turntable recommendations?

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

  1. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

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    Vintage TTs are a separate thing. You buy those to get the vintage experience. Mid-80's was a great time for turntables, but a 35 year old TT is not the same vintage experience as a 35 year old guitar. And if you buy one, you must be prepared to tinker with it to keep it running or to throw it away when it becomes too expensive to keep it going. Dual and Pioneer built a lot of cheap TTs in the 1980's that really are not all that sought after and well regarded today. They also built some wonderful expensive TT in the 80's but those are few and far between.

    "Receivers" are pretty much a thing of the past. There are some (read few) integrated amps available today that can be purchased with a phono pre-amp. But this is not extremely common. And when they do have a built in pre-amp (or phono stage more accurately) it is usually for Moving Magnetic carts (MM) only not for Moving Coil (MC) cartridges. Today's great carts are almost all MC cartridges.

    Most folks buy a separate phono pre-amp and plug it into either a separate pre-amp/amp set of separates OR plug the phono pre-amp into an integrated amp.

    If you have an older receiver and it has a decent phono stage (almost always a MM phono stage) some of those can be great -- most are not.

    I know that in the late 70's early 80's getting a Dual or Pioneer belt drive manual TT was all the rage -- I was there -- but unless you pick up one in perfect running condition at a garage sale for $10, they probably are not the way to go today. In most cases, these old TTs have been in a garage or attic unused since CDs come out. They have sagging suspensions, frozen bearings and brittle belts. (And, now defective motors that can't be replaced without buying a separate duplicate TT for parts.)
     
  2. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

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    Absolutely. A fine inexpensive reliable TT that doesn't need much in the way of fussing to get great sound. It is now available as a P1, P2, P3, P5, P7 and P9. And the range of prices start at $350 for the P1 and goes all the way to $3,500 for the P9. But they all use the same principles.
     
  3. Oster

    Oster Friend of Leo's

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    I have an old Sansui which has served me well. Make sure if you do go belt-drive that you get something that has an easily accessable belt, should you need to get at it for any reason (believe it or not some belt-drives aren't user-serviceable in this crucial regard).

    Re: Dual. Beware any old gear-drive Dual turntable. They look & sound great and can be had for song but their clockwork is often shot and your records will slow down or stop suddenly...all kinds of unrepairable things.

    At least with a basic belt-drive, if there's a problem with the belt (which happens from time to time)...no big deal.
     
  4. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The simplest TT ever made, and most bullet proof, is the AR.
    Low torque AC motor connected to the platter by a small rubber belt.
    Just an on-off switch....that's it!

    Steve
     
  5. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for sharing that. I gave my little brother my last Dual about 15 years ago - I won't bother asking to have it back (assuming it's still working for him)!

    I've got an old ('80) Pioneer SA-610 integrated amp that was great with my old turntables. It has a subsonic switch on it - I wonder if kids today even know what that was for?
     
  6. Turtletwang

    Turtletwang Tele-Meister

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    I'm not sure if they're still around, but try to find a Girard turntable. A few friends of mine owned them and they were quite reliable.
     
  7. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

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    Some phone stages still have what used to be called "rumble filters". These were mostly to compensate for uncontrolled low frequency feedback. Which can be a result of poor tonearm / cartridge combinations. But mostly this is a thing of the past. Now folks understand the mating of tonearm and cartridge better and can eliminate this problem -- and people don't want their electronics filter out anything even "subsonic" frequencies.

    No, Girard TTs are not around any more. And, also not a real popular choice for a vintage TT either. Many Girards were idler wheel drive turntables. This is not a popular choice.
     
  8. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

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    In essence this is exactly all that any modern TT offers. Autolift functions are non-existent now. Many don't have speed controls. The refinements are:

    1. Motor smoothness and accuracy (usually with low voltage)
    2. Very fine bearing machining. Strong, smooth and quiet.
    3. Platter with high rmass. Many with 8, 12, 25, 40 lbs of weight.
    4. Solid connection between the LP and the platter. clamps, vacuum, and outer rim rings.

    There are not a lot of suspended TTs anymore. Some, but it's not widespread. Most TTs today are very fine motors spinning heavy platters with a clamp holding the LP down tight to the platter. The major differences are those that spec a lightweight plinth (body) for the TT to dissipate vibration and those that spec a sonically dead plinth to absorb vibration.
     
  9. Bonneville Bruce

    Bonneville Bruce Tele-Holic

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    Turntables

    Hey, Teleblooz,

    I have the exact same table that I picked up around 1974, and ditto on replacing the belt. Strange, huh?

    Bonneville Bruce
    NP The Mothers - Fillmore East - June 1971
     
  10. div

    div Tele-Meister

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    well now you guys done completely lost me.

    Someone else who's knowledgable about these things also said the P1, so maybe I'll do that. Although "inexpensive", to me $350's more than I wanted to spend, but if it lasts me 20 years...

    but now wait. I actually do have a "receiver"- aren't I quaint- its a newer yamaha but now I forget which model. You know, its got the inputs in the back for CD, phono, etc and so forth. far as I'm concerned it sounds great- klipsch speakers in one room & bic speakers in the other. I use the phono input with my old turntable & it works although its true I need to turn the volume up to get the same volume as CDs.

    So now you're not saying I need a pre-amp, are you?
     
  11. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If your receiver has phono inputs....you're good to go with a TT.

    Steve
     
  12. Hockey Rocker

    Hockey Rocker Former Member

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    Well Webmaster is all over this! I'm just shocked by two things. First, that my beloved TT is still in production, and second, that it commands so many dollars. I don't know what I paid for my Technics in the early 80's, but I thought it was about $200 each for my SL-1200s. They still work great. I have one in this room and one in the basement now. They don't seem to miss each other too much. Heck, from what I'm reading here, I could sell one and buy a nice Tele!
     
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