Special Package! AR ES-1 Turntable w/ Infinity Black Widow arm and Shure V-15VX cartridge


Special Package! AR ES-1 Turntable w/ Infinity Black Widow arm and Shure V-15VX cartridge

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SKU: ar-es1 black widow shure sept 2020 Category: Tags: , , ,


Why buy a restored vintage turntable from Vinyl Nirvana?

When you buy a restored turntable from Vinyl Nirvana, the table has undergone a multistep inspection, tuning, and detailing regimen.  The work is performed by me, someone who has worked exclusively on belt driven, suspended subchassis turntables such as Thorens, Linn, and AR for over a decade.  I know these models intimately, and have developed techniques over my lifetime to restore them to the best condition possible.

In addition, since I have probably the largest selection of parts for these turntables in North America, if it is determined by inspection that something needs to be replaced because it is missing, broken or worn, it happens. Though all of the turntables I sell will be 100% functional, because of their age, cosmetic condition will vary.  It is my pledge to you that any and all cosmetic defects will be pointed out in the item description, and whenever it is possible, photographs will be provided.  When you buy from me, it is not like eBay where you have to wonder if you are getting what you are really getting.  If there is a flaw cosmetically, you will know it is there.

As a potential buyer, you should know I don’t just service these turntables, I love them.  Though I have restored hundreds of them, I still find great joy in bringing a vintage turntable back to its glory.  Likewise, if the turntable has been customized, I cared deeply that those items are the best possible ones I can source.  For example, my custom plinths are built by a finish carpenter with over 30 years of experience, someone who cares as much about their sound construction as their beauty.  Likewise, when something is custom painted or powercoated, I go to a professional company, one of the most highly regarded in New England.  Those are just two examples, but I have made it my mission, when I do farm out work, to get people who care about their finished product the same way I do.

Finally, because none of the above will matter if the turntable doesn’t reach you in one piece, I have extensive experience in safely shipping vintage turntables.  I know the tricks and the techniques to get your turntable to you without incident.  I literally ship over 100 turntables per year, and my success rate is over 99%.  In the fractional amount of cases where there is a problem, it is always resolved with your complete satisfaction as my goal.  A lot of businesses make that claim; with me you will find it is a way of life. See our testimonial page.

The Featured AR ES-1 Turntable w/ Upgrades

The ES-1 was in the upper echelon of turntables that AR sold in the mid-80s. It featured an upgrade spindle shaft and bearing, as well as a plinth with solid wood sides. Many were sold without arms so that owners could install their own. It features just 33 and 45 rpm. Speed is changed by manually moving the belt.

Cosmetically, this table is an 8.0 on a scale of 1-10. (I’m a hard rater.)  The solid cherry sides and cherry veneer top are in very good condition.   It features very attractive grain patterns. There are two shallow 2″ scratches behind the platter, not seen from the front. (see pic)  These is also a crescent-shaped area of discoloration about 3″ to the front of the tonearm board. That is visible.  There may be other slight cosmetic issues, but certainly those are the two most significant ones. The metal portion of the plinth is in good condition.  There are faint signs of use/wear.  There is a dustcover included,  in excellent condition.

In terms of modifications, the aluminum platter was replaced with a used Merrill acrylic platter with lead mat. This is a wonderful upgrade that is becoming very rare to find. (Note the label is not looking great. I will be replacing that with one of George Merrill’s new “GEM DANDY” labels before shipment.)  When Merrill Scillia were last selling upgrade platters and lead mats, this combo would be a $259 value.

The motor has been replaced with the new upgrade motor Mr. Merrill had built specifically for these tables. You can read more about that here. I also added the copolymer pulley upgrade. ($54) Finally, I installed a new spring/stud kit (Also $54 value).

The vintage Infinity Black Widow Tonearm

I have stated this many times: I think the sexiest vintage tonearm is the Infinity Black Widow.  In addition, it’s a great sounding arm. This one is in VG+ to excellent cosmetic condition. There is one 1/4″ scratch on the rear side of the silver mounting plate.  The arm has been professionally rewired with high quality Cardas wire and clips. In its rewired state, this would be valued in the $600-800 range. I have upgraded the DIN cable with the ones I use on my custom Thorens offerings.  ($129)

Sad to say, but this included SME copolymer armboard is the LAST of my leftover Merrill-Scillia armboards produced in the 2000s. Retailing at $159, they just exude high quality craftsmanship.  I’ve been waiting for just the right package to use it…I think this one fits the bill.

The vintage Shure V-15VX cartridge

The Black Widow was designed at a time when increasingly light mass was desired for tonearms, thus it is perfect to use with high compliance cartridges such as this V15VX from my personal stash.   I am including TWO styli with the package. One is original with unknown hours but still sounds crisp and balanced to my ears. The second is a complete stylus assembly from which the diamond has fallen off.  Thus, if you send this to be retipped, they should be able to mount the diamond to that high quality cantilever. (While that work is being done, just enjoy the original stylus, also included.  The V15VX regularly sells on ebay for $3-500! The V-15s are often heralded as the greatest moving magnet cartridges ever made.

The Details

110/120 volt 60 hz only

Note: Due to the nature and scope of my business, shipping your turntable package can range from 2-10 business days. After your purchase, I will contact you within 24 hours with my best shipping estimate date. 

Note: Turntables with sprung subchassis are wonderful in many ways for isolating your turntable from unwanted resonances, however, they are susceptible to footfalls. If this turntable is going in a room with bouncy floors, it will need to go on a wall shelf for proper functioning. 

We have over fifteen years experience shipping vintage turntables successfully. All turntables are packed with the utmost concern with them arriving in the same condition you see pictured here.

If the buyer needs it, I can supply up to a half hour hour of help by phone with set up. (At a mutually arranged time.) In general, most buyers don’t need it, but if there IS a problem, I am there. I also have many videos available to hel with various set-up issues.

Your table is guaranteed to look and work as described, or you may return it within ten days of arrival for a full refund, minus return shipping charges and a 10% restocking fee.  After ten days, all returns are for merchandise credit only. If you ever have an issue with your purchase, 3 weeks or months or years after the purchase, please contact me and we will resolve the issue in a way we mutually agree upon.

Read what Ben Folds and others have had to say about buying from Vinyl Nirvana.


Additional information

Weight400 oz
Dimensions24 × 18 × 14 in