Another Turntable Offering:
“Baby Grand” AR the Turntable in Piano Black, SME M2-9 Arm,
M-H II Power & Speed Control, Many Mods, $2295 plus shipping.
Why spend more to buy a refurbished AR turntable from Vinyl Nirvana?
Buying vintage electronic equipment on eBay can be a gamble. To better your chances at winning, you want two things: 1) Plenty of information about the auction item; and 2) A seller you can trust. When an AR turntable is refurbished by Vinyl Nirvana, it undergoes a multi-step inspection and tuning regimen. Ask another seller of aa AR table on Ebay these questions and see if you can get a response…
Is the motor running silently? Any unhealthy bearing noise?
Is the spindle straight? Was the spindle cleaned of old belt residue, which can cause rumble?
Does the belt properly interface with the spindle on both 33 and 45 rpm?
Is the belt new or in near mint condition?
Is the proper length belt installed? (Differences of less than an inch can result in speed changes.)
Is the proper width belt installed? (Differences can result in belt slippage or faulty change of speed.)
Has the platter bearing been inspected? Is it straight, true, and without significant wear?
Has the platter bearing well been inspected? Was it cleaned of old grease and contaminants? Was it properly lubed with appropriate oil?
Is the tonearm functioning properly? Any significant side-to-side motion, which can adversely affect tracking? Is range of motion appropriate? Is anti-skate functioning? Is appropriate tonearm weight installed?
Is cueing adjusted properly?
Were electrical connections cleaned and inspected? Headshell leads? Tonearm recepticle? RCA plugs? (Dirty connections can contribute to hum problems.) Are all connections tight? ( I use Dexoit products, highly recommended.)
Is transport screw intact? Is it functioning properly?
Are dust cover hinges intact and not stripped?
Was all wiring beneath the turntable inspected? Were worn solder joints re-soldered?
What is the condition of the AC cord? The interconnect cable?
Are springs in good working condition? Have worn springs been replaced? Has spring suspension been tuned? (This is an art learned through having set up dozens of these tables.)
Was the speed checked by strobodisc at 33 and 45 rpm?
Was headshell inspected? Is there any stripping? Do the cartridge screws hold tight? Are the leads brittle?
Is the tonearm rest original? Is it functioning properly?
Is a proper mat installed?
Is the base intact? Are the rubber feet intact?
If an AR table fails to pass any of the above inspections, Vinyl Nirvana corrects the problem before it gets listed. If the turntable is unsellable due to too many defects, it becomes a parts unit to be used in the restoration of other AR units. In addition to this multi-step inspection, each turntable is thoroughly detailed with appropriate cleaners. The average cleaning takes up to two hours. Though the tables Vinyl Nirvana sells will vary cosmetically, they will always be clean. Can you trust Vinyl Nirvana as a seller? Please read our ebay feedback (username vinylnirvana3345) regarding sales of turntables. Notice references to item exactly as described. Notice references to excellent packing. Notice references to our service and committment after the sale. Then see our testimonial page linked on the “For Sale” page.
This Week’s “Baby Grand” AR the Turntable in Piano Black, w/ SME M2-9 Arm & More
If you are familiar with AR lore, you know that there were a very limited number of AR ETL-1s produced with a piano black finish. In my whole career working with these turntables, I have come across only one. (See my Gallery page) I love wood and wood finishes as much as anyone who loves vintage, but there is something about that black ETL-1 that sets my heart racing.
Inspired by the ETL-1 in piano-black, I commissioned this special base. I want to emphasize two things: 1) This finish is professionally done. This is not made in my backyard with a few cans of paint. This is a professionally applied and built up piano black finish. 2) The finish was applied over an existing AR the turntable plinth that was professionally prepared by an experienced auto body professional. I would wager 99% of the original imperfections in the original plinth were accounted for, however, if you are a paint professional, and you examine it long enough, you will likely discover those very slight imperfections. For the rest of us, it is nothing but dropdead gorgeous. Overall, with the top metal plate also newly and professionally painted, I would rate the unit a solid 9.5. The dust cover is 30 years old, and shows some wear and very slight marring, but nothing that detracts from the total package.
Because of the special nature of the plinth, I have begun to nickname the turntable “Baby Grand.” Fitting that stature, this is the first AR the Turntable I am offering with a Mose-Hercules II power and speed control unit. Many reading this know that last year I began offering an upgrade motor sourced by George Merrill. It has been a universal success, solving many of the issues in the stock motor that are well documented. However, with my foray into the world of Linn turntables, I discovered the Mose-Hercules II power and speed control unit. Though I am passionate about this hobby, I am rarely one to embellish the performance of modifications. If anything, I downplay so as not to overbuild expectations. I want to report here that I was completely taken by surprise with the improvement in the Mose-Hercules II made when I first installed it. My KAB Speedstrobe indicates the turntable is operating at correct speed both with and without the M-H unit installed, but to my ears, the music just jumps out of the grooves with the Mose-Hercules II installed. That is compared with both the Merrill upgrade motor and the stock Hurst Motor. The downside of using the M-H II is you must continue to use the stock Hurst, with its documented issues. However, the M-H II does seem to quiet the Hurst motor a bit. Ask me which way an AR owner should go in regards to motors right now, and I am undecided. I will continue to sort it out and write about it here in my blog as I come to a conclusion. At present, there are certainly positives to each. One advantage you do get from the Mose-Hercules II is the ability to switch from 33 to 45 at the push of a button…no more belt changing! (Yes, that makes the old on/off switch strictly vestigial.)
Okay, back to the “Baby Grand.” Besides the Mose-Hercules upgrade, I have installed other modifications: a 33rpm only co-polymer pulley, an upgrade drive platter shaft, and a new spring/stud kit. The Bren weight is included at the sale price. If the new owner wishes, we can discuss upgrading the rest of the platter system with the acrylic platter, lead mat, and outer clamp ring. I can make an attractive package price.
The SME M2-9 Tonearm
The SME tonearms have been lauded for their excellence for over 40 years. The M2-9 is their latest arm. (Retail $1595) It incorporates many of the classic SME characteristics, yet belongs solidly in the here and now. It can easily handle cartridges in a multi-thousand dollar range. Quite possibly, this is the nicest arm I have offered on one of my turntables. It is mounted on a new co-polymer armboard machined just for this arm. (All box, packing, and literature is included.)
If you purchase this table, we can discuss cartridge options as part of the sale. I have several recommendations. If I mount and align your cartridge, it makes set-up in your home incredibly easy, plus you get the peace of mind it’s been done right.
A Note about Piano Black Finishes
With the beauty of these finishes, comes responsibility. I will include with the sale an air duster, a microfiber cloth, and some special cleaner/polish recommended for upkeep. I will also include a set of white gloves for removal of the turntable from the packaging and placement on its rack. If one is reasonably careful, and one uses the air duster instead of a cloth for regular dusting, this finish, like a car finish, can last a long long time.
This table will be packed like it is a fragile pane of glass. I simply care too much for these tables to just shove them in a box. I will carefully pack the table in extra sturdy boxes. and bubble wrap. I prefer Fedex Ground. What I love best is introducing someone new to the joys of vinyl, getting someone back into vinyl who left it for the “superiority” of cds, or helping someone else who does appreciate it to “move up.” In that regard, I do what few sellers do…if the buyer needs it, I can supply up to one 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.
Email me if you are interested in purchasing this turntable or another one I have slated for restoration.