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AR Turntable

107.141.181.199

Posted on January 6, 2017 at 03:44:10
BillH
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Has anyone noticed the prices being asked for AR turntables these days?
Four, five, even six hundred dollars for a TT that cost less than a hundred back in the day. It's better than gold.

 

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RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 6, 2017 at 07:16:43
sony6060
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Location: SE MI
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Besides a vintage Garrard 301 or 401 what's left?

 

What's left?, posted on January 6, 2017 at 09:32:46
E-Stat
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Thorens, Empire, Linn, Ariston, Mitchell among others.

 

RE: What's left?, posted on January 6, 2017 at 09:52:12
dee eye why
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Posts: 521
Location: so. ohio
Joined: March 20, 2003
Add Lenco to that list.
Comparing any of these tables to an AR is a joke. An AR is pretty much worth it's original price. You can't polish a turd.


.
Freak out...Far out...In out....

 

RE: What's left?, posted on January 6, 2017 at 10:55:01
BillH
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Original price was $78. It's hard to find a working one for around a hundred, and people have done plenty of polishing--new bases, Magnepan Unitrac and Linn Basik arms, and the like.
But it's still a belt-drive turntable with an electric clock motor.

 

RE: What's left?, posted on January 6, 2017 at 11:24:45
M3 lover
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DYI, that can be a pretty musically satisfying turd. ;^)

"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: E-Stat, posted on January 6, 2017 at 12:29:25
sony6060
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What vintage TT would you recommend for $500-$800? My kid needs a starter TT.

 

The challenge is largely availability, posted on January 6, 2017 at 13:10:00
E-Stat
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Any of the brands mentioned would fit your criteria. Along with some nice DD tables from Technics, Sony, Denon, etc. For that budget, you should be able to get a good arm as well.

Now that you mention it, send me a PM.

 

Polishing Turds, posted on January 6, 2017 at 13:11:41
briggs
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Location: Connecticut
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It is worth noting that the AR-XA's price of %78 in the early 1960s works out to about $630 today.

They polished that "turd" in the places that matter. The machining in places critical to performance was to very close tolerances. Its performance met or beat NAB standards of the time.

I still have one in daily use and the music sounds fine.

 

RE: E-Stat, posted on January 6, 2017 at 13:18:49
sony6060
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You do not accept emails.

 

RE: E-Stat, posted on January 6, 2017 at 13:30:23
BillH
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Starter? I'd go to someplace like Crutchfield and get one of the many Music Hall TTs available with mounted cartridge and ready to go. The sprung turntables like Thorens or Linn are likely to be too finicky.

 

RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 6, 2017 at 13:33:24
krankkall
Audiophile

Posts: 242
Location: New Mexico
Joined: April 5, 2014
My college roommate had an AR TT back in the early 70's.
It spun a lot of tunes back then, when we should have been in the library pretending to study?

Steve

 

Sorry, posted on January 6, 2017 at 14:05:08
E-Stat
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thought I had fixed that!

Try again.

 

RE: What's left?, posted on January 6, 2017 at 14:29:19
dee eye why
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I agree totally, but if I were going to go down the suspended belt drive road I would start with with a Thorens TD-150 which I feel is a better table,(and value) and much easier to adapt a better arm to. I actually have two TD-150s and love them. I had an AR-XA for a while and was mostly unimpressed in comparison to the Thorens.
To each his own....


.

Freak out...Far out...In out....

 

Get him a ...., posted on January 6, 2017 at 16:59:13
reelsmith.
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...Pioneer PL-12D.

An overpriced, overhauled, gorgeous one might set you back as much as $200.

See link.

They are reliable, sound very good, are plentiful and a perfect starter table. Its the one that got me started, in '76.

Dean.








reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

If you are patient, you can find one for free like I did (pic) . . . nt, posted on January 7, 2017 at 10:51:41
alaskahiatt
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nt

 

RE: If you are patient, you can find one for free like I did (pic) . . . nt, posted on January 7, 2017 at 11:04:18
BillH
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Oh, free is good! And the cartridge seems to be intact. Landfill? Town dump?

 

LOL! (nt), posted on January 7, 2017 at 14:20:21
Crazy Dave
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I was walking past a car at the local recycling facility, and I noticed, posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:24:23
alaskahiatt
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a Dual turntable box in the back of a guy's Subaru. I asked him if he was going to recycle it, and he stated he was going to the dump with it. I asked if I could have it, and he opened the box to show me the contents. Boy, was I surprised but also knew a huge project lay ahead. I gladly accepted the AR dual motor table, and I have gotten as far as cleaning off the platter. The platter is heavily pitted from all the years of being covered by that evil black blob.

I currently use an AR-XA single motor table, so it might be sometime before I continue working on the dual motor disaster. I will certainly keep it for spare parts if nothing else.


 

RE: I was walking past a car at the local recycling facility, and I noticed, posted on January 8, 2017 at 06:17:55
Posts: 562
Location: Maine
Joined: August 16, 2011
Dee Eye,
In 1983 Frank Van AlStine printed in his monthly letter a way to modify an ARXA. It's still on his web site. Not only cleaning and re-lubing but he had you remove certain parts of the tone arm that improve it's performance. I did mine and a friends and it was quite easy. At the time he compared it's performance with the best of the day. I tend to listen to a guy who has won Absolutes Sound product of the year a couple times with other projects at prices way below what Absolute Sound is used to.
On Google under ARXA turntables is a re-build with a zillion helpful pictures by a guy named Weathers if that helps in a search. His end ARXA's look beautiful!. It might change your mind about the table.
I'm slowly rebuilding mine again.
In a military way of comparison its like the Jeep vs. the Hummer. The ARXA being the Jeep and say a VPI top of the line the Hummer. The Hummer might out perform the Jeep, but the Jeep was solid, well built, cheap, and worked well with providing ease of repair and reliability.
My table of choice is the Technics SL-20. A simple belt drive unit in 1975 that cost 99 bucks. I have kept it mint and wonder how much it would cost today. I like the Pioneer-12 belt drive too!
Dee Eye I have to go to work now but when I return I will try to get those sites I mentioned on the forum here. Have a good one....Mark Korda

 

AR-XA restoration, posted on January 8, 2017 at 10:32:15
M3 lover
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A few years ago I restored a two-motor version (first generation) table and arm to sell for elderly friends who no longer used it. I'm sure they were the original owners!

I knew they existed but had never seen a two-motor unit previously, the three I owned over the years were all single motor. As you may know, the prime motor had very little torque so the second motor was to help start up. If I was restoring one for my own use I'd replace both those with a later, recommended motor with more oomph.

Among comments here is a reference to a mod for the arm. Do you know about removing the damping pin? AR in fact recommended that for best performance and offered simple instructions for its removal.

There may be several alternatives for inexpensive belt-drive tables but none look nicer for my taste.

Anyway, good luck with the clean up.

"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk

 

I am aware of the damping pin removal recommended in the AR manual,, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:31:56
alaskahiatt
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but I have not done that yet. I definitely should. I have only been lowering the tonearm below the level of the platter before placing the tonearm on the record(also recommended in the AR manual in order to deactivate the damping mechanism).

I also purchased, but not used, a platter bearing moly pad and some non hardening clay for the pulley. All cheap mods in addition to polishing the platter bearing. I procrastinate like crazy.

 

Hi Mark. You don't have to change my mind. The picture in my post, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:57:51
alaskahiatt
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above is my excellent, single motor, AR-XA that is currently in use.

I printed out that Van Alstine article many years ago as well as an excellent article in the LA Audio Society publication. In addition, I probably have an inch and a half high stack of printed material on the AR-XA from the internet. I love the table as well, and I like to keep vintage equipment alive. In retirement, I cannot afford new audiophile equipment anyway, so vintage is my only choice. Bill.

 

RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 8, 2017 at 13:21:56
digepix
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Location: nyc
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If you look around you can find some bargains. I bought my Sota Star Sapphire, Alphason Xenon tonearm, Tru-lift arm lift for $750 from someone getting out of records. It replaced a Thorens TD 147.

 

RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 9, 2017 at 06:48:51
Crazy Dave
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That is a nice setup! Did it come with a cartridge? Of course the Thorens is no slouch!

Dave

 

RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 9, 2017 at 10:54:44
digepix
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It came with a Sumiko Talisman Virtuoso that was retipped by Soundsmith. I heard great things about the cartridge so I got a SUT and used it for awhile. These days I'm using a Grado Statement or Reference not sure that I got a deal on. The Talisman had a 0.3 mv output and the Grado is 0.5 mv. The Alphason is a one piece tonearm so I can't easily compare the two cartridges but they both have a nice warm midrange bloom and a wonderful treble From what I can tell. Yes, the Thorens was nice, it was a Jubilee. I sold that to pay for the Sota that I always wanted. In hindsight with the current market I should have found a way to hold on to it.

 

RE: AR Turntable, posted on January 10, 2017 at 12:35:00
Crazy Dave
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Posts: 12518
Location: East Coast
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I used a Talisman S for quite a while and still think very highly of it. It was neutral and a great tracker. I might send it to Soundsmith for a retip.

Dave

 

RE: AR-XA restoration, posted on January 12, 2017 at 05:52:31
elflow
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Posts: 306
Location: Indiana
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I got my AR XA for Christmas 1965, it came from Allied Radio, it was the older two motor style. Within the two year warranty period one of the motors became noisy (bearing) and AR replaced the motors with the later single motor. So I would say the change was made in in 1966 give or take a year. My recollection is that the more powerful of the two motors had no starter winding and would not start by itself, if the belt connecting the two motors was removed the larger motor shaft would vibrate back and forth but not start on its own. Also if the small belt was removed and the motor shaft was given a nudge the motor would happily run in either direction.
Yes, I still have it.

 

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