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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if anyone here is into spinning vinyl, but in case there is, I'm considering getting a turntable for my modern system.

The receiver is an Onkyo TX-SR705 which has a phono section. (That was one of the big reasons why I got it).

Anyway, I'm looking for something to play both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. My budget is anything up to around $700.

I looked at the Rega RP-1 so far and while it's touted as having superior sound quality over other tables in it's class which would be great, but it has a bit too many downsides for me personally.

My biggest beef with it is that it can not play both 33 1/3 and 45s without taking the unit apart and changing the belt, etc. This is not something I want to be doing daily and I'm from the school of "if it's not broken, don't fix it". I don't know, to me it's a poor design, but that's just my opinion which doesn't count for much if anything.


I'd like to know what other tables are around that you might suggest I look at. It doesn't have to be fully auto or have feature overkill or anything. Just decent performance, easy to set up, and able to play 33 1/3 and 45s on the fly.
 

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Look at the Audio-Technica AT240. Solid direct-drive design, easily switchable speeds. A good cart (like the AT440) and you're ready to go.
 

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Some TT's you may want to look at the Thorens TD-170 a 3 speed TT w/auto arm lift $599 comes w/a Ortofon OMB-10 MM cart. Pro-Ject Xpression III on sale for $599(you can find these at Music Direct). Or Music Hall 2.2 w/upgraded cart the Ortofon 2M Blue. All 3 should meet your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A /forum/post/20854328


Some TT's you may want to look at the Thorens TD-170 a 3 speed TT w/auto arm lift $599 comes w/a Ortofon OMB-10 MM cart. Pro-Ject Xpression III on sale for $599(you can find these at Music Direct). Or Music Hall 2.2 w/upgraded cart the Ortofon 2M Blue. All 3 should meet your budget.

Well, while all three TTs you suggest meet the budget, only one meets performance, that would be the Thorens. So I'll take a look at that one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A /forum/post/20854328


Some TT's you may want to look at the Thorens TD-170 a 3 speed TT w/auto arm lift $599 comes w/a Ortofon OMB-10 MM cart. Pro-Ject Xpression III on sale for $599(you can find these at Music Direct). Or Music Hall 2.2 w/upgraded cart the Ortofon 2M Blue. All 3 should meet your budget.

2.2 requires a belt change for 45 unless using with the speed controller.


B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B /forum/post/20854627


2.2 requires a belt change for 45 unless using with the speed controller.


B.

Yes and I understand the speed controllers are unreliable.

I also just read a ton of reviews on the Thorens TD-170 and every one of them said that same thing: "do not buy this table"! Appearantly it has huge problems with speed amongst other things and can not be repaired.


I guess these "audiophile" turntables are not good. I'm starting to consider going vintage for a turntable (they knew how to make them back then), but 1) they tend to be big and won't fit in my entertainment center and 2) it will take a very long time to find one suitable.


The dealers in my area don't carry much choice in the way of tunrtables, so I can see it's going to be a hard task finding one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B
Linn Axis isn't too big and has a switch to go between 33/45 (the power button). They are available in your price range.


B.
Where are they available in the US? I did some searching and so far all I see is they are only available in the UK.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost in music
Yes and I understand the speed controllers are unreliable.

I also just read a ton of reviews on the Thorens TD-170 and every one of them said that same thing: "do not buy this table"! Appearantly it has huge problems with speed amongst other things and can not be repaired.


I guess these "audiophile" turntables are not good. I'm starting to consider going vintage for a turntable (they knew how to make them back then), but 1) they tend to be big and won't fit in my entertainment center and 2) it will take a very long time to find one suitable.


The dealers in my area don't carry much choice in the way of tunrtables, so I can see it's going to be a hard task finding one.
You could check out audiogon for some used TT's. On a personal note I have a 26yr old Linn Sondek LP12 that I bought from a local guy that rebuilds classic TT's. His tech that used to work for Rotel just tuned it up when I got a new cart and it compares w/any $2500 TT out there. I paid just $450 for the Linn w/a dust cover about 6yrs, ago. Nice thing about going vintage many of them can be upgraded w/new tonearms, carts, plinths etc. By the way Regas, Pro-Jects, and Thorens are pretty reliable and I would take the complaints w/a grain of salt. Problems sometimes get magnified when put on line vs. the % of owners that are happy w/the product and don't bother to write about it. As someone who's owned various TT's for 50yrs there was lots crap out there back in the good old days. Lots of choices both new and old happy hunting!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A
You could check out audiogon for some used TT's. On a personal note I have a 26yr old Linn Sondek LP12 that I bought from a local guy that rebuilds classic TT's. His tech that used to work for Rotel just tuned it up when I got a new cart and it compares w/any $2500 TT out there. I paid just $450 for the Linn w/a dust cover about 6yrs, ago. Nice thing about going vintage many of them can be upgraded w/new tonearms, carts, plinths etc. By the way Regas, Pro-Jects, and Thorens are pretty reliable and I would take the complaints w/a grain of salt. Problems sometimes get magnified when put on line vs. the % of owners that are happy w/the product and don't bother to write about it. As someone who's owned various TT's for 50yrs there was lots crap out there back in the good old days. Lots of choices both new and old happy hunting!!!
I don't like Audiogon that much, it's kind of sketchy. I usually don't consider purchasing vintage gear and the like on-line. I do check ebay and craigs list for local sales. I prefer craigslist because I can check the item out before buying, but pickens are slim to none in my area. Bottom line is that I prefer to buy in person for stuff like that.

Vintage tables (the mid to high end ones), actually start out pretty good and many don't even need an upgrade except maybe for a cart and stylus. Tables were made rather well back then. I have a Pioneer PL-510 and PL-530 and while I don't consider them worthy for a modern system and certainly not high-end (they don't fit in my center anyway), they are decent tables. I use them on my vintage system, just cleaned them up, stuck a decent cart and stylus on them, set them up and good to go.

I haven't read many complaints if any, about the Regas, Projects and Music Halls. In fact, I've read quite a bit of praise about the Rega RP-1 in regards to sound. I just don't like the design of them as not being able to handle the two basic speeds without taking them apart and putting them back together hoping they will work, (chances are they will not).

Judging by what I've seen so far it looks like it could be a few more years before I find a turntable for my modern system. Perhaps by then my budget will be bigger, but I doubt it.
 

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Quote:
I just don't like the design of them as not being able to handle the two basic speeds without taking them apart and putting them back together hoping they will work, (chances are they will not).
Oh, they will. All you're doing is moving the belt from one "pulley" to another. But it's a hassle if you change formats regularly.


It sounds like your real constraint is size. Turntables and entertainment units don't mix well. (And for g-d's sake don't put a table on a pull-out shelf!) And good, small turntables are rare, for reasons of physics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/20859718


Oh, they will. All you're doing is moving the belt from one "pulley" to another. But it's a hassle if you change formats regularly.


It sounds like your real constraint is size. Turntables and entertainment units don't mix well. (And for g-d's sake don't put a table on a pull-out shelf!) And good, small turntables are rare, for reasons of physics.

Unfortunately, a pull-out shelf is just what I have. That said, I can see the problem that would arise from having a somewhat heavy table on a pull out shelf. In fact there could be issues even with a small or light table unless I were to pull out the table, put on the record, slide the table back in to position and then drop the needle so to speak. It would have to be a low-profile table and while the Regas and the like are low-profile enough the changing of the pulley becomes an impossibility.

Seeing as how I can not get a different entertainment center and it's too tall to put the table on top, I think I may have to drop the idea of getting a table all together. Hind sight is always 20/20.
 

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Looks like you made the correct decision. I've seen to many photos of equipment just jammed into a space that's to small. Ends up looking like wire world. Sometimes less is more. If your looking for a TT down the road focus on the one you really want and do something old fashioned save up. I always found it was cheaper in the long run to buy once rather than get on that constant upgrade path. It's worked for me no audio credit card bills. You now have time to plan your purchase. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A /forum/post/20861137


Looks like you made the correct decision. I've seen to many photos of equipment just jammed into a space that's to small. Ends up looking like wire world. Sometimes less is more. If your looking for a TT down the road focus on the one you really want and do something old fashioned save up. I always found it was cheaper in the long run to buy once rather than get on that constant upgrade path. It's worked for me no audio credit card bills. You now have time to plan your purchase. Good luck.

I've never bought any audio gear on credit, always been cash and continues to be. I am an avid believer in buy once, wait until item turns to dust, then replace. That said though, my issue is also space with no intent of getting rid of my furniture until it too turns to dust. I think if I got a low profile turntable and used it in accordance with my idea above, it would work even though it may be a bit of a hassle. However, I also believe (and this is strictly a personal believe, no reflection on the world at large) that spending $1000 or better on a turntable is foolishness at best. Even $700 is hard to justify. I don't see myself finding a turntable any time soon. I may find a decent used turntable long before anyone comes out with a decent new turntable. That said, I believe I have at least a year before I find anything.

In the mean time, I continue to play the vinyl on the gear it was made for = vintage. Just hearing the vinyl through my new speakers can wait. Besides upon further evaluation, I think the electronics in my modern system may be horrible for vinyl and if so I could put this idea to rest for the future as well.

I've already decided not to get an amp even though my speakers would appreciate it and now it looks like the turntable idea is going away fast. The center channel idea was killed off months ago and has no plans of future revival. However, there is one plan that is happening, getting some headphones and I already have them picked out. So with that, I think I'll be set for a while at least.
 

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Let me suggest a radical—and radically cheap—interim step. Buy a Technics SL-BD22 turntable on eBay (they show up semi-regularly). Great motor, semi-automatic, very compact, and all the controls in front (even cuing), so easy to operate on your shelf. Replace the belt, and buy the best p-mount cartridge you can find. (AT, Grado, and Ortofon all still make them.)


This will not be the be-all-and-end-all of vinyl rigs, but it will be seriously better than you have a right to expect for well under $200 total investment—probably on a par with that Rega, since each table has its weaknesses. And you'll at least get to hear what vinyl sounds like on your main system.
 
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