A Used Turntable Question
Sep 15, 2009 at 2:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

rjoseph

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I have the opportunity to buy a B&O Beogram RX2 for $50 from a local seller. He says it carries a MMC4 cart. Is this setup any good for the price? i read in another thread that the cart is proprietary. Is this kind of setup preferred or am I better off going for an alternate TT (Dual, Denon etc). I want to buy a good one and keep it for sometime.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM Post #2 of 20

memepool

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Hi yes the RX-2 was the very last radial Beogram made, being sold into the 1990s. Beogram RX 2

As mentioned in another recent thread the carts are only available from The Soundsmith, and although expensive compared to a 50USD Audio Technica, are amongst the best MM/MI carts available on the market at any price today with the added bonus of not requiring any fiddly alignment. boall.html

The RX 2 is very nicely made and for 200USD including a new cart will comfortably compete with new turntables under 1000USD today like the Pro-Ject or Rega P3, with the added bonus of being better designed, and made and semi automatic which is rarity today.

If you can afford one and like the styling then I'd go for it.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM Post #3 of 20

rjoseph

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Thanks memepool. Since its a local buyer I'll ask for an audition before buying. But how does one make out that the needle needs a change?
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM Post #4 of 20

NightOwl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks memepool. Since its a local buyer I'll ask for an audition before buying. But how does one make out that the needle needs a change?


It's usually best if you bring a record (or a few) with you that you know is in good condition and that you're familiar with. If you don't have any, try to have some music played that you're familiar with.

A worn stylus will sound "rough". Noise will be emphasised. A "scrubbing" sound can sometimes be heard. Highs will be rolled off, something that should definitely not occur with a B&O cartridge. The midrange will sound a little congested. Bass may be flabby, not tight.

The overall sound will be dull, not clear.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:29 PM Post #5 of 20

rjoseph

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thanks NightOwl. The seller is okay with test drive. I'll take a couple of my LPs and see what comes of it.

By the way, which is better? a MMC3 or MMC4?
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM Post #6 of 20

NightOwl

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Just fyi. B&O turntables are very good and clear, but they may not sound as full in comparison to some other tables. They are dynamic, but overall more of an airy sound with tight bass rather than lush or heavy impact.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM Post #7 of 20

NightOwl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
By the way, which is better? a MMC3 or MMC4?


Sorry, I missed this from your post.

The SMMC3 is supposed to be better, but I haven't heard it.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:52 PM Post #8 of 20

rjoseph

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NightOwl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just fyi. B&O turntables are very good and clear, but they may not sound as full in comparison to some other tables. They are dynamic, but overall more of an airy sound with tight bass rather than lush or heavy impact.


Oh, that is something. I was hoping to buy a TT and keep it for sometime to come. If B&O is not the one, what other ones would you recommend. I saw some Dual, JVC and Denons online. since i prefer local pickup, should i just wait for one of these to come up and buy it. I especially like the wooded ones. Just looking for something that is closest to CD quality in clarity.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:01 PM Post #9 of 20

NightOwl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Oh, that is something. I was hoping to buy a TT and keep it for sometime to come. If B&O is not the one, what other ones would you recommend. I saw some Dual, JVC and Denons online. since i prefer local pickup, should i just wait for one of these to come up and buy it. I especially like the wooded ones. Just looking for something that is closest to CD quality in clarity.


You want something that sounds as bad as a CD? I thought you were looking for a good turntable
tongue.gif
.

Turntables are as subjective as headphones. If the B&O has a working cartridge, it's an outright steal at that price. I think the looks are pretty good. The first B&O turntable of that style is in the Smithsonian as a landmark design.

Go listen to it and make up your own mind. I was making an observation so that the sound of the table doesn't shock you as being different from what you've heard before. Give it a chance and listen to it for more than one or two songs.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:08 PM Post #10 of 20

rjoseph

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Haha. I'll take up on it and give it a listen or two. Thanks. I'll post my outcome here.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:39 PM Post #11 of 20

memepool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was hoping to buy a TT and keep it for sometime to come. If B&O is not the one, what other ones would you recommend. I saw some Dual, JVC and Denons online. since i prefer local pickup, should i just wait for one of these to come up and buy it. I especially like the wooded ones. Just looking for something that is closest to CD quality in clarity.


The RX2 is lighter than some of the earlier B&O tables so in order to get the best out of it you really should put it on a very solid surface preferably on it's own. It's a suspended subchassis design with leaf springs like the Thorens models from the 1980s and '90s (TD320 etc) so it's self levelling unlike most decks of this type. It will work on any surface but will sound light in the bass unless it's solidly supported.
If you have suspended floorboards I'd consider a wall shelf, for any turntable.

B&O decks are better than the others you mentioned on the whole and the belt driven ones like this will give you years of trouble free usage with only the belt and oil needing a change occasionally. The only expensive part is replacing the cart every 2-5 years (depending on level of usage).

Any of the S(oundsmith)MMC range will work. I think the RX2 came with a now discontinued basic MMC5, but they get better as the numbers go down with SMMC2 being about as far as I would go if you are feeling flush. This has a ruby cantilever and contact line diamond which is something you only usually find on the very best Dynavector MC carts these days. (@1000USD++)

B&O decks, like all their kit has a very smooth and cultured sound. The stylus has very low surface noise and they are great for headphone listening. Depending on what kind of music you like; if you are more into Metallica say than John Coltrane, you might find it a little too smooth. That would be my biggest criticism really.

Of the other decks you mentioned, Dual were always more of a budget deck, albeit one of greatest, and the earlier ones which can play '78s are probably the best made and most coveted. The later CS-505 series are excellent too and you can still buy the CS-505-4 new for around 500 Euros. Don't know if they are still exported to the USA, but they are not as good as a Beogram.

As well as a lot of dross all the big Japanese firms like JVC and Denon made some amazing hi-end designs which you can see here THEVINTAGEKNOB : vintage audio museum, but these are rare and sought after and on the whole pretty complex mechanically, being full of parts which are no longer available so beware.

They turn up cheap from time to time but unless you really know your onions then they are best avoided. For a similar deck look no further than a Technics SL-1200 which are much more widely supported and can be upgraded to a very high level. In stock form though I'd still take a Beogram over an SL1200.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:56 PM Post #12 of 20

rjoseph

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Thanks memepool. thats is very nice writeup. i'll definitely give it a listen. My music requirements of it is in line with the music from that era. Classic rock, jazz, classical etc which i assume it should be able to handle.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:45 PM Post #13 of 20

rjoseph

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Is a MMC3 substantially better than the MMC4 cart? I have another seller with this cart for the same price. I can only audition the MMC4.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:55 PM Post #14 of 20

ssportclay

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is a MMC3 substantially better than the MMC4 cart? I have another seller with this cart for the same price. I can only audition the MMC4.


The MMC3 features a nude elliptical stylus where the MMC4 uses a less expensive bonded elliptical stylus. I haven't heard any of these but the higher end unit with the nude fine line stylus is suppose to be world class special.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:05 PM Post #15 of 20

memepool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rjoseph /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is a MMC3 substantially better than the MMC4 cart? I have another seller with this cart for the same price. I can only audition the MMC4.


I'd always tend to go for the one you audition. Getting either of these in working order will be a score. The MMC3 is better but you're probably going to have to replace the stylus anyway so it's more important to make sure the deck itself is working correctly.
 

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