Try the current crop of Thorens; in the past they had semi/auto tables.
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Thanks for the Thorens suggestion, I appreciate it. I have read about a relatively new-model Thorens, the TD 190-1 (apparently sister to the Dual CS455); believe these tables are indeed fully automatic. Unfortunately, I've not seen any reviews or reactions favorable enough to encourage me to buy.
Still, it is a possibility to consider... And I'm grateful for the input. Thanks --
I owned a Thorens 190 for a few months as an interim table. The tonearm limits your cartridge choices, but it was perfectly serviceable with the OEM Ortofon OMB-10, and could have easily been upgraded to the OM-40 with just a stylus change. Quiet, good speed control, and smooth tonearm setdown and pickup.
Is it as good as your Denon? Doubtful, but it's a case of "they just don't make them like that anymore". The Thorens is mostly plastic, as are most of the current automatic tables. If someone tried to duplicate your Denon today, it would probably cost $1500.
If you're willing to buy used, just get another DP-52F. There's one for sale right now for $125:
Thanks very much for additional thoughts on the Thorens, perhaps I should relook it as a prospect... But I think you've hit the big issue on the head, "they just don't make 'em like they used to"... And I'm afraid my dad would find that disappointing.
I did look at the 52-F currently listed on Audiogon, but its operational condition sounds questionable. Do-it-yourself repairs are beyond me... So we might be trading one inoperable 52-F for another that could soon be in similar shape.
Used market may be the best bet though, and the only way to get something close to the quality we'd like for what the budget allows. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Speaking of auto 'tables. My dad has a Markel turntable that plays both sides of an LP automatically, without flipping over the LP. It can stack up to 6 records enabling listening to 12 sides without leaving your chair. Get one of these and you can still use an automatic 'table. Alas this beautiful mechanical marvel from the 1950s, which as I recall also plays 78s, will not improve the sound of that fine system you have.
How do you like your Tannoy speakers?
Thanks for sharing that info about the Markel... It does indeed sound like a mechanical marvel! Don't know what the odds are of finding such a thing in operable condition, but one never knows.
As for the Tannoys, they are wonderful. They are very rich & mellow-sounding... More subtle, less "bright" than my dads two Voice of the Theatres. The massive old GRF Corner horn deserves its reputation as a classic; I can't remember the model # of my dad's other Tannoy, but it is also a big cabinet... Not certain, but I think it has the same 15" dual concentric horn as its larger (and older) brother.
I read a comment recently from someone who once owned a pair of the GRF Corner horn cabinets said, "I had to sell them to buy a house! I should have rented instead."
Along those lines, glad my dad still has his original Altec-Lansing VOTT A7s... Noticed that A-L is now selling "replicas" of these for more than $12K a pair.
Thanks for the lead on Technics 1200, I'll check it out. Is it an automatic though, or manual...? My dad's need for auto-functioning is a big constraint, sound quality-wise & in terms of choices... But at 90, I'm just glad his audiophiles ear has held up better than the steadiness of his hands! Thanks for suggestion--
There's a mint, very low hours, DP-45f on Ebay right now that I would grab if the bidding stays reasonable. Perfectly good table, pretty much the same as a 52f - and even ultra-mint ones are usually under $300.
(I have no relation to the seller.)
I'll take a look at the 45-F. Believe that model wasn't quite as nice as the 52-F, though I can't tell you exactly what the differences were.... Must have been something, based on price though... The 45-F came out about 2-yrs after the 52-F, and sold for around $350 new (vs $500-some for the 52-F). Still, worth a look. Thanks!
Whoops, the response above was intended for "Sit", regarding the Micro Seiki -- new to me.
To "Inpepinnovations", I am of course familiar with B&O but only in general... Don't know the 4002. Will do a little homework on that one. I've heard some folks say B&O units are more about style than substance, but I have no experience of my own to weigh that against. I know plenty of other people who love them. Maybe it all comes down to which model you're dealing with. Again, my thanks...!