Basis Audio Fans

Has anyone had any contact or dealings with Basis since A.J.'s untimely passing?  I don't hear much about them on the forums or in the press lately.  I own 2 of his tables and a vector 4 tonearm.  Truly great stuff, hope the business goes forward...
I have not, though I have understood that the family was keeping the business running, save for the Work of Art TT, which apparently was AJ's baby (a friend of mine had ordered one and told me that he had to cancel for that reason).  Nice thing about Basis products is that they are built to last
I just bought used my first Basis product, the Reflex audio clamp and I,m already a fan, very well made!
Awaiting for feedback on the Basis Transcendence.  Finally, a design they are releasing without so much acrylic.  Between this and the Dohmann Helix, difficult choice.  Might eventually have to sell the Micro Seiki :)   
I have a 1400 and the service after AJ’s unfortunate passing has been wonderful !
very responsive to requests and help

Yes, I sent my motor, bearing and platter in for a checkup and they were excellent to deal with. Fast and responsive. Great products and a great company for service.

Looking to buy a Basis Debut Gold in good condition and reasonable price.

Please contact me at

I live right around the corner from Basis an as far as I know they are doing just fine.

The table to buy is the Inspiration. It is the current version of the Debut. 

@ferrari275 , I would lean towards the Helix. It has the best isolation available. It is not as sexy as the Inspiration but I would guess it is the better performer. It is also a $60,000 table and it has not gotten it's act together with vacuum clamping yet and a lot of use are waiting until that gets done.

My first table was a Basis, 2001 I think. Great thing about Basis, they do have loyal fans. At any rate it was sure nice to be able to sell mine after almost a dozen years for almost exactly what I paid for it. Hopefully the fan base will remain strong enough to be there for you guys when you decide to move on up to some of the newer better tables out there.


Most of em. Just look at Basis. Same old slabs of acrylic and aluminum, only more and thicker. Kind of like VPI. Same old stuff. Teres Audio was way better for the money, and that was 20 years ago. Vacuum clamping massive platters and plinth, this is just so old. 60k for the same old same old only with more stuff screwed into it trying to control resonance instead of using better materials more intelligently. 

Compare that to Origin Live where the closer and deeper you look the more sophisticated the design emerges. There really is no comparison. Even the lowly record clamp on my Sovereign is beyond what Basis is doing.

But honestly I am not kidding turntables really are on another level from everything else. On one level you can have something like a Voyager that is beyond anything Conti could imagine in terms of sound. But on another level it doesn't matter because even old school Basis, Teres, VPI etc are so good you can justify your purchase simply on looks and style. Turntables truly are one thing where "the best" can mean how it looks or how it sounds. Not like anyone ever gonna have them side by side with the same arm, cartridge, phono stage, etc to settle it and even if they did who cares you get the one you like.

Remember I had one, took it apart, figured out how to make every single bit of it better. Every single bit. From the power cord to the motor to the pod to the power supply of the motor to the belt, bearing, platter, and plinth. Wasn't even hard. 

Sounds like a knock but I truly liked that Basis. Taught me a lot. A lot. About how easy it is to make a turntable. Just look at VPI. Acrylic, aluminum, more and more of the same old same old. Seriously. Then compare to Origin Live. There is no comparison. But really. Since you asked. Go and look. You will see.

Somehow I get the impression that you like Origin Live. Certainly a lot less expensive than Basis, and for some reason it has never gained traction? 

I wonder why??

Bais tables have always been about their VERY tight tolerances. I've heard the 2001 and Debut and was very impressed. 

IMHO, it takes a lot to better a mid range Basis, and the top of the line models are SOTA.

@daveyf , the Inspiration is certainly up there with the very best tables. The level of machining is far beyond anything Origin Live ever dreamed of. This is the kind of rubbish you get from people who like Tekton loudspeakers. It is the loudspeakers that tell you whether or not the person knows what he is listening to. I would take the least expensive Basis over any Origin Live table in a heartbeat.


Somehow I get the impression that you like Origin Live. Certainly a lot less expensive than Basis, and for some reason it has never gained traction?

I wonder why??


The longer more complete answer is I think marketing. The truth is the best product in the world is useless unless people hear about it and try it. Especially important in high end audio.

Origin Live is a small shop, apparently doing quite well in their domestic UK market and these things don’t just magically expand to other markets, it takes effort and planning. Which, evidently not interested in.

The products however, my first Conqueror arm was truly impressive. When I went searching turntables, knowing what I know from having built and modified them it was apparent Mark Baker is on another level. Sorry, I know there are fans of others (who studiously avoid appearing as fans, even thought they are- at least I am honest about what I really like) but they are simply not on the same level.

This is not just me saying this. I do a lot of research and one thing I came across was a Michael Fremer review of some years ago. This was the Resolution turntable, one model down from the Sovereign I wound up buying. Fremer praised it mightily, ultimately concluding it is not just one of the best turntables he ever heard regardless of price, but one of the best components he ever heard. Period.

How ya gonna top that? Eh? Look it up. When it comes to his top Voyager table and Renown arm, there’s an even more compelling review, if you can believe that, on their site. Then there’s the owners, who when I mentioned getting mine one chimes in how easily his Sovereign trounces much more expensive VPI, etc. So the lack of traction, here in the US anyway, is nothing to do with performance. That’s for sure.

In doing my due diligence I researched all the Origin Live US dealers. At first glance it would appear they are pretty well represented with half a dozen in a lot of the right markets. Dig deeper though and not a one of them has so much as a single piece of product in inventory, save one I found with the Gravity One record weight. VPI, etc the more commonly known names they do have.

These guys aren’t dummies. They know full well it is a lot easier to sell what the customer is already familiar with than to try and take the time to educate them why OL is better, and why they should take the risk of the less familiar.



Guys, I think that if one has a favorite product it is easy to defend it and just as easy to get offended when someone else has an alternative we just evidenced in the posts above.

@millercarbon You mentioned that Mr. Fremer praised the table that you enjoy, while that may be the case, that to me is basically meaningless. Simply because without hearing the piece in my system and in my room, that praise is nothing more than a data point...and nothing I would rely on.

@mijostyn Since we all tend to hear things a bit differently and have our own biases, I can understand where Millercarbon is coming from...if you follow his perspective. Personally, i would agree with you about the machining and quality of the Basis tables, but that may or may not be a factor for Millercarbon...and referencing his speakers could indeed be considered "hate screed", as he puts it.

One thing that continually surprises about this hobby, and it is this, why do folks always tend to assume that others are ignorant about the sound quality that they are looking for and how to get to that place? IMHO...;0)

No, I mentioned Fremer praised a different table than mine. Fremer is the premier analog reviewer on the planet. But if you can’t read well enough to glean even basic facts you are probably wise to disregard him- and me. I don’t write for people who read at that, er, level. Try and understand, we reach a higher level audience.

Machining and quality are a concern, but not for anything like the reasons you think. The unstated assumption from the hater is higher precision automatically equals better sound. Not true. Demonstrably not true! Anyone who has actually machined and modded bearings as I have will know this. Not from reading either, but from hearing.

In fact there is a balance between many bearing factors, with no single one of them being determinative. Not even bearing oil. Which is the decisive property? Viscosity? You don’t know. It may well be that a highly precision machined and polished bearing surface is best. Sure seems to be the case for high pressure high RPM applications. Is it for low pressure low RPM? How do you know?

I’m asking guys I know have no answer simply to try and get you thinking.

When I look at a Basis turntable from my experience, my own hands on I tried it myself experience, I see every single thing he is doing. Remember I’ve taken them apart, modded, improved.

When I put my Sovereign together, looking at it with that same eye, I see all kinds of things that make me stop and think. Then I call Mark Baker and he tells me half a dozen ways it goes far deeper even than I thought.

I know you guys like your tables. Heck I had one, it is a fine table. I am on record saying over and over again turntables are one component a guy can buy whatever he likes even on looks alone and be happy. Said it a hundred times. Origin Live just happens to be on another level. Sorry. It is. But this is not a zero sum game.

Sorry if that is a little too complicated or sophisticated a view. Feel free to discount it all day long. Not my problem. I’m not the one trying to build a system while disregarding the views of one of the most respected names in the business.

@millercarbon Your post is barely even worth responding to, and frankly i’m not sure why I am bothering considering your condescending attitude..

However,I could assume that you did not mean to be so condescending in your first paragraph and meant to write something different, am i right-- or are you just going on my ignore list?

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I don’t know if it is still the case, but when i bought my Debut (with vacuum clamp and motor controller), the most impressive thing was the precision machining and tight manufacturing tolerances—you cannot see any evidence of runout when the platter is spinning, which is not the case with a lot of other brands.  

@daveyf , Sorry if I was a bit harsh. But if Rega were McDonalds and Basis were Wolgang Puck's, Origin live would be The Red Roof Inn. AJ could not get a belt ground to his specifications anywhere. There was always too much variation in thickness. So he set himself up with the right equipment to make aerospace turntable belts. Each one is measured for thickness over it's entire length. I do not recall what his tolerances were but they were very tight.

@mijostyn After the response that I received above from Millercarbon, I think your original post was probably too diplomatic..and nowhere near harsh enough!


IMO, comparing yourself to AJ Conti as a table designer ( as Millercarbon has done) and stating where AJ went wrong and how you do things better is not only laughable, but it is pathetic in the extreme!

BTW, I dont even own a Basis table, so i have no dog in this fight.

i also don’t currently own a Basis TT, but i appreciate the work, inventive genius of AJ and importantly the sonics achieved by both his “ price point “ and cost no object designs. MC is a low sample size hyperbole opinion audiophile. No doubt he has never heard nor inspected the inner workings of a recent production Basis, SOTA, Brinkmann, fill in the blank. This is his methodology…Completely lacking in battlefield awareness…  OF course, i have heard the high end Basis and arm at renown dealer who i trust. As have others i trust. People who invent, create, support and continuously improve audiophile products for decades. Like AJ, those will be the people moving the ball forward.

On a price point ..point….IF you think adding an x$power cord to a TT outsmarts the inventor…. you are 100% ego.

Finally, tell us about your mill, lathe, surface grinder, etc…. Doubtful…. as I gaze lovingly at my old Man’s Bridgeport in the corner……



"MC is a low sample size hyperbole opinion audiophile."

Couldn't agree more👍


Low sample size. I see. At least there is one. I've sampled several different bearings, platters, motors, motor controllers, motor controller power supplies, motor pods, motor pod mounts, belts, platter hold down systems, and plinths.

That is why my posts are worth responding to, they are based on extensive research. They are worth responding to with a lot more than mere schoolyard taunts. But, you go with what you got I guess. And that is all you got. 

@millercarbon I am now absolutely 100% certain that your posts are not worth responding to, lmao.

That's twice now you've responded to posts you are absolutely certain are not worth responding to. Clearly then, as a matter of simple logic they are worth responding to.

It does raise the question, Someone who would write and think so illogically, I would think maybe the correct response is to conclude they may not be worth reading?

What do you think? 

@daveyf , It is not a matter of hearing. It is a matter of precision. I do not own any Basis products but I have been to the factory. Had I the financial capability I might well own one of their turntables. I have never even remotely considered an Origin Live table. Is that just me? I don't think so.  

Oh, I forgot to mention, anyone who thinks Tekton loudspeakers sound good has defective hearing. 

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daveyf … Errr No, you were quite correct in your first  impression ,Condescending , You might also consider Arrogant and Narcissistic. 

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Dave - I think you would have enjoyed AJ. Quite a genius but self aware to understand he didn’t know everything.  It’s a shame we no longer have the + light he put into this world. He built a wonderful sounding and affordable parts bin table for a disabled vet with MS, including experimental bearing, all silver wire, etc… Made a big difference for a real music lover. May we all seek such impacts in this world. 

@tomic601 Jim,I am sure you are absolutely correct, I never had the pleasure of meeting AJ, but I am sure that he would have been a person I would have been enamored of. Your story is one that I am not surprised about, as I had heard great things about AJ before. Pity that there is a person on this thread who represents everything that AJ was not!

I met him twice at shows and he was a soft spoken gentleman that would never bad mouth competitors and would even speak freely about limitations of his own product.  He was so open and generous with advice about turntables and tonearms.  

@daveyf, I thought the Tekton comment was a bit on the harsh side.

@larryi , and that, AJ would tell you was his major problem. He let himself get buried by the details or rather he'd go after those details until he buried them, hang the expense. He marvelled at how Dave Fletcher (Sota, Sumiko and long time friend) could make such a good turntable for so little money, something he could not manage to do. David had a hang for knowing what details he could pass over to save money. The suspension and vacuum designs were David's. I never owned a Basis but came very close once. If I were to get one now it would be the Inspiration in clear acrylic. Warning, do not get one in black or you will drive yourself nuts trying to keep the dust off of it!

My table was built in black, but, it looks grey because I don't bother to dust (I rely on dust damping of the plinth).  The platter is covered by a Charlie Rich album someone gave me which acts as a dust cover--it is by a wide margin the record most often on my player, but I have not even played it once.

Oh, I forgot to mention, anyone who thinks Tekton loudspeakers sound good has defective hearing.

Errr No, you were quite correct in your first impression ,Condescending , You might also consider Arrogant and Narcissistic.

The SOTA was ground breaking, still is some 40 years on….

I sometimes wonder, do you guys read what you write? Or just not understand?

Basis tables hard to beat.  And customer support is second to none. I have a vacuum debut with a Vector 3/graham 2.2 and an Ovation with a graham 2.2 and phantom 2 supreme.  Thoroughly enjoy them both.  A.J. used to answer all my questions no matter how many I tossed at him and that tradition continues with Alex in engineering and Jolanta.  My friend (also with an Ovation/Triplanar) also reached out to Basis re upgrades and got prompt response to all questions.  Including purchase of parts and arm adapters.  They still support upgrades and we are both in the process of acquiring funds for some of those. They are pricey but the company backs their products.   Always a pleasure and both tables provide hours of listening pleasure.  Wish I could afford the newer tables, would but in a heartbeat.

About a year ago I upgraded to a Basis 2800/Vector 4 from a loaded LP-12 which I owned for >15yrs and have absolutely no regrets.  I echo those who talk about the company and customer support of Jolanta and Alex.   During my homework phase I did not uncover any negative press about the company or product.  I read posts from several of you regarding this or that but all supported a Basis purchase.  The first cartridge was an old Shelter 90X I had left over.  It never sounded as big, open and detailed on my LP-12!  The comparison with a Linn is not the subject of this post nor requires a response but that I am a registered fan of this product.  I am upgrading to the Synchrowave Power supply at this writing.  This is the last TT purchase I plan to make!

I moved from an Origin Live Resolution MKIV with all factory upgrades to an older Basis Audio Gold Standard vacuum, with Graham 2.2 arm (via a Feickert Woodpecker/Kuzma 12 VTA), and the Basis vs Origin Live argument presented above is silly. Two very different designs with very different presentations. The Origin Live is detailed and airy and very resolving, the Basis has just as much detail and air but launches the sound from a rock-solid foundation with incredible bass extension. It has a more live or life-like feel, everything is underpinned by a solid, taught low-end.

The vacuum system works great. Support is fantastic via Alex at the factory. I'm thinking of moving to a newer Basis to see what developments have been made over the years. 



@xagwell do it right and do it once. Good for you 

@rooze , if you really want to rock your bass you might consider switching tonearms. 

My own personal favorite Basis is the Inspiration. AJ always felt a suspension was mandatory, at least when I spoke to him. The work of art is suspended. I am not sure where the Transcendent came from, but there is an itch that tells me it was not entirely his thinking. If you really want a steel platter you can have the Transcendent's platter put on the Inspiration. I would not do that, but that is me. 

I have the hots for the Helix and the two are close enough price wise that price is not a factor between the two. I will not get a Helix until it has vacuum clamping. It is suppose to get it but they sure are taking their time. In the mean while the Inspiration with vacuum is IMHO the best turntable you can get all things considered. If you are after a serious value than the Sota Cosmos Vacuum is it. 

@mijostyn Do you have any specific arm upgrade recommendations? It would need to be something compatible with the Graham as I don't want to mess with armboards, cutouts etc



I believe but I am not certain that Graham uses the Rega standard which is 222 mm spindle to pivot. You can confirm that by measuring. Anything +- 3 mm will be fine. In that case the SME V is back on the market. The Schroder CB (the arm I currently use) is getting rave reviews all over and I love mine. I believe the Tri Planar and Reed Arms will fit. You also have to measure the hole in your tonearm board. The Schroder has a 25mm (1") post so it needs a 1" hole. I am not sure what the others use. That will take a little research. There is also the Graham Phantom Supreme which I personally think is severely overpriced but it is a good arm. I think the first three stand about the others.