How does a vintage turntable compare to what is available today?


I have a Kenwood KD 500 turntable with a Grace 707 tonearm and a Great American Sound Sleeping Beauty cartridge with a Ruby Cantilever with Nude Contact Line stylus. Can anyone advise me as to how this would rate with present-day turntable platforms?I

I am pretty happy with this platform but I am always curious as to where I could improve. Thanks.
akadurf
There's plenty of discussions on the analog forum that address your question. And of course a wide variety of opinions 😳

There are folks who believe that new is always better: new materials, new technologies, yadayadayada. And then there's those who think that not much new technologies have been developped involving vinyl playback. And if so, these are not necessarily superior to what was available when vinyl records were still mainstream.

You already have a nice vintage rig that can easily compete with any modern turntable up to $5k or more. Of course you can always do better and I'm sure you will get tons of suggestions. If you want to stick with vintage DD why not move up in the Kenwood range: the L-07D was their ultimate effort and by all accounts one of the best turntables ever made.

Same is true for Technics SP-10 mk3, Pioneer Exclusive P3 or Sony PS-X 9, to mention some other Japanese 'uber' tables from the '80's that can easily compete with anything being manufactured today. Such tables are most wanted, quite expensive and usually very hard to find (especially the Kenwood). But they're still bargains compared to 'modern' tables that cost a small fortune to get the same level of performance.



I have a Kenwood KD600, Grace 707 and a Sleeping Beauty (Coral 777) elliptical mc cartridge. The KD600 has the stock arm, the Grace tonearm is presently on a Linn Sondek and the Sleeping Beauty's on a Fidelity Research FR29 mounted on an Ariston RD11 TT (Linn's Scottish cousin). This last TT, tonearm/cartridge combination is capable of astounding musical insights into ANY LP I choose! No need for a five-figure TT system! 
preety good with different sound presentation.
Once the bearing, motor, and tone arm are reasonably good quality then from that point on the vast majority of the difference is tuning. Early on they used a lot of solid wood and metal, springs, and rubber. Now its more often MDF, aluminum, acrylic, and elastomers. Some of these modern materials are inherently intrinsically better. Some. But the fact remains, its the makers choice of tuning priorities that determines the final result.

This is why VPI, Rega, AT and SOTA turntables are different in spite of all being modern. Same as Linn, Garrard. Different choices, different sound.

The beauty of it is once you relax and accept this fact its much easier to choose and be happy. Even better it becomes super easy to answer questions such as:
I am pretty happy with this platform but I am always curious as to where I could improve.

Easy. You can raise that rig to a whole new level with $40 of fo.Q tape. This special piezoelectric tape damps vibrations. But not by muffling dynamics like sorbothane. fo.Q tape eliminates micro-vibrations by transducing them into heat. An unbelievable amount of information is lost, covered up by these micro-vibrations. Without them the sound opens up with improved inner detail and presence. 

Its easy to apply, and the adhesive leaves no residue making it easy to try and move. But you will like it wherever you put it. Under the platter, around the spindle, anywhere on the plinth, or base, under the base, and of course on the tone arm, tone arm base, etc. Under the feet. You will run out of tape before you run out of ideas. And you haven't even gotten to your speakers yet. You will be ordering more.

See, its not just Linn, VPI, Rega and Kenwood who can tune turntables. You can do it too.

If you like this one let me know, I got an even better one for you.