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Getting into vinyl... Things to look for in a vintage turntable.

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  • Getting into vinyl... Things to look for in a vintage turntable.

    I want to get into some old vinyl records. My wife and I enjoy old Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, you get the idea and we've been talking about starting a new hobby of looking for old albums. I've been looking at some old Pioneer direct drive units but not too sure what to look for. I want something that is going to plug and play at first because I'm not so sure how much we will enjoy it and don't want to spend a bunch if it's just a passing interest. If you all could give me a few suggestions. I'd like to spend under a couple of hundred and would rather buy a vintage unit rather than some of the newer ones out there.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    "Arguing on the internet is like trying to make sense out of Bupkiss. You just end up looking foolish". ---Craigsub 04.21.2009

  • #2
    Oh and of any of you have one in the closet or the garage you wanna sell feel free to let me know. I'd rather buy one from someone here than eBay. :sly:
    "Arguing on the internet is like trying to make sense out of Bupkiss. You just end up looking foolish". ---Craigsub 04.21.2009

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kevin R
      Oh and of any of you have one in the closet or the garage you wanna sell feel free to let me know. I'd rather buy one from someone here than eBay. :sly:
      Kevin.... I've got just the ticket for you if you're interested. I have a DENON DP-47F fully automatic DD table that has been in my closet since I went to the DENON DP-60L. In some ways I miss the ease of use of the 47F. DENON tables used a beefy, very, very quiet motor and a servo controled tone arm. This unit is totally automated and back when it was available, their top of the line table. It has a heavy rosewood base and the dust cover is clean.

      I don't remember any nicks or marks of any kind on it but I'll have to pull it out and look it over if you are interested. It is completely wrapped in bubble wrap since I had a buyer for it about six years ago that backed out of our deal.

      I had a Bang & Olufsen MM cartrige on the table that I was trying at the time of my switch. While a nice sounding cartrige, I'll be honest in that I preferred my former Ortofon OM-20 that I had on the table previously. In fact, I bought an Ortofon OM-30 Super for my DP-60L. This was my third DENON table (the DP-60L is my fourth) and while I've tried several different cartriges through the years, I've always gone back to Ortofon. I just seem to like the synergy between the two.

      Anyway, here is a pic of the DP-47F with the black trim that I found on Google.....



      Here is another shot I found....



      Let me know if you're interested I'll shoot some actual photos and we'll come up with a price. The shipping will likely be pricey because it's pretty heavy, but I'll pack and secure everything very well for you.
      John W.
      Indy

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      • #4
        Well crap.... a quick check and it looks as though the OM-20 has been discontinued. I found one on Ebay, but it was in Germany. That was one of Ortofon's long time staples. It had been in their line up more than 20 years. I guess some marketing genius decided the black cartrige with a red dot wasn't "pretty" enough. :rolleyes:

        My second choice would be the Grado Gold. I had one of these on the 47F for a while and it was a little brighter than the warmer Ortofon but it was a very nice pick up.

        http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...ode=GRADGLDSTD

        Or heck, you may decide that you enjoy the B & O just fine.
        John W.
        Indy

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        • #5
          John very interested in the turntable you have. Was hoping someone would have one.. :)

          Email is exoelectron(remove space)@gmail.com if you want to send me some pics and talk about pricing.

          Kevin
          "Arguing on the internet is like trying to make sense out of Bupkiss. You just end up looking foolish". ---Craigsub 04.21.2009

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          • #6
            Email sent my friend....
            John W.
            Indy

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            • #7
              Here is a great website to purchase used AR and Thorens turntables. I already have a "like new" Thorens TD-160, however, my very first audiophile quality turntable puchased when I left the Air Force back in the late 60's was an AR-XA turntable. It was the Absolute Sound and Stereophilerecommended budget turntable of that era, the choice of musicians, conductors and audiophiles who were featured in the advertisements. There were other more expensive very good turntables -- Linn Sondek, for example, and Thorens. Dual also had good budget turntables that had automatic controls. The AR-XA was strictly manual. That means you had to lift up the arm and place it on the record and manually lift it off when finished. Personally, I enjoyed that physical involvement and connection to my music. I've never experienced that afterwards with CDs and, for example, today's "play lists" and digitally recored music that you start and then forget and the music just becomes background music. I think that personal involvement is one the greatest enjoyments of playing records -- or "vinyl" as they're called today. Go figure. To me, records will always be "records".

              Anyway, recently the nostalgia bug bit me and even though I have nice modern speakers, I read an article about rebuilding the classic AR3a speakers. I couldn't find any under $900 - $1,000 and ended up buying a nice used pair of Dynaco A-25s. But after that I did find a nice pair of AR3as for $200 to rebuild. In the process of researching "AR" I came across another article about all the people who still enjoy the classic ARXA turntable. I found a business on the internet that specializes in AR turntables, either refurbishing them to "like new" or "modding" them to super audiophile performance levels.
              I got excited about having another AR turntable since this was my first great turntable. I ordered a "refurbished" one, however, David came across a "brand new" one still in the original box with everything still there, unused. It cost me a little bit more but that's the one I got. Of course, he went through it and replaced the belt and put in a new Shure cartridge. I love it.
              The great thing about the whole experience was that it was affodable, unlike most audio ventures today.

              Here is the website --- www.vinylnirvana.com -- have a look around. There are some good links there as well. David also works with Thorens.

              Comment


              • #8
                Larry,

                Thanks for sharing the great story. I recently received a modest collection of records from a friend who moved overseas but didn't know much about turntables so just settled for what's was available at a local Fry's. Yes, a little ashamed now to admit it, one of those USB turntables.

                Now I am hooked on the sound of records and wanted to try a vintage turntable, so the website you suggested is godsend. I may pick one up from that site.

                Kevin,

                How's the Denon tt from quadman?

                +++

                Since I am new to turntable, can any of you guys suggest what I should look for in a turntable (that's suitable for my level)? Thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This very week I returned to vinyl for the first time since 1985! Yes, it has been 25 years. I found a nice Rega P1 with a glass platter upgrade and the stock cartridge, Ortofon OM 5e. I paid $237.50 and is simple to setup, all manual, and a pleasing, clean look.

                  If you are looking for a starter system, keep this one, as well as the Pro-ject Debut III (virtually identical in many respects, including the same OEM cartridge and overall appearance).

                  I would think that for about 2-3 times the money, a nice vintage AR from the site posted above would be a longer term investment, however.
                  Tweak City Audio WAF-1, Paradigm PS1000, Jolida FX-10 tube amp, Samsung Blu-ray, Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Apple Airport Express (living room)

                  Hawthorne Audio 101515 OB Trio DIY speakers, DIY Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 amp, DIY 6CL6 SPUD amp, Rythmik 370 OB Plate Amps (in stereo), Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Macbook Pro/iTunes & Decibel FLAC player for Mac, Sony S370 Blu-ray (listening room)

                  Other stuff: Usher S-520, JohnBlue JB-3, MiniWatt, Glow Amp One, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Sennheiser HD595

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                  • #10
                    Inferno,

                    Thanks for the input. I will look into those 2 turntables.

                    BTW, how did you manage to get that Rega with a glass platter upgrade for that great price? I looked on Audiogon and ebay but no luck. Would be a great starter TT for me at that price point.

                    Enjoy the sweet sound of vinyls!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Still available?

                      Hi,

                      Did Kevin ever get back to you about this turntable? If not, I might be interested.

                      I'm in Michigan, but I have a good friend in the Indy area who might be able to pick it up for me if we come to a deal.

                      If it's available, let me know and I'll give you my email addy.

                      Thx,
                      Chris


                      Originally posted by quadman
                      Kevin.... I've got just the ticket for you if you're interested. I have a DENON DP-47F fully automatic DD table that has been in my closet since I went to the DENON DP-60L.

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