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Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 24 May 2018 12:05

tlscapital wrote:
ArcaneAardvark wrote:
Audie wrote:I think the Kenwood KD 3055 is an automatic belt drive turntable. The arm is motor driven- these can be a problem at some time. I do not know if it can be operated manually if the small motor fails.
It should be a cheap buy for temporary use until you save for something better, if you do not like it. The bonded marble base would Help with foot falls.


I think I'll stick with my Garrard for now, I'm not really looking for something I will have to upgrade in the future. Footfalls are a problem, but I'm used to tip toeing around while listening.


That is I believe a wise attitude. If you want to set your Grado Green cartridge on a turntable that will not challenge it with motor issues and with a tonearm that will grace it, wait for the right opportunity to knock.

As for your footfall issue, don't you have the room and/or the solid wall to have a wall mount base for your turntable ? It can be cheap and improved (dampened) and easy to fix with most of the time instant result.


Since I got it tracking correctly, my Garrard with the Shure M75ed really isn't bad in my opinion. My main complaint is the lack of a manual cueing arm. I'll still keep an eye out, and like you say "wait for the right opportunity to knock". I don't have the room right now, but I will once I get the extra room in my house cleaned out (hopefully soon). Once that happens, I will look into building a shelf. Right now my Garrard is just sitting on a dresser.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Audie » 24 May 2018 16:16

So many suggestions can be confusing - so take your time.

considering your constraints of choice: Budget $250.00; compatible with Grado Prestige Green and Nagoaka 110 cartridges; manual tonearm; adjustable VTA/tonearm height; serviced/good condition (new) turntable:

The new AT120 USB was the only one I could find. It is supplied with an AT95B cartridge (can be upgraded to an AT97xE)
It is available new from some authorised dealers for $250.00 in the USA, (and others for $299), (disregard the many sites asking rediculous prices). I even found a site offering it for $250 in Australia.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Audie » 24 May 2018 16:38

The AT LP120 is a clone of the Technics SP1200 MK2,which would have been a good choice , but is out of your budget.
This should work for you. The cartridge will have the main effect on the sound, as The arm should be built good enough to not detract significantly from the result.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 24 May 2018 16:53

Audie wrote:The AT LP120 is a clone of the Technics SP1200 MK2,which would have been a good choice , but is out of your budget.
This should work for you. The cartridge will have the main effect on the sound, as The arm should be built good enough to not detract significantly from the result.

Sounds pretty good, thanks for your Help. What about the humming problem associated with using an unshielded cartridge on a direct drive?
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Audie » 24 May 2018 19:11

You are forgetting Drewan77's post on Page2, 6th post down. He has used 2 different Technics SL 1200s and a SL1600 with the Grado Prestige 2 with absolutely no hum across, even at high volume.
The AT LP120 is said to be a copy of the Technics.


With the AT LP120, you would be in the sweet position to choose from 3 cartridges: Your Grado, the AT 95E that comes with the LP120 and the Nagaoka MP110 that you have said you may prefer to the Grado.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 24 May 2018 19:50

Audie wrote:You are forgetting Drewan77's post on Page2, 6th post down. He has used 2 different Technics SL 1200s and a SL1600 with the Grado Prestige 2 with absolutely no hum across, even at high volume.
The AT LP120 is said to be a copy of the Technics.


With the AT LP120, you would be in the sweet position to choose from 3 cartridges: Your Grado, the AT 95E that comes with the LP120 and the Nagaoka MP110 that you have said you may prefer to the Grado.

Right right, I did forget. This does seem like a good choice, the Walmart website has them for $254. I also have a Shure M75ed cartridge I could use, and I have an upgraded stylus for that that I can't use on the Garrard because it tracks too lightly. Is the LP120 also likely to sound better than my Garrard 40 MKII?
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 25 May 2018 04:59

I'm sure it will. This is probably what I'll go with, Newegg has them refurbished for $229.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 25 May 2018 07:51

I really appreciate everyone who has responded and helped me in this thread. I see that the LP120 doesn't have any sort of auto-stop or tonearm return feature, so I think I'll pass on this one. For now I think I'll take my Garrard SL95 to another shop to see if they can fix it.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Audie » 25 May 2018 19:10

Understood: Auto arm-Lift, Return and Stop is a priority.
Professional repair of your Garrard SL95 could be costly though. If you still want another Turntable, you could use that for a better (costlier) one.

Checked some owner opinions of the LP120. The opinion is that it needs a bit of tweaking to sound it's best ( not unusual for Turntables), in particular that the internal preamp should be removed, as it degrades the sound, even when bypassed. I doubt you would be able to do this yourself. There is a video available for this procedure.

It is a low cost TT so that could be expected. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for".
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby ArcaneAardvark » 25 May 2018 20:13

Audie wrote:Understood: Auto arm-Lift, Return and Stop is a priority.
Professional repair of your Garrard SL95 could be costly though. If you still want another Turntable, you could use that for a better (costlier) one.

Good point, however I'm starting to think that what I really want doesn't exist. I know there are some really good automatics out there like the Denon DP47F and the Sansui XR-Q7, but neither of those will play 78's, which is another requirement of mine I've neglected to mention.

Audie wrote:Checked some owner opinions of the LP120. The opinion is that it needs a bit of tweaking to sound it's best ( not unusual for Turntables), in particular that the internal preamp should be removed, as it degrades the sound, even when bypassed. I doubt you would be able to do this yourself. There is a video available for this procedure.

It is a low cost TT so that could be expected. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for".

I found a very good video of the preamp removal with sound comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NT67ii04uQ I don't think I would have any trouble doing this, it's a very simple procedure. I have some experience working with electronics and soldering.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Audie » 26 May 2018 08:43

Very good You tube video on removal of the phono board from The AT-Lp120. Very detailed.

Definite improvement when removed -cleaner and more detailed sound.
As the demonstrator said, sound preference is an individual thing.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby hurdy_gurdyman » 27 May 2018 03:23

I wanted a wall mount shelf back then I had my Thorens TD160, but my wife absolutely forbid it. I'm single now, so might consider one if I ever get another Thorens. Could be the perfect solution.

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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby hurdy_gurdyman » 27 May 2018 03:33

There are accessory end-of-play arm lifters that will work on almost and turntable. They won't shut the turntable off, but they will lift the tonearm and save stylus wear. They can be had for under a hundred dollars. Just a thought.

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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby KentT » 27 May 2018 03:37

Audie wrote:You are forgetting Drewan77's post on Page2, 6th post down. He has used 2 different Technics SL 1200s and a SL1600 with the Grado Prestige 2 with absolutely no hum across, even at high volume.
The AT LP120 is said to be a copy of the Technics.


With the AT LP120, you would be in the sweet position to choose from 3 cartridges: Your Grado, the AT 95E that comes with the LP120 and the Nagaoka MP110 that you have said you may prefer to the Grado.


Don't assume the AT-PL 120 is a Technics. It looks like one, but the motor is different, the engineering and build is different, and the tonearm is not quite up to Technics standard for build, engineering, or consistency from sample to sample. It likely will be somewhat OK. But also realize Grados like lowish mass, damped tonearms, for best tracking. Not dissing the Audio-Technica here, for many it's the best you can get today for it's price, a good example is good for that price. But today, the Technics kept the quality when re-introduced, but is now $2000 and change, so consider why the AT is cheaper. Precision engineering, and build quality of Technics standard on today's smaller scale retooled, is severely expensive.
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Re: Best turntable for $250 or less for Grado green2

Postby Gelid » 29 May 2018 16:48

KentT wrote:
Audie wrote:You are forgetting Drewan77's post on Page2, 6th post down. He has used 2 different Technics SL 1200s and a SL1600 with the Grado Prestige 2 with absolutely no hum across, even at high volume.
The AT LP120 is said to be a copy of the Technics.


With the AT LP120, you would be in the sweet position to choose from 3 cartridges: Your Grado, the AT 95E that comes with the LP120 and the Nagaoka MP110 that you have said you may prefer to the Grado.


Don't assume the AT-PL 120 is a Technics. It looks like one, but the motor is different, the engineering and build is different, and the tonearm is not quite up to Technics standard for build, engineering, or consistency from sample to sample. It likely will be somewhat OK. But also realize Grados like lowish mass, damped tonearms, for best tracking. Not dissing the Audio-Technica here, for many it's the best you can get today for it's price, a good example is good for that price. But today, the Technics kept the quality when re-introduced, but is now $2000 and change, so consider why the AT is cheaper. Precision engineering, and build quality of Technics standard on today's smaller scale retooled, is severely expensive.


Just for the record (no pun intended!) the gentleman that made that great video ArcaneAardvark referenced about removing the preamp also has another video titled "Cartridge Journey" about what he went through to find a cartridge that he liked on the AT-LP120. In that video he says that when he tried the Grado Gold it hummed.
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