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Orpheus Silex Turntable

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16 hours ago, kttiong said:

...Also, I have told my mate once that I felt Silex sounds better than my Garrard 301. emoji848.pngBut I couldn’t be so sure and at the time I believed it was just my own opinion. I told him anyway...

An opinion based on objective listening with an open mind and discerning ears is valid. 

 

So much audio rubbish is written by people who don't listen objectively, have lower-quality equipment (so can't really tell the quality of what they listen to), don't have discriminating ears, and have made up their minds with preconceived rubbish.  In the end, what matters most - and ultimately is the only thing that matters in audio - is how it sounds. 

 

I read an interesting article about the guys who originated upgrading Lencos and recognisng/achieving their audiophile quality.  They would tinker with the turntable, trying improvements, and take it to their friends in the audio shop and compare it to the expensive turntables.  After some time they found that their modded Lenco's were much better quality than the mega-expensive tables being sold in the shop.  So much so, that one day the owner of the store came rushing out of his office wanting to find out what was producing a much-improved quality sound.  His excitement instantly changed when he saw the humble Lenco (dismissed at the time as rubbish) out-performing the market leaders.  He could not accept that the Lenco was capable (with improvements) of such great sound.  He also banned the guys from bringing in the Lenco to his shop. 

 

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43 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

An opinion based on objective listening with an open mind and discerning ears is valid. 

 

So much audio rubbish is written by people who don't listen objectively, have lower-quality equipment (so can't really tell the quality of what they listen to), don't have discriminating ears, and have made up their minds with preconceived rubbish.  In the end, what matters most - and ultimately is the only thing that matters in audio - is how it sounds. 

 

I read an interesting article about the guys who originated upgrading Lencos and recognisng/achieving their audiophile quality.  They would tinker with the turntable, trying improvements, and take it to their friends in the audio shop and compare it to the expensive turntables.  After some time they found that their modded Lenco's were much better quality than the mega-expensive tables being sold in the shop.  So much so, that one day the owner of the store came rushing out of his office wanting to find out what was producing a much-improved quality sound.  His excitement instantly changed when he saw the humble Lenco (dismissed at the time as rubbish) out-performing the market leaders.  He could not accept that the Lenco was capable (with improvements) of such great sound.  He also banned the guys from bringing in the Lenco to his shop. 

 

all you need to know https://www.lencoheaven.net/

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Yep.... If the physics are well understood,  incremental improvements can give outstanding results. Lots of screwdriver work and lots of rejects but its rewarding.

  

 You do see mistakes though and I have seen a Silex housed with full suspension on the platter but the tonearm rigidly mounted. Anyone who thinks that sounds good hasn't heard a tenth of that turntables potential.

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1 hour ago, Onslo said:

Yep.... If the physics are well understood,  incremental improvements can give outstanding results. Lots of screwdriver work and lots of rejects but its rewarding.

  

 You do see mistakes though and I have seen a Silex housed with full suspension on the platter but the tonearm rigidly mounted. Anyone who thinks that sounds good hasn't heard a tenth of that turntables potential.

Wow! Getting really excited about the potential of a Silex . Will certainly spend more time in setting up and trying out my Silex. Hope it kills my Byers ! 

Anyway, any one with knowledge as to the sound quality of a two poles vs 4 poles Silex motors? 

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I wan't aware they did them. I assume the 2 pole spinning so fast might be a bit harder to keep quiet?

 

My money will be confidently on the Silex. Mind you a rigidly mounted Byer in a heavy plinth can sound great. I have one in a plinth I made out of end grain wattyl  chopping boards. It is very heavy, very dead and has the solid sort of bass you would expect. I love it with my Decca Cart. However the Silex has far cleaner mids and therefore imaging and detail.

Comparing the same (V15iii Shure) cart (on SME 2-) across my 5 turntables the Silex does it the best. Thats not to say a different arm and cart may suit particular tables better (They are a tweaked Systemdek, 1019 Dual, 701 Dual, 12" Commonwealth and the Orpheus). 

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The Orpheus with the 4 pole motor is preferred. The Byers are best forgotten if you are looking for a low rumble performance, especially the early 16'' model with the rubber insert fitted to the rim.

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4 hours ago, Onslo said:

Yep.... You do see mistakes though and I have seen a Silex housed with full suspension on the platter but the tonearm rigidly mounted. Anyone who thinks that sounds good hasn't heard a tenth of that turntables potential.

Taking this to the next level, how would you best use two tonearms on a Silex? 

 

I was thinking having one suspended using the mushroom, and another mounted on the plinth.  Based on your comment, would it be better to be using two mushrooms (one for each arm)?

 

Edited by audiofeline

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The Orpheus with the 4 pole motor is preferred. The Byers are best forgotten if you are looking for a low rumble performance, especially the early 16'' model with the rubber insert fitted to the rim.


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The Byers and other early vintage players especially those fitted with huge motors bound to be very sensitive to rumble due to the enormous power the huge motors deliver. However, the Byers can be played to avoid rumble effect or to a very low level without affecting its performance by using a “ stand alone” tonearm as shown in the photo. Also I believe a good plinth will eliminate the rumble effect effectively.
To me , the vintage players with huge motors are preferred as it can delivered a sound to another level. Many reckoned Thomas Schick refurbished the Byer 16 and used it successfully in the Munich high end show 2012 . See photo.
The rumble could also be due to the bad rubber fitted around the platter. All 3 of my Byers played well with no rumble issue and they produce wonderful sound much better than my Garrard 301 IMHO. IMG_6486.jpgIMG_5533.jpg

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Audiofeline, you can fairly easily mount another arm but you have to weld a lug on the sub chassis. I have a plan to do this I just am looking for a donor.

 

I have never seen one in the flesh but the non Silex Orpheus has no mounting lugs on the subchassis so could be used with new lugs mounted for the two arms (or more). These units are not normally as sought after for the reason that they don't have the lug so should be available cheaply and if you have to wet one lug on 2 is not going to be much more work or cost. The other thing about the non Silex is that it has simpler lines with the casting extending over the square of the plinth. Could look kind of clean and cool. However I love the groovy double oval look of the Silex.

 

The only consideration is that the "9 O'clock" mounted arm will have the cart tracking over the motor. These motors are fairly grunty big things and probably spew EMR like Chernobyl so some carts might not like that.

 

Post your progress.

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Hello Orpheus Silex lovers. Picked up this gem at a garage sale for $20. Saw the familiar grace logo on the head shell and thought it must be worth that for the arm alone. After a relatively simple refurbishment it’s a full on love affair with ever more refinements, mainly suspension rubbers. The tatty plywood box plinth was replaced with a mdf lead encased base sitting on squash balls. It sounds far better than my project RPM 6.1 sb. Currently using a Audio-technica 440mla and ortofon vms 20e. There may be better turntables out there but they they don’t say made in Melbourne Australia.IMG_0990.jpg

IMG_1022.jpgIMG_0986.jpg

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"There may be better turntables out there" as you say but certainly not for $20! I reckon well set up its many thousands that they compete with.

 

Well done. Don't sell it keep tweaking it till your too old to hear it.

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14 hours ago, silex said:

Hello Orpheus Silex lovers. Picked up this gem at a garage sale for $20....

$20.00???????   Whaaaatttttt??????

That's the bargain of the year!

Enjoy it, when set up well it sits nicely in the top league.

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Thanks for all the kind comments. Interesting to see how other Orpheus owners have tackled their plinth rebuild, not as easy as it looks is it? The arm is a grace g-545 which is just fine and tracks well. I would however in the future like to rebuild or replace the idler as the table runs at speed almost at the end of its travel. You guys know what I mean. Any spares or rebuilders out there? Anyway thanks again and by the way, that 60s console is a real peach.

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