Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT

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G E

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Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT
« on: 7 Apr 2023, 11:46 pm »
So I had 3-1/2 years and 750-ish hours on my Grado Reference 3…. Thoughts of upgrades…

Grado Styli are rated at 2,000 hours so no urgency to replace, not even middle aged yet

But!  I’m 68 and it “The Last Charge of the Light Brigade” so I ordered the Well Tempered 254 GT….

… and a new cart!


No interest in leaving Grado family, so the plan was The Statement.

Grado has a nice upgrade program same or model up exchange get 3o% off. Nice!

The day i plan to order and as I chew my breakfast nuggets I idley wonder what the upgrade cost to The Aeon would be. It’s now or never right?

An email query fired off and promptly returned:

Do-able! 

DONE!

Some, perhaps most, would question the sanity of putting a $6,000 cart on a $2800 turntable, but not me!

Ideally the 254 GT would be in hand when the cart arrived, but alas, none in the country.  Wait.

No worries!  I put it in my WTA and settled in for the breakin.

It quickly proved itself to be several magnitudes better than the Reference (no slouch either)

Piano music is otherworldly. Soundstage unbounded, harmonics never hinted at on full display.

A Masterwork!

I ran an email by Mike Pranka with my observations, particularly with regard to the WTA not being embarrassed by a world class cart.

He replied the arm used in WT tables is itself  a world class device. With conscientious set up and tweaking he has never found a cart to upstage the arm. And he says some of those carts have been quite expensive.

Will post more in my 254 GT thread when it arrives and i port the Aeon to it.


« Last Edit: 15 Nov 2023, 09:23 pm by G E »

sHERO

Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #1 on: 8 Apr 2023, 05:20 am »
Moving to what seem to be a great combo..

Congrats.

what s the 254 table expected to arrive?

G E

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Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #2 on: 8 Apr 2023, 04:34 pm »
Moving to what seem to be a great combo..

Congrats.

what s the 254 table expected to arrive?

Unknown ETA for arrival of 254 GT. I just hope it’s before July because I have back surgery that month and will not be able to lift more than 10 pounds for several months.

Plus, if our relations with China sours who knows what trade arrangements get hosed

sHERO

Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #3 on: 8 Apr 2023, 05:44 pm »
Hope it arrives soon. 🤞🏻

G E

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Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #4 on: 17 Jun 2023, 10:02 pm »
Still waiting!

/mp

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Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #5 on: 18 Jun 2023, 06:26 am »
I was reminded of having recently looked at WT's US importer's site while re-reading this thread.

I ordered the Well Tempered 254 GT....… and a new .... Grado....The Aeon....
Some...would question the sanity of putting a $6,000 cart on a $2800 turntable....

Amadeus 254GT
MSRP $8750.00
http://www.dynavector-usa.com/dynavector_wellTempered.html

Enjoy the new toys in best possible health,

G E

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Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #6 on: 12 Nov 2023, 06:18 pm »
I finally have the 254 GT in house!  Mike Pranka received his shipment this summer, but because of my back surgery I needed to wait until recently to take delivery.

Set up was straightforward.  The plinth is two pieces:  a base plate that rests on 4 sorbothane feet, 4 squash balls support the top plate, add platter, tone arm, cart, and you are done.  Cart installation is stupidly easy with Well Tempered products.  Just screw it into place and it's finished.  The details of stylus rake, pivot centering, depth of golf ball into the goo remain, tho.

The VTF gauge provided is a balance which precludes hitting a precise tracking force.  I have a digital gauge on order and it will arrive this week. Tonearm set up will be tweaked as needed.

Initial impression:  My WTA was a quiet 'table, but the 254 GT is significantly quieter.  Better bass.  The WTA could be slightly raw at times and this has vanished.

The electronic speed control box is a godsend.   Speed fine tuning is easily attained by turning a knob.  No more blind fumbling with a small screwdriver in a hole on the back of the deck as with the WTA.  Very nice.

And, a spool of thread included that Mike says is different than what was recommended earlier.

Here are some unboxing fotos:

















And a special shout out to Charlie at Stereo Haven in Illinois for all his help and patience in answering all my questions prior to the sale.  In addition to Well Tempered tables he also sells Brinkmann which I was also contemplating.  After listening to how I described my ideal sound profile, he steered me back to the 254 GT.  And I am grateful he did.

More later after fine tuning.

Apesbrain

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Re: Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT
« Reply #7 on: 21 Nov 2023, 12:51 am »
Absolutely beautiful table! Things have come a long way from my Well Tempered Record Player. Still works, though. Good luck!

Bobbywheat

Re: Grado Aeon Cart and WTA
« Reply #8 on: 23 Jun 2024, 03:27 am »
More later after fine tuning.

What happened after the fine tuning, disappointed with the turntable?

G E

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Re: Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jun 2024, 09:10 pm »
“What happened after the fine tuning, disappointed with the turntable?”

Ha!  No!

This is an exceptionally fine turntable/cartridge combination.

Zero disappointment with its presentation.

Background noise, quite low with the WTA, has vanished. Bass became even more robust with cart tinkering. And female vocals are beautifully beguiling.  And details are there when they weren’t before. But they don’t sound harsh or scratchy like it can get with too many sound diffusers in the listening space.

It’s caused my listening buddy to rethink his system’s presentation and he is taking steps to gain more detail.  I think he should just get a 254GT/Aeon deck!

I may , or may not, tinker a bit more with VTF and VTA. I can’t imagine it getting any better, but ya never know til ya try!

Bobbywheat

Re: Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT
« Reply #10 on: 28 Jun 2024, 01:17 am »
Glad you are happy, I have an amadeus GTA, sometimes thinking of upgrading, unfortunately well tempered dealer are hard to find and I really want to make sure the 254 is a worthy upgrade to mine. Those Grado's are really nice, unfortunately I am stuck with low impedance cartridges since I have a transimpedance phono pre.

Thanks for the reply, happy listening.

G E

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Re: Grado Aeon w/ WTA … updated- now have 254-GT
« Reply #11 on: 1 Jul 2024, 06:09 pm »
Glad you are happy, I have an amadeus GTA, sometimes thinking of upgrading, unfortunately well tempered dealer are hard to find and I really want to make sure the 254 is a worthy upgrade to mine. Those Grado's are really nice, unfortunately I am stuck with low impedance cartridges since I have a transimpedance phono pre.

Thanks for the reply, happy listening.

If you don’t have a Well Tempered dealer in your town you can order their products from any WT dealer anywhere!

I did not pay shipping nor sales tax which can be appreciable coin.

Charlie at Stereo Haven  is who I ordered from. He was very helpful with my questions. He is based in Illinois across the Mississippi River from St Louis.

He might have some  helpful suggestions about carts other than Grado. Mike Pranka also distributes DynaVector carts which play very nicely on WT arms.  I don’t know anything about their impedance.

Ask Charlie or Mike