Sunday, September 26, 2010

Modded AR Turntable from Vinyl Nirvana!

Look at this beauty! It's an AR ES-1 turntable with a custom cherry base, a Rega arm and a Merrill platter. It's difficult to even know it's an AR!

It's currently for sale at Vinyl Nirvana (, my favorite site for restored vintage turntables. Here's the description:

"I am truly excited to offer this table. Someone is going to be VERY happy.

"The AR the Turntable is one of those tables that makes my heart beat faster. It has looks that demand attention. When I recently acquired one with badly damaged veneer, I commissioned a finish carpenter friend to build a new cherry veneer plinth. What you see before you in these pictures is the finished product: one of the most gorgeous AR tables I have offered.

"As a mix of old and new, this table is cosmetically a 9.0 on a scale of 1-10. The cherry veneer plinth is in as new condition.I listed the table as 9.0 overall because the "guts" of the table are used.

"In terms of mods, this table has it all: used Merrill lead mat and acrylic platter, used Merrill outer record clamp, new MS record weight, new co-polymer armboard, and a new co-polymer 33/45 pulley. In addition, the springs, grommets, and studs were also replaced. Do the math based upon the pricing on my AR MODS page, and you can see this unit is an unbelievable value!"

The price on this gorgeous TT is just $1475 shipped! Wow! If I was in the market...

I had an AR ES-1 'table from 1983, when I was still in college, to 1993, when I switched to a Rega Planar 3. Along with the Naim NAIT 2, it was one of those componnts I label "The One That Got Away." By the time I traded it in, I had removed the bottom board (a worthwhile and free tweak), I had replaced the stock arm (crappy) with a Premier MMT, and I mounted the still-available Ortofon X5-MC cartridge. That was a fine rig, and when I switched to the Rega it almost felt like a lateral move. Perhaps I was just tired of looking at it after a decade. But I wish I still had it.

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