The Ultimate: Maxed Out AR ES-1 Turntable, Rega RB-301,

Another Turntable Offering

The Ultimate: Max-ed Out AR ES-1 Turntable w/Rega RB-303 Tonearm, $2495 plus shipping (Includes Dynavector 10X5!)


Why buy a restored vintage ARturntable 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.


This Week’s Maxed Out AR ES-1 with Rega RB-303 Tonearm

The AR ES-1 is one of those tables that makes my heart beat faster. It has looks that demand attention, especially in the rarified cherry finish.  This particular turntable was traded in by a customer who fulfilled his wish of owning a Merrill Heirloom.  The original turntable was purchased from me in 2012, and owner estimates less than a 100 hours of play due to a move made shortly after he purchased it.

On to the turntable…cosmetically, this table is an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10. (I’m a hard rater.) The cherry veneer is in very good to excellent shape, with only one significant scratch…see photo of left top rail. The metal portion of the plinth was professionally sand-blasted and powder-coated. The only other flaw of any consequence is an area of bare paint to the rear of the power switch.

The table has been highly modified with the CURRENT incarnation of the Merrill-Scillia/Vinyl Nirvana mods. It features the amazing terpolymer subchassis machined for the Rega arm,  the drive platter with the upgraded bearing shaft, and the outer platter.  The mat is the Merrill-Scillia lead mat. Rounding out (pun intended) out the platter system is a periphery ring clamp and a brand Bren1 record weight.  The springs, grommets and studs have all been replaced/upgraded, and I have installed a co-polymer pulley.

Also included is a brand new Gingko custom dustcover with original AR hinges.

The owner may opt to have the new Upgrade AR Motor or a Music Hall Cruise Control  installed at a discount price, if preferred.  Please inquire.


The Rega RB-303 Tonearm and Dynavector 10X5 Cartridge

The Rega arms are continually lauded for their amazing audio value.  This latest incarnation is an even better value due to the fact they are finally using truly good wiring and rcas.  The arm is mounted to the terpolymer subchassis  machined just for this arm.

I have decided to offer the turntable with the customer’s lightly used Dynavector 10X5.  The $450 retail cartridge is continually hailed as a hifi phenomenon. Again, the cartridge has less than 100 hours.  In my own listening tests, it sounds barely broken in.

Custom acrylic cover by Gingko included!
Custom acrylic cover by Gingko included!



1/2 Scratch on top left rail
1/2 Scratch on top left rail


Full Merrill Platter System: Bearing shaft, Terpolymer sub-chassis, acrylic platter, clamp ring, and weight!
Full Merrill Platter System: Bearing shaft, Terpolymer sub-chassis, acrylic platter, clamp ring, weight!
Lead mat has typical abrasions and also two deeper scratches 3/4 inch long
Lead mat has typical abrasions and also two deeper scratches 3/4 inch long


Closer view of lead mat scratches
Closer view of lead mat scratches




The Details

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 love 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.

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 5% restocking fee. After ten days, all returns are for merchandise credit only.

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

Email me if you are interested in purchasing this turntable or another one I have slated for restoration.