This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below
Thomas Schick’s 12" arm is an example of simplicity and a long tube with modern geometry relative to the zero points and ball bearings. There's no anti skating, just a counterweight and arm lift. The reworked DL-103 cartridge sat mounted in a Sumiko head. No doubt the heavy long arm added to the fuller sound but didn’t dull or subtract energy. The Solid12 comes standard with an original heavy Lenco rubber mat with high ridges on the polished platter. We experimented with different alternatives like the graphite Boston Mat or topping the rubber mat with a carbon Millennium Mat, of course remembering to adjust for VTA. None of these alternatives beat the original rubber mat however so that stayed put.
The Tri phono stage makes switching between turntables easy. After getting used to the slightly more present character of the red Japanese phono preamp, we A/B’d between Solid12 and Blackbird. Of course it was apples to pears but what quickly became obvious was how the Solid12 was a real foot stomper. It was more of a rock’n’rolla if you will and to be honest, more sheer fun. True, the Dr. Feickert revealed the minutest of details beautifully and in all the right places of the virtual soundstage where the PTP just played music. Of course its details were there unobscured by low-level noise but why pay extra attention to details when the whole brings so much more?
Listening to the combination of long arm, simple but high-quality cartridge and PTP Audio turntable brought out more music than we could have expected. It was generous, fantastically dynamic and tonally rich without artificial fattening. Even though listening in the sweet spot was very enjoyable, every other spot in the room was just as pleasant. The music was everywhere, soundstaged properly if one wanted be in the sweet spot but just as enveloping elsewhere.
What we heard and experienced from the first track on with the Solid12 was its ability to communicate the intention of the music. The emotions captured in the grooves were present throughout the entire reviewing period. Bad i.e. mostly fashionably pressed vinyl really intended for subsequent CD release fell through without mercy while great issues gained in intensity. It seemed that the Solid12/Schick/DL-103 combo really begged for live recordings where it excelled at bringing out the co-recorded atmosphere.
Hot-rodding vintage turntables ought to remain a manly hobby even for female participants but PTP Audio has added a new category of built-to-order which since seems to have grown into a very strong new competitor in the turntable scene. The sound quality achieved by these sub 2500 euro tables—we're not joking!—is hard to find elsewhere at even thrice the price.
Condition of component received: Excellent. Quality of owner's manual: We got no manual but standard deliveries do include one. Reusability of packing: Review sample came in a wooden crate because it was hand-delivered by car. This packaging is not standard however. Website comments: Plenty of information and more on the related forum. Completeness of delivery: Perfect. Included everything necessary. Pricing: Very very competitive. Human interactions: Exemplary. Remark: The Solid series of turntables introduces a whole new category of sharply priced extremely musical turntables that correct common misconceptions of having to use space-age technology to make music.