Specials - November, 2022
Click the links below, or scroll down this page to view an item of interest:
Flash! Cartridges !!!
With the new cartridge lines we're bringing in, we've kicked off a long term evaluation process. We're attempting the impossible - to set up, break in and get to know all of our cartridges.
While we may fall short of this ambitious ideal, we'll start by cherry picking some key cartridges that have grabbed our attention.
If you're interested in a cartridge we've yet to evaluate, let us know, and we can move you to the front of the line. We reserve the right to determine cartridges that qualify for this program.
After receiving your deposit, we'll do the following:
- Order your cartridge.
- Set it up and run it in for 10-20 hours.
- Perform a full QC, including producing USB microscope photos, along with documenting azimuth and setup in general.
- If there's any anomaly, we'll send it back to the distributor to correct the issue.
- Deliver your cartridge at a price that's too low to advertise.
Your cartridge will be delivered "as new with dealer QC" along with all of the normal documentation and warranty details.
Gavia Mk 1 (optional Mk 1.5 update) - just arrived !!!
DS003 Cartridge + Phono Stage - $4,750
This one has 15-20 hours on it and comes with its companion phono stage. Click the photos in the image gallery below to expand them.
Note the slight anodizing imperfection on the rear, top left of the phono stage. This is how it was delivered. It's barely noticeable under normal lighting, but we wanted to exaggerate it under the bright lights.
The Kuzma headshell is for display purposes, and is not included, but we are a Kuzma dealer. If you're interested in a spare headshell, we'll include one for $450 (retail price is $583).
GAVIA Mk-I / 1.5
We just received this Gavia, and we'll modify it per your preference as described below.
Pricing ranges from $7,795 to $10,780, depending on the restoration options you select (see below).
This turntable has our original graphite TPI © top plate. In subsequent model years, we updated this to carbon fiber. The change was cosmetic and not a functional one.
This turntable and associated parts have the standard polished aluminum finish.
Cosmetically, we'd rate them as an Audiogon "8/10".
Shown with the customer's Mk 1.5 armboard for a Durand Telos (see below for armboard options).
Our polisher has retired, and in recent years, we have been anodizing these parts (and the reason for the refinishing options specified below).
You can view the various armboards in our museum.
Included in base price ($7,795):
- Full QC / certification of drive train (current specification, including Teddy Pardo linear supply)
- Rebuilt bearing with ceramic thrust ball interface.
- Armboard drilled for your tonearm (see below).
A la carte options:
- Machine a cavity in the base for universal tonearm compatibility when using Mk 1.5 armboards: $895
- Replace the graphite TPI © top plate with carbon fiber: $795
- Re-finishing (option-1) - anodize: $695
- Re-finishing (option-2) - custom auto colors of your choosing: $1,295
- Stelvio Mk-I (pivoting) armboard. This works with surface mount arms like the TriPlanar and Durands.
- Standard Mk-I (pivoting) armboard. This will work with a variety of tonearms, including most 12" arms.
- Mk 1.5 armboard. These are described here. They can be used with no base modifications with surface mount arms like the TriPlanar and Durands. For arms which have an arm stub or cable requiring space underneath the tonearm, the cavity machining operation is required. Our recent production run of these armboards has a matte silver cosmetic, like the turntable shown below.
If I were choosing this turntable, I would perform the Mk 1.5 arm cavity machining (#1), and retain the graphite TPI © top plate and current polished finish, for a delivered price of $8,690. I would have no problems running a top level demo with this turntable - with the most discriminating customer.
This turntable was already upgraded to the current drive system (including the Teddy Pardo power supply) and shortly after doing so, the owner spent 30 months out of the country. The turntable sat unused on his shelf during this period. We'll QC the drive and if necessary, perform any servicing on it.
Below is an outline of a full restoration for for these remanufactured turntables, showing various finishing options.
With the Mk 1.5 armboard, this turntable is sonically the indistinguishable from our Mk II turntables, with the only functional difference being that it accommodates only one tonearm.
Previous Gavia Restorations
It’s the rare individual who “requires” an upgrade from a Gavia to a Stelvio turntable, and on average, we’ll see perhaps one Gavia come our way in a calendar year.
Contact us to get on the waiting list.
The two Gavias shown here are examples of re-maufactured turntables we’ve received in trade.
The re-manufacturing process includes conversion to Mk 1.5 status which brings their performance up to that of our Mk-II turntables.
Here are the details:
- We fit our new, 2019 drive system.
- We re-machine the base to accommodate our Mk 1.5 armboards.
- All chassis components are given our either our new “default” finish (anodized, matte silver) or optional Stelvio custom colors.
- The bearing is rebuilt. This is primarily to bring the turntable to current specification. In 2019, we changed to a ceramic bearing, and we decided that and every turntable that passes through us, will receive this upgrade. Our original bearings have stood the test of time, but the ceramic ones are even more robust.
- If the platter is from an earlier generation, it is rebuilt to current standard, with a carbon fiber top plate.
All moving parts are new and the chassis components (base, motor pod, front pillar) are refinished to new condition.
Your re-manufactured Gavia is functionally and sonically identical to the Mark-II Gavia, with the only limitation being that only one tonearm can be mounted
Altec 515C Drivers - New!
These 16 ohm drivers were the third and fourth drivers Bill manufactured at Great Plains Audio: Serial numbers 1113-0201 and 1113-0202. These are the first two Alnico magnet 515 speakers sold to the public in decades (the first two were retained by Great Plains as a reference).
Price is $1,675 for both drivers - shipped and fully insured by FedEx to the Continental US.
They're owned by my collaborator, Lynn Olson and have been carefully stored in our dry climate here in Colorado (free of dampness and mold), in a non-smoking house. They have never been installed.
The transaction will run through Lynn, although I will box and ship for him.
Being early production, shipping boxes were not yet fabricated by Great Plains. The boxes shown are the bottom halves of inner boxes fabricated by me with double layers of cardboard. The outer boxes will provide 2" of cushion to ensure safe passage to their new owner.
Current retail pricing for the drivers is $1,450 each (click to visit Great Plains site).
The slight scuffing you see on the label of s/n 1113-0202 is how the drivers were delivered by Great Plains.
Both drivers are otherwise pristine in every respect, and we swept a 20Hz to 1K signal to verify that there's no voice coil rubbing or other anomalies.
Contact us, or Lynn directly at: email@example.com for details.
Click the photos below, to enlarge.
Exasound E38 DAC
This is the 8 channel DAC owned by Lynn Olson and covered by me in my blog and re-published in Positive Feedback.
Lynn has rethought his approach to DACs and is shifting back to two channel. For the output, this DAC has 8 mini XLR connectors on the rear (no RCA output connectors).
I have some mini XLRs in my parts bin which I’ll include for you – this, if you’re building your own cables.
Contact Lynn directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org for both pricing and details.
We’ve known Jon for over 20 years, and he’s in line for one of our new Savoie turntables. There’s room on his shelf for only one turntable.
You can contact Jon directly at this e-mail address: email@example.com. Jon and I are researching what a fair price would be, and hence, the absence of an asking price at present.
Jon describes this LP12 as follows:
" Excellent+ condition – a few minor blemishes. Original lacquer on platter in excellent condition. Good belt. Bearing drained and sealed. Will wrap in brown paper."
- Linn Sondek LP12
- Valhalla power supply (single speed 33.3 rpm)
- Armboard drilled for Ittok
- Blank 6-point armboard
- Cirkus bearing and chassis
- Stainless top, original Linn wood base
- New dust cover in bag with cloth cover
- New dust cover hinges
- New complete double box and packing
- Includes online setup guide
Click the thumbnail photos for a larger view:
Serac (none currently available)
This is also a placeholder ad. Contact us to get on a waiting list.
These are becoming more rare with the passage of time.
We still however, occasionally receive trade-ins of matched Serac platters and bearings.
These matched platters and bearings come in from Gavia owners who are upgrading to a composite platter. At one point, Gavias were offered with a choice of either a Serac or a Gavia platter.
Since we have a few remaining Serac bases in storage, we can build a hybrid Serac for you.
Here’s a breakdown of the Serac re-issue:
- A new Serac base is modified to accommodate the Mk 1.5 armboard architecture, and painted.
- The turntable has a traded in Serac platter
- The traded in bearing is rebuilt, and upgraded with our new, ceramic thrust ball. Our original bearings have stood the test of time, but the ceramic ones are even more robust. This is the identical bearing to our Gavia and Stelvio turntables.
- A Mk 1.5, sliding (not pivoting) armboard is drilled for your tonearm. We have a few Mk-I armboards on hand. Inquire about these if you’re interested.
- A front pillar is supplied. This protects the cantilever from damage. It’s the same pillar you see on our Mk II turntables.
- A new, more massive Gavia motor pod is supplied.
- A new drive system is supplied – the same drive system in our Gavia and Stelvio Mk-II turntables.
- The Astron RS 7A power supply is included, although we strongly recommend upgrading to a Teddy Pardo supply.
The photo is of a previous build with the Mk-I armboard archtecture.
The Serac may be our greatest technical achievement and biggest commercial flop. We put all of our r&d into performance, and compromised on cosmetics to deliver it at its price point.
In retrospect, we realized that the market preferred a bit more cosmetics, but we could have never delivered so much sound at this price point if we had done so.
Put this into perspective: our customers currently pay $1,295 to upgrade to this drive system – the same one we specify for our 5-figure Stelvio and Gavia turntables – a drive system which competes against cost no object turntables.s
For a relatively small price difference, you’re getting an entire turntable with the same bearing and drive system we specify for the Gavia and Stelvio turntables.