How much $ is required for a good turntable?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Prydz, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    Technics SP10 broadcast decks are legendary for a reason.

    Good luck finding one for a reasonable price, though. However when the integrated platter and motor unit are put into a new, inert high mass plinth... the end result is pretty much comparable to or better than some five digit tables on the market today.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    The converter they link is $179 which is the same price as their entry level table. Total cost then ends up being around $400 with shipping charges, at which point it's better to go for a Pro-ject debut carbon.

    That being said, the AC motor is 24VAC and ~3W. A clever person can buy a class D mono amp board from Sure audio and run a 60Hz signal through it for under $50. Hmmmmm, interesting DIY project.
     
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  3. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    I actually prefer my friend's Orbit rig to any table I've heard under $800, including several Pro-Jects. Of course we're talking different downstream, different carts, etc. But my point is the U-Turn hits waaay above its weight IMO.

    For $400 all inclusive I still think it's the way to go, but that's just me. :p
    Plus I'm sure you can find cheaper converters out there.

    But like I said: go with what YOU'RE comfortable with, and that includes a local sale versus overseas. Having to ship a turntable back to the states if it's defective or something is definitely more of a PITA, I'll give you that.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  5. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    And I got a Rega. :(
     
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  6. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    The Orbits aren't perfect by any means, and that's the unfortunate reality of any turntable at these price points. The Pro-Ject Debut in turn is known to have issues with internal vibration and cartridge hum. I've heard it myself while auditioning them.

    It's all about trade-offs.

    Definitely wouldn't go for that Audio-Technica, though. It's a USB turntable with an internal pre-amp, and experience tells me that means stay away.

    In the end, if someone can audition the Debut Carbon locally and likes what they hear, I say go for it. My mantra is "do what feels right." Living in the US and Canada, one does get to take advantage of U-Turn's return policy without the extra shipping costs, so it's a much easier recommendation that way.
     
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  7. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    Uturn owner here and I'm very happy with it. It's good enough for me to say that it keeps up well with my Modi Multibit (more or less).

    What is your friend's rig? I'm currently using an Ortofon OM5e for the cart and a [soon to be modded] TC-750 phono. I'd like to maximize this table, but don't want to overspend the money that could be put into a higher end table.

    Though, I am taking marv's advice and going to make a giant leap to a VPI classic one day (or some alternative table since they're being discontinued). But that's going to be years down the road.
     
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  8. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    My first three turntables were Regas: the P2, the P7, and the P9.

    I actually admire Rega for sticking to their design philosophy, which is definitely taking its own path compared to a lot of manufacturers. The "less is more" approach.

    Regas don't sound bad. In fact with the right equipment matching they can sound quite good. Again, it's all about implementation and trade offs: with Rega you tend to get nimble mids and highs at the expense of bass articulation and euphonics.

    The important thing is to enjoy collecting and playing records IMHO.
     
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  9. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    @insidious meme it's okay buddy, all you need to an EAR V12 and a pair of Nagas :p. Seriously though, I thought your table sounded very good.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    This is what I don't like about the lower end Pro-Jects: the motor is suspended via bands to the plinth; and there is a wider band that drives the subplatter from the motor. The implementation hasn't changed much in over ten years, other than Pro-ject going to a DC motor, probably to reduce hum and noise. The wide band transmits a ton of motor noise (it's a cheap motor) to the subplatter, which is then transmitted to the platter, and then to the stylus. It's a pretty noisy table and I would hesitate to run a MC cart on them. So basically, the motor "isolation" is non-existent. You are no worse off with a decent design that tightly couples the motor to the plinth and everything else.

    Secondly, because the bands suspending the motor to the plinth allow some slip and variances in distance between the motor and subplatter, you are not going to get good "speed control" - resulting in a greyish background, blurred transients, poor sense of space, lack of authority and slam, etc. The platter drive implementation of the lower end Pro-Jects is basically the worst of both worlds, probably necessitated by their cheap-ass noisy motors. It's possible to fix these issues, but you end up making the Pro-ject table into a science experiment. Not everybody wants to do this. A UK company used to sell a kit to fix these issues, but it wasn't even a fair deal for what you got. The good thing about Pro-Ject is that parts are plentiful and support should be good in the EU.

    I got decent service out of my old Pro-Ject, but I would not recommend them at the current prices I am seeing. I didn't realize how much they are going for now.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  11. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    I'll have to get back to you next time I visit: he's got three different vinyl rigs, and I usually spend the most time with his Well Tempered Amadeus just because I love messing with that tonearm.

    My understanding is that the VPI Classic will still be around for a while but as a special order item. Though with the instability in VPI's lineup, who knows what'll be around years from now. Heck, they might even bring it back if enough customers realize the the newer stuff isn't as good. I'm not hopeful though... just look at Grado. :(
     
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  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Is there a turntable that's like the t50rp? In other words something that's cheap with some problems but can be modded into awesomeness?
     
  13. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    To read maybe yeah. considering the almost infinite amount of options these days (arms, cartridges, drive types), I'd say it's a minimum amount of work do before buying unless you just have heaps of cash to throw around. I also mentioned that getting these shipped and setup just to "try" to find the best is probably not viable for most folks as well.
    I'll boil it down -
    1. Check out used prices on various sites to see which ones sell consistently well, for how much, and discern if it is quality or rarity being the main factor (sometimes it's both). Ebay's completed search used to stretch back much further than it does today though...
    2. Find out what other models are in the line that aren't the "Flagship"; chances are it will be much less $ but very good quality none the less.
    3. Look up what people are writing about the models you are interested in such as: what type of music they listen to, other components in the chain (synergy and $), ease of use and setup, etc.
    4. Learn the lingo Linda! There's no way to ask useful questions if you can't understand the context of the answers.
    5. Go try to actually get experience with them if possible - friends, meets, stores, vids (just for a rough idea of soundusage), etc.
    6. People who actually end up on forums usually have a wealth of experience they'll gladly share if you know how to ask.

    Just asking What is best? will get you personal suggestions, a starting point ok, but you won't feel any conviction unless you do the legwork a bit yourself. See other responses in this thread, good stuff but how much do the reasons permeate for the OP if they are brand new? Don't want to experience - "If only I had known or read about that earlier"....aka buyer's remorse. Good lessons though...
    I thinks this can apply to almost any hobby these days, but is much easier now with the advent of the internet.
    Otherwise it's like throwing darts entropically.
     
  14. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    Lol, I'm sure but just off the top of my head here are 2.
    TT- Technics 1200/1210 (a direct drive player) - can have numerous upgrades - many posts about this around the net on doing so. May not be the cheapest off the bat, but a great starting point. Don't be afraid to spend a little bit of money, as the returns on modding for sub 1K tables can be huge.
    Tonearm - Rega RB250 - the vinly world's Pinocchio? many people seem to think not - check 'em out!
    You can do a lot better modding something, than just buying off the shelf models for the same price IMHO.
    If you are willing to get your hands a little dirty - rewiring, quality plinths, and specific mods for a model, upgrades can always take it up a notch (or more o_O ).
     
  15. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    The more I read into turntables, the more I realize that there's a lot of work and craftsmanship that goes into it, much like watches...

    Man I wish I wasn't a broke student haha.
     
  16. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    If you want a DD table the Pioneer PLX-1000 is actually really good. I played a gig on a pair last night (M44-7 carts) and was impressed at how good the sound was all things considered. Seemed really well built as well. Probably not 1200 indestructible but it was very solid;much better built than the other Hanpin OEM stuff.

    The 1200 style tables are also very good for learning.
     
  17. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    For those that want to bring AC powered turntables overseas, I have a few solutions. The best one is probably this travel frequency converter I found on amazon. $40

    https://www.amazon.com/LiteFuze-Travel-Voltage-Frequency-Converter/dp/B01K7UZ0VG/

    Believe me when I say that there is literally nothing else like this for under $100. This is probably brand new because I've been trying to find exactly something like this when I moved to France. It states 200W which is far more then the typical 3W-10W a turntable needs.

    A more complicated solution for the DIY inclined would be to get a sine wave generator, class D amp board and step up transformer. Total price should be under $80. The good thing about this solution is that you can dial in the exact frequency you need. Even better is that you can vary the speed of the motor so you change the RPM without having to slip off the elastic from the pulley. Other companies offer these sorts of variable RPM controls for $400 so it's something to consider if you are willing to DIY.

    Another DIY solution is more mechanical. The 300 RPM motor that AC turntables use will still function in 50Hz countries, it just means that the motor will go 250 RPM instead. A new pulley can be made to take this shift in rotational speed into account. A lot of turntable companies already do this and this is what Uturn Audio should be doing to sell internationally. You could 3D print one for not that much money. Yeah I know, you probably shouldn't be messing with the table. That being said, people change cartridges all the time. Which is far more complicated then removing the pulley and replacing it with another, at least on a Uturn table.
     
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  18. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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  19. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    If you want to try to get there for under $1k, it will have to be used. I see tables from Japanese companies that were once statement tables in the 70s and 80s go for under $1k on Ebay all the time. I would imagine most of these would sound pretty great.

    The cheapest new table I've heard that has basically no issues in the GEM Dandy PolyTable but that still costs almost $2k. I would also recommend JA Michell, Nottingham Analogue, SOTA and others in the $3k-$4k range.
     
  20. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Facebook Friend

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    From the original poster, "As a guy who's always wanted turntables, but always been talked away from it from dudes who say "a 1k turntable wont sound any better then a cheap DAC", how much money is required to get a good turntable setup?"

    In my experience a 1k dec won't sound any better than a cheap turntable. Or more accurately, a 1k dec won't provide any more enjoyment than a cheap turntable. I've upgraded a couple of times but my debut carbon pretty much stopped my digital enthusiasm cold years ago. I still think about upgrading my dec to something like a
    ygy, Gungnir Multibit or the latest FOTM halo spring but honestly it's more about convenience than anything else.

    One thing I have learned is that if you are keeping with a lower budget system synergy between cart, phono pre and speakers are really important. If I could do it all over again, and assuming this is a long term hobby, I would pour all my money into a table as a base and buy the cheapest cart/phono stage i could find with the knowledge that one day upgrading these two things will blow my mind.
     

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