This new Music Hall product is solid evidence that the manufacturer is not resting on its laurels! Following the success of the MMF range, Roy Hall is back with an intermediary model that uses a highly innovative technical concept. For the first time, he called on James Kyroundis' independent design firm to finalise the Ikura project.
The design is quite disruptive! As always, reviews are conflicting …You either love it or loathe it… We love it! Its plinth is larger than standard models, with rounded edges. It comes in two finishes: glossy black or glossy piano white. The white variant has black dots and the black variant has white dots like caviar grains! Ikura is believed to be a Japanese transliteration from the Russian word 'caviar'.
This chassis accommodates the tonearm and platter spindle. It is made of glossy MDF and is thicker than it seems because, unlike other models, it is built into the plinth. The bearing is made of stainless steel with Teflon coating. It allows for a precise, friction-free and silent rotation.
It rests on a base via three vibration isolation bushings. The base accommodates the motor and electrics. It rests on 3 adjustable spikes. They completely ward off vibration and thus, increase the signal-to-noise ratio and reduce rumble.
The tonearm is a 9-inch model made of a single aluminium block. The bearings (ABEC7) are built with great precision to minimise friction. The weight is damped and the internal wiring is of great quality. It is compatible with top quality MM and MC cartridges. The Ikura vinyl turntable comes as standard with the great Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.
The speed (33 and 45 RPM) can be changed manually. The outputs are gold-plated RCA connectors, allowing you to upgrade the cable supplied for a better model. It comes with a dust cover, which is rather uncommon nowadays… As it does not have hinges, it is just placed over the vinyl turntable and must be removed before use. This is actually advisable, irrespective of the vinyl turntable model, if you want to use it to full potential.
From the opening bars, the Musichall Ikura reveals its musicality. Vocals are full of presence, soft and without colouration. The mids are very open and rich. The sound is devoid of any distortion and is not blanketed. The treble is perfectly in place. It soars high without any harshness, giving the music a very airy reproduction. This is a very rare feature for this price range. There is more! The bass is also impressive! Regardless of the music you listen to, whether it is an orchestra, Jazz, electro… The bottom of the spectrum is consistently reproduced to perfection. It is fast, taut and fully articulate and subtle. The bass lines - and more specifically the sub-bass lines - are tight and punchy. Patricia Barber's album 'Companion' perfectly reflects this!
This Music Hall Ikura delivers the music with stunning authenticity. It delivers the music vibrantly and accurately, retaining the natural softness and timber of the instruments. This model is impressive and brings the manufacturer into a new league! Franck
Power supply: Outboard 15 V Dc
Speed: 33⅓ rpm, manual change 45 rpm
Speed stability: ±0.9%
Max rumble: > -70 dB
Tonearm mounting distance: 212mm
Tonearm: Aluminium tube
Effective length: 9 inches (228.6 mm)
Effective mass: 11 g
Cartridge weight: 2.0-16.0 g
Counterweight: 250 g
Platter: 30 cm, 0.910 kg
Dimensions: 46.4 x 33.7 x 14 cm
Weight: 9.10 kg
Consumption: 2 VA
Dust cover: Yes