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  1. #1
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Music Hall 2.1 and the Goldring Tracker.

    Ok...I've read many reviews about the Muisc Hall 2.1 with the Tracker or Goldring Elan and the pros and cons about it. Noob this is why I say its subjective...and I can truly relate to you when you say ".I also believe one person's opinion can be misguided. Sometimes better equipment really just sounds better, . Some people just dont have a clue.

    Now that I found my problem...having the MC switch on with a MM cart and having corrected the problem...this seems to be not a bad, but a very capable entry level table and cart for someone looking to get into vinyl under $500 and even so at the demo/discounted price of $249. Could the combination be better?? Im sure it can be improved upon...At retail when new it cost ruffly $400 bucks Even at the full retail price, the sound that it spits out can be said to be a full bargain considering you get a decent cart and tonearm....very listenable. For the price I paid for the table alone was way cheaper than the interconnects and speaker cable in the rest of my outfit. The Music Hall table came tripled box from MusicDirect The outer box was full of peanuts with the two other boxes containing the 2.1. After removing the table, setup was very easy. Remove two screws holding the TT motor in place, balance the arm, loop the anti-skate weight around its post , set the tracing, put on the belt, sit the platter, and lastly remove the guard on the Tracker and you're ready to go. It all takes about 15 minutes for a newbie, about 5 for those who have experience. After my embarrassing 4 days of figuring out the MC switch was on...on the preamp, and having switched it back to MM, I preceded to listen, and listen is what I do best. This is where the big payoff with the small fee paid comes in....Its a real bargain for this table....its like stealing...you get much more than you paid. Being a Jazz lover...I mean bop, I had to go for the gusto right away....I mean PappaC having already told me what he thinks about horns and Vinyl I had to see for my self and I was not disapointed. First up was the Hard Bop of none other than the Master Dexter Gordons master piece "Gotham City". Dexter on Sax, George Benson on guitar, Cedar Walton on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey on drums. A 1981 recording. The first thing I noticed was the bass was not as I thought it should be and the whole presentation sounded thin. But I was surprised at how Gordons sax sounded. It was more robust than I previously remembered, and Blakey...one of the all time greats on drums sounded so in tune and up front. I could hear him just as clear. I was wondering if vinyl could sound as clear as CD and now I know it can. The overall presentation was clear but I was wondering about the bass. Even with the sub turned on it was still distant as if the sub was not even on. Next up was Benny Carter and His Orchestra with Colman Hawkins, Jo Jones, Phil Woods, Jimmy Garrison Charlie Rouse,Dick Katz and John Collins. A 1961 recording.The various sax players sounded very good with clear tones, and the position of the different saxes could easly be pointed out with the large sound stage the 2.1 presented. In comparison, the Dexter Gordon album had a more narrow sound stage. The drums where just as clear on this album as it was on the Gordon album, but what I did notice was more back ground noise and hiss for this recording, At loud portions of the recording, like when two or three sax's where playing at the same time, I could hear that the Goldring cart had a hard time tracking the notes...there was a distortion that could be heard when the sax's altogether played loud. Next up was one of my favorite sax players...known for the tone of his sax. Paul Desmond. His album "Glad to be Unhappy" Desmond on alto sax, Jim Hall on guitar, Gean Wright and Gean Cherico on bass, and the great Connie Kay on drums. This is a very mellow album. And Desmond plays with a lots of passion and emotion. This is where I was extremely pleased with the 2.1 and the tracker. Every note of Paul Desmonds emotionally charged playing came through loud and clear. I was extremely moved by what I was hearing. Alone with the mellow soft sound of Jim Halls guitar and the tap of the cymbals of Connie Kay on drums in the fashion of Jimmy Cob when he played the drums on Miles Davis tune "kinda Blue" just gave me goose bumps. IF you want a mellow mood..laid back just chillin kinda grove, do you self and get this recording on Vinyl...Paul Desmond "Glad To Be Unhappy". Im sure you can find it somewhere...I got mine from a used album store. This is a great album. Any one of the few recordings Paul Desmond did with Jim Hall is worth getting PoppaC. The last album before bed, (office call at 4am)....I had to listen to some vocals seeing noob likes vocals. I put on an old album I picked up 2 days ago...Nat King Coles "Unforgetable". The strings sounded natural as well as the drums and bass. But the voice of Nat Cole was just as clear and I could hear him as he took his next gasp of air before he sang the next note. You really cant appreciate a great voice until you hear it as clear as can be.

    My curiosity about vinyl and turntables in today's world is settled and it's greater than ever. I had not really listen to vinyl sense the 80's.

    The Music Hall entry level 2.1 has been long replaced by the Music Hall 2.2. Its a very musical entry level turntable for any one who is looking to get into vinyl. Dont worry about the debates about Music Hall/Pro-Ject versus Rega for now. While the Music Hall entry tables are very good for the money, I dont see the entry level Rega P2 stock being to far ahead in what it can offer at a slightly greater price.

    I cant wait to try a better cart with a few tweaks. The table does not rumble or have any back ground noise cept for the back ground noise of a bad recording.

    If you want to get into vinyl...the Music Hall entry level tables are a great bargain....at least it was for me.
    Last edited by frenchmon; 05-22-2010 at 11:58 PM.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Great write up frenchmon.

    Keep in mind that sometimes a narrow stage can actually be a product of the recording. Sometimes, they just didn't position the musicians well in the studio. Particularily with the late night jazz sessions. Tempermental musicians who had been drinking and smoking, the producer just let them set up where they felt comfortable. The better recordings on the better labels knew better than to allow that. Depends really.

    As for the bass, you may find that CD can exaggerate bass. The best thing to do is to listen through a pair of headphones to see how it sounds. In most cases when I listen through my AKG K240s, a very revealing pair of cans, the bass is present but never authoritative. But then I find this to be true with CD occasionally.

    As for the cart, it's a shame you don't have a removable headshell. It will probably be the better part of 2 weeks until the Ortofon arrives. That will give you a good feel for the Elan, and then switch it out.

    I think you would be floored to hear some of the better carts and tables out there. It only gets better brother. Enjoy!!

  3. #3
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    PoppaC...I have feel in love again with vinyl. If I can get this level of quality sound with the discontinued...entry level...basic TT from Music Hall..I can't imagine how much better a table like the MMF 7.1 or a VPI or something like that sounds. This was a demo model, the 2.1 which has been discontinued for at lease about 3 or 4 years sense the 2.2 was released...so I dont know if they had it in back in storage or what. The wife just happen to go to Music Direct at the right time I guess. The tracker, according to the specs...needs about 50 hours to brake in so I dont know if it has that on it, but it sounds better today than previous. And the sound is a clear as my X-Ray but even warmer sounding than the X-Ray. While the X-Ray has more of a slight tube-like sweet sound to it, the 2.1 does not but its not edggy like SS but warm as well. I believe more and more the Analysis Plus speaker cable and interconnects has something to do with the warmness I think I will call Music Direct to get some info on the tables to see if they can tell me if it was in the back or on display. The Canton Speakers are just haveing fun with the MMF 2.1. Sitting here listening to one of my dads albums from 1945....Big Joe Turner...He's blues with a taste of Jazz...good stuff, you ever heard of him?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I watched a documentary about Atlantic Records and Ahmet Ertegund a while back. I am pretty sure Big Joe Turner was in it giving an interview and a couple of performances.

    I'm glad you're so pleased at this stage of the game. The OM-10 should be broken in just fine, but it's rather on the newer side. Did you see the rest of my post regarding a tube stage for your TT? Essentially if you lay down a few bucks you can have something that will compete WAY beyond it's worth. I linked to an unassembled Dynaco kit. You could grab that and give it to a tech with mod specs also. He would be thrilled about the untouched unit, and would have an easy time making it sound great. I've been on a Zappa kick lately, scored a bunch of his stuff on vinyl.

  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I watched a documentary about Atlantic Records and Ahmet Ertegund a while back. I am pretty sure Big Joe Turner was in it giving an interview and a couple of performances.

    I'm glad you're so pleased at this stage of the game. The OM-10 should be broken in just fine, but it's rather on the newer side. Did you see the rest of my post regarding a tube stage for your TT? Essentially if you lay down a few bucks you can have something that will compete WAY beyond it's worth. I linked to an unassembled Dynaco kit. You could grab that and give it to a tech with mod specs also. He would be thrilled about the untouched unit, and would have an easy time making it sound great. I've been on a Zappa kick lately, scored a bunch of his stuff on vinyl.
    Man I had a bunch of Zappa on vinyl back in the 80's ( I sold all my vinyl in 1989 like a dummy )... I even had some stuff when he was called "The Mothers of Invention". I even saw Zappa live twice in concert and each time I was up front. That guy was not only funny, but he was a master musician. And he could, and did play many types and styles of music. It was said when other no name musicians played in his band...they where in school...class was in. When they left Zappa's band, they went on to become stars. Larry Willis, Jon Luc Ponty...and many more. He was made known to the main-stream audience with his hit song " Watch out where the huskies go, please don't eat the yellow snow" which is on his 1974 release "Apostrophe". IF you don't have that album, I would suggest you try and find it....every song on it is great. There was a huge write up in Stereophile magazine last year about the Zappa estate. Apparently Zappa left back hundreds of stuff on tape he never sent to market...stuff he and his bands over the years recorded that Zappa thought was not ready as of yet or just never released to market. They call it the Zappa Vault.

    frenchmon
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....05&/Jazz-Decca

    Hey Frenchie,

    You might want to contact this guy and see what the deal is.
    If they are actually sealed, it might be worth the risk.

    JRA
    Last edited by poppachubby; 06-04-2010 at 09:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Woops, JRA I accidentaly hit edit on your post. I am sorry.

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....05&/Jazz-Decca

    Hey Frenchie,

    You might want to contact this guy and see what the deal is.
    If they are actually sealed, it might be worth the risk.

    JRA
    Shipping would be expensive, I would be afraid.

  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....05&/Jazz-Decca

    Hey Frenchie,

    You might want to contact this guy and see what the deal is.
    If they are actually sealed, it might be worth the risk.

    JRA
    I wonder if he will take less.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  10. #10
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    If they are actually "SEALED" as he claims, then I don' t think it get much better than that, assuming the lot is your type of Jazz.

  11. #11
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    If they are actually "SEALED" as he claims, then I don' t think it get much better than that, assuming the lot is your type of Jazz.
    I see a few artist I like, but most of it is swing...I like some swing...depends on who it is. I like some Goodman and Kenton stuff...Love Ellington and Basie, but most of it I see in the picture I've never heard of.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  12. #12
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    Hello Frenchmon

    Good write up on your new T.T. experience and nice to know the T.T. vinyl experience is knocking your socks off. You made me recall the days of when I used to play my albums way back in the 70's. I too got rid of all my albums but that was in the early 80's so I have not personally spun any vinyl in ages.

    Earlier this year I went with my audio buddy to one of his clients home and he had a T.T. and put on Aja, Steely Dan. It was strange watching someone have to get up to flip the album over to side B again. The whole night was so retro....Cerwin Vega speakers playing Steely Dan through vinyl, and conversation about Cheech and Chong and Big Bamboo...lol

    Anyway, enjoy your Music Hall.

    LeRoy

  13. #13
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Good write up on your new T.T. experience and nice to know the T.T. vinyl experience is knocking your socks off. You made me recall the days of when I used to play my albums way back in the 70's. I too got rid of all my albums but that was in the early 80's so I have not personally spun any vinyl in ages.

    Earlier this year I went with my audio buddy to one of his clients home and he had a T.T. and put on Aja, Steely Dan. It was strange watching someone have to get up to flip the album over to side B again. The whole night was so retro....Cerwin Vega speakers playing Steely Dan through vinyl, and conversation about Cheech and Chong and Big Bamboo...lol

    Anyway, enjoy your Music Hall.

    LeRoy
    Hi LeRoy and thanks for the kind words...I wont say that the vinyl sound is better than the CD sound....they are two different sounds and its subjective. I do prefer the vinyl sound as I think it offers a little more gracefulness with smoothness in its presentation that is hard to achieve on CD. But of course as I said before...its all subjective. The draw back is getting up to turn it over.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  14. #14
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Whats your honest opinion of the Pro Ject Xpression 1?

    I think the newer Xpression III is suppose to be even greater...you would think.
    Hey Frenchy,
    I'm sorry for my late reply.

    I thought the 1Xpression was a very good TT. It never sounded mechanical and boring.
    I'm not good at describing how great things are, so I would like to let you know its negative aspects.

    1. The Oyster cartridge.
    The stock cartridge, Sumiko Oyster, is just awful.
    Since I thought the Xpression was far better than what starter tables should sound, I thought the supplied cartridge was almost insulting to the turntable and buyers. The
    I never thought I got the Oyster for free with the table, I thought Sumiko stole at least $20 worth of my LP money. It was that bad...


    2. Finicky VTA adjustment.
    It felt very cheap and didn't have rigid or accurate feel to it.
    But I never knew whether it impacted sound quality or not. I'm sure it did, but music sounded very organic and involving with different carts.
    Here are some of the carts I've tried with the TT: Oyster, AT95E(I think), Grado Green, Grado Silver, Shure M97XE, Denon DL110, Denon DL301mk2.


    3. Anti-Skate.
    I didn't like the fact that I was restricted to 3 anti-skate settings. Most of albums sounded just fine, but Isaac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul (Mobile Fidelity Reissue), I could never get his voice to project from dead center.It was always off by quite a bit.

    4 Midrange.
    When compare to other TT and arms, I thought the Xpression's deck and arm combo sounded a bit emphasised in midrange with Denons. I didn't get to try the DL-301mk2 with my current arm, but with REGA, Stock Technics, and KAB Technics arms it sounded more well balanced to my ears than the Pro-Ject CF arm. But the Pro-Ject/Denon combination was very lively and exciting than other TT/Tonearm combinations I've tried.

    5. Fixed Phono Cable.
    It was susceptable to RFI with LOMC. It will never be an issue with HOMC or MM carts.
    I never had too much of a RFI problems when living in downtown Denver, but living here at Lexington, KY I was picking up upto 3 different radio stations.
    The Stillpoint ERS sheets reduced of the problems greatly, but it was never resolved.
    Also, since it was fixed, it didn't give me an option to play with different phono cables, so it's not a good tweakers' TT.

    I hope I didn't give you a bad impression because the Turntable is very good. I'm not sure if the acryic platter will improve sound, but I'm sure it's different. If I was in a position to buy a used quality TT for less than $400, I think I would rather go for a used Mk2 unit with Non Magnetic platter, RCA phono box and 3 sorbethane damped cones.

    $700 for the Mk3 sounds way too much, but it's just me.

    Have Fun,
    JRA

  15. #15
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Thanks JRA...I think the newer ones have many upgrades...including the arm and the fixed cable has been change to let the owners pick cables.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  16. #16
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Hey Frenchy,

    I'm not trying to knit pick anything, but I believe the arm from Mk3 is exactly the same from Mk1.

    JRA

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Hey Frenchie, I've got to agree with JRA. One of the reasons I didn't give the Xpression more consideration was the Oyster cartridge. Pro-ject should definately upgrade the cartridge on a $700 table. I believe the next two tables price wise have the Sumiko Blue Point #2 which is a significant upgrade. Granted it is a MC cartridge and not everyone is equiped to go that route, heck I wasn't at the time or the results might have been different.
    Just some food for thought.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  18. #18
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Thanks Jack. I would still buy the table with the cart and try to sell it on craigslist or Audiogon. My dealer works out of his house so I may get a good discount seeing he has no over head.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  19. #19
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Sumiko Blue Point 2 is a high output moving coil (HOMC), designed for 47k like any typical moving magnet.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Sumiko Blue Point 2 is a high output moving coil (HOMC), designed for 47k like any typical moving magnet.
    Thanks Poppa, I didn't know they were compatiable. So the MC setting on my phono preamp is for LOMC?
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  21. #21
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Thanks Poppa, I didn't know they were compatiable. So the MC setting on my phono preamp is for LOMC?
    Yes. With a HOMC cart, the MC setting will boost the gain considerably. While there is a certain appeal with that, a quick listen will reveal incorrect presentation and levels unintended for the listener.

    I am telling you this from experience.

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