• vandreezen over 5 years ago

    I am looking to upgrade Turntables and really like Vintage turntables but is it worth it? I am looking to spend 500-800 USD? I really like the look of the vintage gear, but is it worth it?. I know some company's are putting out new with vintage look. Should I say F the look and just by new?

    Looking for recommendations for vintage tables and new tables in the price range?

    I searched for previous threads, and didn't find what i was looking for. if I failed please just post a link if this is a rehash thread.
    thx
  • DarreLP over 5 years ago

    vandreezen
    I am looking to upgrade Turntables and really like Vintage turntables but is it worth it?


    In general, you can usually get a better table at a better price if you're willing to put the effort into finding a good vintage setup.

    Is that 'worth it' to you? We can't say. Only you can.
  • panoptikon over 5 years ago

    DarreLP
    get a better table at a better price if you're willing to put the effort into finding a good vintage setup.


    +1
  • kurts.ear.candy over 5 years ago

    Just me, but I would put performance over looks.
  • dolphyfan over 5 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy
    Just me, but I would put performance over looks.

    Not just you. Assuming that listening to music is more important than looking at gear, then performance should be the priority. After that, if all things are equal, go for components that match your carpet, or whatever aesthetic floats your boat.
  • Groovemaster-DJ over 5 years ago

    Best ever 100% Stanton ST100 (S shape arm naturally) Forward - Reverse 33 45 78 + or - up to 30% Pitch bend, best two features Digital out so no need for ground lead or really low level Phono inputs just any normal aux/line, so no hum etc + Key Correction allows you to speed up or slow down but keep the vocals as originally recorded. (Best use of this so far The Marvelettes "Please Mr Postman" and Dawn Penn "No No No" you can really now mak the tracks floorfillers rather than the slow hard to get going original tempos they are)
    Absolute flawless deck, Sadly Technics just never quite did these things, but they do have the industry standard build with a flawless dammped lift and lower
  • dtmark over 5 years ago

    If you're new to vinyl, then buy new. Decks can be esoteric and in varying states of optimisation or otherwise. The number of places capable of servicing and optimising them correctly isn't what it once was.

    If you've been there and done that, then vintage.

    Case in pont:

    I have an ancient Thorens TD-150 Mk II which was and remains a superb deck.

    The modern-day equivalent of that would perhaps be a brand new Linn LP12 or similar. Lots of money. Which is why I keep this one going. Fortunately it's in really good condition.

    Yet, the speed change lever doesn't work flawlessly and adjustment is fiddly. This is a common failure point. I need to be able to flick between 33 and 45 frequently, since I have lots of 12" singles.

    However.. that deck was in storage for about 20 years before I decided to get back into vinyl. At that time, knowing little, I thought "you must get more for your money these days". However I failed to take into account two things. First, that's far from true, and second, how good the Thorens was.

    Bought a Rega RP1. Faulty. Took it back. Got a Rega RP3. Faulty. Uh-oh. Bad choice. I'll put up with it and get the Thorens sorted.

    Did that. Put the two side-by-side. The extent to which the Thorens outperforms the Rega is incredible. It makes the buzzing Rega deck with only three feet, no suspension, prone to feedback, no rubberised lid feet, no earth circuit, a tonearm lift that.. doesn't, and no way to change the speed without lifting the platter off by hand and moving a belt - sound like a bargain basement thing.

    But then it's not really fair to compare those. I didn't know how much to spend, and I spent far too little and seemingly picked the wrong brand.

    However, I would not recommend the Thorens as a first turntable. It's fussy, old, doesn't transport well.. but if you have a lot of patience and don't mind running over to your local specialist (we have a really good one) I'd say it, or something like it, is the best for the money. When you're experienced enough to evaluate it and buy a good one.
  • kurts.ear.candy over 5 years ago

    Also, it would be helpful to know what you wish your turntable to do. Used for home listening, ripping or Dj'ing. Or all of them ? Some do different things better than others.
  • BourbonCowboy over 5 years ago

    With a budget of $500-800, you should consider the performance you get for your money. That budget is enough to buy a really good vintage deck. There really aren't many new decks with the specs of the good vintage decks in that price range.
  • Jneubauer over 5 years ago

    BourbonCowboy
    With a budget of $500-800, you should consider the performance you get for your money. That budget is enough to buy a really good vintage deck. There really aren't many new decks with the specs of the good vintage decks in that price range.


    Agreed.

    I've got a really great early 1960s Garrard that I *love* to death and it wasn't too expensive.

    One thing to consider if you buy vintage is whether it's been refurbished, and if so, if the person doing so knew what he/she was doing. That same Garrard is currently having the filter caps on the power supply replaced because they were "refurbished" before I bought it (about two years ago) with cheap parts.

    That's just a long way of saying make sure you know what you're buying.
  • dtmark over 5 years ago

    Another thing to bear in mind - the tone-arm and cartridge. Were I to sell my Thorens (which will never happen) you'd be getting an SME3009 tone-arm and a Goldring 1042 cartridge with a new stylus. Magical combination.

    That cartridge costs about £370 to buy new by itself. The ones that come with the new decks, like the RP3, are, frankly, budget affairs that do absolutely nothing to show what vinyl can do.

    By the way, this is not meant to be a stinging criticism of that deck. And if you have one, you'll see massive performance improvements after swapping out the thing it comes with.

    OK, the ones I had, had quality control problems. But maybe that is the best thing that around £600 buys these days. All the hi-fi magazines seem to think so.

    I was spoiled from a young age after being gifted that classic Thorens deck - and I never realised quite how much that was true.

    It is, however, not plain sailing to own, hence my comments earlier: someone new to vinyl might well want something that "just works" and doesn't need TLC every so often.
  • panoptikon over 5 years ago

    dtmark
    something that "just works" and doesn't need TLC every so often.


    Not all vintage gear has "personality", I bought my current decks secondhand in 1994, have been in constant use since then with zero issues & zero maintainance.
  • lawcamtonmoozik over 5 years ago

    Vintage Lenco Turntables are worth a good look at.
  • Madison-chan over 5 years ago

    Hey guys don't want to hijack this thread but I was thinking of buying the Audio Technica AT-LP7. Is it a good turntable for ripping old vinyl that need the royal treatment? I was planning on making DSDs using Vinyl Studio.
  • DJMONEYMIKE29 over 5 years ago

    You can't go wrong with a good used Technics SL1200 Mk2.
  • dtmark over 5 years ago

    Just a thought regarding ripping - I do have weird ears that are sensitive to forms of digital distortion, notably ringing, but if the project is to rip multiple records - a large number - then the ADC comes into play here.

    If I rip vinyl using my PC at 16bit 192k, the best it can manage, the result is about level with a good cassette tape recording. The difference between the vinyl and the ripped copy is bluntly obvious.

    I investigated what it would cost to buy a "studio quality" ADC. It's not cheap. But it will have a big bearing on the quality of the finished result, so it's probably worth factoring in to the total spend.
  • BourbonCowboy over 5 years ago

    I've got 5 tables: a pair of Marantz 6300 decks, a Sansui SR-929, and a pair of Technics SL-MA1 decks. The Technics decks are the "newest" - being mid-to-late 80s tables. The only maintenance I've done to any of them is a little lubrication. The older equipment was built to last.

    And while I'm at it, I'll mention the capabilities of the Technics tables. They're p-mount tables, and because of that, they often get a bad rap. But I've found a number of classic vintage carts (and new styli) that make these table sound wonderful. Don't discount p-mount tables...there are some excellent examples out there and cartridges (both new and used) are still available.
  • mstens over 5 years ago

    I have a highly modded Rega P3, I picked up an Empire 598 (initially) as an office deck. It completely blew the Rega away, with a DJ cart. I've spent much more on the cartridge that replaced that than the table. Well under your budget was spent in total, and it looks awesome too and is now in my main system.

    Did I have to do some work to make the vintage deck work correctly? Sure, but ultimately not a huge amount (lubrication, etc). If you have any mechanical abilities, I'd go with a vintage. Just take your time when looking for one.

    I agree on the p-mount Technics tables, I've had a couple and they're completely worth a look (and generally cheap).
  • SpacemanBiff over 5 years ago

    dtmark
    If you're new to vinyl, then buy new. Decks can be esoteric and in varying states of optimisation or otherwise. The number of places capable of servicing and optimising them correctly isn't what it once was.

    If you've been there and done that, then vintage.

    Case in pont:

    I have an ancient Thorens TD-150 Mk II which was and remains a superb deck.

    The modern-day equivalent of that would perhaps be a brand new Linn LP12 or similar. Lots of money. Which is why I keep this one going. Fortunately it's in really good condition.

    Yet, the speed change lever doesn't work flawlessly and adjustment is fiddly. This is a common failure point. I need to be able to flick between 33 and 45 frequently, since I have lots of 12" singles.

    However.. that deck was in storage for about 20 years before I decided to get back into vinyl. At that time, knowing little, I thought "you must get more for your money these days". However I failed to take into account two things. First, that's far from true, and second, how good the Thorens was.

    Bought a Rega RP1. Faulty. Took it back. Got a Rega RP3. Faulty. Uh-oh. Bad choice. I'll put up with it and get the Thorens sorted.

    Did that. Put the two side-by-side. The extent to which the Thorens outperforms the Rega is incredible. It makes the buzzing Rega deck with only three feet, no suspension, prone to feedback, no rubberised lid feet, no earth circuit, a tonearm lift that.. doesn't, and no way to change the speed without lifting the platter off by hand and moving a belt - sound like a bargain basement thing.

    But then it's not really fair to compare those. I didn't know how much to spend, and I spent far too little and seemingly picked the wrong brand.

    However, I would not recommend the Thorens as a first turntable. It's fussy, old, doesn't transport well.. but if you have a lot of patience and don't mind running over to your local specialist (we have a really good one) I'd say it, or something like it, is the best for the money. When you're experienced enough to evaluate it and buy a good one.


    I still have my old TD-125 and it runs like a champ. For the heck of it (and discounted price) I picked up one of A-Ts new AT120USBs just really more for comparison than overall performance. The 125 goes with my overall room decor moreso than the AT.
  • Original_Hipster over 5 years ago

    You can find some decent, made in Japan, direct-drive decks from the 70s-80s for under $100 used. Some will need some TLC, others will have brand new cartridges/ styluses, aligned and ready to go. So, I'd go used.
  • cooterlee over 5 years ago

    Groovemaster-DJ

    Calm down, Jazzy Jeff.

    vandreezen

    On the off chance you ever return to this thread, check out Audiogon.com and USAudioMart.com for used equipment. I’ve had lots of luck buying used. It’s really no different from buying used records: check the seller’s feedback and ask questions.

    For discounted new products, check the clearance sections at Music Direct and Audio Advisor.
  • kurts.ear.candy over 5 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy edited over 5 years ago
    dtmark
    Just a thought regarding ripping - I do have weird ears that are sensitive to forms of digital distortion, notably ringing, but if the project is to rip multiple records - a large number - then the ADC comes into play here.

    If I rip vinyl using my PC at 16bit 192k, the best it can manage, the result is about level with a good cassette tape recording. The difference between the vinyl and the ripped copy is bluntly obvious.

    I investigated what it would cost to buy a "studio quality" ADC. It's not cheap. But it will have a big bearing on the quality of the finished result, so it's probably worth factoring in to the total spend.


    Hey ! Come on over here and take a look. Always looking for some new insight !

    https://www.discogs.com/group/8467

    And all the threads have been unlocked. I am a bad administrator and did not know about the automatic thread lock process. That has now been fixed.

    Cheers, kurt
  • dtmark over 5 years ago

    ^ Interesting stuff and really useful for anyone wanting to rip many records.

    Never knew about the dust lid - thing - the one on my TT doesn't have hinges, and so it has to be removed, by design, to use the deck.

    If I plug in an external USB DAC for playback (the one I have was about £200) and compare the output from that with the onboard sound card the difference is huge. Really huge.

    So it makes sense to me that even a £200 external dedicated ADC is highly likely to outperform an onboard sound card. Similarly, a £1500 ADC is likely to outperform a £200 one.

    If you're ripping a small number of rare VG condition records from fifty years ago, because there's no other source apart from YouTube which is the product of someone else's TT and ripping, compounded by YT's compression, and the originals frankly don't sound that great, I'd question whether it really is worth spending much.

    Even with a £200 ADC - for ten records, you're talking about £20 per record. And it isn't going to make something that sounded merely average to start with sound any better.

    That's where the tips in that forum about making the most of what you have come into play.

    If your hobby is vinyl mixing (e.g. dance music) and making mixes, and you can hear that the rips don't sound as good as the vinyl did, it might be worth making the investment
  • dunforthemoment over 5 years ago

    dtmark
    it makes sense to me that even a £200 external dedicated ADC is highly likely to outperform an onboard sound card.


    A £50 dictaphone can do that, to be fair.
  • vinyl1earthlink over 5 years ago

    In this price range I would look at used late-model turntables to get the most bang for the dollar.

    If you check Audiogon and US Audio Mart regularly, you should find something suitable. Some current offerings:

    Rega P3-24, $745
    Pro-Ject RPM3, $775.
    Music Hall 5.3SE, $690

    I would look for something no more than 3 years old that sold new for over $1000.
  • ParkeLie over 5 years ago

    ParkeLie edited over 5 years ago
    Hi...I would suggest that you should get out and listen to some new tables in your budget range. Try and do the same with some used tables, too. Read as much as you can while you are doing this, and take your time.
    Questions like yours can get people stirred up here. I personally think that you are in great position with that budget.

    printed circuit board
  • hifi_guy over 5 years ago

    Madison-chan
    Hey guys don't want to hijack this thread but I was thinking of buying the Audio Technica AT-LP7. Is it a good turntable for ripping old vinyl that need the royal treatment?


    No. It's a horrible turntable no matter what you wanna use it for.
  • billchi_11 over 5 years ago

    Any love for 80's Denon decks?
  • Madison-chan over 5 years ago

    hifi_guy
    No. It's a horrible turntable no matter what you wanna use it for.


    Well, I ate the bullet and bought the AT LP 5...it's great as soon as I upgraded the cartridge; have no complaints.

    I found a Technics at Salvation Army a month ago, but it doesn't turn...trying to get it fixed soon.
  • Old_Grey_Hare over 5 years ago

    FWIW, I love my thorens TD145 (original) with TP16 arm. Why? Let me count the ways:

    1. Heavy platter (around 7 lbs) mounted on a subchassis along with the arm that hangs from the top plate. I can tap the case and lid while playing and very little, if anything, makes it to the speakers. That heavy platter makes it so it doesn't slow down for nothin', no matter how crazy the groove gets.

    2. That arm. That arm, with the right cart, will track even badly warped records. It has very little inner-groove distortion. Magnetic antiskate that works as advertised. Cues from the front, with a knob.

    3. Auto-Stop. It's an optical auto-stop, nothing touches or interferes the arm to make it work.

    4. The Looks: It looks very bauhaus. Form follows function. It's mid-70's German, what can I say.

    5. The Sound: With audio technica 440 or 540 ML, open, brilliant, great bass, all the typical audiophile accolades. Tics and pops are moved to the background unless it's a gash. And rock-solid speed stability coming from that 7 pound platter and 24-pole line-synch motor. No matter what the voltage does, the speed remains constant. No matter what the record does, the speed remains constant.

    VTA adjustments can be a pain. I use shims provided by Thorens. Alignment can be a pain, I use the headshell jig made by thorens to do it.

    If you're serious about your records, don't get some chintzy china-made modern table. Get an old Thorens and skip all the BS. And learn how to use it. They're not exactly newbie friendly, Thorens has its own demented way of doing things. But it's all worth it.

    Decent turntables cost money. I know no one ever wants to admit it, but decent turntables cost money. Decent speaekrs cost money. This isn't a hobby to drop 200 on it and call it a day. 200 barely even covers a proper cartridge.

    So what to do? Go vintage. Low price, high performance. Put another way, punches well above its weight...

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