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Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these days

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Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these days

Postby Sequoia225 » 04 May 2012 00:51

Hello - new here. I was a teen in the mid to late 80s buying TONS of records into the early 90s. While I cared about music sound (went on to be a sound engineer), I only had an average to decent consumer turntable from the late 80s. I took good care of the vinyl - cleaning each and all in plastic sleeves - but dont know if the cheaper turntable/stylus did any damage - whatever - they are whatever they are.

The only other turntable I really know about is the Technics SL 1200 as we wld rent them during my music studio days working with hip hop sessions. I didnt own one but thought it seemed like a great turntable.

Other than some basic ideas about turntable technologies (direct arguments vs belt drives) That is the extent of my knowledge and since the late 90s - my vinyl has sat in boxes in a garage (at least upright).

I decided lately I want to

1. start a project transferring my many records that one cant find on CD into digital files. For this I would want something that is going to play the vinyl at the best possibly quality for what I can afford in a turntable.

2. Get set back up where I can also just play my old and newer vinyl when I want to for enjoyment - I have recently started buying a handful of my fav albums of the past 10 years in vinyl form for future enjoyment.


But other than the Technics - I know nothing about what turntables are good or not for what price. I have scanned a few websites showcasing models - most of them VERY expensive.

I am thinking I would be in the 500 dollar to 1000 dollar range for a turntable.


sidenote - I used to have a little home recording studio set up with roommates - and one of them owned and left with me a Technics turntable I think - I need to pull it out and see which one it is and the condition.

So I guess my main question is - What direction should I go in for a great turntable up to about 1000 dollars - and what is the opinion of the Technics DD standard turntables that I think are no longer being made as of 2010?

Ill get back to you on what I find with that turntable I think was left with me sitting in storage.

Or perhaps point me in the direction of getting more familiar with whats available and liked these days in turntables.

Any help is appreciated!!

-Sequoia
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby SteveA2 » 04 May 2012 06:17

You should be able to get a pretty good 70's or 80's TT for your budget and the SL1200 is still rated as one of the better ones to aim at. I believe they can be modified to good effect as well, but I am not sure how much difference that actually makes.

I am currently using an unmodified but moving coil equipped Pioneer PL71 which I have owned since back in the 70's and it recently held its own against a well set up LP12/Aro/Lyra combination (yes the LP12 is also still going - just like Granddads’ Axe). The LP12 was still better than the PL71 but not by an embarrassing amount.

Haven’t tried converting my vinyl to digital so can’t advise there, except to say don’t be tempted by those USB turntables as, to the best of my knowledge, they are not going to fulfil your quality needs. Perhaps I will do it if I get round to having a music server.

Steve
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby duficity » 04 May 2012 20:00

For your budget, there are a number of used turnables that will do a very good job for you. the Technics SL1200 is one of them, Rega P3, Project, VPI HW19 Mk III and up, Sota Sapphire, Thorens etc. Make sure you get a decent cartridge, probably Moving Magnet like an Ortofon 2c Blue or better and a decent phono preamp. Cambridge Audio 540p is good or Project Phono box.

Do not get a usb table. most are of poor quality, and usb is not the best method of transferring signals to digital. If you have to use a usb, try the Royce 530 or its variants.
Good luck
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 04 May 2012 22:41

Upon further research - I found out I still have my old TT too from when I was like 20. lol. It was this one -
http://www.vinylengine.com/library/tech ... dd33.shtml


I also have this one here (like previously mentioned - I had 2 left from old roommates from our home studio days)

http://www.vinylengine.com/library/tech ... d202.shtml

I am trying to see what the better Technics one is - my old roommate has it in the guest house and hes not home. I think its an SL1200 but I dont know how old or what condition.

I know not to get one of those USB ones. As I said - I am a sound engineer and while not really an "audiophile" per se as I am not at ALL up on high end home equipment info (and I am envious of all you who are) - but I care a lot about quality and the AD converters in those things must be horrible. I use Pro Tools heavily and work in a place with top professional audio gear so I will likely be using the turntable going into high end A to D converters

I know NOTHING of these TT brands you speak of though other than Technics. :)

If I was to up my spending to about 1500 would you have different answers?
And if Im going to buy used - since these things are so mechanical - how would I know a unit that was properly cared for.

Also - what would be a CURRENTLY produced NEW turntable "best option" for under 2grand? Is there nothing that beats out buying used? I ask just because I would love something that doesnt need a lot of maintenance or "restoring".

I know - a lot of questions - but I really appreciate your input!!!
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby JoeE SP9 » 04 May 2012 23:44

With a budget of up to $1500 I would be looking at a new TT. Some candidates are; Music Hall MMF-7.1, Rega RP-6, Clearaudio Concept, Sota Comet (all from Needle Doctor) or Consonance LP6.1 (from Grant Fidelity).
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby dlaloum » 05 May 2012 00:39

The 202 and the 33 are at a similar level of quality - they are good entry level turntables.

To a substantial degree their performance limits are driven by the cartridge/stylus fitted - and they could certainly surprise you with their performance. ie they are not bad!
The 202 is a 1/2" mount mid mass arm suitable for mid compliance cartridges, the 33 is a p-mount low mass arm, for which the cartridges are high compliance. (fewer cartridge options for the 33, but still no lack of high quality options)

At a budget of $1500, there are many vintage top of the line "reference" designs that could be picked up.
You could also get a new Technics SL1200mkII with ALL the mods - and that is a very serious bit of audiophile kit too!

Most of the top of the line consumer brands had really excellent turntables in the mid 80's which now sell for well under $1000... With $1500, you could pick up one of these, and have budget left for a good phono stage and a good cartridge.

The better cartridge performance levels tend to start around $300 with the sky being the limit. 99% of the possible performance available at astronomical $$$$ can be achieved with cartridges around the $500 mark.

Bunch of ideas - hope that helps

bye for now

David
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 05 May 2012 01:44

Well you are all giving me a good starting point to do some research on.

What is a phono stage? I am guessing you are referring to something to PUT the turntable on?

And so whats the story with the Technics 1200. On the site it looks like maybe the 1200mk5 may still be in production.

I am confused with the 1200 thing - are they still making them or is what they make now NOT as good as it was once?

Again - you guys are awesome and all this info helps a lot - I like researching but entering into this is a little overwhelming as there is a lot to look into and I needed some starting paths.
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 05 May 2012 02:07

ok I found out the other turntable that was left with my old home studio several years back.
Its an SL-1200MK2-M
But it also says SL-1200Mk2-A-1
Serial number is GE7GV30321

Its sitting in my guest house where a roommate lives. he bought a cartrige for it ages ago but says its broken (thinks it got broken in a move or something).

We dont know how old it is - it seems you guys know a lot based on the serial numbers?

anything you could tell me about this one and what in general one DOES to modify a 1200 like this to make it even better?
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby HT Performance » 05 May 2012 02:19

What you want is a Rega P3 turntable!

No doubts mate! ;)


Cheers!
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 05 May 2012 02:51

yet ANOTHER question -

Wiki says the 1200Mk2 stopped being made in 2010 - but then what is this?
Amazon - sold by Technics. Are they still selling new units if it stopped production in 2010?
IF (its still an if) I was to buy a 1200 - would this be the best way to do it?

http://www.amazon.com/TECHNICS-SL-1200M ... 204&sr=8-1
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby mmarston » 05 May 2012 03:19

Sequoia225 wrote:yet ANOTHER question -

Wiki says the 1200Mk2 stopped being made in 2010 - but then what is this?
Amazon - sold by Technics. Are they still selling new units if it stopped production in 2010?
IF (its still an if) I was to buy a 1200 - would this be the best way to do it?

http://www.amazon.com/TECHNICS-SL-1200M ... 204&sr=8-1


"Only 2 left in stock..." Prices have gone up radically for unsold units after production stopped. They're asking 1.33x what I spent for a *pair* in the mid 90s. Seems less a bargain. My suggestion would be to spruce up the D202 for short term while you go looking for a lightly used 1200. They last forever if not abused. Unless you're way out in the boonies, I'd keep an eye on Craigslist for local sellers where you can inspect the unit, and avoid the vagaries of shipping. If your subject has no scars, starts & stops quickly, arm pivots freely with no play in the bearings, etc. you've got a keeper. Should be able to find one in fine shape for $300-400, just don't pull the trigger until you find the perfect example.

The other tables mentioned are all good, I also have a NAD533 (re-badged Rega) that I use often, but I love my 1200s! "They can take them when they pry them from my cold dead hands..."

Best,
Mike
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 05 May 2012 03:33

"Unless you're way out in the boonies,"

While I am on the edge of Los Angeles - at the foothills north of downtown - Im still in "Los Angeles" so hardly the boonies. ;) There must be plenty of people letting go of good turntables here if I am to go used.

If any of you internet regulars happen to see this video last month that went viral - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmhvdtX72eQ
That is EXACTLY where I live. :) this was right near me. lol

You guys all rock. While I treasured my vinyl collection amassed from early 80s to mid 90s - I honestly have ignored it for years now - and this is making me a bit excited to get back into it all a bit.
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Alec124c41 » 05 May 2012 04:21

Clean up the 1200, mount a Denon DL-110, and stop to listen to some music.

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Eoin » 05 May 2012 08:34

If I've got this right, you're saying you've already got an SL1200?

If so, go with that and as Alec says get it cleaned up and a decent cart on it. That's definitely the way to go. Go grab it and let us know what needs done to it.

Also when people here say 'phono stage' what they mean is the little Pre-amp that brings the cartridge signal up to line levels and performs the equalisation required. Onboard as you know on many older amps but missing on lots of modern gear. Can be a standalone unit. Prices from $30-$3000+.

'prices to modify an SL-1200'. Well many people think its excellent as it stands, so modifying it is very optional and I think I'd concentrate on getting your own one working well before deciding if you need to modify it (what I mean is you probably don't). Th arm is considered very good already so people tween them by changing the power supply, the feet and the platter. The motor and bearing can be modified and it's possible to fit different arms as well so as usual the sky is the limit so tweaks again go from $20-$X000. Like many modifications the value is always debatable but there are definite benefits to be had. Get it working and nicely setup first!
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Re: Old vinyl collector - no idea wht turntable 2 buy these

Postby Sequoia225 » 05 May 2012 17:18

Yes - sorry for confusion. When I STARTED the thread - I was not sure what I had that a former roommate had left - as they were in my storage.

I have now confirmed that one of the 2 he left was a 1200 - and it is residing in my guest house with my other old roommate. It doesnt really belong to either of us - or belongs to both of us - if you catch my meaning - but hes been using it - and apparently its currently sitting with a broken cartridge on it. Again though, its not "mine" - its sort of "ours" - so I may look into just getting one for myself - or Ill commandeer it and bring it up to shape. But again - I hadnt confirmed it was even in our possession when I started the thread.

Oh "phono stage" - ok lol - well yes I know that TTs need a pre amp for line level - there IS a separate pre amp with this 1200 it turns out that my roommate bought.

I need to find a dealer here in Los Angeles who specializes in turntables I think - would be good to know one.


Now for yet ANOTHER question....
My grandfather long ago had left his old vinyl with me. These are 78s.
How do I best go about playing those? I dont see many of these turntables with that option.
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