Systemdek IIX TurnTables

IIX

User Reviews (22)

Showing 1-10 of 22  
Simon Goodale   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 15, 2013]

I bought one of these off a well know auction site and thought I would have to put a load of updates on it to get to where it sounded anywhere as good as my broken Townshend rock.

I bought an acrylic platter and sold the installed Linn tone arm. I then fitted an Origin Live Silver mk2 arm. The sound with either a Goldring 1022 or Dynavector 10x5 was very good if not quite as balanced and dynamic as my Rock. Out of interest I put the original glass platter and felt mat back on and hey presto the sound was brilliant.
The deck being suspended is meant to bounce but its fine when you get used to it.
Sound wise you would have to spend mega bucks on a new turntable to get near, I bought mine for £140 and sold the arm for £60! They now seem to be going for £200 + but this is still amazing value.
Put a good arm (Rega etc.) on an unmodified deck and you have a great piece of kit.
One word of warning – some of the replacement belts are too short and really affect the sound. Make sure you get one of the original specification and adjust the platter to bounce straight up and down, then just listen to music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Auricle46   AudioPhile [Dec 16, 2011]

There is much to like about this table at this price point, which was good even "in the day". But there is much to dislike as well, at least as it came new. Even properly adjusted the suspension could bounce like a trampoline, the arm was, at best, mediocre and (a problem other AC decks had as well) the motor vibrated so much that it should have been an elongated device that vibrates and resides in the bedside table. Quality control was . . . er . . . uh probably created by the prople who checked out Lucas electronics for the Jaguar and other English cars of the day .

Because of its simplicity it was a tweaker's paradise and it wasn't difficult to raise the level of performance. Change the mat, modify the suspension . . . scratch that, remove the subplatter and sleeve and mount them in a custom, non-suspended plinth. Throw the profile arm as far away as you could (having been a fastball pitcher helped). Use a catapult to jetison the Premotec motor and replace with Origin Live, Teres (DC) VPI and controller (AC). Change the belt for a home made belt, use a stethescope to properly damp the 3 part plinth (motor, platter, tonearm).

You see the problem. It is no longer a Systemdek. It is a Frankenstein monster that is capable of performance better than anything at or under $8,000 out there. All the remains of the original are the sleeve, bearing, spindle (the grooved one . . . which conveys the thick oil the tolerences require) extremely well. And the Glass platter, now topped by a quite good (and pricey) TTWeights mat, periperal ring and center weight. (I found that the glass platter, properly damped by a well suited mat, was better tonally and rotationally more stable than the acrylic platter.

Over the course of the years I have spent well over $2,000 and countless hours (and occasional frustration). Was it worth it? Considering that the original and Frankenstein do not deserve mention in the same breath I am tempted to say no, but,considering the level of performance I get for what is today minimal outlay, YES! Considering how much I learned and the theories I was able to flesh out. Most certainly!

Then there is the question, would I buy a new one today? Not only no, but Hell no! Given what I now know, probably not then either. Worse, it would be a shame if people gave up on vinyl because that deck doesn't retrieve much of the glory that resides in those tiny grooves. It is, however, better than a Sears changer or a Dual 1219 or even the legendary AR.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Gauthier jean-Jacques   Casual Listener [Dec 12, 2010]

I have a systemdek 11X Limited Edition 7/100 with a Profile arm and Grace needle. I have not used it since years and I have given all my vynil records because of a space shortage in my small condo. I would consider selling it at sacrifice price if anyone is interested .Get in touch through my E-Mail address

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
chrisworth777@yahoo.com   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 22, 2009]

SYSTEMDEK IIX - I just got this turntable out of 18 years of storage. I'm looking for a manual, if anyone has one, so I can oil it, put the belt back on and make sure I've got it set up right. Anyone have a manual? THANK YOU. Chris Worth at chrisworth777@yahoo.com. August 2009.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Singlemania   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 25, 2009]

I too have a Systemdek IIX which I was lucky to pick up for a fraction of it's true worth. Mine was sporting a Moth badged RB250 and had the stock glass platter and lambs wool mat. I have owned a number of turntables in the past and many years ago I had a Linn LP12 with Grace 707 and Supex 900 which was high end in the late 70's. The Systemdek even in its basic form is a giant killer giving away only a fraction of performance to the current offerings in the £750- £1,000 range. I was so impressed with the turntable that I set out raising it's performance. It goes without saying that the bearing on all turntables need careful maintenance. Any deterioration here and the performance will suffer drastically, regardless how much money you throw at upgrades. The bearing on mine was well preserved but the oil was in desperate need of changing. I cleaned the bearing with isopropyl and filled the reservoir with some molyslip oil and the difference i performance was significant. It was more what I couldn't hear than what I could. The surface noise on most recordings reduced and on very clean pressings the silence was inky black allow more of the subtleties of the recording to come out. Well there must be more that can be done I thought to myself. The latest incarnation TT1 from Audio Note sported an acrylic platter. Well if it is good enough for AN, it was worth fitting one to the IIX. At £120 + postage this was an audio bargain. Fitting was a bit of a pain as the Q Control of Dunlop before AN bought the design was not great. The spindle dia varies slightly so according to AN some light sanding is sometimes needed to allow the acrylic platter to mate with the Dunlop spindle. Mine needed only light sanding and once installed it looked great. The acrylic platter allowed the soundstage to grow both in height and width and the bass was tighter and there was an extra sense of timbre. High hats had that extra sparkle and extension. The arm also received some attention with the addition of the Michell technoweight. Because the arm and platter were added at the same time I can't comment on what change caused what, but I'm, sure they both share equal praise for the end result. I now thought my Systemdek sounded at a level comparable with the LP12 having listened to the current offering at a recent hifi show. How could I improve on this further well I had heard that going DC with Origin Live was light night and day. I am a skeptic and very cynical about many claims I read. Well I took the plunge and went for the Advanced version of the OL DC Motor with a DC100. The base plate of the T/T was discarded as no dangerous Ac feed is within the T/T and I decided to remove everything the Ac motor relied on even the switch which is now covered with the OL metal plate. It’s slightly fiddly to fit the motor as it rides lower on the sub-platter. The plastic pulley needs to be raised on the motor shaft and a platter weight helps to bring the path of the belt to the mid point on the sub platter. Was it worth it, yes? It has been years since I have listened to a recording that has made the hairs on my neck stand up. Talk about jaw dropping and shiver down my spine. I don't put this entirely down to the DC motor but the investment in the other mods as well which have been allowed to unleash their hidden capability. What are left, well Audio Origami mods to the RB250 are next in line and some damping to the inside of the T/T base. I listened to a friend’s £7K Nottingham Anna log and to my humble ears the Systemdek gave the same pleasure and more.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jon Field   AudioPhile [Jul 08, 2008]
Strength:

Great value. It'll take a good quality cart. 2M blue ortofon (£100).
Easy to set up once you get the hang of adjusting the platter and motor height to prevent the belt slipping off / rumble.
You can get an acryl platter if you wish but I seem to prefer the glass one myself.
Once I'd sorted out the cart / shelf and cable the sound became IINCREDIBLE!

Weakness:

If you haven't got the motor height / turntable height set right then the belt will slip off / rub at either 33 / 45 rpm. Once you've got it sorted then no probs.
Changing speed involves removing the platter and moving the belt onto the other pulley.

Was looking for a replacement for my old Yamaha DD deck and had heard good things about the dek so bought one from ebay. Paid £110. Since then replaced the ancient A&M cart with an Ortofon blue 2M which improved the freq response and dynamic range (£100). Put it on an isolated wall shelf (essential!) which improved everything and sorted out the "footfall" problem (£77). New oil in the bearing followed. Noticed that the interconnect cable was de laminating and was way past it's sell by date so was replaced with a Sigma Accoustics silver cable. That really opened it up! (£45)
All I can say is that I'm stunned by it's performance. What is such wonderfull rich, full bodied music doing coming out of such a beast?
If you are after true high end sound without pouring large amounts of money into someone else's pockets then try one of these. It'll take a a variety of carts but don't use a Grado unshielded one if you want to avoid a hum towards the end records.
Just be prepared to have a smug grin on your face everytime you listen to that sound and think about the price of your average high end dek...
Well worth it!!!!

Similar Products Used: There seems to be nothing quite like a Dek!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JimmyBlues   AudioPhile [Apr 11, 2008]
Strength:

Great sounding table; simple to setup and maintain, affordable price

Weakness:

Utilitarian appearance -- however, some may find this a plus ( I do).

After a long hiatus from hi-end audio, I decided to take get back into it. Since then I have purchased several pieces of gear (much of which is used sporadically). However the analogue front end of this system is now in regular use.

Its a mid 1980's Systemdek IIX with Profile tonearm and Sumiko Blue Point Moving Coil Cartridge. It's an excellent sounding piece of gear at a peanut's price. At present I am using it with my entry level system -- a NAD 3130 integrated amplifier, NAD 402 tuner, Linn Kan V speakers, and a Sony Prowalkman WMD 6C cassette deck.

This system is about music, and proof that if you match your hi-fi gear correctly,
you can make great sounds without needing to take out a second mortgage on your home.

The Rega Planar 1,2 and 3 are all excellent value for your money -- The Systemdek IIX is even better, given its three point floating suspension.

A wonderful table that faithfully honors the music.

Similar Products Used: Rega Planar 2 and 3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BKTHIFI   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2007]
Strength:

Pace, rhythm and timing. Imaging. Reliability. Ease of setup.

Weakness:

No longer manufactured.

This is my second IIX. I have tried different turntables and the one thing the Systemdek IIX does right and this to me is very important as a listener It gets the pace, rhythm and timing right. IMHO I have found only spring suspension belt drive turntables are capable of this and not all of them do it. For instance the Sota Sapphire turntables I have owned are no where as lively sounding nor do they image compared to a WELL SET UP Systemdek IIX. If one wants a reasonably priced turntable that competes with turntables 3 times it's price don't look further than the Systemdek IIX

Customer Service

No longer manufactured but belts are still available.

Similar Products Used: Sota Sapphire. Linn Sondek LP12. AR-ES1. VPI Jr.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
imispgh   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 26, 2006]
Strength:

I have never compared it to another table. I do know that most of my LPs sound better than the associated CD. The recordings sound like they were recorded in a real space and cymbals are much more realistic. I plan on buying a couple more units to fix up and resell. I would love to have a Systemdek 4. Alsmost got a new one on Ebay but got out bid. They are said to be a notch above the IIX.


I have had this table for over 8 years. In that time I have made a couple tweaks. I removed the bottom cover. I applied Dynamat to the underside of the plinth, a bit to the suspension mechanics, the armboard and a couple strips on the motor. This thing is excellent at killing vibrations (Don't put too much on the suspension/armboard as it ads weight. I checked the bounce resonance afterward and it seems to be about 2-3hz. Also check the motor/table with a stethescope. I found the motor can be noisy if the screws that hold it to the mount aren't set right.) I got rid of the foam in the suspension springs cause I figured it was old/worn out and the springs would just drag on it. I cleaned the springs and rubber pieces then put powder on them and put them back. I used WD-40 to loosen the ball bearing in the bearing, cleaned it up and put synthetic motor oil in. I noticed Systemdek had two types of bearing spindles. one is smooth the other has a spiral grove cut in. I use the latter. I use a Goldring G1012GX. I used to use a Grado before I found out it is an unshielded cartridge. (I used Mu-Metal sheets to quiet the hum but could never get rid of it). I bought a second unit to keep just in case the motor goes. I am thinking of getting an acrylic platter and a new mat. I would be doing so cause I figured acrylic is quieter and lighter (remember I added weight with the Dynamax). I haven't done so because I love the soft rubber(?) mat that came with my unit. It seems to deaden the platter a great deal and the records don't slip on it. I use the Novus acrylic polish system to make the top look good. the system works well - it just takes a couple rounds with the #2 to get it right. Lastly - and maybe this is obvious to everyone but I had to run a separate wire from the external plinth ground connection to the amps ground connector (along with the ground wire from the interconnect leads). This did a better job of killing noise than just using the interconnect ground.

IIX tables can be had from Ebay and Audiogon. Pretty much every week.

Does anyone know who makes the Systemdek arm?

I have the IIX manual if anyone needs it.

Anyone try these tweaks or have others?

Any experiences with swapping the glass platter for an acrylic one?

System - AMC CVT-3030 Int Tube Amp - Triangle Celius 202 speakers - Goldring G1012 cartridge Systemdek arm Denon 1520 CD player with Audio Alchemy D/A and Jitter Box Behringer 2496

imispgh@yahoo.com

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
KitR   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 24, 2006]
Strength:

Musical, Musical, Musical!!!

Weakness:

Isn't made any more.

This an update on my previous review 6 years ago. Well, the Heybrook PS gave up the ghost. I've replaced the Grado's with the Rega Elys - 1&2. I've bought a Extreme Phono mat, got a Michell finger nut for the RB300, installed a Naim/Wiremold power strip, bought a new belt from LP Gear and after 20+ years it sounds better than ever!
I've also removed the bottom plate completely. Who needs a Linn?! No wonder Audio note bought up Systemdek. After all these years(20+remember!) I still marvel at how GOOD this turntable is. Such a pity it didn't survive the digital age. One interesting thing: the E.P mat alieviated the footfall problem markedly. Not perfect but...also putting it under the Acrylic Supermat gives my 'Dek another octave of Bass! To you hunters out there, keep those eyes peeled! This is the Analogue bargain of the Centuries!

Similar Products Used: Garrard SP25 Mk11; Pioneer PL-12,PL35; Rotel RP1500; Trio(Kenwood) KD-3070; Linn Sondek LP12/Nirvana/Valhalla; NAD 5120.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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