80s Marantz TTs.
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I've been going to garage sales, estate (tag) sales, and the like for 25 years and I can count on one hand the number of sales where "high end" equipment was for sale. So I certainly wouldn't tell anyone to expect to find high end equipment that way. I have seen quite a few ads here on Audiogon which said the equipment was an "estate" find, but I think it is rare. High end turntables are probably one of the less likely items to find only becuase it's an even smaller sub-set of the general population. I can't recall seeing any high end turntables, just the "junk" you mention. Now vinyl, that's another story. LOTS of that available at garage sales and such.
I found a Thorens TD 180 at a second hand store for $12. Looked to be brand new but was missing the counterweight. Had a cartridge worth about $22 msrp. The hood got a little scuffed up when moving, thats what happens when other people move your stuff though. Still have it around the house and have never got around to getting the counterweight yet. Ben thinkin' about sellin it. Also found pr. of Infinity QA w/Emit tweeter circa late '70s at same store $40. A JVC 2 head w/needle VU's $12. Works good, usually rollers and stuff are wore out. A 10 band EQ $10. Another TT w/all the goodys $12. I forget what department store brand it is. I have 1 record in my collection right now. ( Helen Sheids )anybody ever heard of them. A local Indianapolis band.
I was by chance at a Garage sale around two yrs ago in the upstate NY area. While I was searching around on the grounds of this lovely Estate, the owner came out, a rather attractive lady around in her 60s. We started to chat and I told her that I was very much interested in records and old audio gear. To my amazement she invited me in telling me that her late husband left a vast collection of old records and a stereo system that she had no idea what to do with, and she did not listen to it, she just would like some cash for it and please take it out of the house. well there it was in all its Glory over five thousand hard to find audiophile recordings along with a Goldmund reference turntable, yes a little dusty but perfect completely perfect. I turned to her an asked her what she wanted for this complete and glories analog system? Her reply I will take $200.00 and I will help you cart it out using my SUV. But to my surprise I only had about 125.00 on me so I made the offer and yes she excepted and was kind enough to allow me to date her fantastic looking and rich Daughter. Well everyone it really is nice to daydream ain't it?
Because if you go in looking for something in particular or dreaming about what it would be like to find a rare whatever, you will not actually see what is really there.
I have found many better Duals, Pioneers, Garrards. Crap, you may say, but sometime the real prize is hanging off the end of the tonearm. Some of the vintage cartridges can be quite good for the 5 bucks the table costs. I have also found a pair of Russco Cue Masters with AT tonearms, Empire 208, Thorens, Rek-O-Kuts and several Lenco's. Yes these are projects but some are very worthwhile (check out the Lenco in my gallery). By the way everything in my system came from yard sales.
So keep dreaming and looking for that Rockport while I come in and grab up the good stuff behind you. LOL
Good luck, and no you can't tag along.
I am impressed with your finds, I have never even come close to that level of table. I would be very happy if I found a good Dual. I am not dreaming of a Rockport. Yes I am hoping for a REKO-CUT or Empire or the like not a Sirius, please be serious, but all I ever find is Junk. How do you do it? Were is your gallery posted?
You really have to work at it. Sometimes I go for weeks or even months without ever finding anything. I hit the yard sales at 7 AM on Saturdays and am usually home by 9 AM. I also do a little research the night before and print some maps so that I can be efficient in my travels. I don't really spend a lot of time but I keep after it no matter how many times I come home empty handed.
You can view my gallery under my system for some picks of the restored Lenco. Everything in my system came from yard sales and I still have some projects for next winter.
Good luck and keep hitting those yard sales.