Deciding on a turntable

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Dayzik
Estonia
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Deciding on a turntable

Post by Dayzik » 18 Aug 2019 22:29

I am buying my first turntable, not counting the old Soviet one we have, because that thing just ruins records.
And I have the choice between two of them right now. They are the same price, but quite diffirent, a direct drive Sony PS-X35 from 79 and a belt drive TECHNICS SL-BD22D from I think 99.
I don't really know which one is better.

cafe latte
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Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by cafe latte » 18 Aug 2019 22:50

Dayzik wrote:
18 Aug 2019 22:29
I am buying my first turntable, not counting the old Soviet one we have, because that thing just ruins records.
And I have the choice between two of them right now. They are the same price, but quite diffirent, a direct drive Sony PS-X35 from 79 and a belt drive TECHNICS SL-BD22D from I think 99.
I don't really know which one is better.
Umm which old Soviet one did you have?
Just wondered?
Chris

Dayzik
Estonia
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Joined: 18 Aug 2019 22:15

Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by Dayzik » 18 Aug 2019 23:21

cafe latte wrote:
18 Aug 2019 22:50
Dayzik wrote:
18 Aug 2019 22:29
I am buying my first turntable, not counting the old Soviet one we have, because that thing just ruins records.
And I have the choice between two of them right now. They are the same price, but quite diffirent, a direct drive Sony PS-X35 from 79 and a belt drive TECHNICS SL-BD22D from I think 99.
I don't really know which one is better.
Umm which old Soviet one did you have?
Just wondered?
Chris
It's an old radiola, a Vega 300.
We tried to fix it with my father, but it's really cheaply made.

nat
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Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by nat » 18 Aug 2019 23:31

That is not a clear cut choice. Since neither a top of the line model, both have compromises built in and I don't think there is an obvious winner. The Sony is a direct drive, which some people assume is better (even though how it's done matters more than the specific drive system, which is why my point about not being top of the line matters). Direct drives can be very good, quiet and unvarying in speed, but lesser ones aren't always so well controlled, and all the electronics means that they can require recapping or rechipping (which may be impossible).
The Technics is a well sorted out belt drive, which does a very good job for the entry level price it sold at when new. There is less that can go wrong (though motors can die - make sure it actually works), but it is a P mount turntable. You can only use P mount cartridges, so your selection is somewhat limited. On the other hand, P mounts are very easy to install cartridges in, and the Technics P mount arms tend to be well done in terms of resonance behavior.
None of this matters if the tables are not in good shape. With used tables, condition is everything. Dirt and dust can be cleaned away, but wear and tear, or actual damage, cannot unless lots of time and probably money are applied.
And the cartridges and styli on the tables are a major part of what you are buying. Unless the stylus is new, or has a known number of hours on it, the price should assume you are buying a new stylus or even a whole cartridge. Do not be fooled by someone who has looked at the stylus tip with a magnifying glass and says it is sharp. It probably is, since all tips are pointy so if the diamond is there, it's pointy, but actually, sharp is the problem, not the solution - it's worn styli that have sharp corners, and you don't want to be shaving your records.

Dayzik
Estonia
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Joined: 18 Aug 2019 22:15

Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by Dayzik » 18 Aug 2019 23:44

nat wrote:
18 Aug 2019 23:31
That is not a clear cut choice. Since neither a top of the line model, both have compromises built in and I don't think there is an obvious winner. The Sony is a direct drive, which some people assume is better (even though how it's done matters more than the specific drive system, which is why my point about not being top of the line matters). Direct drives can be very good, quiet and unvarying in speed, but lesser ones aren't always so well controlled, and all the electronics means that they can require recapping or rechipping (which may be impossible).
The Technics is a well sorted out belt drive, which does a very good job for the entry level price it sold at when new. There is less that can go wrong (though motors can die - make sure it actually works), but it is a P mount turntable. You can only use P mount cartridges, so your selection is somewhat limited. On the other hand, P mounts are very easy to install cartridges in, and the Technics P mount arms tend to be well done in terms of resonance behavior.
None of this matters if the tables are not in good shape. With used tables, condition is everything. Dirt and dust can be cleaned away, but wear and tear, or actual damage, cannot unless lots of time and probably money are applied.
And the cartridges and styli on the tables are a major part of what you are buying. Unless the stylus is new, or has a known number of hours on it, the price should assume you are buying a new stylus or even a whole cartridge. Do not be fooled by someone who has looked at the stylus tip with a magnifying glass and says it is sharp. It probably is, since all tips are pointy so if the diamond is there, it's pointy, but actually, sharp is the problem, not the solution - it's worn styli that have sharp corners, and you don't want to be shaving your records.
Thank you for the reply. I asked the owner about the stylus and he didn't even know what stylus it was. Best I can do to clear this up is a link to the listing.
https://www.okidoki.ee/item/vinuul-plaa ... d/8944784/
And I don't really have much of a choice, with my budget being around 100-150 euro.
This website being the only one in my country where I can look for turntables.
The rest that I found in my price range were:
Technics SL Q 202
Philips 212 Electronic
Technics SL Q - 2
Pioneer PL-12 AC
Technics SL-B3

Vinylfreak86
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Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 19 Aug 2019 13:19

Heh, some soviet turntables were great, but not that one. Soviet electronics is hard to repair these days, because inner construction is very differently made, on soviet way.:) I would buy one micro-seiki based direct-drive turntable or any cheaper hifi direct-drive Technics like SL-D3. Belt-driven Technics models are really nothing special.

nat
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Re: Deciding on a turntable

Post by nat » 19 Aug 2019 23:17

There are many who would disagree that a cheaper direct drive would be a better choice than a belt drive. Direct drives have lots of electronic components that may be on their way to failing, even if currently they work. The best direct drives are very good, but, of course, so are the best belt drives and idler drives. Cheap direct drives are also nothing special - there is a reason they didn't wipe out other drive systems. Generally speaking, heavier platters lead to better sound, but such platters are more expensive and more expensive to ship, which is a major reason why cheap turntables usually aren't the greatest.
Suggesting a turntable that may not be available is not exactly helpful. In the list of tables given, the Philips 212 and the Technics SL Qs would be the ones I would focus on, but condition is the real issue with any decades old table. And that can't be really assessed at a distance.
That also raises an important point, which I don't have a good answer for, which is that shipping tables is fraught with problems. Obviously if the table is shipped, it isn't possible to listen to it before buying. And shipping is inherently dangerous - not everyone knows how to pack a table, and accidents do happen even to very well packed tables.

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