Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Mod a cheap TT?

  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    42

    Default Mod a cheap TT?

    I searched and couldn't find anything similar. It's a longshot, but here goes:

    First, let me say that in order to stay married, a Rega is not in my future. I do, however, want to get the most out of my current gear.

    I've recently set up a music-only rig with a Pioneer SX-1010 and an old school Pioneer PL-115D TT (hand-me-down). Has anyone out there tweaked a cheap TT like this? Is there any benefit to dampening? Upgrade the mat? Any beefier platters available?

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    15,835

    Default

    I would say it all depends on how much you'll be listening to vinyl albums... if it's just an only occasional album here and there.. I would say the Pioneer PL-115D is probably good enough. Replace the cartride, the stylus, the 4 tiny cartridge wire leads, and maybe the left and right RCA leads for starters. A good cartridge and stylus will make the biggest improvement overall. Don't skimp by not replacing the cartridge and needle.

    I basically went the same route as you.. finding an old Pioneer PL-530 turntable in good condition, had it service locally, then replaced the cart, needle and those 4 tiny wire leads. It made a big difference over just getting a new needle and calling it good. The RCA leads on my table were pretty beefy and in really good condition. Many more upgrades would be possible to do on my TT, but at this point, I'm not wanting to spend much more on it. It looks and sound pretty good now.

    my investment so far on the TT.

    table cost me $15
    Audio Technica 440 cartridge and needle with the wire leads $90
    cleaning and lube $30

    total $135

    I don't think I could get anything new for that amount. So older gear just makes sense for occasional album listening. good luck, listening to albums again is a blast.

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    8,301

    Default

    Damping couldn't hoit :-)
    Try cutting a mat out of felt (as sold, e.g., by Michael's arts & crafts store).
    Some sort of additional support for the table might not be a bad idea either... I am no expert on this == folks use suspended shelves, hanging shelves, sandboxes, or maybe Vibrapods or much more exotic (and expensive) footies. The old Audio Technica tt feet might be worth a go if you have/find a set (I found a set on the swap pile at our town dump a few years back).

    The entry-level Regas are OK but probably not really a step up from your Pioneer, if the bearings (arm and platter) are good on the latter. That's a belt drive model, yes?
    all the best,
    mrh

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweet Spot
    Posts
    771

    Default

    I have a Pioneer table from about 1980, and after replacing the cartridge with a Grado, and then cleaning everything, replacing the RCA cables with quality wire, and also adding a grounded power cord, it sounds pretty darn good.

    I think you underestimate the quality of vintage parts. With a little restoration and a new cartridge, I think it will sound fine.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Thanks for the advice.

    I am really a big believer in the quality and value of vintage gear (hence the SX-1010 and Monitor 10B), which is why I want to keep and improve what I have.

    I replaced the cart with a BOTL Audio-Technica...the improvement was immediate and huge (the stylus on the previous cart was trashed), but I think I should not have cheaped out.

    My only real reservations with the turntable are the very lightweight platter, the relatively flimsy phono cables and lack of available information.

    Sure, I'd love to be able to throw three month's pay at a turntable, but my ear is not that discerning. It's also kind of cool owning pieces that have history and character.

    BTW, good call on a vintage Pioneer, DangerBoy.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Yes, it is a belt drive.

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    lookin' for fava beans and a nice chianti
    Posts
    12,608

    Default

    Just my .02.....depending on what your budget is, for less than 300 you could be in a VERY respectable table, new, from Music Hall, Rega or Pro-Ject.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    42

    Default

    I've looked at (but not listened to) the 'tables mentioned. Believe me, I'd love to have a clean, new TT with a dust cover I can actuall read the record label through.

    My issue basically comes down to budget justification. Most of the vinyl I have/will get is acquired on the cheap, stuff that I listened to in my youth on cassette (anyone know where I can get ahold of Fear's "More Beer" on vinyl?). If I were going to start buying new 200 gram pressings or truly vintage recordings, I'd be all over a new TT.

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweet Spot
    Posts
    771

    Default

    Get some rubbing compound used to polish to a fine finish and use it on that plastic dust cover. It makes it look like new! You can mask off the pioneer logo in the middle and give the cover a good polish.

    Honestly, if your Pioneer is the kind I think it is, as in, with a built in strobe, hard-wired RCA cables and a plug with separate grounding wire... with just a little work it can sound great.

    One thing that vintage TTs have over some of the others talked about, is the strobe and fine speed adjustment. I know for a fact that the Rega P1 does not have a strobe or speed adjustment and can come running a bit fast or slow.

    Put a little work into the vintage table and it would sound just as good as any other entry-level audiophile tables. Replace the RCA cables, and grab a 3 pronged extra stock plug that might be laying around and just wire that in there, check the belt in case you need a new one, and with the new cart and pins, it should sound pretty darn good, actually.
    Last edited by Yashu; 10-08-2007 at 06:40 PM.

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    seattle,wa
    Posts
    933

    Default TT options

    You could pull 4 new tone arm wires from the head shell to the reciever and renew that wire for about $8 from Cardas. A couple of new rca connnectors, a new cartridge and some sticky damping material on the bottom side of the platter to add some weight and call it good. Good electrical connections and conductors will make a difference on a 20 yr old tt. It did on my denon for about $30 total not including the cartridge.

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (31)

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    14,789

    Default

    Would that work for a Rega 250 arm? I'd love to rewire it and put some decent I/C's on the end of it.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    seattle,wa
    Posts
    933

    Default Re-wire

    I havent looked at what it would take for that arm but if you use the old wire to pull the new ones threw it will work. Just solder them to each other and carefully pull them threw.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Looking for a cheap EQ.
    By louthewiz in forum Wanted (WTB) Classifieds
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 03-02-2007, 06:45 PM
  2. WTB: Cheap Pre and Cheap Receiver
    By jdhdiggs in forum Wanted (WTB) Classifieds
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-06-2005, 08:18 AM
  3. Kenwood Tuner FS KT-54 cheap cheap
    By faster100 in forum Flea Market
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-08-2004, 08:25 AM
  4. I need one of these cheap!
    By madmax in forum Flea Market
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-07-2002, 04:25 AM
  5. cheap amp.....
    By TroyD in forum Flea Market
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2002, 09:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts