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TOPSHELF

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About TOPSHELF

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  • Location
    Mortdale
  • Country
    Australia
  • First Name
    Ian

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  1. Hi Everyone, Loving the comments about all the carts here. Hi Steve I've read the Garrott Decca is the one to look out for but they would be a bit old in the tooth by now? I also read they possibly dampened the cart in some way which removed some of the dynamics the current Decca Golds are known for this apparently smoothed the top end out. If the GDG is a good step up from the P77i i'd really like to hear one i think @fullrange has one but not sure about a P77i? Keep the comments coming gents..... Cheers Ian.
  2. Hi Mark, That helps alot thanks for sharing. They really are an ugly and yes rudimentary looking cart they could have bern made by matchbox or Hornby. I know by looking at my P77i to never judge by looks alone. The Garrott brothers were clearly very skilled in their craft and the price for a rebuilt cart back in the day almost cheap. I've seen a few pop up here from time to time so i will wait and see what the future holds. Can anyone comment on the reliability of these carts? The string/wire holding the stylus at the correct sra seems to fly in the face of precision, how does one know it has stretched or moved? I get why they are made this way and it makes sense and probably adds to it's signature of sounding live and dynamic. I have essentially a unipivot arm with adjustable damping on the WTA and by all accounts could be a good match for a Decca Gold, question is now old or new? Garrott or Decca? I see more investigation is needed..... And of course some helpful advice here.
  3. I've been reading the Garrott brothers rebuilt the Decca Gold back in the day. By all accounts a tad temperamental but get it right and they sound very good. I'd love to hear from any members who have one or remember them. Cheers, Ian.
  4. To be honest I don't really know which one it could be. It's more I have a budget in mind so this would dictate this. I've had some really positive experiences buying used carts so I would be keeping an eye out in the used market over the next few months. I also have to consider the current and ever changing economic environment so purchasing anything could change.......
  5. Hi a bit late to reply here to your info. I did love the MP500 and now wish I had kept it. Not the last word in detail but sounds really nice and polite a bit like most things Japanese. I recently picked up a pair of original D81 stylus for the Stanton 881s it really is a good sounding cart with heaps of bass, wide open soundstage and a great punch with a detailed sparkling top end. I'm really happy I have that cart up and running again. It's really interesting you mention the Decca gold as it's a cart that keeps coming up whilst researching some of the carts I like and have heard. I'm now torn between a Dynavector and the Decca, I like your thoughts on the life like sound of the Decca. If a cart can pull this off without sounding shouty then I am all ears. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this cart if you get time? Thanks for the reply and keep safe. Cheers Ian.
  6. I've e really had some fun swapping carts on my new WTA and it is a nice step up from the previous classic. I'm starting to work this TT out and I've enjoyed the journey. When i heard the 881s on this table I really liked it, I liked it alot so finding a new stylus was on my mind. The D81s and cart have arrived but will have to wait till I can spend some quality time setting it all up....... Stay safe everyone.
  7. A quick update, I have had a good few days playing the Shure and it's a nice sounding cart. Detailed but not too dynamic and spacious with pretty good seperation. The gain seems lower than previous carts as i can turn the wick up. I've also managed to track another used 881s that comes with a spare D81S stylus. Looking forward to it arriving soon.
  8. Hi 08Boss, I forgot to answer your question. The MP500 is a lovely neutral sounding cart that was delicate across the frequencies. I have a tube phono, tube pre amp and speakers that are on the forging end of the listening experience. Add all these together and I just felt something was missing. One day I dug the old P77i out from a box at the back of my HiFi bits draw, I'd never given this little red cart much of a go so installed it and was quite shocked at the sound. It has it's shortcomings to my ears but is just so damn easy to listen to and tracks really well. I'd love to try another MP500 one day as it doesn't put a note out of place but before I do I'd love to try something else. Cheers Ian.
  9. As a side note I have just brought on my David Fairclough of cartridges the " Shure super sub" with a VH35HE stylus. It's actually quite good. I also may have found a replacement D81S for the Stanton! Holds breath! Washes hands.......!
  10. I agree, while the P77i could happily play to my ears in the background the Stanton is more a sit down and take notice!
  11. I've heard the original 881 replacement stylus is unobtanium? Would anyone care to comment on a suitable replacement?
  12. Must be something in the water..... I've had a carts suspension drop out too.... I suppose out of every crises comes opportunity? Good luck with yours Batty.
  13. I removed the P77i on Friday and installed the 881s. The lugs that hold the cart to the tonearm are exactly the same so attaching the Stanton was relatively simple. I checked the arm was level, set the vtf at .75 and played the same Tosca album as i last played with the P77i. What I like about the Garrott is the punch, that bottom end drive that leads the music and fills the room with a strong platform for the rest of what you hear. The mid-top and top end is smooth not shrill and very easy to listen to. What is different about this cart is as you increase the VTA at the pillar you actually increase and then tighten up the bass while smoothing the top end out and dialling in the vocals. At a certain point everything just sounds very nice indeed. The only caveat I hear is in the mids, it seems a little congested and I don't feel the P77i is tha greatest at instrument separation, placement and depth I also hear that vocals are good but not amazing or emotional. Maybe this is why it's such a great listen as you don't get too distracted by listening to the cart more you are listening to the music and what is being played. So how dif the 881s compare? Unfortunately the suspension failed after 2 sides of the record. I distinctly heard it and thought it was some fluff on the needle. I backed off the vtf to 0.50g but this just brought the bias into play too strongly and caused one channel to sound distorted. What I did hear for about an hour though was very, very nice. The bottom end was much, much tighter allowing lots of lovely lower end noise through that had been overpowered with the P77i. The mids on this Stanton were again very detailed and I could hear everything deep into the mix. I then realised how much seperation there was with this cart, nothing was full on brash or toppy. If had a very even sound across all frequencies and then the vocals kicked in. Oh yes! This was starting to come on song, a cart that has sat in draw for too long started to really impress me. Lovely wide and deep soundstage, a super sparkling top end and vocals that resonated with reality and emotion. I flipped another record on gave it a clean, gently dropped it onto Nina Simones's Baltimore and I could hear the cart bottoming out......... So if anyone has a nos Stanton/Pickering 881s stylus to suit I'd take your hand off. To recap the P77i is a cracker of a cart it just sounds so right, is easy to listen to with that classic smile curve sound. The 881s is refined, detailed nuanced and brings vocals to life. I will happily live with both carts going forward and can clearly hear their differences and strengths. I just hope I can find a stereohaedron replacement for this 881s?
  14. I did forget I was listening to a Benz cart at your place from memory it was clean and polite. There is so much more to consider when hearing a component in someone else's system as nothing is familiar.
  15. Lol, my apologies I mixed you up with another audionut and didn't check your address. Hope you are well. Great day for a few records....
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