Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

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MaxHKS
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Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by MaxHKS » 05 Dec 2019 09:24

Hi everyone,

First things first, I'm newbie in records player and vinyl world but after heard DJ friend's TT (technics SL 1200 MK2), the "special" sound made me fall in love... I spend hours on reading reviews, comparator etc...but still can't make my decision (as I don't know what are good or bad, just based on prices :( )
I would like to have your opinion on turntables for listening mostly Rock and Punk but also listening all kind of music (hip-hop, funk, classical).
I got an AV Denon AVR-X4500H, with Klipsch RP6000.
Budget are between 500$ and 1000$.

My short list as the below one:

Fluance RT84 (2m blue)
Fluance RT 85 (2m blue, acrylic make really a sound difference ?)
Thorens TD 190-2 (OM 10)
Thorens TD 402-DD (AT-VM95e)
Thorens TD 202 (AT-VN95e)
Thorens TD 240-2 (AT-VN95e)
Technics SL1500CEG-K (2m Red)

I would like to know which one are the best for the money. any other choices are welcome.

Thanks for you help and looking forward to have your opinions and teach me some tips etc..

Best regards
Max

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 05 Dec 2019 10:39

New SL-1500 is not available for 1000$, but much more. But you can choose SL-1200mk7, which is little more than 900 eur. The other direct-drive, which is serious performer but cheaper and more chinese made (less quality control) is PLX-1000 for little more than 600 eur. If belt is not a problem, then look at Dual models. For around 700-800 eur you will get a serious machine, which will work until the end of your days and unlike direct-drive models, less could go wrong. Then you can still go vintage route.

MaxHKS
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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by MaxHKS » 05 Dec 2019 10:53

Hi vinylfreak86,

In Fnac.com can buy a new SL1500C for 990 euros, it will be your first choice or you’ll still go for Dual!?
On my side I’m fine belt or direct drive. Then with your comment belt drive are last more long!?

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Dec 2019 11:05

MaxHKS wrote:
05 Dec 2019 09:24
Fluance RT84 (2m blue)
Fluance RT 85 (2m blue, acrylic make really a sound difference ?)
Thorens TD 190-2 (OM 10)
Thorens TD 402-DD (AT-VM95e)
Thorens TD 202 (AT-VN95e)
Thorens TD 240-2 (AT-VN95e)
Technics SL1500CEG-K (2m Red)
I haven't heard the Fluence but they are made by Hanpin and Hanpin drives are perfectly OK budget models. Acrylic platter is common in mid market turntables and it really dampens vibrations, so it should make a difference also here.

The Thorens TD190-2 and the TD240-2 are fully automatic turntables. They have an easy going sound, but you do pay extra for the automatics, so "sound per pound" is not that great but if you want the convenience of full automatics they are solid buys. The TD240 really has higher sound quality than the TD190, and better finish. Please note that these German made turntables does not have a built-in phono amplifier, unlike the other models in your list.

The Thorens TD202 and TD402 DD are made by Hanpin in Taiwan, a change from other Thorens turntables that are made in Germany. The TD202 is close to the Fluence RT84, but has a different tonearm. It has got good reviews in European magazine, but I haven't heard it myself. The TD402 is a direct drive turntable with auto-stop at the end of the record, so not full automatic. The VM95 cartridge is easily upgradeable. Haven't heard the TD402, it has just landed on my shores so haven't had the time yet to visit "my" Thorens shop. :) (It's a 90 minutes drive from where I live :) ).

Haven't heard the Technics SL1500, can't comment on it. I've never been impressed by the 1200, I find it lacking in musicality, but I don't know about the 1500.

Now, there are of course many other options.

* I love my Thorens TD203, german design and engineering with an unipivot tonearm. No built-in phono pre-amp. Fully manual.
* The Music Hall MMF3.3 has got great reviews.
* Rega Planar 3 is always an option of course, if one is interested in the Rega sound.
* Teac has the new TN-4D - a direct drive also made by Hanpin like the Thorens 402 DD, but a tonearm designed by SAEC. It comes with the Sumiko Oyster which is an unusual choice, it's a smooth and warm sounding cartridge but really should be upgraded with the elliptical or super vivid stylus from LP Gear. (at an additional 69 USD). Haven't heard the Teac, but I know about Sumiko. :)
* Audio-Technica AT-LP5 (direct drive) and LP-7 (belt drive) are manufactured by Hanpin and should be on the list too. Audio-Technica designed tonearm. They have a very good reputation in this forum. They are full manual.
* Reloop Turn 3 (belt drive) and Turn 5 (direct drive) has got great reviews in Europe.
* Elac Miracord 50 has got great reviews here too, and is actually similar to the Fluence RT-83 but with a plinth in a different finish and with a different tonearm (similar tonearm as the one Thorens uses for the TD202 that is also a similar turntable).

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Dec 2019 11:09

Re: quality, the new Technics 1500 and 1200 Mk7 are both made in Malaysia, I don't believe they have better quality control there than Hanpin in Taiwan. But if you go for the cheapest Hanpin manufactured model, than it of course would probably not last for 40 years. :) But I see no problem with the better and more expensive Hanpin models that use better and more expensive parts.

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by MaxHKS » 05 Dec 2019 11:28

Wow, thanks Raphaelmabo!

Really clear answers!!
I’m more semi-automatic, placing the needle are for me an important things to do in vinyl world...it’s like loving driving but taking taxi coz more easy!! Ahahah
And also, more vintage style with wood, not too much into minimalist style.

Anyway you gave me some new TTs and more hours on reviews ahahahah

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by bernard1 » 05 Dec 2019 11:28

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 10:39
New SL-1500 is not available for 1000$, but much more.
SL 1500 C is 999 euros in Europa. OP is from Hong-Kong, are the prices so different ?

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by cafe latte » 05 Dec 2019 11:29

raphaelmabo wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:09
Re: quality, the new Technics 1500 and 1200 Mk7 are both made in Malaysia, I don't believe they have better quality control there than Hanpin in Taiwan. But if you go for the cheapest Hanpin manufactured model, than it of course would probably not last for 40 years. :) But I see no problem with the better and more expensive Hanpin models that use better and more expensive parts.
Avoid Harpin stick with the Technics the Technics arm bearings are accurate to 1 micron and Technics publish friction specs for the arm Harpin is a inferior bad copy.
Been talking to Kevin at Kab he is reworking the sl1500 like he did with the sl1200mk2. He said basicss of 1500 are amazing which is why he picked it for modding. Old version ie sl1200mk2 needs a psu and a damper to perform well, new version does not need a psu as power supply is fantastic but still needs a damper. Remember too 25 years from now Technics parts will likely still be available forget it wtih Harpin in 2 years.
Chris

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by cafe latte » 05 Dec 2019 11:31

MaxHKS wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:28
Wow, thanks Raphaelmabo!

Really clear answers!!
I’m more semi-automatic, placing the needle are for me an important things to do in vinyl world...it’s like loving driving but taking taxi coz more easy!! Ahahah
And also, more vintage style with wood, not too much into minimalist style.

Anyway you gave me some new TTs and more hours on reviews ahahahah
Love my manual turntables but tonight I am super tired been fighting fires this week long hours so put on my Lenco semi auto tonight just in case I fell asleep. :bored:
Chris

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by MaxHKS » 05 Dec 2019 12:02

cafe latte wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:31
MaxHKS wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:28
Wow, thanks Raphaelmabo!

Really clear answers!!
I’m more semi-automatic, placing the needle are for me an important things to do in vinyl world...it’s like loving driving but taking taxi coz more easy!! Ahahah
And also, more vintage style with wood, not too much into minimalist style.

Anyway you gave me some new TTs and more hours on reviews ahahahah
Love my manual turntables but tonight I am super tired been fighting fires this week long hours so put on my Lenco semi auto tonight just in case I fell asleep. :bored:
Chris

Stay safe out there! It’s been crazy in Aussie, all my support, hope it’s will end ASAP

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Dec 2019 12:08

cafe latte wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:29
Avoid Harpin stick with the Technics the Technics arm bearings are accurate to 1 micron and Technics publish friction specs for the arm Harpin is a inferior bad copy.
If you look at the Hanpin manufactured Thorens TD202,TD402, Elac 50, Audio-Technica ATLP5, LP7 and Teac TN4D, they have all quite different tonearms compared to the Technics arm so I don't see that they are copies. And a tonearm is not automatically bad just because the friction specs are not published. My TP82 tonearm does not have friction specs published, and it's still a terrific unipivot tonearm. You really should listen and not only looking at technical specifications.

Neither the new Thorens, Elac, Audio-Technica, Teac and Fluence are copies or clones of Technics. They don't even look like the Technics. You seems to be thinking about the older Audio-Technica LP120, that one looked like a clone of the Technics 1200 with a similar design to tonearm and chassi and motor. But the other Hanpin manufactured models mentioned here are not Technics clones nor Technics copies.

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Dec 2019 12:13

cafe latte wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:29
Remember too 25 years from now Technics parts will likely still be available forget it wtih Harpin in 2 years.
It can't be good quality if you need new parts in 25 years. ;) My Thorens TD280 MkII is 31 years old and the only new part for it has been the belt, and the belt is the same belt as for my TD203. My TD280 has worked flawlessy in 31 years. No problem. And it was an entry level budget model.

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by MaxHKS » 05 Dec 2019 12:24

bernard1 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:28
Vinylfreak86 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 10:39
New SL-1500 is not available for 1000$, but much more.
SL 1500 C is 999 euros in Europa. OP is from Hong-Kong, are the prices so different ?

Yeah, in France with Xmas and Black Friday can get one for 990 with 15% discount.
In HK, price are high...importations of Western products are expensive even if no VTA here and evening if it’s made here Ahahah!

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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Dec 2019 13:53

MaxHKS wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:28
Wow, thanks Raphaelmabo!

Really clear answers!!
I’m more semi-automatic, placing the needle are for me an important things to do in vinyl world...it’s like loving driving but taking taxi coz more easy!! Ahahah
And also, more vintage style with wood, not too much into minimalist style.

Anyway you gave me some new TTs and more hours on reviews ahahahah
:) In that case, the Thorens TD 402 DD may be just the thing since it has autostop and also has the option of a walnut finish. The looks was inspired by vintage style, but it uses new technology inside. I see that it has just been reviewed in the German magazine Hifi Star and the verdict is that the sound quality is clearly at a higher level than the price (799 euro) suggets.

The Fluence RT84 or 85 looks promising from a technical perspective, and it has the auto-stop / semi-automatics and the wooden look that you want. Also have a look at Reloop Turn 3, this too is a semi-automatic belt drive.

The main difference between Fluence and Thorens is that the Fluence is belt driven and that the TD 402 is direct drive. Direct drive is technically a more advanced construction and it's also more expensive and needs more damping in the platter and plinth.

The Ortofon 2M Blue in the Fluence is twice as expensive as the Audio-Technica VM95 in the Thorens. Both are good but in different ways, I would say that the 2M Blue is more mature sounding. Better balanced, and AT is more rocking, dancing... But the AT can easily be upgraded to more advanced styluses.

So the Thorens has the more advanced drive etc. and the Fluence has the more expensive cartridge.

Best thing you could do is to have a listen on both of them, and others.
But personally I choose turntable over cartridge, cartridge can easily be changed. :)
Last edited by raphaelmabo on 05 Dec 2019 14:37, edited 2 times in total.

bernard1
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Re: Best Turntable between 500$ and 1000$

Post by bernard1 » 05 Dec 2019 14:36

MaxHKS wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:24
bernard1 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 11:28
Vinylfreak86 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 10:39
New SL-1500 is not available for 1000$, but much more.
SL 1500 C is 999 euros in Europa. OP is from Hong-Kong, are the prices so different ?

Yeah, in France with Xmas and Black Friday can get one for 990 with 15% discount.
In HK, price are high...importations of Western products are expensive even if no VTA here and evening if it’s made here Ahahah!
No Xmas or black friday prices, the 1500 C is at 1000 euros since it is sold in Europa :
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=109194&start=90#p967473

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