why is Project RPM4 not performing properly?

cjm

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Apr 27, 2006
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I've got a Technics SL-BD22 with a P24 cartridge. Bought 1990, I think, used very little then boxed and put away. I took it back out and have been using it with the phono stage on a Pioneer A400 with results which have surprised me - rhymically strong and toe tapping delivery, yet quite sophisticated too with classical music. So, I decided I wanted more of this and looked for an upgrade.

Enter the Project RMP4 with a brand new AT95e. I have this on loan to try at home. Before getting it on home loan, I tried it in the shop with some very good accompanying kit and it didn't shine. Not just that, but the sound was stifled, shut in, poor bass and treble. Vocals sort of ok, but the rest all muddled. The sound was so clearly wrong that the assistant kindly started to swap things in and out to identify the problem. Yet no change. He even, popped in another equivalently priced turntable and still the sound was compromised. It was this that lead me to think that the RPM4 might not be the cause of the problem, but something about the rest of the setup. So, I thought I'd try the Project t/t at home and see if any difference.

I hooked it up, read instructions carefully - though never quite understood the anti-skating bit - and put it on to play. Result again just uninvolving. Poor attack, not dynamic nor transparent. Again shut in sound.

To remind myself of the Technics sound, I put it back into the system and once again, Annie Lennox came alive. The technics delivered music, the Project just wouldn't. Yet I'd guess the technics is a very basic turntable and its cartridge fairly ordinary, whereas the rpm4 should be 'an audiophile bargain' according to hifiworld.

So, I'm completely mystified. At the hifi shop, something odd was happening which I can't explain, but I'd hoped the Project would light up at home, given its reputation as being a very good turntable at its price point. The guy in the shop knew of a customer who very happily used this turntable to front a good system based around an AVI lab series amp.

I'd love to get to the bottom of this as there is no way the Project can be performing as it should. Am I missing something on setup? As I said, I've followed the instructions pretty carefully, but this is all pretty new to me. The technics seems to require very little tweaking at all yet so clearly outperforms the RPM4 at the moment - and I'm guessing it shouldn't.

I'd really like to find out what the RPM4 shouldsound like and I'm going to have another go through the setup instructions tomorrow. Just wondered if anyone has an idea why this sort of compromised sound might be happening.

 
G

Guest

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i compaired the same technics deck against my 5kfully loaded lp12 and the technics walked it easily. my mate brought his one round as his system sounded awesome and mine crap.he was using a top of the range technics kit.

keep what you have or buy a 1200 technics. them technics decks are very good. just because you read in a mag that it's better means fuck all i'm affraid.

the lp12 sounded the same as you are describing shut in and muddy. the technics the complete opposite. even the wife noticed it.

there is a lot of hype out there ole fella just try before you buy.

 

Dannish

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Jul 19, 2005
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Maybe Rudi's right:shock:. Your technics deck is just better than the Project?
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rockmeister

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Thetechnics and P24 will be very 'bright' I suspect...what you describe as life and attack..it is not uncommon for manufacturers to tweak things so that bass and treble are lifted (esp in the early nineties...the era of the graphic equaliser and the 'loudness' button, which did just that). My guess is that you have learnt to accept that balance as normal and the technically 'flat' response of the project sounds lifeless by comparison. It's then down to taste. I expect you might get used to a softer more eenly balanced sound in the end, but if you like forward and bright then fine.... as 'ucker says, buy a better technics and stick a better cart in it.

 

Davewhityetagain

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Jul 24, 2005
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andi wrote:

Maybe Rudi's right:shock:. Your technics deck is just better than the Project?
smile.png
I agree too Technic decks very nice, dont bother trying to make excuses for the Project if it sucks at the shop and in your system it sucks

buy what sounds good

if there is something wrong with the project well thats the shops fault for not sorting it out before you took it home, and if the fact it now sucks in your system causes a lost sale thats there hard luck

there job is to make sure you get a turntable that sings, so you buy it

if in a few weeks after buying your technics, your in the shop and they finally tell you the reason for the problem that would be interesting to know

 

12Bore

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Oct 1, 2005
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Why does the RPM have an AT 95 cart? Standard supply is an Ortofon 510 fitted at factory/Henley distribution. Try reverting to Ortofon or a Goldring 1006 or even 1012 cart, the dealer should fit these for you instead of the AT if he wants to move the (discontinued) Project.

 

cjm

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Apr 27, 2006
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all good food for thought guys. It may be that the technics turntable is simply better to my ears than the Project, and the Project is performing just as it should do, but I still find that hard to believe. I wouldn't personally call the technics sound 'brighter' just more real, and I've got a few systems around the place based on cds as sources which aren't all bright sounding, so I think I'm being fair in saying that.

besides, the guy in the shop was also startled by the deficient sound from the turntable and he had a lot more experience than I have with different types.

Anyhow, I've got the RPM4 for a week on demo, so if there are any other ideas, tweaks which can make it sing.........

As it's on demo, I'm not going to get caught up in changing cartridges. Besides, I'd have thought the AT95e decent enough compared to the technics P24, to give some idea of what the tt should be doing. It'll go back to the shop if I can't get it sorted where they can have one last attempt at proving to me what it can do.

 
G

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Its a bit cheeky but you could pm Uncle Ants our friendly vinyl dealer and pnce some free advice and if its a cart related issue he'll more than likely have something to help you out.

 

TIU

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Sounds like the AT cart to me if the deck is set up correctly. Can you change the cart?

 

12Bore

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cjm wrote:

besides, the guy in the shop was also startled by the deficient sound from the turntable and he had a lot more experience than I have with different types.
Nuff said, cart swap + set up please!
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A

adam

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I've had that Technics deck,I thought it was totally rubbish,I changed it for a Rega Planer 3,huge improvement,I could actually play my records after the dreadful plastic technics.

 

Davewhityetagain

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Jul 24, 2005
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adam wrote:

I've had that Technics deck,I thought it was totally rubbish,I changed it for a Rega Planer 3,huge improvement,I could actually play my records after the dreadful plastic technics.
What was "Rubbish" ? its not high end ? but sounds ok to me and millions ;)of users its sold more decks than rega linn and project ever will I suspect
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