Once Analog appeared at the Australian Audio
and AV Show in Sydney in October 2012
For a discussion on Stereonet, click this link - Stereonet discussion
Connected Review and Interview
For the Once Analog turntable review and Vince Hamilton interview at Connected, click this link - Connected Review
Strathclyde Turntable Refurbishment
Having recently bought a STD 305M (built in 1982) I contacted Vince to see if he was 1) willing and 2) could work some magic and, as they say, "make it sing." While I was convinced about the quality of the STD, I needed someone who could make sure that my deck did in fact - sing. And the results - it sings alright!
In all of the above, I was very impressed with Vince's knowledge of turntables and his ability to provide sound positive advice. Vince was very easy to work with and dealt patiently with all my questions. I did very much enjoy the process!
I now have a quality turntable and I am very much looking forward to many years of hearing it - sing.
(posted 15th May 2013)
I have been running my Once Analog turntable with an SME IV, Ortofon Cadenza. It's a well engineered and manufactured piece of equipment, you can see Vince takes a great deal of pride in his work.
And it shows when the vinyl starts spinning, a vast improvement in sound quality and detail to my previous turntables.
Vince followed up with phone calls, to see that it had arrived and I was happy with it. Also, advice and suggestions on setting up the turntable and tonearm, to ensure I'm getting the best from it. A turntable built to a standard not a price, and it's Australian made.
I am looking forward to many years of enjoyment from my purchase. Thanks Vince, keep up the good work.
(posted 14th August 2012)
A Syrinx Tale - from horror to delight
I recently had a horrible mishap with my Syrinx PU3 when I damaged the tonearm wires and the horizontal shaft trying to adjust the VTA. On the recommendation of a friend I contacted Vince Hamilton for advice on fixing the problem. Vince was very happy to suggest ways to fix the tonearm over the phone, however I soon realised it was beyond my skills so I sent him the PU3.
Vince was terrific to work with - emails and phone calls kept me in touch with the repairs and the improvements to the arm and he completed the work very quickly. On its return I opened the box to discover a significantly improved Syrinx PU3. Vince had fully rewired the arm (including a new drilled and tapped screw for the earthwire), repaired the damaged fingerlift, machined a new VTA spacer and polished away the marks on the housing. It looked immaculate but more importantly it sounded far better than before.
Vince contacted me a number of times to make sure that I was completely happy with the work he had done - I definitely was. From my experience Vince is a superb craftsman, a very honest and trustworthy person and most importantly a man who loves music.
(posted 23rd July 2012)
I have used a "Once" Analog turntable for the past four years primarily with an SME V and a Koetsu stone body cartridge. It replaced a Platine Verdier and I have never looked back. This is the only playback platform that I have heard that does dynamic scale correctly, it is a match made in heaven with an SME V allowing the tonearm to perform at it's best, (the looks are an added bonus).
I build audio equipment and need a platform that can allow me to evaluate designs while still enjoying myself and I have found my turntable!
All the best Vince,
I too went down the path of purchasing a Once Analog Turntable, (Thank you Wolster for the initial recommendation). A big thank you to Vince Hamilton for his professional advice and outstanding service. The Turntable is not only of immaculate build and functionality it's also a beautiful piece of Art, elegant but at the same time current. Fit's in well with our decor (Mrs approves """Yes"""""). I'll include photo's and my first review as soon as I can. In the meanwhile a very big thank you to Vince once again ..................................... Now back to enjoying the music..............
Hello to Vince Hamilton:
About eight (8) years ago I purchased a type of Once Only T silicone grease that is used to dampen the tone arm set-down mechanism for a BSR 710 - Transcription Series turntable from a most helpful and kind person by the name of Vince Hamilton in Australia. With Vince's help, I was able to clear up a fast, free-fall 'plopping' problem I was having with the BSR 710 as the automated tone arm prepared for a landing at the start of a record.
David Michael Klemmer, Jr.
Thought that I might add a few additional comments about the Once Analog Turntable. I have used a Once Turntable now for a number years - I think I was probably Vince's first sale. Prior to purchasing this turntable I had tried many (too many in fact!) of the top turntables available over a number of years with varying degrees of satisfaction. I have also had the opportunity to listen at great length to many high end turntables belonging to fellow vinyl enthusiasts.
The bottom line for me is that since I have owned Vince's turntable, I have never felt the need (not even an itch) to change/upgrade. In essence, it is a beautifully made piece of hi fi equipment that plays wonderful music with a minimum of fuss. I cannot imagine anyone who has a passion for vinyl being unhappy with this product as it meets all the criteria that enthusiasts look for from this hobby.
Vince has a profound knowledge of all things vinyl and has produced a world class product. As I have said to him on many occasions, he should take a well deserved bow (even though I know this is not his style)!
It's been 6 months since we purchased the Once player. Let me start off by telling you that we don't miss our old turntables (Thorens). Unlike in the past we now prefer to play records over CD's, it's unfortunate we can't have ALL of our music on vinyl. What is so distracting about the Once is it's appearance, you just want to look at it every time you walk past. It's as though you can already hear the music by just admiring it's timeless beautiful looks. As they say "it's not just a pretty face". The real beauty starts when it's playing. We feel that the singers and musicians come for a visit when we listen to the Once! No joke. The speakers, amplifier etc all help but it's the Once (source) that makes it all possible. We are very happy and privileged to be owners of a Once turntable. We know that the technical specifications and superb craftmanship of the player have been meticulously taken care of by you. I suppose it wouldn't be a Once if it wasn't the very very best money can buy. It's the reason why we chose it over all the others, even if money was no object it's still the very best. We can't help but think, each time we listen to the real life music it reproduces, how much thought and attention to detail went into making the Once. Buying a Once is like buying a Patek Philippe Swiss watch, it's something you purchase and hand over to your children and grandchildren to use. Consider giving it a 100 year warranty! I think it's that good.
I would recommend it to anyone with a love for analogue music who might be thinking of a new LP12, Clearaudio, Michell, VPI etc to audition a Once before deciding on a new turntable.
Mendo & Abi Ristevski
Linn LP12 DC Conversion
Details! So many details I couldn't hear before! I've only listened to two records so far:
"Malcolm Frager plays Chopin" on Telarc - the second track is one of the most convincing recordings of piano I've heard - well the improvements are subtle but all the way through: tiny crescendos and diminuendos which I never heard before; longer decays; pianissimo is much software - interestingly, people talk about deeper bass with DC motors - I didn't find that was the case - the bass was more detailed but no deeper (maybe a limitation of my speakers)
Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" played by The English Concert on Archiv - wow! SO much detail. Rock solid speeds. Pace seems much faster in some sections and much slower in others, forcing you to wait and listen for what the performers will do next. Subtleties I never imagined were in the record.
Great job, Vince.
Now I'm wondering just how much more is in these records that I have never heard.
SYDNEY AUDIO CLUB MEETING 10/8/2008
Very many thanks for your kindness in bringing along for our enjoyment your wonderful turntable for us to listen to.
I really enjoyed today. The sound was very musical and enjoyable to listen to. A wide variety of musical genres were played and all sounded convincing. It was a very musical sound with a very even balance to the sound.
There were many comments from our members and guests stating that today is one of the best sounds that we have had at any of our meetings.
So once again very many thanks for your efforts today.
Extract from FEEDBACK - Bulletin of the SYDNEY AUDIO CLUB - Sept 2008 (pp 10-12)
Reprinted with permission of the Sydney Audio Club
(to view the entire bulletin in PDF format (1.3MB) - click here)
Well after reading the July August 2008 issue of Australian HiFi magazine, including the review of the Once Analogue Turntable, I pondered to myself :- HMMMMM I wonder?
I spoke to a friend, Mendo, and he said that he knew Vince, the designer, and would ask him. So he did, I followed this up with a few emails and Vince kindly agreed that he would be very pleased to pay us a visit at Epping. A date was agreed and so this has now come to pass and we were able to listen to Vince's Turntable.
So how did it sound?
That is a very easy question to answer, so this will be a very brief review. Listening to those around me at the meeting, superlatives such as :
• Best sound we have had at Epping
• I want one
• One of the best sounds we have had at the club.
So the review is complete and I can retire to bed and get an early night ...............................
Oh sorry you want to hear my bigoted opinion.
Easy - "PRETTY DAMNED FINE"
Now, lets see, reviewers can occasionally get best mates rates for reviews. HMMMMMMM again I wonder of the possibilities. There is room at home for a T/T of this quality. I wonder if Vince would oblige my suggestion of a VERY LONGTERM REVIEW SAMPLE?
So to the carefully considered and balanced comments.
The system consisted of the Once Analogue Turntable, SME V arm, Benz Ruby MC Cartridge, M E Pre Amp, M E Power Amp, B&W 801 speakers. Interconnects were Audio Synthesis with Eichmann phono plugs, and my own braided Cat 6 speaker cables. Vince provided a selection of his music and John McEvoy provided his usual selection of music on half speed masters for our enjoyment.
The first thing that struck me about this system was its sheer Musicality, everything played sounded real and
convincing, especially female vocals. The dynamics were fast and controlled and micro dynamics were easily heard. The bass was extremely well controlled with excellent extension and good weight. So when the bass was struck it sounded that way. The cymbals of the drum kit were very open and clean and the natural decay was very well presented and progressive, not abruptly cut off. This suggests that the t/t is very quiet and does not mask very low level detail. So we have excellent dynamics coupled with a very low noise floor which actually results in a very large dynamic range from this system.
Female vocals were wonderful with superb expression and the voices sounded real. One could really hear the
emotion expressed in the voice of the singer.
DIRE STRAITS was TRULY WILD - power control dynamics it was all there. And it really swung too. I love that album so this was a real treat to hear it on this system. The lead guitar had real dynamics and the bass guitar had real weight and depth and the two were easily discerned. The Jennifer Warnes track was superbly rendered the
timing was excellent and the expression in her voice was well presented. On some systems with poor resolution the voices can be lost, but not here as the voices were easily discerned, increasing ones enjoyment of the song.
Norah Jones can sometimes sound a little anemic and nasal but with this system there was body to her voice and the NASALITY was absent, so one was able to "Sing Along With Her" which I consider an important aspect to a good system. If you cannot sing along to the song with the singer then usually it is the timing that is out. But here the timing was spot on and the ability of the T/T to maintain a constant speed was essential in achieving this.
The Jacques Loussier track was able to again show the T/T's ability to provide correct timing and stability, as I find the rhythms used by Jacques require excellent stability from the T/T. If the timing and stability is out
then Jacques sounds ODD and one is not able to follow the music, reducing ones enjoyment of the. Drums are very timing dependent and require the NATURAL DECAY to be accurately reproduced or the drums sound UNREAL. It also adversely impacts upon the dynamics of the drums and percussion.
The Cat Stevens voice is an immensely rich instrument and if the bass to mid is flawed then this can lead to a marked loss of presence to his resonant voice and it will sound weak and insipid, but here it was all there and you could relax in his luxuriant voice. Wonderful. The Oscar Peterson track was another blinder: the timing of the T/T again excelling here and everyone appeared to tap tapping their feet in unison and to the music, again this showing how well the T/T timed. The piano had wonderful dynamics and body to its reproduction, and it is a notoriously difficult instrument to record and more importantly play back via a HiFi system. But here this was very well done and sounded convincing, many is a time that a good piano can be rendered no better than a kids toy piano when using a poor T/T combination.
When it came to Rock music the T/T was able to reproduce the power and dynamics that rock music has, and I thought I saw more than one member wishing he could TWANG AWAY ON HIS FINE AIR GUITAR! I thought I saw J McEvoy doing a fine Freddie Mercury rendition, but I was afraid of looking too obviously that I intruded on this very personal moment.
I am not a fan of classical music but many in the audience were obviously enjoying this system's rendition of Carmen and the Heroic pieces played. So in conclusion I would have to say that I agree with the many members comments that this is one of the finest sounding systems that we have had the pleasure of listening to at SAC.
And a good bit of news is that Vince Hamilton enjoyed the day as much as we did and has very kindly offered to venture north again to bring his very fine T/T to another meeting. So we will accept his very generous offer and will keep you informed as to when this will be.
So I would like to thank Vince for his kindness in bringing his T/T for us to listen to and to John Fisher for the use of his amps and speakers. As an aside, just to prove that we read the feedback forms, one member commented how would the system sound if we had not used my home made speaker cable but used AUDIOPHILE cable. An interesting comment as he said that he had so thoroughly enjoyed the system. I wonder if using many hundreds of dollars worth of cable would have significantly improved the sound of the system. I personally think that this system had a wonderful synergy and may not have been improved significantly or even at all by the use of Audiophile speaker cables.
The interconnect was home made using Audiosynthesis cable with Eichman plugs. So one could postulate that using Audiophile interconnect could have made a difference too. Anyway a very successful day.