old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

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yak66
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old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by yak66 » 23 May 2019 07:57

I would like to know your impressions on these three belt-driven turntables.
old 1987 LINN SONDEK LP12 Ittok
old 1987 REGA PLANAR 3 RB300
very old THORENS TD125 mkII TP16
Has anyone made a comparison?
Is REGA so faster than SONDEK?
is SONDEK so better than THORENS?
If you own REGA or THORENS or both is an upgrade buy a SONDEK?
Or is SONDEK too valued?

(I refer to an old 1987 Linn Sondek with Valhalla and Ittok)
THANK YOU

Armbored
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by Armbored » 23 May 2019 08:58

Hi there,

I have no experience with the Thorens but some experience with the others. I'm well familiar with the RB300 which is a terrific tonearm, once some modifications are done. If you spend a little money having it rewired and remove the paint from under the headshell, in my opinion this turns it into a giant killer. Even better if you upgrade the bearings. I'm led to believe the RP3 runs a little fast, this makes it sound more lively.

I like the LP12 but it has a very characteristic sound, you could say it's coloured. I had a Basik Plus on mine, noticed a big improvement with the Ittok, much quieter. I also upgraded the power supply from a Valhalla, another obvious improvement. I had an Avondale PS. You can spend a lot of money on upgrades which probably mostly all work, personally I think this is upgrading a design that is basically flawed in engineering terms. It does have a seductive sound though :-)

Mike

yak66
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by yak66 » 23 May 2019 09:16

Hello and thanks for the quick reply
My old 1987 PLANAR 3 now has new metal subplatter, metal Pulley and white Belt
... with all these new things, maybe it's a little better, but not as I would have thought.
The good reviews of LINN SONDEK owners have never convinced me.
I only believe in reviews of people making comparisons, but they're not blind fans of Linn.
you look just like that!

"Even better if you upgrade the bearings" - All the bearing or the ball?

Armbored
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by Armbored » 23 May 2019 09:49

The horizontal bearings, I had mine upgraded to abec 5 specification, they are of higher quality and much quieter. Should last me my lifetime, especially with the Litz rewire.

jackie
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by jackie » 23 May 2019 14:10

No contest, Sondek will win hands down, as long as you are prepared to spend a bit on new belts, oil new springs etc, if not the Planar should be bombproof, as always this is just my opinion.

yak66
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by yak66 » 23 May 2019 15:12

a classic Linn with Valhalla 1987 needs new springs, absolutely?
My interest in a Sondek is mainly due to curiosity

jackie
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by jackie » 24 May 2019 18:21

Owners of the Sondek will tell you that the platter is very heavy, springs can sag after 10 years and over, I was trying to help you

banerjba
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by banerjba » 25 May 2019 05:17

I have owned variants on all 3 tables. The Linn is outstanding. That arm is quite good.

The Rega is very tidy sounding but not ideal if you are sensitive to speed or pitch. The Thorens will sound a bit warm, lush and slow. All 3 are very old so will likely need a bit of TLC. Rega should be plug and play assuming it is in good condition (I would renew the bearing oil). Other two will need new springs and the Linn should be tuned by a Linn- trained technician.

Only thing is that the Linn needs to sit on a sturdy low rack or wall mounting - it is very susceptible to footfalls. Not ideal in a house with springy floors.

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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by Pauw » 25 May 2019 08:59

You have to be careful here....The LP 12 is outstanding and has the ability reach the top levels. It needs setting up well and carefully. This can be where many moans about LP12s come from. Every part needs to be well set up and correctly. It needs to be mounted on a light supportive table too. The arm is outstanding and will perform really well with a well matched cartridge. If anything needs replacing, Linn can supply BUT their marketing policy is always to sell the upgrade.......that annoys people but Linn don't get that .

Set it up well, then, be careful with upgrade selling and what do you get?

An excellent top class turntable ...however, like every table it is coloured from an audio point of view.. Your task is to decide if that is THE "lighting regime" you want on your music reproduction. Many do, some naturally prefer something else....but, make an informed decision....take all the data into account that you can... :D

banerjba
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by banerjba » 25 May 2019 17:08

I see the OP has upgraded his 3 which makes it sound closer to a lot of more modern designs like the Pro-jects.

I also think the type of music decides which is best. Linn is a great all rounder. Thorens is better for classical and Reggae is better for rock and jazz.

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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by hedgehog35 » 25 May 2019 18:34

yak66 wrote:
23 May 2019 09:16
Hello and thanks for the quick reply
My old 1987 PLANAR 3 now has new metal subplatter, metal Pulley and white Belt
... with all these new things, maybe it's a little better, but not as I would have thought.
The good reviews of LINN SONDEK owners have never convinced me.
I only believe in reviews of people making comparisons, but they're not blind fans of Linn.
you look just like that!

"Even better if you upgrade the bearings" - All the bearing or the ball?
Reviews, good or bad, are only the starting point in your quest for the ideal system. Seem to have a little prejudice against Linn here?
I have owned a Thorens TD 150 and 160S - both fine turntables, but left behind by many well designed modern turntables. Many years ago, I spent an afternoon comparing my prized Thorens 160S/SME 3009 against a new Rega Planar 3. Very upset that the Rega made my Thorens sound like an old cart horse - slow and a bit plodding!
If you are prepared to spend quite a lot of time and money, you can upgrade an older Thorens into a fantastic sounding turntable. I still think a well serviced and set up Linn would outperform it.
The Rega was never meant to compete with the likes of Linn - it was, and is, a great budget turntable.
I added a lot of upgrades to my Rega over the years. Some made more of a difference than others. It sounded better, but it was still basically a Planar 3 underneath. The point I am making is that it is great fun to tweak and modify the Rega, but you can only take it so far, and it still has that 'Rega sound'. When I bought a Michell Gyro SE and transferred the RB300 arm onto it, the improvements in sound quality were huge - as they should have been considering the price difference between the two turntables.
If I had the money to invest in servicing (and perhaps upgrading), an old Linn, I would follow that route. It will last a life time and spare parts will always be available.

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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by cakyol » 05 Jun 2019 02:17

I present..... the immortal Valhalla :-)
- caps are 150uF, 450 volts, 12,000 hrs at 105 degrees C
- rectifier is 1000 Volt, 6A
- NTC is 50 ohm, 430 Joule
- power resistors 7.5k at 10 watts each (15k in series, 20Watt total)

I hope this outlasts me :-)
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KentT
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by KentT » 05 Jun 2019 14:50

Rega is inferior to Linn Sondek and this Thorens both.

mayebaza
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Re: old Sondek vs old Planar 3 vs TD125

Post by mayebaza » 10 Jun 2019 19:36

I have heard, and handled, all three over the years. The question itself is futile because the variables in choice of music amplification equipment cartridges and arm, condition of power source are infinite. Regas possess a rythermic pace that the other lack with certain up tempo music. But overall a well set up Sondec, I would say, is the best of bunch. But really, well and truly, the qestion is futile without stating type of music, amp, cartridge speakers and phonostage. In certain setups, each can out perform each other, it is not a question with a straight forward answer.

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