Best Hardware for Classical Music

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by George P, Dec 29, 2015.

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  1. George P

    George P Lazy Sunbather Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    This thread is for all of you Classical Music fans.

    What are you listening to your music on? What do you like about it? What makes it great for classical music?

    Show us your latest pictures!
     
    mrbluedream and bluemooze like this.
  2. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Cool thread!

    Saw a really nice & classy Empire TT in the other thread. :cool:
     
    TonyACT likes this.
  3. ceedee

    ceedee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    northern england
    i want to know more about empire turntables! are they as solid as they look?
     
  4. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Here's my Empire 598... or I should say one of two I have:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Here's a shot of both... along with the Thorens TT at far left. (Sorry the pic so dark.)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Cool, the famous marble base! It should be incredibly stable, or so I've heard.

    What year were they made?
     
  7. ceedee

    ceedee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    northern england
    what do you make of the new thorens tables?
     
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  8. Rushton

    Rushton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Nice thread - like the topic. Here are some random thoughts to help start some further comments. For my preferences, I'm looking for a combination of equipment that achieves the following first priorities:
    1. conveys accurately the timbre of the instruments, allowing for clear differentiation
    2. provides a well defined and tonally accurate mid-range
    3. ability to reproduce stage width, depth and height on recording that have captured this accurately
    4. excellent reproduction of micro-dynamics because that's where the magic happens
    5. tonal neutrality (goes with items 1 & 2), though I'll accept some sweetening in the mid-bass non-fullrange speakers
    If I can first get these things, then extend the frequencies in both directions and add macro dynamics. I'll trade off both of the lesser priorities in favor of the first 5.
     
  9. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    The tonearm on the Empire 598 was rather high mass, yet it was designed to track their (then) high-end cartridge-- the Empire 1000 ZE/X-- at 0.2 grams. Not sure anybody outside of a laboratory did that, but it demonstrates the build quality.

    In one of my turntables I'm using an original 1000 ZE/X cartridge with NOS stylus.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ceedee

    ceedee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    northern england
    they look soooo bling. but not too much to lose their class. like something out of an upmarket hotel kitchen, all that aluminium :)
     
  11. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I used to love the distinctive look of the Empire turntables but just could not get over the perhaps biased view that S-shaped arm does not track as well as the straight arm and ended up going with Dual and Thorens ...
     
  12. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    My Thorens is the model 3020... Nice instrument, beautifully made. Comparing it at my local hi-fi salon to others, it was the standout. Cost was high (for me) but worth it. I still enjoy the Empires, but the Thorens is what I turn to for critical listening.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Rushton

    Rushton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Since I play vinyl, the core of my system is my turntable, because the sound one doesn't get out of the grooves at the source can't be replaced further down the chain. I've had a Walker Audio Proscenium Gold for more than a dozen years. What I wrote about it then is as true today as it was then: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/review-walker-audio-proscenium-gold-signature-turntable

    [​IMG]

    This is David Robinson's turntable (Editor of Positive Feedback Online) since I can pull a link to his photo but not my own.
     
    royzak2000, bluemooze, LeeS and 2 others like this.
  14. ceedee

    ceedee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    northern england
    i take it this design has moved away from the dual platter and suspension?
     
  15. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Hey, any of these fully automatic? I could use a second TT!
     
    SandAndGlass and VinylSoul like this.
  16. Rushton

    Rushton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    And another view from the top...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Your selection of cartridge and phono stage will have a lot to do with achieving these goals... maybe more-so than the TT.
     
  18. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I've heard people comment on "all that brass"... But, no, it's basically aluminum with an applied gold finish. Some have not held their finish as well as others. I've been lucky.
     
  19. Rushton

    Rushton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Wes, good observation. And I find it's all connected. A great cartridge can't display it's strengths without an excellent turntable and tonearm. The better the turntable, the more resolution the cartridge can achieve. And the better the turntable, the lower the noise floor. It's a building process.
     
    rmbaker likes this.
  20. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I guess it depends on what you've encountered. I had a top Garrard TT back in the day, with a straight arm that was prone to inner groove distortion. Also had (and still have) a Technics direct drive with S-shaped arm and no tracking distortion. Hence, I'm fine with the big "S".
     
  21. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    This turntable must have a highly reliable linear-tracking arm ...
     
  22. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    The Empires are not true "automatic" TTs, but they have an end-of-record "Dyna-Lift" feature that will lift the tonearm off the vinyl (but the platter continues to turn). It's defeatable--and I never use it.
     
    Gary likes this.
  23. Rushton

    Rushton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Yes, it does. Air bearing, never hangs, virtually zero maintenance, highly adjustable but completely stable once set.
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  24. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    BTW, Empire Scientific is still around. It exited the audio manufacturing business sometimes in the 80's and became an electronic parts distributor ...
     
  25. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    :righton:
     
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