Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable

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judgedread

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Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« on: 12 Oct 2011, 01:59 am »
Interested in getting my first linear tracking turntable and have my eye on the ST-7.  Let me ask you Circlers, do you think this is a reasonable price or a few hundred off the mark?

http://ottawa.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-electronics-Harman-Kardon-RABCO-ST-7-Linear-Tracking-Turntable-TRADES-W0QQAdIdZ298460630

glrickaby

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Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #1 on: 12 Oct 2011, 05:51 am »
I sold one as nice in the past year for half the price. The K-9 is basically an AT95E. The headshell
is unique and impossible to find extras which is why I sold mine. This is a very touchy unit with a
rubber part which moves the arm and is again impossible to replace, though a suitable size O ring
will work as I recall. A wonderful sound, if you can make it last- when parts go-there are no replacements. Also has special LEDs on the controls,which if they burn out, won't function.
 At this price, better think hard. I loved mine but was afraid I simply couldn't maintain it.
Sold it to a guy in St. Louis who used to own one. He thought my price was too high!

pas

Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #2 on: 12 Oct 2011, 12:12 pm »
IMO That price is very high for all the reasons glrickaby stated.  It's also noisy (lots of moving parts) when compared to a decent direct or belt driven system.  I used one for about 5 years and replaced it with the Wheel of Steel and haven't looked back.

For that price there's lots of options in the used marketplace.

toxteth ogrady

Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #3 on: 12 Oct 2011, 02:18 pm »
Sorry, no firsthand experience with the st-7. However I can comment if you're looking for an excellent tangential arm on the cheap - the Rabco SL-8E is the one to find. With some modifications which are documented on the web you'll have a world class arm. You can often find these arms on Thorens TD-125 tables, a table which is also capable of outstanding sound with a few modifications. If you're interested in going this route, make sure everything is working before buying.

Wayner

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Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #4 on: 12 Oct 2011, 08:56 pm »
From what I remember of the Rabco arm is that it was worse then a normal pivoting arm, when it came to tracking error. The mechanism simply had to much "slop" before the arm made corrections.

In principal, the tangential arm is ideal. In practical terms, unless you can afford the Clear Audio arm at about 10K, it's not worth even a second look.

Now that these arms/decks have aged even further, I only suspect the problems have become worse with it's error correction.

My advice is to pass and give up the linear tracking tonearm quest. There are alignment problems with these, too, so your quest does have some problems.

Just calling it as I see it. Hate to be brutal, but.....

Wayner

toxteth ogrady

Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #5 on: 12 Oct 2011, 10:20 pm »
You can't be serious. I have no doubt the Clearaudio is a fine piece of engineering but dismissing all tangential arms under 10k is foolish. Have you heard the Trans Fi Terminator? I have, and at just north of 1k it is one of the finest arms I've ever heard. Regarding the Rabco SL8E - I think you were listening to a damaged arm because even a stock Rabco will track better than most pivoting arms. Issues with tracking are not the weakness of the Rabco unless the arm or drive system has something wrong with it. I'm basing this on the stock Rabco which I own and which I've compared to numerous tonearms. I was impressed enough to buy one after hearing what it can do when modified.

thunderbrick

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Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #6 on: 12 Oct 2011, 10:55 pm »

In principal, the tangential arm is ideal. In practical terms, unless you can afford the Clear Audio arm at about 10K, it's not worth even a second look.

My advice is to pass and give up the linear tracking tonearm quest.

Wayner

 I absolutely LOVE my ET-2 tangential arm.  Only issue I ever had was one of head space and timing.  Mine.   :duh: :lol:

*Scotty*

Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #7 on: 12 Oct 2011, 11:15 pm »
I run a Maplenoll Ariadne, which has an air bearing platter and tone-arm. Both arm and platter bearing are very simple mechanically. The Rabco is exactly the opposite from the KISS approach to mechanical design.
 Given its age and complexity I would have to say it is a non-starter.
Once an air system is setup with the correct pressures and filtering you are done.
There are a large number of used TTs with pivoted arms and conventional bearing designs that are going to be easier to setup and maintain.
 The lure of of tangential tracking is understandable but I wouldn't chase after it down the Rabco rabbit hole.
Scotty

lofreek

Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #8 on: 13 Oct 2011, 05:17 pm »
You can't be serious. I have no doubt the Clearaudio is a fine piece of engineering but dismissing all tangential arms under 10k is foolish. Have you heard the Trans Fi Terminator? I have, and at just north of 1k it is one of the finest arms I've ever heard. Regarding the Rabco SL8E - I think you were listening to a damaged arm because even a stock Rabco will track better than most pivoting arms. Issues with tracking are not the weakness of the Rabco unless the arm or drive system has something wrong with it. I'm basing this on the stock Rabco which I own and which I've compared to numerous tonearms. I was impressed enough to buy one after hearing what it can do when modified.

+1 on the Trans Fi Terminator! An amazing arm, price notwithstanding.

taskerc

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Re: Harman/Kardon Rabco ST-7 Turntable
« Reply #9 on: 21 Dec 2011, 03:11 am »
I had an ST-7 for a while last year.  Very finicky to run as the tracking is mechanical and adjusted by a small set screw in the rear of the arm.  Once it got it dialled in, it was quite adept at tracking.  It actually ran quite quietly once set up properly.  But, very sensitive to environment.  Needs to be absolutely level or tracking is again out of alignment.

While I quite enjoyed the challenge and learning it presented, I found little time to listen as I was always tweaking and adjusting it.  So I sold it.  But it was definitely a cool experiment.  Much easier than the Revox B795 experiment - where the ST7 was all mechanical, the B795 was all electronics.