Turntable advice

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Falcor, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. tommytakis

    tommytakis MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Hi folks,

    I am debating between getting a Jelco SA750L or a groovemaster II tonearm. Anyone have experience with either of them?
     
  2. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    Yes, actually. I have both.

    The Jelco is pretty foolproof, and I'd definitely recommend (if you can source one?). I have both an 850L and M.

    The Groovemaster (I have a 12-J) is pretty good, too, and is a nice match for heavier carts. But it has some really irritating ergonomic quirks. The locking collar torques so much that it twists the cart, so you have to fix the azimuth with the little set screw under the arm, and it's incredibly fiddly to get at. This makes the Groovemaster a bad choice for cart swappers IMO. Its counterweight system is equally fiddly and badly thought out (IMO). (See pro reviews on this.) Finally, the arm rests on a little notched pillar rather than in a lock. They've actually added on a lock, which is good, but it gets in the way of cuing. It's awk.

    They might have fixed some of this. I only have my arm to go off. I suppose you can tweak the azimuth via a headshell with such adjustments, but it's still very irritating to me.

    Where it counts--overall machining and bearings--the Groovemaster is good and solid. But I wouldn't rec it unless you really want to run, say, SPUs. Even then, I'd maybe look into Schick arms.

    The Jelco stuff has none of the above quirks. Knife edge bearing rattles a bit (part of the design), but otherwise it's pretty much the best thing I've found in that price range. Sorane has sort of filled in the gap they've left.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
  3. tommytakis

    tommytakis MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Thank you for the thorough response. I am planning on using a dl103 for cart, would you still recommend the jelco over the groovemaster?
     
  4. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    Yeah, I probably would. I ran a DL103 (or 103R, I can't remember) on my 850L, and it worked well. I don't have anything to compare it, too, as my GrooveMaster has always had an SPU on it. You can probably find many impressions of the Denon/Jelco combo by googling around, as the Jelco has been a popular arm over the years.

    Plus, I think the Jelco is a better visual match for the DL103. The banana-shaped GrooveMaster really cries out for an old-school pick-up head, IMO. But I'm sure it'd also work great with the DL103.

    You can probably find 100s if not 1000s of posts about tweaking the head shell weight for the Denon carts or using aftermarket caps. But I'd think the Jelco would be a good start.

    By no means an expert though.
     

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