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Which "turntable" to get?
Old 3rd February 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Which "turntable" to get?

Hi,

what type of vinyl turntable can you recommend?

Priorities:
- NO scratching, DJ Stuff
- great audio quality
- built to last
- max 800$

Thank you. :-) I´m totally lost at the moment.

Greetings Sebastian
Old 3rd February 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Avening's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Honestly, the Technics SL1200 MK is hard to beat in any way/shape/form.

Audio quality will depend on your needle and your audio system. The 1200 can be anything from great to outstanding.

Reliability is second to none. NO one in the business of making turntables has a better reputation for quality. The 1200 is built like a tank.

There might be flashier tables out there, but none better.

Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
desotoslo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
research Thorens tables. (vintage ones)

audiokarma.org is a great source for vinyl enthusiasts.
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Phil Cibley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening ➡️
Honestly, the Technics SL1200 MK is hard to beat in any way/shape/form.

For hi-fi listening, the 1200 is not that good since it will not balance with lighter
weight cartridges, and pretty much all of the better sounding cartridges are designed to track at 1 - 1.5 grams which won't work on a 1200. In your price range
(you did budget for a cartridge didn't you?) one of the Rega or Pro-Ject turntables
will be good, and a Grado cartridge should match up well with it. YMMV.
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would certainly lean toward a heavy platter and belt drive, driven by an hysteresis synchronous motor. Such a unit won't be cheap, new, because most 'cheap' turntables are direct drive.

Direct drive tables were a market-churn scam in the 70s... because the end of the 60s and early 70s had been very profitable for the Japanese hi fi makers but the relatively high quality of the product meant that boom went bust, because, unless you could provoke people to upgrade for some reason, the gear just kept on working... and it sounded so much better than the all-in-one stereos that the dregs of the American nameplates were still choking out in their dying days.

Selling a cheap, inferior technology (direct drive 'tables) as "superior" -- with no technical back up for the claim, since there was, in essence, none -- was one of the strategies that was adopted after the abject and spectacular failure of quadraphonic sound (and it worked to some small extent as people became convinced they had to give up good technology for inferior by relentless marketing).
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
kingofswing's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Go with the Technics 1200 MKII or 1210 MKII.

Been using a pair of 1200s since 1989, still working solid today and look great. I was given a brand new pair of 1210s in 2005 from a radio station, they are built exactly like my old ones, same quality, etc.

Technics = a reliable, solid and proven turntable
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
My suggestion is the ProJect Debut III - along with the optional power supply/speed box and optional RIAA preamp box. This will run you, total, a little over $500.

Excellent sound quality, durability, and fit/finish...

Best.
Byll
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
fanriffic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➡️
Direct drive tables were a market-churn scam in the 70s... because the end of the 60s and early 70s had been very profitable for the Japanese hi fi makers but the relatively high quality of the product meant that boom went bust, because, unless you could provoke people to upgrade for some reason, the gear just kept on working... and it sounded so much better than the all-in-one stereos that the dregs of the American nameplates were still choking out in their dying days.

Selling a cheap, inferior technology (direct drive 'tables) as "superior" -- with no technical back up for the claim, since there was, in essence, none -- was one of the strategies that was adopted after the abject and spectacular failure of quadraphonic sound (and it worked to some small extent as people became convinced they had to give up good technology for inferior by relentless marketing).

..maybe so in general-I wasn't aware of that particular 'spin'..(..!!)..but in the case of the 1210/00 direct drive was imperative for a turn table aimed at pro DJ's..not a cost cutting measure.

A good belt drive will generally beat a good DD in terms of sound quality...but..

..I've got a 1200 and it does me fine!
Old 3rd February 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Daedalus77's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm with Byll. We have a Debut III for transfers, running into a Radial J33 into the patchbay. Works great, looks fantastic. You get your choice of colors, too!
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➡️
I would certainly lean toward a heavy platter and belt drive, driven by an hysteresis synchronous motor. Such a unit won't be cheap, new, because most 'cheap' turntables are direct drive.
Agreed - belt drive is the best - I would never use a direct drive turntable for quality listening.

I agree with the Thorens suggestion - my own turntable is a Linn LP12, but that is way outside your price bracket.
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening ➡️
Honestly, the Technics SL1200 MK is hard to beat in any way/shape/form.

Audio quality will depend on your needle and your audio system. The 1200 can be anything from great to outstanding.

Reliability is second to none. NO one in the business of making turntables has a better reputation for quality. The 1200 is built like a tank.

There might be flashier tables out there, but none better.
heh

There are loads better. heh

If you want listening quality a good belt drive is the best.

Belt drives are not really good for DJs and live radio, but for hi-fi use nothing beats a good belt drive.
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
in a blue field's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening ➡️
The 1200 is built like a tank.

no better way to say it. i dont think there's any other piece of gear i've owned that comes close to the following statement being so true when i say that unless you take it outside and play catch with it, it will literally NEVER BREAK.

someone in another current vinyl thread mentioned the Regentone in such a way that got me thinkin'. maybe you should check those out too
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Red2112's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by desotoslo ➡️
research Thorens tables. (vintage ones)

audiokarma.org is a great source for vinyl enthusiasts.
Same here... I got a Thorens TD-280mkII, great for hi-fi. You could look for a TD-190 new at that price range. For listening at home, Thorens is the way to go.

Care, Mike
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
in a blue field's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➡️
heh
Belt drives are not really good for DJs and live radio, but for hi-fi use nothing beats a good belt drive.

well hold on a minute... i'm not disputing your claim i'd just love to hear more about this... i DJ but before that i had belt drives, and basically taught myself to beatmatch on them (which is why, if i do say so myself, i rock so hard at DJing now; it was like learning how to play baseball with bare hands on gravel with a large stick). i know nothing about sonic quality being superior, but something worth considering that is in sacrifice is this: the reason belt drives dont work for DJing is kuz the timing goes all over the place. it's not like this is something that only happens with dance records. isnt it worth considering for the sake of the listening experience that maybe you wouldnt want whatever you're listening to to be randomly pitch-warping itself all over the place by as much as +2/-2?
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
DJamesGoody's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
For more of an audiophile presentation, you could try to find an older Systemdek IIx. They're somewhat similar to the Linn LP12, but much less money.

Find one around $400 on the used market, and with a decent cartridge, you'll easily better most new designs upward of that price.
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Why is a belt drive better (for quality listening)?
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
FireMoon's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The best Technics Turntable Mod... load sof DJs in Blightly own these now...

The best dj tonearms for dj decks - technics 1200 deck
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening ➡️
Audio quality will depend on your needle and your audio system. The 1200 can be anything from great to outstanding.
+1

Some people even think they do really really expensive systems more than justice. This link is in Swedish but i think looking at the pictures is enough to get the point...
HiFiForum.nu - CES 2006; McIntosh "bigger is better"

And don't forget that the quality of the vinyls is a huge part of the sound
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
FireMoon's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
That's one hell of a weird turntable combo... especially the Denon DL304 cartridge.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregR ➡️
Why is a belt drive better (for quality listening)?
The belt acts as an isolation device between the motor and platter so it absorbs noise before it gets to the platter.

Also the belt drive motors are not prone to "cogging" as direct drive motors are.

That being said, I have a Thorens TD-316 and love it but like the others say Technics make great gear as well.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
in a blue field's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon ➡️
The best Technics Turntable Mod... load sof DJs in Blightly own these now...

The best dj tonearms for dj decks - technics 1200 deck


yo, thanks for this, you rock!! the webstore seems to be down right now but soon as it's back up i'm nabbin' all that!

conquerer
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening ➡️
Honestly, the Technics SL1200 MK is hard to beat in any way/shape/form.

Audio quality will depend on your needle and your audio system. The 1200 can be anything from great to outstanding.

Reliability is second to none. NO one in the business of making turntables has a better reputation for quality. The 1200 is built like a tank.

There might be flashier tables out there, but none better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofswing ➡️
Go with the Technics 1200 MKII or 1210 MKII.

Been using a pair of 1200s since 1989, still working solid today and look great. I was given a brand new pair of 1210s in 2005 from a radio station, they are built exactly like my old ones, same quality, etc.

Technics = a reliable, solid and proven turntable
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Cibley ➡️
For hi-fi listening, the 1200 is not that good since it will not balance with lighter
weight cartridges, and pretty much all of the better sounding cartridges are designed to track at 1 - 1.5 grams which won't work on a 1200. In your price range
(you did budget for a cartridge didn't you?) one of the Rega or Pro-Ject turntables
will be good, and a Grado cartridge should match up well with it. YMMV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➡️
I would certainly lean toward a heavy platter and belt drive, driven by an hysteresis synchronous motor. Such a unit won't be cheap, new, because most 'cheap' turntables are direct drive.

Direct drive tables were a market-churn scam in the 70s... because the end of the 60s and early 70s had been very profitable for the Japanese hi fi makers but the relatively high quality of the product meant that boom went bust, because, unless you could provoke people to upgrade for some reason, the gear just kept on working... and it sounded so much better than the all-in-one stereos that the dregs of the American nameplates were still choking out in their dying days.

Selling a cheap, inferior technology (direct drive 'tables) as "superior" -- with no technical back up for the claim, since there was, in essence, none -- was one of the strategies that was adopted after the abject and spectacular failure of quadraphonic sound (and it worked to some small extent as people became convinced they had to give up good technology for inferior by relentless marketing).
Quote:
Originally Posted by desotoslo ➡️
research Thorens tables. (vintage ones)

audiokarma.org is a great source for vinyl enthusiasts.
Well you can sure tell the DJs from the audiophiles around here.

The Technics SL1200 is a DJ TURNTABLE -Built like a tank, direct drive for instant startup - just what a DJ needs.

It doesn't sound that great, as direct drive tables have higher rumble than good belt drive units.

It won't take really high quality cartridges, as it does not track well at low stylus pressures and the anyiskating leaves a bit to be desired.

BELT DRIVE platters have inherently lower rumble and often superior wow and flutter, providing they're well maintained (which isn't hard - just replace the belt from time to time and make sure the bearings are properly lubed.)

+1 on the Thorens - if you can find a nice TD-124 with a Shure SME tone arm you're set. The 124 didn't come with a stock arm - it had a mounting panel where you installed your own. You could even interchange arms when you wanted.

A couple other good (but more expensive) names - Vestigal, Linn-Sondek

The Vestigal Tonearm and Skeleton Turntable

Linn - Music Systems - Sondek LP12

Might be a bit out of your price range though. You should be able to get a Thorens at a reasonable price.

Vintage Thorens td124 Turntable - eBay (item 180463124937 end time Feb-05-10 18:08:54 PST)

Thorens TD- 124 Hi-Fi Turntable Mcintosh Marantz Krell - eBay (item 150411165833 end time Feb-10-10 16:00:01 PST)

The TD-160's pretty good too, as are the newer models.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Thorens-TD-160-Vintage-Turntable_W0QQitemZ270525183900QQcmdZViewItemQQptZVintage_Electronics_R2?hash=item3efc8eb79c


Thorens turntable, Electronics. Great deals on eBay!
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Well you can sure tell the DJs from the audiophiles around here.

I agree with everything you have said John!!
Bravo!!

One major point with analog audio and turntables in particular is that even average folk *can* and do hear a difference between brands.

The most important thing is that the cartridge you use matches the mass and characteristics of the tonearm it is mounted in.

A top tier cartridge will sound awful mounted in an arm that isn't designed for that type of cartridge even if the turntable or arm is also a top tier model.

One last thing is that modern pressings of re-released albums sound a million times better than the old dried out original you have in the closet.

Chances are the lubricants, stabilizers and other "stuff" in you old collection has long dried out which leads to surface noise.

I know, you think I'm nuts but consider this.

I stumbled into an all vinyl shop one day and they had some music playing on a run of the mill Rega TT with an Ortofon cartridge. It was playing through a Marantz 22xx receiver and it sounded incredible.

I asked the owner where the CD player was hidden because I hear no ticks, pops, etc.

He laughed and asked me to lift the tonearm up which I did and of course the music stopped.

Point is GOOD VINYL can sound incredible.
Poor vinyl will sound like crap.

This is much unlike CD or mp3 where everything (to the consumer) sounds "great".
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't have any problems with the performance of Technics decks - in fact I think they sound much better than a lot of budget hifi decks I've used.

I'm a Rega fan nonetheless, and listen to an original Rega Planar 3 (the P3 being it's replacement). Fantastic sounding deck, although it does play everything a little too fast, which annoys me a little (I notice when a recording is at the wrong pitch or out of tune).
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK ➡️
I don't have any problems with the performance of Technics decks - in fact I think they sound much better than a lot of budget hifi decks I've used.

I'm a Rega fan nonetheless, and listen to an original Rega Planar 3 (the P3 being it's replacement). Fantastic sounding deck, although it does play everything a little too fast, which annoys me a little (I notice when a recording is at the wrong pitch or out of tune).
Technics decks (at least the pro ones) are fine dj/professional decks. Sonically they're not horrible at all - they're good. However, good is not GREAT - most great turntables could not withstand the kind of use that professional decks are designed to take in stride. Also, belt drive decks don't start up fast enough for professional use - back in the '60s DJs had to give the platter a little push to get it up to speed.

On a belt drive you generally drop the needle AFTER letting the platter spin up so that's not a problem in home/audiophile use.

If you spin a disk backwards with a really high quality cartridge you will ruin the needle. Professional quality cartridges are designed to withstand this "back cuing" - at the expense of detail and sensitivity.

Most cartridges are "moving magnet" designs. These have a relatively large amount of moving mass compared to top of the line moving coil designs, which are (a) far more delicate, (b) far more sensitive (c) far more expensive, and (d) far lower output, requiring an additional head amp to bring the output up to the level of most cartridges. Think a ribbon mic compared to a conventional dynamic and you get the idea, except in this case the dynamic has the magnet attached to the diaphragm and the coil is stationary. MUCH higher moving mass = less detail, worse transient performance, worse frequency response.

It's not that DJ turntables are bad - but there are about 2 whole quantum levels of improvement that are possible with really top quality vinyl playback.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I don't think you should dismiss the 1200 just because it’s direct driven or popular among DJs (I'm not a DJ but I'm no audiophile either). If you do a search you find a lot of appreciation for the 1200s (modified and unmodified) sound qualitys among audiophiles as well. Here's one example:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/technics_sl1200_2_e.html

But there is a lot more flavors among turntables (and pickups) than among CD-players so if you have the chance listen and compare yourself.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you buy new there is absolutely nothing out there that comes even close to a SL1200 in built- and sound quality.

And while many claim that it is a DJ deck bear in mind that the 1200 was introduced way before there were any scratching DJs. In the Technics line up it was the second from top in their HiFi line-up. The only weak point is probably the arm but there are plenty arm boards available on ebay for almost any arm available today.
With a few minor mods it is on par or better than a Linn easily.

Second hand it might be worthwhile to look for old Thorens decks.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Avening's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Well you can sure tell the DJs from the audiophiles around here.

The Technics SL1200 is a DJ TURNTABLE -Built like a tank, direct drive for instant startup - just what a DJ needs.

It doesn't sound that great, as direct drive tables have higher rumble than good belt drive units.

It won't take really high quality cartridges, as it does not track well at low stylus pressures and the anyiskating leaves a bit to be desired.

BELT DRIVE platters have inherently lower rumble and often superior wow and flutter, providing they're well maintained (which isn't hard - just replace the belt from time to time and make sure the bearings are properly lubed.)
Hey John,

Just chatting here, so no disrespect/arguing intended or anything ....

The 1200 was never intended to be a DJ turntable, nor has the design changed since it was introduced. It ended up having the tools a DJ needed to advance the art, but that was mere coincidence. We shouldn't jump to the conclusion that the 1200 was/is a DJ only turntable and group it in with the rest of the gimmicky DJ crap that has come out over the past 10 years.

Regarding tracking weight for hi-fi needles, and rumble for a direct drive motor ... I'm going to go out on a limb (this is just personal opinion), but to me, it's negligible. The platter rumble on a 1200 is almost non existent with the provided foot-thick OEM rubber platter mat, and with the addition of a nice felt topper, it just doesn't stick out as an issue at all. And regarding tracking weight for hi-fi needles? 1-1.5g is entirely within the range of even the stock 1200 tonearm. I've owned 1200s for over 15 years, had probably over 20 different needles on it (both DJ and Hi-Fi), and have never run into any needle I couldn't balance properly to manufacturers specs. I don't know if my 1200s are an anomaly or something, but it's never been an issue. I just think that other factors such as the source vinyl, and the audio system play much more of a role than these two factors.

I'm not going to deny that there are better sounding hi-fi turntables out there, but the whole idea of a vulnerable/finicky belt drive system, and "breathe on it and break it" construction, TO ME, just completely turns me off. With reliability, build quality, mod potential, culture, and price point in mind, the 1200s, in my eyes, represent the perfect balance. They really excel in everything they do. A very good "jack of all trades" if you will. They can be rugged working tools, or a smooth as silk audiophile turntable. It's all depending how you set them up, and what you plug them in to.

That's just my reasoning, and might be others as well ... I haven't been a DJ for years and my 1200s are used for every day listening now since the availability of vinyl (pop/rock stuff) is increasing. I remember my first time listening to OK Computer on vinyl with my HD650's and I was blown away.

Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fanriffic ➡️
..maybe so in general-I wasn't aware of that particular 'spin'..(..!!)..but in the case of the 1210/00 direct drive was imperative for a turn table aimed at pro DJ's..not a cost cutting measure.

A good belt drive will generally beat a good DD in terms of sound quality...but..

..I've got a 1200 and it does me fine!
Right... if he hadn't said that DJ'ing wasn't on the table (er, so to speak), I wouldn't have gone there.

______________



To those who don't get the distinction between DJ/scratch performance tables and high quality listening 'tables... I dunno... what don't you get? John and others explained the issues pretty plainly. I'd give top props to the beloved DJ tables -- as DJ tables. Just like I think you'd have to be crazy to haul a table oriented to top quality playback to a club.

I mean, the job descriptions are so very different. Why would anyone think the same 'table could do an adequate job at both?
Old 5th February 2010
  #30
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11&2 ➡️
Hi,

what type of vinyl turntable can you recommend?

Priorities:
- NO scratching, DJ Stuff
- great audio quality
- built to last
- max 800$

Thank you. :-) I´m totally lost at the moment.

Greetings Sebastian
Within that price range. A Rega P2 turntable and an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.
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