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Author Topic: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??  (Read 4573 times)

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Offline thunderbolt

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2015, 02:13:14 PM »
I've had a Rega Planar 2, Planar 3, Thorens TD-160, AR ES-1, SL-1200 modified with a Rega-RB301 for 78 RPM discs, VPI HW-19 Jr. and Mk. IV.  You can spend crazy money on this stuff.  As with recording equipment, a moderate-middling investment will get you audio quality that is 80% of the way "there," wherever that is.

You don't mention your playback system, so it's hard to know what would be "synchronystic" with your system.  As you move up the TT/cartridge food chain, you find that the better the table/playback system, the more it reflects what is being put into it (arm/cartridge) rather than what the rest of the system is putting into it (coloring the sound).  Audiogon is a great place for deals.  Most, including myself, will advise you in this first outing to buy a belt-drive table with a decent tonearm.  These are simple machines that will last a lifetime.  The minute you start to include auto-return and mechanical elements, you introduce the potential for more to go wrong, and more to introduce mechanical/electrical noise into the system, etc.  I loved my Thorens TD-160, but it is a suspended TT (springs) and takes more fiddling to get it to sound its best.  If you've never installed a cartridge, and don't know anything about turntables, start with a plug-and-play like the Rega.  Seriously.

In general, I was pleased with all of these tables.  They all sound different.  Buying a Rega Planar 2 is great advice.  They were found to run something like 1% fast.  I really wouldn't sweat it.  I never had motor sound issues, but then, I do have a much higher-resolution system than when I owned the Regas.  Throw a nice Audio Technica or Denon cartridge on it and I suspect you'll be very happy.  If you're not, you can sell it easily and recoup your money.

Unlike LMA, there is no way to audition this stuff unless you have a local audio shop that will let you.  Decide what's important in vinyl playback (analytical vs. plush etc. etc. etc.) and start reading some online reviews.

The UTurn table looks pretty damn cute.  I trust much (but not all) of what Mikey Fremer has to say (remember, he has $125K invested in his TT alone).  A used Rega would serve you well.  They are damn good tables for the money.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 02:15:45 PM by boltman »

Offline robeti

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 06:05:55 AM »
Again, my advice would be a vintage Thorens TD-160.

If you have more $$ to spend, a TD125 MK II would be a great choice too!

If you don't mind paying top $$ go for a TD124 MK II.

These vintage Thorens players are build like a tank, you can tweak them a lot and they look and sound beautiful.

mics: schoeps mk41 (matched) | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | nakamichi cm-50 | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-853 4.7k mod (shotguns/h/c/sc/) | ca-11 c/o
power: ca-ubb | ca-9200 | nbob actives > baby nbox 
recorder: roland r-05 
video: panasonic zs100 | panasonic hdc-sd600 | sony hx9v | sony hx50v

Offline raymonda

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 09:59:59 AM »
Agreed with the Thorens. However their arms are just OK and really require a different arm in order to get the best out of them. Also, the plinth on the 160 series adds a tremendous amount of coloration to the sound and again, to bring it up to and beyond a R3, it would need to be replaced. This would bring the cost of a finished table north of $1000.00. But after the mods it would be a kick ass table that no table could touch near its price range.

That being said, buying a 160 with the idea of gradual upgrades is a very smart move but one must be comfortable with getting their hands dirty. Sure you could spin it the way it is but it is a project table. Also, it would need a good going over before playing because the spindle and motor would need to be re-lubed and brought up to spec.

I just sold my highly modified 166, which was a killer table, for $1350. So again, these are cheap.

I found that a Denon DL 110 works really well with these tables unmodded. Modified, you can run about any cartridge, within reason, on them and it will sound great.

The 125's are going anywhere from $750 to that may be beyond the OP intended budget.


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