Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

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JoeE SP9
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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by JoeE SP9 » 15 Nov 2018 18:13

The only current AT TT I would consider is the AT-LP5. It's direct drive with a J shaped arm and standard SME type head shell. It does not in any way look like a DJ table.

https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turn ... index.html

Spinner45
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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by Spinner45 » 15 Nov 2018 21:29

JoeE SP9 wrote:
15 Nov 2018 18:13
The only current AT TT I would consider is the AT-LP5. It's direct drive with a J shaped arm and standard SME type head shell. It does not in any way look like a DJ table.

https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turn ... index.html
Lovely basic turntable the LP5, however, this isn't so lovely - "Wow and Flutter: < 0.2% WRMS (33 RPM)"

Those types of specifications worry me.
Using the "under" "<" symbol is not very soothing.
For all I know, it could actually be 0.18%, crappy for such a machine.

My own DD turntable is rated at 0.025%.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by JoeE SP9 » 15 Nov 2018 21:58

I have a TT (VPI HW-19/TNT platter and bearing/SDS) that I'm satisfied with. Specs don't mean very much to me. How something actually sounds is my concern. I did notice the Wow and Flutter figures on the LP5. However, I'm bothered more by the tendency of Rega TT's to run fast.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by pivot » 15 Nov 2018 22:14

To a newbie good manufacturer/dealer support can be gold. Yes, vintage/used gear can be a great buy but most of it will need some "end user intervention". Many of the folks here have been at this game for decades. Replacing belts, lubricating motor shafts, swapping tubes is second nature to us grey beards. Buy used if and only if you have a reliable experienced audiophile at your shoulder.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by lenjack » 16 Nov 2018 00:49

I don't see why s or j shaped should matter.

Spinner45
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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by Spinner45 » 16 Nov 2018 03:23

lenjack wrote:
16 Nov 2018 00:49
I don't see why s or j shaped should matter.
It doesn't.
But lordy mama..... you'll open up another thread of that!
P.S. it's been talked to death already.

vinyl master
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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by vinyl master » 16 Nov 2018 03:43

pivot wrote:
15 Nov 2018 22:14
To a newbie good manufacturer/dealer support can be gold. Yes, vintage/used gear can be a great buy but most of it will need some "end user intervention". Many of the folks here have been at this game for decades. Replacing belts, lubricating motor shafts, swapping tubes is second nature to us grey beards. Buy used if and only if you have a reliable experienced audiophile at your shoulder.
Well, "used" was the first turntable I ever got...and I was only about 6 or 7 years old! I didn't know a thing about turntables, but I'm glad I kept this one all these years...

27714

Not the best, but it was a free gift and all my dad could afford at the time...He actually plucked it out of the neighbor's trash with a box of records! :D It reminds me of my earliest beginnings in this hobby, as well...Keep in mind that all of this "used" stuff we talk about now was once bought NEW, and often by people who had no prior knowledge of hi-fi, turntables or stereo set-up...Fortunately, I have learned a lot in the many years I've been at this game...When you say "buy used only if you have a reliable experienced audiophile at your shoulder", what about all of the Engineers here at VE? There are plenty of experienced audiophiles here, should one have any questions and there are manuals for just about every turntable there is (with a few exceptions)...With time, patience and the inclination to do the careful work/study involved and follow the manuals, almost anyone in essence can learn what they need to know about their specific turntable...Spend a lot of time researching and reading threads here on VE...Knowledge is power and will serve you well into the future! I've said it before, but getting into vinyl and playing vinyl records doesn't have to be uber-complicated...And trust me when I say that the rewards, both economically and sonically, are worth the effort in the end! =D>

Keep in mind, too, that like my grandparents during the Depression, money and items were scarce and almost everyone had to learn how to fix things/ration stuff they had since they had no choice...Maybe the art of repairing things rather than throwing them away is becoming a lost art with the younger generation, but it doesn't have to be!

Food for thought, in any case... 8-[

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by lenjack » 16 Nov 2018 03:45

Spinner45 wrote:
16 Nov 2018 03:23
lenjack wrote:
16 Nov 2018 00:49
I don't see why s or j shaped should matter.
It doesn't.
But lordy mama..... you'll open up another thread of that!
P.S. it's been talked to death already.
As opposed to straight arms with offset headshells, that is.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by Spinner45 » 16 Nov 2018 03:50

lenjack wrote:
16 Nov 2018 03:45
Spinner45 wrote:
16 Nov 2018 03:23
lenjack wrote:
16 Nov 2018 00:49
I don't see why s or j shaped should matter.
It doesn't.
But lordy mama..... you'll open up another thread of that!
P.S. it's been talked to death already.
As opposed to straight arms with offset headshells, that is.
You sure want to open up a mess, doncha?
LOL!

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by blackdogvinyl » 16 Nov 2018 14:50

62vauxhall wrote:
05 Nov 2018 18:56
I grew up with the what now the vintage turntables. Maybe it's esthetics or "feel" but none of the newer offerings do anything for me. Not viewing them from a technical aspect, just a user appreciation one.

I tried a Rega once, an early one (that might even be considered vintage by now) but got rid of it within days. Not one thing inspired me to keep it and it had an SME 3009 arm with a damping fluid trough.

There was no satisfaction or "joy" in using it.

Depends on how you look at things I guess. To me, form and function must be together rather than function by itself.
Well put.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by blackdogvinyl » 16 Nov 2018 15:17

I'm new here but I am an old fart and I suppose I get points for having hundreds of LPs in the 70s on a whole bunch of turntables, mine and friends.

Now, 40 years later, I'm getting back into it. I had the same question as you, and probably everyone else this decade.
I did research. I eliminated the AT turntables and then focused on U-Turn, Rega P1 and Pro-Ject.
I really liked the story of the young guys from Woburn, MA doing a kickstarter for the U-Turn Orbit entry-level turntable. And their customer service is supposed to be phenomenal. I saw one on CL and decided to get it. It wasn't hooked up and the guys family was all around him so I wasn't' comfortable doing a long "try-out". I took it home and was highly disappointed. It's nothing but a toy. The tone arm is like a piece of aluminum tent-pole, The platter is MDF...which is just particleboard! The belt drive however was the worst part. There's a belt that's like a hair-tie. Super thin and not strong. it goes around the outside of the platter- exposed. It is so loose that it falls off. You can't even use a discwasher on it because the platter just slips. It's the cheesiest thing I could imagine. Hasbro could do better. No anti-skating. The seller was kind enough to take it back. And these things go for $300 new (base model). You get nothing automatic (not that that is such a bad thing) but you don't even get a cue mechanism unless you pay an extra $40...and it's not a nice cue mechanism either. It's a hipster eye-candy meant to look good on a shelf from 50 feet away.

OK, enough bashing of the U-Turn. You get my position on that.
This just turned me off to the new entry level"audiophile". Then I turned my focus to vintage. There is a LOT of good stuff out there. What I ended up doing was enough research to know a few decent ones that were out there....and then kept my eye on CL until something that seemed reasonable came up. Then I did research on that. And I was surprised at how many of these old turntables are solid and affordable. Pioneer, Kenwood, Technics, Sansui, on and on. The build quality and the components and overall design are generally just SO much better than the new entry-level stuff. Yes, there can be issues to investigate and solve; to me that's part of the fun.

My suggestion is to just find one of these that's pretty good and seems in the ballpark when you check ebay completed sales data. There are some pretty basic points to check when you are buying. Obviously it's best to have it hooked up and listen...and not meet in a parking lot somewhere. New belts for most of these are available. It should have a cartridge that at least allows you to test it out. Learn to set it up. Vertical tracking force/zeroing out the counterweight and scale, anti-skating,

Just get one and you will be OK listening for the time being. you're not committed to buying the perfect TT now that's going to be "the one" for the rest of your life. In the meantime...keep looking. You'll learn more and see what might be a good upgrade down the line.

Perhaps even more head-scratching will be involved with your choice of a cartridge (assuming the one on your turntable is an old beat up unit). That's another subject. You can get into a halfway decent starter cartridge for Audio-Technica for $50 but most of the decent ones that you should start with are in the $100-200 range.

And the preamp decision.

I ended up with a Pioneer PL-514. Almost got a Technics SL-1200mk2 that was well within your budget and had a Ortofon cartridge. As usual, most of these have been appropriated and beat up by the DJs. (no dust cover of course since the DJs throw those away.)

In the 70s I had a Technics SL-1700. Separate pots for speed control on 33 and 45. Nice solid reliable unit. Beautiful fully- manual turntable with very solid controls. Personally I don't like controls that are outside of the dust cover. And I don't like slider or even push-button controls as they usually feel cheesy. (yeah-I'm not crazy about the pitch control slider on the SL-1200 series.)

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by blackdogvinyl » 16 Nov 2018 15:27

pivot wrote:
15 Nov 2018 22:14
To a newbie good manufacturer/dealer support can be gold. Yes, vintage/used gear can be a great buy but most of it will need some "end user intervention". Many of the folks here have been at this game for decades. Replacing belts, lubricating motor shafts, swapping tubes is second nature to us grey beards. Buy used if and only if you have a reliable experienced audiophile at your shoulder.
Don't you think that someone with very little knowledge, but some willingness to learn, could do everything they need to do with help of folks on the forum here? And from YouTube? From what I've seen, most of the turntables available from CL advertised as "working/runs fine" (not pro shops where they have been serviced) will play- but need some minor adjustments that allow them to operate better.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by derspankster » 16 Nov 2018 15:44

blackdogvinyl wrote:
16 Nov 2018 15:27
pivot wrote:
15 Nov 2018 22:14
To a newbie good manufacturer/dealer support can be gold. Yes, vintage/used gear can be a great buy but most of it will need some "end user intervention". Many of the folks here have been at this game for decades. Replacing belts, lubricating motor shafts, swapping tubes is second nature to us grey beards. Buy used if and only if you have a reliable experienced audiophile at your shoulder.
Don't you think that someone with very little knowledge, but some willingness to learn, could do everything they need to do with help of folks on the forum here? And from YouTube? From what I've seen, most of the turntables available from CL advertised as "working/runs fine" (not pro shops where they have been serviced) will play- but need some minor adjustments that allow them to operate better.
I agree that someone with little knowledge can learn to refurb a vintage table with the help of people in the various forum sites. I suppose someone that's all thumbs might muck up just about anything but I have been able to get tables up to snuff with guidance and I'm not mechanical or electrical genius.

Personally, I've always enjoyed learning new things.

der

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by Spinner45 » 16 Nov 2018 17:20

blackdogvinyl wrote:
16 Nov 2018 15:17
I'm new here but I am an old fart and I suppose I get points for having hundreds of LPs in the 70s on a whole bunch of turntables, mine and friends.

Now, 40 years later, I'm getting back into it. I had the same question as you, and probably everyone else this decade.
I did research. I eliminated the AT turntables and then focused on U-Turn, Rega P1 and Pro-Ject.
I really liked the story of the young guys from Woburn, MA doing a kickstarter for the U-Turn Orbit entry-level turntable. And their customer service is supposed to be phenomenal. I saw one on CL and decided to get it. It wasn't hooked up and the guys family was all around him so I wasn't' comfortable doing a long "try-out". I took it home and was highly disappointed. It's nothing but a toy. The tone arm is like a piece of aluminum tent-pole, The platter is MDF...which is just particleboard! The belt drive however was the worst part. There's a belt that's like a hair-tie. Super thin and not strong. it goes around the outside of the platter- exposed. It is so loose that it falls off. You can't even use a discwasher on it because the platter just slips. It's the cheesiest thing I could imagine. Hasbro could do better. No anti-skating. The seller was kind enough to take it back. And these things go for $300 new (base model). You get nothing automatic (not that that is such a bad thing) but you don't even get a cue mechanism unless you pay an extra $40...and it's not a nice cue mechanism either. It's a hipster eye-candy meant to look good on a shelf from 50 feet away.

OK, enough bashing of the U-Turn. You get my position on that.
This just turned me off to the new entry level"audiophile". Then I turned my focus to vintage. There is a LOT of good stuff out there. What I ended up doing was enough research to know a few decent ones that were out there....and then kept my eye on CL until something that seemed reasonable came up. Then I did research on that. And I was surprised at how many of these old turntables are solid and affordable. Pioneer, Kenwood, Technics, Sansui, on and on. The build quality and the components and overall design are generally just SO much better than the new entry-level stuff. Yes, there can be issues to investigate and solve; to me that's part of the fun.

My suggestion is to just find one of these that's pretty good and seems in the ballpark when you check ebay completed sales data. There are some pretty basic points to check when you are buying. Obviously it's best to have it hooked up and listen...and not meet in a parking lot somewhere. New belts for most of these are available. It should have a cartridge that at least allows you to test it out. Learn to set it up. Vertical tracking force/zeroing out the counterweight and scale, anti-skating,

Just get one and you will be OK listening for the time being. you're not committed to buying the perfect TT now that's going to be "the one" for the rest of your life. In the meantime...keep looking. You'll learn more and see what might be a good upgrade down the line.

Perhaps even more head-scratching will be involved with your choice of a cartridge (assuming the one on your turntable is an old beat up unit). That's another subject. You can get into a halfway decent starter cartridge for Audio-Technica for $50 but most of the decent ones that you should start with are in the $100-200 range.

And the preamp decision.

I ended up with a Pioneer PL-514. Almost got a Technics SL-1200mk2 that was well within your budget and had a Ortofon cartridge. As usual, most of these have been appropriated and beat up by the DJs. (no dust cover of course since the DJs throw those away.)

In the 70s I had a Technics SL-1700. Separate pots for speed control on 33 and 45. Nice solid reliable unit. Beautiful fully- manual turntable with very solid controls. Personally I don't like controls that are outside of the dust cover. And I don't like slider or even push-button controls as they usually feel cheesy. (yeah-I'm not crazy about the pitch control slider on the SL-1200 series.)
That U Turn thing was designed by a bunch of college kids in a startup program.
And people bought it, invested in the program, and the result was a piece of garbage in several pretty colors to match your decor.
And.... some people are hard fast to support and praise it yet!
Losers.
God forbid you tell them they bought a hunk of crap.
I've seen that mess, and it looks like a shoved-together junkpile by people with no knowlege of finer audio... "the new wave of young audio designers"...... bleh, gimme a break.

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Re: Used Vintage vs Used Entry-level Audiophile

Post by pivot » 16 Nov 2018 21:39

derspankster wrote:
16 Nov 2018 15:44

............
Don't you think that someone with very little knowledge, but some willingness to learn, could do everything they need to do with help of folks on the forum here? ..............
Just to be clear. I am all for somebody who wants to get under the hood and tweak around. Those who wish to get better sound by investing some sweat equity should wade right in. If you look back in my posts I am sure one can see I have shared some "hands on tweaky info".

BUT......

I have been at this long enough, both in sales and as an amateur, to have seen many other folks who just want the thing to work and sound to come out. Sometimes you want to sling hot solder and sometimes you just want to listen to tunes.