A Thought Exercise: Consolidating Analog To One Table and Two Cartridges

So this is a thought exercise only at this time. The idea has been bouncing around in the back of my head for a couple of weeks, and have discussed it with a friend but really can't come to a defninitve choice. 

By nature, my stereo system is a product of consolidation. I buy and try, sometimes get a few pieces here, eventually sell and buy the next level up until I am satisfied. In regards to my current system this has led me to a pair of Classe Omega amplifiers and a Trinnov Audio Amethyst pre-amplifier. These are long term keepers for me.

Speakers may get an upgrade in the future or not. Pair of JBL 4365 with a pair of Velodyne HGS12 subwoofers just augmenting the bottom end a little. Room is a typical living room of 16'x20'x8' that the onboard DSP of the Trinnov and some room treatments helps smooth out. 


The first plan is to keep two cartridges, Ortofon Verismo and Transfiguration Audio Proteus. That way I have one to listen to when the other is out for service. Keep a Schroder CB 1L tone arm. Keep a BMC MCI Signature ULN phono stage. Theoretically everything else goes to make a pile of money. 

What goes? Ideally both tables. the SOTA cannot be used with this arm. But as an alternate plan I could keep the SOTA Cosmos Eclipse and put a higher quality arm on it and have it be the only table. 


Scenerio #1 What Goes

SOTA Cosmos Eclipse

Scheu Audio Las Laufwerk No 2 

SME V (older generation)

Dynavector DV 505

Esoteric E-03 phono stage

Ortofon MC 2000 all OEM 

Ortofon MC2000 with boron cantilever

Ortofon MC5000

Ortofon MC3000 II

Ortofon T2000

Ortofon T5000


In theory i could raise between $16 and $18K. Much depends on selling prices of the tables. 


What could I buy? This catches the eye, although how I would get it here would be a logistics problem. 


TW Acustic Raven Black Night (REDUCED) For Sale | Audiogon


I do believe I can get the Schroder arm on it. 


Option #2 

Would be keeping the SOTA Cosmos Eclipse and obtaining a better tonearm for it. Keeping the Verismo and the Proteus as planned. If the other equipment was sold then it could go to a speaker fund. Perhaps sell the JBL and make a speaker upgrade. 


The real question becomes this I guess. The next tier of turntable, does it really have meaningful improvements to offer? I think I can climb one last tier of the ladder and then I max out. But is it worth it to go through the effort? When I listen to the gear I have, the Verismo and the BMC phono stage really do lead the pack. I loved the MC2000 before this combo came around and I optimized it. I find different "sound" interesting to hear, but for me I am content to listen to my best and have limited interest in my lower tier gear. So I could just envision myself listening to these two cartridges. I don't rotate gear, or speakers, and don't have multiple systems. 


Any thoughts? Like I said at the moment this is a thought exercise, not sure if I would want to go down this path or not. I do enjoy the MC2000s and they are difficult to obtain, so that gives me pause. But if an improvement is within reach, that is always my goal. 


Without experiencing through demonstration any of the suggestions that are to be made and even the TT you have put a Link to, a lot will be left to conjecture.

There will be difficulties met in being totally reassured the exchanges being considered for the Source will be a better performance, aesthetically there might be much more attraction to be found.

Aesthetics can be a substantial cost during the design process and will be reflected in the final retail price and used sale price.

Attractive aesthetics are no guarantee of a finesse in the performance of a device.

You have Cart's and Tonearms readily available to go through a selection process.

That side of the elimination will prove easier to satisfy yourself, and it already looks like the Cart' considerations are made and the keepers are selected. 

Tonearms can perform superbly on one TT, making a really positive impression and can be discovered as working not to the same impression on another.

As a suggestion, it would make sense to keep the Tonearms at hand until the TT situation is dealt with, as a owned Tonearm might excel when attached to a different TT 'if purchased' . 

If you are wedded to your Schroder CB1L you could easily fit a new Kuzma R into your budget. Other options second hand would be Brinkmann or others.

Alternately, given the Sota Cosmos is a very good TT why not keep the Sota and buy a new arm with a removable headshell - two very good options are the Kuzma 4Point9 and the Glanz. In both instances you would have an arm in which you can swap cartridges in minutes ( assuming you buy extra headshells and have each cartridge pre set up on headshell ).

Cartridge swapping would be much easier on the second option.

Glanz have a Interference Fit Headshell Design, I regularly am witnessing the Glanz 12" Model in use with a DD TT and can't detect anything perceptible as unattractive during all of the experiences.

I have been demonstrated a working concept for a Interference Fit design used as a re-design for the SME Bayonet Type and the improvement was extreme in the movement department toward a betterment, when compared A/B to the original version.

I am intrigued by Kuzma as TT design, I have not investigated their Tonearms in the same manner I have their TT's or certain other Tonearms.

I myself have the exchangeable Headshell Option and it is one I do not intend on being without.  

I vote for single table with 2 arms on it, or 1 base with interchangeable arm wands:

most active cartridge on main arm, 2nd arm with removable headshell for favorite ’other’. any cartridge, including your visiting friends.

2nd arm, already correct for current VTA, tracking force, anti-skate.

Switch headshell, (overhang and null points done): adjust tracking force and anti-skate (easy, I use blank LP to watch anti-skate, quick and accurate).

The issue is VTA. My second arm has easy VTA. On the Fly isn’t the object, quick and easy arm height for any cartridge is the point.

In my case, I squeezed a 3rd arm on, with a MONO cartridge pre-mounted, ready to swap back and forth Stereo/Mono/Other cartridge ... i.e. Oscar Peterson, short pile of LP’s, oh, this one’s mono, ...

IMPLEMENTATION of multiple arms:

I chose a Vintage Fidelity Research SUT, FRT-4, this one is in nice shape


Notice: 3 front selectable inputs, one output remains into your Phono Stage.

Optional settings for various MC cartridges

PASS for MM or High Output MC cartridges skips the innards of the SUT.


You can see my 3 arm table here (8th photo):


Mine is a JVC plinth designed for 2 arms, CLP-2

main arm, long one (mine blackbird from russia 12.5", fixed cartridge, set screw arm height, with attached micrometer for fine adjustment



2nd arm: removable headshell, VTA on the Fly, so easy, Acos Lustre GST-801, advantage, reasonably small base. Unique Magnetic forces.

They make an older GST-1, also easy VTA, but it needs a special cutout.

sold, but shows it well


3rd arm, fixed cartridge (I squeezed a 3rd arm on for mono). Mission 774LC (jelco), short rear balance section and small base (skip the plate, simple small round plate) to just fit when dust cover is on..





I recently added it up, total cost including 3 cartridges: $5,500. Lot of work putting it together piece by piece, and my cartridges are nice but not pricey: MC: AT33PTG/II MM: existing Shure body V15Vxmr with new Jico SAS on boron. several alternates on headshells, ready to go MONO: Grado; and I had VAS rebuild an AT33PTG MONO body with advanced stylus, that will occasionally go on rear removable headshell arm.


Other options I have seen/personally setup for friends:

single base with changeable arm wands, cartridges pre-mounted, easy VTA

Technics EPA-B500 base, magnificent engineering


straight fixed cartridge arm wand

s arm, removable headshell


Steve’s, at VAS VPI with uni-pivot base, several ’lift off’ arms with cartridges pre-mounted


Luxman PD-444 Two arm Table. Simple looking, but some very nice engineering involved.


saw micro seiki 3 arm TT


and recently discovered they make a 4 arm version ....1500


I had no idea where I was going when I started, but with help here, and a bit of research, I ended up with my frankentable!



Of course, other higher end solutions exist, mine is my typical bargain hunter solution.

I appreciate the responses, as having a group to exchange ideas with is a great resource to work through these kinds of questions. Having a larger body of experience to draw from in invaluable.

The core question is really this. Does next tier of tables offer tangible gains in performance? That is really what the question is, would you not say?

Oh in terms of casual vinyl playback, or playing other records when friends are over, well that is a non-issue. When I installed this preamp, and hardwired it to the router the internal DAC offers such a level of performance that I can easily enjoy it for casual listening. Truthfully, if I did not have analog gear already I would be hard pressed to justify it. I don’t need casual cartridges, or different presentations, that has limited appeal to me these days.

If a Raven, Triangle, or Kuzma does not offer tangible improvements then it does seem the best option is to keep the Cosmos Eclipse here Now this is the tricky part. Of all my analog combos I prefer the Verismo through the BMC phono stage. I like the Proteus through the Esoteric, but its not my favorite. The Schroder arm is 11 inches, so it will not fit on the SOTA. If I plan on moving the Verismo to the SOTA that is going to need a different arm. I believe 10.5 inches is the longest I can go, and arm weight is a factor due to the suspension of the SOTA.

A couple of the suggestions so far basically put forth the answer of keeping what i have here now. The Dynavector is a removable headshell arm, and it is where I can play the various Ortofon cartridges. The problem is I find I have no desire or appreciation in rotating through them. The Verismo outplays them, and when I sit down to listen to analog that is what I want to hear. Digital is fine when I am at the computer drinking coffee in the mornings or whatever other casual listening I do.

So far option #2 looks like a viable choice. Sell the Scheu, Dynavector, Schroder, and Ortofon cartridges/SUT. As far as arms for the SOTA I would thnik Reed, Graham, Triplanar, or Kuzma?

Regarding Option #1. With this there is no try and decide. I don't have the financial resources to bring in a $15K table to listen to and then decide if I want it or not. To go down this path it requires me to sell off the tables and associated gear I have to make this choice. Of course that takes time, and then who knows exactly what is available on Audiogon at that point. Its the unfortunate fact of being a a person of limited financial resources. 

As for TT's being noticeably improved.

As a guidance to the experiences that may be encountered.

Recently my Local HiFi Group got together to demonstrate Three Belt Drive TT's in use. One is a Second System TT (Heavily Modified LP12 ) and the others are both the main Vinyl Source (Schue with Origin Live modification and a Soulines Kubrick DCX).

This was a session I was not able to attend, but did receive a decent account of the assessments made.

The main vinyl source TT's (Schue > OL Illustrious Arm and Soulines > Reed Arm) are exchange TT's with exchange Tonearms being used in place of more expensive TT's.

The earlier evaluations given by the owners of the Schue/Soulines, was that the TT's were very capable and there was seemingly nothing detected as being amiss with the exchange models in use as a source.

On the day of the Comparison Demonstration, during the evaluations using the TT's different Arms and Cart's, there was not a unanimous agreement that one Model was the overall preferred.

The outcome was that there was differences noticed in how the Bass Frequencies were presented and how a particular Track, had shown differences in the Soundstage, where it has been able to expand beyond the Speakers.

With this as a evaluation it does seem that the TT and supporting ancillaries were capable of showing subtle differences, maybe even a noticeable difference, but not one that is detected to the point it is referred to as a game changer.

The real point of interest, is that the Schue and Soulines are claimed by their owners to present in a manner that is not disconcerting, when the recollection is made to how they compare to the superseded TT's that are approx' 5 x more to purchase. 

When a similar event occurred on the same system with a DD TT vs a few Belt Drive TT's of which one was the above LP12, all attendees present were very impressed with the DD demonstration, the attraction it had as an improved presentation was unanimous. 

The impact the Demo' had was the LP12 owner purchased a SP10R shortly after and another Belt Drive Owner bought a SP10 MkII to undergo similar modifications to the one that was demo'd, another member dug out a long-time stored SP10 MkII to get on board. The owner of the SME20/12 a little later on become motivated to make a change and went of in their new direction, having been of the opinion there was more to be attained through bringing in a different TT and Tonearm.


Primary Control Kinea. End game. I will be bringing one in later this year to demo.... STST meanwhile a stone cold bargain. But these are new not used per se.

@solypsa my post referencing the impact a DD TT had on a Group of which some were dedicated to Belt Drive is not a recommendation for a DD TT.

It is just a pointer to the OP, that is a Belt Drive user,  that when it comes to experiencing TT's a open mind is going to help with the end decision that is yet to be found. 

I did similar many years ago within the same Group, with showing the virtues of affordable Idler Drive TT's, especially with improved Bearing and Plinth Design.

A selection of the Group acquired GL75's, followed up by having the usual fun created through tweaking them, where the Mechanical Parts and the Plinth Design were attended to, with the outcome being a lot of TT Performance, for a very sensible monies outlaid.

The Idlers at the time did not supersede the Belt Drive TT's but did offer a good alternative experience.

It was the later DD TT demo' that caused the Belt Drives to be moved on from as the main TT's. 

The OP will have their best opportunity to learn about the new direction wanted to be taken, if encouraged to receive/experience demo's of all Drive Types for a TT.

The Kinea DD TT you are referring to is probably going to retail at approx' $15000 as a TT without a Tonearm.  

Unless you’re on concrete slab, don’t consider selling the SOTA. I tried to make a Clearaudio work on a suspended wood floor, and it was just too tough. I suppose there’s a Townshend Podium I could try as a potential "proper" solution, but the SOTA 4-point suspension simply breezes through all issues posed by this room. Moving on from a SOTA to anything else is risky, unless you’re on slab.

I agree it’s annoying that SOTA supports just 1 arm up to ~ 9.5 - 10" effective length and ~ 2.3 lbs weight. However, I’m not even a fan of 12" arms (I doubt the benefit outweighs the problems) and if you get a high quality arm with removable headshells (Ikeda, FR) or arm wands (Graham) then you can support 2 cartridges with just a little swapping effort - most cartridges are the same height and Graham has easy VTA setting.

Verismo and Transfiguration sounds like a pretty wicked 1-2 combo! And you have quite a collection of nice vintage Ortofons. My guess, from experience with an MC20, is they have a very different sound quality from modern Ortofons: low output, very little coils, large soft cobalt magnets versus stiff small neodymium magnets and larger coils to offset their new less-ferrous armatures. The sonic perspective is very different. Not too much like anything available today. Be careful to not sell something you’ll miss later!


​​​​​​Previous to these tables I owned a SP 10 MK II in a constrained layer plinth, Denon PP75 in VPI plinth, and a Brinkman Bardo. Of the three I preferred the Denon. Prior to that I also owned a TD124 and a 401. Now every table stands on it's own merits, but as a general rule I find I appreciate these belt drives over the others. 



Essentially this makes the argument of standing pat with the tables and putting a better arm on the SOTA. That certainly is a viable option.

I recently acquired the Schroder CB-1L in January of this year, and I will say the quality of the bearings is so much higher than what is in the SME, I have a hard time believing it. I would have never thought there could be this large of a gap.

Perhaps a new arm for the Cosmos would be a good idea, and see what the potential of the table is. Leave the Scheu alone. According to @Pindac post other listeners are not unanimous on the thought that other tables are significantly better, but just perhaps different. At least that is the impression I get from reading the post.



I had one of those with a MA505 arm in the early 2000s. It was an underwhelming table, had no love for it. Wish I had it back though...so I could sell it again for more money.

I have several tone arms and cartridges for my Thorens TD147.  I regularly swap them out depending on the music or other factors.  Several MM cartridges and an MC cartridges get rotated around regularly 


Might I suggest an Option 3:  You give ME one of the turntables and then your choices aren't as vast.  Just a thought 😉.  Your name strangely mirrors the dilemma put forth in your post and the opening lyrics to the Dio led Black Sabbath classic (if you know, you know) --


"Oh no, here it comes again
Can't remember when we came so close to love before
Hold on, good things never last
Nothing's in the past, it always seems to come again
Again and again, again and again, and again"



Yes.  That DQX 1000 was a performance disappointment for the money.  But it did accommodate multiple arms. Which I wanted.

I ended up Making it Myself.  Turned out an okay performer for the time but did have three arms.

@allenf1963  I love me some Dio era Sabbath. Heaven and Hell is one of my all time favorite songs. Very underappreciated piece that one is. Except by us old geezer(yeah I said it) metal heads that remember those times. 

@neonknight  -- So is that a yes on the table....😂


Neon Knights!

Neon Knights!

All right!

@neonknight Please note: I was not at the Demo' of the Schue.

The point I am trying to get across, is that the owners of the Scheu and Soulines are dedicated to Belt Drive TT's and have owned much more expensive Models from Brands that are seen as got to choices. The thoughts shared on the lesser value priced TT's is that they have proved very satisfying and are not offering anything noticeably lesser that the more expensive options.

It is the idea that either owners along with other attendees, whilst present at the demo', taking place between the Belt Drive TT's, on a very well known system, were unable to decide a outright preferred TT, inclusive of the Heavily Modified LP12.

As said earlier, I t might prove difficult to find noticeably better than a already owned TT, if limiting the idea of a exchange taking place without having a Prior Experience of the device before a purchase is made.  


@pindac Well essentially that points to standing where I am as both tables in my possession are quite respectable.  In a way that is how I got to this point. When buying the SOTA Cosmos I bought an earlier generation Star Sapphire to determine if I liked the philosophy of a SOTA table. I did, and the purchased Cosmos was significantly better in all aspects, but the overarching philosophy of a SOTA design remains.

In terms of buying the Sceu Audio Das Laufwerk No2, I have owned a Teres and Galibier table in the past. They are both high mass unsuspended designs that were based on one of the earlier Scheu tables. Once again basic philosophy holds true with the design. 

I have gotten to the point of where I am based on previous experiences, but this is where the trail ends. To move past this I have no road map, it is uncharted terrirtory.  

Well essentially that points to standing where I am as both tables in my possession are quite respectable. In a way that is how I got to this point. When buying the SOTA Cosmos I bought an earlier generation Star Sapphire to determine if I liked the philosophy of a SOTA table. I did, and the purchased Cosmos was significantly better in all aspects, but the overarching philosophy of a SOTA design remains.

This is truly the agony of being an analog enthusiast. In addition to a SOTA Nova V vacuum (just before the VI and Eclipse advancements), my main table is a Clearaudio Master Innovation. Very different table philosophies! I love the ability to easily (once arm boards are acquired) setup & swap out multiple arms, though I do find 3 unwieldy - 2 is the right # for me. No suspension to fidget with and re-balance. I’ve swapped many cartridges out on both tables but I keep a FR64fx (I have 2) on the SOTA because it’s just far easier that way. I’ve played with a few arms and phono stages, at least.

True to its name, the Clearaudio table (and this holds for its smaller sibling Innovation Wood and Compact) sounds clearer and cleaner - with more clarity, transparency, and a notably lower noise floor. The SOTA has more warmth and body in the midrange through bass (really great bass impact) with amazing PRaT. More of a "fun" and romantic sound versus the Clearaudio’s pristine sound. Honestly I’d swap these tables out in the main rig more often, if it wasn’t such a pain to tear down and move the huge Master.

The magnitude of these tables’ sonic differences? I’d say it’s maaaybe close to that of swapping arms / carts / phono stages, but a tad more subtle. I use a ring clamp on the Clearaudios because I’m a big believer in whole-record clamping. The Stillpoints LPI is my favorite center weight. The SOTA vacuum or ring clamp - both work well. I suppose the vacuum is easier, but might contribute to the higher noise floor (or is that the difference in bearing which might not apply to newer SOTA)?

What I run into periodically, is that the Clearaudio decks either need serious isolation, or you need to be on concrete slab. You can run them in a bad spot and they may sound fine at first, but problems will emerge especially if you listen loud (like I do). Stillpoints etc won’t do it - you need low frequency isolation / filtering. If that 8 - 12 Hz cartridge + tonearm resonance gets excited and is not damped enough, it's game over (amps don't like reproducing this at high levels). Coming from the SOTA (my first table) - this was kind of a shock (and still is). The SOTA will excel ANYWHERE. Stuff like the Symposium ISO Segue has springs too, but isn’t in the same ballpark of effectiveness as SOTA’s springs. Their 4-point suspension is amazingly effective. I get away with the Clearaudio in my main rig because of a 20K Maxxum rack, and the fact that my suspended wood floor there is much more rigid than that of modern residences (old world industrial construction). On a normal suspended wood floor, and/or with a cheap rack - lots of problems.

@mulveling Had a chat with Donna this morning. Arm length that is possible is typically 9 to 9.5 inches. They say they have done one 10" arm, a Jelco of some sort. Also states that the arm needs to be no more than two pounds and a couple of ounces. When they drill for the Origin Live Illustrious they have to do a custom arm board to lose enough weight to accommodate that arm. 

A Kuzma 4Point can be put on it, but the dust cover has to be cut to accommodate the arm. Apparently a Reed has issues as they have yet to cut a board for one. Perhaps its the weight issue as that pivot assembly is quite chunky. 

Not as easy a solution as one would think. 

Well, you have enjoyed a lot of gear….. and a brave soul for reaching out….

I sold a LOT of SOTA tables into old houses in the midwest, as @mulveling astutely says the suspension is well executed, especially for the $. Eclipse addressed the long standing speed / pitch stability issues.

Having said all that a solid unsuspended table plus a Minus K or similar can certainly take you far…. Had you run the Denon or Brinkmann on significant isolation …perhaps .? or maybe you did ?.

Disclosure : I have 2 x 75’s and a Bardo on HRS isolation.  I have also owned SOTA, other than your issue no complaints….

I get the headshell…I also have a 505.

Pushed into a corner i would say keep your favored 2 carts, get best Kuzma TT you can swing, get a Minus K and call it good. At the level you are at IMO we are trading flavors…. 

BTW  i heard a verissmo on a Safir on a Dohmann w integral minus K…. it was able to keep up w the Kuzma….

Best to you on your musical journey….



@tomic601  As I read your post, it looks like an argument to keep the Cosmos Eclipse and the Scheu tables, as at this point we are trading flavors more than anything. To my thinking this makes the argument of upgrading the arm on the SOTA, and then using an isolation base under the Scheu. Now as much as a Minus K is intruiging, this is my living room and most of the instrument grade isolation stands are ugly beyond belief. This table is heavy, roughly 85 pounds, so most standard isolation bases are not really suitable. Would you suggest any other isolation devices?


A Kuzma 4Point can be put on it, but the dust cover has to be cut to accommodate the arm. 

Which 4Point are they talking about - 11 or 9.

I would have thought the 4Point9 would fit easily.

Sorry my pushed into corner list would be SELL both tables and get best Kuzma and isolation w your preferred single tonearm. I thought the 2 nd cartridge was more of a “ spare “ for use during rebuilds…. ? 

I understand your viewpoint about industrial or worse looking isolation. Ed at Audio Ultra in Seattle turned his Minus K sideways. The forward face could be veneered.

I don’t really want to get into or start a dustcover debate, but IF the 9” Kuzma 4 point fits and you can navigate the headshell system, that is one fantastic arm…

Hopefully this helps.


In my experience, an air bearing TT is incomparable. More clarity, more warmth, less noise.

That's air in all dimensions, no contact bearing at all. Once you hear it there's no going back. IMO.

If your budget will stretch and if your floor is concrete - mulveling is right on.

@neonknight For your heavy unsuspended table, try to find an S level or better HRS platform.  They isolate below 8 - 15Hz with the correct footers.  There are a fair amount of them available used if you are not convinced and they are not ugly.  In my opinion...

@Dover had it right. Keep the CB-L and go with a Kuzma Stabi R and get two headshell plates to mount different cartridges and swap them out. That's a rig that would be hard to beat. You could spend twice as much and you'd get something different but not necessarily better.

neonknight - The core question is really this. Does next tier of tables offer tangible gains in performance? That is really what the question is, would you not say?

I have not posted in a long time. The following is my personal opinion, because this is the way I finally got to my happy place. So, in love with what I’m hearing without guessing what to do next to improve performance.

Of course next tier tables may improve performance, as long as you have already discovered the sound that does it for you. IMO, this the single most important piece of the puzzle. And, you’re working with gear that works together towards that end. If not, you’re throwing components at one-another hoping that the new mixture will discover this sound for you. Welcome to the merry-go-round.

How I personally and finally figured this out, after trying this and that endlessly, was through going to the Shows and listening. Hundreds of people exploring a hundred rooms, each producing a unique or somewhat unique sound. I realize, that Covid did a number on these opportunities. Myself, I walked into a room at an RMAF show that made me stay and listen. That was it, despite knowing that the rooms at these shows are not ideal by any means for music reproduction. I kept checking out other systems, but kept coming back to that room. I now knew the sound that I wanted to work towards and build upon. For example, I like a more relaxed sound that is detailed, highly nuanced, and alive with air. Of course, that draws me to vinyl whose engineer recorded it that way. That’s my niche, even though when I’m in the mood to rock, my system rocks, but perhaps not to the level of another system. Unless, you have unlimited funds that may possibly give you everything, you may consider concentrating on the sound that appeals to you the most.

I own a Raven One and the Ortofon Verismo. Over time, I have made upgrades to the Raven, because you can and it has benefited my sound without purchasing a new table. I also own from the past a Sota Saphire, SME arm, and even the GST 801. Those were before I figured things out, and while they were very good components at the time, there was something missing.

The Verismo is a new purchase, but I have not bought anything else in years. My Miyajima Shilabe was getting old and soft around the edges. Why did I choose the Verismo? Simple, I contacted my dealer from that RMAF room I found, who knows my ears as we gravitate to the same sound. For me, he let me know that the Verismo is more detailed, nuanced, and not as in your face as the Shilabe. He was right, and that’s all I needed to get a tangible gain in performance.

One could say, I’m not close to a show and would have to book a flight and accommodations. I say, that what you may take away from that may be the most bang-for-the-buck upgrade ever. I don’t know, you may have already done this, and maybe I was damn lucky in my discovery. I sure am grateful for it.

@kennythekey A good report on your encountering of a variety of products and demonstrations that allowed for yourself to discover a Sound that was attractive and desirable to be maintained.

I am all for 'sit in front of' demonstrations and well aware of the footwork required to have these experiences. This method does in my experiences, offer much value, and not only limited to the introduction to devices/systems in use.

pindac, Thanks for your kind words.

It can be a long haul no matter how you approach it.

@kennythekey Thanks for the response and the time you spent crafting it. I apologize in advance for my post as it will be far ranging and long winded I guess. 


The problem with auditioning next tier tables is that our systems and associated analog components are distinctive, and I have no way of knowing how it translates against a system built for an audio show. Unless you are willing to transport an expensive and delicate table to a dealer, then you really have no way of making an apples to apples comparison. So it does become a bit of a toss a dart and see what you hit. 

There is one line of thought that believes turntable drive units are closer to the same than different once you reach a certain plateau. That incremental improvements become expensive, and that tonearms and cartridges affect the sound far more than the drive unit. I can see the logic to that from a certain point of view. 

This seems to reinforce the idea that I stay with the drive units I have, and give more consideration to the arms I am using. I went down this path with amplification once, and sold a friend a very nice integrated amp that he wanted, and it took me 3 or 4 years to find an amp and pre amp I really could appreciate. They were not cheap either. I would not want to repeat that experience any time soon, and I am afraid that is what I would do if I changed tables. 

The Scheu Audio/Schroder/Verismo are a pleasing combination. The second arm is a Dynavector DV505 and it works for the Ortofon MC2000 if I use a light enough headshell. So its really the arm on the SOTA Cosmos Eclipse that I can consider a substitute for. 

In the end it looks like I have come full circle, but I know the reasons why I want to follow the path I have mapped out. 


Sounds right for you, and thank you for sharing.

I was fortunate to be able to start fresh with a new system moving away from my old one. Then I was lucky to find that sound with a dealer who I've stuck with now for the last 14 years. I guess, I wish others might discover a similar path when they're starting out. However, there is much to be said about self experimentation, research, community feedback, and trial and success. That too, is a rewarding part of this hobby.