FUNK / PINK TRIANGLE & BREUER – a few observations

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Howard – one of...no, the best turntable I ever heard was a special fully funked LP12. Sure it sat on a mountain of Mana, and was part of an awesome system...but it really out-shone the original modified (Ninja) LP12. So..if the Funk Firm could transform a Sondek like that, surely their own decks would out-perform their version of an LP12 ? or not? many thanks. Steve.

The vinyl replay system which left the most powerfully positive impression on me, and like a fool I sold it, was a Pink Triangle with Breuer 8 Dynamic and Van Den Hul MC1.

After this, I experimented for years to get close to that sound. I tried an LP12 with a Dynavector DV-505 (all 2.5kg of it) with a Supex 901 – and I like that very much. I sold 14 OSKs, this being the Oracle / Sumiko ‘The Arm’ / Koetsu Rosewood combination and I liked these too. Reading hi-fi (remember them?) sold 15, and I lost out for some award that Ricardo was offering.

The Breuer era

Then I put a Breuer on a Gyro, then a Gyro with an Orbe platter, and then the full Orbe SE – all using an Audio Technica OC9. again, good – but not with the visceral thrill of the aforementioned PinkT.

Then - the Brinkmann

And then I discovered the Brinkman 10.5 arm – which was a better built version of the Breuer - but sounded no better. This in turn led to a full Brinkmann LaGrange with a 10.5 built for me by Helmut and his brilliant engineer Werner Roschlau that was fully balanced electrically right through the arm, through to my Ayre phono stage into an old and still wonderful Meridian 101b into the balanced inputs of the Meridian M1 active speakers. As far as any of us could tell, it was the first truly fully balanced (stylus through to speaker drivers) vinyl replay system anywhere.

This too was very good. But, again relying on memories, it still didn’t give me the magic I heard all those years previously.

Then Arthur K.

A couple of years back I met up again with Arthur K. He lent me (and I still use, it after buying it) a Funk Vector V with the cheapest Rega arm and the cheapest Goldring MM cartridge, that modest combo was and remains so good that I sold my Brinkmann combo. The Funk combo is under £1k and the full Brinkmann was £14k. Extreme bass (my main system produces a clean 23.5Hz) is more credible on the Brinkmann. That's it. Nothing more.

The point being that once again, Arthur K was able to weave a certain sort of magic for me, and all the others that crave the PT sound.

Home again - almost

To bring you almost up to date, I borrowed a prototype Funk Saffire with an Arthur K modified Ittock (new carbon fibre arm tube with lateral cross beam internal bracing) and the very cheapest Denon MC he and I could find.

And yes, as best I can judge, that combo has after 28 years brought me back to the long lost PT / Breuer / VDH combo. And I'm content. I am using the LFD MCT phono stage though - all £3k of it. Ratio of cartridge to phono stage? 1:25. Love it!

And then - the also rans.

Incidentally, I owned and sold many Trio L07D turntables and yes, the sound fully justifies the current very high reputation. I sold many JBE decks too. Set them just a smidgen faster (a la Rega so I'm told) and it was very fine indeed – especially with the big ones they built for me to house the Dynavector DV-507.

I had a Maple Knoll too. Looked like junk. Pump was a pain. Sound was world class.

There’s so much more – but hopefully that will do for now. Other than to say that ….

Premature and unjustified burial - a shameful episode

During the turntable wars of the late 1970s and 1980s, Technics came up with a truly extraordinary deck. It was direct drive and with spring / rubber suspension. As far as I can recall, no other direct drive of that time or any other had for that matter had anything other than cursory and utterly ineffective isolation. Anyway, their one bounced! And it rocked too - in the appropriate meaning of that word.

A very well know reviewer, still writing today and who wishes to remain anonymous told me in the early 1980s of an out-of-hours listening session in the IPC building (Kings Reach Tower) in Southwark where this curious device with some seemingly mediocre arm (an Acos Lustre derivative I guess) was put up against the then current LP12. The outcome shocked those that were there and to cut a long and shameful story short, that Technics deck was buried – editorially.

PS

Other fine contenders I owned and rather liked............
  • Oxford Acoustics with the Mk1 Air Tangent
  • Oracle with Mk1 Air Tangent (very VERY difficult to set up)
  • Oracle with Ittok and Dynavector 17D
  • Goldmund with the terrifying Goldmund Arm
  • Denon massive direct drive somethingorother with Breuer 8 and Supex or Dynavector
  • Dunlop Systemdek with pretty much any arm and cartridge
The most magical Linn combinations I ever heard:
  • Original Linn with Grace G707 and Supex SD900 or 901. In my opinion, it all went pear shaped after that, but their profits rocketed. So what do I know?
  • Original Linn with Mission arm and Grace F9E
  • Original Linn with Breuer 8 & prototype Asak (heard at a Linn factory indoctrination session)
  • Original Linn with SME 3009 and Shure V15

Right up to date:

I'm now experiment with a series of 1970s Denon direct drive turntables for my own use. More on this in due course - maybe.

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