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hugo_wilco

"Easy" tonearm solution - get a Thales

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I don't normally like to spruke or brag about my Hifi gear and generally keep a low profile here at SNA.

But it's been 2 weeks since I installed the Thales Easy tonearm on my TT and I just felt the need to share my experience.

I grew up on vinyl and spent the 90's chasing the "digital" demon. The only time I came close was when I bought my Meridian 508.24bit CD player and I have regretted everyday since I sold it! Damn that was a sweet player and had me happily turn my back on vinyl due to all the great things about the CDs format.

After 10 years I sold the Meridian I decided to get back into vinyl. I was so underwhelmed with the sound of digital ( and I had some very expensive players and DACs over those years) I decided to get back into vinyl and dig out my old collection.

Over the last 5 years I have been privileged to own, try, swap and listen to a hell of a lot of TT setups.

If any of you have kept tabs on me, you will know some of the gear I've had (most of you own my old stuff- part of what I love about this forum). I don't really want to go into which impressed me and which didn't as those of you who have my old set-ups or similar, are probably very happy and enjoying your records as I write.

It took me a long time to work out what "sound" I was after with vinyl and I can happily say that I am finally there.

Having finally settled on a turntable I decided to buy a Tonearm of equal calibre. I have been lucky to own a lot of amazing arms over the years BUT, all of these have been pivoted/ gimballed design arms.

Enter the Thales!

I once owned a Kuzma 4 point which was the most impressive arm I had ever heard. I decided to go back to Pure Music Group and revisit.

Without going into too much detail, I had the opportunity to listen to the Kuzma 4 point and the Thales Simplicity on the over engineered and over priced [ sorry Warwick (-; ] Airforce TT's. Just to make things interesting there was also a Thales Easy TT combo which I listened to as well.

Well it was game over. I left with the heart set on the Simplicity. Worried that the extra weight and mass may not work so well on my Oracle Delphi, I decided on the Thales Easy.

Best decision I made.

I have had the arm for 2 weeks now and I have hardly slept.

I know you are all waiting..... "Well, what's it like?????"

I have never heard pinpoint stereo imaging on a Turntable even come remotely close to the Easy. Vocals are bang in the middle and instrumental location and cues exceed anything I have ever heard on vinyl or on digital. The absence of noise and any hint of sibilance is astonishing! There is absolutely NO inner groove distortion on any of my records!!!! No TT combo I have ever owned or tried could ever totally remove IGD or sibilance on some of my trickier old LP's. The Thales says "really? This albums had issues?."

The other thing you immediately notice is the bass and bottom end. Listening to my records I am still saying out loud WTF? The bass definition is absolutely unlike anything I have ever heard. Bass notes and drums have such vivid detail you can actually tell if it's a Fender P bass or a Rickenbacker. Is that a Paiste Cymbal? Ahhhh... Yes it is. The detail is uncanny. But I need to clarify; it is not dry, forward or cold it is simply true to the source. It's as if a sonic haze or audio homogony is removed and you are listening at the mixing deck with the sound engineer.

The flip side is because that "hash" is removed the top end starts to reveal sounds tones frequencies that have been previously "smeared" out.

And because the two extreme fundamentals are so correct the midrange has a depth that is cavernous!

You can really hear how far microphones have been placed or if the engineer is just adding heaps of reverb on a low gain setting.

If you are in the market for a new tonearm I strongly recommend you audition the Thales range.

I'm sure all of you out there that own linear tracking arms are reading this going "yep we know all this buddy"; but for those that don't have a listen.

I don't want to ignite a "what's the most important component in vinyl" debate; but what has become extremely clear to me now is, just how important a tonearm really is.

Edited by hugo_wilco

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Excellent read HW, how about some photos? I am totally enthralled with all things vinyl and haven't played anything digital in months, so please share some photo goodies.

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Thanks for taking the time to describe your recent experience. I am extremely new to vinyl, but like you, spend a lot of my time listening for instruments. If I can't pick a zildjian kz hi hat 'chick' in front of me, I'll then start to think about which part of my replay chain I should look at next. It is this philosophy that has lead me to where I'm at but I currently have a high frequency 'presence' that is great for a wide and high stage, but I have been wondering whether I should play with a new cart or a different arm. I am currently using an at150mlx mm with a logic datum (jelco) arm on the plinthed lenco that I have rebuilt and setup fairly well. I too imagine the outcome of moderating that top end and hoping to find more everywhere else. I was going to start a new thread but hope others noting your experience could chime in and assist me albeit in a more midfi context. :-) So far I have had an at33ptg/ii suggested but is there an affordable way forward as far as tone arms that might improve things. It sounds like you are enjoying your setup. Many happy revolutions!

Edited by christosd

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ChristosD

 

Go around to FrankN's house and see what his turntable/arm combo is, and see if you like it.  He might accept an offer at the moment, seeing as he isn't playing the black discs at present.  :)

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What tonearm cable are you using? Did the arm come with a Junction Box?

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What tonearm cable are you using? Did the arm come with a Junction Box?

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I am using the Thales phono cable.

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And we're still waiting for pictures.   :)

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Dean, thanks for the review, I am thinking about another tonearm in the next 12 months & have come across the Thales, it made me wonder.

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And we're still waiting for pictures.   :)

 

 

:D Photos or it didn't happen

 

 

HW generally saves the photos for the classified  :D

 

 

 

Sorry Hugo :) , time will tell if your audio journey continues or a destination is found - either way its good fun.

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I don't post photos cause I feel it's a bit "show-off-ey". But here you go

post-125292-0-07031200-1439197305_thumb.

post-125292-0-37789100-1439197326_thumb.

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Dean, thanks for the review, I am thinking about another tonearm in the next 12 months & have come across the Thales, it made me wonder.

We have had very similar journeys. You will love what this tonearm does!!!!

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Guest Hensa

I don't post photos cause I feel it's a bit "show-off-ey". But here you go

Looks stunning! Much happier now the photos are there!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hugo

 

Nice indeed.

 

Did you notice much difference in sound between the Easy and the Simplicity or too hard to tell?

 

 

I still have an arm pod spare on my TW AC3.

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Hugo

 

Nice indeed.

 

Did you notice much difference in sound between the Easy and the Simplicity or too hard to tell?

 

 

I still have an arm pod spare on my TW AC3.

Truthfully, I didn't notice any difference at all between the two. My choice was not over price difference but rather of weight for my Oracle. I can not recommend this tonearm highly enough. I'm sure if you get one and set it up correctly you'll find it hard to go back to the others. The absence of bloat is incredible and you'll immediately realise how much tracking error you've been accustomed to over the years.

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I don't post photos cause I feel it's a bit "show-off-ey". But here you go

 

 

Wow lovely looking rig, I'll bet it sounds awesome too.  :thumb::D

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Congratulations on the purchase, good to read about another happy Thales owner :)

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Good to see Thales addressing tracking-error and love the design.Ive had a good look at the Thales Simplicity II and was amazed! :thumb:

Stump

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Looking --and I presume sounding great-- Ive heard the other Thales but not that version --sounds excellent as its big brother!

 

Good Listening

 

Willco

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