Does Audio Technica have the means to make a TOTL Table?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by freQ(*)Oddio, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    A/T make high end tonearms, carts, upgrades, they are a table company with strong technology and great heritage ,but no mid-high end table? How about a belt drive from A/T with their aftermarket tone arm, and a mc cart to show off their stuff? Seems like A/T could build anything they wanted, and have the name that would sell , if it was well built with good reviews. I understand all the cost factors, and they sell a lot of the sl1200 copys,......just to bad i guess.
     
  2. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    "They" don't have to build it. They would most likely have it made for them. That just takes the willingness and the startup money.
     
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  3. mprince

    mprince AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Agree with Montycat, I don't think that they make any of their current tables. Do they have the capability to make a top-level table? I am sure that they could easily build the capability, but with the vintage craze in full swing, not sure there is a business case to design, develop assembly and tooling, and manufacture a top-end table. Plus, I think their current offerings are hitting a sweet spot with their intended audience. I would think that their cartridge and accessory lines are quite successful given the number of vintage tables that are being resurrected and used.
     
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  4. majick47

    majick47 Addicted Member

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    To the best of my knowledge AT never made any tables back in the analog hay days, 1960s-1980s, they did mfg excellent cartridges/accessories/tonearms. Over the past 10+/- years AT subcontracted The Hanpin Turntable Factory to build their tables which were either low budget or questionable quality/performance knockoffs of the Technics SL-1200Mk2. You really have to read what it took for Technics to reintroduce their SL-1200GA, GR and the SP-10R to understand the difficulties and cost associated with the lapse of little to no R&D since the early 1980s and they had a very long history of building tables compared to no experience by AT. Nothing is impossible if you throw enough money at it but AT is probably doing just fine with their share of the low end market selling tables costing $60 to $600. IMO it would take a lot of courage for buyers to pay high end prices for a TOTL table not designed and made in Japan.
     
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  5. Lapslah

    Lapslah Active Member

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    IMHO, in the pro audio realm, AT has always had a bit of an image problem due to the fact that they bring products to market that are entry-level alongside their higher-end lines. The entry level stuff hurts their reputation with those who might otherwise buy their top of the line microphones, etc. - some of which are very fine, but are overlooked due to this practice. By contrast, while competitors like Shure sell some less expensive options like the SM57/8, those are workhorse products with long-standing reputations where AT's entry-level stuff is, frankly, pretty cheap. If they recognize this problem with their marketing of pro audio, maybe they've decided not to screw up their niche in consumer stuff by muddying the waters with higher level offerings.
     
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  6. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Tonearms they know how to make. I love my old ATP 16-T. Their microphones and phono cartridges are excellent. I agree that the budget items have not enhanced their reputation. I think Audio-Technica has the potential to build a high end turntable in house given their capabilities.
     
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  7. DustyOldPile

    DustyOldPile Vinyl Goddess

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    I think first you have to define what your idea of TOTL is. Especially today, one person's TOTL could be another person's mid-fi.

    I'm not so sure that in this point in time, I wouldn't be better off with AT's current SL-1200 knockoffs instead of a pair of 40 year old Pioneers.
     
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  8. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

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    I think AT largely specializes in transducers. A TT would be completely out of their realm, and probably wouldn't be taken seriously enough to merit the enormous R&D costs. Transducers on the other hand, they do very well, even at the entry level.
     
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  9. 2DualsNotEnough

    2DualsNotEnough Super Member

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    I have an AT-120 I bought a few years ago to play 78's.I bought another of their headshells and put a Shure 78 cart on it,and alternate between the two headshells,and it only takes a second or two to change them out,which is a real convenience.I use the table in my secondary system in the living room,and my wife and I use it a lot just for background music,and I think it is a solid little table that wasnt expensive,and wont hurt my records.
    That being said,I think if AT built a higher end table,and paired it with one of their higher end carts,I think the cart would help legitimize the table enough to be considered by someone looking for a more expensive table.
     
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  10. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    This. We consumers see AT as a broad-based company, but really, at their heart, transducers are what they do best.

    For those few who may not know what that means - transducers change one form of energy to another - mechanical to electrical and vice versa.

    Cartridges, microphones = mechanical to electrical; headphones = electrical to mechanical.

    I think the odds of AT actually going into the TT manufacturing business are unlikely.

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     
  11. majick47

    majick47 Addicted Member

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    This is a case of wishful thinking that AT would be able to bring to market a truly high end TOTL table and sell it for a bargain price. Technics has already planted their flag in the entry level high end position with the 1200-GR that would be attractive to both consumers and serious professional DJs for mixing. When your talking $2,000 and skywards you better be able to come up with the goods, so far AT hasn't demonstrated they are capable of building a table based on 1979 technology let alone 2017.
     
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  12. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This topic came up on another forum recently when the new generation Technics SP-10 R series was recently
    announced. Who else of the original manufacturers of the "golden years" and thats quite a list, would be willing today
    to fund and build a new high quality DD table?

    My answer no one. If I'm wrong I'll eat a cricket and I hate crickets.
     
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  13. Starquest

    Starquest Super Member

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    I wonder how many truly independent, mainstream direct drive companies there were even in the 70s. I count these:

    - Panasonic
    - CEC

    Beyond that it gets hazy. I think JVC and Denon made their own tables. Pioneer made their own high-end tables, but I think their mainstream tables were CEC. Some Sanyo tables were made by (I think) Hitachi. Who else was making DD tables back then?
     
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  14. 1tumbleweed

    1tumbleweed Kozmik Kowboy Subscriber

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    Micro Seiki made their own DDs, and look where it got them: dead and buried.

    Dual, certainly, and they also were effectively gone by the mid-80s.

    And that's basically it.

    Cheers,
    Larry B.
     
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  15. majick47

    majick47 Addicted Member

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    Just about all the large Japanese audio companies offered a TOTL (STATEMENT) or near TOTL table in the late 1970s to early 1980s prior to the onset of digital/CD. Some catered to both the professional (broadcast/recording) and the high end consumer markets, Technics/JVC/Denon/Sony. Others like Pioneer, Micro Seiki, Kenwood, Yamaha concentrated on the high end consumer market. Some were very limited in production numbers in the hundreds and others in the low thousands compared to their midfi tables which were sold in the hundreds of thousands. Also there was a matter of prestige that the companies had to maintain proving they were just as capable of mfg a TOTL table as their rivals many ending up as financial loss leaders or being lucky if they broke even. The most recent attempt at a supposed TOTL table was Denons DP-100A anniversary model not to be confused with the 1979 Denon DP-100M no holds barred statement table with only around 500 mfg in Japan. At first the DP-100A looked impressive with its substantial plinth but the discovery of the Hanpin tonearm sealed its fate as a complete failure to live up to the extremely high standards of the original DP-100M and they collected dust on dealers shelves even after being deeply discounted. With the Hanpin baggage it's doubtful to me that AT would also take a serious financial risk to enter the high end turntable market.
     
  16. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    they have a lot of technology in tonearms also, very expensive and revered as the best by some, along with some of the best carts you can buy , why build some of the best tonearms available to be installed on other tables, they are already waiting to be installed on their own platform with a motor, that is the easy part. their hard part is done. google "new A/T turntable parts", you can almost build your own from their parts. why do they not put their good aftermarket tonearm on a higher level 120? i understand they dont need to, they have plenty to do, but all the new table brands struggling to sell and get a name,. even a at120 with their good stuf? they make the dam table already? I would buy a $999 new nice tone arm, and cart, with decent platter direct drive, as pioneer did but better. but they stop at a $299 table? cmon A/T throw out the usb crap, sell a hot rod version, one that can be reviewed by the big guys and get a thumbs up . or put the best of what you already have, together and bring it to the 2018 audio shows, We know how hard it is for a company to design a tonearm that people will spend money on , They have that, the most important part. oh and also the rest. They are a great company , other manuf would love to have that name and build a new , upgraded line of turntables.
     
  17. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes they did, but almost all of them were made by others. TOTL tables and tonearms were produced by a few
    companies who contracted out their expertise. Quietly.
     
  18. majick47

    majick47 Addicted Member

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    Totem you might want to do further search re subcontracting the building of the TOTL tables, that claim seems to have been debunked. Oddio when the AT-120 can't even match 1979 technology how the hell could they compete today in 2017, they are out of their league by a wide margin.
     
  19. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Could they? I would say "yes". Would they want to? Completely different question and I'd say "no".
     
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  20. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    the at- 120 novelty ruined their reputation and gave them a perception that you also have fallen for, forget they built that , their tonearms are better than technics, their carts are better than technics, here are their tonearm and a cart thumbnail example, this is what audiophiles think of A/T, arguably better built products than almost anyone, at 120 thats what you think is all they have lol, they couldnt compete in the 70s? They chose not to show their world class stuff on a table, simple as that.
     

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