Oh boy! New toy!
UPS finally managed to deliver (there was some doubt there for a day) my new analog front end. To wit: one TW Acustic Raven AC-3, a TW Acustic Raven 10.5 tonearm, an Ortofon Windfeld cartridge and a Thoress Raven phono stage.
Setup took about 90 minutes because I’m slow. That plinth weighs about 875lbs. Holy crap.
That Raven 10.5 tonearm is a jewel. In fact, everything is. Look and feel is extremely upscale. Everything is machined to such a level, it’s like playing with the insides of a mechanical Swiss watch.
At this point, I think it’s all ready to go. Azimuth is more or less correct. VTA is more or less correct. Everything could probably be tweaked, but the setup is now music-ready, I think.
Cued up a couple of demo tracks and … [insert big, fat, happy grin here].
I just purchased a TW Raven AC-1 and TW 10.5 arm in November which hopefully will arrive in late Jan/early Feb. I can’t wait till it gets here! Very interested in further opinions once you have your AC……
What cart and phono pre are you using with the AC-1/10.5 combo. I placed an order on the ac-1 and am thinking the 10.5 would be a good addition as well. thanks.
I’ve had really good luck with Ortofon. The Cadenza Black is a (comparative) bargain and extraordinarily strong performer, but I’m currently running a Windfeld. I’ve heard the table/arm combo with a Miyajima Kansui and liked that cart quite a lot as well. I chose the Ortofon because I think it works better with the gain my phono preamp brings to the table.
I’m very close to pulling the trigger on a Raven One or possibly the AC with the 10.5 arm. Would be pairing it with my Tron phono preamp. I’m sure your new setup sounds fantastic!
I noticed your posting @ RMAF about the Thöress Phono Equalizer and your impressions there. Was wondering what your motivations were in picking the TW phono over that?
I got a great deal on the outgoing model? 😉
I think the equalizer is terrifically cool. No more loading or whatever — now, you build your own curves. It’s extraordinarily impressive for an analog-only gadget. And at RMAF this year, it (and the system it was in) was outstanding.
I’d love to know how that TW/Thoress compares to the Koru. Hint? Please?
I’ve never had a Koru, so not sure I’d be the guy to ask. Sorry?
No worries. I think I vaguely remembered your writing something about the Plinius back around March. My mind may be playing tricks.
LOL. Oh, the Plinius Koru. I’m a moron. I thought you meant “Kondo” or something. My bad.
Yes, I did in fact have the Koru in here for almost a year. That was a great phono stage! Extremely linear across the entire spectrum, fantastic extension in both the treble and bass. Mid range was a very Plinius — more warm than not, with good balance b/w richness and detail, but not overwhelmingly focusing on the mids. Some of the best that solid-state has to offer, actually.
Okay, that said, the Thoress/TW Acustic Raven is a whole different thing. While not stuck under a magnifying glass like what the Lampizator DAC does, the mid range through the Thoress is very sexy to my ear. Very musical, detail is great but it’s the density of tone that hits you right away. Treble is very good — cymbals sound very brassy and the decays are both natural and extended. Bass is about what I expected — tubey. Good with upright bass and kick drum, maybe a little less so with hip-hop sub-bass (the Plinius couldn’t have cared less, FWIW, bass was bass and all bass is good bass). So, while the Koru wins there, I have to tell you, as soon as I put a record on this table with the Thoress preamp, it’s like my feet go into arhythmic spasms — I can’t stop tapping my toes (or attempting to do so) to the music. Loving this sound — and I’m very tempted to bob my head and snap my fingers too. It’s weird. LOL.
I still think the Koru is one of the best kept phono secrets. Fantastic preamp. But the Thoress preamp is, as they say, in a whole different league.
Hope this helps ….