What Turntable do you have?

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/Blu-ray & Misc Hardware' started by Tweaked, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Tweaked Audioholic Intern

    Tweaked
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    My latest audiophile acquisition was a Rega RP1 Turntable. I remember my parents had a TT when I was a kid, but it was so long ago that I couldn't remember what it sounded like. I decided I wanted to find out so I picked this up. So far I am loving it. What TT do you guys have?
  2. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Project Xpression III

    [​IMG]
    3db,
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  3. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Garrard 301 with Decca ffss H4E on Decca professional arm.

    [​IMG]

    Thorens TD 150, SME series 3 arm with Shure V 15 mxr.

    [​IMG]

    Garrard 301 with SME series 2 improved, with Shure V 15 xmr.

    [​IMG]

    Thorens TD 125 MK II with SME series 3 and Decca London Gold MK V1.

    [​IMG]

    If you want a trip down memory lane, I have more vintage LP equipment pictures here.
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  4. afterlife2 Audioholic Ninja

    afterlife2
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    My Dual 1242 TT. Courtesy of the Dr. :)
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  5. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Technics SL-1210

    (eventually will most likely get a Pro-ject Debut Carbon for 2nd rig :D)
  6. Tweaked Audioholic Intern

    Tweaked
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    Nice gear. I honestly can't believe how much I am enjoying the vinyl experience. I was a little apprehensive of the price of the Rega at first, but now I think it is one of the best investments I've made into my audio gear.
  7. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    Agreed. I've become a Vinyl junkie myself these days. I am spinning with a Marantz PM-11S2 designed by Clear Audio. A really nice table, though its manual to change the speed which is a bit of a bummer and it doesn't auto retract the arm when the record is done playing :(

    tt15s1.jpg
    gene,
  8. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Gene, you always want a manual turntable. The bearings and the wire are quite enough friction. Those auto retract mechanisms definitely affect fidelity.

    On the turntable that I sent Afterlife 2 that he pictures above, I removed the auto return mechanism. Initially I thought that the cartridge was not a really good tracker, as there was an unpleasant edge in the high end.

    Having always been taught to avoid auto return mechanisms, I dismantled and removed the mechanism. The result was night and day, and it turned into a very good starter turntable.

    Gilbert Briggs in his books on high fidelity back in the 50s said that he thought the designers of those mechanism had "wandered in from the bicycle industry!" He was right on about that. So stick with manuals.

    I don't like this modern fad for no speed change mechanism. That results in getting finger oils on the belts which is not a good idea.

    Basically turntables should be as simple as possible with a maximum of precision engineering. Good turntables have a sensible balance to deal with ALL the known problems. There have been a number of audiophool designs, that concentrate in one issue to the exclusion of others.
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  9. Tweaked Audioholic Intern

    Tweaked
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    Ooh, that's pretty. Mine is also manual with no auto return, but I don't care. Right now I don't have any 45's and don't mind getting up to turn over the LP.
  10. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    I figured as much. I agree, I don't like messing with the belt to change speed but I only have 1 45 record so I don't do it. It took me hours to get everything setup and balanced on this table and I like to mess with it as little as possible. The Cartridge used on this table is said to be among the best out there. Really fabulous sound and inspires me to start writing more about vinyl. Totally different, and very intimate experience and you feel it as soon as the needle hits the record.
    gene,
  11. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Yes, a lot of arms are very fussy to set up and don't hold adjustments well.

    I really like SME arms. Alastair Robertson-Aikman engineered his products superbly. They come with all tools and are perfectly calibrated. The silicone paddle damper really works well to help with warps in records. It is also synergistic with the damper on the Shure cartridges.

    Current offerings are geared to higher mass moving coil cartridges, moving coil mostly.

    My favorite is the SME series 3 which was specifically engineered round the Shure V 15 series of cartridges.

    I think and SME series 3 with a Shure V 15 xmr (if you are lucky enough to snag them eBay or Audiogon) is a good as vinyl gets. A Thorens 125 turntable makes a really good combo with them. The Garrard 301 and 401 are fine also, but if you pick one of those up in eBay it will be high priced and you still may end up with a restoration project on your hands.

    If you can't find a Shure xmr the good folk at Needle Doctor tell me the Ortofon Black is the next best bet.

    I'm fortunate as I have had most of my vinyl gear since new. I did have to put that Thorens 125 MK II SME rig together from eBay. I bought the Thorens 125 not working for a song. I had it up and running quickly. Then I bought the SME series 3 for around $400 I think. Then the seller said he had this cartridge and sent me a picture. He did not know if it was any good or not, but should he include it anyway. I recognized it as a Decca London Gold Jubilee. When I got it, I put it under my operating microscope and the stylus had no detectable ware. So I got a $1200 cartridge for free! One of my best bits of luck ever.

    It is nice to see you enjoying spinning vinyl.

    I spun a lot of vinyl on my downstairs system by the log fire this last long winter. It was very nostalgic. In my youth I used to listen to LPs, by a coal fire in the winter. Someone recently commented that playing vinyl is cosy. On the face of it that sounds silly, but sitting by a log fire listening to old vinyl recordings certainly is in a Minnesota winter!
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  12. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
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    BL-91wAT-33MCSonypua-1600sarm_zpsdc07113e.jpg Mirco-Seiki BL-91 Sony pua 1600s arm, AT-33 MC. Actually I have two, I picked this one up at the end of Dec. Just love these things
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    cpp,
  13. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Very nice!
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  14. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Nice table Gene.

    Almost all of the new turntables out there that are serious about sound are all manual. My ProJect is completely manual as well. I say almost just because I can't recall any decent ones out there (I'm speaking new tables) that are automatic. Since vinyl has taken a hold of you, do you think that you will be reviewing any turntables, phono preamps, and cartridges in the near future?
    3db,
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  15. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    After I finished digitizing my record collection (what a job that was!!!) I sold my VPI/Grace/Benz Micro setup and replaced it with a Music Hall MMF-2 with a Grado MM cartridge. I prefer listening to my now digitized vinyl from a hard drive through my Squeezebox. It is hassle free and sounds the same as the original vinyl. The Music Hall setup is pretty decent actually. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an entry level setup. I think I still have an old Thorens in a closet somewhere. I'd have to look for it.
    fmw,
  16. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I would take a good look at the old Thorens. Thorens prior to the restructuring from 2000 to 2002 was very good gear. They emerged in 2002 as Thorens services.
  17. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I would if I did much vinyl spinning. All my albums are now digitized so there really isn't a need for it. The turntable is just there in case someone wants to bring a record and play it. The Thorens dates back to the 1970's. It is not in terribly good shape. Good table, though, and it still spins.
    fmw,
  18. Ears to you Junior Audioholic

    Ears to you
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    Say hello to my little analog friend - a modified AR XA turntable, with Grace 707 II tonearm, and Grado Gold cartridge. At the time, it was the poor man's Linn substitute, and this was a definite step up from the Dual 505 TT that it replaced many years ago. It is well isolated, has a very pleasant, musical sound, and paired with a Music Hall phono preamp gives me a nice occasional break from CDs.

    When I get some time, I intend to spruce it up a bit, as the top plate has faded over the years from my 1980s spray painting of it, and I could also refinish the base a bit better. I know that Vinyl Nirvana specializes in all this, and I have seen some of these old ARs that are truly gorgeous that I will borrow ideas from.

    SAM_1941.jpg SAM_1947.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
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  19. afterlife2 Audioholic Ninja

    afterlife2
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    Another shot. Enjoy.
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  20. Jeepers Audioholic

    Jeepers
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    Since 2005 I have a PRO-JECT 1 Xpression with a Grado (Prestige Gold) cartridge but I don't use it that often. Before that, i.e. from 1977, I had a Pioneer PL-530 with a Pioneer cartridge which I replaced after a few years by one from Shure.

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