Good $200-$500(US) Turntable?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Daniel Johnson, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Daniel Johnson

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    Hello folks. I'm looking for a good entry level turntable in the $200-$500 range. I'm eyeing a Technics SL-1210MK5 because even though it's a DJ table, it seems to have great rumble and wow & flutter characteristics, and I know they're built pretty solid. Thoughts?
     
  2. Daniel Johnson

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    Aww come on, there has to be at least a few people here who still buy vinyl. My old turntable is no longer useable and I've gotten some new LP's that I'm dying to hear.
     
  3. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Does that price range include a cartridge? Do you need a phono preamp?

    I'm not a big fan of Technics tables, I prefer Music Hall or Rega and a lot or people like Thorens or Dual.

    In your price range you should be able to fine a new Music Hall MMF-2.1, which will include a pretty decent Goldring cartridge. A used MMF-5 or Rega P-2 is also a possiblity, but a used TT may not come with a cartridge or it may need to be replaced. Audiogon is a good place to start your search.
     
  4. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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    I use an SL1200mkII w/ a grado green cartridge, and for the money I don't think it can be beat. There are sub $1k tables that beat it, but not at the price it can be bought at IMHO. Plus, it's bulletproof!

    FWIW, I may be selling mine; just moved into a new house, and it's going to be some time before I will have a place to put it to good use.
     
  5. Daniel Johnson

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    Thanks for the input Dan. That brings up another thing I meant to ask. With my old TT, I was using the Phono input on an older Harman/Kardon receiver, but I've since upgraded to a Rotel RSP-1098 since it (the TT) died. The unit doesn't look like it has an input specifically for this, so I suppose I'll need a preamp?

    Thanks for relating your experience with the Technics tables Kincade. I'll make a note of your email, and should I decide I want to go with Technics, I'll shoot you a message.
     
  6. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    I don't think the 1098 has a phono input, so yes, you're going to need a phono preamp. The NAD PP-2 is one of the best for under $100.
     
  7. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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    I'm using the rotel preamp; can't remember the number offhand, but it's pretty good too.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Daniel, don't buy one of the new 1210 tables. I got and returned 2 of them last winter. They just don't function well with regular cartridges that track at 1-2 grams. They only function well with heavier DJ cartridges that can be scratched with. The 1200 used to be an OK table for home use but no more, IMO. I'd look at Rega, Pro-ject, and Music Hall. I'm gonna go with a Project table after I save up a few more $'s myself. I have a new Shure V-15 in wait.
     
  9. Daniel Johnson

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    Ah, thanks for the input Rachael. I was looking at a NAD 533 and Goldring Elektra cartridge combo (the turntable is made by Rega, I believe?). If I take that route, I can probably do that and the PP-2, which seems to be about the best deal for the money from the reading I've done thanks to suggestions here. If there's no objections to that combo, I think I'll go with that.

    One of the LP's I've gotten between having TT's is Panopticon by Isis. My audio enthusiast friends find it odd that I listen to metal on LP, my metal-fan friends find it odd that I use LP at all. Ah well. [​IMG]
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Daniel, I think everybody's gotten so used to the sound of CD's. I mostly never have. To me, music sounded better on vinyl with the lesser speakers of that age, say, 30 years ago. You'd think your bud's would react to the vinyl bomb, but they're proably so a-tuned to Cee-Dee sound. I think most folks are these days.

    My brother said to me there's no way LP's sound better than CD's. This was after tellin' me I should throw out all 2500+ vinyls I so carefully shelve. I sat him down and played him Statesboro Blues on CD, SA-CD, and then vinyl. Vinyl won, he was really suprised. People have so bought into this "CD, purr-fect 'fer ever" notion thing-y. Does it burn-in gradually???

    When you get your new table, I hope it turns a head or two with your bud's. I hope to get mine, I thinks it's RM-6 (?) It's the one with the tall Plynth, the cheaper of the two Pro-Ject makes like that. It has a speedbox, which I like, I have lots of 45's both 7" & 12".

    I just got the new Springsteen on a double record set and same for the Black-Eyed Peas.

    The thing that makes the new 1210's so poor for home use is how they've wired the tone arm. It's thicker than it used to be, to withstand screechin' 'n scratchin'. You can't really get a lite cartridge to consistently catch the record's lead-in groove. The wire up the arm just pulls the arm in too fast, often skidding in a few grooves, not always. But! The arm must need 3.5 or more grams to slow it down. It's a shame they don't make a 12xx for home use anymore. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     

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