Never judge a turntable by its look…
I have had only good experiences with T+A; the Criterion speakers (especially the 310s) are joyous and a must listen, the amplified Cala music streamer was totally excellent and the Music Receiver was a revelation to hear versus the Cyrus Lyric and the Naim Uniti 2 (see my Music Receiver review). When the frankly plain looking T+A G2000 R turntable arrived at the same time as a Michell GyroDec I think I could be forgiven for turning my immediate attention to the better looking GyroDec. I should have known better, of course, and the T+A G2000 R turntable that I have with a built in Phono stage and the Clear Audio Carbon 2 tonearm with Moving Coil (MC-2) upgrade is a really, really, really, good listen indeed! In fact I am thinking my vinyl experience is enhanced by this piece of German engineering weighing in at 14kg, the platter is nearly 4kg itself!
T+A G2000 R turntable review set up
I am listening, initially, to the T+A G2000 R turntable through my Roksan K2 integrated amplifier which does a fine job, through my trusty and well worn B&W CM7s. However, during my review, I received the R series CD and music streamer (MP 2000 R DAC) and the PA 2000 R matching integrated amplifier with 180W/channel. Review to follow next week. I’ve only got them for a week! So I can comment sonically with the matching tech from the amplifier into the same speakers.
T+A G2000 R turntable out of the box
Out of the Box, the T+A G2000 R turntable is a weighty affair, it is large, securely shipped and easy to assemble. I have the factory fitted tonearm and MC-2 cartridge so for me it was a simple matter to set everything up and get started. The new turntable comes in bits and at a certain point you need to apply the syringe of mineral oil to the bearing , it comes with the perfect volume, apparently. The instructions recommend running the turntable for 30 minutes after fitting the drive belt or so to allow the air to escape and I had to go through most of this time as the platter settled in and sank to its preferred height. The cartridge was perfectly aligned anyway after checking with the Berwald template provided. All I had to was fix the counterweight to the tonearm, balance the tonearm and then turn the counterweight four times for the Moving Coil cartridge tracking weight (2g in my case). Anti-skate was simple to assign (though it seems to me to be doing very little to my set-up).
Physical and Technical
Physically, as I have already suggested, the T+A G2000 R turntable isn’t that much to look at but, placed with its siblings, things do start to look a bit more exciting. In a German way, the components feel hewn from solid aluminium and start to look a little more menacing. The technology inside this range is inspired and borrowed from the HV series which is a very accomplished piece of work from T+A. One of my recent T+A highlights was to hear the HV series through the Criterion speakers and the sound experience is one of the best I have heard (eclipsed only by the sensational valve inspired V Series and their incredible thumping great M10 mono blocks).
So, the pedigree is here in the R 2000 Series and it may be that T+A have found a look and format they can centre on to build a portfolio of upgradable products like, dare I say, England’s Naim has?! This maybe the only thing that T+A is missing with their products, a consistent look and feel and sound? It might be, even, given the eye watering recommended prices associated with this range, T+A could consider a more ‘affordable’, but similar looking range, where the R 2000 is the aspirant end game for some.
One nice presentational feature is the turntable comes with a really nice thick clear perspex dust cover that fits perfectly over the platter and rubber mat on the top and the tone arm. It is held in place with a neat knob on the back which slots in and holds the cover in place. The cover simply lifts off and the vinyl plays in the open.
Performance from the T+A G2000 R turntable
With the Roksan K2, as Line in 1, the turntable sounds really good indeed. The Moving Coil cartridge is clearly very crisp and accurate. There are huge volumes of detail from the albums I’ve put on and resolution, whether it is Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘April Skies’ (heavy low ends) or Neil Cowley’s ‘Lament’ (pianos and mid ranges, including very high resolution nasal breathing!) is very impressive indeed. I put on ‘A Kind of Blue’, Miles Davis’s signature piece, and this was very good indeed, in fact as good as I’ve heard it if I’m honest. There is an ease and effortless delivery from this set-up that I really appreciated. I suspect that it is the Moving Coil cartridge I have that is delivering the outstanding quality I am hearing but musically and dynamically there is nothing going to waste here.
even the crackles are a bit crispier
With the sibling T+A PA 2000 R integrated amplifier rigged up and warmed up, if anything, the resolution and performance were enhanced. It is obvious a newer piece of vinyl sounds better than a pretty old copy of ‘Hotel California’ so switching back to Miles Davis brought me back to his improvised Colombia Street recording sessions (it says here). Wonderful. In particular this sound is great, but if anything I am really just enjoying the whole experience of dropping the soft tonearm on the super accurate moving coil stylus, it is so aethetically clean I love it. If anything I wonder if even the crackles are a bit crispier!
Finally I’ve put my favourite piece of vinyl on this wonderful £4,719 piece of equipment. Ryan Adams’s two nights at the Carnegie Hall, New York are without doubt my go to music at the moment. And ‘Sylvia Plath’ herself wanders out of my speakers. If I had the money, I would be all in for this set-up, I think when I have completed my review of the rest of the R2000 range I will say the same for the Amp and CD/Network Music Player.
See my review next week of the T+A R Series 2000.
T+A is distributed in the UK by Dynaudio UK: +44 (0) 1353 721 089 / email@example.com