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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by gudnoyez View Post
    I found a technics direct drive SLQ300 with an ortofon cartridge and a replacement stylus at a garage sale last year and the guy wanted 50 dollars talked him down to 40 dollars that was the first time I was glad to go with the wife on one of her garage sale excursions.
    Direct drive turntables generally transfer a lot more rumble to the stylus and therefore, on to the preamp/amp/speakers and ultimately your ears.
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Dual is 75 US dollars local pick-up. Are you local?
    I dunno, lemme check.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  3. #33

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    Definitely look at older Dual (my first table was 1228) 1228 or 1229Q. Get a cheap preamp, like the one from NAD or Cambridge Audio 540P, and you're all set.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
    Definitely look at older Dual (my first table was 1228) 1228 or 1229Q. Get a cheap preamp, like the one from NAD or Cambridge Audio 540P, and you're all set.
    I'm curious as I've never owned anything but belt drive tables: Is the Dual drive system as quiet (in terms of rumble) as the belt drive recommendation the OP is looking for ?
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  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by inspiredsports View Post
    I'm curious as I've never owned anything but belt drive tables: Is the Dual drive system as quiet (in terms of rumble) as the belt drive recommendation the OP is looking for ?
    1228 and 1229 are belt-driven turntables...

    http://www.vinylengine.com/library/dual/1228.shtml

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
    1228 and 1229 are belt-driven turntables...

    http://www.vinylengine.com/library/dual/1228.shtml
    Hmm. . . Except . . . direct quotations from the link you provided state,

    "Dual 1228 --- 2-Speed Fully automatic Idler-drive turntable"

    and . . .

    "Drive is via a 4-pole synchronous motor and idler to a non-magnetic, 1.8kg 270mm diameter platter."

    I could be wrong, I'm not sure what the mix-up is, but I believe those are idler drive units. Did you really own one?
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  7. #37

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    Direct drive is fine on a heavy platter. I like my SL1210. No issues at all. It's the lightweight tables that give you problems. Also I never have a problem with slipping belts, worry about finding a replacement, or setting the speed.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by inspiredsports View Post
    Hmm. . . Except . . . direct quotations from the link you provided state,

    "Dual 1228 --- 2-Speed Fully automatic Idler-drive turntable"

    and . . .

    "Drive is via a 4-pole synchronous motor and idler to a non-magnetic, 1.8kg 270mm diameter platter."

    I could be wrong, I'm not sure what the mix-up is, but I believe those are idler drive units. Did you really own one?
    You're right. Long day. Having 3 tables, forgot which one is which.

  9. #39

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    Default Just helping...

    I have an Audio-Technica AT-LP60 which has a switch on the back for line level or phono output. So that would give you the option to upgrade later to a better external phono-stage rather than using the internal one. I would use the line out until you see how into vinyl you get before you spend anymore money. I now have upgraded my stylus and belt through LPGear.com, I have it running into a Cambridge 640p, then to an Onkyo receiver, and then out to my Cerwin-Vegas. I probably should have got a better turntable for how much I listen to it, but honestly this thing sounds amazing with the upgrades, but I also remember it sounding extremely acceptable through a Sony blu-ray surround, stock and set on line level. Especially for the price.

    Here's a link to where you can purchase this and more information on it:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...elt_Drive.html

    They are out of stock on that one, but they also have the same exact turntable with a USB option as well so you can digitize the analog audio:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...elt_Drive.html

    Hope this was of some sort of help. The original LP60 will be back in stock soon. I would tell you to continue to stay under $200, and upgrade to the LP120 if the bigger number tells you bigger quality, but that doesn't have a dust-cover among other things that are important to me.

  10. #40

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    I just got a TD 145 Thorens for $200.00 + shipping by making an offer on ebay. I got the 145 because it has end of play stylus lift but, the other model like mine w/o lift is the TD 160 and they are usually right around $200 also. Inline preamps for phono function seem to be available for not much $$. Now, I just need to pay approx. 2 1/2 times as much for a record cleaning machine!!

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    I just got a TD 145 Thorens for $200.00 + shipping by making an offer on ebay. I got the 145 because it has end of play stylus lift but, the other model like mine w/o lift is the TD 160 and they are usually right around $200 also. Inline preamps for phono function seem to be available for not much $$. Now, I just need to pay approx. 2 1/2 times as much for a record cleaning machine!!
    Extremely nice turntable and identical to the TD-160 other than the end of LP lift circuit. The 145 is a sleeper as they usually trade for fewer dollars, you get identical sound quality, PLUS you get the lift feature. I have several fully functional TD-145's right now and the automatic end of LP lift is wonderful when it's working.

    The rebuild procedure on that feature is a lost art, so as a word of caution, do not ever mess around with potentiometer settings on the circuit board, or the tiny set screw involved underneath the cream-colored, rectangular plastic box that protects the tonearm wiring and ground.
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 03-24-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by inspiredsports View Post
    Extremely nice turntable and identical to the TD-160 other than the end of LP lift circuit. The 145 is a sleeper as they usually trade for fewer dollars PLUS you get the lift feature. I have several fully functional TD-145's right now and the automatic end of LP lift is wonderful when it's working.

    The rebuild procedure on that feature is a lost art, so as a word of caution, do not ever mess around with potentiometer settings on the circuit board, or the tiny set screw involved underneath the cream-colored, rectangular plastic box that protects the tonearm wiring.
    Those sound like very important things to keep in mind at all times! Thanks for the "heads up"! I knew that the hard core Thorens purists had some disdain for the "added complication" of the lift & off feature. I looked and am still looking for the add-on lifters from either Thorens or AT but they're very scarce. Thanks for your help!

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    Those sound like very important things to keep in mind at all times! Thanks for the "heads up"! I knew that the hard core Thorens purists had some disdain for the "added complication" of the lift & off feature. I looked and am still looking for the add-on lifters from either Thorens or AT but they're very scarce. Thanks for your help!
    I also have several various versions of TD-160's and TD-166's, and my "top" 3 Thorens tables are TD-160 MkII's with SME 3009 Series III, Infinity Black Widow and Grace 707 aftermarket tonearms, but as far as tables with Thorens brand tonearms (which are very, very good in their own right), you would be hard pressed to tell a difference between those without the auto lift feature.

    I don't know if you've gotten that far, but vintage Grado MM cartridges (brand new Grado black, green, red, silver, gold styluses will fit) seem to be a very good match.

    I have and enjoy every one on these below on the 145/160's. If you buy extra (removable) headshells, it makes quick work of swapping cartridges.

    Pickering ZV-15 1200EE
    Stanton 681 EEE MK III
    Shure M97HE Era IV
    Audio Technica AT477LC (AT-14SA)
    Micro Acoustics MA QDC-1e
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    Grado F3+ (equiv blue)
    Grado F3+ (equiv blue)
    Grado MF-3 (equiv green)
    Argent MC-500HS High Output Moving Coil Hyper-Elliptical Sapphire Stylus
    Grado Woodbody Reference Platinum

    The only bad thing I've ever found about the 145 and 160's are some have a shaft that is too short for Joe's "The Clamp" to get a perfect bite so I use my
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 03-24-2011 at 06:16 PM.
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  14. #44

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    So...... you're not in the 124/idler cult. I can't see the attraction, personally, it seems that an idler wheel would cause way more rumble than a pure belt drive. Must just be a nostalgia thing. (I guess)

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    So...... you're not in the 124/idler cult. I can't see the attraction, personally, it seems that an idler wheel would cause way more rumble than a pure belt drive. Must just be a nostalgia thing. (I guess)
    I've not owned a TD-124, but not for lack of trying. I've always believed in try it for yourself and listen. It seems whenever I was in the mood to buy one, someone had another $5 bill in their pocket.

    As far as the concept, my prejudice is that a perfectly set up belt drive is probably better, but there are tens of thousands of, as you say, "124 idler cultists" who will disagree with me.

    You do need to find someone selling the original (and more expensive) Thorens belt as many aftermarket belts are too tight, put too much force on the motor spindle, and run plus or minus 33-1/3.

    I probably have 30 NOS belts here and generally need to swap out a dozen or more on any given table before getting the speed strobe to stand absolutely still, and obviously, a perfect 33-1/3 is needed for perfect pitch. That's where the concept of getting all of that platter mass spinning, and then adjusting the speed with the idler is sweet, but if you can achieve a perfect 33-1/3 with a belt, I've got to believe it has less rumble.
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 03-24-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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  16. #46

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    Yeah.....I can live without an idler, and the prices a TD 124 fetch. (more $$ for cartridges)

  17. #47
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    There's nothing inherently "rumbly" about an idler (rim) drive. Far from it, the idler wheels are rubber, and rubber is not a good conductor of vibration.

    Rumble is motor sourced and rim drive is one of a couple isolation approaches... with belt drive being the most common. My old Dual 1229 was my first rim drive... very quiet for a modestly price MOTR TT.

    As for Thorens... the TD-124 rocks. It's a rim drive with the idler driven by a belt. Pairs nicely with the above mentioned SME 3009-III... or II (1 or 2)... or I. I also have a 3012 I'm restoring that I'll mount one of these days.

    As for the Under $200 thread...

    AR XA all the way... Plentiful... Cheap... Easy to work on to get running, if need be. Somewhat unloved by "enthusiasts" because it is not easily tweeked, but IMO it's beauty is it is such a simple (yet revolutionary) design that tweeking only complicates it (and eff's it up).

    You can easily grab one and a nice cartridge for under $200... With some effort, patience and a bit of luck, you could even add a listenable Phono pre without exceeding that budget price.

    I swear there was an old thread on the XA's history, but not seeing it in search results. One bit of interest is that it is widely believed that Thorens stole the AR XA's suspension design.
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  18. #48

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    I just found this thread where a guy bought an AR XA for $110 2-years ago and it shows step-by-step how he restored it . . . http://www.johnsweather.com/Turntable.html

    While it looks like a nice turntable, my only comments are that the parts/design look nearly identical to the Thorens TD-145/160, but not nearly as heavy-duty. The AR also looks like it sports a less sophisticated tonearm. Last, there are literally dozens of simple tweaks that can be performed on a Thorens that DON'T "eff" them up.

    They are both probably great brands because you can spend $200 to get a table that runs with tables currently costing $2,000!
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  19. #49

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    My Dad had the AR sometime in the 1970s, it played records but, it had no anti skate provision and worst of all.........no cueing lift mechanism!

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    .........no cueing lift mechanism!
    So buy an XB...:tongue:

    Anti-skate wasn't judged necessary by the designer, Edgar Villchur, and based upon listening to properly set up XA's, it's hard to argue against them. Some claim that twisting the wire lead can apply anti-skate.

    insp,
    Nice link to the restoration job... Here's one to a site that has more info run by an old internet forum and ebay bud of mine, ddarch. Dave started restoring AR's several years ago and later added Thorens to his offerings.
    http://www.vinylnirvana.com/
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  21. #51

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    Looks like my TD 145 deal is gonna "head South" and that I'll be eyeing other Thorens to buy in the near future. Maybe I'll attempt a DIY arm lifter and put it on a 160!

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    Hey hey. I joined this forum specifically to try and bring this thread back to life once again for 2014. It's still on the first page of results for the "best vintage turntable under $200" question.

    I've read this whole thread band many others on the subject of re-entering the world of vinyl. First, I'm curious if there's anything to add/update from you good people here, considering how much the turntable market has changed in three years. From what I have seen, most of the suggestions in this thread are now harder to find and more expensive (the Thorens, XA, Dual, etc.)

    I don't need a pre-amp as my Onkyo SR703 has a phono input. I have max $200 to spend all in, including a cart upgrade. Basically I have a small collection of new and vintage vinyl that I'm dying to start listening to again and I need a TT sooner rather than later. I really would prefer to go vintage if I can, but the quality of the units on eBay or elsewhere in my price range are mostly total crap. Not to mention the shipping issues, etc. I've even looked into a few local pickup options here on Long Island. The question is, should I:

    1) be patient and keep looking for that needle in a haystack on eBay/elsewhere
    2) go the garage sale route (extra patient)
    3) just grab an old Technics/Pioneer unit with local pickup (or even risk the shipping if from an established seller), upgrade the cartridge and start saving for something much better
    Or 4) hold off on vintage for now and buy a new LP-60 since I can get one for cost ($108 I believe)

    Time is a factor for me. I wish I had more to spend, but I just need something quick for this budget now so I can start listening and saving for something much better next year.

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    If you can hold out long enough, I'd recommend seriously looking at the U-turn Audio tables. They're finally catching up with demand, and are claiming an ETA of April on new orders. With the market like it is currently, I'm not convinced it will be easy to find a vintage table in that price range, that will be any better than the U-turn tables.

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    Thanks very much for the suggestion! The U-Turns look like a great option, but I'm really not sure I can wait that long. I basically need something in the next few weeks. I know you said it won't be easy to find a vintage turntable at that price, but if you had to pick one of the 4 choices above or had to settle for something terrible by most people's standards here, what would it be?

    I'd put it like this: I have a collection of old dirty vintage LPs that I want to enjoy for now, for which a higher end TT wouldn't be necessary. Then I plan to start my new audiophile grade vinyl collection once I've saved for a higher end TT. But I need help deciding how to spend the $200 right now.

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    I would have second that orbit basic turntable. For under $ 200 that has to be as good as it gets. I would consider the Audio Technica AT-PL 120 as well, just do not upgrade the cartridge as it will really highlight the table's weaknesses. Same goes with the Music Hall usb-1 ($250) I had a new one for about two weeks, nice looking table and sounded quite good except it did not maintain a steady speed. Music Hall should no better if you are going to sell a table with a poor speed variance don't put a strobe on it. That thing went back in a hurry. But for you just wanting to spin some old vinyl the Music Hall might be just what you need. But I am willing to bet the Orbit is much better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AudioPhil View Post
    I'd put it like this: I have a collection of old dirty vintage LPs that I want to enjoy for now, for which a higher end TT wouldn't be necessary. Then I plan to start my new audiophile grade vinyl collection once I've saved for a higher end TT. But I need help deciding how to spend the $200 right now.
    If this is the case, the first thing you need is a way to clean those records. The last thing you want to do is play dirty records on a cheap turntable, and permanently damage them. Check into a Spin Clean.

    As for a used TT, honestly there are far too many to even create a list. I'd recommend finding something in your price range that looks decent, and do some quick research, or post a link to it for some feedback from the community.

    In just a few minutes of searching eBay here are just a few for $200ish that look ok.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PIONEER-PL-5...item4ad0bb47a1

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GARRARD-GT-2...item20e0179823

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-VL-5-Tur...item27dcdfb46f

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/B-I-C-BIC-96...item5afbf94f37

    Disclaimer: I didn't do any deep reading on any of these or pay attention to seller feedback. So I'm not responsible should you choose to buy one.
    HT
    Mits WD-65737, DirecTV, Oppo DV-970HD, XBOX ONE, Yamaha RX-A1030, Parasound Halo A23, Rotel RB-985, Music Hall MMF-7, Parasound PPH-100, LSi-15, LSi-C, LSi-FX, LSi-7, PSW-1000, Monster HTS2600

    2 CH
    Parasound Halo P3, Parasound Halo A21, Sutherland Ph.D, VPI Classic 3 w/ 3D arm, Arcam CD72T, B&W 802 S3, Monster HTS2500,

  27. #57

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    Just a couple other thoughts while you're looking.

    Try to get something that has a standard 1/2" mount. This will give you a much wider range of cartridges to choose from.

    If possible steer clear of the the super cheap lightweight plastic tables of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

    Make sure seller knows how to properly package & ship the table.

    When you get a table, take the time to properly set it up. Don't just throw on a record, and assume everything is ok. Make sure the table is perfectly level. Verify the cartridge is aligned. Set the tracking force within the correct range. Adjust anti-skate. And then if the table has the ability (not likely) try to dial in SRA, and Azimuth.

    OK. I'm done preaching. :-)
    HT
    Mits WD-65737, DirecTV, Oppo DV-970HD, XBOX ONE, Yamaha RX-A1030, Parasound Halo A23, Rotel RB-985, Music Hall MMF-7, Parasound PPH-100, LSi-15, LSi-C, LSi-FX, LSi-7, PSW-1000, Monster HTS2600

    2 CH
    Parasound Halo P3, Parasound Halo A21, Sutherland Ph.D, VPI Classic 3 w/ 3D arm, Arcam CD72T, B&W 802 S3, Monster HTS2500,

  28. #58

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    I agree (ORBIT) and it's new with a warranty and a cartridge

    under $200 AND belt-drive that's tough

    http://www.amazon.com/Stanton-T55USB...rive+turntable


    Quote Originally Posted by cmy330go View Post
    If you can hold out long enough, I'd recommend seriously looking at the U-turn Audio tables. They're finally catching up with demand, and are claiming an ETA of April on new orders. With the market like it is currently, I'm not convinced it will be easy to find a vintage table in that price range, that will be any better than the U-turn tables.

    http://uturnaudio.com/store/
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1

  29. #59

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    cmy330go: Thanks very much for all the great suggestions. Luckily I can get a Spin Clean set at cost, so I was already planning on picking one up. As for the actual TT, you've pretty much confirmed the direction I was already headed, which is good. And I do fully intend on taking my time setting my table up. Any quick links you'd recommend for the noob that outlines the basics you mentioned? I'd imagine the tools I'd need won't add much cost but be invaluable to learn how to operate properly (and I want to learn).

    Good suggestion to post links I'm interested in for feedback from the community. Happy to be here!
    Last edited by AudioPhil; 02-24-2014 at 12:03 AM.

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    PolkieMan: I've looked quite a bit at that Stanton, thanks for the recommendation. I really think I want to try and stick with vintage, but in my price range it might make sense to grab a cheap new TT and start saving for a higher-end vintage unit.

    That's ultimately the decision it's come down to.

    My question is, will ANY new table under $200 have even remotely sound as good as tables in the neighborhood of the links above? Or does even the AT LP60 with an upgraded cart beat anything vintage under $200?
    Last edited by AudioPhil; 02-24-2014 at 12:09 AM.

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