Annoyingly Fiddly, But Great Sounding, Audio Gear.

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
How could I have forgotten my Well Tempered Super? It was everything fiddly and annoying about record players somehow made 100% more annoying and fiddly. It sounded nice though, as long as you waited 12 hours for the arm to settle into an azimuth that was hopefully right.

The newer ones aren’t nearly as bad thankfully.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator
Staff member
The worst offender I had was my Counterpoint pre and amp. It was a game of repair wack-a-Mole. By the time I had it fully sorted, I was so embittered. It just needed to go.

My greatest heartbreak was my Juicy Music Peach II. I could hear the potential, but it made every tube noise known to man.To make matters worse,I sold it and then got it returned in worst condition then when it left. I sold it at a massive loss just to not have to look at it anymore. Kinda turned me off tubes to be honest.
 
Would that, perhaps, have been an Eminent Technology ET2? Something like... this?


1602893639432.png





Reminds me of another tangential arm I was about to get involved with, though with a different persnicketyness. I was about to buy a used Kuzma table with an air-bearing tangential arm on it from a store where I was friends with the manager and he pulled me aside. "I know you. You don't want that. It's beyond your pain-in-the-ass threshold. You gotta put this air compressor in the closet or the noise will bug you and then you run a hose to it and this and that and... I know its cool but... I know you. Walk away."
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
I was thinking this morning about truly great sounding gear, that was just too fiddly, or generally annoying, to use. For me, it was likely this:

View attachment 28577

A great sounding, inexpensive arm, that I was sure would cost me numerous styli.
Oh, heck, I encountered one of those once, out in the field (as it were).
1602896742527.png

who knew?
... and here I assumed it was something Dave Slagle whittled out of an old wooden salad serving utensil and added some odds and ends from the hardware drawer to.

:smoke
 
I remember that arm from the Jean Nantais video, many years ago. There is certainly a cool and unique look to it. Personally, any arm that doesn’t feature a cueing lever is a no from me. I would love to have the confidence/expertise required to cue a $200+ cartridge manually, but alas, I simply don’t. I am ridiculously careful with my styli, and haven’t had a fatal mishap yet (and hope to never do).

I truly lament the lack of standardization regarding turntables, especially to do with tonearms and cartridges. It’s quite unfortunate that something like P-mount or the Rega 3-point mounting system wasn’t developed in the late 60’s or early 70’s, in the heyday of vinyl. To me, cartridge alignment is easily one of the least enjoyable parts of this hobby.

On a similar note, I just got an Technics SH-80S P-mount adapter to use my retipped EPS-310MC on my SL-1200MK2. This adapter is completely fixed, whereas the SH-90S, its bigger sibling, is adjustable for overhang and azimuth. I thought it would be pretty close to the correct 52mm overhang for Technics arms, but imagine my surprise when I saw that it’s quite clearly a few mm short. I’m currently using a 2nd washer to bring it to almost 52mm, but I just ordered one of the pricey NOS SH-90s headshells from eBay. That should allow me to set it properly.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Somehow that arm sorta, kinda reminds me of some of the minimalist arms of the early stereo era/early '60s (which are more or less the same thing -- almost)...

like.

View attachment 28590

or

View attachment 28591

(the Shure M212, that is)
I had that Shure arm. I think I got it at an estate sale and ... I think it got donated or otherwise gotten rid of in my recent move. I didn’t have the matching cart and it’s rather useless without the cart and my experience with an M3D suggested I really need not bother tracking down the cart. Neat idea for the time, though.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I remember that arm from the Jean Nantais video, many years ago. There is certainly a cool and unique look to it. Personally, any arm that doesn’t feature a cueing lever is a no from me. I would love to have the confidence/expertise required to cue a $200+ cartridge manually, but alas, I simply don’t. I am ridiculously careful with my styli, and haven’t had a fatal mishap yet (and hope to never do).

I truly lament the lack of standardization regarding turntables, especially to do with tonearms and cartridges. It’s quite unfortunate that something like P-mount or the Rega 3-point mounting system wasn’t developed in the late 60’s or early 70’s, in the heyday of vinyl. To me, cartridge alignment is easily one of the least enjoyable parts of this hobby.

On a similar note, I just got an Technics SH-80S P-mount adapter to use my retipped EPS-310MC on my SL-1200MK2. This adapter is completely fixed, whereas the SH-90S, its bigger sibling, is adjustable for overhang and azimuth. I thought it would be pretty close to the correct 52mm overhang for Technics arms, but imagine my surprise when I saw that it’s quite clearly a few mm short. I’m currently using a 2nd washer to bring it to almost 52mm, but I just ordered one of the pricey NOS SH-90s headshells from eBay. That should allow me to set it properly.
The Shure M3D and Denon DL-103 both basically snapped into my Empire 208 turntable’s non removable, non-cartridge-sled headshell. I have to think it was planned. And from there it all just went off the rails.
 

Wntrmute2

Junior Member
Another tonearm - the Terminator T-3. Just love the sound but getting a record on the platter takes a little skill and it is a bit fiddly. Still, if one is somewhat mechanically inclined, it is a great arm - especially considering the price.

20171011_182126.jpg
 
If I ever get around to upgrading the turntable, I'd looked at the Clearaudio TT5--they offer a swing base that lets you rotate the arm and carriage out of the way to load records. I'm clumsy enough as it is, so I need all the help I can get.

My current TT seems fiddly as well. At times I don't even want to turn it on.
 

Wntrmute2

Junior Member
If I ever get around to upgrading the turntable, I'd looked at the Clearaudio TT5--they offer a swing base that lets you rotate the arm and carriage out of the way to load records. I'm clumsy enough as it is, so I need all the help I can get.

My current TT seems fiddly as well. At times I don't even want to turn it on.
I have a friend that has one of those. That part is really nice but you have 4, I believe, little rollers that the cart rides on. They have to be kept clean as the cart needs to drag them along. Seems to add too much friction to me. But I've not lived with it.
 
I have a friend that has one of those. That part is really nice but you have 4, I believe, little rollers that the cart rides on. They have to be kept clean as the cart needs to drag them along. Seems to add too much friction to me. But I've not lived with it.
I've never seen or heard one in person. Well OK, I did see one on a display at AXPONA but it wasn't hooked up, and I couldn't really see how it functioned. That's why I might go with one of the 10-inch Clearaudio arms rather than the TT5--I'd have to get an idea of how well it worked before buying it. The TT1 and TT2 (and maybe a TT3?) are a step up the chain, but way outside my pay grade.
 
These Stax amps. There are two amplifiers in this one chassis with the most complex mating circuitry. Working, they are flawless. Broken they are nightmares. I bought them broken, well one was due to a novice getting under the hood. Years of finding parts and chasing demons, re writing the service manual because it was often wrong, (just finding one took a year) finally led to their complete repair this past spring. They work fine now, but I’m still nervous at turn on.
ED727505-4BF2-47C9-A4C1-3A093C4BD907.jpeg
 
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