as with all Harry Weisfeld designs, there is no antiskating mechanism. Unlike the original JMW Memorial, the 9" arm's main bearing is directly grounded to the plinth and the stabilizing ring surrounding the arm's bearing housing is fixed.

The lack of a damping well results in a "Parkinson's-like trembling of the JMW when you use the finger lift or lower the arm via the cueing mechanism," which MF found disconcerting. Nevertheless, the arm appeared to be extremely stable: There are currently no Class C or D tonearms listed. K Origin Illustrious 3C. Deletions Continuum Audio Labs Cobra no longer available.

Whether or not because of those qualities, the lowish-compliance PC-1 Magnum Opus dazzled Mikey by producing "an adrenaline rush of dynamic energy. In the end, MF answered his own question: Though its tonal balance was slightly lean, the Pi's overall frequency extension and tracking ability were impressive, said MF.

It uses 12 magnets, a 24K-gold coil assembly, and a boron cantilever with a Micro HD stylus. The unusual specs include a high weight of 17gm and a high output of 0. Though it lacked ultimate soundstage width, the Goldfinger Statement produced a "generous, voluminous midrange" and had outstanding dynamics, bottom-end extension and authority, and transient speed and clarity, said MF. It has a high impedance of 24 ohms, a high output of 1. The EMT's overall sound was open, clear, and transparent, with above-average presence, body, and color, and an outstanding sense of momentum and flow.

Examining the EMT with a microscope revealed its distinctly small, sharp, spherical tip, which, AD conjectured, may be the reason for the stylus's exceptionally low groove noise.

For special systems only, as it is a complete pickup head , not just a cartridge. The low-compliance Fuuga retains the semicylindrical body of the best-known Miyabi models, but exchanges their trademark alnico magnets for neodymium types. The Kai is a low-output 0. Its alumite body is topped with a plate of titanium, resulting in a highish mass of The Purpleheart NS is among the latter, and features a metal mounting plate with tapped holes and a solid-boron cantilever with an elliptical stylus.

Specs include a ohm internal resistance, 0. In MF's system, the Purpleheart NS produced "rich, supple sound with a tube-like tonality and musical flow," albeit with "less-than-full expression of macrodynamics.

It has a body machined from a solid billet of aluminum, a diamond-coated boron cantilever, and a nude diamond stylus.

The Atlas combined the Titan i 's detail and transient speed with the Kleos's warmth and smoothness, said MF. As in all Lyra designs, the motor is built into the cartridge's body via a wire suspension held in place by a tiny screw. Compared to the Atlas, the Etna lacked dynamic drive and spatial resolution, but produced a harmonically rich, full-bodied, ultradetailed, and natural sound, said MF.

Compared to Miyajima's previous designs, this wood-bodied, low-output, moderately low-compliance stereo MC cartridge surprised MF by being a "faster performer that manages to considerably extend the top end without making it sound thin or bright. Like Miyajima's Premium Mono, the Shilabe uses a patented "cross-ring" construction that centers the generator's fulcrum within the coil.

Though it lacked the soundstaging and imaging of the Shun Mook Signature, the Shilabe had a sound that was "full-bodied, deep, and extremely well-defined," and offered "superbly coherent transient and harmonic presentation from top to bottom," said MF. AD also enjoyed the Shilabe's "consistently present, colorful, and downright chunky" sound. Compared to Miyajima Lab's Premium Be, the Zero produced a similarly big, rich, meaty sound, but offered improvements in image focus, clarity, transient detail, and bass control, said MF.

It's infinitely better than any other mono cartridge I've heard," he summed up. It has a curved titanium body, a boron cantilever, and a nude Replicant stylus. Compared with the Lyra Atlas, the Anna sounded slightly warm and lacked bottom-end tightness and impact, but was more texturally refined, said MF.

That and other refinements add up to a level of performance that coaxed from MF this observation: Recommended tracking force is 3gm for the low-compliance SPU 95th Anniversary; the stylus profile is elliptical, the output 0. AD enjoyed his time with the new SPU: Two bright-blue tubular LEDs run vertically through the metal body's horizontal slats, giving the cartridge a unique look.

Also unlike most cartridges, the SG provides controls for setting vertical tracking angle and azimuth. Though it could sound somewhat cool and lacking in physicality, with a lean midrange and stingy sustain, the SG produced incredibly clean, fast top-to-bottom transient attack, deep bass, airy highs, and spectacular transparency.

It has a wood body, a ruby cantilever, and a line-contact diamond stylus; its unique construction allows for adjustment of azimuth, vertical tracking angle, and stylus rake angle, all from the cartridge body. Though it lacked some resolution and detail, the Sussurro was an exceptionally quiet and smooth tracker, and offered a slightly warm and lush overall sound, said MF.

Its moderate weight of Though it lacked the full-bodied sound of the more expensive Lyra Anna, the Aventurin was fast, clean, and natural, with a well-extended treble, solid bass, and rich midrange, said MF. Nevertheless, output is specified as 0.

The Proteus sports a PA-profile stylus at the end of its boron cantilever, and the moderate-compliance motor is said to perform well at a VTF of 2gm. Its coils are glued right to the cantilever, just behind the stylus. Schröder recommends pairing it with a step-up transformer of moderately high inductance; AD had best results with a borrowed NOS Neumann Bv In common with other MMs, the Maestro V2 has relatively high output 3.

According to MF, the Maestro V2 "didn't have the speed or the high-frequency extension of a good moving-coil," but it offered a great combination of "midrange richness, openness, and detail," and it "tracked and traced well" every record MF threw at it. Because the stylus and cantilever are called on to move far less mass, the benefits are said by some to include less record wear and more faithful replication of the vinyl-encoded analog wave.

Deccas in all but name, and all featuring the same Deccades-old sorry "positive-scanning" design in which the stylus is fastened directly to the generator mechanism. Basic specs include high output 5mV , moderate downforce 1. He also praised the Maroon for having "a point of view: It stressed detail, presence, touch, and texture.

But his most lavish praise was for the Maroon's forcefulness: Compared to the Helikon, the Kleos had a warmer sound, with greater delicacy and detail. While it lacked the resolution and dynamics of Lyra's Titan, something that just keeps it from Class A, the Kleos combined a neutral tonal balance with airy highs, a rich midrange, well-controlled lows, a wide soundstage, and solid, three-dimensional images.

Compared to the Shilabe, the Takumi has a slightly lower output 0. Sonically, however, the Takumi more closely resembled its more expensive sibling, with a meaty and full-bodied sound that was only slightly less detailed, said MF. It produced "big, pure, meaty, midband mono physicality, and remarkable depth of soundstage," said MF, who feels Class A would be a more accurate rating.

Recommended downforce is 3. In addition to its "near-total rejection of surface noise," the Premium Mono provided a forceful sound with "fine impact" and an "excellent sense of scale," said AD. In short, the Spirit Mono is true mono. According to HR, the low-compliance, moderate-output 0. Images of musicians were realistically scaled, and there was always a noticeable sense of space. As AD observed, "This is among the hallowed few cartridges that really communicate everything that's special about s and '60s mono LPs from the likes of Verve, Prestige, Clef, [and] Columbia.

AD is weirded out by the fact that, when one sums the resistors required for both the left and right channels, the total is ohms. HR found the Carmen to be "conspicuously chameleon-like" in his system, exhibiting a different character with each different tonearm, turntable, and phono preamplifier he used it with.

He especially enjoyed the Carmen when it was partnered with his vintage Thorens TD turntable and SME II tonearm, enjoying the combination's "sparkle and dynamics.

This consistently colorful, well-textured, engaging-sounding cartridge built on the Denon's sense of impact while taming its forward presentation. It rips their beating heart from their chests, shows it to them, finishes them off, then chases their souls and drags them down to hell.

It uses a two-piece aluminum cantilever to drive a cross-shaped armature wound with several turns of fine-gauge copper magnet wire. Its square-shank nude diamond stylus is ground to a spherical tip. Though the Denon offered excellent bass depth and impact with an overall exciting and "pleasantly forward" presentation, its high-frequency response peak made bright recordings sound "a bit more forward than ideal.

Performance with the a stock spherical stylus tip squeaks into low Class B, he adds, saying that "apart from various Miyajimas and the always-recommendable Miyabi 47, it's hard for me to think of another standard non-pickup-head type of cartridge that has this much impact and drama.

Recommended load impedance is anything greater than ohms; recommended tracking force is 1. Thanks to the Dynavector's clarity, immediacy, and presence, "music was consistently more dramatic and involving, while never sounding unnecessarily harsh, aggressive, or forward," said SM.

One of ST's favorite cartridges. More money can buy more drama, impact, scale, and transparency. But the Dynavector 10X5 should give you most of what I think you need at a bargain price.

Although not a single-coil cartridge, its design is true mono inasmuch as the coils are physically oriented to respond to only lateral modulations. Output is a healthy 5mV, the recommended load is 47k ohms, and recommended VTF is 1.

When used with the Thorens TD turntable, the Nagaoka had a slightly forward, somewhat cool overall sound, but outclassed the TD 's stock Audio-Technica AT95E in terms of image solidity, detail resolution, and bass extension, said MF. With the Blue mounted in a Music Hall Ikura turntable and arm, BJR found that "the transients and bloom of the string quartet were reproduced with no trace of coloration or smear.

SM declared the 2M Red's dynamic range "vastly wider" than that of the less expensive Ortofon OM 5E, and praised the new cartridge's clean, fast, grainless sound. It has a textured-paint finish, attractive white-oak endcaps, and input and output resistances of 3 and ohms, respectively.

Outwardly identical to the T1, the Hommage T2 takes the same uber-perfectionist approach and applies it to EMT's high-output, high-impedance cartridges and pickup heads: All internal wiring is done by hand, point to point. While it couldn't quite match the bottom-octave punch, definition, and extension of the Pass Labs XP, the Ypsilon produced a more transparent, silky, airy overall sound, said MF.

High-quality parts include 10 ultralow-noise transistors, balanced-current capacitors, inductance-free polystyrene capacitors, thin-film metal resistors, gold-plated printed circuit boards, and a shield of copper-plated iron.

Internal jumpers allow the user to select among three levels of gain, standard or Neumann RIAA, a subsonic filter, and various bass settings. Though it lacked some bass control, the MCCI produced "liquidity and harmonic richness along with warmth, speed, drive, three-dimensionality, and pitch-black backgrounds," said Mikey. On the test bench, the MCCI exhibited low noise and low distortion. Recordings made using the Seta Model L's optional RIAA-equalized outputs were "models of clarity, definition, tonal accuracy, detail resolution, and spatial coherence," said MF.

Compared to the Liberty B2B-1, the Seta Model L lacked some midbass energy, but did a better job of preserving recorded ambience, said JA, who also admired the Channel D's superb measured performance. Four all-FET gain stages use internal feedback, with passive RIAA equalization; the dual-mono design uses no global feedback and no step-up transformers. Connecting, configuring, and using the Phono II was a simple pleasure. The overall sound was extremely fast and transparent, with crystalline highs, clean attack transients, and a full bottom end, said Mikey.

However, while the Phono II was generally quiet, it produced some odd mechanical noises when partnered with certain cartridges. Though it lacked some bass definition and dynamic impact, the Trumpet produced a relaxed, graceful sound, with an excellent sense of space, a rich midrange, and generous sustain, said Mikey. It uses three Electro-Harmonix dual-triode tubes, which provide a two-stage, zero-feedback gain circuit, and a cathode-follower final stage for low output impedance.

Like Kondo's matching Overture integrated amplifier, the GE-1 uses high-quality parts throughout, including silver wiring, handmade capacitors, bespoke resistors, a solid-copper ground plate, and a tuned chassis made from a combination of steel, brass, and aluminum. Though it was leaner and less boldly colorful than AD's Shindo Masseto, the GE-1 sounded more open and modern, with a pleasantly extended top end and exceptional senses of scale and drive.

When substituted for both the CineMag Sky 30 transformer and the phono section of his Shindo Masseto preamplifier, the Decade presented AD with exceptional clarity, believable colors and textures, and "satisfying" force: Considered on its own, the Lehmannaudio is easily the most impactful solid-state phono preamplifier I've ever experienced. Rather than using traditional switches, the Monophonic's equalization settings are arrived at with two stepless, continuously variable potentiometers, thus offering far greater potential for fine tuning and ease of use.

Included is a list of suggested settings for the EQ schemes of various record labels, including the modern RIAA standard. The sound was "stunningly clear, yet very colorful and well textured," and Fehlauer's suggested EQ settings were almost always dead on, said Art.

And it made my record collection seem even bigger than it is by making it even more listenable than it was. With its "upfront transient speed, clarity, and focus," the BPS was "a more neutral, accurate phono preamp than the lush, romantic VPS," said Mikey. Overall, the BPS sacrificed sustain and richness for attack and rhythm. Construction quality is first rate, top-shelf parts are used throughout, and the stout, heavy chassis is beautifully finished.

In the JC 3, designer John Curl favored purity over adjustability, offering minimal loading options: In addition, the JC 3 has a built-in AC line conditioner, and its power supplies are modeled after those found in the extremely quiet JC 2 line stage. Though it lacked the dynamics and transparency of either the Pass Labs XP or Ypsilon VPS, the JC 3 combined superb musical grip and control with a timbrally and texturally ideal midrange.

JA noted superb measured performance. Plus version adds variable cartridge loading for the MC input. Designed and made by Peter B.

Gain is switchable between 60 and 70dB, and the user can select among six different resistive loads, ranging from 50 ohms to 47k ohms; input and output jacks are XLR only. As for the Olympia PXi's sound, the prospective owner is advised: The terms bass extension and bass control took on new meanings. The single-ended, hybrid EA uses three dual-triode tubes per channel, and its hefty outboard power supply is built around a 5U4G rectifier tube.

In addition to praising its very quiet performance, MF noted the EA's "textural delicacy and detail" and its knack for delivering "rich, saturated harmonic colors.

Even more gain can be had, albeit at a slight cost in noise, by substituting for the PA-1A's 12AU7 tubes a spare pair of 12AX7 tubes, also supplied. Capacitive and resistive loading are user adjustable, and a mute switch is included. Build quality is, as MF wrote, "impressive by any standard," and tube life is expected to be in the neighborhood of 10, hours.

MF praised the PA-1A's "glorious, mesmerizingly rich midrange, and the overall drive and musical flow for which tubed phono preamps are renowned," while noting "the less-than-taut-and-punchy bottom end for which they're also known.

The Aurieges Equalizer Amplifier is supplied in two boxes of identical size: Its tubes are now pricey and difficult to find. JA notes an unflat RIAA response and an extraordinarily high output impedance at low frequencies, which will make system optimization difficult. Its four-layer circuit board uses a five-point, gel-based, floating suspension system derived from the Moon Evolution P preamplifier, while the power supply features a high-quality toroidal transformer and multiple filtering and voltage-regulation stages.

DIP switches on the bottom panel provide unprecedented configurability: The LP had a cool, dry overall sound with exceptional transparency, clean transients, muscular macrodynamics, and delicate microdynamics, but lacked harmonic richness, soundstage size, and top-end air, said MF.

Each Phono Block itself comprises two heavily shielded, individual subchassis, one for the power supply and one for the audio stage, linked by the front and rear panels. The Phono Block offers one pair of inputs, two parallel pairs of outputs, a choice of three grounding schemes, and a built-in white-noise generator.

Plug-in cards allow the user to select loading and gain. Like Sutherland's battery-powered designs, the Phono Block had an uncanny ease and purity but a more realistic and energetic sense of timing and pace, and created a larger, more enveloping soundstage, said BD.

The equalized signal feeds a Russian triode tube to provide the necessary output gain, loaded by a Hashimoto isolation transformer; the additional gain required by moving-coil cartridges is provided by an amorphous-core Lundahl transformer with 1: Though it lacked some top-end extension and low-end impact, the Thrax produced a rich overall sound with a well-controlled bottom and fully fleshed-out midrange, said MF. It was also incredibly quiet, with enough gain 60dB for MC cartridges of relatively low output.

That one is for the gain and equalization; the Viva's slightly larger, heavier enclosure contains the tube-regulated power supply. For now, that vacuum has been filled by the loan of the Ypsilon MCL step-up transformer, the model number of which derives from the transformer's 26 x turns ratio. Its custom double-coil transformers are shielded with mu-metal and potted in 10mm-thick enclosures coated with soft iron-nickel.

Though it lacked the "shimmering clarity" of the TruLife Audio Reikon, the Ypsilon MC10 produced an "exceptionally expansive and deep" soundstage with solid, dimensional, life-size images, said MF. Compared to the Music First step-up trannie, the MC16 sounded more open, transparent, extended, and three-dimensional, said MF. Its curvaceous, retro-modern exterior doesn't allow for front-panel controls, but the rear panel is clean, spacious, and logical.

Separate moving-magnet and moving-coil inputs permit the simultaneous connection of two tonearms. The Zesto had an addictive, warm overall sound, with plenty of detail, impact, and grace, said MF. Plugs with custom values are available without charge to the unit's original owner. Use with bright-sounding cartridges discouraged. It uses a pair of CineMag transformers, switchable between low- and high-gain settings.

Build quality was excellent, with all electrical joints made using an American Beauty resistive soldering station. Compared to the built-in step-up in AD's Shindo Masseto preamplifier, the CineMag was more colorful and punchy, with better timbral distinctions between instruments, approaching the performance of the much more expensive Auditorium 23 Hommage T1. CineMag phono transformer is switchable between high and moderately low gains turns ratios of 1: Compared to the internal Lundahl transformers in AD's Shindo preamplifier, the CineMag offered greater impact, immediacy, and emotional intensity; compared to the Silvercore One-to-Ten transformer, the CineMag sounded "just as dynamic and punchy, but was also a little bit richer and far, far bigger," he said.

The is borderline Class A. RIAA equalization is applied actively with the negative feedback loop. There are no loading options.

V, the Reflex M offered superior image solidity, transparency, and top-end extension, said MF. It incorporates a pair of common dual-triode tubes for phono gain, but uses a CR-type equalization circuit rather than the more traditional negative-feedback type.

A specially made "orient-core" power transformer is employed to minimize hum and noise. Despite the Leema's not delivering quite the levels of substance, color, and natural texture as the best and most expensive alternatives, AD was satisfied with it, and noted its distinctive ability to pull musical sense from dense recordings: It has a fixed input impedance of 47k ohms and can be configured to provide appropriate gain for moving-magnet 39dB or moving-coil 53dB cartridges.

Despite its modest design and price, the LFD was "a sonically refined, musically involving, downright fun piece of gear," with a nice sense of touch, good weight and impact, and beautifully rich timbral colors, said AD.

In addition to its chassis-mounted RCA input and output jacks, the B2B-1 provides single input and output XLR jacks for use as a fully differential mono phono preamp. Jumpers offer five choices of resistive loading and two choices of gain.

Though it lacked the Lejonklou Slipski's midrange richness, the B2B-1 produced an extremely quiet, authoritative, ultradynamic sound with deep bass, clean transients, fast attacks, and precise images.

The B2B-1 is one of the best-measuring phono preamps in JA's experience. Very nice," he said. Sold factory-direct with a two-week return policy. A pair of dual-triode tubes produces the gain, while a second, direct-coupled pair drives the output. Resistive and capacitive loading are selectable via rear-panel DIP switches. Though it lacked the slam and intensity of Manley's much more expensive Steelhead, the Chinook had a subtly warm overall sound, with clean transient attacks, generous sustain and decay, reasonably taut bass, and good soundstaging and imaging, said MF.

Three turns-ratio options 1: The SPA-II ran very warm but was exceptionally quiet; it produced sweet highs, a warm midrange, and well-controlled, full-bodied bass, said MF. Fit and finish were rough.

The True Mono SUT worked well with every mono cartridge AD had on hand and exhibited a "tremendous sense of scale and cavernously deep bass response. It had a smooth, well-balanced overall sound with a slightly warm midrange, a moderately deep soundstage, and fair bass extension.

Mikey found that the MCP2's overall smoothness made long listening sessions easy, but turning the volume up too far resulted in excessive glare. Gain and loading options are adjustable. This phono pre lacks the drive and impact of the best units I've heard, and is also slightly short on texture, but it's wonderfully quiet and pure-sounding, with a nice sense of flow, sums up AD.

He advises owners of early-production units to call the factory to determine if their Insights are in need of an upgrade: SM was won over by the Statement's dynamic and rather bold, forward sound, especially when compared with his reference, the more reticent NAD PP Above all, SM was impressed by the Statement's high value: It's detailed, sweet, and dynamic, and flexible enough to accommodate almost any MM or MC cartridge.

Powered by a 16V wall wart, the Mani is built around a pair of op-amps, and provides user-adjustable DIP switches for gain and loading, with settings to suit moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges. In HR's system, the Mani "threw a wide, deep, detailed soundstage that tended to get shadowy as it reached its outer limits.

It produced very quiet backgrounds and reasonably good dynamics, but bass extension and punch were only okay, its imaging was slightly diffuse, and its sound suffered overall from a slight metallic haze. The Tektron's power supply uses an onboard mains transformer with an EZ80 full-wave rectifier tube for the rail voltage and a silicon rectifier bridge for the heater voltages.

Fit and finish were excellent. The sound was "workmanlike," with a slightly bright tonal balance, decent musical flow, and a nice sense of presence, said AD. That's how SM described the sound of this small, dark, Taiwanese phono preamplifier, available for sale through the mail-order megalodon of your choice. So what do you want for 20 bucks plus shipping: Included in the owner's manual are several pages of thorough EQ recommendations for various labels and two pages of helpful tips on record labels and matrix numbers.

Though it added a very slight veiling to the sound, the Re-Equalizer proved effective, useful, and fun. What set the EQ11 apart from other such MM-appropriate preamps are five additional, switch-selectable EQ curves for the most common types of vintage record, including those for early Columbia LPs and Decca and other 78s.

The Sentec's raison d'ĂȘtre, per HR: The purpose of the Sentec EQ11 is to make many of those differences go away. Each alignment option has its own tiny dimple into which the stylus must fit for the alignment to be perfect. Three pop-in adapters 7. A sophisticated sighting and magnification system allow the user to precisely set parallax and zenith angle. It uses a gooseneck LED lamp powered by three C batteries and a metal disc that doubles as a record weight.

Expensive, but works as advertised, said MF. It has an easy-to-read touchscreen display, a nonmagnetic case, and accurately measures a cartridge's vertical tracking force down to 0. Precise and a pleasure to use, said SM. Prices are for oz bottles: The entire cleaning and drying process is relatively quiet and takes about six minutes. He bought the review sample. The Vinyl Cleaner not only thoroughly cleaned his LPs, it significantly improved their sound, revealing nuances long locked in the grooves.

MF also noted that a centering template would be a happy addition to the package. The Outer Limit was "a pain to center. JA's preferred alignment protractor. The DBP can be used to gauge alignment accuracy at any point or points between 44 and mm from the record spindle.

It comes with five pairs of color-coded resistive plugs 10, 20, 50, , and ohms , as well as a pair of empty plugs into which an alternate resistor value can be soldered. VII Omni record-cleaning machine: With its solid idler-driven platter, refined cabinetry, and improved internal wiring, the new machine outclasses the old. After cleaning a record, AD noted clearer instrumental voices and greater low-level detail.

The new machine has at its core an off-the-shelf direct-drive record player, the tonearm of which is modified to accommodate both a fluid-evacuation system and a means of delivering and refreshing the nylon thread used to cushion the vacuum nozzle.

Machined with three sets of thin contact rails that ride on the Rega arm's counterweight stub. The sonic improvement was " amazing ," thought MF; he found the F2 gave better bass response, greater low-frequency extension and control, and an improved sense of overall weight and tonal richness. JE found just three drops sufficient to remove dirt, dust, and grime from garage-sale records, though he discovered that a subsequent wash with his VPI HW was still required to reduce groove noise to acceptable levels.

Some manufacturers caution against it, claiming it migrates up the cantilever and attracts dust, thus clogging the armature. One reader suggests applying treatment to brush rather than stylus, which would reduce the possibility of over-applying. Don't get any on the cantilever, he warned, and wait 10 seconds before playing a record. Mikey thinks he noted a slight sound-softening effect, but wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Dandy Hydraulic Record Cleaner: Dandy is an inexpensive manual record-cleaning rig that uses a proprietary cleaning solution comprising a degreasing detergent and an alcohol-based carrier, followed by a tap-water rinse. Made mostly of PVC tubing, the Dandy has a vertically mounted clamping mechanism that permits easy rotation of the secured LP. Also included are a faucet-coupling adaptor, a protractor, and a length of clear plastic tubing with a pressurized water nozzle. Dandy can make a mess.

However, the Dandy proved "terrific" for cleaning water-damaged and crudded-up records, MF concluded. Slowly squeezing and releasing the trigger produces a neutral static condition, thus removing static cling from record surfaces. Said to be good for at least 10, squeeze cycles. SM uses the Zerostat religiously: Diehard analog hobbyists will still want the versatility of more complex tools, such as the DB Systems DBP, but "the Geo-Disc is the only alignment protractor most vinyl enthusiasts will ever need," said SM.

It uses a log-ratio detector developed by Jim Fosgate for the steering-logic circuits of surround processors. Like other Nitty Gritty machines, the 2. Instead of a vacuuming "tonearm," as on the professional Keith Monks machine, the NG cleaner uses a vacuum slot, with the record cleaned by fixed, chassis-mounted "lips. Cleaning is efficient and as good as Nitty Gritty's Pro, at a significantly lower price, though it takes twice as long, cleaning each side of an LP in turn.

Don't smear the schmutz from one record to another, MF warned; he suggests manual pre-cleaning of records for best results. He found the effect of both was to produce a less colored, more detailed midband sound from LPs, as well as provide the expected reduction in surface noise.

Available directly from www. Fidgety but worth the hassle, says SM. With the spacer in place and Dynavector's DV 10X5 moving-coil cartridge mounted on his Rega P, SM heard improved clarity, impact, immediacy, and soundstage depth. For cartridges designed to play at downforces of 3. At less than half the price of the Audio Additives, the Shure is a great little tool, but the AA is easier to use, more precise, and provides an extra measure of comfort, said SM.

Three sets of slots allow cleaning of 7", 10", and 12" records. Two velvet-like brushes clean both sides of a record simultaneously as the user rotates the record within the appropriate slot.

2016 Recommended Components Turntables, Tonearms, Cartridges, etc.