Anyone tried the Avid Acutus turntables?
Nov 11, 2008 at 1:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

earwicker7

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Well, this has been one hell of a week! I got a call from my sister informing me that my grandfather is giving both myself and my daughter $24,000... each!!! There's a really sad side to it, which is that he's doing this because he doesn't believe he'll be around much longer, as he's 101, and he doesn't want his estate to be taxed to death, so he's giving the maximum possible to each family member that qualifies (to the IRS) as a gift, which is $12k per person per year (the other $12k comes at the beginning of January).

My daughter's $24k is going into certified deposits in her name; she isn't going to hear word one about it until she's starting to settle down, at which point she's going to get a really nice surprise (she's eight years old, so you figure twenty years at whatever rate I can get).

I'm thinking about using it for a major source upgrade. The turntable is the weak link in my analog chain... it's not that it's a bad table, by any means, it's just that every other part (cartridge, arm, phono stage) is top of the line. It's like every other part is an A (maybe even an A+), and the table is just a B or B+. Something's gotta give.

I'm seriously looking at the Avid line. Has anyone tried the Acutus? What about the Acutus Reference? I'm trying to figure out how a better power supply is worth the extra $8k
confused_face(1).gif
. Then again, stranger things have happened.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 2:59 PM Post #2 of 8

Larry I

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I heard it briefly at a dealership whose system I know quite well. Conrad Ma, the owner/designer of Avid, set up the table for the demonstration (SME V arm and Transfiguration W cartridge). From that brief exposure, I thought the setup sounded quite good -- competitive with the dealer's Verdier table. It had the kind of solid, composed and well behaved sound that I like. I don't know if the optional power supply/controller is worth that kind of money, but, as a general observation, such units make a big difference in terms of making the sound feel more "solid" and substantial and making the soundfield sound more expansive and complete (I am thinking in terms of speaker listening, not headphones). Good units from other manufacturers are pretty expensive.

It is only a guess on my part, but, I would say it is in the middle between the highly dampened tables (e.g., SME 30, Basis Debut) and more lively tables (J.A. Michelle, Linn/Naim Aro).

I don't know if it matters to you at all, but, I also met and had dinner with Conrad Ma at CES and he is a nice guy. He is someone who is passionate about turntables and getting the most out of vinyl sources.

I own a Basis Debut (vacuum clamp) with a Vector arm. This is in the "darker," quieter and more dampened sounding side of the spectrum. The ideal choice is very much system and personal taste dependent. I know it is not realistic to try to actually "hear" tables in a meaningful comparison, so it is pretty much a guess. On the positive side, all of the better tables I've heard can be made to sound really good with careful setup and system tuning.

Perhaps you are looking for something different, but, for the money, SOTA tables are hard to beat. The Millenia with the vacuum clamp is a very good table. The Basis tables are terrific too. Another table to consider is the Merrill. I mention these brands because they are American made, and perhaps, offer decent value as compared to English tables that are battered by the devaluation of the dollar vs. the pound.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 6:34 PM Post #3 of 8

earwicker7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry I /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Perhaps you are looking for something different, but, for the money, SOTA tables are hard to beat.


Yeah, the Nova is a fairly well built machine, but it doesn't go well with the Dynavector arm. I found out after the fact (ie, I should have been told before I bought it, but wasn't) that the SOTA suspension is based around a 3 pound tonearm, and anything less than this is balanced out by adding mass with lead shot. The problem is that my tonearm is 3.5 pounds, and there is no way to subtract mass. The reason I say I should have been told is that SOTA had my tonearm (so that they could drill the armboard) and obviously knew there would be a problem (Kirk told me right off the bat that the tonearm would be difficult to deal with, but I was under the impression that he was able to "fix" it) but neglected to tell me and sold me the table anyway. I didn't notice the problem for quite a while, but eventually I noticed that the subchassis cannot be leveled; I can level the platter, which is the only thing I thought to look at at first, but eventually I noticed the subchassis wasn't level and that there was nothing I could do to fix it.
 
Nov 12, 2008 at 5:39 PM Post #4 of 8

Larry I

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Sorry to hear about the incompatibility with the Dynavector arm. I hope the Avid can accomodate it.

Have you looked into suspensionless tables? For no particular reason, I have not heard many suspensionless tables in my own system or that of my friends. I used to have a Well Tempered table (very good for the money), but, that table is funky in so many ways, I have no idea what sonic qualities to attribute to each weird design choice. I know several people with Verdier tables that sound terrific. But, while the plinth and arm support are suspensionless, the platter is magnetically levitated, and therefore, suspended.
 
Nov 12, 2008 at 5:42 PM Post #5 of 8

earwicker7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry I /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have you looked into suspensionless tables?


Yes, I'm looking at some of the Transrotor tables. The problem is that there are so many reviews of the Avid Acutus, to the point that I know for a fact I'd be getting a good table. The reviews on the Transrotors are almost non-existant (at least in English), so it could be a (very expensive) gamble.
 
Nov 12, 2008 at 9:39 PM Post #6 of 8

earwicker7

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It looks like I'll probably be getting the Transrotor Apollon40/60/M... Todd from TTVJ gave me an offer I can't refuse.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 10:44 AM Post #7 of 8

howiebrou

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I use an Avid Acutus with SME V and Benz Micro LP. The Avid is an excellent table. It sounds very smooth, although I have not had much chance to compare it directly with the same equipment to other tables. It is superbly built and very compact and easy to set up. Highly recommended.
 

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