MoFi UltraDeck / StudioDeck Owners and those interested

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by AnthonyI, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    As an early adapter of the MoFi UltraDeck I thought it might be helpful to others that have picked up either of the MoFi Turntables as well as those contemplating a new turntable to have a spot to share their experiences. I'm hoping that with each amp, phono, cart or speaker upgrade, members will chime in as to how they worked out, sounded and for everyone to get a better feel for what "Plays nice together" when it comes to these turntables.

    If you own a MoFi Turntable and would like to add your set up to this post, go ahead and post the following information (See Below Examples) and I'll add it to the fist post so that we can see what type of equipment is connected to the MoFi and most importantly what your likes and dislikes are.

    Hoping for some good conversation, insight and any tips we may discover :)

    @AnthonyI
    Turntable: UltraDeck / Super Heavyweight
    Cartridge: UltraTracker
    Amp: NAD C375BEE
    Phono: Sutherland Insight
    Speakers: ELAC Debut B6
    Cables: RCA- Blue Jeans LC-1
    Speaker Cable: Mediabridge 16AWG ULTRA Series
    Headphones: Grado Prestige SR125e

    @HiFi Guy
    Turntable: Ultradeck/Super Heavyweight
    Cartridge: Ultratracker
    Phono: Sutherland Insight
    Amp: Rogue Audio Pharoah
    Speakers: Magnepan 1.7i
    Power Conditioner: Belkin PF60
    Cables: RCA- Blue Jeans LC-1
    Speaker Cable: Analysis Plus Oval 9

    @Brant Bell
    Turntable: Ultradeck/Super Heavyweight/Little Fwend
    Cartridge: Ultratracker
    Phono: Sutherland Insight
    Amp: Yamaha A-S801
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Cables: RCA - Blue Jeans LC-1
    Speaker Cable: Monster Cable Speaker Wire

    @Bjshawk
    Turntable: Ultradeck
    Cartridge: Ultratracker
    Phono: Lounge LCR MKiii
    Amp: Marantz 6005
    Speakers: Q Acoustic Concept 40
    Interconnects: Blues Jean LC 1
    Speaker Wire: Canare 4S11

    @egoaudit
    Turntable: Ultradeck
    Cartridge: Ultratracker
    Amp: Marantz PM8006
    Speakers: Polk RTI A1s
    Cables: BJC LC-1
    Headphones: Sennheiser 6XX

    @Juiceless
    Turntable: UltraDeck / Super Heavyweight
    Cartridge: MasterTracker
    Amp: NAD C375BEE
    Phono: Sutherland 20/20
    Speakers: ELAC Debut F6
    Cables: BJC LC-1
    Speaker Cable: Monoprice

    @displayname
    Turntable: UltraDeck/ Super Heavyweight
    Cartridge: MasterTracker
    Amp: Harman Kardon HK 3770
    Phono: Sutherland 20/20
    Speakers: JBL Studio 580
    Cables: Blue Jeans Cables
    Speaker Cable: Blue Jeans Cables
    Headphones: Hifiman HE4XX

    @kvetcha
    Turntable: UltraDeck / BigBen Record Weight Stabilizer
    Cartridge: MasterTracker
    Amp: Rogue Audio Sphinx v2
    Phono: iFi iPhono2
    Speakers: Klipsch Forte II w/Crites Crossovers + Tweeter Diaphragms
    Speaker Cable: the basic stuff
    Interconnects: Wireworld Terra 7
    Headphones: Audeze Mobius (on order)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018 at 10:13 AM
  2. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    Here's a quick guide to what the UltraDeck has over the StudioDeck:
    • The tonearms look identical but there are some differences:
      • The Ultra has better bearings for less friction in both the horizontal and the vertical planes. Less friction equals better tracking.
      • Cardas wiring is used internally in the Ultra arm.
      • The Ultra arm has a special internal damping material to make it even less resonant.
    • The platter is much beefier on the Ultra. This is important in the design since the material chosen (a unique formulation of Delrin) has the same mechanical impedance as the vinyl that LP’s are made from. You'll see mentioned in most any review of either table how quiet they are. Surface noise is much less apparent than on competing designs. The reason is that the platter literally drains away surface noise. The larger platter on the Ultra does so even more effectively. More mass also equals a more stable rotation.
    • The Ultra also makes more comprehensive use of what we call Constrained Layer Damping. This is the combination of the aluminum top plates mated to the wood (MDF) base. It makes the Ultra a more stable and inert chassis for the entire unit to rest on.
    • The cartridge is a significant upgrade (a $300 retail difference). While the Studio cartridge is extremely good for it’s price range, upgrading to the Ultra represents a clearly audible benefit.
    • The Ultra has gold-plated output connections.
    • The head shell is aluminum.
    ________________________________________________________________

    Cartridge Weight Range (For both Ultra and Studio Decks)
    • 5g - 10g

    _________________________________________________________________

    Reserved for additional information
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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  3. Chucktshoes

    Chucktshoes Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t even hooked up my PLX-1000 and y’all have me thinking about the MoFi.
     
  4. kvetcha

    kvetcha Well-Known Member

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    Stay strong.
     
  5. Chucktshoes

    Chucktshoes Well-Known Member

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    I need to. I really do.
     
  6. Brant Bell

    Brant Bell Member

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    Good idea on creating a thread that compiles the various MoFi setups. Here's what I'm using (large shout out to @HiFi Guy for his guidance):

    Turntable: Ultradeck/Super Heavyweight/Little Fwend
    Cartridge: Ultratracker
    Phono: Sutherland Insight
    Amp: Yamaha A-S801
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Cables: RCA - Blue Jeans LC-1
    Speaker Cable: Monster Cable Speaker Wire

    I had a iPhono2 that I was happy with until it died without warning on me. So far the Insight is a nice step up and really opened the soundstage even more than I thought was possible. The bass on the Blade Runner 2049 vinyl really came to life and shook the room basically -- much to the dismay of my dogs.
     
  7. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club @Brant Bell , I gotta say the bass was the most significant jump going to the Insight, very tight and clean.
     
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  8. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    Although we all have the same front end, we all have different integrated amps and speakers, so we have some variety there. Honestly though, I can't imagine the Ultradeck/Insight combo not matching well with just about anything.

    I'll likely jump away from the Ultratracker at some point. I'm seriously considering a Soundsmith. I just need to decide between the Zephyr Mk III and the MIMC Star.
     
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  9. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    Also, because everyone so far has the Insight, there's a reason it ended up on my radar. I hadn't yet honed in on the cartridge, but there were/are a couple on my radar that the Sutherlands can easily deal with:

    Grado Wood Body Medium Output Moving Iron. These need 55-60 dB gain, but still run at 47k loading.

    Soundsmith MIMC Star: These need 58-64 dB gain but >470 ohms loading (use 1k ohms with the Insight).

    For someone who wants a great lower priced cartridge, the Denon DL-103 should be a fantastic match to the MiFi arms (either one) and the Insight will be a perfect match for it as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  10. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    Those are some serious big boy carts! Obviously there is many more above those from Soundsmith and others, but those are getting pretty up there.

    I honestly think at some point even if I had the funds, I'd just be uncomfortable with handling something so fragile with such a high price tag. However, I am curious what re-tipping on carts like that cost? Does top out around a certain price point, or even on the super high end is it 50-80% of the initial cart price?
     
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  11. Juiceless

    Juiceless Well-Known Member

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    Anyone had any experience with the Mofi Mastertracker cart?
     
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  12. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    That's the thing- when you wear out a MoFi cartridge, you trade in for a replacement at 20% off.

    Soundsmith rebuilds the cartridge for 30% of list or less. A Zephyr gets rebuilt for $300. A MIMC Star gets rebuilt for $350.

    Grados get retipped for 60% of retail.
     
  13. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    No, but it should track even better (if that's possible) than the Ultratracker due to the lower mass cantilever on the Master. I'd also expect a bit more low level detail retrieval due to the microline stylus vs nude elliptical on the Ultra.
     
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  14. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    Figures pricing would be all over the place. But I completely see the appeal of Soundsmith once you start to get into that price range. Plus that almost encourages you to stick with it because the bang for the buck only grows with each rebuild.
     
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  15. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. The cost of admission is higher, although if you look around, deals can be had. List on the MIMC Star is $1999, but I've seen them regularly as low as $1299. Ditto the Zephyr, $1499 list for $899.

    Once you factor in a couple of rebuilds, they cost around the same as a MoFi cartridge. And Moving Iron cartridges like Soundsmith, Grado and Nagaoka have far lower moving mass than any MM or MC.
     
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  16. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    If/when you pull the trigger you know we'll all be ready to hear about the sound!
     
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  17. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley Well-Known Member

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    If we discount the sub section of naked and skeletal carts (Lyra being a classic example), expensive carts don't really differ in what will and won't kill them from much more affordable models. If you've gone a significant amount of time with your existing cart with no grief, the chances are, you'll be fine with a pricier one too.

    I killed a Shelter 501 with a combination of beer, carelessness and a woolen jumper. It hurt. In that instance, rebuild costs were so high (at the time it was a back to Japan job), I sold the carcass and cut my losses.
     
  18. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    The cart is my biggest concern, i really don't want to dive into that deep end of the pool. That being said, the UltraTracker is performing so well now that sticking with it definitely ended up on the list of possibilities. I still like the Grado sound and may give the VPI Grado Gold a try and go from there........the replaceable stylus is a plus and a cost savings. Should be fun to see how all of these work out.
     
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  19. AnthonyI

    AnthonyI Well-Known Member

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    With the "Deal" on the UltraTracker with the deck purchase I would assume most will have this one installed........I am very curious as to how the MasterTracker would perform though :)
     
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  20. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    Logically I know this is correct. But I think at a certain threshold I'd still have a mild panic attack anytime my dog walked passed a spinning TT or any visitor reached over in curiosity/confidence. I have no idea what that threshold is exactly, but I'm sure at some point I would just have trouble getting comfortable for awhile.

    I noticed Music Direct has has an option to have the UltraDeck ship with the MasterTracker installed. Maybe this way always there and I just missed it, but that seems very exciting if it's a new option.
    My main fear of the Master Tracker would be less about paying the extra $200 up front, and more about not wanting to shell out over $500 possibly once a year. And equally not being excited to "downgrade" to the UltraTracker to keep the price down later. If it's 20% for trade-ins on all the carts, that's a bigger commitment on the MasterTracker.
     
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