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Decent TT on a budget?

 

New member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 7
Registered: Dec-06
I am looking to replace my old and nearing death pioneer turntable that I saved from my girlfriend's dad's trash heap. It works but has a few issues. Anyway, I would like to upgrade and buy a nicer one. I am looking to spend around $200 max, but perhaps I can go up a little. I was looking at the Rega P1, it seems very nice for a beginner but it is too expensive right now (college student). I am willing to buy from ebay.

What are my best bets?

Colin
 

Silver Member
Username: Daniel_canada

Canada

Post Number: 255
Registered: May-06
P1 on Ebay?
 

New member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 8
Registered: Dec-06
It seemed like all I could find was the P1 for retail.
 

Silver Member
Username: Daniel_canada

Canada

Post Number: 257
Registered: May-06
Any dealers in the area that sell used gear? P1 or a Debut.
 

New member
Username: Ryukyu

Post Number: 8
Registered: Dec-06
Audio Technica (AT-PL120) makes one that some people seem to like.
There's a thread over at AudioReview Forums about it.
Here's a link to check out :http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00012EYNG
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3765
Registered: Feb-05
Best new inexpensive turntables on the market are;

1)Rega P1
2)Project Debut 3
3)Music Hall MMF 2.1

All of these tables exceed $300 in price but come fitted with fine budget cartridges. They are in the order of my preference.

Stretch the budget a little further and you could look at the Rega P2 fitted with a Bias 2 cartridge.

I know of no new tables at $200 that make music. Good luck.
 

New member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 9
Registered: Dec-06
How about some good used ones?

I was looking today at a used Yamaha YP-B4 that the record store manager swore was better than a modern Rega. Since I don't know much, I don't really know any better than that. If anyone thinks this would be a good TT, I might go buy it tomorrow, it was only $150.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3767
Registered: Feb-05
Good luck....you'll probably need it.
 

New member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 10
Registered: Dec-06
Ok... well I did a little more research tonight, I think I will skip the Yamaha.

Why do you say I will need good luck? I am just looking for recommendations for a solid entry level at not too much money. Oh well, maybe that does require luck.

Any vintage brands that I should look at? How about Dual, Thorens, B&O? Are these solid or will I be wasting my money?

Thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arande2

400dB could probably d..., 4000 isnt ev... 100,000dB FU...

Post Number: 613
Registered: Dec-06
The Marantz Reference Table I'm sure is WELL within your price range. Maybe you should just buy that with your $10,000 budget I got off the top of my head. No you won't be wasting money, you'll be gaining money.

Hopefully you get the right turntable, good luck.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3769
Registered: Feb-05
Colin, unless you're willing to spend the bucks on a new budget table or a good used vintage deck (likely to cost more than a new budget table by a good ways) you will need luck. Get it?

I understand that you may not have the bucks so perhaps saving a little longer might be order.

Andre, what's with the $10,000 budget stuff. Colin asked a reasonable question let's try to give him a reasonable answer.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 5187
Registered: Dec-04
Stay with the tour, Andre!
 

New member
Username: Ryukyu

Post Number: 9
Registered: Dec-06
Colin,
Did you look at the Audio Technica? It's rated well, has a built-in phono stage, and is in your price range. It really is a nice unit for the money.
If you need or want something more, then like Art said, you should think about saving a while longer.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 791
Registered: Feb-04
It's possible to find a decent vintage Dual, Thorens or Garrard table for less than $200. Last year, I came across a nicely restored Dual deck for cheap at a stereo repair shop. I was tempted to buy it even though I didn't need another table. It had a beautiful wood plinth and that classic mid-century look.

If you can't stretch your budget for a new Rega P3, do some research on some vintage models (not all are good) and look to get one of those. Anytime you're dealing with used equipment you need a little luck.

PS, around here you can get a used Technics 1200 for about $300. Another good budget option.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3774
Registered: Feb-05
http://buy0.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?anlgtabl&1&ctg&st1
 

Bronze Member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-06
Well, I went ahead and bought that Yamaha YP-B4. I read a few things online saying it is ordinary, and read some posts over at www.audiokarma.com saying that it was a nice, reliable table that "sounds better than it should." It was only $125 and I fugured that this is a fine price for something like that. I think it will serve my purposes fine. As an added plus, it is near mint, has a decent Shure cartridge and was tuned up yesterday.

It is from the 70's and has a wood (probably veneered) plinth, an aluminum platter that is probably not heavy enough for most people who read this forum, and a decent looking tonearm. It also came with the manual. Obviously, whoever owned it previously took very good care of it. I played it in the store; it sounded nice enough for me to listen to my used record from the 60's-80's on. I think it will suit me fine for now until I can afford better gear.

Now I will have to move onto a decent CD player.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1806
Registered: Sep-04
Colin,

Only just got here. Congratulations on your purchase. I concur that given the fact the manual is with it it's probably been well looked after. You say it was tuned up yesterday. Do you know if they changed the belt when they did that tune-up? If they haven't then the belt probably needs replacing if it's some years old. You should be able to take off the platter and have a look. If the belt has any cracks or looks worn or has changed shape (take it off and look at it), then it defniitely needs replacement. I found this location where you can buy a replacement for $14:

http://www.turntableneedles.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=21737

Now, the other thing that's an unknown is the cartridge. Although you know it's a decent Shure, do you know how old it is and how much wear is on it? If you're not sure, then either replace the stylus (the most likely source of damage to records) or change the cartridge.

Finally, in the case of turntables it's very important to ensure they are sitting on a flat, horizontal surface which doesn't resonate too much. Most important is that the surface is horizontal - as in horizontal if you put a spirit level on there! Second most important is that the surface isn't a sound board. If it resonates a lot (such as a solid wood board) it can cause the deck to be less stable than one would wish since that noise goes straight into it. If you can source some cheap medite or MDF from a hardware store, this has damping properties which may help.

I'm not trying to ruin your day, but just giving you an idea of the things you should look at to safeguard your records.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 14
Registered: Dec-06
Ok, thank you for your helpful words. I went ahead and ordered both a new Shure M97xE and a new stylus for the current M73PED. There is a problem with distortion at musical peaks, and not just distortion but really hard clipping as if my speakers are blown. I am hoping that a new needle and a decent alignment are all it will take.

Your post actually did the opposite, it made my day better rather than worse.

Colin
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1811
Registered: Sep-04
Blimey Colin! Both a stylus and a new cartridge? Surely the new cartridge would have been enough? Distortion at musical peaks is possible from badly worn records, badly worn stylus, incorrectly mounted cartridge...the list goes on.

And what of the belt? Was that in good condition?

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Thereverend

Post Number: 15
Registered: Dec-06
Yeah, I thought it would be good to have two cartridges laying around. Now I just need a headshell. I think that the shure that is mounted now is not terrible, so I will keep it.

As for the belt, the store owner who sold me the turntable replaced it the day I bought it, so it is fine.

Thanks,
Colin
 

Bronze Member
Username: Underarock

Milwaukee, WI USA

Post Number: 88
Registered: Oct-06
Colin,

Interesting thread. And I can empathize with your thoughts and decisions. It seems as though once we decide to "upgrade" or "replace" existing gear, a whole new set of problems, and necessary monetary outlay to "fix" these problems, is a natural part of the process. I started out just to get a TT to replace my old Radio Shack belt drive, and ended up with not only a newer turntable, but a new cartridge (and mounting hardware), a new receiver, new speakers, and a good (but used) CD player! Hopefully, you can show more self-control than I did!

Good luck with your Yamaha!
 

Silver Member
Username: Stevestar99

Dahlonega, GA

Post Number: 117
Registered: Nov-06
Not sure about what's out there that's new, but the finest vintage TT is the Dual 1219 and 1229. The platers are about 5 lbs. and are super stable. It's just my opinion, I'm sure others have their favorites.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Thereverend

Davis, CA United States

Post Number: 35
Registered: Dec-06
Just resurrecting an old thread :-)

My Yamaha is not that great. It runs slow by about a quarter tone, has wow/flutter issues, and etc. I am planning on buying a new Technics 1210 in a couple of weeks and selling the Yamaha to someone who will enjoy it despite the minor speed issues and difficulty in setup. The Technics seems like the very best at this price point. I have also considered buying a used Rega P3 or a restored Dual of some sort (1219 or so). Ultimately I think buying a brand new super reliable table will be my best bet.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11111
Registered: May-04
.


Yep, those Regas are always in for repairs. There's so much that can go wrong with them.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Thereverend

Davis, CA United States

Post Number: 36
Registered: Dec-06
I really like the way the Regas look, plus I have a Rega Planet so it would sort of "match." It seems like many people would choose the Technics of the Rega for reliability reasons though, and that is primarily why I would choose it as well. I have not read any really negative comments about the 1200 from any of its owners, and I definitely can't afford to repair stuff all the time. Plus if I start getting antsy with the 1200 I can head over to www.kabusa.com and buy a bunch of tweaks to improve it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11116
Registered: May-04
.


Yep, those Regas are always needin' tweaks. There's so much wrong with them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5239
Registered: Feb-05
NOT!!!

As Jan knows. The Rega is a simple (yet sophisticated) design that is very hearty. They don't have a tank like build quality but let's hope you don't treat them like tanks. Unless you're a scratch DJ the Rega's give excellent sound on a small budget...

Whichever you buy just enjoy the vinyl, that's what's important. Support your local record store!!!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11126
Registered: May-04
.


And eat locally.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 181
Registered: Jul-07
You should have bought this one: http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?anlgtabl&1192359970
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