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Roy Hall's gospel
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April 05, 2012, 12:51:32 PM
  • lshin80
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I was searching some info on the Goldring Eroica cartridge, when I stumbled upon this review of the Music Hall 9.1 turntable which is fitted with that cartridge. The reviewer asked some info to Roy Hall, owner of Music Hall Turntables. The conversation touched a lot of topics, and Hall's opinion are quite...frank.  :D An excerpt:
“Everyone said ‘look at MusicHall selling all those turntables’ so they’re all coming out with turntables thinking it’s a massive market. What they don’t understand is that America is not a massive market. In Europe there’s a growing market because kids have been buying turntables. In America, very few kids are buying turntables. The people who are buying turntables in America are the guys 40 plus who are buying their last table”.

I told Roy that I had talked to guys who own used record shops and they say that kids are buying lots of records. “Yeah”, he responded, “they are, but they’re not putting them on MusicaHall turntables, they’re all putting them on pieces of crap they picked up in a junk store”. I said, “From my experience the reason for that is that they don’t know MusicHall and the others exist”.

“We’re all too small to let them know. We can’t compete in mainstream America. I’ve had my turntables in Forbes and Rolling Stone. Do you know how many times I’ve had my tables in Rolling Stone? Do you think we’ve gotten one call? We’ve had it in Blender magazine and I think Maxim. Not one call!

He went on to tell me that his daughter is in college and has a turntable there. “Everyone comes in and says, ‘That’s cool and sounds great’, so I told her to give them my name and I’d talk to them about it. She’s been there a year and a half and not one call”.

I asked him what the differences were between the old 9.0 and this new 9.1. He explained that there are two; the old arm was a carbon fiber with a metal head shell where the new Project arm (Project and MusicHall tables are made in the same factory in the Czech Republic) is a one piece, all carbon fiber arm. Second, they upgraded the cartridge to a moving coil because it just sounded sweeter. “I was the first person to market a high-end turntable that included a cartridge. I’m not talking about the cheap stuff you see in Best Buy. Look at the Rega’s and even the Project’s. They only put cartridges on their cheapest models. Everything else was a table with no arm or with and arm and no cartridge. We figured people didn’t want to (copulate) with that. They just want to open it up, do the setup and have a turntable. And we’ve been very successful with that. Project put an Ortophon cartridge on their table. It’s such a nasty piece of (human waste).

(Laughing) “Can I quote you on that Roy?”

“You can quote me. Absolutely. If you want to quote me about the Sumiko Blue Point cartridge…what a piece of (fecal matter)! That cartridge got such good press and I could never understand…(effing) hell. Some of their other cartridges are ok. I have nothing against Sumiko. I like John Grado’s cartridges, I think Linn makes great cartridges…some Audio Technica’s are ok, some not so great…but the Blue Point... (doin' the nasty) hell…”

:o :D :D :D What do you guys think?
More here: http://www.stereomojo.com/MusicHallMMF9.1Turntable%20Review/MusicHallMMF9.1TurntableReview.htm
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 03:39:28 AM by BSD2000 »
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April 07, 2012, 06:10:13 PM
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I agree with a lot of what Roy Hall is saying. At my local record store, I see a wide variety of people of different ages, with a significant number of people, say mid 20's and younger buying records. But as Roy suggests, I highly doubt they go home to listen to vinyl on a Rega or Music Hall turntable. The record store sells used turntables and I bet the majority of customers purchased a used turntable from him or a local thrift store, or asked their parents to dig out their turntable from the attic.

The worst turntable someone could buy is one of those plastic, sub $100 turntables with a non-replaceable cartridge, like a 'Vibe Sound' or 'Hype'. Those are pure garbage. They will ruin your vinyl in one play.

I don't see buying a used turntable as bad; I see them as a 'gateway drug' into the world of hifi audio since even modest turntables can sound impressive compared to sound quality of mp3's. I would disagree that 'junk store' turntables are inherently bad as Roy states since the leap from say a late 70's Technics to a Musical Hall 2.2 is not as big as he claims.

I have two complaints with Music Hall or Pro-ject turntables; the first is the tonearms - I'm not a fan of the 'pin-in-cup' bearing system they use in the arm pivot points. On a Music Hall 2.1 that I setup, the arm felt too delicate and didn't 'float' with 'zero friction' like Rega arms do.

My second complaint is their use of stamped steel for the platters of their inexpensive models. The Music Hall 2.1 I set up had a coated metal platter that was magnetic, which means using a moving coil cartridge with a strong magnet structure is out of the question. We nearly ruined an Ortofon Kontrapunkt B cartridge since the magnet in the cartridge was so strong, it pulled the cartridge down hard on the platter, bottoming out the stylus. The owner replaced the metal platter with a Pro-ject 'Acryl-It' platter which solved the problem. My advice to anyone using a Music Hall or Pro-Ject turntable - check the platter material; if it's steel, test it with a magnet. If it is magnetic, do not use a moving coil cartridge - stick with moving magnet or moving iron designs.

I did find it interesting that they chose a 50hz motor because they believe it runs quieter than a 60hz, which may explain why Rega used a 50hz motor on my Rega P25, but tuned it to work with 60hz power.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 06:14:38 PM by BSD2000 »
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