Turntable equivalent of ND5 XS

Posted by: Weta on 26 December 2018

Hi

I really like the ND5 XS, and currently own a Linn axis TT with a Goldring 1042. I think the ND5 XS beats it by some margin. So I'm curious to know what my next move is turntable wise. Is it a different cartridge? or are there any upgrades to an axis ? Or just bounce it for another turntable entirely,  like a Rega? or should a Linn axis beat an ND5 xs anyway?

I just don't seem to get the same bounce and detail from the axis than I do from the ND5 XS.

The rest of the system is a NAC 102 and NAP 250 into Credos

 

Regards

Cam

Posted on: 26 December 2018 by RaceTripper

You didn't specify a budget...

I have an ND5 XS. My Clearaudio Ovation smokes it. It did with the original Satisfy arm and the Magnify I changed it to, and even more now with the Universal arm I have. But that's over $10K US.

Look at a Clearaudio Performance DC with the Tracer arm for about half that or less.

Posted on: 26 December 2018 by Michael Mccullough

Lots of options here. Clearaudio as stated above. The planar 6, 8 or rp8 are options as well. If you are near an Lp12 specialist who can set one up, that is a good option, too.

To my ears, a good mid spec table like the above will crush a ND5XS. 

 

Posted on: 26 December 2018 by feeling_zen

It's a tough one. Because depending on whether the person is a full on vinyl believer, digital believer, or somewhere in between you will get wildly different answers.

The vinyl worshiper: A Rega RP2 beats an NDS
The digital worshiper: You'll need a maxed out LP12 at $40K to come close to an ND5xs (and still not beat it)
The agnostic: Something between an RP3 and a Linn Basik into a Naim Stageline is what you need for comparable enjoyment.

You might want to also ask yourself: How much vinyl do I own and have I ever really enjoyed vinyl since the streamer? ...before making any investment. The answer to that might dictate whether you spend $0 or $10K or something in between. 

Posted on: 26 December 2018 by yeti42

You probably wonít get the same detail from an axis but it should boogie.

If you wanít to try beyond, audition a Well Tempered Simplex and/or one of the better Regas, even in store it should give you an idea as to whether itís worth persuing further.

Posted on: 26 December 2018 by Christopher_M

What is the Axis standing upon?

When was the stylus last replaced?

When was the belt last replaced?

Is the 1042 the best match for your phonostage?

In other words, is your Axis totally up together?

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Weta

Thanks [@mention:35920103255542881] 

I guess since getting the ND5 XS i have used vinyl less and less, however i put that down to the quality of the source.  I like the idea of putting on an album and getting to know each of the songs, and having the songs that start off being liked the least, ending up being my favorites, to me, this happens with vinyl, not the streamer where i end up mashing the Spotify  recommended  list, i realise this makes no sense but its just the way i am.

I like your "agnostic" description, I've not considered a stageline, can they easily be changed from MM to MC if i upgrade later?

An LP12 is about $5.500 aud and a nd5xs was 4k from memory, so a bit more than the nd5xs. I might start by demoing an rp8 and see where that takes me thanks [@mention:55067836807405388].

 

Cam

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Weta

Hi [@mention:1566878603952052]

The axis is sitting on a granite chopping board which is sitting on 3 squash balls. It was the only way to stop the woofer of the credos flapping. Seems to work well.

About 8 years was when it was replaced, turntable in storage for 3 of those years.

Belt replaced 2 years ago genuine lp12 belt.

Yes the 1042 MM is connecting  to the correct  boards in  the 102, dont remember the number but was confirmed by the nz importer of naim. They are pretty old however.

That is a good question,  my Axis is the only one ive ever heard so its hard to know if its up to scratch.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Matteo

Rega Planar 6 / Ania / Aria

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Richard Dane

The Axis is a bit of a dead end.  It was a good deck for someone who just wanted a nice sounding turntable to play the occasional vinyl and wants no fuss, but that's as far as it goes. Personally I tended to prefer the co-contemporary Manticore Mantra, or it was worth going the extra pounds for a basic (basik?) Sondek with the cheapest arm you could get - the Rega R200 with R100 cart in an ADC head shell was probably the favourite there. 

These days, if you want a great sounding deck with scope for tweaks and upgrades then the Sondek is still a top choice; seek out a secondhand check that has been set up by one of the LP12 specialist dealers, and from there begin your journey.  Even the most basik Sondek leaves the Axis behind. You can even use the existing arm on the Axis but worth having it checked out first as the bearing may be past it.

There are also other alternatives worth listening to; the Rega decks are well worth a go.  They sound fabulous, and I myself currently use a Rega RP10, amongst others. As Matteo suggest above, the Planar 6 is a good place to start, although by all accounts, the new Planar 8 could be all the deck you want or need.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by raym55

Little mention here of a Techy 1200. Change the bearing, arm, add a decent cart and external PSU, I would put it up against many. Mine is a keeper and I wouldnt swap it for ANY LP12.

Comparing to an ND5?. Differing technology makes this virtually impossible. It will certainly be different but is one better than the other?

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Rich 1

Audition those that take your fancy. Then consider if it's worth changing. What ever you decide, don't change for changes sake. Rather put it towards more music. I had my tt serviced and some parts replaced such as rubbers and belt, made a huge difference for 2 or 3 hundred pounds. You may need to take your properly packaged tt to several dealers to do comparisons. Don't necessarily write off what you already have. Rich 

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by yeti42

When I bought a CD5x my turntable of 20 years sounded rather grey in comparison. It was a Townshend Rock mk2 with a RB300 and a DV17D2 into a board from a Michell iso (a thank you gift from its designer) mounted in a plastic box and powered by a fairly large torroidal (Iíd salvaged from a scientific instrument) in a separate box. My first thought was the iso as it was nigh on 20 years old too and replacing it with a superline certainly was an improvement but it still lacked a certain livelyness. Changing the Rega arm for an Aro put the TT nicely in front again but then I started trying to improve the digital replay to try and close the gap. Careful what you start.

Much later I heard of the earthing mod for the Rega that is supposed to cure that greyness but I still havenít done it though I have the arm lying around. I wonder if it would have been enough and saved me a fortune in upgrading? 

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Antonio1

Hi Cam,

you prefer the nd5xs playing from Spotify to the tt?

If so, there must be a big issue some where with the latter.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Loki

If you are dedicated to the vinyl medium for the foreseeable future and you want to keep up with tech developments then upgradability should be part of your considerations. As such it is difficult to recommend anything other than an LP12. If finances are an issue, then I would endorse Richard's approach and seek out a good second hand chassis upon which you can build and max out your vinyl replay. Vinyl and digital sources have their own strengths, but I have stuck with vinyl as my main source because a) I have a lot of records and people keep giving me more, for free; and I have the space to store them; b) it is an upgradable and fully serviceable source (already 29 years old); c) for overall musicality it is difficult to beat; d) I can filter out the surface noise and enjoy the emotion; e) the sheer physicality of the medium, tangibly and aurally.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by feeling_zen
Antonio1 posted:

Hi Cam,

you prefer the nd5xs playing from Spotify to the tt?

If so, there must be a big issue some where with the latter.

Said like a true vinyl worshiper. Not necessarily wrong though.

If I had a penny for every time someone on the forum said the only reason a turntable sounds worse than a digital source is because the turntable must broken/set up wrong/in need of a service, I have enough money to buy an ND555.

@WETA I can't enjoy Spotify that way either. I stream but locally and pick whole albums to immerse myself in. This behavior started long before streaming existed when I was young and played all CDs on random mode. Then one day, after being into music for just a couple years, I realised random mode is crap and wrecks an album. The best ones demand undivided attention in the correct order. But streaming doesn't stop you from doing that. It just makes bad habits easier.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Antonio1

Feeling zen, my advice  has nothing to do with vinyl /digital.

What s more ,were we debating that, my answer would always be:  choose  which ever  one prefer to maximize pleasure ,I believe there s  lots of digital media having an edge over analog.

and yet no one can better the other , as they re  just different 

What I really meant was to 1)aknowledge our friend good digital is not about lossy spotify even though that  would lead to prefer it a lot more2) but also that objectively a vinyl rig cannot act cutting  extremes to such an extent an mp3, good as it is ,does .

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by ricsimas
Weta posted:

Hi [@mention:1566878603952052]

The axis is sitting on a granite chopping board which is sitting on 3 squash balls. It was the only way to stop the woofer of the credos flapping. Seems to work well.

Thatís not at all what the Axis likes to see for support: just like the LP12, it should be on something light and rigid, and you basically havr the opposite on both counts. Ideally, it would have its own dedicated support.

What tonearm is on your Axis? It really shouldnít be taking a beating from an ND5XS, IMO...

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by SB

I have a ND5-XS  TT setup is a Michell One SE, audiomods arm and the same cartridge as you. Given a good vinyl album, it significantly outperforms the ND5-XS

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Bob the Builder

I had an Axis with a Basik  arm a Rega MM Fono stage a K9 and then Denon DL110 cart and I preferred it to my ND5XS admittedly the Axis can't take better arm than the Akito and the DL110 is about as much as you would want to spend on a cartridge for it but it is a decent enough deck as Richard says for the casual user.

If it is the sound that you prefer coming from your ND5XS then perhaps you should upgrade that rather than your Axis perhaps a used NDX at least that way you will have one very, very good source.

 

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Weta

I'm not looking to replace the ND5 xs, I do have a upnp server which I use quite a lot. The perfect place for me, is to be able to throw on an album and not worry what the source is.  Typically I find music on Spotify, and go buy an album on vinyl, or even buy the oldest album and work my way through a particular artists catalogue but that is just about always done on the TT.  I'm not looking to completely eclipse the ND5 XS, just get on par, yes I completely appreciate the presentation will differ.  LP12 and Rega are popular in Aussie, so might investigate further with those maybe a second hand LP12. [@mention:35920103255542881] yeah random mode is horrible invention in my view.

[@mention:1566878603964768], That's interesting, I had it sitting on a low heavy wooden set of drawers like a TV stand, definitely rigid, not light! However, no matter where it sat, or what I played, the arm would bounce across the album, and the base driver would go in and out at a low hertz even at low volumes. The Credos are level on wooden floor boards with spikes. I tried a few things to get it sorted like the location on the stand, middle, left, right. The only thing that fixed it was the squash balls.

The arm is a Linn basik plus I think? 

However if I move to a better TT it makes sense that I get a wall mounted shelf now, and go from there. So I think the shelf is the 1st move.

 

Cam

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by French Rooster

i have now a rega rp8 with lyra delos cart and ear 912 phono. For me this combo still outperforms , in general but not all cases, my nds/ 555 dr/ unitserve/ uptone js2 , 3 times more expensive pack.

The problem is that modern lps sound like cd, so i am not buying them and still listen to the same collection of 400 lps i have.  I like to discover new albums, so digital is my principal source.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by RaceTripper
French Rooster posted:

i have now a rega rp8 with lyra delos cart and ear 912 phono. For me this combo still outperforms , in general but not all cases, my nds/ 555 dr/ unitserve/ uptone js2 , 3 times more expensive pack.

The problem is that modern lps sound like cd, so i am not buying them and still listen to the same collection of 400 lps i have.  I like to discover new albums, so digital is my principal source.

I only buy albums that are AAA, whether original or remaster/reissue. As for newer albums, me feeling is that once they enter thee digital domain they might as well stay there, so if I want something newer I stream it to my ND5-XS. I don't see a practical point to vinyl that is digitally sourced, if it can be streamed high-res (i.e. CD quality or better).

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by Motel Blues
Bob the Builder posted:

admittedly the Axis can't take better arm than the Akito 

 

No personal experience of this, but Iíve read elsewhere that after some enterprising Linn dealers discovered how well an Axis worked with an Ittok they were strongly discouraged from such experimentation by Central Control.

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by kevin J Carden
Matteo posted:

Rega Planar 6 / Ania / Aria

+1 for this suggestion. Tremendous value. I guess the new P8 must be worth a look too.

But before you go there WETA, did your answer of Ď8yearsí apply to ChrisMís question re stylus age? If so Iíd respectfully suggest that it must be completely nixed and your Axis is not getting a fair hearing?

Posted on: 27 December 2018 by French Rooster

with the arrival of the new rega planar 8, there is some ex demo rp8 to buy for the price of the rp6.   I would choose that option because there is a big step from rp6 to rp8, and a little from rp8 to rp10.

I had the rp10 before and i am not sure if it was better on all areas vs the rp8.  For occasional listenings, the rp8 is all i need.  Wonderful achievement for the price!