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With it all starting in 1978 I've owned the following tables. To the best of my recollection, this is in chronological order. Sometimes a table was replaced with something inferior to raise money for something else going on in my life at the time.
Pioneer PL-12DII with Empire 1001
Thorens TD-166 MKII with Audio-Technica 11e
Sony PST2 with Audio-Technica 13ea
Micro-Seiki MB-11 with Audio-Technica 13ea
BIC 240 with Audio-Technica 10
Luxman PD-272 with Signet TK-7e
Thorens TD-166 MKII with Signet TK-7e
Harman/Kardon ST-8 with Ortofon MC-10
Philips 289 with Signet TK-7e
Ariston RD-11 with ADC AT-1 arm and Dynavector 10X
Denon DP-30L with Signet TK-7e
Denon DP-80 with Linn Basik (early) arm and Signet TK-9ea
Thorens TD-126 MKII with Signet XK-50 arm and Dynavector Ruby
Micro-Seiki BL-51 with Signet XK-50 arm and Signet TK10ML
Luxman PD-272 with Dynavector Ruby
Linn LP-12 with Grace 747 and Signet TK-10ML
Pioneer PL-12DII (many mods) with Accuphase AC3
Thorens TD-126 MKII with SME 111 and Signet TK-7e
Micro-Seiki DDX-1000 with SME 3009 and Grado MCZ
Luxman PD-277 with Grado MCZ
VPI Jr. with Sumiko FT-3 and Audio-Technica AT-OC9
Ariston RD80 with Infinity Black Widow and Madrigal Carnegie One
Thorens TD-160BC MK-II with Sumiko MMT and Audio-Technica AT-OC9
VPI Jr. with AudioQuest PT-6 and Audio-Technica AT-OC9
Thorens TD-160 Super with SME III and Audio-Technica AT-OC9
JVC QL-50 with Micro Seiki TA-1 and Denon DL-301 MK2
VPI HW-19III with Sumiko FT-3 Denon DL-301 MK2
JVC QL-50 with SME III and Denon DL-301 MK2
Rega 3 with RB 300 and Denon DL-301 MK2
Micro-Seiki BL-51 with Audioquest PT-9 and Audio Technica AT33PTG
Micro-Seiki BL-51 with Micro Seiki TA-1A and Audio Technica AT33PTG
There have been many others, but I only count the ones that I was able to spend a decent amount of time with. I've never owned anything exotic or very up-to-date. My means usually kept me pretty far behind the current crop and only 4 or 5 of them were purchased as new.
My fondest memories are of the Pioneer PL-12DII, simply because it is the one that got me started on this crazy journey. I think the best sound came from the VPI Jr. with Sumiko FT-3 and Audio-Technica AT-OC9 ...or maybe that system just jelled best. I really like the JVC QL-50 and the Luxman PD-272 ...lots of bang for the buck with those two.
I've never had an SL-1200 and really think I need to try one ...and maybe a TD-124 or one of the esteemed Garrards ...but both are really beyond my means. When not spending a lot of money its easy to try a lot of tables as they are easily bought and sold. I have to admit to having nearly as much fun playing with tables as I do listening to music.
Does anybody have a PL-12DII they would sell? I need one, for old times sake. Seriously. If you have a spare in nice shape, let me know.
I've owned and used lots of turntables, Garrard, Dual, Elac Miracord, Pioneer, Yamaha, JVC, Technics, Bang & Olufsen, BSR, etc.... Belt, direct drive, and idler drive.
That would be my two main turntables in daily use. Both are 78 rpm capable and feature variable pitch control. With over 7,000 78s in my collection, having these features is essential. I also like the excellent build quality, ease of use, fast cartridge swapping, and precise speed control each offers. Not to mention they both sound great, no matter what I'm spinning.
Technics SP-15, free from a local radio station. After fixing a few problems, I built a plinth and added a 10.25" effective length Jelco tonearm. Shown here spinning an Edison Diamond Disc at 80 RPM.
KAB Technics SL-1200 MK5, with Cardas tonearm rewire, tonearm dampener, external power supply, and 78 RPM modification. Gabba Gabba Hey!
Pioneer Exculsive P3
My favorite is the Exclusive P3 with the Sony a close second. The Japanese built some amazing table back in the day. I still own all but the VPI
I must be in the wrong place. Cannot see the fascination of changing so many times as some people here. Do these people also change other components? That would really make it impossible to enjoy the music
Well, I suppose I should revive this worthy thread. Or forgive me for exhuming this, in case you were hoping it would RIP...
Back when I was a 10 yr old, I had a Sears Silvertone "suitcase" record player. Used it to learn to play guitar. First records? Beatles '65, Kind Of Blue, singles like Riders On The Storm, 25 Or 6 To 4, Psychedelic Shack, etc. I remember the Jimi Hendrix Smash Hits record too. History of Eric Claption, for sure. Early Rolling Stones and later Beatles stuff.
First real record player was a Dual 12** of some kind. It was not very good. My records from that period all got chewed up pretty good.
My brother had a Technics SL-23. Much better. He had a really sweet setup with Marantz integrated amp, Dynaco A25 speakers (choice!) and that SL23. He was (and is) one smart cookie.
I finally got a decent record player after college. It was a Thorens TD147.
In the late 1980s, for some inexplicable reason, I fell under the influence of Van Alstine. In his newsletter he touted the Harman-Kardon T60 as the killer deal of the day. So I got one, and talked myself into believing that it was better than the Thorens, and sold the TD147. Silly me.
That hk lasted about 10 years before its motor died. No big loss. It was just OK.
In the mid '90s I got a fairly well beat up Thorens TD124. I put a Japanese Graham-copy arm on it (it might be a Jelco, but I don't know). Put a Denon DL103 on it, later broke the needle off in a move (D'oh!!). But for the broken cartridge, that combo would still play. The turntable still needs an overhaul, and I have a nagging suspicion the arm is in the wrong place. I just never got around to fixing all that. Again, silly me. One of these days...
I used that TD124 in its less than optimal state until only about 5 years ago. I got one of the last of the Technics SL-1200mk2 before the big price increase above $700. Slapped a Denon DL100 on it, and this is the best sound I've ever got from vinyl. The whole combo cost me less than $600.
I'm still happy.
KLH (part of system) - 1972
Dual - 1972
Yamaha - 1977
Setton - 1978
I had no idea there would be a test in 2007, so I don't know any of the numbers until 1997.
Rega Planar 3 - 1997
Rega P3 - 2005
Panasonic receiver/changer combination
PE 3060 (changer)
Philips AF877 (belt-drive)
AR ES-1 (modified) with Sumiko MMTi
Rega Planar 25
Oh... and the AR (with its great Monster Cable Alpha Genesis 1000 cart), was the best, by a good margin.
Edited to add:
Just remembered I had a Well Tempered Turntable, which I bought to improve on the AR, but I quickly sold it, and had the AR Merrill (and self) modified. Although some folks like them very much, I guess my forgetting the WTTT goes to show how little I did.
An audio dealer's dream, you are. More than one a year . . . if you count different cartridge/arm combinations that you list.
To answer the question: since 1969 --
AR XA A classic of minimalist engineering, and the best sounding until I got my VPI.
Phillips 212: Highly reviewed at the time, a disappointment to me. I should have kept the AR.
Dual changer (can't remember the model number) Convenient, and not any worse than the Phillips.
VPI HW-19 Mk III, with JMW 10 arm: the current player. I might be tempted by one of the "Scout" iterations; but I've already invested a disproportionate amount of money in vinyl playback.
I frankly can't remember all of the cartridges I've had; its more than the number of tables.
Only 1 of my tables was bought new from a dealer, the very first one. As of the second table I was in the business and buying tables either used (trade-ins) or on salesman's accommodation. Those were the days!
not much to list besides the Technics and Kenwood things i had in high school/college - currently have an Empire 298 with an RB300 Arm, Denon 103R cart ... solid and very nice.
Since 1980 I've own the following TTs. Also I list the arms and cartridges purchased for each table as I recall purchasing them.
3.) Pioneer PL-516 Dynavector 10x3
4.) Sony PSX-600
5.) Harmon Kardon T20 Grado Signature 8
6.) Rega RB300 Grado Signature 8, Rega Elys, Arcam Alpha, BluePoint
7.) Sota Sapphire w/Alphason Opal, Monster Alpha Genesis
8.) Rega RB300 Grado Platinum, Dynavector 10x4, ClearAudio Arum Beta, ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood
9.) Linn LP12 pre-cirkus w/Ittok
10.) Rega P3 Denon 103, Dynavector 20xl
11.) Roksan Xerxes DX2 w/Rega RB600, OL Silver 250, OL Encounter, Dynavector XX2
Give me rhythm or give me death!
I started with a Pioneer Pl-12D back in the mid 1970s, still one of my favourite low budget TT. In the mid 80s i went digital. Around 2000 i found a Thorens TD145mk2 on a fleamarket and hell broke loose. I have a TT collection in the attic now. Here a few favourites:
Thorens Td125mk/SME3009 (in the living room actually playing)
Modded Lenco L75/RB300/Decca International (same)
Thorens Td145mk2 modded with VdH cables etc.
Luxman PD-284 with ADC XLMmk2
Akai AP-207 (cheap and underrated IMHO)
Akai AP-M7 (Linear)
Philips 777/GP401 (cheap, can be modded into a decent starter TT)
Philips 312/GP400 (cheap, underrated)
"The torture never stops"
My first good table was a new Dual 1219. I have been a trader for years and I have owned and used more than 100 different tables in the past 35 years. Some notables:
Elac 50H & 50H MkII
AR XA & XB
Garrard 301/401 & Zero 100C
and a couple Music Hall and Pro-Ject machines.
and many more. Nothing in the list that was a high-ender but some pretty good stuff is in there. I don't do much trading these days as good ones I can actually make money on are getting very rare.
Laugh if you please but I currently use my favorite - a pristine German-model 1219 (as opposed to a US-import model). It's sound and operation make me quite happy.
Clearaudio Emotion (2)
VPI Scout (2)
Rega P3 (the worst of the bunch)
Technics sl1210 MG5
My favorite is the Scout with the Thorens right behind. A lot of money wasted but fun.
How did you like the DENON? I am curious whether it shows any similarity to the DENONs of old (like my DP-60L). It appears to have an arm very similar to the Technics SL-12XX but without the neat arm height adjustment. Just curious.
Denon had a warped platter. Returned it.
First table that was mine was a Technics Linear tracking thing with a radio shack cartridge, then a Dual thing, then a Rega Planar 2-the early one with the silver S arm and a Blue Point Special, then a old Roksan Xerexs that had the sagging arm board with a Dynavector 10xv-upgraded to a Van Den Hul Frog, then traded the Frog for a Nottingham Analogue Spacedeck with the space arm and a Dynavector and Denon DL102, then a borrowed Technics SP-10 with a Rega RB 300, got rid of everything now I have a Garrard 301 grease bearing with a VPI jmw 9" arm and a Dorian Mono.
Like the Rega the best by far but the Nottingham was a work horse that was a lot of fun. The Roksan never sounded right--maybe for a week then the weather changed and it never sounded the same again. The Rega played music well. But again the Garrard does the PRAT thing so good that nothing else sounds right to me. If I could just get the "air" and "ease" of a good belt drive everything would be perfect!!!
My first turntable was a Rek-O-Kut R-34 that I picked up used, I believe it had an Empire cartridge. It sounded really great, but was extremely sensitive to people walking within 10 yards. I had this from 1969 till 1972.
In 1972 I bought a Zero-100 from a BX in Thailand, largely based on a review that discussed the ingenious elimination of all tracking error without the complexity of a linear tracking arm. I can't remember the cartridge, but it was not a very good table. Sound was muddy. I was never really happpy with the "record changer."
Next my wife gave me an AR ES-1 with a V15 type 5. This was a great machine that I essentially retired with a move to digital several years later. I tried to bring this machine back to life after several years (15) in storage. Unfortunately, there was an open in one of the wire leads, and the table is in my storage room waiting for a quiet time when I can try to repair it.
My current table is a VPI Scout with the JWM arm. It sounds wonderful, I moved the V15 from the AR, and Shure sent me a replacement stylus with an MR tip.
The only one that wasn't really a good machine for the time was the Zero 100. This thing was really a black eye for Garrard.
The current set up can still startle me with how good vinyl can be.
RD 11 and its variants or RD 80 and the fancier AR's appeared much more common amongst you experts than I would have thought. Linnies and Aristoners, arise.
Pictured is nice Transcriptors Vestigial, one being auctioned from a couple of years ago.
1985 was the first year when i had enough money to buy a turntable. it was a Thorens, i replaced the arm with a Sumiko MMT (i think) arm. Then i was thinking about buying an LP12...Carl the stereo guy whose shop i was hanging out in, talked me into buying a used Well Tempered...it was 1986..I am using the very same table, and get the itch to replace it regularly, but soon i discover i need to spend an awful lot of money to get what would be a big step forward. There will be one more table in my life, i think it will be something like a Teres 360, or an SME30 or Walker, something insane, or maybe i will die with the Well Tempered...it is so hard to get real meaningful improvement over this table. A lot of them sound different, but not night and day better.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
(Pre 1974 was Godawful plastic junk).
Dual 1229Q, no reason to get rid of it, why did I? Thank you Charlie Hill for the rec and R.I.P.
Dual 1249,which got sold to buy, in 1979 or so, an
Optonica Rp 7705, oddly drawn to all the bells and whistles, still hooked up at home, not the equal of the Duals tho
Yamaha PF-800 (2003), hooked up at home, # 2 deck
Phillips 212, (2002) hooked up at office
Marantz 6100, (2002) hooked up at home
Dual 1219, 2006, resting at the office
Technics SL 1200 Mk V, 2006, # 1 deck at home
Thorens TD 166 Mk 2(?), 2007, hooked up, # 1 deck at office
Play these decks using Shure V-15III(2), M97XE, M97HE(2), AT440ML, Denon DL110, OrtofonOM30, Sumiko Pearl, M91ED, Signet, Acutex, AT, ADC, yada yada yada
Pretty much mid to upper mid-fi but they all sing to me
7 various Sonys, Pioneers, Technics in storage.
Things are looking great
And they're only getting better
SL1200/Stock arm/Stanton EL980 /Groovemaster
SL1350/Stock arm/various cheapie carts
Connoisseur - BD2A/Goldring Elektra, Grado Gold
NAD C555 / Rega P2 knock-off/ Goldring Elektra
NA Spacedeck/Ace Space/DL103
Favorite is the Spacedeck. Second would be the SL1200.
I've owned the following since the early 80s:
AR-XA, modified to take a Grace G-707 Mk II tonearm
AR turntable, Grace G-707 Mk II moved over from above
VPI HW-19 II with Rega RB-300
Linn LP-12 with Linn Ittok VII, switched to Origin Live modified RB-250
Lenco L-75 in home-made plinth with OL RB-250
Of these, the Lenco is my favorite so far, but I'm working on heavy plinth for a Garrard 301. We shall see.
Crank up your talking machine, grab a jar of your favorite "kick-back", sit down, relax, and let the good times roll.
Pioneer belt drive(Model number unknown)
Walker CJ-55 w/ Linn LVV arm (S shaped)
Walker CJ-55 w/ Linn Lvx (Basik Plus??)
Linn Axis w/ Supplied arm then Akito
Linn LP12 Valhalla Circus w/ Akito
Linn LP12 Origin Live DC motor w/ Akito
Linn LP12 Origin Live DC motor w/ Origin Live Slotted OL1/Incognito Re-wire
I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
1. B.I.C. 980 M-91ED
2. New AR table M-91ED V-15 III, Micro Acoustics
3. Mapenoll Athena (total nightmare, had it for about 3 months)
4. Well Tempered Record Player (various MC cartridges)
5. VPI HW-14/Graham 1.5t/Lyra Lydian/Lyra Helikon
6. Basis Debut (vacuum)/Vector arm/Lyra Titan -- best combination so far.
My first table was a JVC model unrememmerable
2nd was a Kenwood with a fountainhead base and a ADS arm
Latter added a Harmon model with a Rabco arm
1st real table weas a Linn LP12/Ittock VII arm still have
2nd is a Rega P25/RB600 still have
3rd is a Oracle Delphi II with an Itock VII arm
I don't know, I really like the 3 I use, sometimes 1 over another.
1993 Linn Basik/Akito/K9
1998 Rega Planar 3/RB300/Elys
2000 Rega Planar 3/RB300/Denon DL103
2004 Michell Tecnodec/RB600/Ortofon Kontrapunkt A and Denon DL103R
2005 Thorens TD150 MKII/TP13A/Denon DL103
2006 Thorens TD166 MKII/TP11/Denon DL160
2006 VPI Scout/JMW9/SDS/Benz Ace and Denon DL103R
2007 DPS No.2 with RB250 Arm and Denon DL103R (soon Schroeder No. 2 arm)
Also for those interested there is an Audiogon thread on the same subject:
Personal turntable/cartridge evolution on Audiogon
Die gefährlichste Weltanschauung ist die Weltanschauung derjenigen, die die Welt nicht angeschaut haben.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
1970 - Garrard 40B changer w/ceramic cartridge - later "fit" Shure M44 (via file)
1972 - Lenco L-75A w/Shure M91ED / V15 Type III
1974 - Technics SL-110 & SME 3009 II Improved / Shure V15 III, Ortofon M15
1975 - Ariston RD-11s & SME 3009 II Improved / Ortofon SL15, Grace F9E
1976 ---------------& Transcriptors Vestigal / Sonus Blue
1979 ---------------& Grace 747 / Denon 103, Accuphase AC-2
1983 ---------------& Souther TQ-1 / Shinon Red
2006 - VPI Scout & Souther TQ-1 / Dynavector DV20-XL, VPI/Dynavector 20-X
Favorites? Well, I still have the Ariston/SME and the VPI/Souther. The Vestigal was a real blast with the Sonus Blue. It could track anything. The Souther is almost like a linear tracking Vestigal.
Chronologically as best as I can recall.
Hand-me-downs from my Dad were:
Garrard Model A changer
Dad's Zero 100
My money, pre audiophile, high school & just beyond:
Marantz 6300 bought from Dad
"Serious" new purchases:
Acoustic Research ES-1/MMT/Grado Signature Jr
VPI HW19 MkII/ET2/Sumiko Talisman S
VPI HW19 MkIII/SME 309 (current main deck)
Post "crazy audiophile/vintage bug" (all used):
Thorens TD-160, TD-125, TD-125 MkII, TD-145
Ariston RD11s/SME 3009 II
several Rega Planer 2s and 3s (tonearm donors)
MusicHall MMF2.1, MMF5
Technics SL-1200 MkII
Parts, SUTs, used tonearms and cartridges.
(too many but some highlights are)
SME 3009 II improved, III
ADC LMF-1, LMF-2, ALBT
Grace 707, 747
a broken Infinity Black Widow
Cartridges (a good sized fishing tackle box full):
most of the late '70s to current AT line
Grace F-8* and F-9*
Most of the late '80s to mid '90s Grado line
Most of the mid '70 to mid '90s Shure line
Denon DL-110, DL-160, DL-103
the Ortofon OM super line
Ortofon MC1 & MC3, MC10, MC20 super
ADC XLMs of all incarnations
Ortofon T-10, T-20
Denon AU-300LC, AU-320
Mic Transformers as SUT's:
Altec 15095, 15095A, 4722
CineMag CMQEE 3440A
I am sure I am missing some...
Born To Tinker!
Rotel RP-1000Q which was later upgraded with a Transcriptors Vestigal arm.
I bought the table new in 1975 and had the arm installed in 1976. I kept the table into the mid-1980's when I sold off my LPs and went over to the dark side.
Fisher/Sanyo tangential-tracking POS that nevertheless got me back into vinyl and cost me nothing (I put up a flyer at work looking for a free turntable).
Dual CS-650-RC , also a freebie. The arm/cart tracked very well but it was direct drive, not quartz-locked, and wouldn't hold a steady speed.
So I replaced it with a Moth Alamo S which was a mistake. I spent way more than I should of on a crude and finicky device.
I should have put the money into the Technics SL-1210II that I have now. I could have saved about $200 on the initial buy-in and several hundred dollars in useless upgrades if I had taken some very good advice and bought the Technics.
The Technics is my favorite table of all time. I'm happy enough with it that I'll likely use it for the rest of my life as it is.
Everything's nice when you're covered in ice...
I started with a JVC Quartz Lock table in 1978. Then I had a Thorens Jubilee in 1984 that I kept until I talked myself into buying a SOTA Star in 1997 and that's what I'm using now. By some folks standards it's not many tables but I rarely change equipment. My stereo on average is 10 years old and I have no interest in updating anything. I guess I'm not asylum material but somehow I've never been an equipment kind of person.
some Garrard changer and prior to that in my family home, a Dual 1009SK, a newer Dual, and an AR XA? can't remember.
Linn LP 12/Grace 707 and various Shures esp. V15III with the first Linn (late 1975 to 1978), which some kids stole
Linn LP 12/Linn LVX Plus/K9 2nd one and it's still my table (1978, arm and cart 1988).
That's it. But, through the house, I have had , ERA Mk 6 with Mayware Formula 4, Thorens TD 165/TP 13?, Ariston RD 11/Grace 707, AR ES-1 with stock arm, Thorens TD 125 Mk II with Grace 707, Dual CS-505, and I just got my uncle's vg plus condition Empire 208/98. Plus I own a Transcriptors Vestigial (?), flimsy museum piece that it is. I guess someone could get it up and running. Stored at my family's home.
I used to buy tables for family and friends and set up and deliver to them in the past.
I have a NOS Mayware, e.g. in picture for your enjoyment.
Used it for about 10 years.
I really like it, but I had no idea how to set it--or any other tonearm--up.
I was looking for them on Ebay for awhile but gave up.
Everything's nice when you're covered in ice...
Cool. I worked for a shop in the 70s where we sold lots of them. PITA to set up but sounded and tracked great with Sonus Blue. We also sold the Formula 4. :)
In chronological order:
Ariston RD-40, first with Ariston arm later Alphason Delta
Linn LP 12, first with Alpason Delta, then Ittok (black)then Alphason HR-100 MCS
SME Model 10 with Series IV arm.
This is since 1980 with the Linn being the one I kept in use the longest (still have it and all three arms). I bought it in 1987 and replaced it in my system recently. It's the turntable that has meant the most to me but the SME is easily better.
Ariston RD11, Sumiko MMT
Sonographe SG3, Well Tempered later changed to Grace 747
VPI Jr. later upgraded to MK3, Morch UP4, later changed to Rega RB300
Rega Planar 3
Thorens TD125 MKll, SME 3009
Kenwood KD500, SME lll
Micro Seiki DDX1000 with Grace 704
Currently I own:
Micro Seiki MR711 with MA202L
Logic Tempo E with Datum 2
Thorens TD150 MKll AB
The only ones I really like are the Sonographe SG3/Well Tempered, MR711 and the Logic Tempo, which is the best of the lot. I just bought the Thorens over the weekend so it is not set-up yet.
Let's go back...back into time...to look at 9 TTs in 35 years!
Garrard SL-95 B with Shure M91ED This got me from Senior year in high school (1972!) all the way to Junior year at the University of South Florida.
BIC 960, Shure V15II Made it from senior year at USF until second year of Grad school (1977) at Georgetown.
JVC QL F4, Shure V15III Finished grad school and joined the Foreign Service. Sold this at my first overseas post, Guatemala, in 1981.
Denon DP1250 with Grace 707 and Shure V15 IV. Bought in 1981, still own, but with an Ortofon OM 30 Super in place of the Shure. Backup use only since 2002.
Technics multivoltage linear tracking turntable, don't recall model. Bought 1988, still own, has P mount Ortofon cartridge. Used extensively 1988-1996 while living in the UK and Australia.
Rega P32000/Dynavector DV10x4 bought 2002, sold 2003.
VPI Scout/Dynavector 10x5 bought 2003 sold at completion of my posting in Madagascar in 2005.
VPI Scoutmaster/Sumiko Blackbird bought 2005 sold 2007.
VPI HRX/Shelter 90x/Clearaudio Maestro Wood bought 2007 currently running.
Who knows what will follow. I've always wanted to try a Linn...or an SME.
Some that I can think of: (nothing exotic)
Crappy BSR & Garrard changers as a kid
BIC belt-drive piece of crap
Dual CS 503-1
Sanyo belt drive thing (actually, a decent table)
Technics SL-1200 MkII
Pioneer PL-518 (a very decent table)
Pioneer PL-12D (Great budget table)
another Pioneer very similar to the PL-12D
Pioneer PL-570 (not the GOOD PL-570, this was a plastic P.O.S.)
Denon DP-40F (Good sounding, nice looking, but very unreliable)
And I currently have:
Thorens TD-150/Linn LVX arm
Lenco B-52/Pro-ject arm
Technics SP-25/Alphason Opal arm
Technics SP-25/Audioquest PT-9 arm
Technics SP-25 (backup table, no plinth)
Favorite of all I've owned: Technics SP-25. The Technics 1200 is a close second, because the 1200 I had was equipped with the stock arm. I'm also very fond of the Thorens, but it's a little finicky with regards to setup and placement. It does sound killer, though. The SP-25s sound every bit as good, but are less susceptible to footfalls, etc. And, I prefer the ergonomics of the SP-25.
... and to the best of my recollection, here are the tables. Many were concurrent - I had up to 4 of them at any given time.
- Collaro record changer
- Presto Pirouette (bet you never heard of that one)
- H.H. Scott 710
- Kenwood KD-500
- Thorens TD-160
- Empire 398 (the first one)
- Dual 1229Q
- Well-tempered record player
- Dual 608
- VPI HW-19 Mk. III
- VPI TNT Mkl. II
- Empire 398 (the second one)*
- Lenco L78 (replinthed)
- Lenco L78 (replinthed, dual arm)*
Here are the tonearms (where not integral):
- Rek-O-Kut S-320
- Grado Laboratory Series (walnut)
- Mayware Formula IV
- Infinity Black Widow
- Eminent Technology ET-2 (had two of these)
- Rega RB-300 (rewired and tweaked)
- JMW 10.5*
- SME IIIs*
* In current use
The Lencos are by far the best tables and both the last two arms are in regular use, with the Empire 398 dedicated to 78 rpm duty. Tons of cartridges have passed through the place, and I'm just about to send a Grado Reference/ Reference to SoundSmith for retipping.
I have one in a new plinth! I love mine.
... that Sota Sapphire and Sumiko MMT arm I had ... sometime. Maybe because it was so forgettable?
How much do you bet? The Presto is a pretty nice old idler...sort of like some of the older Rek-O-Kuts, but with a nice black finish. I would like to have one.
The 608 Dual is one that isn't familiar. I have a 601, but I have never heard of a 608.
I'm not talking about any old Presto. The Pirouette was steel blue (well, the part that showed), and yes, I'd like to have it back too, just for the heck of it.
The Dual 608 is a direct-drive, semi-auto table with the distinction of a 78 rpm speed in addition to the usual 33/45. These 600-series tables looked kinda plasticky and have been much maligned, but I've always liked this one and still have it, along with the owner's and service manual and a bunch of cartridge carriers, if anyone's interested.
I plead Nolo contendere, but I will admit to having seen only a photo on eBay. It looked black. Does that count? Anyway, I placed a bid on the turntable for $155, but some guy got it for a few dollars more. That was long before I became a world-class sniper. ;) It was complete with a KEF L40 tonearm. Those were the days, huh?
The Dual 601 was a belt driven turntable. It wasn't half bad, either. I still have mine, and should sell it, but they bring only $35. That's hardly worth the effort, but I don't want to toss it.
Knight turntable (forget model) with Empire 808 cart
AR XA with Shure M91ED
Linn Axis with Shure V15III
Linn LP12/Ittok/Valhalla with Talisman Virtuoso Boron
Simply Physics Dark Star/Air bearing arm Talisman cart
Thorens 320 with Denon DL-160
Music Hall 2.1 with Grado Red
Rega Planar 3 with DL-160
Music Hall MMF-5 with Goldring 1012GX (two of these)
Music Hall MMF-7 with Goldring Eroica
Technics SL-1200MK2 with Denon DL-103 (and several other carts)
VPI Scout/JMW-9 with DL-103 and Dyna 20XL carts
Favorites? I guess the AR, Dark Star, LP-12 and Scout.
Mushrooms are the opiate of the mooses
Mushrooms are the opiate of the mooses
1. AR-XA with Shure M91-ED
2. Ariston RD-11S, Grace 707, Grace F-9E & F9E Ruby
3. VPI HW-19 Mk-IV. SME-IV, Shure V-15VxMR
"Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to" Mark Twain
How are supposed to get to know the sound of your system with all those rapid, willy-nilly gear changes?
That proves to me at least the cost effectiveness of buying what you want in the first place and keeping it for many years rather than constantly selling things at a loss to upgrade.
hm.. I disagree.. without trying out many or as many different tables and combinations.. how are you to know what you want without it first being in your system.. it needs to be tried out first and expiermented with...
Too many variables.. you don't know until you try it
Just my opinion...
I was mostly joking with him. Honestly though, I think it can go either way with system building. Where do you start, and when do you know when you're done? I don't think there is anything wrong with finding a component you like, for whatever reason, and building the system around that. Some people find a TT or speakers they really, really like and that item becomes the basis for the rest of the system. I recall a link posted here at VA of a system owned by a guy with multiple TTs, but he had been using the same pair of ls3/5a speakers for many years. He enjoyed tinkering with TTs, but was happy enough with the speakers and speaker/room interface to stick with them. Other people prefer the opposite. Whatever works for you, I guess.
For me, my system is "ever evolving" I am always trying to get the best I can out of it. I try to do this with the least amount of expense.
Other people, are happy with a simpler approach of just purchase and forget.
Just depends on what you want or are happy with.
Have a great day!
Neither actually describes me. I am a music lover first and foremost so whatever I find serves the music best is what I look for.
Second - I try to buy the best available at the time within my budget constrictions and then improve on it as time goes by. The VPI started as a Mk-III and (I forgot to mention) was initially used with a Sumiko Premier MMT. I upgraded to the SME when I found one, brand new in the box, at a local dealer who was closing up. Cost: $700.00!!
Other upgrades included the arylic Mk-IV platter, SAMA, Super arm board, SS Clamp, suspension mods and a sandbox.
Pics and mods are in my gallery.
I truly find it hard to believe that anyone can get the "measure of the beast" if one's constantly changing it. YMMV
"Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to" Mark Twain
If I was better with my hands or had more technical/mechanical knowledge I'd be willing to try more DIY stuff. Then again as the Hind End leaves me behind, that stuff is looking more appealing all the time.
...if you buy it second-hand you can often sell at a profit. I've lost money on a few tables, but made money on the overwhelming majority. Part of the reason I've owned so many tables was because an opportunity that was too good to pass up presented itself.
....I am jealous of kavakidd.
Life sure would have been simpler with just three tables.
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