Paul Rigby reviews the T+A G2000 R turntable, a luxury, dream-machine version of an increasingly popular all-in-one design
T+A G2000 R
Price: £4,111: including an MC-2 cartridge, £5,205;
PHE-G built-in phono stage (MM or MC), £545
Kog Audio 024 7722 0650
Whenever I review a product, there are always a couple of impressions that hit me square in the face during the first hour as I unpack and install the thing. With the T+A G2000 R, one of them is the weight. I initially picked it up after handling regulation turntables of around 5kg. Hence, I motioned to pick up the T+A and… it didn’t move. This was because it’s 14kg. Not spine shattering, I know, but a dead weight nevertheless. More weighty than that, though, is the build quality of the entire deck. It’s solid. Very solid indeed. Quite possibly nuke proof, in fac.
If you want to grab a G2000 R turntable without a tone arm, then you’re welcome to do so, but you can add an arm and a cartridge to save time and effort. That’s what I did – and you can see the Carbon 2-equipped Clearaudio option that includes a carbon-fibre tube with a 2g tracking MC-2 cartridge (with micro-line stylus) in the accompanying images. The MC-2 is an intriguing cartridge, because it resembles a similar model that is currently on sale via Clearaudio as the Essence MC. T+A may have a special OEM version for use with this turntable, as the guts of the cartridge have been tweaked a tad.
As you can also see in the pictures here, the dual-speed turntable is covered in an aluminium skin. Underneath that is solid MDF, while the four feet that are attached underneath do their best to remove vibrations.
The platter fitted above is aluminium, while the mat is of a ground-rubber type. The belt is powered by a quartz-controlled AC synchronous motor, with control handled by a DSP circuit. You’ll see this bit of circuitry in action when you select your preferred speed. Initially, not much will happen; then speed will increase until the correct setting is found. Only at that time will the accompanying speed indicator light up.
Dust haters will be happy to learn that a cover is included. This one is moulded along a horizontal plain: different, and quite stylish. The turntable can hold a plug-in module phono amplifier. Tweaking the settings has to be done via DIP switches under the unit, which is awkward and not particularly friendly. I realise this system keeps costs lower, but it’s still fiddly to operate and a rather scary prospect for the inexperienced.
Playing a slice of jazz from Joe Jackson, I was impressed by the upright bass, that served as a strong foundation to the track. The lower frequencies were punchy and impressive in terms of transient speed, which allowed the track to move at a nimble pace. An additional piece of good news was that this bass was not pervasive across the soundstage. Yes, the sound signature was slightly warming, but not as bad as it could have been if the bass ‘infected’ the midband. In that area, brass offered both insight and detail, with a fluidity that aided the naturalistic aspect of the music.
The piano is one of the most difficult instruments to handle properly, and many hi-fi components cannot control it. But the T+A added a touch of warmth
FUN AND FUNKY
Funky vibes from Shakatak showcased the piano as a lead instrument. It’s one of the most difficult instruments to handle properly, and many hi-fi components cannot control it. But the T+A added a touch of warmth to its output, adding a relaxing aspect to its sound but also necessary precision and authority. On high-energy Fun Boy Three track, Our Lips Are Sealed, I was impressed by the instrumental separation from the T+A, which helped the track to flow.
A solid performance platform, the G2000 R turntable exudes confidence and feels like it will be working well for many years to come. That confidence is also present in the sonics. Overall, this is a turntable that offers no vices. You can trust it, which is important at this price point.
28 / 33 1/3