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New Turntable

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Richardl60 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 12:27pm

I went through with my purchase in February of an MRM Source, a substantial 5 point sprung belt drive deck from around 1984 or thereabouts.

 

The solid oak plinth is in good condition, the lid I was horrible a smoked design (from STD I believe) which I upgraded with a custom made clear acrylic lid. Top plate is in reasonable condition but may try and clean it at some stage.

 

The deck is a little heavier than my 17kg Luxman; the gold plated solid brass platter I think is 7.5kg on its own.

 

Initially having installed my new Audiomods V I wasn’t blown away by the Source which for whatever reason has taken a little time to settle down sound wise or maybe the rest of my system was off the pace (which has happened from time to time).

 

The Luxman did some things very well, piece of cake to use, instant start up, looked great and some material sounds great, particularly certain vocals and some bass drums and similar worked really well.  There was a feeling that there was something missing and a certain colouration in mid bass and some midband areas albeit improved some years ago with the achromat replacing the OE rubber mat.  Given the deck sits around 2 feet from a bass driver this could of course be feedback of some description despite best efforts to isolate.

 

After some weeks listening to the Source, the Luxman went to another lucky new owner (sadly in many ways).

 

What does the Source Audiomods V, XX2-2 sound like, well great actually.

 

In use the platter does take time to get up to speed, around 8 seconds so a gentle finger to the platter helps and generally drop the album to a spinning platter - felt mat at the moment and tend place and remove albums whilst spinning.

 

Whilst never an issue the hum even lower than it was before have to be far higher than I would ever list to anything before any hum is noticeable.  Also when the stylus hits the record the drop’is crisper and quieter as is surface noise already low and non-obtrusive, groove roar also lower. Great!

 

The Source I would describe as more analogue, warmer, sweeter with less listening long session fatigue and more natural set against the Luxman which is  perhaps more digital (CD) in sound.

 

The naturalness comes out in all areas.  Bass is more weighty, more textured and a lot better on sustained notes which remain clean and uncoloured with power but without being the slightest bit boomy which you can feel as well as hear. 

 

Mid-band is again very natural and seamlessly knitted with the higher and lower frequencies.  Vocals are crisp and well separated but again with texture and retains the rawness when there (e.g John Foggarty) and cleaned up George Ezras vocals on his first album which never sounded right (vinyl or CD).

 

Higher frequency again mirror the comments already made, cymbals shimmer without being glassy in any way.

 

It was noticeable that when winding the volume up the sound doesn’t change in nature at all it just gets louder and scale increases as you should expect; another key feature is the huge scale and size on the Source without becoming ruffled and never sounds loud as such.  Those few recordings when the artist knocks the mic are less noticeable too/more controlled.

 

Dynamics and scale are improved and apparent peaks in the mid bass and mid band appear to have been eliminated and sounds as if there is no upper ceiling for peaks and in reality less hi-fi and perhaps whilst less obvious certainly more satisfying long term.  Low level detail is enhanced and seems more integrated and one final observation is that differences between recordings and presentation are more obvious, not in a bad way but seems to carry less sonic signature of its own. 

 

By comparison the Luxman was lighter and more forward in presentation and in some ways liken the differences between a normal album vs an Analogue Productions one.  The Luxman sounds a little more digital whilst the Source more analogue, being warmer, smoother, sweeter etc.  I hadn’t taken to my trial of a few Analogue Production albums that much but these do now sound really good, quiet, controlled, dynamic, detailed but natural.

 

Whilst all of my cables are solid silver and a number of my plugs are silver plated I would go on to say that perhaps the resultant sound now carries the best aspects of copper set against the previous presentation of the worst (pre-burn in) aspects of silver (plated copper in particular), i.e. did sound a little detached, thin and forward (i.e. on the Luxman) whereas now everything is gelling together as it does on a well-engineered and burned in Solid Silver cables.

 

Is the Source perfect?  No nothing is.  It was always my intention to migrate to an Orbe SE but that idea is shelved permanently though are a few tweaks still to look at: platter mat, VTA and loading.  I would also like to upgrade the 24v power supply, this is a basic supply and there were two beefier supplies available and I think I have a spec for one of these and have now started research in to having one custom made.  The beefier supplies are said to enhance soundstage and power...will have to see on that.

 

I am not looking to step directly in to the direct vs belt drive as in my opinion; it is likely to be down to how well executed they are, in this case very well.  Reading some on-line comments back from when first launched The Source was said to muller another well-known Scottish turntable and compare well with bass performance of the top end Technics at the time, which considering it was c£800 new 35 years ago and apparently losing money at that price too should not be too surprising.

 

I will try and post a couple pictures for anyone interested.

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morris_minor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 4:12pm
That looks an interesting purchase, Richard! Some pics'd be nice Wink.

This isn't something I'd ever really noticed at the time - pictures I've seen on t'web have a kind of "fluted plinth" -  bit like a piece of chippendale (the furniture, not the, er, entertainment guys!).

If I'd have had the spare cash I'd have taken that Luxman off you in a flash, though . . .  ErmmCry
Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Drewan77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 6:10pm
Congratulations Richard - a good write up too.

You say you are considering a better 24v power supply - it may be an 'off-the-wall' suggestion but why not give John C a call - he adapted me a 24v AC version of the PSU1 to run one of my turntables & it works perfectly, replacing the fairly basic original wall wort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 9:40pm
Must admit my ignorance but sounds very impressive from what you've written and the info at VE.



Edited by Fatmangolf - 01 Jun 2018 at 9:48pm
Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2018 at 4:16pm
thanks, from a January post Graham advised he didnt think he could help and appeared a a little sceptical over the wisdom of going for the Source.  I am awaiting an electrical test meter I have ordered and will confirm the voltage/current form my power supply, and that of my brothers original more substantial one before looking at other options.

Good thought anyway I am sure I will end up with something of an upgrade 
.q
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 5:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 5:04pm
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