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alfa147x 30th September 2012 07:26 PM

Need help starting on a DIY Turntable project. Tonearm source?
I've always been interested in making my own turntable. I don't however want to make the tonearm. I was looking on Ebay and lot start at $50 and go up to a few thousand. I don't know how much I should be spending but $50 - $70 on my first tonearm would be ideal. has a few but they start at $600 which is far beyond my budget.

For the motor and platter portion I plan on finding a used turntable that I can salvage those parts out of. Depending on resources and if I can make a perfectly balanced platter I may go that route.

I'm worried about the barring portion of the build. I need to more research but if anyone has any suggestions that would be great.

Budget: Cheaper the better. Since this is my first DIY I want to make sure that if it fails I haven't invested a good bit of money into it.

Current equipment:
PRO-JECT RPM 1.3 -> Musical Fidelity V-LPS II -> Denon 1912 -> Polk Audio Monitor 60
PRO-JECT Debute -> Musical Fidelity V-LPS II -> Sony… -> Polk Audio TSi300

Also occasionally:
Schiit Valhalla -> Sennheiser hd650 or Grado Sr325is or Beyerdynamic dt990

Thanks for any assistance!

pixpop 7th October 2012 01:09 AM

I'll be selling a used Rega RB-250 quite soon. PM me if interested.

I also have a broken arm from a Technics SL-1200 that you can have for nothing. It works fine, but there's a little plastic lug that's supposed to rest on the tonearm lift, and that lug is broken off. This tonearm is very easy to mount. They sell for $45 new on eBay.

sakellogg 7th October 2012 02:31 AM

i dont know what you have in mind but, i read someone used a valve and valve guide from a harley (shovelhead maybe?) as a main bearing. he got a new one from a parts store, and made his own platter. it looked cool.
he had a web site. i dont remember more.

dtut 7th October 2012 08:32 PM

Harley valve/guide TT

The Altmann DIY Turntable

brando666 11th October 2012 11:14 PM

don't mean to threadjack but...
Just put that exact bearing together with a 20lb platter (3/4" bb ply filled with steel shot) and recorded a video of it spinning last night. Really, really surprised at long the thing spun, and it's dead silent.

20121010_183628.mp4 - YouTube

tabarddn 13th October 2012 02:27 AM

Hi the only way you will get a tone arm for $50 to %70 is to design (or find a design, there are a few on this site) yourself.
A good wire for a tone arm itself can cost between $20 and $140, then you need the the cartridge clips $5 - $15 per set, Gold platted RCA are not cheap either.
However I have heard, (but not tried) that stripped out wire from an old computer mouse can be used, give that a go.
The cheapest, (I have a higher version and it is very good with my Denon 103) tone arm kit that I know of is on Ebay by TemaadAudio, that sells for around $130.

sakellogg 13th October 2012 03:35 AM

A 103 with a Uni-pivot huh?
You say you like it huh?
Can you expand on that?
I've been thinking about doing that myself.

He's right.
70 bucks is is kinda low.
But you can make a uni piv arm pretty easy out of nice stuff for pretty cheap.
I might sound like a broken record... Pun... But have you considred a AR XA?
Prety cheap to get and restore, and sound great.
I did one, spent less than a nice music hall I got.
The ar blows the MH out of the water. Even before I tweeked it.

sakellogg 13th October 2012 03:38 AM

I shoulda read your OP better. Sorry.

You want to diy a tt.

kingfisher 15th October 2012 11:57 PM

Hello pixpop, I am interested in the RB 250!

Conrad Hoffman 16th October 2012 12:20 AM

Building a unipivot arm is pretty easy. I've seen some DIY wooden arms that, though primitive, probably performed as well as anything. Do some research on what people have done before deciding to buy an arm. If you can do the rest of the table you can certainly do the arm.

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