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pixpop 18th November 2009 04:12 PM

Looking for used TT recommendations
I'm thinking about buying a used TT to use as a reference and maybe for experiments with different arms. I'm not sure how much I want to spend at the moment, but probably between $500 and $1000 US. I'm in the middle of selling off a bunch of stuff that will provide some funding for this project. I already have $62 in my PayPal account, yay!

I want something that I can get parts for, thats easy to work on, and that I can swap out the arm for a different one if necessary. Belt drive. Something that will maintain its value would also be nice.

Some time ago, I was thinking a Thorens would be the thing to get, but I can't remember what model I was interested in. Might have been a 160.

Any suggestions? Do I need to think more than $1000?

Ultima Thule 18th November 2009 06:21 PM

Maybe a Rega Planar 3 (or P3 as they are dubbed these days) with the RB300 tone-arm, at least the tone-arm goes very far so it's not the first thing you need to tweak or replace except for the wiring and earthing then.
Sure the Rega have some short comings, but is regarded for the money a no brainer and has potential for tweaking and the model has been for a good long time so you will find after market stuff as well as lot of DIY tweaks.
I also think Project have some interesting models too, check out the net for reviews.
Just my 2 c's.

pixpop 18th November 2009 08:44 PM

That's a possibility I wasn't considering. I already have that arm on my experimental TT. Or maybe it's the 250, can't remember at the moment.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Panicos K 21st November 2009 03:01 PM

If you need the turntable as reference and experiments for tonearms then I guess you'll need a better one than a P3.Your thought of a Thorens TD160 is a much better one.You can change armboards easy something you cannot do easily with rega.The TD160 is also suspended sub-chassis if you like such designs.A real timeless "reference" able to allow a very high sound quality.

planet10 21st November 2009 05:09 PM

TD160 does not give much latitude for mounting a tonearm

I've swapped in many an arm onto 160s and i always considered it a one time deal.

A Rega 2 or Rega 3 is a better TT IMO, but unless you build a new plinth or route out a chunk of the existing plinth and install a removable armboard, you are limited to whatever hole has already been drilled. For someting that allows lots of arm swaps you'll need something with a removable armboard... Thorens TD125, Oracle, Linn LP12, Ariston to name a few -- they all have their own issues thou.

(i've owned all of the above mentioned)

Personally, i'd go the "build your own plinth" route, which means just finding a suitable motor, platter/bearing assembly. I've some left over LP12 bits here i will eventually do this with.


Panicos K 21st November 2009 05:25 PM

True about slight difficulty with limited space for replacing tonearms on the 160 but most of them will present no problem if armboards are drilled correctly.TD 160 SUPER has different sub chassis hole and can be a better bet.As budget is around $1000 then many nice options are higher than that.Finally,I think that rega's plinth is not solid throughout so drilling for different arms or even armboards might cause some damage to the plinth if accidentally you hit non solid area when drilling.Perhaps TD125 as Planet10 suggests would be nice,imo superior to both TD160 and rega.

planet10 21st November 2009 05:35 PM

Newer Regas may be different (as they go more & more low mass), but all the vintage Regas i've dealt with are solid. Given how simple the plinth is, and that to properly install a removable armboard, you'd have to disassemble the whole table, i'd just build another desicated plinth and tuck the original aside for potential resale.


Panicos K 21st November 2009 05:53 PM

Good idea :)An extended plinth could take 12'' tonearms as well

planet10 21st November 2009 06:14 PM

Or a suitably designed one could hold 2 arms (the mock i did for 3 arms was way too deep :))


JesseG 21st November 2009 07:02 PM

Some thoughts on Reference TTs
The first decision need to be "Simple vs Complex". If your aim is a reference, then you want a basic design that is stable and predictable while being refined enough that it will show you the diferences between one arm and another; one cartridge and another.

Simple (plinth, motor, bearing, platter) tables like the Rega (ProJect, MH, etc) are very stable and predictable and, if well enough engineered, will fill the role as reference better IMO than complex tables with tuned sub-chassis (like Ariston, Linn, Thorens) whose suspension will change over time and those changes will alter the sonic character of the table.

Also important with Reference gear is that any change can be 'undone' if not satisfactory, which means that after an experiment is done and the table is brought back to its reference state, it will sound EXACTLY like it did before the experiment began.

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