Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

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apastuszak
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Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 17 Jan 2020 14:17

The vinyl journey continues.

I started by finding a Dual 1257 at a thrift store for $15.00. I recapped the power supply, bought a new belt and got a new steuerpimpel. Overall, I was quite happy with this deck. The only thing I didn't like was the controls being under the dust cover.

So, then I bought a Realistic LAB440. I loved the look of the turntable. The controls were on the outside. Very happy. But I HATED cartridge alignment. So, I looked into linear tracking turntables.

Bought a Technics SL-QL1 and have been pretty happy with it. The p-mount system is great. Never have to deal with aligning a cartridge again.

But....

I feel like some "magic" is gone with the Technics. You don't see the tone arm on the record spinning around. I'm not listening to the record for the sound quality or the convenience. if I wanted those things, I'd be using CDs, or a DAP. I'm into this for the experience. And, I feel like the linear tracker, as good as it is, takes away from the experience a little.

The p-mount cartridge solved my biggest gripe with turntables, which is cartridge alignment. So, I think it's time to feed the TAD (Turntable Acquisition Disorder) and move in another direction.

Here's what I am looking for:

1. P-mount cartridge
2. Not linear tracking
3. Fully Automatic (though semi-automatic might work)
4. Prefer detachable cables, but doesn't have to be.
5. Quartz lock direct drive would be nice.

apastuszak
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 17 Jan 2020 14:18

While on this subject, is there a website with a database that will let you check off the features you want and provide you with a list of turntable models with that feature set?

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by BMRR » 17 Jan 2020 16:29

You can't go wrong with any of the Technics P-mount turntables, especially the direct drive models. All of the following turntables meet your criteria:

• SL-D20 (direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-D30 (direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-DD22 (direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-DD33 (direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-Q20 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-Q200 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-Q30 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-Q300 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-QD2 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-QD22 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-QD3 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-QD33 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

Most of these (perhaps all of them) have removable cables. All of them are reliable and low maintenance. All of them sound great.

Don't be intimidated by the fact that there are 12 models on that list. They're all pretty similar. The only major differences are the ones I noted in parentheses next to each model. The remaining differences are minor and/or cosmetic.

You can also look for the following turntables, although these are much rarer than the ones I listed above and tend to fetch much higher prices as a result:

• SL-M1 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-M2 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-MA1 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

• SL-QX200 (Quartz direct drive, semi automatic)

• SL-QX300 (Quartz direct drive, fully automatic)

apastuszak
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 17 Jan 2020 17:17

Thank you!

apastuszak
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 17 Jan 2020 17:19

The MA1 looks GORGEOUS, but is way out of my price range.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by fscl » 17 Jan 2020 17:39

Pretty sure BMMR covered it, here's a link to a Technics database:

https://vintagetechnics.audio/turntables.php

Since Matsushita invented the T4P standard, they (Panasonics, Technics) integrated / leveraged the cartridge standard over the most turntable designs. IIANM, I can't recall any other manufacturer that made pivoting P-mount tonearms :-k

Still running a Sony PS-LX510 where the tonearm mechanism is within the base allowing for full view of spinning disk and tonearm travel across the LP. Off center LPs still wag the tonearm...... :lol:

HTH

Fred

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by BMRR » 17 Jan 2020 18:14

fscl wrote:
17 Jan 2020 17:39
Since Matsushita invented the T4P standard, they (Panasonics, Technics) integrated / leveraged the cartridge standard over the most turntable designs. IIANM, I can't recall any other manufacturer that made pivoting P-mount tonearms :-k
In my travels I've come across a few non-Technics P-mount turntables with pivoting tonearms, from brands such as Kenwood, Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, and Fisher. It's not clear to me whether they were manufactured in-house or contracted out, but I can say that none of them appeared to be rebadged Technics designs. None of them were particularly interesting or special. The only slightly intriguing thing was that a couple of them used an ADC-style headshell connector and you could swap out the P-mount headshell for a standard-mount headshell. Other than that, they didn't do anything that Technics didn't do better.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 17 Jan 2020 18:21

fscl wrote:
17 Jan 2020 17:39
Pretty sure BMMR covered it, here's a link to a Technics database:

https://vintagetechnics.audio/turntables.php

Since Matsushita invented the T4P standard, they (Panasonics, Technics) integrated / leveraged the cartridge standard over the most turntable designs. IIANM, I can't recall any other manufacturer that made pivoting P-mount tonearms :-k

Still running a Sony PS-LX510 where the tonearm mechanism is within the base allowing for full view of spinning disk and tonearm travel across the LP. Off center LPs still wag the tonearm...... :lol:

HTH

Fred
Is there a way to filter the information on that page or is it just one big table with links?

apastuszak
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 20 Jan 2020 02:22

I'm looking through this list, and I found someone on eBay selling a SL-QX300 for $80. They're are selling it as "junk, for parts" because they can't test. They say everything "works." Platter spins up. Automatic mechanism works. But the seller has no vinyl to test it with.

In my research I found out that the SL-Q300 is pretty much the same turntable as the SL-QX300, except it doesn't have a pitch control.

As a home turntable user with a Quartz lock turntable, is there a reason I would need pitch control?

vanakaru
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by vanakaru » 20 Jan 2020 06:58

But the seller has no vinyl to test it with.
It is kind of gambling to buy from sellers who say this. You have 50/50 chance that seller knows a problem with the TT and is not telling it. Also if the cartridge has working stylus on it wouldn't be possible to test the automatic functions without a record. The other thing to think about is that he has practically no history with eBay.
On the other hand it has most likely Grado Black cart on it and that covers the cost of entire TT.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by KentT » 20 Jan 2020 14:21

apastuszak wrote:
17 Jan 2020 14:17
The vinyl journey continues.

I started by finding a Dual 1257 at a thrift store for $15.00. I recapped the power supply, bought a new belt and got a new steuerpimpel. Overall, I was quite happy with this deck. The only thing I didn't like was the controls being under the dust cover.

So, then I bought a Realistic LAB440. I loved the look of the turntable. The controls were on the outside. Very happy. But I HATED cartridge alignment. So, I looked into linear tracking turntables.

Bought a Technics SL-QL1 and have been pretty happy with it. The p-mount system is great. Never have to deal with aligning a cartridge again.

But....

I feel like some "magic" is gone with the Technics. You don't see the tone arm on the record spinning around. I'm not listening to the record for the sound quality or the convenience. if I wanted those things, I'd be using CDs, or a DAP. I'm into this for the experience. And, I feel like the linear tracker, as good as it is, takes away from the experience a little.

The p-mount cartridge solved my biggest gripe with turntables, which is cartridge alignment. So, I think it's time to feed the TAD (Turntable Acquisition Disorder) and move in another direction.

Here's what I am looking for:

1. P-mount cartridge
2. Not linear tracking
3. Fully Automatic (though semi-automatic might work)
4. Prefer detachable cables, but doesn't have to be.
5. Quartz lock direct drive would be nice.
Can I make a better suggestion. Which doesn't limit you so much on cartridge options, and doesn't lock you into rigid tracking force requirements. Get your T4p mount, but do it with a 1/2" headshell with a T4p mount adapter installed (plug and play). Technics with a 1/2" mount arm. Once balanced and set up. Plug and play. Technics SL-Q3. If you want to use out of T4p specification cartridges and styli which want more than 1.5 grams tracking force, no problem. You can with this system also use plug and play headshell mounts like the Ortofon options. The best of all worlds.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by BMRR » 20 Jan 2020 16:58

apastuszak wrote:
20 Jan 2020 02:22
As a home turntable user with a Quartz lock turntable, is there a reason I would need pitch control?
Probably not, unless you know for a fact that there are records in your collection that were recorded slightly too fast or slightly too slow and you want to be able to play them at the correct speed, or you're a musician and you want to play/sing along with records at a different pitch than originally recorded.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 20 Jan 2020 17:07

KentT wrote:
20 Jan 2020 14:21
apastuszak wrote:
17 Jan 2020 14:17
The vinyl journey continues.

I started by finding a Dual 1257 at a thrift store for $15.00. I recapped the power supply, bought a new belt and got a new steuerpimpel. Overall, I was quite happy with this deck. The only thing I didn't like was the controls being under the dust cover.

So, then I bought a Realistic LAB440. I loved the look of the turntable. The controls were on the outside. Very happy. But I HATED cartridge alignment. So, I looked into linear tracking turntables.

Bought a Technics SL-QL1 and have been pretty happy with it. The p-mount system is great. Never have to deal with aligning a cartridge again.

But....

I feel like some "magic" is gone with the Technics. You don't see the tone arm on the record spinning around. I'm not listening to the record for the sound quality or the convenience. if I wanted those things, I'd be using CDs, or a DAP. I'm into this for the experience. And, I feel like the linear tracker, as good as it is, takes away from the experience a little.

The p-mount cartridge solved my biggest gripe with turntables, which is cartridge alignment. So, I think it's time to feed the TAD (Turntable Acquisition Disorder) and move in another direction.

Here's what I am looking for:

1. P-mount cartridge
2. Not linear tracking
3. Fully Automatic (though semi-automatic might work)
4. Prefer detachable cables, but doesn't have to be.
5. Quartz lock direct drive would be nice.
Can I make a better suggestion. Which doesn't limit you so much on cartridge options, and doesn't lock you into rigid tracking force requirements. Get your T4p mount, but do it with a 1/2" headshell with a T4p mount adapter installed (plug and play). Technics with a 1/2" mount arm. Once balanced and set up. Plug and play. Technics SL-Q3. If you want to use out of T4p specification cartridges and styli which want more than 1.5 grams tracking force, no problem. You can with this system also use plug and play headshell mounts like the Ortofon options. The best of all worlds.
If I do this, then I have to align the t4p adapter. This is no different than buying a standard 1/2" cartridge and align it. Do they make a t4p adapter that will go on the end of a Technics tone arm that just plugs in and works, with no need to align it?

apastuszak
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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by apastuszak » 20 Jan 2020 17:09

vanakaru wrote:
20 Jan 2020 06:58
But the seller has no vinyl to test it with.
It is kind of gambling to buy from sellers who say this. You have 50/50 chance that seller knows a problem with the TT and is not telling it. Also if the cartridge has working stylus on it wouldn't be possible to test the automatic functions without a record. The other thing to think about is that he has practically no history with eBay.
On the other hand it has most likely Grado Black cart on it and that covers the cost of entire TT.
I'm still mulling my options. I don't want to spend $80 and then have to do $200 worth of work to the thing. If this was a local Craigslist find, then I could go over and test the thing. I've had some Craigslist sellers that refuse to sell me turntables when I offer to come over their house with powered speakers and a phono preamp.

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Re: Recommendations for p-mount non-linear tracking turntable

Post by BMRR » 20 Jan 2020 17:11

vanakaru wrote:
20 Jan 2020 06:58
But the seller has no vinyl to test it with.
It is kind of gambling to buy from sellers who say this. You have 50/50 chance that seller knows a problem with the TT and is not telling it. Also if the cartridge has working stylus on it wouldn't be possible to test the automatic functions without a record. The other thing to think about is that he has practically no history with eBay.
And it seems very unlikely that this seller knows how to correctly pack a turntable for shipment.

I looked up the QX300 in question and the first thing I noticed is that the seller is only charging $20 for shipping — and expedited shipping at that! There is NO WAY to properly/safely ship a turntable for only $20. The last time I shipped a turntable, I spent that much just on boxes and bubble wrap. Ground (not expedited) shipping was an additional $25-$30.

I think it is very likely that this seller would simply put the turntable in a box with one or two layers of bubble wrap and call it good... which would result in the buyer receiving a box of smashed turntable parts.

Assuming the seller was thoughtful enough to insure the package (not all sellers do this), the insurance would not cover damage caused by improper packing / insufficient packing materials.

There is an art and science of packing a turntable correctly. It's not common knowledge, and it's not something one can do for 20 bucks.
apastuszak wrote:
20 Jan 2020 17:07
Do they make a t4p adapter that will go on the end of a Technics tone arm that just plugs in and works, with no need to align it?
Yes, Technics did make such a thing, but they are quite rare and expensive nowadays. (The last time I saw one on eBay it was $250.)

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