Provided by Mark, Owner & Manager Of Silvernote.
The packaging the tone arms come in is robust and well packed.
they arrived safely and unscathed.
Note the 500C ( Red Carbon ) sat with the 512S.
Tested on the following system:-
Turntable -Technics SL1210 MIIID
Arm – Silvernote 512S
Cart – Ortofon Quintet Red MC
Isolation – isoACOUSTICS Orea Isolation Pucks.
Phonostage – Keces Audio Ephono.
DIY Breakout Box with built in ground point.
Linear Power Supply – Keces Audio Ephono Power
Pre Amp/Headphone Amp – Schiit Jotunheim
Power Amp – Rega Mira
Speakers – Acoustic Energy AE100i
Headphones – Sony MDR SA-5000
Balanced from the phonostage onwards.
Listened to during review –
Black Lion at Montreux.
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon ( 180gram )
Jean-Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China ( 180gram )
Mahler – 5th Symphony
The first thing I notice out of the box is the shine! Mark will get the metal down to a perfect mirror finish,
To the point I nearly looked for some white cotton gloves from fear of leaving the faintest mark or smear on it.
Set up was a breeze. I had to grind the Origin Live adaptor plate out first but that’s down to them making the hole the wrong diameter as Mark’s arm’s base shaft is the same diameter as a Rega arm. My Rega RB300 wouldn’t fit either.
Once this was sorted the arm slid in with no issues and bolted into place using the mounting ring.
VTA is adjustable via two small hex screws inside the mounting ring which can be a bit fiddly but nothing too difficult.
Azimuth is adjusted at the top of the “T-Bar” section of the tone arm that sits in the gimbal. Again by a small hex screw.
Weight/Tracking force is dialled in and the weight can then be tightened into place with another small hex screw.
And finally Tracking angle is adjusted at the headshell and then tightened.
Mark provides two hex tools which cover all of the adjustments on the arm.
Oh and I nearly forgot the bias weight is also secured in place by hex screw.
It looks a lot but it’s very straightforward as along as you have the correct tools at hand, Which I am sure when buying this grade of tone arm is a given.
The one thing I missed when using this arm was an arm lift, However, It’s more a case of me being anal!
Fitting the Ortofon Quintet Red was easy although I found the plugs a little tight, But not too tight as to hinder use.
The cable Mark uses is Van Damme and is fitted well and a decent length.
The interconnects Mark uses are of a good quality and feel very robust.
They fit the RCA connectors like a glove.
So lets get on to listening shall we?
The Concerts In China is one of my top 5. It is a superb album and it’s also a live recording.
I always enjoy listening to this but most of the time found myself turning to my digital copy instead.
I don’t think this will happen so easily now.
Every little instrumental strike, hit, stroke… They’re all there either in the foreground or the background,
Crystal clear to my ears.
This system took me on a journey with this album and has opened my ears/eyes to what is possible,
And what I have been missing for all this time!
Bass levels are just right, Not overpowering, Just tight clean bass that drops when it needs to and handles it when it does.
Highs are accurate, detailed, Almost clinical but not too much.
Midrange is present in a natural and even way.
Vocals come through with a lovely smooth airy vibe, Every breath, Every note natural and easy on the ears.
Dark Side Of The Moon comes alive with an energy I’m not used to hearing on vinyl, Gilmour shines and shines and his riffs are sublime!, The bass levels here make a massive difference to what I hear and revitalises the experience.
Mahler’s 5th symphony hit me in the feels, And it made me think I may one day in the near future get myself to a classical concert ( another 1st when it happens )
And Black Lion….
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Jazz.
This is one of my Go-To Jazz albums in my vinyl collection and it and this system did not disappoint.
That beautiful bundle of instrumental magic combined with some fantastic Jazz vocals really bounce around
and give a wonderful experience!
The 512S is a very good addition to the signal path and Most certainly keeps up with the Turntable it is fitted to.
It does the phonostage justice and as such plays an important and integral part in my overall system.
This arm has along with the rest of my current system helped me to rediscover my love for music and vinyl in a big way.
The ability to move me emotionally while I sit and listen is no small feat, so well done Mark on a fantastic job! Please do NOT stop doing what you are doing!
Looking forward to spending many many hours with these arms and
I wait in anticipation to see what else Mark has up his sleeve as the years unfold.
Considering this is a new venture for Mark I am very impressed with his dedication, Craftsmanship, Communications & Willingness to help and advise.
This is one of two arms Mark sent me, please watch out for my review of the 500C at a later date.
The Audiophile Cafe.