Blueguitar wrote:I inherited a Pioneer PL-518 a few months ago, set it up with an Ortofon OM-10 and have been using it for casual listening around the house, saving my Rega RP8 for more "serious" late night sessions. It's been a pleasure to have the automatic return function for when I'm cooking, or playing games with my kids, etc. and the sound quality is excellent - it probably could handle a better cartridge. After a hard days work, sometimes, I just want to put on a record I never listen to (Men At Work? The Go-Go's? things I picked up as a teenager) and got about my business. I also like the removable headshell. It made me wonder what people would consider the best direct drive, semi-automatic table - you start the record manually but it returns the tone arm and stops. Any ideas?
For Me....... I like the Pioneer PL-518 a LOT. It would be a great ALL AROUND Table for me if I prefer not to upgrade the Table itself for right now.
If I were to have one already, right now, I can just get it tuned up, calibrated, and then I would put a better Cartridge on it, and I would have a decent Direct-Drive Table I can seriously listen to.
But now, if I really need to upgrade and get a better Direct-Drive Turntable, I would consider:
(01). Pioneer PL-560 Quartz-Locked Direct-Drive Fully Automatic Turntable* (VERY flexible...... it can be used as a Fully Automatic, but can also be a Semi-Automatic or a Fully Manual..... it has a control knob right near the Tone Arm which will enable me to FULLY disable the Automation should I desire to do so).
(02). Technics SL-1400 (MkII) Quartz-Locked Direct-Drive Semi-Automatic Turntable with Feather Touch Controls, and Digital Readouts on the Front. A TRUE Semi-Automatic Table.
(03). Technics SL-1700 MkII Quartz-Locked Direct-Drive Semi-Automatic Turntable (or I can get an SL-1800 MkII (which is a FULLY MANUAL Table) and add an Arm Lift, and then I would have it done up so that the Platter will shut off when the Arm is lifted). Again, this is a TRUE Semi-Automatic Table.
* means that the Pioneer PL-560 would be my First Choice.