Turntable advice

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Falcor, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    George Merrill is also an incredibly polite, classy guy to work with. A wealth of analog knowledge there. His Polytables seem really no-nonsense with lots of great design ideas. I don't love them aesthetically, but I think they make a lot of sense.
     
  2. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022
  3. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Looks like he's saying he could get extremely close to the performance of the Polytable with a Sol in most but not all areas. Sol was undoubtedly cheaper but you're going to be investing more time in proper setup, especially with the issues they had. I'm not saying that the Polytable is the best value turntable out there. I am saying it is worth considering for the price range. I did hear in, but not in my own system, and I liked it a lot. I couldn't say it's necessarily better or worse than a well set up VPI Classic, but they have different design philosophies so like many things in the turntable world it comes down to what fits your budget and preferences.

    I tend to prefer well implemented direct drives in general but a good portion of higher end turntables are belt driven.
     
  4. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    Yeah, to say I was extremely reluctant of the Rega philosophy would be an understatement. I approached with a lot of trepidation. Luckily I had at least heard the P8 with a Hana cart on it a few times at a local shop (granted it was on a very expensive/fancy setup with components I am mostly not familiar with). All I know is when I got it I was sold. Best source I have ever heard. I have mine paired with a Zu 103r, and overall just supremely natural/engaging with stellar technical, quiet performance. A lot of Rega haters seem to suggest low mass design can't do bass reproduction adequately, and I have had zero issue in this regard.

    All that to be said, I would not mess with the Rega decks below the P6. Better options down in that price range.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022
  5. Wobbletits

    Wobbletits Acquaintance

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    My issue with regas is how they tie the cart/turntable g to one of the signal grounds... I just like transimpedance phono stages though. Otherwise I think they're fine (past the entry level stuff). I just feel like that is bad practice and assumes too much about the rest of the system. Modding the tonearm to split out the g wire isn't too crazy but I'm pretty sure it would void your warranty... not that I've never had to use such a thing on a tonearm.
     
  6. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    I confess I've not heard the Polytable, which is why I hedged my suggestion with "seem" and "I think," etc. If you like what Michael Fremer says about TTs (I'm agnostic on him), he reviewed the Polytable favorably. In particular, the speed stability seems quite good for a belt drive. To my mind, $1500 is fairly competitive for a TT to which you can mount your own arm (including 12" arms). I can't off the top of my head think of any cheaper options that have that flexibility. But then I like to be able to choose which arm I mount, so that's an important feature for me. People also speak favorably about the Kuzma Stabi S, link below, which is approx $3k, but that's also not including an arm.

    PolyTable Standard - blank tonearm mounting platform $1495.00

    Digital Motor Drive Allows 60-50Hz 120-220VAC operation $790.00

    PolyTable Super adds DMD and Fluid Damped Motor $2495.00

    https://soundapproach.com/kuzma-stabi-s12-manual-turntable.html
     
  7. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Your trepidation was justified. With talk of sagging plinths on the P6 and weird materials like foam involved, they certainly aren't the standard turntable design. That said, an incredibly popular brand all over the world with excellent customer support. I think the "lack of bass" myth was quashed when Michael Fremer reviewed the RP8 and commented on how strong the bass was. I guess the only downer is the lack of VTA which rules out tall carts like Grado etc. Plenty of other carts that match well though including your Zu.
     
  8. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I've owned the PolyTable with the Jelco 750D arm and also a Scout Master (the classic hadn't yet been released) and they were very different tables. It lacked the drive that the VPI had and was more midrange focused but made up for it in finesse. The Jelco arm is a great value too, I ran one for years on the SL-1200 with $3500 worth of mods that I currently use.

    I was really familiar with VPI at the time, the VPI dealer down the street (in San Diego) also sold used and new records so I was in there weekly. They were constantly spinning records in the front room on either the TNT or the Aries. My main issue with the Scout Master was even though it looked like a scaled back Aries, it didn't really sound like one at all and lacked a lot of detail.
     
  9. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I bought a NAD/Boston Acoustics system off FB marketplace cheap to rehab and keep the parts I wanted for my office system. It came with a Thorens TD-166mk2 as part of it with a box of 50 or so records. Only a few I'll keep. The Thorens is in excellent shape and has a Grado GF3 cartridge thats also in decent shape although its pretty old. Probably from early 80's given the age of the TT, and the NAD components. Judging from the condition of the records I dont think it ever got much use. I bought a Mani 2 and put the TT on the main system. I also replaced the belt on the TT.

    It sounds OK but not spectacular so I'm wondering if the Grado just isnt my thing. It seems to lack a bit of detail. Back in the early 90's I owned a Rotel TT that looked like a Rega Planar 1. I had an Ortofon High Output MC on that and it sounded great.

    So my question is....Should I replace the cartridge and if so then with what? Budget would be $200 or less preferably. Or is the Thorens just not going to cut it even with a better cartridge? I hadn't planned on getting back into vinyl but it's nice having something around if I stumble on some decent records for cheap. (Pretty hard to do these days). And then theres all the analog gadgets, cleaning systems that are hard to avoid buying if I'm going to do vinyl properly, so thats another rabbit hole. I could always sell the Thorens and Mani if I had to and still come out pretty good. What would you guys do?
     
  10. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    If the table is in good shape you should be able to find some decent carts in the $200 range. Without checking the specs on the arm, if you want more detail an AT-VM95ML would be in the right price range.

    For cleaning records, either get a Spin-Clean or a Squeaky Clean and a standalone wet vac to clean without spending too much.

    I think the biggest hurdle will be finding affordably priced vinyl these days. New records are priced high and vintage vinyl is going up in price lately.
     
  11. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    Is the suspension on the Thorens adjusted properly? If not it will result in smearing and poor dynamics.

    For a cartridge I would look for a period correct match like Ortofon VMS series (FF15, VMS20E) or Signet TK7E. Nude elliptical diamonds and much better sound than modern cartridges.
     
  12. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I'll have to look at the suspension more closely for ways to adjust. I didnt notice anything when I had the platter off. My buddy who used to have a higher end Thorens said his suspension was a royal PITA to adjust but thought mine might be a different design.

    edit: Ah I see 4 plastic caps on the top that cover philips screws. How do I know if the suspension is set wrong?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  13. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    The spring loaded sub-chassis should be floating just below the top plate and not touching it and the sub-platter should be floating above the top plate and not touching it. The belt should sit at the bottom of the subplatter. Both should be straight and parallel.

    If it's working and doing all that, don't touch it. It's a royal pain to adjust.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  14. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    None of the adjustments seem off. I think I just need a little better cartridge.

    The Grado needles are replaceable. If a modern Grado replacement will fit the GF3 body, would that be a good move, or is the Grado house sound on the overly warm and kinda tubby spectrum. - what I'm hearing now...If so maybe Grado is a bad fit for me.
     
  15. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    I've had "warm and tubby" fixed by replacing capacitors on speaker crossovers. Maybe the same could be said for capacitors in a turntable?
     
  16. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I saw that WAM engineering contacted The Vinyl Attack about 3 months ago and reported that their lab results revealed the deposits the Onzow type cleaners are leaving behind is a paraffin oil. It also seems that the amount of oil, if any, deposited on the stylus will depend on unit variance of the Onzow type cleaners.
     
  17. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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    I recently bought a VPI Classic 3 with an Analog Drive System from @neo_the_one. Neotheone stated that the turntable was in perfect working condition, but when I got the turntable setup it seemed like the platter speed was oscillating. I have been able to fix most of the issues, but there is where I am right now and am looking for advice. My turntable seems to be spinning too fast:


    33.6 RPM - VPI 3 direct from wall
    33.9 RPM - VPI 3 from ADS at factory calibrated
    33.3 - VPI with ADS calibrated
    33.3 RPM - Incumbent Marantz TT using iOS app


    45.8 RPM - VPI direct from wall
    45.9 RPM - VPI 3 from ADS at factory calibrated
    45.0 - VPI with ADS calibrated
    45.06 RPM - Marantz TT-15S1 from same iOS app

    Here’s where I am now, with the ADS turned down a bit on the dials. I think the old belt might be slipping a tad, but this finally sounds better than my Marantz:

    IMG_6615.jpg

    This is where I started:

    IMG_6616.jpg

    I could see the the issues with my naked eye standing over the turntable. I thought it was belts. It wasn’t. The turntable was missing parts. Yay… There are three M4 threads to secure the motor pulley to the motor shaft. There were no set screws in place in the pulley. Based on my observations, I don’t this this motor or pulley ever had set screws installed in it. Unless VPI sends plastic set screws for the motor pulley, I highly doubt @neo_the_one ever had screws installed in the pulley or ever had it spinning at the correct speed. There were no signs of imprints on the shaft and no signs that metal threads had ever interacted with the pulley. Maybe the pulley was replaced at some point and not installed correctly. Not surprisingly, I had three black oxide M4x5 set screws on hand. I used all three just out of paranoia on motor balancing. Speed variation almost solved. I think I can get this a little better with a new belt.

    For context, my power chain is:
    Wall —> Vertiv PSI5 UPS —> Tripp-Lite ISOBAR PDU —> VPI ADS —> VPI Classic 3
    voltage : 119-120 VAC, freq: 60.0 hz stable

    Next steps so far:
    • Buy a new belt
    • Follow recommendations of this forum
    This is some BS. A TT of this caliber should turn a lot closer to 33.3 rpm out of the box than my Marantz that’s 1/5 the price. There are also other aesthetic defects on this turntable that @neo_the_one the assured me were camera artifacts when I inquired about them in PMs, but they are real... it looks like someone has repeatedly dropped the periphery ring on the plinth and there are bubbles on the plinth finish from that, plus other defects. This turntable is worth about $500 less than I paid for it, IMO.

    Pupperoni disapproving of oscillating speed:

    IMG_6573.jpg
     
  18. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Super dodgy that you had to go through that @Vansen. We better see some response from @neo_the_one including an offer to figure out how to make you whole here.
     
  19. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Definitely some dodgy stuff going on. Other than the physical imperfections I'm wondering if the lack of motor pulley screws could be attributed to inexperience on the part of @neo_the_one.

    This is why it's so nice to do business with older established Friends on here. Much better results generally speaking.
     
  20. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    I’ve had to readjust the ADS when moving my Classic from place-to-place to get it back to perfect 33.3/45rpm, but I can’t remember it being that far out of wack in my case. Did you lube the bearing when you got it? Could be worth doing if you suspect a lack of maintenance and it might impact the speed stability if it’s dry.

    My pulley set screw is stainless steel, but I’ve got the HRX pulley so not sure if it differs by model.

    Good to know that Marantz is still kicking!
     

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