Retro Designs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Watson, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Retro-design. Thoughts, rants, etc.

    1. I would like to be able to buy a nice direct drive semi-automatic turntable. I don't want belts to wear out, I'd like it to replay an album without needing to get up from my lounge chair, etc. It would have to be able to connect with a receiver and not need a pre-amp or some other mysterious appliance.

    The only new turntables available seem to be very expensive dj models, or the ones I see on Amazon are not even available in Canada.

    2. More than that, I think I would like an attractive SYSTEM with modest capability - turntable, cd player, radio, with a few tone controls. And you know what, it should look good! (I hate all these black boxes with tiny buttons, and more jacks and cables than an old fashioned telephone switchboard).

    Well, they don't make it I guess, and I can only dream.

    Because a few months ago we bought some technosonic crap being mail-marketed via Sears. Aside from a very poorly rendered "art deco" design, it had no tone controls, the cd player squealed, and the turntable looked like a $19 job. We wrote Sears an angry letter about wasting our time and money selling such garbage, and got a refund of course, but it makes me sad.

    A year or two ago Grundig was marketing a retro design table radio. It had inputs for cd and tape, and if they had produced a CD player that would have had a compatible wood panel facade, I think I would have wanted it.

    So, I guess I'm just venting, but if someone actually knows the source for such technology, and can tip me, or God only knows, if anyone agrees with me, and there is a niche market for such things, maybe some manufacturer will put out some limited edition systems for urbane peasants like us!
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd like a new VCR styled like the old ones, with the piano-key buttons and everything!
     
  3. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    With "wired" remote control as well....
     
  4. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    IIRC, Teac has a retro line of products. Try checking their website.
     
  5. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Forgot about wired remotes!!

    Not exactly what I had in mind, but very funny. Can't remember how many times I tripped over that wire...

    Thanks for the TEAC tip; but it looks like they may be the source of the crap system I tried, so their stuff may be all down market, but at least I turned up a few more suppliers of turn-tables.

    Now, if they can deliver to Canada...
     
  6. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    i've got an old VCR with the wired remote. it's a sylvania. coolest thing about it is that it is top loading.
     
  7. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    John,
    From the sound of things, I gather that you are interested primarily in two-channel listening. My suggestion to you is to turn your attention to the pursuit of vintage gear. Some really cream stuff was produced through the 70s, during what's often referred to as "the receiver wars", in which the larger manufacturers of the day (mainly Sansui, Marantz and Pioneer, and Kenwood as well to a lesser degree) attempted to out-do one another with increasingly feature-packed, and powerful (brutishly so, in some cases) models. It really is true; they just don't make 'em like they used to. Three or four hundred dollars Canadian (or much less, depending on your needs and wants) and a good amount of patience and luck at local yard sales, thrift shops, or E-Bay, will quite possibly reward you with a receiver that will mop the floor with a similarily-priced contemporary unit. Prices will vary according to mechanical and cosmetic condition, as well as market demand.
    Click here for a thread off the vintage board at Audio Karma. These dudes know their stuff! I purchased the very same Marantz model pictured in the thread in a private transaction last weekend for $315CDN. My new toy's condition is almost as sweet as that of the unit shown, and it easily kicks the sh*t out of my Yamaha RXV-795a home-theater receiver (1999, 85wpc). The Marantz 2285 is also rated at 85wpc, but it absolutely embarrasses the Yammie! "Ah, so there's the bass in my speakers!" My old turn-table has now been restored to my living-room, and all two-channel music listening is done through the Marantz. The Yamaha has been busted down to HT use only, and I'm quite satisfied with its performance in that department.
    If I've misunderstood the intent of your post John, please forgive my raving. Cheers.
    DS.
     
  8. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    John,
    Perhaps my enthusiasm for the vintage stuff has gotten the best of my judgement. I didn't quite intend to blab on about vintage receivers as much as I did. My point simply, is that all sorts of vintage gear may worth investigating, not just receivers. Turntables, tape-decks, speakers, tuners, amps...it's all out there, if you take the time to look. Garage sales are certainly a hit-and-miss affair, but sometimes lightning strikes, and you may wind up with a component of considerable value and quality purchased for a ridiculously low price, only because the vendor didn't know what he was selling (part of the attraction of garage sales for the vendor is that, in addition to making some money, complete strangers are offering to cart away all their perceived junk, instead of the vendor having to load up a truck and travel to the local Goodwill or town-dump). Larger flea-markets can include vintage dealers, but these fellas have a much better idea of what they're selling, and they price their stuff accordingly. And remember, the 'net is your friend in these pursuits: E-Bay, Audio Karma, Classic Audio and Classic-Audio (two different sites) can be great sources of information on older gear.
    Thanks for lending your ear. Cheers!
    DS.
     
  9. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the ideas Dave.

    I'm not an audiophile, and am easily flummoxed by the cabling, almost as much as I'm put off by the sight of it. Anyway, finally reinstalled one of my modest old turntables, because we've moved to a house where there is room, and the floor is solid and doesn't bounce the needle out of a groove when someone walks by. I still have 800 or so LPs, and of the 2000 or so that are gone, deeply regret having sold a 100 or so of them, for pennies. But I'm figuring I might need a backup turntable to keep the 800 LP's spinning for years to come. (I'm assuming currently available receivers still have phono inputs, in case I need to replace my present one.)

    As for the overall appearance thing, I guess I like the console look (very 1950s), and if someone made it today, with modern innards (cd player, tape deck, + the turntable, all of good quality), think it could be a lot cooler than stacks of black boxes.
     
  10. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Slightly OT, just in case anybody needs to backup their LP collection to CDs.

    Denon sells a pro DJ turntable with built D/A so you'll have a S/PDIF output from your LP.
     
  11. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Actually David (in Markham), that's an objective of mine. I actually bought a program called Clean (takes pop, hiss, crackle out), but it's such a jungle, and when I finally got a computer with a burner, it turned out Clean is incompatible with the A-open burner. Burned again!

    Don't know if I could ever figure out the wiring either, to get my tapes and LP's digitized. I take it the acronyms from your post means the turntable produces a digital output?
     
  12. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Yes, the turntable has a regular cozxial digital output which you can directly connect to your CDR or DAT or PC's digital in.
     

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