Thorens TD-295 MK IV $1200
Thorens is a Swiss company that makes its turntables in Germany. Thorens continues to have high stakes in the record playing business.
The Thorens TD-295 is the company’s first true audiophile table. It does have an auto shutoff mechanism. But there is no linkage between the arm and automation. When the LP is over, TD-295 just stops spinning. Hence it is an auto shut off model. Tempting!! It’s a serious table that you don’t have to tend.
TD-295 is a third heavier than lesser Thorens models. It uses a heavy wood base and steel platter instead of lightweight aluminum used by most competitors in this range. The arm accepts a wide array of cartridges and interfaces nicely with Ortofons among many.
You will hear it with the Orto MC Quintet Black cartridge. This moving coil cart is considered among the top performers on the market. With Shibata Diamond and Boron Cantilever, MC Black competes with the best of the best. Heavyweight contenders these days regularly run $3k on up.
For $2200, which isn’t that expensive as you evaluate high end phono, you have a high performance turntable that shuts off at the end- with a top echelon moving coil cartridge. What a nice combo at a fair price!
NAD D3020 $400 (Reg Price $500)
NAD’s D3020 pays homage to its classic integrated amp of the 70s. It’s a 30×2 integrated amp featuring NAD’s Power Drive and Soft Clipping technologies. With NAD’s amp tricks, this little guy will drive any speaker you would logically mate it with!
One coax digital
One optical digital
One aux in for analog RCAs
A second aux in for 1/8th” jack
Sub out 1/8” jack
Built in headphone amp, 1/8” jack
Has aptX Bluetooth
Has bass EQ control, ideal for small speakers!
Marantz SR-6010 Surround Receiver $1400 (110×7)
Marantz’s SR-6010 features Dolby Atmos processing for four Atmos speakers. With respectable 110×7 amp on board, SR-6010 can serve as the hub of a fine system.
To further tempt you… You might consider running SR-6010 as a pre-pro and buying a kick-arse amp like the Emotiva XPA-5 ($1000, 200×5). The muscle of the Emo is good “forever.” By nature of the beast, we know the pre-pro is something you’ll change out approx every ten years due to changes in technology. This way, you’ll only have $1400 into the pre-pro!
Another word about Marantz. We are solicited on a regular basis by a variety of receiver manufacturers. We have indeed test driven a bunch to see if they measure up. But we have to tell you that one after the other, they crash and burn for one reason or another.
You would be surprised how difficult it is to make a fine surround receiver. You might think by now that making an HDMI board that works reliably is a piece of cake. It isn’t! You would think by now that switching among sources would be smooth and not glitchy. Not so.
All of the highly technical things that surround receivers are required to do, which includes just shaking hands reliably to sources, cannot be taken for granted. Marantz has conquered these issues nicely and provides current feedback amps with a 3 year warranty. They’re the most reliable receivers out there!
And if you haven’t heard Atmos yet, you are overdue to visit us.
Conductor Loses Life Over Conducting!
It was a while ago. 1687. Back in the day conductors didn’t use batons. They used large staffs and tapped out the beat on the stage for the musicians.
Composer/conductor Jean Baptiste Lully was born in Italy (1632) but was in France working for Louis the 14th. While conducting a particularly rigorous performance, Lully stabbed himself in the foot with his staff. The injury wasn’t treated properly and gangrene soon set in. Lully was also a dancer and refused to have his leg amputated. In short order the gangrene spread and Lully ultimately died as a result!