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Good, Low End Turntables.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here, so forgive me if this is the wrong section to post this in.

I've been collected vinyl for about 2 years now and my old technics turntable has finally hit the bucket i think.

I'm in the market for an admititly low-end, but good turntable. It must be able to play both 33 1/3 and 45 and have a dust cover. My receiver has a phono input, so a preamp is not necessary (although the computer connection would be nice) along with that the player doesn't have to be automatic, but returning the arm after one side is over would be a huge plus.

What's the difference/importance between a belt drive or a direct drive, should i aim for one over the other?

Here are a couple of models i'm looking at, i'd prefer to stay in the 100-130 range, but the AT model that's 200 is a bit tempting.

Audio Technica AT-LP2D LP-to-Digital Recording Audio Turntable System with USB in Turntables at JR.com

PS-LX250H | Fully-Automatic Turntable | Sony | SonyStyle USA

Sony PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable in Turntables at JR.com

Amazon.com: Audio-Technica AT-PL120 Professional Direct-Drive Turntable: Electronics

I appreciate any input, thank you!
post #2 of 42
I think you're best bet will be to go to garage sales and look for a vintage turntable. They usually only cost a few $$$, and unless you're lucky run the pants of the extremely low-fi turntables.
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthad View Post
Hi, I'm new here, so forgive me if this is the wrong section to post this in.

I've been collected vinyl for about 2 years now and my old technics turntable has finally hit the bucket i think....

What's the difference/importance between a belt drive or a direct drive, should i aim for one over the other?

Here are a couple of models i'm looking at, i'd prefer to stay in the 100-130 range, but the AT model that's 200 is a bit tempting.

Audio Technica AT-LP2D LP-to-Digital Recording Audio Turntable System with USB in Turntables at JR.com

PS-LX250H | Fully-Automatic Turntable | Sony | SonyStyle USA

Sony PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable in Turntables at JR.com

Amazon.com: Audio-Technica AT-PL120 Professional Direct-Drive Turntable: Electronics

I appreciate any input, thank you!
I wouldn't bother with any of these really as they are really not upto the standard of any Technics table really, so you would be essentially downgrading. What's your table and what's wrong with it since it might be worth fixing?

The cheapest Technics you might find new is the SL-BD20 which would be around 150USD I think. Aside from this entry level modern decks to look at are Rega, Pro-ject, Music Hall, Goldring etc...Decent direct drives are a little thin on the ground these days and most cheaper ones are just visual clones of the Technics SL1200, with none of the build quality which makes this deck a classic. Vestax are an exception to this and Denon still make dds aimed at music listeners rather than aspriring DJs.

You will get much better value on the 2nd hand market though. I made a list a while back of decks to look out for http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/low...source-228059/
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
As a full time student, without a car, i really don't have time to drive around looking for garage sales, even though i assume that's the best way to go about things.

I have a Technics SL QD33. When i play denser music it sounds okay, but on quiter parts, part like only one guitar or one voice it sounds warped almost, or like it's playing too slow. The records are in fine condition and i've tested with a friend's turntable. I don't know much about styli and replacing parts, so i figured i should start anew. Not to mention i get a bad hum whenever the player is idle.
post #5 of 42
The SL QD33 is about the same kind entry level as the decks you are looking at, but being Technics it's already going to be better than any of the AT or Sony offerings to be honest.
It's not as though turntable technology has developed at this end of the market. Older decks are generally better made as they date from a time when vinyl was the main source. These Amazon links you posted are just the remnants of the Sony and AT line-ups of decks which used to be bundled with mini-systems or else wannabe Technics DJ clones. To get something superior you will really need to spend 3-400USD.

Anyway it just sounds like you need to replace the stylus and earth your current SL QD33 table slightly better.

Don't be afraid of changing the stylus as this is a P-Mount design which is designed to be entirely plug and play. Grado and Shure make perfectly good replacement carts which start around 50USD or less. See here LP Gear: P-mount T4P cartridge
You just hold the end of the arm with one hand and gently pull the whole cartridge part out to replace it.

As far as hum is concerned this is a potential issue for any turntable old or new as it's generally caused not by the deck itself but where it's located or else how it's connected to the other components in your set up. Do you have the grounding wire connected up?
post #6 of 42
I removed a long-lived ground hum from my speakers by plugging the extension into the next socket along.
post #7 of 42
I have been into this Lp thing forever and had more turntables over the years than I almost can remember. There was a time when you could go to thrift stores and pick-up nice vintage turntables for $25.00. For some reason those are not around anymore. After 1200s and my run of old Pioneer tables, the best $100 table I found on E-Bay was the great Thorens 160. They are easy to set up and even though built in the 1970s they were built to last. At the $100.00 mark you will most likely need to get a new cartridge. Even with a $35.00 Stanton cartridge these tables sound better than any CD player out there.



Thorens TD160 on Ebay $100.00
shipping $35.00
Stanton Cartridge $35.00
Total $170.00
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
The SL QD33 is about the same kind entry level as the decks you are looking at, but being Technics it's already going to be better than any of the AT or Sony offerings to be honest.
It's not as though turntable technology has developed at this end of the market. Older decks are generally better made as they date from a time when vinyl was the main source. These Amazon links you posted are just the remnants of the Sony and AT line-ups of decks which used to be bundled with mini-systems or else wannabe Technics DJ clones. To get something superior you will really need to spend 3-400USD.

Anyway it just sounds like you need to replace the stylus and earth your current SL QD33 table slightly better.

Don't be afraid of changing the stylus as this is a P-Mount design which is designed to be entirely plug and play. Grado and Shure make perfectly good replacement carts which start around 50USD or less. See here LP Gear: P-mount T4P cartridge
You just hold the end of the arm with one hand and gently pull the whole cartridge part out to replace it.

As far as hum is concerned this is a potential issue for any turntable old or new as it's generally caused not by the deck itself but where it's located or else how it's connected to the other components in your set up. Do you have the grounding wire connected up?
awesome about the cartridge, would i also need a new stylus? as you can see i'm pretty new to the world of vinyl. I currently have an AT311EP cartridge, which i'm sure has the same stylus since the day my dad got the turntable.

How do i set up the groundwire? I have it plugged into the phono input of my Denon receiver (which has to be about ten years or so old). If that means anything.

Thanks so much for your venerable advice.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthad View Post
awesome about the cartridge, would i also need a new stylus?
P-Mount was designed to take the pain out of aligning carts and replacing stylii, so the cart and stylus are all in one piece and you just replace the whole thing.

Any P-Mount cart will be compatible mechanically so it's upto you which one to get. They all sound slightly different so you can use it as a way of balancing your system and tailoring the sound to how you like it.

Very broadly speaking AT's have quite a bright fast sound with a detailed treble which can start to sound harsh in some set ups whereas Shure and Grado are more rolled off at the top end with better bass. Ortofon's are ultra smooth and level accross the whole frequency range but can sound a little lightweight and laid back in some instances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthad View Post
How do i set up the groundwire? I have it plugged into the phono input of my Denon receiver (which has to be about ten years or so old). If that means anything.
As well as the red and white phono plugs coming out of the back of the Technics there should also be a thin piece of wire either unterminated or with a spade on the end. On the back of your Receiver there will be a screw or binding post situated near the phono input which you attach this to.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
P-Mount was designed to take the pain out of aligning carts and replacing stylii, so the cart and stylus are all in one piece and you just replace the whole thing.

Any P-Mount cart will be compatible mechanically so it's upto you which one to get. They all sound slightly different so you can use it as a way of balancing your system and tailoring the sound to how you like it.

Very broadly speaking AT's have quite a bright fast sound with a detailed treble which can start to sound harsh in some set ups whereas Shure and Grado are more rolled off at the top end with better bass. Ortofon's are ultra smooth and level accross the whole frequency range but can sound a little lightweight and laid back in some instances.



As well as the red and white phono plugs coming out of the back of the Technics there should also be a thin piece of wire either unterminated or with a spade on the end. On the back of your Receiver there will be a screw or binding post situated near the phono input which you attach this to.
I don't see this wire you're talking about, here's a picture of what i see.



And as far as the carts go, i think i'll order the Shure M92E phono cartridge and see how that works out.

Thanks so much.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthad View Post
I don't see this wire you're talking
The picture is a little blurred but I'd guess it's the thing to the right of the white phono plug as the logo above it looks like an earth symbol. Were there any other cables with the deck? There should be a corresponding earth symbol next to the phono inputs on the back of your reciever.

Is it a socket of sorts? looks like what they use now for a DC adaptor plug maybe? If you can't find the original cable you'll need to make up your own ground wire
It's dead simple just go to Radioshack or any decent electronics hobbyist store and get a piece of thin wire. You strip the ends and attach it with a mini crocodile clip or something which you can get to make contact with the metal part of that socket. On the other end you can just screw in the bare wire to the reciever usually.
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
The picture is a little blurred but I'd guess it's the thing to the right of the white phono plug as the logo above it looks like an earth symbol. Were there any other cables with the deck? There should be a corresponding earth symbol next to the phono inputs on the back of your reciever.

Is it a socket of sorts? looks like what they use now for a DC adaptor plug maybe? If you can't find the original cable you'll need to make up your own ground wire
It's dead simple just go to Radioshack or any decent electronics hobbyist store and get a piece of thin wire. You strip the ends and attach it with a mini crocodile clip or something which you can get to make contact with the metal part of that socket. On the other end you can just screw in the bare wire to the reciever usually.
The Symbol is a horizontal line with four diagonal lines going to the left from the bottom and one vertical line on the top.

Something like

|
-
////

The actual jack does look like a DC plug. The reciver has a thing labeled "gnd" i assume that's the grounding port. Can i use any wire, or does it need to be a specific metal? i.e copper? I don't have any of the orignal cables, this was my fathers which he gave to me after getting some nice rega turntable.
post #13 of 42
yeah that's definitely a grounding socket. Probably matches some Technics system amp from back in the day as I can see a remote socket over towards the power cable as well.
Any old wire will do for ground and you can just twist the end around the pin but ideally find some sort of plug which fits that socket, radioshack are bound to have something which will hold.
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Grounded it, no more hum! now i'm just waiting on my new cartridge and hopefully everything will be in tip top shape.
post #15 of 42
Fremer seemed quite impressed with the Rega P1 in a Stereophile review a few months ago. IIRC, the retail price was 350$, perhaps you can find a second hand one.
Or a 2nd hand Pro-Ject Debut III perhaps : http://www.soundadviceblog.com/?p=530
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