For the Love of Gold

I have been thinking a lot about this. When I got myself back into analog audio, I recovered a Thorens TD-165 abandoned in a friend’s closet and equipped it with a Goldring Elan. When I first upgraded the cartridge I was advised to look in Grado’s catalogue.

I choose the top of the Prestige series, which in 2005 was the Gold. I developed a love for the brand, for how the Grado family works and feels about the business. I tried even something different but, for the love of Gold, I’m not “shure” I can go away from them…

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Back to the Future

I’ve been always advising to get rid of the rubber mat on old Thorens turntables.

Lately, I’ve been reconsidering some of my well established views. The otherwise excellent Funk Firm Achromat I’ve been using for years looks a rather warped today. So I tried a felt mat I had spared and…. differences? Well…. really tough to tell.

It is debated whether the stock Thorens rubber mats of the 70s are still usable or not. Basically, the function of a turntable mat is to avoid placing our precious records directly on a rough metal plate. Modern turntables that use acrylic plates do not need a mat. The use of rubber in the past was due to its isolating properties and of course to their soft protection for the records.

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I’m no longer in the Mood…

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The Irony in the Moving Iron

gold0-8mz-v-450x350In 2005 I bought a wonderful Grado Prestige Gold moving iron cartridge, which I used for years on my turntable of the time, a Thorens TD165. I didn’t care much about alignment (maybe I used the TNT protractor at one point), I just screwed the cart on the headshell with no worries whatsoever about positioning the stylus tip, let alone VTA. I couldn’t wait to listen to the new cartridge that was replacing a Goldring Elan. I even scratched the gold-colored cartridge’s case with the knife I was using to tighten the screws, because I had just moved in with my girlfriend (now my wife) in our first house and I didn’t have any tools there yet. I could not imagine that that cartridge hid a secret gift…

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My 14-year-old niece just bought her first new turntable

victoria3It is quite incredible that in the age of Spotify and Apple Music a teenager has actually looked for and purchased a turntable off the Internet. Vinyl records sales have surpassed the CDs a while ago. Digital music does no longer need a physical support. Compressed formats have reached an almost accetable quality even to hifi geeks like me. Teenagers largely use their own phones to download or stream their preferred music and MP3 players are disappearing. Nonetheless people have continued to buy vinyl records at an increasing rate. What surprised me was that teenagers would do it, too! Continue reading  

Back to Gold

hifi-grado_prestige_goldWhen I first upgraded my Thorens turntable’s cartridge I was adviced to look into Grado’s catalogue. I choose the top of the Prestige series, which in 2005 was the Gold. I was happy with the sound I achieved on the Thorens, so when the time came, I replaced the needle with a Gold1 which was the available choice in 2010. Continue reading