Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.
HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.
Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.
Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.
The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.
They are very different turntables, the Oracle is a much more sophisticated design, and with a better arm and cartridge it will probably outshine the Rega. I like having two turntables hooked to the same pre-amp, listen to one while changing over the other. The Rega has a Hadcock arm which is a unipivot, and the Dynavector cartridge due to the fact that the mission arm only accepts screws from underneath and the Dynavector only takes screws from the top...
The other issue with the Rega is that to mount an arm, you have to drill the mounting hole, thus you are kind of stuck with arms that work to that particular configuration.
All that being said, I have not been able to really discern a massive sound quality difference beween the two of them, the Oracle is easier to use. I will probably upgrade the Oracle arm to a SME 345 (?) in the near future.
A friend of mine just got his new VPI Classic and really like it. Before he had the Scout and he says that the difference is incredible. He told me that the designer of the Classic said that it was the best turntable he designed in his life.
On my side, I'm more and more interested by the SME product. Still waiting to get feed-back from HUGers who pair them with Harbeth. Hard to find... Surprisingly, both are UK made products of exceptionnal reputation.
Yes, I've used SME turntables and arms with Harbeth speakers and they work well. Why not ?
Incidentally, I wouldn't describe any of them as 'analytical and sterile', if anything they are on the warm side.
Thanks for your feed-back. You know, it's interesting to read posts on forum, review, talk to specialists, etc... But it's always funny and surprising that for a same product, some of them evaluated their sound in a totaly different way. In that case, the stereotype "cold vs. warm" sounding.
Back with the SME tables with Harbeth. The "Why not?" that you asked make me think of the synergy that a combination might have or not. As a dealer, and reflected by some of your posts, I know that you had experienced this many times. This kind of synergy between components interest me.
You just cannot but be amazed at the human effort that has been - and continues to be - invested in analogue engineering. Whatever the technical limitation of the analogue medium nothing digital beats the hands-on satisfaction of a turntable or reel-to-reel tape recorder.
One of my end-of-year tasks has been to load dozens of recent CDs containing professionally taken photos in and about Harbeth UK onto the server, and I've just rediscovered these beauties. My Thorens TD125 turntable, SM3009 S2 and fantastic Shure V15/111 cartridge. Basically the same system I had in the 70s, but originally using the Connoissuer BD2 turntable (kit) - remember that? - then the Thorens TD160. I bought the TD125 several years ago - it was my dream t/t when I was young.
Sheer pleasure of ownership. I cannot believe anything beats the V15/111 for neutrality and tracking ability.
Incidentally, I have not used the Studer 807 for at least a year. I turned it on this week to take use for the next part of the Anomolies of Analogue video talk. Unfortunately it does not seem to record although it plays OK. My two Studer 810s seem to have power supply problems and I'm just not sure who can service these and at a sensible price. This is one of the hidden problems with analogue: when it goes wrong it is very expensive to repair, assuming that you can find an expert.
Oh well, time to dust down my beautiful Telefunken M21. I hope that still works: I can barely lift it.
Alan: That Studer 807 is beautiful. For good advice on where/how to have it serviced, I would send an email to Dan Schmalle, who is one of the Managing Directors of the Tape Project here in the Pacific Northwest.
You can reach him at [email protected]. (Ordinarily I wouldn't put an email address in a port, but Dan publishes his email on his website (bottlehead.com) as well as on the Tape Project.)
I'd be surprised if Dan didn't know someone in your area who could help.