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vintage or new?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by mfroes, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:04 AM.

  1. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have been researching for some better quality to upgrade my turntable.
    at the moment i have a sl-j300r but wanted to upgrade to something.
    i've been told that the tonearm and cartridge have a huge impact on the sound.
    i was in search for a semi-automatic or automatic turntable just so i dont need to worry about it in the end of the record.just so i dont need to buy a stylus every few months. haha.
    Also wanted to be able to change cartridges if possible, check which one i like best

    I've been researching and i can get SL-120, SL-220, SL-23, SL-1700 and SL-10 (which if anyone could say why?!? looks just like mine with fewer functions)
    all from 200 bucks

    or should i just go new ?
    like Audio-Technica AT-LP3, AT-LP60(which cant change cartridges), AT-LP1240 ?

    any other suggestions?
    what are your thoughts?
     

     

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  2. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,217
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Pretty much any of those vintage tables will wipe the floor with any of the new ones you've mentioned, assuming they are in good working condition. Of the old ones, I'd especially be interested in the SL-120 depending on what tonearm is on it, plus the 1700 (MK1 or 2?) and the SL-10.
     
  3. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Any reason why the SL-120 instead of the SL-220 ?
    it's the MK1 SL-1700, the MK2's reach same prices as the 1200 MK2.

    Sorry about not knowing this, but doesn't the SL-10 have less functionalities than my J300R with the same tonearm & cartridge ?
     
  4. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,217
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have to run off, but a quick answer is that the 120 was sold as a turntable only. You could add the tonearm of your choice and that could be a very good one so you should try to find out. It's approximately the original 1200 without an arm.

    The 1700 MK1 is still pretty good though the MK2 is nicer, with the tonearm and motor of the 1200 plus automatic features.

    The SL-10 is one of the best linear trackers Technics made and it's higher quality in a number of ways. The lack of functionalities is often a good thing. Most of the best turntables are actually lacking many automatic features in favour of higher quality and precision.

    but I have to go....
     
    biscuithead likes this.
  5. lini

    lini just me...

    Messages:
    5,891
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    mf: Actually, your SL-J300R already is a pretty good model. Which cartridge/needle are you running it with so far?

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
  6. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    the SL-120 must have been in a really good price.
    It's gone ! now only the 1700 mk1, SL-23, SL-220 ( & SL-BD2 , D2, D212 and a few other not as good ones)
     

     

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  7. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Manfred / lini,
    I was still running the original Technics P30 until now, until the move when something happened and the needle bent and it is unusable now.
    I was thinking on an elliptical instead of spherical as a replacement.
    either Audio-Technica AT81CP cartridge, AT85EP
    or maybe try out some nagaoka's C-502M/P Cartridge (which is spherical) or keep the original technics cartridge and one 28-30ES .
    What are your thought ? any suggestions ?
     
  8. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    Messages:
    3,332
    My thought is that, if possible, you should discuss options with a local dealer, one who has good demonstration facilities so that you can bring in and compare your turntable's performance against other options. Some dealers near me can also arrange to let you take a floor model home so you can hear the difference in your own listening room. Let your own ears tell you if a new turntable is going to bring you more enjoyment from your records. It was that process that led to my current use of a Rega RP3.

    If you don't have local dealers who can offer this kind of audition, then it gets more difficult because all you can do is read reviews and forum content and take your best guess. Among new turntables, I'd be considering the AT LP5 over the LP3 or LP1240. The Rega Planar 1 would likely give better sound, but cartridge changes are more difficult and time-consuming due to the non-removable headshell, and its anti-skate force is non-adjustable. On a model with a removable headshell, and with an extra headshell on hand, cartridge comparisons become quick and easy if that's a priority for you.

    Another thought is that just because something better exists doesn't mean you have to own it. I didn't buy the RP3 because I didn't hear anything better, but because the RP3, at a reasonable price, offered a quality of sound that thoroughly pleased me. I continue to listen to it for hours almost every day, and it never fails to bring compelling music into my home. The AT LP5 review compared it to the then-current Rega RP1 and said, "Sonically, the RP1 has the edge you’d expect from a sole-purpose turntable, but when we switch back we are more than pleased to listen for the rest of the day without missing the extra detail or dynamics. . . Audio-Technica has what matters spot on - this is a turntable that is both a pleasure to use and to listen to."

    https://www.whathifi.com/audio-technica/lp5/review
    https://www.whathifi.com/audio-technica/lp1240usb/review
    https://www.whathifi.com/rega/planar-1/review
     
  9. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I don't have anything close to me that would allow me to do that test. I have seen a few places, but the only ones that they test are the ones that are already open for demonstration and all on different amps, so it becomes hard to check. most of them are just the older used ones that are already plugged in on some stereo.

    I will take a look at the rega ones. although each of them are around 850-1000 bucks, which I could spend on a 1200 mk2 ? maybe ?

    the idea on being able to change cartridge and headshell so I could tweak it to my taste of sound. and at least automatic return so I can listen to while cooking without having to run out to stop the playback once the record finishes
     
  10. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    Why not a schveet Kenwood? Beats the hell out of any of the decks mentioned in performance and looks, makes them look like toys in comparison. This table is large so if contemplating picking one up keep that in mind.

    The secret is out on how great the upper tier Kennys are so prices have been skyrocketing but deals are still out there. I see some on eBay with custom plinths that are a huge bargain when compared to anything new in the price range but still expensive.

    If patient I've seen them in the $400 range, I picked mine up for $350 with a cartridge installed worth more than the price of admission, a Denon DL-301. About 6 months ago another member was interested in my table, I found another on eBay with the wrong headshell, mentioned this to the seller and the price dropped to $340.

    Showed this to the fellow AKer here but his funds were now going to a new car so someone else scored that schveet deal. As I said, patience is key, slong with due diligence in communication with the seller before purchase.

    This is it, the Kenwood KD770D semi auto table. It looks black in pictures but it's actually a very dark high gloss mahogany wood grain.
    2a892361ca9597edcb6a3125d08d6b53.jpg
    maxresdefault (11).jpg
     
  11. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Grenadeslio,
    Nothing against Kenwood, just not as popular/common here in Australia where I'm from. The KD770 is nowhere to be found around here.
    so I'm trying to find something out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 6:01 AM

     

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  12. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

    Messages:
    21,672
    Location:
    Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    Are Technics SL-1600 MK2's available locally? If so, please consider adding this model to your list.
     
  13. lini

    lini just me...

    Messages:
    5,891
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    mf: I'd suggest you not to underestimate the capabilities of your little Technics and to at least consider the AT450 (basically a renamed AT316EP), which Ebay vendor "wolfsbigbadgarage" should still offer new old stock for circa 60 bucks.

    To tell you a story, when I sold my little SL-5, which I had upgraded with an AT132EP, and upgraded to a new Thorens TD160Super with a uses Grace G707 arm and a new Yamaha MC-505 roundabout 1986/87, I was rather disappointed with the result: The new Thorens/Grace/Yamaha combo was by far less convenient to use (and somewhat whacky, too) - while the sound quality only imroved a little bit (i.e. quite a good bit less than what one would expect for the price difference...). So personally I still regret that I ever sold the little SL-5 (plus AT132EP). Hence my advice not to underestimate your SL-J300R either, 'cause with a good cartridge/needle those little Technics direct-drive linear trackers can compete pretty well with quite a few turntables, that may look more serious or radiate more solidity...

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
    Hugo65 likes this.
  14. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    Messages:
    3,332
    No, it doesn't sound like you have access to good quality demonstrations at a dealer. As to Rega prices, I don't know what market you're in, but USA prices start at $475 for the Planar 1. To my ears, entry-level models such as the Planar 1, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, and Music Hall MMF 2.3 are all better sounding decks than the SL1200 Mk 2. There are very few automatic return turntables on the market at this time, and none that I've heard about appear to offer sound as good as the Planar 1. I can understand wanting auto features, and I once bought a Denon DP-300F specifically for its fully automatic operation, along with a second headshell to play around with cartridge swapping. It operated and sounded just fine, but the Rega RP3 was a huge step up in musical engagement.
     
  15. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    unfortunately no :(
     
  16. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've been told that the SL-5/7/10 are supposedly better than SL-J300R thou

    Would it make any difference from the AT-85EP ? I see that it is dual MM with the same radius .3 x .7 but don't know about the diamond tip.
    now I'm a bit confused which one to get for my SL-J300R.

    AT450, AT85EP, AT-311EP. The AT85EP is the current elliptical model from Audio Technica.
    nagaoka's C-502M/P Cartridge or 28-30ES which is elliptical .3 x .7
     

     

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  17. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yes, I've seen there is some kind of auto-raiser for non-automatic turntables. http://www.thequp.com
    Once it reaches the end, just lifts the tonearm so it doesn't destroy the stylus.
    so I've been thinking maybe get a non-automatic and get a lifter.. maybe?
    I'll try to check out the Rega RP3
     
  18. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    Messages:
    3,332
    I had a lift device at one time, but no longer remember what specific product it was or what turntable I put it on. Worked fine, as I recall. At present, I don't worry much if my stylus rides around in the lead-out groove for a minute or two if I need to stop an activity and wash and dry my hands before changing the record.

    The RP3 was replaced in Rega's line-up in 2016 by a model now designated the Planar 3 ($945 without cartridge). This is actually a return to the name it had from 1977 to 2000; subsequent models were the P3 2000 (2000-2007), P3-24 (2007-2012), and RP3 (2012-2016). I had auditioned the P3-24 at one point but wasn't quite captivated enough by it to make the purchase. The RP3 was, to my ears, a significant improvement, and after a few years of use I still feel no need to upgrade--I could happily live with this level of sound quality the rest of my life. A friend of mine still feels that way about the entry-level Rega P1 he's had since 2007.
     
  19. lini

    lini just me...

    Messages:
    5,891
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    mf: As mentioned, the AT450 basically is a renamed AT316EP, which was the next model above the AT311EP, whereas the new AT85EP is a slight downgrade from the AT311EP.

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
  20. mfroes

    mfroes New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Perfect! Thanks.
     

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