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Old 14th September 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
pixpop is offline pixpop  United States
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Default Upgrade from DIY to commercial

I've spent a few years experimenting with TTs, but now want to move on. I'm trying to decide what to get to replace my DIY TT, which sounds fine to me but is rather impractical. The salvaged dust cover works, but just sits on top with no hinges. There's no plinth.. it just sits on some stacks of stone tiles. It has wires hanging out of it and other ugliness.

It's basically a hunk of 3/4" MDF, with a salvaged platter (belt drive) mounted. I have a Rega RB250 arm, with a Denon DL-160 cart. My phono stage is a Pearl-1, which has enough gain to work with this cart but not for a low-output MC cart. I'm quite happy with the sound from this combo.

I was recently looking at a Kenwood KD-2055 and thinking I could probably sell the RB-250, buy the kenwood, and come out ahead.

Or maybe I should just buy a new Rega low-end TT, or an SL1200, or whatever, and sell the RB-250. In any case, I want to hang on to the Denon cart. I'd also prefer to hang on to the RB-250 if I could find a TT that I could mount it on.

I don't play a lot of Vinyl, but still enough that I want something convenient to play it on.

So.. any recommendations ? Is this Kenwood (assuming it's working as advertised) likely to perform at least as well as my Franken-table? Is there a better used TT I should look at that I could mount the RB-250 arm on? I'd say my budget would be up to maybe $ 400 USD. I'm willing to do some mechanical work, but nothing that would require a lathe or a mill.
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Old 14th September 2012, 09:15 PM   #2
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default from DIY to commercial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixpop View Post
I've spent a few years experimenting with TTs, but now want to move on. I'm trying to decide what to get to replace my DIY TT, which sounds fine to me but is rather impractical. The salvaged dust cover works, but just sits on top with no hinges. There's no plinth.. it just sits on some stacks of stone tiles. It has wires hanging out of it and other ugliness.

It's basically a hunk of 3/4" MDF, with a salvaged platter (belt drive) mounted. I have a Rega RB250 arm, with a Denon DL-160 cart. My phono stage is a Pearl-1, which has enough gain to work with this cart but not for a low-output MC cart. I'm quite happy with the sound from this combo.
So what is the real crux? The looks or lack of "convenience" features? Most don't use a dust cover, but if needed what you have is at least as functional as anything else out there. You might want to stick on some self adhesive feet to help locate the cover, but that's good enough. The RB250 can be built into something fairly special without spending much money. A new plinth could be built to look better if need be.

Kenwood tables have a pretty good reputation, but I think they are the strongest in their DD offerings. What you have may not be bettered by a 2055. It depends on what the donor turntable was for your parts.

Quote:
I was recently looking at a Kenwood KD-2055 and thinking I could probably sell the RB-250, buy the kenwood, and come out ahead.

Or maybe I should just buy a new Rega low-end TT, or an SL1200, or whatever, and sell the RB-250. In any case, I want to hang on to the Denon cart. I'd also prefer to hang on to the RB-250 if I could find a TT that I could mount it on.
Quote:
I don't play a lot of Vinyl, but still enough that I want something convenient to play it on.
Quote:
So.. any recommendations ? Is this Kenwood (assuming it's working as advertised) likely to perform at least as well as my Franken-table? Is there a better used TT I should look at that I could mount the RB-250 arm on? I'd say my budget would be up to maybe $ 400 USD. I'm willing to do some mechanical work, but nothing that would require a lathe or a mill.
You haven't stated whether you want to stick with belt dive, or DD or idler drive. If interested in belt drive that is quite good, a Systemdek II-X (or any number of "Linn-a-likes": Ariston RD11, Heybrook TT2, Thorens TD160, AR, etc ) can be had in your budget. Also if you sell your RB250 and get a Rega RP-1/performance package you will end up with a fine turntable (well reviewed), benefiting from Rega's latest designs.
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Last edited by Nanook; 14th September 2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 14th September 2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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Had a look at that Kenwood TT.
Sry, no idea why anyone would want that. If you consider it "better" than your DIY TT, you must seriously lacking trust in your own skills.
Be sure that your tonearm is a lot better than the one uses there.
If you are too lazy and to shape up your DIY TT, get a Rega Planar 2 or Planar 3. Well worth the money and with no hassle of any kind.
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Old 14th September 2012, 09:26 PM   #4
pixpop is offline pixpop  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
So what is the real crux? The looks or lack of "convenience" features? Most don't use a dust cover, but if needed what you have is at least as functional as anything else out there. You might want to stick on some self adhesive feet to help locate the cover, but that's good enough. The RB250 can be built into something fairly special without spending much money. A new plinth could be built to look better if need be.

Kenwood tables have a pretty good reputation, but I think they are the strongest in their DD offerings. What you have may not be bettered by a 2055. It depends on what the donor turntable was for your parts.







You haven't stated whether you want to stick with belt dive, or DD or idler drive. If interested in belt drive that is quite good, a Systemdek II-X (or any number of "Linn-a-likes": Ariston RD11, Heybrook TT2, Thorens TD160, AR, etc ) can be had in your budget. Also if you sell your RB250 and get a Rega RP-1/performance package you will end up with a fine turntable (well reviewed), benefiting from Rega's latest designs.
First priority is convenience, second is looks. I'd like hinges on the dust cover, for example. Currently, it's powered by an external power supply. (It's a DC motor). I'd need to incorporate that somehow if I decide to stick with this test rig.

I'm not interested in idler. I don't care whether it's belt drive or DD. I have tried both in this test rig, and both sounded fine to me. What's currently in there is a belt drive.

I had been interested in the RP-1, but don't know what the performance package is. Thanks for the info, I'll look that up.
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Old 14th September 2012, 09:32 PM   #5
pixpop is offline pixpop  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holger Barske View Post
Had a look at that Kenwood TT.
Sry, no idea why anyone would want that. If you consider it "better" than your DIY TT, you must seriously lacking trust in your own skills.
Be sure that your tonearm is a lot better than the one uses there.
If you are too lazy and to shape up your DIY TT, get a Rega Planar 2 or Planar 3. Well worth the money and with no hassle of any kind.
Well, that's good to know. I'll strike that one off the list. I haven't seen this TT in person, but was attracted by the heavy plinth.

I guess I am feeling pretty lazy at the moment. I have a friend with a Planar 2 who agrees with you about those though. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 14th September 2012, 11:23 PM   #6
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You can't buy a new one, but I have been using my BIC 940 turntable heavily since 1979 with no record damage at 1.5 G. It has a cover. It has auto shut off. It has better rejection of floor vibrations than my old AR turntable. The warped record tracking is better, too. It looks just like a chain store record ripper, made of cheap plastic, and was bankrupt the next year. The pitch control is excellent, and I am a person that finds cassette tape wow and fultter and MP3 audio horrid. I found a second one at a yard sale last year for $25, and it performs equally well. Look around the resale shops and flea markets,one of these is worth picking up. I'm using a Shure M97 Era IV cartridge. I did have to fiddle with cartridge alignment with washers to get the pickup angle right, but it hasn't moved in 33 years of use. I have about a dozen plastic containers of LP's, so this thing has gone through many thousands of hours. What is amazing, the belt is due to break but hasn't yet.
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Last edited by indianajo; 14th September 2012 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 15th September 2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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I recently bought a Technics SL-1200 to try, as I haven't done much to my Planar25 for the last 10 years except listen to it.

The Technics is extremely good in it's stock form, and any disparaging comments one may have heard about them are unfounded. Remember, it was an Audiophile 'table that happened to beloved by DJ's because it was so bulletproof.

It does, however, greatly benefit from a good mat.

Am I getting rid of the Rega? No, but I am going to try it's arm (RB600) on the Technics... There are a few armboards commercialy available to mount a Rega arm. (Or just about any other arm made.)

I would say that if somebody forced me to choose between the two, both completely stock, I would have a hell of a time trying to decide... !!!
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Old 15th September 2012, 03:00 PM   #8
pixpop is offline pixpop  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
I recently bought a Technics SL-1200 to try, as I haven't done much to my Planar25 for the last 10 years except listen to it.

The Technics is extremely good in it's stock form, and any disparaging comments one may have heard about them are unfounded. Remember, it was an Audiophile 'table that happened to beloved by DJ's because it was so bulletproof.

It does, however, greatly benefit from a good mat.

Am I getting rid of the Rega? No, but I am going to try it's arm (RB600) on the Technics... There are a few armboards commercialy available to mount a Rega arm. (Or just about any other arm made.)

I would say that if somebody forced me to choose between the two, both completely stock, I would have a hell of a time trying to decide... !!!
Is it easy to install a new arm in an SL1200 ? Is there any automation inside, such as auto-return that would complicate things, or is it just a matter of finding/making the right armboard?
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Old 15th September 2012, 03:42 PM   #9
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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I have not yet done it to mine, but there is lots and lots of information on the Net.

Here is a list of many, many, many threads at artofsound concerning SL-1200 modifications. -- The Hottest Techy Topics can be found here! - The Art of Sound Forum

As far as I can tell, it is a very straightforward swap. The stock arm, (quite good in it's own right, BTW) is not autoreturn.

Armboards are available from here -

Soundsupports - SL1200 & SL1210

Origin Live | Armboard for Technics SL1200 (BTW, the price on that page is wrong, look in cart for real price)
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Old 17th September 2012, 10:42 PM   #10
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default SL1200 vs. everything else.

Tons of "arguements" for and against the SL1200. Fremer was trying a SL1200 with a RB250 or RB300 sometime ago. There are a lot of upgrades available, including an improved bearing assembly. Depending on how much you can get a SL12XX for, you may be able to squeeze improved performance out of one for $500 or so (for the turntable and upgrades).

Based on the views I've read, the RP-1 may be a way to go. Certainly brings the Rega table up in terms of performance.

At least for a DD the Technics does have a good reputation and is quite robustly built. And many are in service 30-ish years on.
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