The other day I was trolling the local pawn shops for good deals (I found my RTi70's and CSi40 at a pawn shop for a steal price). First treasure, and this may cause controversy, was the fabled Sony Playstation 1 with the model number ending in 1001. This is the one that is rumoured to sound as good as cd players costing in the thousands of dollars. Took it home and did A/B comparison testing with my Pioneer Elite DV-79Avi player. The Sony definitely sounds better. The Pio has deeper low end but the Sony is tighter and more defined. The mids are very smooth and the highs are more airy and real sounding. This $10.00 unit will have a permanent place in my two channel audio rack.
Next was even better. A different pawn shop. I saw a box on a table in the old audio section. I asked the owner if I could look. He told me to go ahead. Inside was a slighly dusty but near perfect Marantz 6200 turntable. Dust cover had a couple light scratches but nothing deep. heavy duty rca cables. The original headshell with a cheapy Realistic cartridge and stylus. We plugged it in and all functions appeared to work except the belt was missing. I asked how much. He asked $20.00 and I offered him $15.00. He took it. Today I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning it up and setting it up with an older but still good Shure M95ED cartridge I had kicking around. I had a good belt robbed off a garage sale junk table that fit perfect. Long story short....it's works perfectly and looks great. I tested in my bedroom rig and it sounds fantastic. It doesn't have quite the detail of my Pro-ject rig but the cartridge amp and pre and not same caliber as my main rig's either. $15.00 and a fun day (for me anyway) tweaking and cleaning and the bedroom now has a first rate classic table. The old one was a very capable Dual 606 with Ortofon cartridge.