Michael Fremer’s turntable and tonearm video

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Drew769, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I was watching Michael Fremer’s new video on the top 100 analog albums that are still in print. The video was pretty good, but the best part was a small segment in the beginning where he sneaks in a listen to his personal turntable and tonearm. It is under the guise of trying to demonstrate how clean a well-played, older record from his collection could sound (using a original 51-year-old copy of the Who’s “Tommy”). He goes on to drop the stylus on side one and place the entire Tommy Suite.

    Even when listening to this on YouTube, and on my television no less, I thought it sounded extraordinary. You can hear the drums so cleanly, and the horns have such roundness and weight. And yes, it’s dead silent, so he’s correct. Of course, the TT and arm are something like $100,000 and $30,000 respectively at retail, and you’re hearing this all through his Wilson Alexx speakers (it should sound good). Still, I thought it sounded particularly special. Give it a listen - first 5 minutes of the video.

  2. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    Agreed, whilst it's a long video it is one of the best, most informative videos he's done.
    Well worth visiting and revisiting.
  3. Quakerism

    Quakerism Monk

    Pennsylvania, USA
    He takes a little bit of getting used to but in the long run there is a lot of good information and entertainment on his channel. That one in particular is quite full of interesting insight.
    hi_watt likes this.
  4. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Cool! Fremer's 50 year old record sounds amazing! I did go to a digital copy on You tube at 720p, which sounded fine, but it did not have the depth and weight as played on Mike's turntable.
  5. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    It believe this will be yet another of those threads..

    Yes his vinyl playback gear comes with a price tag. You mentioned the tone arm and the table. But add the cartridge and RIAA..

    Then there is the question that:
    Do we need to pay that amount of money to achieve that level of magic?

    Regarding he is trying to show the amount of click and pops. A old and frequently played record has not developed. During the years.

    I believe it has ALSO with the quality of the vinyl material itself. That contribute A LOT to how fast a record develop click and pops due to wear of repeated plays.
    I am just now sitting and listening to:
    Queen - Greatest Hits II
    And I know because of the low number of plays. Here we are down to only 10-15 times I have played this since it were new (maybe less)!
    Only on those few playbacks I have easily determined more and more clicks and pops!:buttkick:
    Clicks and pops is OK for me up to a certain amount. But here I can hear it rapidly increase that no other old records shows in my collection. That is another clue that it can be the material it self. :doh:

    I am starting to think that the different vinyl compounds have different hardness. It should be nice to be able to measure the hardness:
    Hardness - Wikipedia
    (Different metal can feel the same for you but they can have different hardness. And that can be quantified. So of course different records will have different hardness.) :-plnktn-:

    Another example is this record:
    Adele (3) - 25
    That started all of my disappointment! Here I tried to get rid of the click and pops. By washing it with spin clean did not helping didn't get better. I tried home brew cleaning solutions didn't get any better. I also bought :yikes: a ultrasonic cleaning machine did not help.
    Between the tries of cleaning I listened and it just got worse during the course of time. Because I played it.. that is another clue that the material may be softer..
    This record also thought me that the click and pops were not dirt! It had to be something else and that something is wear and nothing else. :drool:

    Another factor is my setup and there is nothing to object against. More than that it is a eliptic one and not more conserving fine line. :hugs:
  6. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    The North
    How much is it? How much is it?
  7. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    ? :confused:
  8. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    No, but that level certainly doesn't come cheap.
    Optimize likes this.
  9. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    So you say that to reach that level of magic we do not need to spend that level of money.
    So where is the resources better spent to still have the same level of magic?
  10. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    San Diego, Ca. USA

    $10,000.00 for a complete table Eg. SME 15, Rega 10, etc or VPI whatever at @10000.00. Buying used gets you that much closer.

    Optimize likes this.
  11. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Lewes, DE
    Fremer's Caliburn LOMC setup sounds fine.
    But for a heck of a lot less I am running a Denon 103r rebuilt with ruby cantilever and nude fine line stylus and Lundahl transformers on a modified Technics SL1210M5G and I also get huge space around instruments and a dead quiet groove noise.
    The law of diminishing returns is operating here.
    PLUS I am not at all convinced the video Fremer posted comparing a Technics to his Caliburn was a fair comparison.
    The Technics table HAS to be modified to do well with LOMC stiff cartridges or it simply won't develop the space and richness inherent in LOMC.
    The arm on his Caliburn is pretty inert, for example.
    So I spent five dollars on some shrink wrap and shrink wrapped the arm on my Technics.
    No more arm resonance!
    I can't see spending big on Fremer's rig when building a system with money in the equation.
    Fremer can be lavish because his whole life is vinyl.
    I'm happy with polyester, ha ha.
  12. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Or Polycarbonate.
    Optimize likes this.
  13. Maltman

    Maltman Somewhat grumpy, but harmless old man.

    Vancouver Canada
    20 grand should get as much as most normal people need. That’s $5,000 each for amp, preamp, turntable and speakers.Throw in another 5k for a good CD player, a good phono preamp, good speaker wires and interconnects and you’re done. Then spend the rest on records and CDs.
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  14. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    All the parts of an analog setup are of equal importance IME.

    I think a system of well-chosen, synergistic components around the $6K mark can get you at least 90% there. Double that amount and you're probably 98% there. The couple of systems I've heard that were truly dead quiet retail for over $50K.

    It's largely one of those phenomenons where you don't know what's missing until you hear it, or better to say, you don't hear it.
    weavzy, Big Blue, macster and 2 others like this.
  15. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    This could be one of the most Steve Hoffman Forums thing ever said.


    Did anybody else listen regularly to Fremer's WFDU show, Analog Planet Radio?

    For awhile he posted 16/44 download links of the shows, which included everything from movie soundtracks to Bowie to 12-inch 45s, etc. All of the music he played were vinyl rips from his collection using his megabucks system, and despite a few ticks and pops and various FM radio artifacts that made the sound less than pristine, all of those tracks sound fantastic. MFSL and AP vinyl of Dylan or the Beach Boys played on his rig are pure gorgeousness.
    Pinknik and Optimize like this.
  16. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Which 'rest' :D;)?!
  17. The Dragon

    The Dragon Well-Known Member

    Madison, AL
    Mr. Fremer could not command the amount of respect in his field by his peers and the number of fans and followers if he claimed perfection in vinyl could be achieved with Technics SL-1200. He HAS to REPRESENT for the high end (and he does it well). A pair of Technics SL-1200Gs and a Technics SL-1000mkII does me just fine, but it is nice knowing what kind of performance can be had if one has a very large audio budget available.

    I have a lot of respect for Mr. Fremer and I like watching his videos and reading his reviews. I especially enjoyed the latest video of the top 100 analog vinyl to own. It was both entertaining and informative. His taste in music differs somewhat from mine, but I have discovered some interesting music by watching him. I hope Mike is around for a long time to come.
    gov, timind, johnt23 and 2 others like this.
  18. scotpagel

    scotpagel Forum Resident

    Tucson, Az
    I love the older video where he showing his system and he comes up to his State of the Art digital rig and says he listens to this when he is slumming it and he is just joking. Hahaha
  19. thxphotog

    thxphotog Camera Nerd

    Los Angeles, CA
    Watching the video, those speakers sound amazing just looking at them. The same way a Ferrari looks like it's going 120mph when it's parked.
    SoundDoctor likes this.
  20. Maltman

    Maltman Somewhat grumpy, but harmless old man.

    Vancouver Canada
    HaHa, good point. In my case a couple of thrift store LPs was all I could afford. My system, which is pretty good, came in at less than $15k and I accumulated it piece by piece over quite a bit of time. Everything used except the Rega P6 and phono pre and some Audioquest interconnects and speaker cables.
  21. The audio from the turntable is recorded direct through an AD converter connected to his phono stage. Fremer isn't recording the audio by putting a stereo microphone in the room and recording his speakers. I don't know what AD converter he's using now. He's got access to some reasonably good ones.
    SoundDoctor, displayname and Pinknik like this.
  22. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Yeah, it sounds amazing. I did not know we weren't hearing those speakers though - no matter. I find his videos extremely entertaining, funny and informative. He's a good egg. :)
    Twinsfan007, Doctor Fine, gov and 2 others like this.
  23. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    And here I thought I'd experienced a nice degree of magic last night, via $240 table (orig msrp $450), $95 cart, $199 speakers (orig $350) and $100 receiver ($400 in 1974). Had I known how much the experience sucked, I could have done something else.:doh:
    wellers73, timind, hi_watt and 3 others like this.
  24. Jimmy Mac

    Jimmy Mac Zooropa... better by design

    That record has got itself a pretty good warp...I hate watching my tonearm bob up and down.
    timind and Big Blue like this.
  25. displayname likes this.

Share This Page