Horizon with TA-1000
“There's a relatively new Canadian turntable manufacturer, Pure Fidelity, and I just bought their Horizon TT. Here are my thoughts on it.
I was going to buy the Brinkmann Bardo table with a Sorane SA-1.2 tonearm and then a CAM member (Thanks https://corbysaudio.com/) suggested I look at Pure Fidelity since they're out here in Vancouver.
I met up with the owner/designer of Pure Fidelity, John Stratton, to look at his Horizon. I wanted to see his favourite set up, which was the Horizon in the Quilted Maple Finish with a 48mm Delrin Platter, Maestro Speed Control System, Acoustic Signature TA-1000 tonearm and Ortofon Cadenza Bronze MC cartridge. Price-wise it is $3000 less than the excellent quote I got for the Bardo/Sorane SA-1.2, so that was a major plus. I was already using and loving the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze (which John also loves) in the Pro-Ject Xtension 10 I had, so that also made comparisons easier. John was very easy to talk to, and I didn't feel pressured or "sold". We talked about what I was looking for, chatted for a bit, and I left. I always ruminate for ages on a major purchase, but decided to go for the Horizon.
The photo I've included of my table doesn't do the plinth justice. The quilted maple finish really dazzles in the light.
While it's much smaller and lighter than the Xtension 10 it replaces, it isolates MUCH more effectively. This table would be perfect for someone who has space/weight issues.
Strictly on an aesthetic basis, the table/tonearm combo makes for a very elegant looking turntable. The Horizon definitely looks what it costs. (FYI; it could have looked like a Domino's pizza box with an old socket wrench stuck in it if it produced the sound quality I wanted, but it is nice having something pretty to look at.)
Really like supporting a small business, especially a Canadian one that makes its products here.
Another VERY IMPORTANT aspect of the turntable I was going to buy was user-friendliness. I considered the Oracle Delphi Mk.VI Classic (wanted to go Canadian if I could) but was discouraged by how complicated the table was. I completely understand audiophiles who love to tweak in order to squeeze out every possible audio advantage, but that's not me. The Horizon is easy to set up and use, which is rare in a high end table.
So, the sound.
Wow. I mean WOW. I've listened to a lot of turntables, and I quite simply have not heard anything close to sounding as good as this. I'm running it with the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze through the flagship Marantz PM-10 integrated, Cabasse Pacific 3 towers and Cardas Neutral Reference cables. To say it blew away my Pro-ject table is an understatement, and, again, this is with the same cartridge. The sound overall was amazingly silky, classy and deliciously detailed. Sound like this usually indicates an overcompensation to warmth, creating a mushier sound. That definitely isn't the case; the sound is EXACTLY what I look for in analogue. The detail was there without the cold, clinical aspects of a good digital set up.
There's no noise. None. I'm talking digital level blackness. Vantablack. I ran recordings that would show up ANY sound issues (Trinity Session, Kanikyo Ongaku box, Portrait in Jazz) and I just couldn't believe how QUIET this table is. Completely eliminated one of digital's best arguments.
Another thing I was stunned by was the bass response. The detail and punch of the bass was unparalleled. Probably the best bass reproduction I've ever heard. It really demonstrated how amazing bass sounds from Hip-Hop and Electronic genres can be, even from digital recordings. Also, Paul Chambers never sounded so good!
I always felt that the recording for Sonic Temple was kinda thin. I was disappointed with the 30th anniversary reissue when I played it on my Xtension, but it filled out much better with the Horizon. That said, the Horizon's is fantastic for Classical, Jazz and higher quality Rock productions. The Horizon is all about class; if you're looking for a more aggressive sound, or you're a Metal/Punk fan, this table is probably not for you. Badmotorfinger sounded lovely on this table, but it lacked some snarl and bite. This table is a Bentley, not a Lamborghini.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this table. It seriously upped the game of the rest of my equipment to the point of me wondering if I should maybe upgrade my speakers (you know how that goes). One way I judge new equipment is "does it make me want to drag out and listen to all my vinyl all over again?" and it does. I'm currently going through all my Blue Note Music Matters reissues.”
~ Geoff, Vancouver,BC
ECLIPSE with K2 tonearm
“When I began my search for a new turntable I came across an ad on a local audiophile web site about a Vancouver based company named Pure Fidelity. They were preparing to launch in the coming months. I liked what I saw and that it was a basic belt drive design . The aesthetics were at such a level that I thought to myself if it sounds the way it looks I am buying. Well I contacted John the owner and he is a fine gentleman indeed. He told me about his journey and how he was not going to cut any corners on the build of these tables nor his company. All locally machined and finished right here in the Vancouver lower mainland. That was it! I said build me one. Upon delivery I was stunned at what I saw and heard. I mean I have owned some costly tables in my day from Michell Gryo SE to Clearaudio Magnum, Rega P7 with ceramic platter amongst others. Pure Fidelity’s tables at this price cannot be beat and competes easily and even outclasses tables that have cost me a lot more. This is one of my finest audio purchases I have made on my journey. It’s like an art piece or elegant piece of furniture that sounds incredible. I feel great that this company exists here locally and that I have supported it. They are going to do well…very well!”
~ Dave, Vancouver, BC
ECLIPSE with TA-1000 Tonearm
“First off, thanks again for your thorough responses to my questions and concerns. Through that process I never felt you were trying to sell me anything, in the end I am very glad you did. My decision to go with the Eclipse/TA-1000 has been nothing short of amazing. I don't know if you remember but I had a RP6 which I think (still do) is a pretty good deck, but this table and arm combo is clearly in a different league. You do not need a trained ear to hear the difference. You are going to laugh at this one. When we have friends over my wife says 'You have got to see our new turntable.' Believe me she has never referred to any of my gear as 'ours.'”
~ Tony, Denver, Colorado
“I ordered the Delrin platter, bearing and sub platter . Build quality on all three was fantastic, and there was a very definite improvement in the sound of my 20+ year old Rega 3. I received simple very clear instructions for installation and my questions were answered quickly. Well worth the purchase, and I’d buy from Pure Fidelity again in a heartbeat.”
~ Glen, Peterborough, Ontario
“I purchased the delrin platter, subplatter, and improved bearing from Pure Fidelity. The parts arrived quickly. Installation was straightforward following the instructions provided. John also applied the lubricating oil. The difference in the performance of my Rega Planar 3 is signigicant. The table is so quiet. I didn't really appreciate what this meant until installing the new parts. The music emerges from the background and complicated musical passages are detailed, no longer messy or fuzzy-sounding. The bass has become more authoritative but not over the top. I'm really pleased with how this purchase has brought new life into the Rega. The parts are of high quality and for a very reasonable price. It is great to deal with a Canadian company for Rega parts. I am looking forward to seeing what else Pure Fidelity will come out with. Maybe VTA adjustment for the RB300 tonearm? Certainly, I am interested in the possibility of upgrading the plinth next. I will have no hesitation going back to Pure Fidelity in the future.”
~ Mike, Calgary, Alberta
“Delrin Platter on my RP6 sounds amazing. I have a Delrin record clamp as well and together the result is excellent. Great product”
~Rob, Ottawa, Ontario