Technics SL-230/SL-3300? Or Denon DP-400?

snap, crackle and pop
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Ionfighter
United States of America
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jan 2020 19:56

Technics SL-230/SL-3300? Or Denon DP-400?

Post by Ionfighter » 19 Jan 2020 20:49

Hello all,
I am appreciative of all the knowledge and opinions on the Vinyl Engine boards.

Too Long;Won't Read, Summary -
modest stereo system (but my pride and joy) would be better served with which?
New Denon SP-400 with Ortofon 2m Red?
Old Technics SL-230 or SL-3300 with Audio-Technica AT-VMN95ML Microlinear Stylus.
I am replacing a black plastic Pioneer PL-600 which didn't impress me with sound quality but turned in a circle as desired when I pushed the start button.

I have been reading these boards a good bit, and would like some advice.... I've worked to distill my question, hope I've come to a fair starting point.

I love recorded music. I especially love hearing different instruments in pop music such that when I shift my mental attention, I can clearly hear background singers, individual instruments, or lead vocals as separate elements.

Over the past 5 years I have very slowly built a system through trial and error that gives me (IMO) a stellar listening room experience though my budget is modest, except for the turntable which just lost it's belt. I'm thinking now is the time to get a gooder one.

I have two cd players, which give a very nice detailed sound. And I also like to play LP's sometimes.

I will run the turntable into a Teac AG-H300 mk II bookshelf amp, and that goes into an Onkyo TX-8555 amp.
The Teac powers two JM Lab Chorus 705 bookshelf speakers on the floor facing the ceiling at the back of the room, and the Onkyo powers two Totem Mite bookshelf speakers on stands in the front of the room as well as a Yamaha YST-SW315 subwoofer at the back of the room. The two amps came about to allow me to move the sound forward and back in the room and add the subwoofer. After trying different speakers, amps, and placement, I stopped with what I now have because the sound on most recordings becomes three dimensional, which shouldn't really happen with stereo recordings, but it does and I love it :) When I walk to another room, everything blends together again yet is very bright and clear.

So... my turntable was the last weak component - a black plastic Pioneer PL-600. I did add an Ortofon 2m Red cartridge, which helped but still had some harsh distortion on intense lead vocals like Elton John in higher registers from his youth, and also revealed every bit of dust in the groove. I will save the cartridge to try on my new turntable, and also have ordered an anti-static gun, anti-static sleeves, an anti-static and cleaning brush, and an LP washing solution (none of which I have ever used before).

My question is this -
I've narrowed my search to either a new Denon DP-400 (normally ~ $500) which I would put the Ortofon 2m Red on,
or a Technics automatic turntable (I really enjoy the automatic actions!!) - either an SL-230 or an SL-3300 (ebay ~ $200) and add an Audio-Technica AT-VMN95ML Microlinear Stylus ($150).

My goal is (after I clean my records) to put on a record and hear a fairly lifelike performance. Not muddled, not harsh distortion in the treble. I was really surprised (and a little annoyed) when a friend was given a gift bluetooth record player a couple years ago. She didn't know anything about stereo system anything. Yet, when she put on a record - either new or from a goodwill store - there were no pops, no crackle, just bright rich distinctly clear music from her bluetooth speaker. I would like my system to just sound like music! Like comes out of the radio or a CD player - like the result my friend got but with my 4 speakers instead of a mono bluetooth speaker.

Thanks for any advice.

Issuesman666
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senior member
Trinidad & Tobago
Posts: 686
Joined: 10 Mar 2014 20:05

Re: Technics SL-230/SL-3300? Or Denon DP-400?

Post by Issuesman666 » 20 Jan 2020 01:59

https://www.vinylengine.com/library/pio ... -600.shtml

Above is the link to your Pioneer PL 600 which is direct drive so I don't understand your 'belt' comment unless there is a belt drive PL 600? ? I can't understand why you have a problem. The specs are excellent and it has quartz lock with low wow and flutter.

The 'upgrade' turntable options you are looking at will disappoint you. I have an SL 210 which I retired last year and specs wise your Pioneer beats it. The SL 3300 also be a side grade and the Denon DP 400 as well.

The 2m is known to be harsh and sibilant. You have to get the alignment right. Perhaps an upgrade to a 2m blue is just the ticket on your PL 600.

EDIT. There is a belt drive PL 600 like you describe. How confusing. In that case the Technics SL 3300 looks like the best choice.

https://www.vinylengine.com/library/pio ... rive.shtml

Ionfighter
United States of America
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jan 2020 19:56

Re: Technics SL-230/SL-3300? Or Denon DP-400?

Post by Ionfighter » 20 Jan 2020 15:54

Thanks for the suggestion.
Yes, it is really confusing that Pioneer re-used the model number for such a lower quality turntable.

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