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This is one of the so-called "Super-OEM" turntables.  It is priced lower than most.  I got one as a second deck to play 45s & 78s because I've grown tired of futzing around with unreliable 40+ year old Duals and changers for this.

 

I'm happy with the purchase because for this use it works like a charm.

 

I also like having adjustible feet, removable headshell, cuing, fast start/stop, pitch control and all the other stuff that my "audiophile" decks scrimp on to one degree or another.  I don't use the internal preamp, usb out, or weirdo DJ stuff like reverse and adjustable platter braking.

 

The deck is very well built, considerably better than AT's next best model, the [XXX]-120  (which is still recommendable for the money).  For example, the platter is heavily damped with some kind of rubber insert and rings much less than any of the lower models.  The motor is super quiet.  The vibration isolation is than my audiophile TTs. It came with interconnects that seem to be about the best I've ever gotten as freebies with a component. It comes with a cheap but functional dustcover.

 

The pots for adjusting start-up and braking speed -- which I don't care about anyhow -- are either labeled or wired backwards, so min is max and vice-versa.  I also had to float the ground to get rid of 60 cycle hum, but upon doing so it became completely quiet.  (I think my TV may be the culpriit but I didn't check.)  The anti-skating seems, unscientifically, to be too powerful and I use it at a lower than recommended setting.  And of course it comes with just a slip mat that needs to be replaced by a proper mat, or at least used with a heavy clamp.

 

Even though this wasn't my reason for buying it, I also tried to see what kind of audio performance it was capable of.  Wouldn't it be great if it was good enough that I could run just one deck?  It wasn't very good at all.  It did not sound unpleasant, but resolution was low, frequency response, stereo image and dynamics were mediocre.  It would not stand up to the entry level belt drive decks I've heard.

 

I'm thinking that the arm is a major factor in this, but I'm also wondering if something is going on in the electronics. Ordinarily, there should be NO electronics in a turntable's sound path -- nothing but wire from cartridge to preamp.  But with a switchable internal phone pre and USB output, I'm wondering if even with this stuff off the signal is being run through unnecessary and probably cheap electronics.  This is apparently a problem with the XXX-120 (see You Yube vids).

 

Has anyone checked this out and/or tried any other kinds of mods on these?