Thinking of geting a turntable... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-27-2012, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't want to spend a lot of money as this is my first turntable, but I do want quality. I've narrowed my search down to late 70's/early 80's DUAL and Thorens turntables.

From my searches on ebay and other sites, it looks like if i'm patient and don't mind giving a little TLC, I can find some of these units for < $200.

It looks like these units are well built, easily modified, and have a lot of parts/aftermarket available.

My question is this... are there particular models that I should look for?

I was eyeing a Dual 1219 as well as a Thorens TD-125 / TD-160? Not really sure of the differences in the model numbers. If they're all very close, i'd rather be patient and aim for the best unit.

I'm extremely new to turntables, so all help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-27-2012, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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in a totally different direction... i just noticed some used pro ject debut III turntables that fall around the $250 mark... Advice greatly appreciated
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-27-2012, 08:09 PM
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$250 is not exactly a sweet spot in TT prices. If you can allocate a little more (like $400), you will be in better position. I suggest to get AT-LP240, which often can be found for $300 or less, and Shure M97xE or AT-440MLa cartridge. You will be in better shape that way, considering that this table has phono preamp.

If you like vintage stuff, you better get table which was top of the line back then. And get something from late 70th. That was a peak time in TT technology. But they are likely more expensive than you you like, and require some tuning.
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post #4 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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If a vintage table gets me better quality for my money, I definitely don't mind hunting for it.

I'll check out table, I hadn't heard about them. You would go with Table over Thorens or Dual?
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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i'm not seeing anything about a brand called "table", did i misunderstand you?
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post #6 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMG View Post

i'm not seeing anything about a brand called "table", did i misunderstand you?

"table" means just that - table, from any manufacturer you like. Something like this http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EX...r/pl-l1-e.html will probably be better than anything you can get new for less than five grand today. But for "cheap" stuff, you better get a new model. And I mentioned one example.
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 07:04 AM
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I have not been into turntables for years but I can tell you if you have or plan on having a nice collection of LP's then I would not risk the wear and tear a cheap table does to them. Cheap tables :
1.) usually do not have the means of setting up the cartridge correctly(record wear) and will sound as good as it could.
2.) Does not offer the ability to move up to better cartridge. (see tone arm and cartridge matching.)
3.) Acccuracy of motor RPM and possible feedback through platter.
4.)Turntable not isolated enough to keep the feedback from happening (cheap base).
5.)Tracking again a compromise in either length or structure of the arm or pivot.
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post #8 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

. . . Something like this http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EX...r/pl-l1-e.html will probably be better than anything you can get new for less than five grand today.

As another example, this Sansui was one of the best of the late seventies. It is still hard to beat today:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140688469316...84.m1423.l2649
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 01:28 PM
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heres another suggestion to put on your short list i've owned my ar ax for close to 35 years other than belts and a few cartridges and of course the annual maintance a little oil this thing is still kicking out the tunes . i see them used for around $200.they are easily upgradable and parts are easy to find

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #10 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I had heard about Sansui, I was thinking of adding them to my short list. I'll look into AR as well.

Thanks!
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-28-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

As another example, this Sansui was one of the best of the late seventies. It is still hard to beat today:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140688469316...84.m1423.l2649

That Sansui is beautiful.... wow.
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post #12 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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some of the yamaha tables are really catching my eye... I know they make good products now, how were they in the old days?
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post #13 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 10:04 AM
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never had one myself but a buddy of mine has a px-3 linear in his setup and it does really sound great almost pulled the trigger on one awhile back on ebay for $420 but looked back at my old ar xa companion and couldn't part

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 03:07 PM
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I have a Dual CS-450 with an Ortofon OM10 cartridge on it and it has a nice clean quality of sound and operates flawlessly. I just bought a Yamaha P350 (locally) and it came equipped with a very nice Grado G series cartridge. This was not a upper end Yamaha unit but it sounds very good, there is absolutely no hum nor feedback detectable.

Both of my current TTs were purchased locally. I bought a very nice Dual online and it was shipped incorrectly and ruined. I also tried a Rega P1 (1st generation) and I was not that impressed with it but a better cartridge may have been in order.

As far as Yamaha quality...Look on the net and notice how much of their vintage gear is still around and kicking after 30-40+ years. I have and do own a few pieces of Yamaha equipment, an AX-592 integrated amp, an A-1000 integrated amp, a DVD-S2700 DVD/DVD-A/ SACD player and the turntable and I have never had one problem with any of them. All Yamaha electronics prior to 1990 or so were made in Japan.

I believe there is decent reasoning behind the vintage turntable following. Outside of the real bottom feeders, most of them were put together pretty well and if taken care of will sound fine, if not, very good. There are plenty of people on the forums complaining of problems with newer TTs. The fact is that they are mechanical devices and things can go wrong with them. That is why I like having a spare around!

There are many opinions on this subject. Buy a turntable or two and listen, let your ears decide what is right for you!

Cheers on your new obsession!

Holy c#$p that Sansui is incredible looking!!!
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post #15 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMG View Post

some of the yamaha tables are really catching my eye... I know they make good products now, how were they in the old days?

A few years back I had a Yamaha PF-800. A fantastic TT that if you can find on line should go for about $399. It's a Micro Seiki design and one of Yamaha's last TT's in the late 80's.
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by math-geek View Post

I believe there is decent reasoning behind the vintage turntable following.

I agree. Part of the reasoning has to do with economies of scale. Since nobody makes them in the quantities that they used to, nobody can make them at the cost that they used to. Most tables today are belt driven for the simple reason that it is very expensive to make direct-drive motors in other than huge quantities.

Although the cartridges may be better, I would argue that the turntables themselves are no better today then they were back before CDs. Just older.
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post #17 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

I agree. Part of the reasoning has to do with economies of scale. Since nobody makes them in the quantities that they used to, nobody can make them at the cost that they used to. Most tables today are belt driven for the simple reason that it is very expensive to make direct-drive motors in other than huge quantities.

Although the cartridges may be better, I would argue that the turntables themselves are no better today then they were back before CDs. Just older.

I remember going with my father to stereo shops in the early 1980s...He lusted after Yamaha, but alas, could afford Technics. Yamaha used to be a boutique manufacturer of audio equipment, sold next to Luxman, Accuphase and McIntosh. It was not dimestore junk.

I am listening to Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" right now and it sounds fantastic!
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 05:52 PM
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A nice pre-owned Technics 1200MKII paired with a quality cartridge would be a good start. There's LOTS of mods you can do to improve on these, growing as funds allow and learning about TT operation as you go.

But if i'm being completely honest within my scope of YEARS of trying different gear, a quality DAC (digital to analog converter) with Redbook CD sounds as good as if not better than the best TTs i've ever owned or auditioned. I was an Avid hobbyist during the rise of CD and the fall of TT's and the TT fell for good reason as not only was the CD more convenient but thre was no discrenable difference in SQ.

2012......i looked towards hifi PC storage and playback and won't be looking back again. I would need at least 1000cuft room to store all of the equivalent Vinyl LP's that i have in my 2 hard drive PC. Given the cost of square footage these days..........
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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this is all great info...

i think that sansui might be a goal if i fall in love with vinyl... for now i need a gateway turntable that will wow me enough to get me hooked. Since i've been listening to cds/lossless files/SACDs/DVDA/Bluray music for so long, i need something good enough to show me why lots of people still swear by vinyl. Hopefully i can accomplish that within my budget.
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post #20 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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i think i'm going to hunt down a Sansui SR-222 in Piano black, preferably a MKV.

Beautiful no-frills turntable with solid quality, easily upgradable/tweakable from what i've read.

I saw a silver 222 mk1 on ebay for $130 (sans belt). hopefully i can find a MKV for not too much more.
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post #21 of 28 Old 01-29-2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMG View Post

That Sansui is beautiful.... wow.

It is. It ended up selling for $710.00 + shipping. Still a good deal, but not quite the steal it looked like yesterday.
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post #22 of 28 Old 01-30-2012, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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It is. It ended up selling for $710.00 + shipping. Still a good deal, but not quite the steal it looked like yesterday.

I'm not surprised... It was in mint condition, if I didn't know better, I never would have guessed it to be 30 years old.

What should I expect to pay for a SR-222 MK2, MKIV, or MKV in Piano Black?
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post #23 of 28 Old 01-31-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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anyone have any tips on where I can find one?

I live in NYC... but online or local works for me.
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post #24 of 28 Old 01-31-2012, 02:58 PM
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Turntables are a mechanical device, and old ones are like old cars. They usually have mechanical problems that are difficult and expensive to put right.

I had several Dual turntables over the years, including the 1219, but they are mostly not built that well. Thorens, in general, has much better build quality, and they are still very much in business and can supply parts for older models.

Thorens still has at least 10 models on the market, ranging from $200 to $5000+, and the cheaper ones have a lot of value because they want to get you hooked on vinyl and basically sell them at a loss.

UNless you are just a guy who really wants to tinker, I would suggest that you buy a new Thorens or Rega or Music Hall turntable and save yourself money and grief in the long run.

You can buy the Thorens TD-158 new for $200, complete with cartridge, or the Rega RP-1 for around $400. Music Hall has several for under $600. There is also the Marantz TT-42 for $329.

I suggest you look at the Music Direct website for a huge selection from $200 to $20,000 and up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMG View Post

If a vintage table gets me better quality for my money, I definitely don't mind hunting for it.

I'll check out table, I hadn't heard about them. You would go with Table over Thorens or Dual?

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post #25 of 28 Old 01-31-2012, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Turntables are a mechanical device, and old ones are like old cars. They usually have mechanical problems that are difficult and expensive to put right.

I had several Dual turntables over the years, including the 1219, but they are mostly not built that well. Thorens, in general, has much better build quality, and they are still very much in business and can supply parts.

UNless you are just a guy who really wants to tinker, I would suggest that you buy a new Thorens turntable and save yourself money and grief in the long run.

You can buy the Thorens TD-158 new for $200, complete with cartridge.


I think i've got my heart set on a Sansui now. There seems to be a lot of them still around and in good condition.
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post #26 of 28 Old 01-31-2012, 04:15 PM
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If you buy a used turntable - Make sure it is packed and shipped properly!

I don't know about the Sansui - but many tables had a heavy removable platter. That platter has to be removed for shipping. Many tables had a suspension system - if so equipped, that has to be locked down for shipping. Figure on buying a new cartridge unless the seller can convince you the existing one is OK.

It is not hard to ruin an otherwise good turntable by improper shipping/transport.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #27 of 28 Old 01-31-2012, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post

If you buy a used turntable - Make sure it is packed and shipped properly!

I don't know about the Sansui - but many tables had a heavy removable platter. That platter has to be removed for shipping. Many tables had a suspension system - if so equipped, that has to be locked down for shipping. Figure on buying a new cartridge unless the seller can convince you the existing one is OK.

It is not hard to ruin an otherwise good turntable by improper shipping/transport.

that's good to know... i'll be sure to instruct whomever i buy from.
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-01-2012, 01:52 PM
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I just got back into vinyl as well and got the Thorens TD-170-1. Good turntable for the price.

http://www.thorens.com/turntables/drives/td-170-1.html

You can get it for $300 most anywhere.
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