Turntable recommendations and what does "manual commutation to 45 rpm" mean?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by james e m, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I'm looking to buy a new turntable under $500 and I have been looking at the Music Hall MMF-5 and it states that it has "manual commutation to 45 rpm". Does that mean what I think it means? Do I need to change the belt every time I want to listen to a 7"? Since I jump back and forth between record speeds all the time, this is not an option for me. Can anybody list a few turntable recommendations under $500 that I can easily adjust the rpm. I've been looking a Rega, Music Hall, Pro-ject, and even Technics.
    Thanks
    James
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    James, I've never seen one but it does say 2 speed, presumably 33.3 and 45. I think it's safe to assume you don't have to change belts to play 45's. I believe what is manual is lowering and raising the tonearm for 45's. Best wishes!
     
  3. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

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    Very few turntables have a 33/45rpm switch's now, as the switch can cause rumble. I am not sure but I believe you lift off the platter and move the belt up or down on the pulley wheel. My Rega planar2 is like that and I believe the MMF 5 is very similar to the Rega's.[​IMG]
     
  4. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    James,

    If you are looking at any of the "audiophile" entry level tables, you will certainly have to change the belt to adjust speed. As most of these tables are belt driven, not direct drive. DD decks will have "on the fly" speed adjustment, but as mentioned earlier, less is better when it comes to analog playback.

    You can certainly pick up a Stanton or Technics table for that kind of money to give you what you want, but you will sacrifice some performance for the feature. The Denon 47F is a pretty nice DD deck in your range.


    If I were you, I would try to hunt down someone in your area with a Rega P-3. Check it out and if you like it, you can pick up a used one for around $500. Of course, you'll need a cart too...may want to look into the P-2. Analog can get pretty spendy, quick.

    Good Luck,

    Jeremy
     
  5. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    I also believe the word commutation refers to moving the belt a notch on the pully. I have the MMF-7 rather than the MMF-5, but the principle is the same.

    For simple convenience in switching and durability, the Technics unit (preferred by DJs) may be the best way to go but you may spend a little more than $500 for one of the 1200 models.
     
  6. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Even the Technics BD22 model does the 45/33 switch. It is a decent table if you add a good p-mount cartridge. It is no Rega or Music Hall but is convienent. Even this table with a good cartridge will run close to $250-$300. I will eventually get a better setup like some of the ones in this thread. I hardly ever use the 45 rpm setting so that isn't a real issue for me either way.
     
  7. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Well this sucks, I guess I will have to go with a Tech 12 then. I need the rpm switch because I listen to a lot of indie and punk rock 7"s which are for the most part 45 rpm. If anybody can think of any alternatives I'm all ears! Thank you for the advice everybody!
    James
     
  8. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    To have the convenience of having both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speeds available without changing the belt on the pulley each time, but to still have the quality of the Rega or Music Hall turntables, a pricey alternative is to buy two of them, and permanently set one for 45 rpm and the other for 33 1/3. If you were to go for the Rega Planar 2 instead of the P3, or the Music Hall MMF-5 instead of the MMF-7 and get them off the used market, you may not have to spend as much as it might first appear.

    Of course, with two turntables, you would probably want to be able to switch between the two without swapping cables. So another phono stage would be in order, since you don't want to pass the low level signal from a cartridge through an A/B switch...

    ... or, to save on the expense but to avoid at least some of the hassle, do what I do with my Rega Planar 3 (which requires repositioning the belt to change the speeds): schedule your listening so that all of the discs in a given session are one speed or the other.

    OTOH, if convenience is paramount rather than playback quality, going with another brand that has multiple speeds really is the way to go. I had a Dual deck with four speeds (two of them never used) that did the job, just not as well as the Rega.

    Good luck -
     

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