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KeithMcGowan

Turntable Recommendations

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Hey everyone,

 

So I've had dad's old VPI HW 19 on loan for years and he finally took it back so I need to buy one for a simple office system with Fisher 500C and a pair of Heresy. I have a budget of $1,000 and would prefer to buy a quality used piece in great shape over something new that isn't built or perform as well.

 

I am quite honestly out of the loop on what's available new and am more familiar with the vintage gear like older Thorens, VPI, Technics, Marantz, etc.

 

Let me know any thoughts on tables and if I should put more money into a cartridge.

 

Thanks for a point in the right direction.

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No definitive answers from me, but many forum members have great experience with LP players and systems, so thoughts and recommendations may be along soon.

 

I regard the three elements of an LP player to be of comparable importance (not necessarily comparable price):  the turntable, the tonearm, and the cartridge.  So, don't sell any one of them short.

 

You might want to have a phone conversation with and get suggestions from the Needle Doctor, as they sell LP units components  and have their ear closely to the ground.  Other online retailers are probably as good.

 

Also don't neglect your local audio retailer, say a VPI dealer if you have one nearby, since you maybe able to see, feel and try something that suits you.

 

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Grab a thorens if you can, built like a tank and you can always mod to your hearts content

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

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Any used Music Hall that comes in around your budget should be a solid choice as well. For just a few more bucks and with some patience you can probably score a Basis 1400 with Rega 250 or 300 arm.

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I’d get a used Technics SL1200mk2, a new Pioneer PLX1000 (only a few left it seems) or maybe up your spending to $2000 and get one of B&H’s last “new Old Stock” Technics SL1210mk5’s.  Yes, yes, I know… people will say “$2000! ..That was a $500 TT when it went out of production!” ..Well, maybe, but at $2000 it’s still better built than comparable Belt-drive tables IMHO.

 

I’d ignore the audiophile snobbery that surrounds DD tables.  Snobs contend they are noisy and “cog”. Well, perhaps the old cheap ones did this back in the 80’s, but I’ve not heard this from any I’ve heard.  With the platter turning on my Technics, , I can’t hear ANY noise or hum coming through my speakers until I’m at about 80% volume, which would be AC/DC concert level spL if I dropped the stylus.  The other gripe is that it's a DJ table.  Well, so what?  That doesn't preclude it sounding great, and it partly explains why it's built like a tank.

 

By comparison, every $1000 belt-drive table I’ve heard (which, admittedly isn't every $1000 belt-drive table) has been way noisier AND struggle to maintain steady pitch.  Listen to a sustained piano or violin note on one of these tables and you’ll hear what i mean - the note warbles audibly and annoyingly.  I had one of these BD tables on loan and played an LP as I also played the same song on CD.  ..By the end of the 9min. song, the BD table was trailing by 20 secs.  ..I do the same w/ my 1200 and it’s spot on - the LP song ends at exactly the same time as the CD.

 

Operationally, you’ll also notice that these tables have a much more substantial feel than their comparably priced BD tables.  My SL1200 (which I purchased new from B&H Photo three years ago - as new old stock) looks and feels like a $1000 component. It’s a heavy piece of gear made from metal and thick rubber (lower half of the base).  By comparison, the $1000 BD tables I considered felt so light and insubstantial.

 

Anyway, if you go the DD route, you’ll probably have to move quickly on either the Pioneer or Technics SL1210 as these are out of production and are available only as new old stock.

 

here's a pic of mine.  ..Using a AT 440mla cartridge

IMG_0300.JPG

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I use a very good TEAC TN550 with a very good Jelco arm, cartridge Ortofon 2M bronze it is replaced by Stanton 881S ViVidLine LPGear

 

 

648055DSC0127.jpg

 

580963DSC0855.jpg

 

507186DSC0858.jpg

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Thanks to everyone for the input on my quest for a table after dad took back his VPI which I didn't see coming haha.

 

I pulled the trigger on a new-to-me table today. I tried to take LarryC's advice and find quality in the table, tonearm, and cart. I decided, like with most audio purchases, to go better quality used in good shape over less expensive new.

 

So I still have a couple cartridges that bought (Blue Point #2, Denon DL-110 to use and picked up a Rega Planar 5. The table included an older Shure cartridge V15vx that apparently is still sought after. I can either keep it or sell it and get this table for a few hundred bucks.

 

Thanks again for the input! Will shoot a pic when I get the new office system set up.

 

Cheers!

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RPlace -- A Basis 'table would be terrific, as you know, but a better arm than the Rega would be in order with a 1400 or better.

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Larry, Basis rebranded Rega 250 and 300 arms. I've seen a few 1400/Regards combos on the used market. Surely not a Vector, but don't think A.J. would have done that if not some synergy.

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Good to see Spongeworthy make an appearance!  Good luck with the turn table.

 

 

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Hey Chuck!

 

I swear on everything holy that I was thinking about those wings literally this week haha. I keep forgetting emails and passwords so I'm on account #3.

 

Cheers buddy, hope all is well in Wilmington my friend.

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I agree with the Thorens recommendation unless you get fanatical. I purchased a TD160 brand new in 1976 and used it till last year. A fellow offer me more than I could turn down so I sold it....in original box with COD sticker and all packaging. Never had any professional service done except oiling. They are indeed built very well. 

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I must be the only one that has bad luck with Thorens... never again for me.

I agree they are built it like tanks... whether or not that is a good thing is debatable.

The couple I have owned had the audacious character to horribly worbble because the motor shafts that were not parallel to the main platter

shaft.

 

There are some good suggestions here for an entry level unit in the sub $1000 category... I would not hesitate to buy a Rega again... an old p5 or rp6 in the used market and put the rest into a cartridge. You see sl1200's pop up every now and again in good condition at t that $500 price point.

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Oh wow.. nice.

The P5 is the table I miss the most... more than my fully outfitted Classic II with Aida cartridge, though my P5 was totally hotrodded. I often wondered about the P7 but had jumped ship to the VPI before that ship anchored.

The P5 is really customizable and those mods do indeed work.

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Yes Keith please send pictures and updates on your impressions of the table and cartridges.

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12 hours ago, Schu said:

I must be the only one that has bad luck with Thorens... never again for me.

I agree they are built it like tanks... whether or not that is a good thing is debatable.

The couple I have owned had the audacious character to horribly worbble because the motor shafts that were not parallel to the main platter

shaft.

 

 

I hope that's not representative of the entire line. If so, that's sorta unforgivable as the first and essential task of a turntable is to turn the record at a consistent 33 1/2 rpm speed.  Failing that, there's no redemption for the table.   Though I can't site the technical reasons, every belt-drive table I've listened to has struggled to some degree w/ this primary function.  Sustained piano and violin notes will reveal this flaw quickly.

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