pivot wrote:I am one of those guys who thinks tweeking/optimising what I have, assuming it is "solid stuff" to start with, is the high value road to Nirvana.
Well, considering I've stuck with this table for over 25 years, I guess I fall into the same camp!
pivot wrote:The replacment subchassis, mine is the older Merrill acrylic, was a HUGE up over stock.
Have you spent any time with motor tweeks?
At the time I could not afford the hot-rod subchassis. So I used the SotW damping compound to damp out the subchassis and the plinth. I think it did a pretty good job, actually.
As to the motor, I was actually one of the first of the group a long time ago who did the Hurst upgrade (I was actually under a different user name back then. At some point I forgot what that password was, by the time I tried to get back to this site I had a new email address, so I had to register under a new name). I have not gone the low voltage / DC route yet, however.
pivot wrote:A cartridge that is an ideal match to arm and system (which Denons do you have?) may make things "light up". Not sure a stock Rega 303 is an up over a clean working Akito.
I think you will have to spend big bucks to get a substantially better table then a well tweeked AR. Just IMHO of course.
Right now I'm using a 103R. I have an older VdH HOMC that I've used. I also have a 301. I guess I'm not really looking for a new table, but maybe wondering more how to get what I have up to the sonic capabilities of some of these newer designs. I've even heard some of the more "affordable" (low thousands) tables like the VPI Classic and the Clearaudio. They seem to sound so much clearer and more open - dare I say less like the older classic vinyl sound - than what I'm running right now.
I suspect the 103R is not helping here. It's a great cart for the money, but let's face it it's not the last word in performance in those areas.
Oh, and to fill in the other info - my table over time has also gotten the newer springs, belt, copolymer armboard, platter and subplatter, and the most recent Merrill/Scillia mat (the cork/lead job).