Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

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jporrill
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Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by jporrill » 24 Feb 2012 14:06

Hi,
I am new to this site and I am looking for your thoughts and guidance. I have the opportunity to purchase either original Transcriptors Hydraulic reference (1969) or the Michell licenced copy (1973).
Is there any difference and if so which is the better turntable. Both are in excellent condition.
John

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by Finger Painter » 24 Feb 2012 14:41

I don't know either turntable, but if it comes down to a question of any problems resolved, Michell are years ahead and no doubt could give you assistance. Unfortunately the present Transcriptors company have a reputation for poor service and disappearing with your money or goods.

abril
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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by abril » 24 Feb 2012 15:59

Agree totally with SF and I would also imagine the later Michell version was rather better built and finished originally, although both do have one or two design weaknesses.

I don't know if Michell still do spares such as the record and armboard mounting pads for it though.

I had a 1975 Michell for many many years. :!:

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by zharca » 25 Feb 2012 00:07

For the reasons already given, I would definitely go with the Michell version. They are an excellent company to deal with and are always approachable and will give all the help they can. It might be worth ringing them and asking what support they can give.

I think you need to bear in mind that the early Transcriptors turntables should be recognised for their collector value rather than their hi-fi performance. Great as a style icon, not so good for playing records.

steve195527
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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by steve195527 » 25 Feb 2012 17:39

to be perfectly honest unless you want one partly for how it looks I wouldn't buy either,I had one years back which I part ex'd an original Ariston RD11 for:-worst thing I have ever done soundwise to any system I have owned,I did it because I was young,daft,thought the reference looked the "bees knees" AND at that time all a TT had to do was rotate quietly at the correct speed:-the thought of them affecting the sound in other ways was unheard of then!

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by bogle111 » 25 Feb 2012 19:48

steve195527 wrote:to be perfectly honest unless you want one partly for how it looks I wouldn't buy either,I had one years back which I part ex'd an original Ariston RD11 for:-worst thing I have ever done soundwise to any system I have owned,I did it because I was young,daft,thought the reference looked the "bees knees" AND at that time all a TT had to do was rotate quietly at the correct speed:-the thought of them affecting the sound in other ways was unheard of then!
Yup, hit that one on the head again, Steve. I marketed these along with the Focus One in UK. Could never really get behind the Hydraulic. The Electronic was a bit better with a glass mat on. Once John got away from the licence and started on others like the Synchro, they got a whole lot better.

abril
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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by abril » 25 Feb 2012 22:05

to be perfectly honest unless you want one partly for how it looks I wouldn't buy either,I had one years back which I part ex'd an original Ariston RD11 for:-worst thing I have ever done soundwise to any system I have owned,I did it because I was young,daft,thought the reference looked the "bees knees" AND at that time all a TT had to do was rotate quietly at the correct speed:-the thought of them affecting the sound in other ways was unheard of then!
perfectly true,but the fella wants a Hydraulic.

I followed my Hydraulic Ref with a Systemdek 11X900 with an acrylic platter which totally left the Hydraulic for dead
3156

jporrill
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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by jporrill » 26 Feb 2012 14:25

Thanks for all the feedback, gratefully received.
I have to admit that the look of this iconic turntable is definitely part of the attraction.
I am by no means looking for the cleanest sound, but something that will allow me to play my extensive vinyl collection whilst providing something with a definite art value.
In which case it sounds as though either unit would tick these boxes.
I will let you know which way I jump.
I have been in touch with Transcriptors and Michael has been very helpful. I will be calling in on him next week for a chat.

John

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by evilw » 07 Mar 2012 00:31

I have had the JA Michell version since new. It has performed flawlessly during the entire time. I use the fluid arm and it amazingly tracks almost any record at 1.25g with a V15III.

I love the looks of the original Gammon feet, but have heard that there may be more of a rumble issue.
My opinion is that either one would be great and just use Michell for parts and/or service.
-EW

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by indieworks » 26 Mar 2012 22:27

Hi all not sure why there isn't a Transcriptor section here for all the fans of this great looking turntable.I have used Thorens decks for years and been very happy but a few years ago I was toying with the idea of buying a new LP12 but instead purchased an early Transcriptor hydraulic reference tuntable and love it to bits. It has the SME 3009 arm and being an Ortofon lover I am using the MC 30 Supreme cartridge. Don't care about compliance, wow, flutter or rumble just the overall listening experience which can still get the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I love polishing the alloy components and what a conversation piece. Regarding spares. No problem at all, Mr Gammon has provided me with enough spare parts to take me into the next decade.I have a couple of photographs of my setup on http://www.anthonyclarke.co.uk

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by bogle111 » 26 Mar 2012 23:18

indieworks wrote:It has the SME 3009 arm and being an Ortofon lover I am using the MC 30 Supreme cartridge.
Hi Anthony,

You actually find that MC works in that arm properly?

Regards
Pete

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by indieworks » 05 Apr 2012 11:35

Thanks Pete.
Started with OM30 Super on this deck then decided to move from MM to MC and never looked back.Managed to purchase a MC input module for my Quad pre-amp and tried an Ortofon MC10 supreme, MC20 Supreme and finally settled on the MC30 supreme which I cherish.

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by julian Useche » 02 Feb 2014 23:22

I got one of this beauties myself last week , i had issues with the cover , it actually come off , it seems as it was glued recently, but i already took care of that with a special glue, one thing that bothers me is that the tonearm is very sensitive , ( it has the original ) i find it hard to lower it without being able to cue it so it´ll start in the right place of the record , it pivots in a peculiar way, i have looked and see if it can be adjusted without luck , one last thing can anyone recommend a good pick up for ,i fitted a brand new audio Technica , but it seems to be too heavy , of course i adjusted it be best i could , in fact it´s well balance , but it seems to plow the record , it sounds a bit harsh , perhaps a lighter pick up will do the trick , my integrated Accuphase has a great riia , i got several other turntables with SME tonearms , they are clearly a superior tonearms in terms of precision .

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by abril » 03 Feb 2014 07:41

i find it hard to lower it without being able to cue it
It should be lowered and lifted in the groove on the short stub shaft.

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Re: Transcriptors v Michell Hydraulic reference

Post by Big John » 16 Apr 2014 17:58

Since the early 70's I have used a Michell badged Hydraulic Reference, however I was told that when J.A Michell took over at Theobald Street Borehamwood when David Gammon went to Carlow Ireland there were a number of David Gammon made Hydraulic Reference's that ended up badged Michell most like mine with round feet, mine also has the 1971 Design Council Award triangular sticker on it.

People complain that the Reference sounds poor, poppycock (I Cleaned that up) must have a solid mount I use 100kg (220lb) paving stone mounted in an alcove to 2 brick walls,I replaced the armboard with a solid duralumin plate & as I have with a thick brass SME shape spacer, remove the sponge from the feet & replace in my case oak cone feet or use metal points & I use a DC motor I still use the hydraulic speed control.

I remember years ago being told years ago D Gammon was going to use hard supports in the platter weights though he ended up using sponge pads (Perception of record damage?); Having seen a Trans-Fi Audio "Resomat" platter mat using vinyl points, I made 9 pads from graphite impregnated Teflon bar, no record slip or damage.

My Hydraulic Reference is fitted with a Hadcock 242 silver arm & a Cartridge Man Music Maker & Isolator it sounds as good as any TT I have heard.

David Gammon was far sighted genius.

John

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