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Sugden Connoisseur - lost classic?

Discussion in 'classic' started by kasperhauser, Dec 12, 2005.

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  1. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Just curious; seems the Sugden company rarely makes a mis-step, but I've never heard anything about the TT. Anyone like to share their experience?
  2. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    The BD2, available in "Bling"

    and "Less Bling" trim levels.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Different Sugden! Decks are A R Sugden, amps tuners etc J E Sugden. The Connoisseur decks were well regarded budget items that were frequently sold in kit form.

  4. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Whoa. Never knew that. Thanks, Tony.

    The "kit form" bit helps explains the myriad plinths I've seen. There's one at the local thrift store on sale for a pittance. I'm going to try it out. Give me something to do over the holiday break. :)
  5. dave

    dave Plywood King

    The BD-2 was the best-sounding budget TT we could find in our shop ('74-'75ish???) until Rega hit US shores. They sounded pretty good (for the times) with a Sonus Blue MM cartridge. Matter of fact, during this period, I don't recall a better sounding table short of the LP-12 except for a specific DD Denon model. I remember the Denon was mounted in a maple plinth and the motor/platter unit (sans plinth) was shaped like a flying saucer. FWIW, the BD-2 sounded better than our tricked-out, blinged Technics SP10 and 1100-As with SME 3009s and Shure V-15s.


  6. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    The Swedish radio are still using SP10's, and I can attest that they certainly sound bad on the few occasions that they play vinyl!

  7. dave

    dave Plywood King

    LoL! They are bad aren't they;-) So bad they will make you rethink the desire to listen to a hifi. I might even nominate the 1100-A as the worst sounding turntable I've ever heard/owned.


  8. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    This happened to my brother after he bought a Kenwood 500 (it was certainly not any better than the T. ones) in those days. After half a year or so, he had stopped completely to listen to records.

  9. dave

    dave Plywood King

    You must have ESP, Johan. I immediately thought about the KD-500 after my post last night. We stocked them as well. The darling of Abso!ute Sound Magazine at the time and a total pile of crap.


  10. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    Just a sound mind, I think ;)
  11. iainsteele

    iainsteele Member

    We had a connoisseur built into a homemade plinth when I was a kid. After a few years the supplied arm was replaced by the original (S shaped) Linn Basik which I think was quite an improvement. I remember the sound through an old Trio amp as being fairly decent, but I was only about 14 at the time!
  12. Sniffers

    Sniffers Member

    Have a BD2 similar to the chrome one above. The motor is held in place by 3 elastics, so is quite low tech, but the bearing is good and the arm alright. You have to really judge it in its day. At that time, there were few budget quality turntables. Apparently Roy Gandy owned one if that means anything. The sound today is still good for the $45 Cdn. that I paid for it. Beats most duals, and pioneer/technics etc..

    Next step up Planar 2.


    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    My mate was the DIY'er and I wasn't so he bought the BD1 and I bought the BD2 with SAU2 arm. He bought the AT 1005(?) arm and built his own plinth.

    We both bought a £39.00 Trio Amp and life was good for a while, especially since prior to this I thought my Dynatron Stereo was good, which of course it was when compared to the Dansette record player i'd used up until then!

    A couple of years down the line I moved onwards and upwards to the poor man's Linn of the day (1970 something)...no not a td160 or even a fons CQ30 or even RD11..nope the old ERA 1V c/w sme 3009/s2/glanz 51L....I could be wrong here but I think it was French...anybody remember it at all?

    NO....I'll get me coat then

  14. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    Iv'e had an ERA (well two, in fact). Yes they where french and meant to be a development on the AR. Except they had got it totally wrong. To get a lower measured rumble value they used a thick rubber gasket betwen the bearing assembly and the subchassis! Talk of "direct path" from platter to tone arm. Not!

    Short version. It sounded crap, as I've found out after replacing it with an Ariston RD80.

  15. griff2

    griff2 New Member

    hi there i have a ar sugden sau2 deluxe tonearm which i am mounting on a thorens td150, but i do not have the mounting template for the arm, can you help at all, i am desperate.
  16. Sniffers

    Sniffers Member

    try the vinylengine.com for the manual for the sau2.

  17. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

  18. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    I had a Conn BD2 with an SME 3009 arm and Ortofom VMS20. Sounded pretty OK with my Quad 33/303/KEF Coda at the time. Just sensitive to acoustic coupling and vibrations...
  19. Erich Weiss

    Erich Weiss New Member

    Bought Connisseur BD-2 from Laskys [London] in 1975 for £30 with Goldring G-800 cartridge.

    Later upgraded to Shure M75-ED !! [Cartridge].

    At the time the suggestions for good [but not too expensive] decks were

    Pioneer PL-12D
    Conneisur BD-2

    [The cheap option was the Garrard -- can't rember the name [Sp25/mk2 ??] , the expensive option was Thorens, there was also Goldring GL75 and GL69 which I think were out of fashion].

    [Both came with arms .. the BD2 considerred less user friendly but better sound -- the speed change on the BD2 was a bit ah-hoc].

    This was pre Linn and Thorens was very expensive.

    Used it for 20 years [was lazy and always meant to buy a Linn ...]. Now mostly listen to CD's and have Linn Axis.

    BD-2 arm got damaged [SAU2 arm].

  20. Connoisseur? Lost classic, definitely! Some of my best moments in hifi were listening to a Connoisseur. I have 3 BD2's. They have a certain magic (some call it PRAT) I haven't heard in other tables. They don't have gobs of bass or tons of highs, but what they have is a midrange to die for. I preferred the Bd2 to my Roksan Xerxes, Linn Axis, Thorens TD150, Rega P2 and a bunch of other tables I have. I think AR Sugden is one of the few brilliant innovators the industry has had.
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