New european "chinese built" turntables

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raphaelmabo
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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 03 Feb 2019 18:10

ravelax wrote:
02 Feb 2019 22:34
As for the market having to cater to all budgets, that may be true but it won't be accomplished by selling yet another version of the same turntable that everyone else is already selling. I'd prefer a proper market where there's an actual choice of different turntables, not the same turntable with different names on it. A healthy market is a diverse one. In that respect I think the market for affordable direct drive turntables seems to work a little better, seeing as there's more concrete differences between the different versions of the basic Hanpin Technics copy.
Hm, the direct drives are more alike than the belt-driven ones I would say... Most of them looks like the same Technics 1200-clone, having the same or similar S-arm, patterns on the platter for controlling the speed, the same slider to the right for speed/pitch adjustment, and similar start/stop and speed selection to the left. There's dozen of them!

From what I see, the belt driven ones are more different in design outer design - different thickness of the plinth, different knobs and buttons... But at the back they are similar (same phono pre-amp and outputs), and if you lift the platter up you see it's the same platter and the same belt and bearings and motor...

I'm not convinced that entry level buyers really bothers... Look at all these Rega entry players from different brands such as Nad, Edwards Audio, Goldring among others... Basically the same Rega turntable but with minor differences. And Edwards Audio makes their own plinths. But made by Rega. And there was a time were most turntables had a Rega tonearm, or a Pro-Ject tonearm.

I'm glad that more and more companies are developing their own. Like Thorens for their new TP 82, 90 and 92 instead of Rega or Pro-Ject. or Acoustic Signature. Or Perpetuum-Ebner, they makes their own tonearms too... And Elac 70 and upwards has unique tonearms too... Dual too...

It's higher up in the price range that there is a need for diversity and this diversity also exists.

Rega and Pro-Ject makes many similar looking turntables, but it's not the same turntable. Just same design concept.
Interesting enough, there's more difference I would say between a Pro-Ject and Music Hall turntable than between a Rega and a Pro-Ject, in terms of design. But Music Hall is made by Pro-Ject... Music Hall has their own dual-plinth/multiple plinth construction from the 5 and upwards that makes them unique looking. But look at a Rega P1/P2/P3 and compare them to Pro-Ject Debut and variations. A dense and simple MDF-board available in a choice of colours (Rega more colourful), polymer or glass platter, filt mat, manual speed change, belt around a sub platter.

raphaelmabo
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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 03 Feb 2019 18:21

Chgc, yes the market today is much smaller compared to the golden days of vinyl in the 70's. Only Rega and Pro-Ject can be seen as mass makers of turntables, and of course the Chinese. Thorens is a small player nowadays, but with an extensive range from entry level to high-end. Still, there's surprisingly lots of interesting designs and innovations: In the UK there's Funk Firm, definately very innovative and odd... Strange tonearm concepts and "vector drive" system. Very fun. There's also Avid and Notthingham Analogue that breaks the Rega-rules in terms of design and concept. And Michell still makes their turntables with brass pods underneath the platter. Funky design! In Germany we have the strange looking Thorens TD309 and 209, and Acoustic Signatures lineup... the more expensive of them looks really odd. A dream in aluminium? Perpetuum-Ebner makes odd looking turntables too with a split-chassi design (looks like the Thorens TD3xx-serie from the 80's). In Sweden we still have the big and heavy Opus 3 turntable with a very odd tangential arm.

There's lots of mid-market and high-end turntables from specialist makers... With odd designs. They cost a fortune since the market is so small...

So, for an audiophile with a big wallet, I don't see vintage players as being more interesting. For low end, entry level... Well, in the 70's and 80's, there was lots of crap plastic Japanese turntables out there that looked very similar... You got them when you bought a hifi-package with amplifier, tuner, cassette deck and speakers at the supermarket. Oh dear, oh dear... :)

So not everything was golden in the vintage era, there was loads of crap too. :)

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by lenjack » 03 Feb 2019 19:05

If you don't need a new turntable, and you have a 30 to 40 year old unit, be it belt or direct drive, that performs flawlessly, with dead on, rock steady speed, extremely low, measured and inaudible, w&f, and rumble, and very low arm friction, you need make no apologies for living in the past. If this table is mated with a suitable cart, you are good to go.

I certainly agree that there was crap in the in the vintage era as well, as there certainly is now.

When we speak of quality vintage units, we are not talking about packaged all-in-one's. I don't know where you got that idea. #-o

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Issuesman666 » 03 Feb 2019 19:09

Great posts above by raphaelmabo .

The Vintage agenda on this forum is strong. Vintage is NOT always better.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 03 Feb 2019 19:09

Thanks for the guidance, RM. I’ll check those out.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 03 Feb 2019 19:13

And I don’t think vintage is always better, NG. But there was a level of technical innovation in turntable design (like Sony Biotracer tonearms, Denon electronic tonearms, etc) that would be too costly to make much sense today (except maybe for Matsushita/Technics, or very high end, boutique producers). Or at least so it seems to me.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 03 Feb 2019 21:32

chgc wrote:
03 Feb 2019 16:44


Those of us who were alive back when vinyl was the dominant format got used to seeing lots of interesting and innovative turntable designs because there was big money to be made selling turntables. Today, turntables are a niche market, too small to support many different companies spending lavishly on r and d. That’s why vintage turntables are more interesting than most of todays offerings. (But you all already knew that.)
This is totally true. Today turntable market, even if it is raising, is very risky in terms of huge investments in production. In the 70`s it was stable and there were not much other things available.
If I would buy a new turntable, PLX-1000 would be the cheapest option with awareness that it maybe cannot last more than a decade. Next step would be one of new Panasonic models. And that is all for today. :) Other interesting and quality designed new things are way too expensive.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by ravelax » 03 Feb 2019 21:41

chgc wrote:
03 Feb 2019 19:13
And I don’t think vintage is always better, NG. But there was a level of technical innovation in turntable design (like Sony Biotracer tonearms, Denon electronic tonearms, etc) that would be too costly to make much sense today (except maybe for Matsushita/Technics, or very high end, boutique producers). Or at least so it seems to me.
These technologically advanced designs can often be very affordable today (not necessarily cheap, but much cheaper than they were when new), and with proper maintenance their perfomance should match today's high end players. That can make vintage interesting also for a more high end minded person. It's only recently that we've started to see a serious comeback for high precision, high end direct drive turntables, for example, and personally I think this is lovely because there are many advantages with buying new equipment. Still, one shouldn't overlook the fact that buying used gear often gets one more performance per penny. But one has to know what to look for, because of course there were bad cheaply made turntables in the past too.

Of new mid-price direct drive tables I'm still eyeing the Denon DJ VL 12 Prime, it seems to offer very good performance for the money while the QC, from what I've read, seems better than for the Pioneer PLX-1000. I also kind of like its idiosyncratic looks. Also, the Reloop Turn 8 boasts impressive specs (0.01 % w&f, on par with the best vintage units). But the new cheaper Technics models are of course very interesting too.
Last edited by ravelax on 03 Feb 2019 21:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Issuesman666 » 03 Feb 2019 21:42

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
03 Feb 2019 21:32
chgc wrote:
03 Feb 2019 16:44


Those of us who were alive back when vinyl was the dominant format got used to seeing lots of interesting and innovative turntable designs because there was big money to be made selling turntables. Today, turntables are a niche market, too small to support many different companies spending lavishly on r and d. That’s why vintage turntables are more interesting than most of todays offerings. (But you all already knew that.)

If I would buy a new turntable, PLX-1000 would be the cheapest option with awareness that it maybe cannot last more than a decade. Next step would be one of new Panasonic models. And that is all for today.
I would really like to know where you pull these numbers from.....

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by AudioFeline » 03 Feb 2019 22:52

Speaking in general terms (I'm not familiar with the turntables mentioned above), I find it concerning that the market is being flooded with poor quality turntables. People have an interest in records because they hear that they have a reputation for delivering high quality that in some cases could surpass digital audio.

So they dip their toe in the water by buying a cheap turntable that doesn't sound as good as a cheap CD player, and they walk away thinking that they have been deceived about the quality turntables can deliver. The reputation of analogue reproduction is further damaged.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Issuesman666 » 03 Feb 2019 23:09

The market has always been flooded with poor quality turntables.

Today we have the internet and reviews to at least get an idea of what is good and what to avoid.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 04 Feb 2019 02:46

I didn’t look at all the turntables mentioned above, but I bet almost all of them are perfectly good record players. A bigger problem, in my opinion, is that getting a turntable setup and working properly can be complicated (especially a used turntable that’s been in someone’s attic for 30 years).

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by vanakaru » 04 Feb 2019 06:14

mistake deleted
Last edited by vanakaru on 04 Feb 2019 06:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by vanakaru » 04 Feb 2019 06:30

chgc wrote:
04 Feb 2019 02:46
I didn’t look at all the turntables mentioned above, but I bet almost all of them are perfectly good record players. A bigger problem, in my opinion, is that getting a turntable setup and working properly can be complicated (especially a used turntable that’s been in someone’s attic for 30 years).
Many record players produced today are not "perfectly good" by any means. Even some well known brand names from the past. That is the problem we are talking about here.
And I do not agree that setting up and using a quality vintage TT is complicated. There are some that need special skills to recondition, that are mechanically very complex but you must not take on the ones that go over your head. There are plenty of the those that just work right out of the attic.
But you must be aware that there has been crappy design and production in the past as well. Countless plasticky Sony's, Aiwa's, Philips, Sanyo's that I would throw to dumpster along with todays Crosley's, Newmark's.... any time.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 04 Feb 2019 07:39

Aside from AudioFeline and others general references to “poor quality turntables,” which of the units mentioned so far in this thread belong in the dumpster?