Calling all Decca fans - you must get one of these !!

edited February 2012 in Analogue

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For the unclean this is a Decca C4E or Mk IV FFSS in a universal fitting (the FFSS was designed to fit only on Decca arms). It is a stunning cartridge and having been just re-tipped by John Wright Audio Services it simply blew away my current Decca Supergold from the off. It is just more Decca with dynamics that scare you and details that should not be there. You can 'see' Art Pepper moving his alto sax to and from the mike. For a 45 year old cartridge it is more than a classic. I reckon it would give a London Reference a good run for its money as well as make modern day MC's sound like toys !

Comments

  • Bugger where are the pics ??
  • Yo merv man! That sound pretty cool, I dont know much about the Decca hierarchy. I am very impressed that an old cart can be rebuilt and reused again and again. Decca must have been well ahead of the curve with their green strategey! If its as good as you say, it might still be in use in another sixty years!

    Are using it on a Pioneer arm then?

    I am on my phone so cant help with the piccies, but if Dave doesn't do it I will try to help tonight.
  • Merv,
    Please don't say things like "it blew away my current Decca supergold".
    I turned on my TT for the first time in 6 months (literally) last night, and was pleased to be re aquainted with vinyl sound via my supergold. In some ways worse, in a few ways better, than the digital sound to which i've become accustomed in the past year.
    To read that significant improvements along Decca lines are possible is annoying. I had wanted to put all the vinylphilia behind me... :-(
  • Hi Alan

    Yes using a Decca makes me feel I am doing my bit for the environment - ahem !!  The arm is an Audio Origami PU7.

    The pics are annnoying - I followed your instructions to the letter several times but maybe something to do with Wins 7 pro ?

    Ben

    Sorry euphoric use of the term 'blowning away' the Supergold - but the C4E is a serious notch up in terms of detail and dynamics. I think the thin metal/plastic case of the SG lets it down whereas the C4E is in a much more solid shell. Plus Decca's and 401's just work so well together for me - a really musical match of parts.

     I have been doing the reverse to you listening to much more vinyl ( getting the 401 up to speed ) than digital recently. My vinyl and digital sound different each with their own strengths and it was interesting to go back to digital and realise it is pretty damn good as well !

  • edited January 2012
    Ha - Ha! [/Nelson].

    You could sell all the analogue and get James's Weiss DAC. Or sell the digital and get another Decca.

    (I recommend procrastinating for years and doing nothing, personally)

    I think I will have to stop daydreaming/ worrying about gear that's better than mine. There will always be better stuff than I have (but it all sounds rubbish because its not in my lounge)!

    I am like a moth stuck on one of those blue lights, laughing at you because you're stuck on a blue light too. We're doomed!...
  • (above was to Ben)

    Mervyn, didnt know you were a Garrard man, man! Did you fix yours up like Jim's? Apparently that one sound wonderful.
  • Yo merv man! That sound pretty cool, I dont know much about the Decca hierarchy. I am very impressed that an old cart can be rebuilt and reused again and again. Decca must have been well ahead of the curve with their green strategey! If its as good as you say, it might still be in use in another sixty years!

    Are using it on a Pioneer arm then?

    I am on my phone so cant help with the piccies, but if Dave doesn't do it I will try to help tonight.
    Dave has done, boss!
  • Ha - Ha! [/Nelson].

    You could sell all the analogue and get James's Weiss DAC. Or sell the digital and get another Decca
    Shut up Brown.
    ;-)
  • edited January 2012

    Ben

    Sorry euphoric use of the term 'blowning away' the Supergold - but the C4E is a serious notch up in terms of detail and dynamics. I think the thin metal/plastic case of the SG lets it down whereas the C4E is in a much more solid shell. Plus Decca's and 401's just work so well together for me - a really musical match of parts.
    I think the letters on the cart' say it all really...
  • Hi did anybody get a Decca London that had been rebuilt by Tom Fletcher Dais fame?
    I loved mine and was wondering if you could get them even though poor Tom has pass on.
  • ahem..............the SC4E does indeed blow the SG away. In fact it is as good as the new Jubilee cart. This is no surprise to me as I have had an SC4E for many years now, but it needs care when being used, although the Jubilee is easier to set up, the sound is almost identical!  I recently reviewed the current Jubilee on the Hi Fi Pig website. Which would I choose if I had to, twould be the SC4E.
    s
  • Nah nah nah nah I can't hear you nah nah nah nah...!
  • Ah well there are always those that dont want to listen.........................................roflmao
     
  • My SC4E has a fine line stylus fitted, this is the same as is used on the Reference! So it is a little better than a standard SC4E, and it has been rebuilt recently. Fine sounding cart!
     
  • I have had in my time a Decca Gold which was rebuilt and tipped by the Garrott Bros.  Sounded brill.  Had it rebuilt again by Expert Stylus - results even better.  I laugh when I hear the reviews of Garrott - did you know they learned their trade at Expert Stylus (and I can assure you the Expert Rebuild was better than the Garrott one).

    I acquired a Silver - rebuilt by Expert Pickups with fine line - result same as the Decca Gold

    I also have a an ffs C4E - not yet retipped with its orginal eliptical stylus - result as for the above but not so sure footed and a tad less detail.  The Michelle technoweight helped as it comes with a heavier counterweight.  This cartridge is a heavy beast.

    No other cartridge comes close in terms of dynamics and I couldn't live without mine.  Arm preference, well I have had mine in a Mayware Formula 4 (excellent match but wife couldn't handle it), Audio Technica AT1100 (excellent match), original Mission 774 (excellent match), Rega RB250 standard (was ok but did not sound as sure footed as the others), Rega RB250 with michelle technoweight (definite improvement on the standard but still not as sure footed as the others).   I have just acquired an Origin Live Silver Mk IIIA - and I will let you know how that gets on in my next posting.

    In the meantime the power supply has died in my Systemdek IV - so I am sorting out my options on how to get that up and running to try the new arm.

    Mounting tips for Decca gold/silver/maroon
    - when sliding the cartridge onto the holder use blue tack over the screw heads (or nuts depending which way you pass the bolts through)  to secure the holder to the cartridge with no vibration. 
    - If you have an arm with no provision to adjust the horizontal axis of the cartridge you can make minute adjustment by the amount of blue tac (pushing one side up harder than the other).

  • Decca SG going strong here. The cart' in my system that's got closest to good digital IMHO.
  • And that's how it should be, Ben :-)
  • Good digi, good analogue - it's all the same if it's done well, shirley? :) I don't know much about the dark days of yore and the black arts of vinyl playback, but a Decca would be a no - brainer if I were to assemble such a system. Some products are just above reproach, whatever their format, and these Deccas must deserve their reputation as classics.
  • Sorry, sir. I won't mention it again  X_X
  • Final note - the Origin Live Silver Mk IIIA  - fine arm but overall the results with the Decca were not ideal.  If i was using any other cartridge it would have stayed in the system but I have gone back to the old Mission 774. 

    As to the Systemdek 4 that is in being redone by a good mate and I cannot wait to get it back.  For those who don't know, this turntable was the last of the heavyweights from the old Systemdeks.  The suspension is suspended (springs stretch not compress) and the platter has a thick top layer of vinyl applied to it before being machined.  So we have the advantages of an acrylic platter with the advantage of the increased mass of the metal.  The same affect is achieved on more modern turntables by making the platter a few inches thick.

    if you get a chance to hear one - do it 
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