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Old 10th March 2009, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Need suggestions for my next TT - totally lost in the sea of TT models

Hello analog community,

after a year of abscence from the DIY community i am back in business and have finally finished my VSPS, channel seperated, matched high quality parts, low noise PS, it sounds great... its in the "damn i have to build a case for this thing phase" and my next project, a gainclone with regulated PS is in the "part sourcing" phase.
Vinyl will be the main source of my system, i got a tweaked cdp but somhow, i dont know why.. hell i just like vinyl the most, maybe its because im born in 1980 the golden era of vinyl.

So my VSPS sounds great, but my Kenwood KD-3100 turntable doesnt, it got problems, sometimes it doesnt start up properly, and its definately middle end, not a bad player at all, solid, typical 80s, I will keep it since it was my first real turntable that deserves to be called turntable but i want something new to get old with. Something more towards the undefined "higher end"

I hope you can help me finding the right turntable in the endless sea of fleamarket, ebay, and used hifi equipment store turntables.

Here is a list of conditions that it should fulfill:

1. Direct drive
2. Manual or Semi Auto - No full auto
3. Quartz locked
4. High Quality Tonearm
5. No Bio or Servotracers
6. Good looking, no Dual 721 plastic bombers please
7. Wood or at least veneered case
8. No Dual.

I am not hooked on any particular brand like Thorens, Technics or Denon .. well a little bit on Denon but i am open to exotic TTs like Sansuis or Fishers too.
And last but not least : The price, maximum i can spend is 200 Euros without a system, thats the absolute maximum, i am a student and have to work hard for my money, because of that i'm very open for underrated or unknown turntables. When i looked at the prices for heavyly used nearly djed to death 1210 MK2s here in germany ... what was once a home hifi legend now is a totally overhyped status symbol for rich kid wannebee djs. Makes me cry when i see how many of these tables are abused. The price/performance ratio is very important for me, thats why i DIY.

Please no discussions on the conditions i have, i have thought a lot about them and the TT i want hast to match all of them.

Thank you all for in advance for your help and suggestions.
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Old 13th March 2009, 03:40 AM   #2
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Given your tight budget, your choices are few indeed.

See if you can find a used Kenwood KD-500. Good DD motor, massive concrete/resin plinth, use any tonearm you want. I had one of these with a Grace 707 arm and it was no slouch.

Look for a Luxman PD-121. Good DD table for the money. Many came with a decent arm and you can always upgrade the arm later as funds allow. (They have a removable arm board.)

Denons are pretty good midfi tables. You might be able to find a DP-47F in your price range.

I'm not aware of any DD Thorens, so you can scratch them off of your list.

I completely agree with you on the Duals. I wouldn't have one if it was offered to me for free.

Good luck with your search!

Bill
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Old 13th March 2009, 05:52 AM   #3
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There are some old micro seiki DD on Ebay but some work will be needed to restore it working condition.

Not sure about Thorens DD either but heard they are more famous for belt drive.
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Old 13th March 2009, 04:05 PM   #4
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Hi Razorblade,

Your wantlist seems sensible to me, but your budget might be too tight to fit.

The point is, that you should stay away from cheap DD-turntables.
I know, that a plastik DD with windy tonearm will not outperform any old DUAL 1219, for instance. Direct Drive is a complex technic that costs money before it outperforms other pricewise comparable turntables.

Kenwood is a good tip, because the chassis are well done.

Two weeks ago a technics MA-1 left the bay for 250,- EUR! That one should perform decent.

Rüdiger

PS: Thorens TD-524 is direct drive, derived from a collaboration with EMT. plan to add a '-0' to your budget!
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Old 13th March 2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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Hi all,

Hmmm ... yes the times where you can grab a great turntable for little bucks seem to be history, at the moment i consider do equipt my KD-3100 /which has the composite chassis and relatively good specs) with a new pickup in the 150$ range, might be the best solution for me... the one thing that bothers me the most is that i cant find any information about this TT exept that its very similar to the KD-4100, especially some more info on the quality of tonearmwould be great, but not even over at the vinylengine anybody seems to have some more info.

Guess it doesnt make much sense to swap from Mid-Fi to Mid-Fi when I could get a new Denon DL-160 cart for the same price and with it a whole lot more improvement in sound quality then a new TT in the same pricerange would offer, not to mention the tons of vinyl i could buy from the money.

What would you suggest?
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Old 13th March 2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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My personal opinion:

You need more money to beat your kenwood or the unwanted Duals (the better ones). Try a new cart, if you think yours is worn.
You might check www.thevintageknob.org for decent players from the good old days of vinylplayback.

Another option, once you have a bit more money, is to buy a bare turntable unit, fit it in a decent heavy MDF-case that one can build DIY, and get a decent tonarm. This will give any other Player a hard time to compete.
A Denon DP-3000 went for 220,- EUR last weekend. Looks gorgeous, plays fine (but is prae-quartz-aera). Place simple tonearm (smallest Rega or something nicer second hand) and you might get by with around 500,- EUR. You would have a very nice deck, then!

Rüdiger
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Old 13th March 2009, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by MashBill
See if you can find a used Kenwood KD-500. Good DD motor, massive concrete/resin plinth, use any tonearm you want. I had one of these with a Grace 707 arm and it was no slouch.
If you insist on DD the KD-500 is a reasonable one -- i sold many of those with G707 (and owned one for awhile).

My experience with DD leaves me less than excited about them. We had a row of high end DD tables in the shop, the whole purpose of which was to show how easily trounced they were by much less expensive belt-drives. The whole idea of connecting the motor directly to the record is anathama to me.

dave
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Old 13th March 2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by planet10



My experience with DD leaves me less than excited about them. We had a row of high end DD tables in the shop, the whole purpose of which was to show how easily trounced they were by much less expensive belt-drives. The whole idea of connecting the motor directly to the record is anathama to me.

dave
I cannot disagree more!

Once you ensure a good plinth and a decent arm/cart, a good spec'd DD-Drive beats any reasonably priced belt drive. You need a Raven to put up. But this is beyond my personal border of 'reasonably priced'.

You wouldn't get the lush and relaxed sound of a fluffy belt, that is true! As always, it's a matter of taste, in the end, so no affront meant.

If you get a Kenwood KD-990, that one has a very decent plinth and is worth hunting for. But, again, never for 200...

Rüdiger
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Old 14th March 2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Another option, once you have a bit more money, is to buy a bare turntable unit, fit it in a decent heavy MDF-case that one can build DIY, and get a decent tonarm. This will give any other Player a hard time to compete.
A Denon DP-3000 went for 220,- EUR last weekend. Looks gorgeous, plays fine (but is prae-quartz-aera). Place simple tonearm (smallest Rega or something nicer second hand) and you might get by with around 500,- EUR. You would have a very nice deck, then!
Yes i guess this option will be the best but is not realisable in the near future, but i think my next TT will have interchangeable tonearms or will be a combination of motor and tonearm.

So, a new cartridge, since I really dont know if my stylus is worn (i dont have a 20x magnifier) and it came used with the TT, and i want something futureproof with warranty. The Denon DL-160 is around 120 Euro here sometimes as low as 100 Euro, but it doesent have exchangeable needles Is it still a good buy? Does anyone know what a retipping of this cart costs?

Quote:
My experience with DD leaves me less than excited about them. We had a row of high end DD tables in the shop, the whole purpose of which was to show how easily trounced they were by much less expensive belt-drives. The whole idea of connecting the motor directly to the record is anathama to me.
Hmmm ... maybe we should ask the idiots in the broadcasting business and studios why they used this crappy method of record playback

Quote:
You might check www.thevintageknob.org for decent players from the good old days of vinylplayback.
Every night, for real, every night i spend at least half an hour on this really wonderfull site, dreaming of the vintage high end gear presented ... stuff i cant even afford second or third hand
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Old 21st April 2009, 09:37 PM   #10
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Default Just some updates

So,

the Kenwood broke down 3 weeks ago and got off to the bay... didnt like it so much anyway...

So my new turntable is a 1973 beltdriven Sony PS5100 which was totally f`ed up when i bought it for 20 bucks from a local pawn shop, belt missing, even the bearing ball was missing... poor table was totally abused when i got it. But now its restored to old glory, new belt, new bearing ball, polished the plexi and the pseudo exotic wood veneer... its quite a nice table.

But since i need a direct drive too i will get a Sony PSX-50 this week, tonearm lift not working but otherwise in great condition. I guess fixing it will be a peace of cake compared to the restauration of the PS5100, an the best is: i paid a lousy 35 Eurodollars for it...

As soon as my tight budget allows it i will get a new AT440MLa for it and hope this will put an end my neverending turntable story ... at least for 2-5 years
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