Time for a new turntable?

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centurymantra
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Post by centurymantra » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:33 pm

I'm a bit of a vinyl fan that has owned a number of turntables and will say that, turntables are pieces of mechanical engineering and I feel that there really ARE sonic differences in the tables. That being said, this can be a subtle thing in some cases. I would guess that current mass-marketed cheap turntables are simply slapped together with little thought to tuning and isolation, but turntables made by established manufacturers like Music Hall, Rega, Creek, Michell, etc. will be manufactured with a little more intent. The tonearm is also a big part of the equation. I have a pretty nice Clearaudio turntable and when I upgraded the tonearm from what was already a decent modified Rega tonearm to a more advanced Clearaudio tonearm, the sonic character changed quite a bit...to a degree that was even a bit surprising. Anyway...the previous recommendation of a basic Music Hall table is a good one. As an FYI...I just was looking at the Gearslutz classified ads and saw someone listing their Music Hall table over there. Good deals can be had on used turntables over at Audiogon too.
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Post by Johnny B » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:19 pm

sthslvrcnfsn wrote:Fuck belts AND direct drive - it's all about magnet drive. And I quote: "The Disc Master uses an arrangement of opposing magnets to drive the platter." There's no question that the EAR Disc Master Turntable is what you should buy. It's a steal at a cool $17000. That's right, only 17 grand!
No no no. You need the ELP Laser Turntable. The base model is now less than $10,000!

In all seriousness, though, if you do a little bit of searching, you can find all kinds of interesting informations, and especially opinions on turntables. There's a guy who sells modified Technics SL-1200s who has a humongous rant about how Regas and such are a complete waste of money and the 1200 was developed originally as an audiophile unit. He does make a lot of good points about economies of scale keeping the price down.

I will say two things about this debate: 1. What worries me about the Regas and several of the other "audiophile" turntables is that apparently many of them don't play records at the correct speed! I'm not quite sure what the point of having a turntable that is supposed to offer amazing-sounding playback that can't even play records at the right speed.
2. I did an internship at a mastering house in London in the late 1990-s. They did a lot of work for Virgin and stuff for plenty of other labels as well. Occasionally, they had to master stuff from records because the masters were unavailable. To that end, they had expensive CEDAR units for de-noising and all kinds of other pricey gear. Their turntable of choice? The SL-1200.

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Post by LeedyGuy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:13 am

Thanks for everyone's help on this one!

My wedding gift from my fiancee arrived today and it was

http://www.needledoctor.com/Technics-Tu ... tegory=361

YES.

Off to assemble I go....

-Ken

I think this is a Neil Young On the Beach moment.
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Post by tateeskew » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:03 pm

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Hall- ... tegory=351

i have this table. it's by far the best sounding turntable i've ever owned. i've went through a lot of them, too. i've a/b'd the MMF-5 with quite a few different models that come through the house and most of the competitors end up on ebay or craigslist.

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Post by LeedyGuy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:08 pm

Okay, so I got my brandy new Technics 1200 hooked up. My old one (cheap Sony crappo) had no Anti Skate and weighted tone arm business, but I RTFM extensively and I think I have it all set right.

HOLY CRAP what a difference! I chose Neil's On The Beach for the momentous occasion. It's like a whole new record. I think my old one played things a hairr too fast as well because I put it on my old turntable and then quickly swapped it out with the new one for a comparison and the pitch doesn't sound quite the same. The low mids are way more defined. I'm hearing things that I feel like I have never heard.

I also hear a little of what sounds kind of like distortion, but could that be just my ears getting used to actually hearing a record? It's most obvious on the vocals. I don't have On the Beach on CD to compare it, but this is really sweet so far! It's loud as hell too compared to my old one.

-Ken
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Post by firby » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:33 am

Here there is a Technics 1200 and a stanton str8 100. The stanton has 78 RPM setting and digital SPDIF out as well as some sort of master tempo control.

Technic rocks it in that situation. I am sure there are some belt drive light turntables that sound a little better than a technics BUT you wont be able to rip a backspin on them !!!!!
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Post by floid » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:26 pm

couple months ago i found an old Columbia turntable in my grandparents attic - you know, the cheesy suitcase models from the sixties with toobs and a four inch speaker. it's made me fall in love with my 7" collection all over again.
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Post by asylumdigital » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:36 pm

You're not really gonna go wrong w/ that Technics 1200... I got one of the Denons back in like 2000 (it was one of the 1st w/ spdif connections). Its been fantastic. The only thing that I dislike about the Technics is that the rca cables used to to be built in to the rear of the unit. i dunn if they are still like that though.
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Packy
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Post by Packy » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:12 pm

Does Technics make a 1200 with some kind of semi-auto design, even just something to lift the tone arm up at the very end of the record? The one thing stopping me from going for one of those (besides being dead broke right now of course) is that I wouldn't be able to put on a record and walk away/clean the house/sleep without anxiously awaiting the end of the side so I don't forget to lift the needle and carve a nice valley around the label.

My friend had a beautiful looking and feeling Technics (not sure how it sounded, his cartridge/needle/receiver/speakers were garbage) that simply lifted the arm and stopped the platter when it was finished. No returning to the arm mount or anything.

I'm pretty sure that most/all semi-autos have extra baggage for the return mechanism, thus compromising the free movement and grace of the tone arm. So is there a way to overcome the fully manual-ness of the 1200 while maintaining its integrity?

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Babaluma
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Post by Babaluma » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:22 pm

i think a well set up turntable won't carve a hole into your vinyl. i remember falling asleep to a record with my rega planar 3, and waking up in the morning with the run-out groove still spinning - record and stylus were both fine ;)

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Post by DGoody » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:46 pm

Ah, the Music Hall is very good. I had an MMF9, and loved it!

Audio Note makes theeee best tables for decent change though! I highyl recommend all their gear. Great stuff.

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Post by LeedyGuy » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:58 am

Time to revive this thread again. I have been rockin out to my Technics 1200 for a few months now, but I was wondering now about the stylus that I chose. I put a sorta cheap Stanton 500.v3 on there that I got over at Guitarget. Anyone have any thoughts on that stylus or another one?

-Ken

PS I found a copy of Petty's Damn the Torpedoes for $1 down in Chester, NJ and wow is that a whole new sound from the CD. Bruce Darkness on the Edge of Town too. What a difference on vinyl!
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centurymantra
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Post by centurymantra » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:09 am

kentothink wrote:Time to revive this thread again. I have been rockin out to my Technics 1200 for a few months now, but I was wondering now about the stylus that I chose. I put a sorta cheap Stanton 500.v3 on there that I got over at Guitarget. Anyone have any thoughts on that stylus or another one?
I don't know how much you are looking to spend but I have used the Goldring 1042 and thought it was a really nice cartridge.

Wow...I just looked at the price on those and it's gone WAY up since I purchased mine a few years ago...wild. I've been keeping it as a "spare"/backup since I got the Grado cartridge I'm using. Guess it's time to sell it on Ebay at a profit! Speaking of which, if you go on Audiogon, you could consider getting a used cartridge. That is one piece of gear that one should understandably be pretty leery about buying used, but given the anal nature of audiophile types, it is possible to get a cartridge that is well taken care of with many, many hours of enjoyment left in it. If you're willing to take the gamble, major bang-for-the-buck can be had. I bought the Grado cartridge I'm currently using from a guy on Audiogon who happened to be local, so I met him - he seemed cool, and obviously took good care of his gear. The cartridge would have been stupidly expensive new, but I got it for less than half price (still kinda stupidly expensive really) - but it sounds mighty nice. I'd say just pick the best Grado or Goldring you can afford and call it good.
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