I’m after opinions! I know, this is hardly the right place, you’re all such a unanimous bunch
I’ve run a Systemdek for years, and after a recent service, new Goldring 1042 stylus, new arm cable (Roksan HDC03a), and trialling both XS3 inbuilt stage, and Stageline N, thought it was about as good as it was realistically going to get. Which is a fine place, it sounds great in that configuration, and although isn’t quite the match of a mk1 Hugo, it is very enjoyable to listen to, and I spend hours doing so!
For the moment I’m happy with my streaming setup (Primare NP5 & mk1 Hugo), the SQ is excellent, even if the UX is not as nice as an all-in-one player. I will go for a ND5 XS2 at some point; after comparing it to my Hugo, it wasn’t awful, and in fact rather enjoyable, and the UX is way better.
Unfortunately the motor on my Systemdek recently started to exhibit occasional noise. I have started investigating motor replacements, gentle mitigation (some light oil seems to have eased symptoms) and also considering a new TT.
I first listened to a Vertere DG-1/Magneto against my TT. I was mostly, but not entirely convinced, the DG-1 remains pretty intriguing.
In July I’m off to listen to whatever Origin Live consider appropriate for a 2-3k budget across TT and arm.
I’d like a replacement TT to last me another 25 years, and likely the end of my hifi journey. I’d like a TT that is going to last, and from a manufacturer that supports their products. I do not think realistically I can run my Systemdek regularly for another 25 years, hence I do think I’m looking to replace it at this stage.
But the question I’m trying to wrestle with is, should I stay with MM, or venture into the heady world of MC? I just added a Graham Slee Accession MM phono stage to my Systemdek, and crikey is it an improvement. I’m amazed by how much better my TT sounds, to the point I’m almost considering fixing the motor on my existing TT and sticking with it (and crossing my fingers the main bearing holds out)! It’s right up there with the Hugo now. But I’m also wondering how much better a (c. 3k) TT replacement would sound? I’m also wondering how much better, say, a Hana SL & Superline on a new TT would sound? I’m kinda toying with the following options:
- Stick with Systemdek & Accession (maybe use budget to go for NDX2 rather than ND5 XS2 at some point in future) - cross my fingers and replace the deck only if it irrevocably breaks (my so called “CD5 strategy” )
- Upgrade to a £3k deck, stick with MM and Accession phono stage. Basically a better base deck and stick with MM, possibly upgrading my 1042, though it sounds excellent!
- Upgrade to a £2k deck, £500-£750 MC, 2nd hand Superline and run it initially from the powered aux on my XS3, later add a Hicap. Probably getting on for £4k total (but can sell on my Accession, so just over £3k)? Basically a cheaper base deck and go for MC.
I hadn’t considered a SUT/headamp until @llatpoh76 (thanks llatpoh76 - I wrote all this and didn’t post it, but your post prompted me to actually post it after all!) suggested one, so that’s another option.
Short term budget is £2-3k, £4k if I loose my senses in the demo room. Swapping XS3 for a Supernait is my long term amplification goal, no further!!
Is going to that level of MC (£500 -£750) worth the increased cartridge and periodic cartridge replacement costs (Goldring 1042 stylus replacements run “only” about £200)? If I upgraded my deck today that would mean a trade off for a lower specification base deck and arm. Or should I buy the better base deck and arm and stick with MM?
It’s almost like deciding between Rega P8 with MC and P10 with MM. Or Origin Live Aurora with MC and Calypso with MM.
Thanks anyone who got to the end of this post