| I have stopped by your site from time to time over the last year to see what interesting things have been going on. I generally do not say much, however I finally decided it was time to register and add a few comments to this discussion.
As you know, I was present on your visit to Jonathan and Oswaldsmill last year. I felt there were some factual issues to your post which I might address.
When you came, the Telefunken preamps you mention were not in service. They were not finished restoration/modification until months later (they were originally built by Telefunken as the playback preamps for their M10 broadcast tape deck and needed mods to be used for RIAA.) I know this because I am the one did the modifications. When you came Jonathan used a Shure SE1 tube phono stage, which unlike the Telefunkens, does not have a built in step up transformer. So Jonathan played non moving coil cartridges, first a Decca, which you did not like. So, he changed to a Grace F9 Ruby, but you also said you did not care to listen to anything except moving coil cartridges, as everything else was inferior. At which point we switched to CD for the rest of the session.
I've watched Jonathan spend hours setting up carts on his system, which is a Technics SP10 deck in the original Obsidian base, and the Technics EPA 100 tonearm. It is exactly the same deck Van Den Hul uses on a daily basis, as it enables very fast and easy swapping of carts and headshells, with on the fly VTA, very precise tracking force adjustment, and also a dynamic damping system. I know for a fact that Jonathan is very careful, very precise in setting up all of his carts, including the ones you listened to, as I watched him do this. Which means using a protractor to achieve proper overhang, checking azimuth, and noting tracking force. VTA is accomplished each time a cart/headshell is swapped. Otherwise, once a cart is mounted in its headshell, it is not necessary to check overhang again, to check azimuth again, or to check tracking force again, because that is done vis the arm. Jonathan did that when you were present, whether you noticed it or not. He always does it.
Regarding the idea of the "Vintage Sufferers," since the vinyl system you heard at OswaldsMill dates to the early 1980's, perhaps you could define what exactly you mean by "vintage?" After all, your SME 3012 are at least one or two generations earlier than the OswaldsMill system you refer to. So is a good deal of your own vinyl gear, from looking at the info you have here on this site (Ortofon SPU, Koetsu, Denon 103, etc.)
I find myself having a difficult time defining "vintage" equipment. When does it accquire vintage status? Why is it not just old equipment? Unlike certain wines, it certainly does not improve with age. If it did, I would not be kept busy repairing equipment with tired tubes and faulty components.