best "automatic" turnatable for under $400?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dean L, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Dean L

    Dean L Stunt Coordinator

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    1st I know,
    a non-auto turn table provides better sound.
    but i am spoiled and need the convinience. especialy when i fall asleep during a record.
    what are the best in the price range of $400 and under, and my plan is to spend a additional $100 for a quality (grado?) cartridge.
     
  2. Dean L

    Dean L Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    I'm not sure they even make fully automatic decks anymore. Technics 1200 series are at least semi-automatic, end of the record, it'll uncue.
    I just attained an older Technics, the 1300SL, younger brother to the 1200. The local gentleman that calibrated it for me, says it was one of the last fully auto decks produced.
    Gemini, Stanton, and Technics are used alot in the DJ circles, but I love the sound of mine. Like you said, a decent cartridge and life is good[​IMG]
    You may look around e-bay for an older Technics or Kenwood. I saw mine on e-bay last week, without cart for about $10!
    Jeremy
     
  4. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    I see there's two SL-1300's up for auction on EBAY right now. Do a search for SL-1300 in the audio section.
    I just grabbed a used SL-1300 yesterday, but I haven't had a chance to plug it into my system. Still waiting for the phono preamp to arrive.

    Jeremy,
    What cartridge are you using on yours? That's one thing I want to change right away. I would like to buy the best one for under $100.00. Any recommendations?
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    IS the SL-1300 a good record deck? A local pawn shop has one with an Audio Technica Cart for $99 and it looks to be in good shape. I'm intrigued.
     
  6. SteveSpoon

    SteveSpoon Stunt Coordinator

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    Yamaha PX-3. I love mine (although don't use it very much anymore), but it is insanely heavy.

    Steve
     
  7. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Phillip,

    I bought the sl-1300 from autopawn in manassas for 85.00. I bet thats the one you seen for 99.00! I then sold it to Kevin. Its in perect shape and works great.

    Its fully automatic and built like a tank.
     
  8. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "What cartridge are you using on yours?"
    I'm using the Shure V-15 series 4 cart.
    "That's one thing I want to change right away. I would like to buy the best one for under $100.00. Any recommendations?"
    I'm a newbie at this whole vinyl thing...just got started a couple of weeks ago, in fact[​IMG] Saurav and Phillip are guys to talk to...so is Mike Knapp at HTtalk, he's got a Tech 1200. I've heard the Grado carts and the Shure are pretty good bets. Audio Technica is another name I've heard.
    Phillip,
    Thanks for recommending that I do some research on my Technics BEFORE upgrading. It is an incredible deck. Apparently, back in its day, the SL1300 was one of the best available in Direct Drive. The Shure carts that I got with it are the audiophile carts that Shure makes, costing $325 today! I had a local TT guru calibrate and align it last week and he had nothing but great things to say about it. I've been enjoying the new album collection for a couple of hours every night. And to think, I almost told the guy that I got the vinyl from to "never mind the deck." Wow, what a mistake that would've been. The answer to your question...YES, the 1300 is a good deck, especially for what they are selling for. It's the younger brother to the 1200MKII that is available today.
    Jeremy
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    John Tompkins,
    You beat me to it!!! [​IMG] That's the one I saw on Friday afternoon when I stopped by Classic Axe. [​IMG] Guess I should have just bought it outright then and there. The table looked great but the cart looked questionable to me, particularly the needle. So it works good, huh?
    I think that was a bit much for me for a "second" TT. I'm just looking for a crappy little table for the basement, nothing exceptional like that.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Oh, my Denon DP-7F (about 7 years old, about $300 w/o cart) is fully automatic BTW. I like the convenience.

    BTW John I ran across a web site earlier today (can't remember the URL) that mentioned the cueing problem with many 1300s, and said basically there's no fix. It simply goes bad and still works great as a manual turntable at that point.
     
  12. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Phillip,
    The cueing on that sl-1300 works perfectly. Your right about the needle needing replaced but other then that its in great shape. I also went by on friday but didnt purchase the deck untill saturday(He took it out from behind the counter for me on friday and never put it back so it was probably still sitting on the counter when you saw it). SMALL world isnt it[​IMG]
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Philip said:
     
  14. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    I received the little preamp(Radio shack 42-2111) today. Plugged everything in and tried it I must say I'm impressed, It's been a while (approx. 15 years) since I listened to an LP, but I sat there with a big grin on my face.

    As both Philip and John pointed out this unit has a questionable needle/cartridge on it. Other than that everything else appears to be working properly.

    Earlier today I ordered a Grado red cartridge, spin clean record cleaning unit, so I'm eager to hear how much better it'll sound after replacing the cartridge and cleaning the LP's.
     
  15. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    I have a new unopened SL-1200MK2 for $549. Only problem is it is a manual not auto.

    It is one cool table though.

    Maybe I could let go of my Denon DP30L II (it is automatic) with a Dynavector Karat ruby (I think) but I don't know how much it is worth.

    John Casler
     
  16. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    By 'automatic', are you just referring to lifting the tonearm when it reaches the end of a record, so the stylus doesn't sit in the runout groove for too long? You mentioned falling asleep, so I'm guessing that that's your primary requirement, and not full automatic operation including start/stop. If all you want is to prevent cartridge wear & tear and avoid the annoying clicks of the end groove, you can buy a $45 product that you can install on any turntable, which will lift the tonearm at the right time.
    http://www.expressimoaudio.com/lift/index.html
    There - now you're free to spend $350 on a turntable whose sound you like [​IMG] If you're patient, you can probably score a used Rega P3 for that amount - I got a 2 month old P3 on eBay for around $300, and I got lucky, it was in perfect mechanical shape (small ding on one side, which doesn't bother me).
    For $100, any Grado cart would be a great buy. I've used a Grado Black ($40) on my P3, and it's awesome for the price, I would expect that it's bigger brothers would be better. I think Audio Technica and Shure also make under-$100 cartridges that are widely considered to be excellent buys. My advice to you would be to search through the archived posts on www.audioasylum.com to see if you can get some idea of how the sound of these carts compare, that'll give you a better chance of picking something that you'll end up liking in the long run.
     
  17. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    Saurav,
    Thanks for the tip, I was thinking about buying some rechargeables. It looks like I'll be going to home depot.

    One question though do you think I would get even better performance if I upgraded to say a Parasound, Sumiko or NAD Phono preamp?
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Kevin McCurdy,
    If you want to get that new cart set up by experts, go to Gifted Listener in Centreville, VA and have them do the work.
    Keith,
    I've got my eye on a refurbished Technics turntable (approximately half price) from www.refurbishedstore.com for the basement. I got a second hand Sony DD turntable last night but after some inspection I wouldn't trust it with any of my records. [​IMG]
    Saurav,
    Some terminology to ponder: A turntable that starts the record and returns the arm at the end of the record is called "fully automatic". A turntable that requres you to start the record manually, but returns automatically is called "semi automatic". Most "hi-fi" turntables are fully manual.
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  20. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Saurav,
    I enjoy AudioAsylum's information, but the web-site is a pain in the ass to navigate and find information. I searched for the thread you were talking about last night and was unable to find it. There is a ton of information on Tech decks though.
    I will continue to use mine over the course of the summer, since I'm not inside much...but this fall, I'm going with either the P3 or MMF-7. I appreciate all of the help, I'm still collecting vinyl as we speak.[​IMG]
    Jeremy
     

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