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Author Topic: Getting into my first decent TT advice  (Read 1775 times)

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Online goodcooker

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Getting into my first decent TT advice
« on: December 02, 2018, 12:35:03 PM »

So my GF is a vinyl junkie of sorts - I lost my collection in the divorce many moons ago and since I move often for work I never really got into collecting again - but is not real savvy when it  comes to gear. Her TT at her house is one of those vintage looking cabinets with a built in speaker and the rig at my house is a Sony TT and receiver she brought over along with a crate of vinyl for us to spin.

I'm looking at a vintage "83 AR ES1 that I think I can get for pretty cheap that includes the tonearm board, Sumiko tonearm and some sort of headshell and a stylus. It's been stored with the belt off of it for a bunch of years and the cherry wood plinth seems to be in very good shape. If I can get for a steal I'm going for it but I'm a little concerned about the rabbit hole that can be getting a vintage TT performing well and up to par.

I'm not interested in doing a shitload of mods to it I just want a decent table to build a living room playback system around.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for places to gather info, replacement parts, etc, that won't break the bank. I'm not interested in spending a shitload of money on this project.

Also weird thing - the platter that is included with the table looks to be the size of a 45 - in most pictures of this table that I can find the platter is the same size as a regular 33 record. WTF?
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Offline phanophish

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 09:20:09 PM »
Roger.

This page seems to show the smaller platter.  Looks like maybe it is the base for the full size.  Don't know that much about those turntables but it sure is purdy.  I'd worry it might be tough to find the real platter that goes with it.

https://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale/vintage-ar-es-1-turntable-w-rega-rb-301-extras

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Offline raymonda

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 09:49:59 PM »
Sounds like the picture you are looking at is one of the table sans the outer platter, so you are looking at just the sub platter. If that is the case make sure the seller has the outer platter, too. If you can see the belt then you are loooking at the sub platter. The table you are considering is a good table based on 3 point suspension, which is tried and true method of mechanical vibration control. If all is good, a quick tune up should be all you need to spin some great sound.

Here is a shameless plug but it might be more than you want to spend. Go see my ad in Yard Sale for Thorens TD 850. It comes complete with a killer cartridge. It does cost more but it actually might be just slightly more after you factor in the cartridge.

If you go with the AR, you have lots of upgrades you can do over time that will push the performance upward. There is lots of information on the internet, or PM, and I can help you along your journey.

Offline bhtoque

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 11:18:18 PM »
Buy a new belt and watch the tune-up videos @ www.vinylnirvana.com

If the outer platter is missing, should be ebay-able if Dave @ VN doesn't have a spare to sell you.

Also read the AR forum @ www.vinylengine.com

More info than you'll ever need, also if you really can't find a platter, reach out to Marc Morin or Steve Frosten on VE forum, they may have too

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 12:34:20 AM »
Talk to Raymonda...  And then trade your Schoeps for that sweet 'tang...

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2018, 01:57:49 PM »

So this TT was in the giant online auction that I posted about in 3rd party sales. There was hundreds of McIntosh amps, Thorens, Empire and other TTs and the AR I was interested in. The AR ended up selling for $225 hammer price which is a total steal. Then I considered the other costs - shipping from a third party shipper, tax at 8%, buyer premium of 15%, the auction couldn't verify that the table had the other platter, the possibility of repair since I couldn't see it in person and they weren't willing to test other than powers up....

So I decided to let this one go and maybe buy something ready to spin. Found a beautiful Garrard in Asheville NC while I was there for Xmas Jam that was also a steal at $500 but I just couldn't pull the trigger.

My serious playback system is at my mix desk in my music room/office. For other playback we use the soundbar with sub and the tablet via BT. For spinning vinyl we use the GFs Sony TT and a Sony receiver into some old Polk 2 way bookshelf speakers and really that is decent enough for how often we use it.

I got a bit of a year end incentive and I think I'm going to use some of it to get something like a ProJect or lower end Music Hall table and maybe something like a used NAD or Adcom integrated to up our game on the vinyl front. I don't have the room or the need for a really high end table and the rig to get out of it what it deserves.
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2018, 07:08:43 PM »
IMO, the only Garrards worth owning is a 301 or 401. The rest a just a step up from toys. Hopefully, that is what you were able to score. If so, it will need a total rebuild if it hasn't been done. My guess is if it is one of them, it hasn't. Or else you would be paying $1500 to 2500, which is not much of a deal.

If it is the Zero, they have a lot of plastic and a history of problems.

Hopefully it works out well.

If you want to get something decent and cheap, get a Rega Planar 3. Sometimes you can score one for 300 to 400. The arm is worth at least that much and can be used on other tables moving forward.

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 07:34:07 PM »
IMO, the only Garrards worth owning is a 301 or 401. The rest a just a step up from toys. Hopefully, that is what you were able to score. If so, it will need a total rebuild if it hasn't been done. My guess is if it is one of them, it hasn't. Or else you would be paying $1500 to 2500, which is not much of a deal.

If it is the Zero, they have a lot of plastic and a history of problems.

Hopefully it works out well.

If you want to get something decent and cheap, get a Rega Planar 3. Sometimes you can score one for 300 to 400. The arm is worth at least that much and can be used on other tables moving forward.

It was a 301 built into a custom base that had sat unused for 30 years. It was unbelievably mint for it's age and had been somewhat refurbed by the shop. Didn't buy it.

I'll keep an eye out for a deal on a Rega and consider one if I can get it complete and ready to spin.
Schoeps MK41 > nBob > PFA || MBHO KA300 > PFA || Sennheiser me40-k2u
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"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

Offline raymonda

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 08:11:53 PM »
You need to pick up the 301. If it runs it is worth 2 to 3 times that much. Buy it, flip it and put it towards the table you want.

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2018, 03:42:37 PM »
IMO, the only Garrards worth owning is a 301 or 401. The rest a just a step up from toys. Hopefully, that is what you were able to score. If so, it will need a total rebuild if it hasn't been done. My guess is if it is one of them, it hasn't. Or else you would be paying $1500 to 2500, which is not much of a deal.

If it is the Zero, they have a lot of plastic and a history of problems.

Hopefully it works out well.

If you want to get something decent and cheap, get a Rega Planar 3. Sometimes you can score one for 300 to 400. The arm is worth at least that much and can be used on other tables moving forward.

It was a 301 built into a custom base that had sat unused for 30 years. It was unbelievably mint for it's age and had been somewhat refurbed by the shop. Didn't buy it.

I'll keep an eye out for a deal on a Rega and consider one if I can get it complete and ready to spin.

Goodcooker, where in Asheville? I'll be back up there this weekend, might go check it out.
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Online goodcooker

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2018, 01:28:02 PM »

^ It was in Hendersonville at a music store in the little downtown area (I think Main Street?) diagonally across the street from the soda shop. They sell instruments but have a pile of used stuff for sale as well off to the right hand side of the store- TTs, amps, tape decks and pro rack gear - all kinds of stuff. The two Garrard turntables were on top of the pile near the center island - one of them had a $295 price tag on it but the other one didn't - had to ask the owner who told me the story about how he got from a little old lady after her husband died - he wanted $500. He also had another turntable that had a "not for sale" sticker on it.

Verify the model number and that it's fully functional - I didn't plug it in or try it out- it looks like a 301 but you can't see the label due to the custom cabinet it's mounted in. Worth a drive by if you happen to be there anyway.
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Online goodcooker

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 10:57:26 AM »

Any thoughts on the Dual 1019? Found one close enough to drive and pick up for $100.

Idler wheel design and all that aging rubber makes me a little nervous but the auto features get lots of GF approval factor and you could swap out a Ortofon cart real easy.
Schoeps MK41 > nBob > PFA || MBHO KA300 > PFA || Sennheiser me40-k2u
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Offline todd e

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2018, 09:34:02 AM »
I'm selling this and will knock it back to $125 for a fellow ts.com'er

https://charlottesville.craigslist.org/ele/d/dual-1257-turntable-restored/6770332847.html

only trick is i dont think shipping it will be a good idea.  im in central VA.

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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2018, 03:18:46 PM »
Check Audiogon or US Audio Mart for used TT's...maybe you can snap one up for a good price. 
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Re: Getting into my first decent TT advice
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 06:41:51 PM »


Thanks everyone for chiming with recommendations and offers. I decided to go in a slightly different direction on the turntable than I originally intended and scrapped the idea of getting a vintage turntable completely - for a couple of different reasons - mostly space constraints and needing to put those funds toward my tape playback rig.

I recently acquired a Tascam DA30 and 2 Nakamichi cassette decks. These need to be mounted in a rack with a power supply so I have those funds to lay out. I sprung for a SPDIF interface for my spare laptop to make it into a transfer "station". I only have so much $ to throw at stuff so I decided to pump the brakes a little on the TT front. To add to that our record listening is very casual - to be honest the soundbar and sub that I use for other casual listening like bluetooth from the tablet and such is perfectly adequate so I can avoid the cost of another integrated amp and speakers which I don't really have room for in my 100 year old house anyway.

So I decided to go with a new deck that was basically ready to plug and play. No rabbit hole to go down - at least for now.

I ended up with an Audio Technica ATLP120 - it came complete and ready to spin. I like that it is manual but has a arm lift lever. The platter is aluminum but doesn't have any of the warp that was warned about in reviews. Once I got the arm balanced correctly (not sure I'm 100% there yet) the included AT95E cartridge sounds pretty good. Nothing to drop your jaw but it's fine for what it is. The integrated preamp is what I would consider a little mushy but we are using it with the soundbar for casual listening. It's a happy medium between performance and ease of use - which is helpful with approval factor for the GF. She listens more than I do so it has to be easy for her - not too many components, settings and fuss.

Spinning some New Orleans brass music right now and it's sounds really nice.
Schoeps MK41 > nBob > PFA || MBHO KA300 > PFA || Sennheiser me40-k2u
Aerco MP2 || Grace Lunatec V2 || RAD MS2 || nBox Platinum
Marantz PMD706 || PMD620

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

"Are you the Zman?" - fan at Panic 10-08-10 Kansas City

"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

 

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