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Inexpensive Audiophile Turntables

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Inexpensive Audiophile Turntables

Postby soulmerchant » 30 Jan 2008 22:48

Is it possible? - why of course. We've had posting on budget cartridges that are truly great. How about very inexpensive but high quality Turntables?

Here is my offering. A nice (and inexpensive) idler wheel turntable that will give pricey audiophile decks a real run for their money:

All the old idlers are going up, up, up in price you say? Want the idler wheel sound but don't need the pedigree? Well here's my suggestion:

The Lenco L70
Image

Very nice precision tonarm and easy to maintain too. Nice movement and not made of plastic either.

I mounted a denon dl-103 on it and it really sings. Not really possible to adjust the tracking angle, but since the dl-103 cost three times more than the complete deck, I can't complain. It tracks between the Baerwald and Loefgren..

The turntable rotates a full 2 minutes after being turned off. The motor and drive system is DEAD silent. I have been trying hard, but I can only detect slight rumble with a STETHESCOPE. It is without question the quietest idler I have ever owned.

It comes right up to speed too. And holds it perfectly. You can even get any speed you want up to about 80 rpm (maybe higher) with a lenco due to its ingenious drive mechanism.

Lenco had a great concept but spared money in some important areas though. The original plinth is a glued and stapled pressboard job with vinyl covering. Quite a sight , I must admit...

Who can contribute the next inexpensive deck?
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Postby kitemap » 31 Jan 2008 09:50

http://www.lenco-lovers.com/forum/
For lots of Lenco advise.

But as far as other second hand turntables go the ARs go very cheap and are pretty good.
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Postby davidsss » 31 Jan 2008 10:11

My old Micro Seiki was $350, maybe not that cheap but after 20 years it's looking like a bargain to me.

My message would be: do the research, find a less well known deck that fits your criteria (better to find a list of them actually) and try and get one second hand. Just ask Beltway what his version of the same table cost him (hint: below 1 cent).

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Postby soulmerchant » 31 Jan 2008 18:32

kitemap wrote:But as far as other second hand turntables go the ARs go very cheap and are pretty good.


I agree. But which AR model is a true BARGAIN?

I wouldn't recomend any old lenco. I particularly like the L70 (or GL59 in the UK) due to its quality tonearm and excellent idler qualities

Other old idlers such as the Sugden Connoisseur, those from BSR and of course Rek-O-Kut and dual can be great too...
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Postby delcam1n0 » 31 Jan 2008 19:05

I'd still put a strong vote in for the Thorens
TD150/TD160 -and some of their variants-
which still can be had at halfway realistic
prices and which, with some effort, can be
made to sing beautifully in decent systems.

(And now of course every non-VE sod that
reads this goes and doubles, nay triples his
estimated pricing afore 'Baying it...)
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Postby satanfriendly » 31 Jan 2008 21:20

If we are talking 'used' then for their prices I reckon the likes of Dual 504/505's are a steal together with one of my favourite cheapies the 'Sansui SR222'.

I've always thought the SR222 (which was quite a press rave) has been overlooked of recent, although I noticed the prices have been creeping up on the Bay, but then again which prices haven't?

I often see ERA decks going rather reasonably, but I don't know anything about them or anyone with experience of them (Mr.Flip?). Someone is bound to give them a good press on here then we can all watch the prices rise as we all chase one!
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Postby delcam1n0 » 31 Jan 2008 21:40

Satan,

An Etude Recherche Acoustique (ERA MkVI?) was
my first serious TT donkey's years ago: Almost like
a voluminous Planar, w.o. any suspension and wrapped
in a metal, wood-cheeked box. But it was better than a
Conoisseur BD2(?) to my ears...And very cheap too!

The AR that succeeded it won, and then a Linn LP12 beat
that XB to semi-pulp in turn....(All were fitted with same
G707)

I've seen a few ERAs on the 'Bay lately: Certainly worth
a punt if one could still obtain the properly sized belt...
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Postby Abandonflip » 31 Jan 2008 22:03

delcam1n0 wrote:Almost like a voluminous Planar, w.o. any suspension...

Not strictly true of course, as it had some rather rudimentary foam pads separating the top and bottom - about as much suspension as a Planar had!

Mine had the apparently quite usual problem of the speed switch arcing - giving a loud thump through the speakers - easily rectified by a new suppressor though.

Otherwise, I had many hours of pleasure with it, fitted variously with an SME 3009, Hadcock 242 and Syrinx LE1.

The great beauty of it was it's seemingly neutral sound, which highlighted the differences between the arms, a multitude of cartridges, mats of all sorts, etc.

I wouldn't buy one now - but that's just pure snobbery (and perhaps a half-assed attempt to sway the market away from them so that I can scour fleabay :oops: ).
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Postby Abandonflip » 31 Jan 2008 22:08

satanfriendly wrote:I've always thought the SR222 (which was quite a press rave) has been overlooked of recent, although I noticed the prices have been creeping up on the Bay

My cousin had a Sansui 222 when I owned a Luxman PD-284 - that often led to some interesting 'bake offs'.

No doubt the 222 had the beating of the 284 though, as much as I loved my Luxman.

Oh, and the build quality was pretty good - heavy platter, beefy DD motor, etc. The arm was too weedy though, with nasty plastic knife-edge bearings. Where the 222 could stand an upgrade to a decent arm, the Luxman couldn't.
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Postby kitemap » 04 Feb 2008 10:24

soulmerchant wrote:I agree. But which AR model is a true BARGAIN?


I've never heard an EB101, but my brother has an AR turntable (I've think may be the same as the legend) and they go for between £40 and £80 on FleeBay. I reckon it pissed on my old Rega 3.
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Inexpensive Audiophile Turntables

Postby dsvigos » 04 Feb 2008 16:07

I don't know whether an 'inexpensive' and/or 'used' deck can also be an 'audiophile' one...

Nevertheless, since we are mostly talking about used equipment here, to my ears the Duals (of the 505 kind) are the most musical and most quiet ones. And believe me you can get one (or several) for free.

Now if we discuss about new decks I personally believe that there are still some cheap decently sounding decks such as the projects and the like.
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Postby soulmerchant » 07 Feb 2008 01:07

This is a real bargain: http://cgi.ebay.com/classic-SONY-PS-X50

It's not automatic - it's semi - with VTA on the fly. Not the ultimate, but damn good. Will probably go for under $100. US.


That truly is a bargain. It sold for $135... Some sony tonearms are underrated... Most won't touch them because they are sony - but the build quality is often better then expected!
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Postby crofk » 07 Feb 2008 02:51

I've got a Sony PS 4750 direct drive. Don't recall what I gave for it( back in the 70s) but its been very reliable and still runs true. Haven't seen any like it on fleabay so I really can't say what they are worth today. Don't know if that's good or bad :? Can't really say that I've seen another one period. Maybe someone else can add something about it.

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Re: Inexpensive Audiophile Turntables

Postby LeeS » 07 Feb 2008 12:27

dsvigos wrote:I don't know whether an 'inexpensive' and/or 'used' deck can also be an 'audiophile' one...

Why? :?
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Postby JollyJeweller » 07 Feb 2008 14:28

I suppose some people connect price with Audiophile...if it's not expensive it can't be audiophile, wrongly.
Certainly a used deck can be, I've just bought a used Avid Acutus, and it's still an audiophile deck even if I did buy it on ebay.
If you buy a used Brinkmann, it's still an audiophile deck !
You'll hear Angel Trumpets and Devil Trombones...you are invited.
Delphi/SME/Shelter/Whest/Trigon Pre & Powers/McCormack/NEAT Ultimatums/Squeezebox
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