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Jone5y

FOUND: Entry Level Turntable

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Item: Turntable (and possible amp or phono stage)
Price Range: up to $350
Item Condition: Used
Extra Info: Looking to piece together system for my parents. Budget dictates it will be very entry level. They would be happy with something that just spun the black discs and made some noise. We all know that attitude simply won't do and, with mum threatening to buy a record player from Kmart or BigW, something needs to be done. I don't know what they played vinyl on back in the day but i know it played ALL the time. The last setup they had was an all in one 'hifi' system made by Sony that was purchased at a big box store. 

 

I've searched far and wide on this site to try and educate myself and realise that used is the way to go. However, the water gets very murky from there. Every opinion on Rega/Pro-ject/Audio Technica has an equally strong opponent and the same goes for belt vs DD etc, etc. Not having a vinyl rig myself i don't have any experience of my own to draw on and don't know why i should or shouldn't choose a denon pl30 over a technics 212 or a Rega RP1 and so on. I'm hoping the wise folk here can help me out. My experience thus far has been: find option available for sale, see what google says, search for stereonet results, discover it's junk or is good but out of budget, go back to drawing board. I'm hoping by posting this WTB i can end that loop.

Basically the requirements are (in rough order of priority)

  • Cost. One constant in turntable threads is the call to increase ones budget. Mine is pretty fixed. 
  • Reliability/Automation. The olds, whilst very technically minded in some areas, don't tolerate unreliable tech (the sony unit mentioned earlier is now at the tip, speakers and all). I don't know if full or semi auto tables were the norm back in the 80's but if they aren't fraught with issues i'd probably lean that way
  • Looks. minimalist or classic (think wooden plinth as opposed to plastic DJ style) preferred 
  • Phono. I have an unused Cambridge Audio 340a integrated amp that will accompany the turntable. As such an external phono stage will be required. Whether a cheap new one is better than an old built in unit I don't know, you probably will. If the difference between inbuilt and outboard isn't much I'll go with inbuilt as it is one less box. Another option is to sell the cambridge and source an amp with inbuilt phono. I've been looking at these on Ebay for a while and.....
  • Ability to modify. If it is able to be or benefits from a new plinth or some other kind of woodwork oriented DIY I'd love to put my own stamp on it
  • Sound quality and upgrade potential. This unit will not be upgraded until it dies so that's not a factor. Obviously i want the system to sound as good as possible but for the users "good" sound quality will be good enough

 

I think that covers it (a lot of words for a couple of hundred bucks i know!). Let me know what you've got squirreled away in a cupboard somewhere or are looking to upgrade from and lets see if we can do a deal. 

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At that budget you're just going to have to trawl the classifieds and take what you can get I think.

Hard to be fussy with such a strict budget, but I understand the limitations you face.

 

In the Rega/Pro-Ject/Audio Technica category there is also Music Hall - but again, being fairly new to market it's unlikely you'll find something second hand.

Best bet, I think is a cheapy Rega and an AVR with in-built MM phono stage. $500 would likely yield a slightly larger cast net.

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Here's one to look at:

 

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Thanks Marc, it's now on the list.

 

I realise my ask is a big one and beggers can't be choosers.

 

If I manage to sell off something i don't need I'll revise the budget to cast a wider net

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What about a Denon DP-30Lii or Pro-Ject Debut III for about the same money, are either of those worthwhile pursuing?

Edited by Jone5y

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Just to clarify, is the budget for just the turntable $350, then the amp or phono stage on top of that?

Or $350 for the lot?

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Looking to get turntable and phono for around $350. Amp is excluded from the budget, i have that already. If i find a decent amp with phono for under $200 i will sell existing amp and use all $350 for TT

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ah OK that makes sense. I was going to post the link to my gumtree advert (that I PM'd you about) here to let others comment on whether it is any good for your requirements, but if you bought the amp, then you'd be better off buying a better turntable.

 

 

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I see, i see. I did have a look at your ad and had the same thought

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Guest Hensa

This is a respectable turntable:

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-Yamaha-Turntable-/252790949451?hash=item3adb83c64b:g:TTkAAOSwTM5YtROG

 

I set up one of these for a friend's parents - pretty basic but they love it:

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-Pioneer-Turntable-SPL-100-Japan-/182428937217?hash=item2a799cac01:g:7xYAAOSw-0xYQe0R

 

For ultimate simplicity (full auto, p-mount cartridge) look for a Technics SL-7 though may be hard to find under $350 but they do come up occasionally.

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Thanks @Hensa , i hadn't considered Yamaha.

 

I probably should have split reliability and automation in my original post - reliability is weighted much higher. Auto would be nice but not essential. "P mount" yet another thing I'm clueless on. You've now given me something else to research.

 

I can see what is going to end up happening.....all of this googlin, learning and ogling at nice looking TT's is going to get me interested in the dark side. Who knows what will happen when i purchase something and give it a spin in my system

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is a lightly used Audio Technica LP120 USB @ $200 a decent buy? It's not the prettiest and the USB wont be required but is it worth a look?

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1 hour ago, Jone5y said:

is a lightly used Audio Technica LP120 USB @ $200 a decent buy? It's not the prettiest and the USB wont be required but is it worth a look?

 

Hi

Current new ones are about $450, so depending on cartridge may be OK....

 

JJ

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Thanks JJ, Just went to check and the ad has been removed.  FWIW I'm pretty sure it was Ortofon and green in colour

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A couple of "DUAL" models have popped up in recent searches and some seem to meet most requirements. I knew nothing of their existence before this morning. From what i can tell they were a mid level offering when new and there a couple of models to leave well alone due to well documented faults. Does anyone have any experience with Dual TT's that are worth keeping an eye out for or opinions on them in general?

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I have a Dual 603.  It's pretty basic, but it sounds good.  The Dual 601 and 701 are reasonably well regarded, certainly better than my 603.  The big weakness with the Dual TT's is their arm.  That is what holds them back sonically from what I understand.  I'm only familiar with the 600 and 700 series - I can't offer anything constructive about other models.  The 600's and 700's are pretty much bullet proof and many models are automatic or semi automatic.  Any of them would keep your folks happy.  I'm not too sure how well they respond to custom upgrades as I've never bothered - I've since bought another TT.

 

@Zaphod Beeblebrox has serviced hundreds of Dual TT's over the years and may be able to offer more specific advice.

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I have a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon in blue and a Pro-Ject Tube Box S that I will be looking to sell soon. Let me know if you're interested :)

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Definitely interested. Currently tossing up between a vintage denon (pl30ii) and another Project debut carbon I've found. feel free to send me a PM with details

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Quick update on this, after being comprehensively outbid on numerous TT's I snagged a Denon DP30L-ii for a tick over $100. It runs, is semi auto and keeps a constant speed.  It will feed into a cambridge audio 340A via a sub $100 used phono of some sort, probably Pro-ject or NAD.

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