Enterprise Tonearm - Owner Comments
"So, coming on to the performance. What can I say? Bravo! Now, I have to qualify this a little, in that I am using possibly one of the most neutral-sounding disk-playing transducers you could ever set up, AND a 'custom-built' Clearaudio Goldfinger cartridge, specially made for me by Peter Suchy (it uses the Goldfinger 'motor' in the Titanium body, making it much lighter and - I find - the tracking's surer and it sounds more 'true' to my ear) which all does rather help(!).
Listening now though, through the Enterprise, in a strange way it's almost turning me into something of an 'absolutist' re analogue playback. And I NEVER would have thought I could ever feel there's anything 'absolute' about the sonics of playing LPs. Wood and trees spring to mind.... What I mean is this. You play a record you know (especially old favourites), and you immediately feel completely at ease. Comfortable - confident that the sound is 'correct'. It's as your aural memory tells you it should sound - from way back when you first 'heard' it (30 years ago, on that old Garrard SP25 MkII, or whatever!). But, the thing is - back then, you weren't listening for the sonics (okay, your equipment pretty well matched your own low-level of experience!). You were listening, raptly to the music. And that's what you get with the Enterprise - just beautiful music. What you DON'T get any more is any hifi, any sense of listening to the sonic performance. It leads you away from wasting time on analysis. That's somehow no longer relevant. It just doesn't occur to you to even think of it.
I suppose, you could say you are just so bowled over by the music, that the rest is simply "in the noise level". But it's weird - THIS is the absolute sound, or what the records are upposed to be communicating, and suddenly, it's completely natural and easy to listen to. After all that faffing around, this is IT. All those years of upgrading and changing components and set up and listening for the tiniest of improvements. And all the pain of when you were almost 'there' and then the damn' (Parallel-tracker) tone-arm would start skipping grooves! All that's gone in an instant. Between now and then, well you seem to have just got side-tracked. For sure - there were gains. But, somehow the music became obscured.
In my time, I have owned an SP25 MkII, an AR turntable/arm, SME 3009 and Series III, an Ittok, a Zeta, a Goldmund T3F, a Nottingham Analogue Parallel-tracker, Townshend Excalibur, SME Vs (2 no less!), and the Conqueror of course. The closest any of them ever got to this sound now was from the old Notts Analogue arm. BUT - it never tracked properly, much like the Goldmund, and had to be sold. I went back to a SME V out of sheer frustration. But, I must say, I only ever got glimpses of what could be achieved.
If you really want me to go into the 'component parts' - yes, I could say "the base is like a rock", "it's transparent - clear as a bell", or "the timing is spot-on" or "the dynamics, and the sheer enormity of the sound stage are stunning". Okay, it IS all of those things. It's stupendous. It literally blows away anything I have heard to date. The Conqueror was/IS a great arm, but - not in this league, I'm afraid. But, the most important thing for me is that it makes me feel that I don't care about that kind of stuff any more. And there's really no higher praise than that".
Bari - Luxumbourg