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Decca London

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Mikeh View Drop Down
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Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Location: Yorkshire
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    Posted: 14 Sep 2023 at 7:14pm
Like many (most?) I enjoy occasional cartridge swapping to see if one suits my taste or mood better.  My weapons of choice are all MM, I've not ventured to the 'dark side'.  I've found a preference for classic MMs from the 70's, typically a collection of Technics EPC-205C and a Panasonic Victor U-2 e.  For my ears / system etc these produce beautiful music.  
I've read about Decca London (or more the recent London Decca just to  confuse) and have been intrigued by the description of a dynamic, live sound.  Never looked further than the price until I noticed a Decca London Gold advertised as NOS for sale at an auction house.  The price looked reasonable especially after noticing the serial number showed it to be a later, supposedly better Super Gold.  The risk of buying unseen proved worth it once I received it and could verify it tested according to specs and truly is unused (NOS).
I had to buy a mount to fit it to my Technics deck but it has proved worth it.  Setting up was simpler than expected, something the Decca is infamous for.  The small siting gap to align the cartridge is a challenge  but 2nd attempt was success to get as close to perfect as I can manage. Tracking is good and the measured tone arm resonance with Audacity shows about 7Hz which is acceptable.   
With only a few hours of play I'm starting to appreciate the beauty of the SG.  It doesn't emphasise vinyl noise amd has outstanding positioning on the soundstage.  It's not a huge leap from a Technics  EPC-205C but the extra bite or snap (whatever you call it) of guitar or drums is clear.  Playing one of my favourite live recordings, John Mayall's The Turning Point, brings Jonny Almond's sax solos to spine tingling presence...And it can only improve! The Slee system seems a perfect match to make the most of this classic piece of technology.

Glad to have joined the Decca club.

Mike

Technics sl1210gr with Victor U-2
Accession MM, Majestic + Proprius, Solo ULDE
Cambridge Audio CXC CD player
Lindemann Limetree Bridge streamer
Harbeth P3ESR XD paired with 2x REL t5x
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