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Tom472
15-04-2009, 10:10
Hi all

So, my first turntable - I'm hoping for some suggestions on what to go for. Having never had a proper TT before I've got no reference point, and no clue - so I'll believe whatever you tell me. :confused:

The budget is small (very small), I only tend to spend around 50 per hifi component if possible - but something that needed a bit of work with a hammer to get going would be ideal.

Doesn't need to be amazing as my vinyl collection is pretty modest. I'll most probably be plugging it in to a Quad 33.

A quick search through posts suggests that an old Lenco unit would fit the bill, but there's nothing on the 'bay looking that promising within collection distance. Anything similar, or other suggestions?

Thanks in advance :)

Tom

DSJR
15-04-2009, 14:46
The safest decks to look for are either the aforementioned Lenco GL69/70/75 models as the idlers and arm bearing blocks can still be obtained via Technical & General and others. Suitable re-wired and restored, the sound is big and ballsy and the arms are better than you'd initially think, in my experience. Pleanty of web-help in restoration projects too.

The other perenial one is the Thorens TD150, which will easily hold its value. Don't discount the TD160 either, as some of these don't now fetch as much as a clean 150. The only thing to watch is main bearing play as some of the later ones had a bit too much slop from new (remove the top platter, hold the sub-chassis still at the arm board, place the other palm of hand on the inner hub and gently rock - you shouldn't get any free movement). This is fixed by using molebdenum grease I understand or HP90 gearbox oil if it's not bad or non-existent, putting a good few drops into the bearing well until it fills with the inner in place a la Linn.

Both the above decks will work with the more durable mm carts about and as long as the bearings aren't knadgered, I'd suggest an AT120e, DL110 (a very well damped high output MC) or possibly the Pickering XV15-625 for 70 including two spare styli on eBay. The popular choices at the time were the Shure M55e, M75-EJ and Ortofon FF15e. An Ortofon OM10 (and 20 if the arm is a good one) could also be used.

Rega's are too expensive these days (I don't know why a 1970's example goes for 50% more than it cost when new...) but a Pro-ject 1 may be got for not much (or even a Pro-ject 2 if you're very lucky).

Have a look at the AR XA thread on here. This is another bargain but good ones can be pricey. This arm really does look a dogs dinner, but if the headshell is ok and the arm bearing shaft is lubricated with a fine oil, you can use some good mm's like ADC XLM, AT120e and Shure M97XE (higher compliance models than for the Lenco and Thorens models mentioned above).

Decent 1970's direct drives are getting pricey, now there are suitable supports and tweaks for the best ones which lift the performance above the standard when new. Not long ago, you could buy a (talking plinth) Technics SL1300 auto deck for 50, but I think they go for a ton nowadays. Even the armless SL150 (with a less lively plinth) is climbing in value now. The mk2 versions of these almost always have cueing device failure and, as yet, noone re-manufactures the nylon ring which fails.


Finally on cartridges. I used to rate the Goldring "10" series, but they're far too expensive now. the Ortofon OM-Red is just about affordable, but I have no experience of this one. Doubling the retail price for a 2 difference approx in stylus type is a rip-off IMO too, but I don't know how many they sell these days...

myles
15-04-2009, 16:33
I have a Pro-Ject Debut II for sale at the mo. Not on the 'For Sale' yet but here goes. I got it 3 weeks ago, it needed a tonearm rewire and a few other bits. I did the rewire myself, and was very pleased with the outcome! It was a fiddly sod. There is a small scratch on the front of the cover, and a couple of tiny marks on the plinth, but it sounds and looks good. Even the wife likes it! I have just bought another bargain, a Pro-Ject 1.2 so it has to go. Im looking for 60 plus delivery, you are more than welcome to collect in Oxon if you like.
(Mods, I hope I am not stepping on any toes posting this here)

John
15-04-2009, 16:48
Tend to agree with Dave the Lenco at this price is the way to go if you do not mind the DIY spea to Beechy he just did this a few months bac and loves his deck
You can use Butcher bloc for the plinth and if you wish you can tae this dec to a very high performance level

Beechwoods
15-04-2009, 16:50
For 50 including delivery, eBay is unlikely to be the best place to look. Freecycle is worth keeping an eye on, not to mention forums like our very own where other members are looking to get rid of kit they've upgraded from, for minimal hassle, rather than maximum beans. Looks like you've an offer like that already!

Tom472
15-04-2009, 16:54
Thanks for the replies all and the comprehensive info Dave, very much appreciated. Am I right in thinking that a Lenco with plenty of DIY tweaking would ultimately be better than a Pro-Ject? If so then I'd like to go down that route.
If there's not that much in it then 60 sounds like a good deal for something that's ready and working.

Any thoughts?

Regards

Tom

myles
15-04-2009, 17:09
Tom, a Lenco will indeed sound better than the Pro-Ject when fettled.

Beechwoods
15-04-2009, 17:29
Defo. I've not heard a MK II but my GL75 with a basic plinth is a massive improvement over the Mk I Pro-Ject I had before. The Pro-Ject actually had me thinking that vinyl was a waste of time... I am so pleased I gave the Lenco (L75) a go.

Peter (Symon) here picked his up off Freecycle if I remember correctly. There are bargains to be had!

myles
15-04-2009, 17:51
Defo. I've not heard a MK II but my GL75 with a basic plinth is a massive improvement over the Mk I Pro-Ject I had before. The Pro-Ject actually had me thinking that vinyl was a waste of time... I am so pleased I gave the Lenco (L75) a go.

Peter (Symon) here picked his up off Freecycle if I remember correctly. There are bargains to be had!

I didnt think it sounded bad at all, still each to their own.

symon
15-04-2009, 18:15
Yes, I did. A real bargain. It requires some work, but it will be worth it in the end I'm sure. I also picked up an old Technics direct drive turntable through Freecycle. I wanted to hear one, and this was a cheap and easy way of doing it.

myles
15-04-2009, 18:18
A friend of mine swears by Freecycle, it might be worth a punt.

DSJR
15-04-2009, 18:31
The Debut's alright, especially if you're unsure about zen and the art of record playing ;)but there can be a bit too much superglue holding the arm together (so's the old Hadcock arm, and look how much they go for :D).

The Debut will sound better with an OM20 stylus fitted and the playing weight adjusted to 1.25grammes. A light but sturdy support would be needed too I think.

Beechwoods
15-04-2009, 18:34
Like I said, my own experience is with the very first Pro-Ject... the Mk II was no-doubt an improvement on the first model. I know people who have had good experiences of the later Pro-Ject models, especially once the arm is better shielded from the motor...

myles
15-04-2009, 18:51
Like I said, my own experience is with the very first Pro-Ject... the Mk II was no-doubt an improvement on the first model. I know people who have had good experiences of the later Pro-Ject models, especially once the arm is better shielded from the motor...

Sorry, I wasnt being abrupt on purpose.

Beechwoods
15-04-2009, 18:56
No worries! I thought it was worth the clarification :)

DSJR
15-04-2009, 19:30
The dealer I last worked for was on the way out (looking back) and the boss had a 'disagreement' with the Rega rep over something. We replaced them with Pro-Ject with no trouble whatsoever. They're good decks and will take cartridge/styli upgrades easily. The Pro-ject 2 was judged better on turntable performance basics than the suspended-motor version Planar 3/RB300.

The Debut's had to be ordered in "fours" I think, but they sold well too and their hearts are definitely in the right place.

Tom472
15-04-2009, 19:38
Thanks for all the info and offers everyone. I think I better hold out for a Lenco given all the positive comments on it (and my fondness for fettling).
Cheers
Tom

myles
15-04-2009, 19:50
Sounds like the right idea Tom. The Pro-Ject is only really fettleable with respect to the cart, as far as I'm aware!