MICHELL ENGINEERING: Orbe versus old Pink Triangle PT2, LFD Audio copper reference, SME 4 – and more

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Hello. I am using an Orbe with and Audio Origami breathed-on Zeta arm with a Benz Glider plus an LFD Audio copper reference arm cable. I also have a PT2 which is in need of quite a bit of tlc - I mean to get it working properly - would you expect it to be better than the Orbe once properly fettled with a suitable arm/cartridge?

Yes, without question. I owned an Orbe with a Breuer 8 arm and various cartridges and an original PT. The PT2 was i feel an attempt to achieve better quality control. Anyway, despite being a close friend of the late John Michell and his most faithful retailer (he told me) in the face of relentless pressure from Linn's enforcers in the early 1980s, the bass characteristics of the PT made my Orbe sound slow and bloated and I should have stuck with the AC motor.

Here's what I would do.

  1. Get the PT refurbished
  2. Buy a used SME 4 (not a 5). The Zeta was never particularly magical with the PT and nor was the SME 5. The 4 though - now that's magic.
  3. Put your existing cartridge into the SME 4
  4. Add an LFD Reference Silver arm cable
  5. Sell The Orbe/Zeta using the cheapest Denon MC because it sounds so good in that combo
  6. Buy more records
  7. Live happily ever after
  8. Err, that’s it

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