One in 70-80’s
BIC 980 and Orthophon cartridge
with V-Fet Sony amp/phono
I’m on last stage of getting back in to vinyl
Awaiting, hearing new Chord Heui Phono and then taking plunge
99% sure it will be Project Classic & Hana SL
Phono Selection is last step
I’m asking, because I’m so close & wondered how many TT’s you go thru to get to “ the end product”
From 1976 to present- Technics SL-1700 with Stanton 681EEE. Yes I still have this and yes it still works. This was back when records were treasured as by far the best you could get, and this was by far the best turntable I heard or could afford back then. Loved the sound through my Kenwood integrated and JBL L25 connected with speaker wire and patch cords. Well we thought wire was wire back then! Ha!
From about 1985 to 1991 the Technics sat in a box. Somewhere in there I fell prey to mass delusion and bought a CD player. Until around '92 when Robert Harley et al got me curious enough to dig it out and discover lo and behold that bent cantilevered relic sounds way better than my much newer and more expensive CD player!
So around '93 I got a Basis 2001 with Graham 2.0 arm and Benz Micro-Glider and used that until about '04. The last year or so I started paying attention to how the Basis was made. Turntables by and large are hyped up over-blown crap. The Basis 2001 motor is cheap, the plinth nothing more than a piece of acrylic, the impressive footers ordinary springs. Honestly almost all the money with turntables goes into making them look good.
So first the Basis was modified with a new power cord hardwired to the motor. Improvement! Then the belt, experimented with different materials. Everything I tried worked better than the Basis belt! When freaking dental floss outperforms your expensive rubber belt, well it just shatters whatever exalted status you might have for turntable makers, let me tell you!
So next mod was to buy the Teres Audio motor. Huge improvement over the Basis motor! So probably the Teres bearing and platter are good too. Back then a bunch of guys were building their own using this modular approach. For much less than the $2500 the Basis cost I could build my own much better table.
So I did. Using a BDR Source Shelf for the plinth I built the Miller Carbon. https://www.theanalogdept.com/c_miller.htm
This worked so well that after a few years I upgraded to the Teres Verus Motor http://www.teresaudio.com/verus-motor.html
Most recently, just a few weeks ago, I modified this with a DIY carbon fiber base. More massive, more rigid, and more highly damped this significantly improved resolution of inner detail letting me hear even more deeply into the recording.
About 10 years ago the Graham arm was replaced with the Origin Live Conqueror. The Graham was good but between the arm wand and interconnect all those connections really degrade the delicate signal. The Conqueror is in a whole other realm.
Also about 10 years ago the Micro Glider was upgraded to a Benz Ruby H. Then last winter the Ruby H was upgraded to Koetsu Black Goldline.
All up until then had been running through the Audio Research PH3-SE. Beautiful phono stage, very happy with it for some 20 years. Last winter it was replaced with the Herron VTPH-2A. As good as the PH3SE was, the improvement going to the Herron can only be described as staggering.
Going from the Technics to the Basis everything changed. This is what a lot of guys do and as such sorry to say but you learn nothing. Nothing. Not one GD thing!
Buying a new turntable/arm/cartridge is like buying a whole new stereo. You learn NOTHING about what the speakers contribute, what the amp, cables, etc are doing. Immediately when I started modding then it became clear what each part of the turntable is doing and how it affects the result.
Because of the way I did it there was continuity. With the Basis nothing changed but the power cord. Then nothing changed but the motor. Who would ever tell you to change the speakers/cables/amp all at once? Nobody. Yet that is what almost everyone does with turntables- they buy these all in one deals. At most they do the arm and cartridge separately.
In this way they remain almost totally in the dark as to what is doing what. This plays right into the hands of the turntable makers, who get to sell one package after another, to customers who never figure out they could do so much better for so little money so easily.
Anyway that's my story. The Miller Carbon is still after 15 years performing beautifully. Better than ever. And along with the Herron and maybe even the Koetsu probably will be with me forever.
1. A denon dp37f direct drive
2. Music hall mmf7
3. Thorens td240-2
4. Pro-ject the classic sb superpack walnut
5. Pro-ject the classic eucalyptus
6. Technics (unknown model) dd
**The only one's I do not own currently are the denon & technics. wish I never got rid of it of the denon, beautiful table aesthetically...
Sound character? I guess the pro-jects sound a bit warm, the mmf7 a bit dry yet detailed, the thorens excellent bass, the denon I forget...of course the sound character would mainly be derived from the cartridge you are running.
A couple from the 80's that I don't remember. I quit playing vinyl for a long time...
Picked up a Marantz 6100 turntable for about $25 that sat in my garage for years...
One day I decided to clean it up and try it out. After replacing the belt (which had basically disintegrated) and getting a new stylus I realized how much I missed spinning vinyl. I sold the Marantz after a while and kind of regret it. It was a cool retro table.
From there, I've had the following:
Music Hall MMF2.2 SE (still have)
Music Hall MMF 5.1
Music Hall MMF 7.3 (still have)
Realistic LAB 400 (still have)
Clearaudio Emotion (still have)
Thorens TD-235 EV
JVC QL-Y66F (my current main rig)
Pro-ject RPM 9
1966: Garrard Lab-80 w/included arm. Pickering V15 Type III cartridge
1973(?): Pioneer PL-71 w/included arm. Cartridge ?
1985(?): Harmon-Kardon w/included arm. Cartridge ?
10/17/1986: SOTA Star Sapphire (vacuum) w/Eminent Technology ET-2 arm. Madrigal Carnegie One cartridge (original, still in use!) but looking at the Audio-Technica AT-ART9 with separate new ET-2 arm.
Lots of digital stuff starting in late 1983. More CD players than I can count. DACs? Theta DSPro basic when they first came out. Now a new Schiit Audio Yggdrasil with which I'm happy. Vinyl still wins. No doubt.
Dual 508 with Ortofon cartridge. This was my 1st turntable in in 1st system in late middle school or early high school.
Switched to a Denon DP35F with a Grado Cartridge. Gave to a university friend in early 90s. Nothing to the next step
Linn LP12 Akurate with Radikal motor. Also had a custom plinth made for the build. Very happy with the results and even my hard core digital file and streaming friends are blown away by the sonic results. Another plus is there are a few more upgrades I can do, so when the tweak bug hits I have options.
Too many turntables to remind me of them all....
Thorens TD 145 1977 (I still have)
Technics SL 2000 1978
Jvc QL 7 1979 (I still have)
Technics SL 1000 Mk2 1981 (I still have)
Micro Seiki BL 51 + CF1 1982
Pioneer Mu 70 1984 (I still have)
Jvc TT 801 (I still have) + CLP 10 + TS1
Michell Gyrodec 1988 +all up grading (I still have)
JVC TT 101 2015 (I still have but not work)
Technics SP 10 MK2 2013/ 2014/ 2016/2017 (four pieces for restore)
.....and maybe I have forgotten some more
@bpoletti, nice to see the Aries get it’s props! Nice simplified version of the overly complicated TNT (the various suspension towers, the 3-point belt path, the dual motors, etc. etc.), easily improved with after-market isolation feet (I use Townshend Seismic Pods) in place of the stock cones. Occasionally available at bargain prices.
The original had a real good 15lb. platter, consisting of a 7/8" thick aluminum bottom section with a lead plate bonded to it’s underside, topped with a 3/8" layer of Delrin for LP resonance damping. That platter (along with it's 1" stainless steel bearing) makes a nice upgrade for the HW-19. On the Aries 2, VPI switched to the frosted Acrylic platter, a giant step backward. The error continued with the Aries 3, after which HW switched to aluminum platters.
I have had 5:
- Technics Auto Turntable - don't remember model. It was automatic and cheap. Sound character was crap with crap filling (sold years ago)
- Rega P3-24 with RB301 tonearm & Elys 2 - Sound is signature Rega, all about PRaT with somewhat flabby bass. (lost in divorce)
- Rega RP3 with RB303 tonearm & Exact 2 - sound is signature Rega, all about PRaT but with tight, refined bass (currently for sale)
- Linn LP12 with Itok LVIImk2 tonearm & Lyra Kleos - Lovely table with a more balanced sound profile than the Regas, Lyra offers big, dimensional sound but overall, less revealing than I would have hoped.
(still have this table)
- Art Audio Composer Solo with Ortofon TA-110 Tonearm & Ortofon Cadenza Blue. Balanced sound profile with a level of detail that boggles the mind. I love this setup and am blown away every time I listen to a record on it. With external power supply this makes the Linn look cheap though. (still have this table and will be showing it at Capital Audiofest and AXPONA)
Yeah @bpoletti, those VPI cone feet are couplers (all cones are), and who wants to couple the plinth of their suspension-less table to its’ support structure?! I’ve just installed a set of Townshend Seismic Pods under both my Aries and Townshend Rock tables, and they’re keepers. If I had the dough, I’d have Herzan or Minus-K platforms under everything.