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Turntables & Tonearms Where Analog still Rules

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Old 04-22-2021, 07:58 AM
stjlinus stjlinus is offline
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Default AMG vs. Bardo

Hi there all: I currently have an AMG Viella with the turbo arm and a BENZ micro LP-S. It’s about three years old and I like it a lot. (Most of the listening is jazz, piano, acoustic rock, and vocals.) The dealer has a three year upgrade option (essentially buy a more expensive item and a portion of the purchase price for the previous item is credited towards the upgrade.)

With the three year window about to expire, I’m considering an upgrade to the Viella Forte, probably keeping the same cartridge. While musing about this (is it worth it, considering the $$ even with the “credit?”), I read the Absolute Sound’s review of the Taurus, which sounded quite good, and has the option for 2 arms/cartridges, and looks a bit easier to “muscle around.” If I went with the Taurus, I would have to sell the Viella, as the dealer does not carry Brinkmann.

There is another thread where a member purchased a Taurus and seemed quite happy with it. It’s tough to compare these things, as dealers tend not to have Forte and Taurus tables available for audition, much less taking them home to check out, and cartridges are different, etc.

This is the last turntable I’ll buy (ha ha I know you’re chuckling at this), so I just didn’t want to “settle,” and would like to get something that will “go the distance.” I really appreciate these forums and the thoughts of everyone—it makes the hobby all that more enjoyable.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:09 AM
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Stjlinus - You may have been referring to the thread I posted in regarding the Brinkmann Taurus. I was really on the fence on this one. I had my heart set on the AMG Viella, I've always been very impressed with the table at RMAF and other places I've seen them, plus I think they look fantastic. As you said, demoing A/B is really off the table unless you got really lucky and found a dealer which had both with the same cartridge.

I ultimately went with the Brinkmann Taurus, my dealer here in Atlanta sells both althought they didn't have any experience with the AMG. The Taurus was brand new at the time yet they had sold quite a few by the time I was looking. Keep in mind I was comparing the Taurus with the base AMG Viella w/ the turbo arm, not the Forte. IMO, it came down to dealer support and the fact that the Taurus was brand new and supposed to be (and it probably is) the best direct drive table Helmut Brinkmann has ever produced. The engineering is first class and it's incredibly easy to use, the precision is just awesome and it is QUIET as a mouse. Pretty far cry from the VPI Classic Signature which was a nice table in itself. I'm sure the Viella Forte is pretty awesome as well, but also remember that table should be quite a bit more expensive than the Taurus and the tube power supply. I know one other member who went from a standard Viella to the Taurus and his feedback is that the Taurus outperforms the standard Viella quite handily. If looks are important, I think the AMG looks much better than the Brinkmann, especially with the wood skirt.

Ultimately of course it comes down to how much you want to spend, I think you'd be happy with either purchase. I'll add one more thing, going to the Lyra Etna Lambda cartridge from my Dynavector is one of the best audio purchases I've ever made. That cartridge in combination with the Brinkmann is dynamite.

- Buck
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Library: Speakers: Avalon Acoustics Isis, Subwoofers: (2) REL Acoustics 212SE Amplification: D’agostino Momentum preamplifier, D’agostino S250 stereo amplifier Digital: dCS Rossini CD/SACD transport, dCS Rossini DAC/streamer/master clock. Analog: Brinkmann Taurus table, Lyra Etna Lambda, Audio Research Ref. Phono 3
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:39 PM
stjlinus stjlinus is offline
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Thanks Buck this is helpful and great insight. I’ll have to see if I can listen to a Taurus at some point. I believe another dealer relatively close has a Brinkmann Bardo which he might let me take home for an audition, so that could be somewhat close sounding cousin?
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:09 PM
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Not too sure about that....the Bardo was a fine table in it’s own right, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. FWIW, my dealer has already had at least 2 people trade in their Bardots for the Taurus upgrade. It’s a new motor and while they may look similar, the Taurus is a new design. From everything I’ve read, I don’t think I would go from an AMG Viella to a Bardot. The Taurus would be the path you would take.

- Buck
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Library: Speakers: Avalon Acoustics Isis, Subwoofers: (2) REL Acoustics 212SE Amplification: D’agostino Momentum preamplifier, D’agostino S250 stereo amplifier Digital: dCS Rossini CD/SACD transport, dCS Rossini DAC/streamer/master clock. Analog: Brinkmann Taurus table, Lyra Etna Lambda, Audio Research Ref. Phono 3
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