Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

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keiko5
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Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 21 Jan 2013 17:51

Just when it seemed that my appetite for linear tracking turntables had been satisfied, I stumbled across a beautiful Yamaha PX-2 that seemed to call out to me. Like an addict, I succumbed to its promise of musical bliss and mechanical perfection. When I bought it, it had the common fault of not functioning in the automatic modes. I spent a few hours this past weekend replacing the three photo sensors and cleaning up the belt driven tonearm mechanism. It is now running beautifully.

My first impression; DANG IT'S HEAVY! Weighing almost 40 lbs, it is quite unwieldy, and not something I want to be moving around often. Tonearm operation is very precise, but a bit slower than my PX-3. FYI, I have the earlier version of the PX-2 with the worm gear driven tonearm belt. As with my PX-3, I am amazed with the thoughtfulness of the design and layout and the quality of materials used. The bottom cover alone is probably heavier than some complete turntables, and the beautifully sculpted dustcover is 5mm thick acrylic. All in all, it is a very impressive piece of equipment, but I think the smaller and trimmer PX-3 is more attractive and visually balanced than the massive PX-2. However, the button layout of the PX-2 is more logical and less confusing than that of the PX-3.

The PX-2 came to me with an Adcom XC-LT HOMC cartridge mounted on an Orsonic AV-1 headshell. The Adcom is very crisp and lively with a strong bass. The PX-2 is very smooth and quiet during operation, and the arm movements are imperceptible. Platter speed is rock solid, but there is no pitch control. Like the PX-3, there are two speeds for moving the tonearm. Press the >> or << bottons lightly and the movement is slow, while more pressure speeds up the tonearm. Cueing is nice and smooth, but like the PX-3 there is no mute function. This may be my only complaint with an otherwise outstanding turntable. Overall, I'd have to rank the PX-2 at or near the top of my collction of linear tracking turntables. It certainly doesn't take a back seat to any of them.

If you are lucky enough to get one of these beasts, you will likely need to replace the sensors and do a bit of work to get it running properly. With proper care and attention the PX-2 will reward you with beauty, outstanding performance and sonic excellence. Just make sure you have a shelf that can support it!

Kevin

iramack
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by iramack » 21 Jan 2013 18:55

Congrats!! I love my PX-3. Need to have my belts cleaned and inverted but otherwise a fantastic unit!!

Steve

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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by Aerobat » 21 Jan 2013 23:58

Wow -- please post some photos.

keiko5
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 22 Jan 2013 01:05


iramack
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by iramack » 22 Jan 2013 01:07

NICE!!

S

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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by pfcs49 » 22 Jan 2013 04:14

Congratulations on joining the club. My first (and still using) PX2 came with the lessor an Adcom HC/VDH II (van den hul) cartridge. It is quite nice. Yours, the next up the lineup and next to the top (SXC/VDH $450) is judged best of the series in an promotional reprint by ADC from stereophile Vol7, No8.
Adcom was located nearby me in East Brunswick, NJ.
Where did you source the photo interrupters? Just curious. Although I have heard often of the PX2/3 opto sensors failing, I have refurbed 5 of them, some of which seemed like they might have a bad sensor, but this never turned out to be the case. I was able to source 3 NOS OE sensors, and still have them after not finding a likely substitute from the electronics houses.

keiko5
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 22 Jan 2013 04:34

Thanks. I was able to isolate the sensors as the cause of the fault by replacing the PX-2 sensor C board with the one out of my PX-3. I used Omron EE-SX298 Photomicrosensors, based on a web recommendation. This is not a drop-in replacement, they need to be significantly modified to work in the PX-2 circuitry. If you are interested, I can send my modification instructions.

Alec124c41
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by Alec124c41 » 22 Jan 2013 04:44

Is there much difference in the sound, between the PX-2 and PX-3?
I'm enjoying the PX-3.

Cheers,
Alec

keiko5
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 22 Jan 2013 04:57

Alec124c41 wrote:Is there much difference in the sound, between the PX-2 and PX-3?
I'm enjoying the PX-3.

Cheers,
Alec
None that I can perceive. I suppose that the added mass would make it less prone to effects of external vibration.

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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by lensmanMK2 » 22 Jan 2013 09:06

now i really want one.. that dustcover is beautifully made.

pfcs49
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by pfcs49 » 22 Jan 2013 16:05

keiko5 wrote:Thanks. I was able to isolate the sensors as the cause of the fault by replacing the PX-2 sensor C board with the one out of my PX-3. I used Omron EE-SX298 Photomicrosensors, based on a web recommendation. This is not a drop-in replacement, they need to be significantly modified to work in the PX-2 circuitry. If you are interested, I can send my modification instructions.
Thanks for your generosity to the community.
I don't need that information and expect I won't, but others might.

keiko5
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 22 Jan 2013 18:22

Thanks. It wasn’t until I was able to study the PX-2 Service Manual (which I recently uploaded to VE) that I felt confident enough to attempt to replace the photo interrupters. Even then, it took me two tries to get it right. The Omron units are 2mm taller than the original so they need to be shortened to clear the shutter plate. They also have the emitter and collector posts reversed, so these need to be crossed and insulated when soldering. It’s not a difficult repair, and the removable rear plate behind the tonearm assembly provides access to the sensor C board without having to remove the bottom cover. There may be other and better ways to make this repair, but my method seems to work fine.

Regarding Alex’s question comparing the PX-2 to the PX-3. My impression is that the PX-3, although smaller, lighter and less expensive than the PX-2, is a later and more refined version of the same application. The shutter plate on the PX-2 consists of stamped metal and glued-on plastic covers to reduce interference from ambient light, where the PX-3 shutter plate is a single, more complex stamping. The worm gear drive I mentioned is found only in early PX-2s. Later PX-2s and all PX-3s use a different, and I think more reliable drive system. There seems to have been more thought given to the alignment of the sensors on the PX-3 sensor C board. Finally the PX-3 did away with the seldom (in my case never) used 10” record size button, which would have been more useful if Yamaha included a 78rpm mode on the PX-2. The PX-2 definitely has the better suspension feet, which is the one glaring weakness of the PX-3.

fscl
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by fscl » 23 Jan 2013 19:58

Thanks for the write up kk5....

Now if you could only take 1 ttt with you..........LOL.... :-k :-k :-k ](*,) :D

Fred and am anticipating B & O.... :-k

keiko5
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Re: Yamaha PX-2: First Impressions

Post by keiko5 » 23 Jan 2013 20:34

The B&O Beogram 4004 is still my sentimental favorite. A better question, and one that I have been thinking about lately, which turntable would I take with me if I had to move into a retirement home? It would have to be one with an easily changable headshell, because I don't think I could live with just a single cartridge. So that eliminates the HK ST8, B&O, Revox and probably the Technics SL10. The Mitsubishi LT-5V is out because there is no adjustable VTA, and it is not up to the same standards as the others. That leaves the Mitsu LT30, Yamaha PX-3 and PX-2, and the Pioneer PL1000a. The PX-2 is an awesome turntable, but it is very heavy. The Pioneer is nice but like the LT-5V it doesn't exhibit the same build quality as the others. So it would come down to a choice between the Yamaha PX-3 and the Mitsubishi LT30. In the end, I think the logical layout of its buttons, its muting function, its effortless performance and its overall elegance would make the LT30 my final choice.

Hopefully I still have 20+ years before I need to make that difficult choice.

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