turntable recommendations?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by div, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. div

    div Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    281
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    noo yawk
    The old Akai turntable's finally had it after 20 years. Got it when I was in college, picked the cheapest turntable in the store.

    I'm no audiophile but if I had to choose between good sound & bad sound, I'd tend to go with the former. On the other hand I'd like to keep it inexpensive. On the third hand, I'd want it to be reliable & don't really want something from 1974 which will be impossible to find replacment parts for if it breaks.

    what do you say?

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,766
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    I would go here for some ideas. http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/Turntables;jsessionid=ac112b6b1f43210408206f4c400da03bc9a66396e6dc.e3eTa3aSaxmTe3yRbN8Kc34Kc41ynknvrkLOlQzNp65In0They have new turntables from ~$100 to ~$100,000 (ok, the last is probably out of the "reasonable" range).

    I have always been partial to Rega turntables and tone arms. Good solid performance. I have always been partial to the Planar 3 (P3) model with the RB300 tone arm. However, it is now at about 850 to 900. So, I would suggest one of the lower models, like the P1 or the P78.
     
  3. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    6,333
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Old Dual turntables were made by the millions and are still very plentiful and relatively cheap ($50 - $100).
    My daughter found a nice working Dual 1249 turntable & Pickering cartridge at the local Goodwill for $15!

    Steve
     
  4. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,766
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Yeah, if you are looking used, you can find some pretty amazing deals on all sorts of stuff on some of the stereo bulletin boards/auction sites. Recently saw a cool old B&O tangential tracker for not quite $100 with a high end cartridge on one of the sites. I thought interesting, since I still own one of those (they went for WAY more than $100 back in the day...heck it cost me $250 for the cartridge back in 1985 for mine :rolleyes: lucky the turntable was free from a friend who "upgraded" to that new CD format)

    My previous post merely assumed you were looking new.
     
  5. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,899
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    These Days NE Ohio
    If you are lucky, I mean real lucky you can find an AR turntable. Slap a Rega arm on it and kazaam ya got yerself one heck of a platter spinner.
     
  6. xStonr

    xStonr Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,382
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    W. Palm Beach
    There are some interesting TT's on the bay. AR, Dual,Techniqs and Denon that should meet and exceed your expectations.
     
  7. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,018
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    My advice - keep it simple. The more gewgaws it's got, the more chance it'll break down. I've got an old Pioneer PL112D that I bought in 1978 - still works like a champ! I think I've replaced the belt twice.
     
  8. OaklandA

    OaklandA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,610
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    My 32 year old Pioneer PL-10 still spins true. If something were to happen to it I think I'd try and hunt another one down just like it. Not the top of the line but just a great all around platter.

    (Shure cartridge)
     
  9. div

    div Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    281
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    noo yawk
    Thanks, thanks alot.
    I'm definitely going to keep it simple, pitch adjustment might be nice. can anyone tell me what's the benefit of direct drive vs. belt drive?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,766
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Well, there has been a lot of marketing hype on this exact issue. Way back when, almost all turntables were belt drive. The motors ran at whatever speed the motor manufacturer designed it for, and the belt ratios provided the gear reduction necessary for speed.

    Along come the 1970's, and a lot of manufacturers decided that direct drive was the way to go, and belt slip was gone forever. However, some of the motors had too few poles, and there was a high frequency speed variation around the speed setpoint (33-1/3 rpm for LPs) that on lower end tables with not a lot of platter mass you could hear. Essentially wow (lower frequency speed variations that made the record player say "wow" were pretty much conquered (for all except the real high end crowd) but because more poles on the motor made for higher cost. So, the high end guys tackled the problem by again going to a belt and increasing the motor speed (and increasing poles and platter mass). Along come brushless DC motors, and direct drive is back in vogue in the high end. Then again back to belt drive (as I recall the varaitions). Most of the units today either have belt drive, or some sort of variable frequency ac drive (really high cost units)

    Bottom line, unless you are listening on a truly high end system, niether is going to give you huge improvements. If you want to really get your head bent, read The Absolute Sound (a high end magazine). Otherwise, for the most part look for any of the turn tables recommended will suffice to get your platters back into your stereo.

    Oh, supposedly belt drives dampen driver variation better. Direct drives supposedly can respond faster to speed variations...but there is so much more in designing the table than just the drive mechanism that those differences are pretty minor.
     
  11. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    5,689
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Location:
    California
    If you ask me, the advantage of direct drive is, your turntable doesn't become a piece of useless garbage, when you can't find a replacement belt. This happened to me; I tried various belts, which apparently weren't quite right, and they didn't quite work.

    When I got fed up, I went to the local guitar store, and bought a turntable from back in the "DJ" section. Direct drive. It works fine. It sounds fine. It has a digital output I don't even use, but hey... it's there.
     
  12. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

    Posts:
    11,973
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    -
    Admin Post
    The place to ask this question -- is where the experts are -- at: http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/bbs.html. Which is to vinyl records and turntables as the TDPRI is to Telecasters.

    There are folks on that forum that swear by the Direct Drive TTs and find that everyone that shuns that technology is a Luddite.

    There are fewer folks that swear by the old "idler wheel" TTs. Damn the "rumble" full speed ahead.

    But fully 80% of the market today -- and it's an ever growing market -- are all for belt driven TTs.

    I think it would be wise to hang around the vinyl forum I posted. To do some searches. To read a lot and to get up to speed on modern TT design. You may want something "vintage" or you may want some thing new.

    Once you get up to speed, go to: http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?anlgtabl
    and buy used from a place you can trust. This website is all used audio gear ( the link is to their TT classifieds) and it's less hyper than Ebay and more specialized. Mostly too, it's safer.

    Here's what I've done with TTs over the past 5 years:

    1. I pulled my 1981 Thorens TD165 out of the attic and started using it.
    2. I bought a Rega P3 Turntable and loved it.
    3. I sold the P3 and bought a Rega P25 and loved it
    4. I sold the Thorens finally
    5. I bought and sold a Linn LP12 and the Rega P25
    6. I bought a VPI HW19-MKIII and have loved it for going on 4 years now

    Is this the right thing for you? Probably not. But it takes time to go through various TTs to know what you like. By the way, all the TTs above were ALL belt driven turntables.

    The number one "new" direct drive TT is the Technics SL-1200. You need to be careful with direct drive TTs. Because of "DJing" a LOT of Direct Drive (DD) turntables are sold. But the needs of a DJ are completely different from the needs of someone that wants to listen to LPs. The one thing I will recommend is to stay FAR away from DJ turntables. The SL-1200 is sometimes sold as a DJ TT but it would be an exception to the one rule. Many "audiophiles" love the SL1200.

    I personally prefer belt driven TTs because direct drive TTs actually are changing speed all the time and the average speed is the correct speed. In effect it is never at the correct speed. It is always looking for it. A belt drive TT uses a rotating mass to find and achieve the correct speed and hold it. But that's my prejudice.

    Good Luck
    Paul Green
     
  13. div

    div Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    281
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    noo yawk
    great information! This internet thing is awesome. 15 years ago I'd have had to go to a stereo store and talk to a salesman. thanks for taking the time.
     
  14. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    3,270
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Midwest
    Paul,

    How about the "quartz drive" direct drive TTs? Would they maintain speed any better?

    Tom
     
  15. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,766
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Don't mean to steal from Paul here, but all one is looking at with "quartz drive" is a clocking scheme. While that is part of the speed stability question, it is not the entire answer. Paul was right when he said

    Having quartz drive means you know the proper speed and the and drive a motor to match that speed. However, it doesn't have any particular meaning in proper application of torque to control speed variations caused by the variable drag of the needle through loud and soft passages.

    When you go and look at the really high end of the turntable market (say those $10,000 and above) you find truly massive platters and amazing bearing systems along with the "quartz drive" and either belt or direct drive motors.

    Again, there has been a lot of marketing hype in order to get sales. Some of it really means something. Again Paul was correct when he said

    It is all an engineering trade-off. At some point in the future, direct drive may be the thing that has an 80% market share, and it may have to do with engineering and actual performance or with marketing. But little substitutes in the area of speed stability for platter mass.
     
  16. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    11,416
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Hey I have this one too!
    It's retired but still functionnal
     
  17. Poppatwang

    Poppatwang Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,373
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    I got a Rega P2. Lotta bang for the buck. Think "Highway 1 Tele".
     
  18. Hockey Rocker

    Hockey Rocker Former Member

    Posts:
    1,164
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Location:
    Gone
    I don't know if you can find one on Ebay, but I've got a pair of Technics Quartz Direct Drive SL-1200 MK2s that have served me well for almost thirty years. They are my favorite pieces of audio equipment.
     
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,267
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    My first choice would be just about any belt driven Dual. I've had great results with every one. JMO.

    Ditto for the Pioneer stuff, especially prior to about '82. Nearly bulletproof, and sounds great.

    Which ever one you go with (unless it's an internet sale), see if the seller will hook it up and let you spin a couple of disks on it. Unless the cartridge is trashed, you should be able to tell pretty quickly if you like the sonics.

    Also - is there even an input on modern receivers for turntables any more? I remember helping a friend build a preamp for one, about 5 years ago.
     
  20. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

    Posts:
    11,973
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    -
    Admin Post
    The quartz locked DD TT is just a closed feedback system. The platter spins and using a reflected light on a patterned edge or bottom of the platter a signal that represents the platter speed is generated and this is compared to a vibrating quartz crystal. Any variation in speed of the platter is adjusted for continuously. Which is why I said it's always changing.

    Motors are basically off on devices. Part of the rotating coil passes the electro magnet and part of it doesn't. This is called cogging. Each phase of the motor passes the armature to the next phase of the motor.

    DD turntables usually have low mass platters and this cogging is telegraphed to the platter and hence the cartridge.

    They use the closed loop feedback I spoke of to overcome this.

    ALL mega buck TTs and we're talking up to and including $90,000 turntables are belt driven. There are no super audiophile TTs that use DD. The platter in these systems can be 4" thick and weigh 30+ lbs. They have two or three motors driving either multiple belts or one long belt. In many cases the belt drives both the platter and a flywheel too.

    The idea being, that none of the drag from the LP grove to the stylus effects the speed stability. In essense the platter is rotating with such mass that it overcomes any drag. It muscles through it.

    A DD turntable can overcome the drag -- after it's been recognized and adjusted for by the electronics of the table.

    The Technics SL1200 is well regarded -- but it is also a subject that will bring up lots of disbelievers and naysayers when it is discussed. It's the "relic" guitar of the turntable forum.

    There are a couple of under $500 entry level belt drive TTs that are well regarded, simple accurate machines.

    The main thing is to stay away from TTs at Best Buy, Circuit City or any place that sells light cheap plastic TTs (like Numark) best suited for scratching DJs.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.