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Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Sleeper tables on the used market.

Aloha.

Although a category of turntable that can be fraught with danger, it is an endlessly intriguing topic to me.

With so many people interested in getting into vinyl on the affordable side, how about a thread mentioning what people think are diamonds out in the rough of used tables?

All the caveats about condition, etc. apply. Just what tables you think are up to audiophile snuff that folks can be vigilant about?

Michael Fremer
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Re: Sleeper tables on the used market.

some examples please?

Buddha
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Re: Sleeper tables on the used market.


Quote:
some examples please?

I didn't want to take the low hanging fruit for myself, but since you ask...

I'm a fan of the Empire turntable line and they show up affordably alot. (300 dollar range.) The motor seems to last an eternity and there is an avid secondary market enthusiasm for tweaks for the table. People make new tonearm wiring, there is an ample supply of fresh belts, etc. The 698 line has electronic cueing, so I'd caution about that, but otherwise a solid value.

For really sneaky benefit, the old B&O RX2 for 50 dollars is a gentle handler of vinyl and Soundsmith has a good range of cartridges to play with. 30-50 bucks for an RX2 would make for easy entre to vinyl and, if not well received, the Soundsmith cartridge can be mounted on other arms if a change in tables is made.

For someone who may want to play with plinthing, the BIC line from the era of the models 960, 980, and 1000 has some internet support from belt makers, etc, but the tonearm bearings on many were a little on the stiff side. However, for that same 50 bucks, a local find could make for a good toy. I have a couple that I'm pondering how to play with.

The Technics 1200 line, or the old 1700 model with the 'suspension,' can offer an affordable alternative, as well. With scads (scads!) of aftermarket support and active tweak forums discussing the fun that can be had with these babies. Very tempting just to take in the parade of tweaks as they are implemented! Good PRaT.

The Pioneer PLA35 and 45 ran quiet and had an above average arm for its time and budget, and they also go for 50 bucks or so.

On various vinyl forums, different Thorens and Garrard tables have avid followings, but I think blanket model recommendations aren't as useful for these as good examples of them can run into higher costs.

Perhaps mentioning some personal favorites, like the 'stone' plinthed Kenwoods, could alert people to fun items in the 'pre-loved' marketplace; so I asked the question really wondering what other people may have had in mind.

I was recently shopping with a friend and we found an old TEAC direct drive table with a massive freaking platter and it came on a custom plinth with an Infinity Black Widow tonearm for 125 bucks! It sounds pretty stinking good, too!

I'm sure you have some examples I may not have mentioned yet!

JohnMichael
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Re: Sleeper tables on the used market.

Another example would be the Rega Planar 2. Bought used and after market tweaks could really increase the performance. I bought the Planar 2 over ten years ago. Today this table has a rewired tonearm (Incognito), a ceramic main bearing, a precision machined subplatter (Deepgroove subplatter), a new platter (Funk Firm), lowered counterweight (Michell Technoweight) and replacement feet along with a record weight.

Through the years I had a lot of fun buying and installing new after market parts. Now I enjoy the imporoved sounds.

JohnMichael
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Re: Sleeper tables on the used market.


Quote:

Quote:
some examples please?

For really sneaky benefit, the old B&O RX2 for 50 dollars is a gentle handler of vinyl and Soundsmith has a good range of cartridges to play with. 30-50 bucks for an RX2 would make for easy entre to vinyl and, if not well received, the Soundsmith cartridge can be mounted on other arms if a change in tables is made.

I will have to dig out my RX2 and try one of the new Soundsmith cartridges.

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