I'm fed up with my AR-XA

HepcatWilly

Junior Member
I realized today that I haven't played any records for a long time. I'm just sick of my finicky AR-XA. Bouncy suspension like a broken down old Thunderbird, a relentless whack-a-mole hunt for intermittent hum, dunno, it's just bugging me. I got more use out of a Technics SL-QD33 than I do the AR.

Pulled it out of the system today. This allowed me to really simplify the system to a super-minimalist digital system with two power cords, 2 speaker cords and a USB or optical connector. That's it.

Not to knock anyone's AR-XA, but I'm just tired of my fiddly, breaking down things right now.
 
get a direct drive, set it up and enjoy it w/o fuss til you need a new stylus. imho, the old "common wisdom" crap about direct drives being inferior sounding was just crap - ive found them to sound just as good and to be extremely low maintainence and reliable.
 

Try1256

Very Special Member
My Thorens TD-160 was like that. It could be frustrating. It was a delicate balance to get everything just right. When it was dialed in, it sounded great, it just needed periodic tweaking. The Sota stays adjusted. No muss, no fuss. I love it.
 

HepcatWilly

Junior Member
Thank you. Yes, I know it's my machine, really. I thought about deleting this post because it's negative, and I don't want to knock other people's equipment.

It sounded good for a long time, but I think think the suspension got really loose and a third party headshell replacement seems a tad light, throwing off the tonearm geometry.

After a week of swapping out 4 speakers:
  • 3 of which had problems
  • all of which weigh over 50 lbs
  • need to be moved up and down 3 flights of stairs
I wanted to listen to some records and started up a finicky turntable. At that point I realized that I just want to stop fiddling with equipment and listen to some danged music.
 
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Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Don't delete threads because you don't like a piece of equipment or are frustrated by it. Just don't call another guy an idiot or a tin ear for liking his.

And my XA ended up down at the curb on garbage day. A decision I've never regretted.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you. Yes, I know it's my machine, really. I thought about deleting this post because it's negative, and I don't want to knock other people's equipment.

It sounded good for a long time, but I think think the suspension got really loose and a third party headshell replacement seems a tad light, throwing off the tonearm geometry.

After a week of swapping out 4 speakers:
  • 3 of which had problems
  • all of which weigh over 50 lbs
  • need to be moved up and down 3 flights of stairs
I wanted to listen to some records and started up a finicky turntable. At that point I realized that I just want to stop fiddling with equipment and listen to some danged music.
My 'transition' to where I am now started with the headache of my SS-m7 speakers making everything else I had seem like less than it had been before.

Personally I cannot stand suspended turntables but I also don't like tweaking things, and my house has bouncy floors. It took a wall shelf for me to stand my Systemdek IIX. I just don't hear the magic in them that makes the PITA worth the trouble. I'd rather a non-suspended deck, regardless of whether its belt, idler, DD, whatever.
 

HepcatWilly

Junior Member
My 'transition' to where I am now started with the headache of my SS-m7 speakers making everything else I had seem like less than it had been before.
I think that's exactly what's happening to me right now. I'm perfectly content with Mac mini, Peachtree amp and the Sony speakers. Nothing else.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I think that's exactly what's happening to me right now. I'm perfectly content with Mac mini, Peachtree amp and the Sony speakers. Nothing else.
That is a very nice place to be.

I figured out a while ago, though I wish it was much longer ago, that my hobby was not tweaking or building things. My hobby, my joy, was listening to music. Once I got that straight in my own head, then my audio life got much easier and more enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong I have nothing but admiration for the @Redboy 's of the world who build magical gear. However, that just isn't me.
 

Chops54

Junior Member
Get your AR fixed. If you don't like the bouncy suspension then replace the springs with soft neoprene tubing or similar. It's easy to do and it's easy to reverse. Sometimes we just get to that point where we can't be arsed with it any more. I've had that feeling too and I once put my system away for ten years and never went near it. My biggest regret was throwing a nice Empire 698 in the skip because I was that pissed off with it!
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I owned a Linn Sondek for a few years and loved it. I also had a Thorens TD-160 Super and enjoyed it as well.

Ultimately though, having wood floors in my home become both tables undoing. I get it.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Two suspended decks have been taken out by my annoyance with the floors. That, and I heard absolutely zero sonic benefit from a suspension like that, over my non suspended decks.

If something annoys you to the point you're posting about it, and you've tweaked to the point that you don't feel its getting anywhere, get rid of it.

Just because other people speak highly of something does not mean its actually good for you personally. Oh, boy, do I wish I'd told myself that 10 years ago.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Two suspended decks have been taken out by my annoyance with the floors. That, and I heard absolutely zero sonic benefit from a suspension like that, over my non suspended decks.

If something annoys you to the point you're posting about it, and you've tweaked to the point that you don't feel its getting anywhere, get rid of it.

Just because other people speak highly of something does not mean its actually good for you personally. Oh, boy, do I wish I'd told myself that 10 years ago.
It is possible to get a suspended deck set up so it basically ignores the bouncy floors. Since I re-thought my TD-125 I can dance around the living room on the 108 year old floors and the deck doesn't respond at all. Zip. Before a nine pound Jack Russell I once had could make it skip just by walking into the room.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
I think that's exactly what's happening to me right now. I'm perfectly content with Mac mini, Peachtree amp and the Sony speakers. Nothing else.
That is a very nice place to be.

I figured out a while ago, though I wish it was much longer ago, that my hobby was not tweaking or building things. My hobby, my joy, was listening to music. Once I got that straight in my own head, then my audio life got much easier and more enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong I have nothing but admiration for the @Redboy 's of the world who build magical gear. However, that just isn't me.
That is my motto these days "Less fiddling = more listening"
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I know a bouncy table can work well, especially on a wall shelf. But I've had non-suspended tables that work just as well, or better, without a wall shelf on the same floors. I just see it as adding this really fiddly, tweaky, complicated, pull-your-hair-out-till-you-get-it-right, thing for a benefit that other tables accomplish without the same mess. And I've been there with the intermittent hum problems as well, they'll drive you nuts. We're not talking about a fully upgraded Linn Sondek, this is an AR-XA, sorry if I don't have nostalgia for the things. Time has moved on. I look at the solid, simple, non-suspended, Yamaha YP-D8 direct drive I have and how it sounds and... well, its why I sold my AR The turntable to a friend instead of fully upgrading it like I intended to do. It sounds great, with zero fuss, had a much better arm than the Sumko MMT (which is a much better arm than an unmodified AR-XA arm), and didn't bounce (I could dance next to it with my wife, on my bouncy floors, and no skips...).

Some of us just hate tweaking. Our hobby is listening, not making a purse out of a sow's ear.
 
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