Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

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Blueguitar
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Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by Blueguitar » 24 Feb 2015 02:56

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?

katana1100
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by katana1100 » 24 Feb 2015 03:04

Have no idea as the semi auto is a step between full manual and full auto. I have a couple, a Sanyo 600 and a Pioneer pl50. Can't really say much about them, but love the loud clank the pl50 makes when it returns the tonearm!
Sound wise, I think my two full autos sound better.

Japi Roelofs
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by Japi Roelofs » 24 Feb 2015 12:26

This is all highly subjective of course. I personally like the ones that have a separate motor for the arm operation. It makes the automatic return smooth and elegant. Others prefer the mechanical clunky sound, that often comes with the arm being moved by a series of levers attached to a gear wheel that is being rotated by the platter spindle. This in turn makes that the arm transportation speed is proportional to the selected platter speed: the arm moves faster at 45 rpm.

Working on a Technics SL-1700MK2 now, I consider this top of the line, although I don't like the fact that there is no cueing lever; it's a push-button only operation.
The auto-return function can also be disengaged by pushing a button, making it a fully manual table.

Beobloke
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by Beobloke » 24 Feb 2015 13:50

Blueguitar wrote: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?
I'd nominate the Sony PS-X9 personally....

http://www.thevintageknob.org/Sony-PS-X9.html

jimboyep
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by jimboyep » 24 Feb 2015 14:43

I would like to add my Denon DP-62L to the mix. After 30 years of service, it's still super reliable and operates dead quiet.

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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by pivot » 24 Feb 2015 15:58

If you find a Dual 701 or Dual 721 in good shape I would consider adding it to the list.

katana1100
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by katana1100 » 24 Feb 2015 16:01

jimboyep wrote:I would like to add my Denon DP-62L to the mix. After 30 years of service, it's still super reliable and operates dead quiet.
Isn't that a full auto?

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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by analogaudio » 24 Feb 2015 18:18

another vote for the SL-1700mk2 the way it is done preserves the best of both worlds, full manual with auto-return, very fine quality.

nkorah
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by nkorah » 24 Feb 2015 18:44

Like there is any one best product in any category :)
I'll add Lenco L78 to the respectable list above (in a decent heavy plinth, and after V-blocks replacement).

But seriously - take most decent manual TTs, add an Automatic Tonearm Lifter and you're done.

vynidaho
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by vynidaho » 25 Feb 2015 02:23

Technics SL-1300 :mrgreen:

Japi Roelofs
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by Japi Roelofs » 25 Feb 2015 02:33

vynidaho wrote:Technics SL-1300 :mrgreen:
MK1 or MK2?

Hold on... SL-1400 is the only true semi-auto DD player

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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by chaskelljr1963 » 25 Feb 2015 03:46

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.

--Charles--

* means that the Pioneer PL-560 would be my First Choice.

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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by anhedonia » 25 Feb 2015 03:47

Another nod to the Technics SL1700 MK2. The only grief that table gave me over the years was the belt for the motor arm lift went bad but that was just a trip to the hardware store to find an O-ring and a 5 minute repair job. It was my fist brand new turntable and I wish I still had it..

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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by jimboyep » 27 Feb 2015 01:00

katana1100 wrote:
jimboyep wrote:I would like to add my Denon DP-62L to the mix. After 30 years of service, it's still super reliable and operates dead quiet.
Isn't that a full auto?
No... This family of tables; "DPxx-L series" has the tonearm lift automatically at the end of the record. The "DP-xxF" is totally automatic.

Mitch Lee
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Re: Best semi-automatic direct drive turntable ever?

Post by Mitch Lee » 28 Apr 2015 04:02

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?
I have to agree. This is one solid, reliable beast. I am using a Stanton L737 cartridge, and old tube Dyna PAS Preamp and running it into the sound system of my home theater with 3 subs and BIG CHEAP custom speakers. And for rock, pop and combo jazz, the sound is good. Not so much for classical or folk. BUT if you want to reproduce a live rock concert that feels SOLID and UTTERLY REAL and have the turntable turn itself off at then end because you are not sure you will be in a position to move--THIS TABLE IS FOR YOU!

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