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Initial review after 1.5 days with the table:
This is an easy to setup and excellent sounding starter audiophile turntable.
Packaging was superb, with every part being very protected. It'd take some seriously bad dropkicking of the box to hurt the turntable. Setup was super easy, being just a bit of plugging the parts in, threading the belt, doing the basic anti-skate settings, and setting the tone-arm weight. Easy enough that I didn't need the assembly instructions. No missing parts. No extra parts. No damaged parts. Perfect.
I've been on a bit of a Moody Blues kick, so onto the table went `In Search of the Lost Chord`, `Seventh Sojourn`, and `A Question of Balance`. I played a few hours with everything stock so i could see if the unit was a good starter. The stock cartridge is ok, not bad, just a plain ok. The stock RIAA stage is also ok, not horrible, not amazing. It does the job it is supposed to, which is more than I can say about some other products. Anti-Skate works like a champ. The stock stylus tracks well enough, even. No big surprises there.
When I switched over to using my Yaqin MS23B tube RIAA and swapped the stylus out with a Microlinear it was a night and day difference. The new stylus provides more sound detail (or so it seems), and using a dedicated tube RIAA totally adds that happy tube harmonic. Getting pretty close to what I get out of my Denon DJ VL12 Prime and Ortofon Concorde Club MK2 and the same RIAA.
I do not regret buying it. For the price, it is a fantastic entry model audiophile table and I totally see myself buying 'em as gifts for friends who need some vinyl in their life (but are too vanilla to go for whips and body suits).
Thanks for taking the time to review the product! Got a few Moody Blues records myself, I think I'll put one on this evening. Nice to hear the ML stylus has elevated your listening experience. Everything should improve a bit more as the cart breaks in with use.
Yeah, I wanted to get my initial review up. I figure I can update my review as everything breaks in. Definitely digging the table. Great work on the collaboration.
The Moody Blues are great for testing new audio toys. Lots of dynamic range and various instruments which show off tracking and amplification flaws. Plus I’ve been a big fan of their music since I found a cassette of their stuff in the mid 80s. Used to listen to their stuff so much that I ended up putting it on an old reel to reel I rescued in the early 90s. Was a better solution than destroying the LPs by constant replay. :)
I need a friend like you 🧐