If you were looking for a direct drive turntable ...

Let's say one that cost less than $3K, with cartridge, what would you look at? I'd been thinking about a Technics SL-1200GR, but they seem no longer to be available. Which has led me to the Thorens 403, the Music Hall Stealth, and ...?

Please do help.

Unless, that is, I end up getting a Rega and stick with belt drive.

Thanks for indulging me on my quest, as I'm old and don't have limitless funds.

-- Howard



Stay away from Thorens and Music Hall if you want a proper DD turntable. Look for Technics SP-10 mk2, Denon DP-80, Luxman PD-444, Victor TT-81 that you can buy in a perfect working condition (can be refurbished if you want). Japanese sellers are on ebay.

Not sure why do you think new Technics is not available, they are for sale online and it’s fine new DD if you don’t want to bother with plinth, tonearms etc.

I would recommend Luxman PD-444 , you can find images in my Virtual System gallery if you don't know this model.

Not sure where you are but the 1200GR is available online. If you could stretch to $4k, you could get the 1200G. 

I would recommend a new Rega P8 with Rega cartridge.

Easy to set up, use and outstanding performance for the money.

If you purchase with a Rega cartridge, you should be able to order it pre set up and ready to go.

See Fremers review of the P10. The P8 is close.


Chakster mentioned the JVC Victor TT81. I agree.

They also made wonderful 7 layer wood plinths that fit either TT61, 71, 81. Single arm plinth CL-p1; Double Arm Plinth CL-p2, which I have and highly recommend; and a very rare CL-p3 for 3 tonearms.

Here is a very nice TT81 in a Two Tonearm CL-P2 Plinth, in Canada. The unit comes with the long 7082 arm, and seller has a 7045 he will sell separately. Chakster and others here know, and I learned a lot about the plinths, the JVC arms 7082 and 7045.

Anyone interested, I can tell you what I learned. I would get both arms, put new rubber gaskets for the sagging counterweights (which is both inexpensive and easy), and be sitting pretty with a terrific two arm TT, both arms VTA on the Fly, well within your budget.


You can see my TT81, with 3 Tonearms in my system photos here


Chakster mentioned the Luxman PD444, it is a great looking TT, If I had known about it when I bought my JVC Victor, I might have preferred it.

One for a decent price, you would need to add one or two tonearms to this price, and a cartridge


I will say, if the Spinner has issues, there are less Luxman spares around than the TT81, and the TT81 costs less

That TT81 + 7082 arm and CL-P2 plinth is a real bargain at $1500 CAD! If I didn't already have a dozen or more TTs ...

Dear @hodu  : Just forgeret of those opinions about vintage TTs that comes with no warranty of nothing.


The rigth road to go is exactly what you have in mind TECHNICS new units:


Regards and en enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


Last year we shipped super rare and the most complicated Victor TT-101 direct drive to Fidelis Analog for refurbishing and calibration, if you have money it’s not a big deal to make your vintage DD just like new (if there is a problem).


@elliottbnewcombjr , I think you might want to put your piano somewhere else. Play your system loud, open the top of you piano and stick your head down in there. It is a symphony of resonance. That is precisely what it was designed to do!.

I had to move our Parlor Grand because of this.

Chakster mentioned the Luxman PD444, it is a great looking TT, If I had known about it when I bought my JVC Victor, I might have preferred it.

One for a decent price, you would need to add one or two tonearms to this price, and a cartridge



Someone have to buy it quickly, great price and good seller! 


I know exactly what you mean. I had one do that in my prior home. A taller upright.

Somehow, luckily, it doesn’t make itself aparent, quiet or my highest listening. Perhaps during In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida it's singing away. I play that long piano note on Sgt. Peppers on my Reel to Reel, listening for anything else in the room. I have not stuck my head down in there. I read that the top was supposed to be left open during play, true? btw, my Reel to Reel version, you can hear him drunkenly say 'In the Garden of Eden' a few times.

I am having a neighbor/recording engineer over to listen to music and he is bringing some of his recordings here tomorrow or thurs. Great guy, awesome recording studio.



He has younger and finer ears than mine, and he actively mixes his and other people’s music. I’ll ask him to listen for it.

That isn’t Donna’s mother’s piano, it’s a place for Donna to jamb as many pictures as she can, within my rules, all have felt, none touch each other.

My speakers, they are tilted back, you can see I have several objects on the slanted tops. I am always amazed they don’t vibrate and/or slide around.

I have tacky stuff on the bottom rear corners of all the hung artwork so they don’t get buzzing, and occassionally, low bass, I hear some loose object somewhere sympathizing. The other night, it was small objects I left on the window sill behind the equipment, a few allen keys, rca jack plugs ...

I’ll let you know what he hears. No other place for the piano. If a problem, either a divorce, or I’ll have to fill it with blankets! Donna will never know if you don’t tell her. It hasn’t been tuned in years. We are having Thanksgiving here, the grandkids will give it the brief play I am sure.

I love direct drive tt from Technics, even there less expensive are good.

jason, chakster

when I first joined, when I first asked for advice, I would not have known how darn good both of those TT's I found are, and how rare it is to get one at a great price. You are both right, someone we know ought to jump on either one.

Canadian seller has the shorter 7045 arm listed separately for 550 CAD. You could get the plinth, TT81, both arms for 2,050 CAD (or offer a bit less). That's $1,650 USD. 

Hi, Pioneer PLX 1000  StereoPhile raves about it. That's the one I am getting. Regards.

Yes, as a fellow Victor owner that's a really good deal on the one in Canada. Top notch drive, top notch tonearm and a really good plinth. I don't think it will last long.


If you are a relative newbie to this hobby or to DD turntables, it would be a no-brainer to opt for the new Technics, the best one in the G series that you can afford. Among vintage direct drive turntables, my opinion is that the Denon DP80 or DP75 is the best bang for the buck. (The two models have identical specs, so I think of them as equivalent; I own and enjoy a DP80 that was refurbished for me and for which I made a Pennsylvania slate plinth.) If you’ve got the bucks, PBN Audio make a killer wood plinth for the DP80. The DP75/80 is also easily serviced, compared to some others that require hard to find parts, should something go wrong. If you go vintage, do not buy a "broken" unit with the notion that you can have it fixed cheaply. Buy only a known functioning unit in good condition, preferably with a recent service history and from a reputable seller.

In the present market the best value for money Vintage DD I am willing to make known to you is the Aurex/Toshiba SR-510. It was the Brand Top of the Line from the era of manufacture and can perform to a very high level of presentation.

I own a selection of the other Vintage DD TT's and do not see any model as being undesirable.

The Caveat is that they can be purchased as an Item that has never received any attention and can be received after a purchase in need of a visit to a service engineer that has a familarity and understanding of the chosen model.

With what is known today as well about our wounded beautiful planet, any purchasing that eliminates the need to Manufacture is kinder to our Global Home.

Used/Vintage Purchases are much more friendly to the planets future.   

Lots of upcoming listening enjoyment to be encountered either way, New, Used or Vintage Purchase.   


I just bought a lightly used Pioneer PLX1000 for $350USD with an Ortofon Concorde Mix cartridge and a Fluance PA-10 phono stage. I feel like I won the lottery! It's really good for the small money I paid for it. Can't wait to put a better cartridge on it an see what it can do. Highly recommended at the current price.

For my part the most accomplished DD that I ran was this tank of a turntable


@elliottbnewcombjr , Yes, it is like a grand. The top should be open during play or you get a muffled sound especially since it is up against a wall. I would think "In the Garden of Eden" would do it.

Turntables that are "tanks" are not necessarily better. Turntables that were intended for commercial work were designed to take a beating. Rumble was not so much of a problem as Radio does not go below 50 Hz (if I remember correctly) not to mention nobody used subwoofers back then. Now that vinyl is dead to radio stations nobody makes turntables for that purpose and all those commercial tables got dumped on the market initially for cheap until someone figured out they could plant them on nice looking plinths and sell them for ridiculous money. Why was Edgar Villchur's little belt drive so popular? $75 got you a turntable that handily outperformed all the commercial ones. It was so good Thorens and Linn dandied up the design and still sell them. Sota added a twist to the suspension then SME and Basis copied them. There are nor a few hyper expensive direct drives out there now but the majority of them are belt drives. Oscillating motors do not belong under phonograph cartridges. 

I should say, "oscillating motors do not belong under phonograph cartridges" unless you are Russian. The fridged siberian environement creates a superconductive path through the motor's armature that absorbs stray magnetic fields. This also helps inexpensive very old antique crtridges sound better, even if they have no stylus left. 


The L-07D was not designed for / with commercial radio station deployment as part of its engineering brief .

@mijostyn  : I can't understand for sure what trounced what but what I'm sure is that the Kenwood TT trounced the SME and your SOTA one:






LP12 ... LP12 .... 🤣

I will admit now being an LP12 owner now, I am very happy. It is really an exceptional table. 

@cleeds, it's plain to see that mijostyn5 has a disdain for anything direct drive. He makes up wild accusations and never has anything to back them up. I think his subscription to the 70's English audio publications ran out so he just sits there and rereads them.



The Pioneer PLX-1000 for $699.00  is a killer player. Have Music Direct install the Ortofon Blue cartridge for around an additional $200.00  It's a perfect combination. The Pioneer weights close to 30 lbs. Rock solid. Music Direct says it sounds as good as any $2000.00 turntable they sell.

@cleeds , can you tell me how a motor turns?

@rauliruegas , sorry, I will have to disagree with you on that one. We made that direct comparison in the store I worked from. Remember I told you I Had L07 M amplifiers? I got those at salesman's comp because we carried the Kenwood line. Our turntable of choice besides the ridiculously expensive Goldmund was the Linn LP 12 of which I owned two. We had to decide which to sell to customers so we direct ABed them with the same cartridge. I can't remember for sure but I think it was the Koetsu Rosewood. The Kenwood had the typical Direct Drive muddiness we heard in every direct drive of the day. We even swapped the cartridges to make sure it was not a cartridge problem. Very impressive display. So Raul, no it is not better than a Rega P1 never mind an LP 12 or my current table and you know what I think of LP 12's. I was actually thinking of getting the Kenwood. I loved the amplifiers and the turntable was very cool looking. But, it s--ked. It is one of the DDs we tested that made me a die hard belt drive fan. I have never listened to Chakster's turntable and Luxman made some great equipment.

It's not so much a matter of which tt is better; it's very dependent on who you are as a hands-on or hands-off kinda person - anything in your $ range will be acceptable.  You say you're old - not all that relevant, unless you are implying you don't want to tinker or your sight/dexterity aren't what they used to be.  There's a lot of good options in that price range depending on your situation.  Do you want to have a tt that you take out of the box, put together, and start playing?  Would you prefer getting a tt that needs you to add and set up your own cartridge?  Would you be up for buying a used or vintage table of possibly higher quality and dealing with any issues yourself or finding someone to fix/refurbish it for you, or building one from the ground up with parts you select?  I will assume that you are in the US because right now it's very hard to get a GR or G from a store or online - my last search found nothing that wasn't over MSRP and coming from the UK or Japan.  The Technics tables are fussless, especially if you get a 1500c or such that comes with a cartridge, but I would stretch to the G if you have your heart set on the Technics (when they're available again - keep looking!).  Lots of belt drives out there in whatever configuration you desire, and it's more important to pick one with the features and adjustability you want.  Are you going to change cartridges on a regular basis, and so will need to easily adjust VTA, tracking force, azimuth, antiskating maybe?  Are you one to constantly monitor the tt speed in case a belt is getting old and slowing down or the belt is in the proper grooves to give the most accurate speed?  Do you want feet you can adjust?  Do you need a built-in phono stage?  How about semi-auto functions?  Will you play 45's and 78's as well?  What accessories are you going to have to buy extra to make the table work for you once you buy it - cables, clamp, dust cover, special adjustment tools, periphery ring, extra shims to set tonearm height, isolation solution, strobe disk, platter mat?  I would make a list of the features/adjustabilty you want and make sure your choice checks all of the boxes.

@cleeds , can you tell me how a motor turns?

Actually, yes. I can tell you how various DD motors work, how belt drive motors work, what a "shadow pole" motor is ... and on and on. And I can tell you that your claim that turntables use "osciallating motors" is, uh, absurd. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

Like you, I typically don’t care for DD ’tables, and owned a few of them including a Denon DP-6000 and a DP-80 on a VPI base. Unlike you, I don’t dismiss all of them with a wave of the hand under the absurd notion that they use an oscillating motor. In my world, facts still matter. You’ve just shown that once again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. When you do that, you tend to fill in your knowledge gaps with nonsense, such as your "euphoric turntable". That was a Dusey!

This one:

Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference – Robb Report

Just kidding--this one does not actually work at all, but it sure is pretty!


I would go with Technics.  They kind of invented the idea and seem to be improving it all the time.



I am getting all verklempt to see the nice photo of a Transcriptors Reference. Back in the day, they were irresistible, and I did own one for a while. No matter whether it was a good turntable or not, no one can say it was not great fun to watch. Some of us old farts can remember it was prominently displayed in the movie, "A Clockwork Orange". What was really hokey was the hinge between the headshell and the arm wand, permitting free movement in the vertical direction. Also, the 5 brass pedestals that support the LP (sort of) on the platter surface are the anti-thesis of a record mat. But watching those brass pieces rotate at 33 rpm was riveting, if you also had a doobie on hand. Thanks for the photo.


Mijostyn’s blanket indictment of DD turntables, the "oscillating" motor, has been "asked and answered" many times before. If he understood the meaning of the word "oscillation" in the context of electronics, he would probably choose another term. He’s thinking about EMI radiations. I am sad to see he cannot appreciate the Kenwood L07D. In that turntable, Kenwood engineers attempted to address nearly every aspect of proper design, for DD or other. It was very advanced for 1980 and is still very modern in its execution. No TT drive system is without potential conceptual flaws, so let’s just leave it at that.

I am surprised that people still get energized over the drive mechanisms used in better turntables.  In my view whether a belt or direct drive is used is about as impropant as what color the plinth is.  It is true that my every day TTs are both DD, but I would be happy to own belt drives from Dr. Feickert, Kuzma, SME, Rega or Air Force and so on.  Really we should be focused on more important issues, like tonearms and cartridges, and trying to figure out a way to pool our resources to help each other sort through phono preamps and SUTs.

Dear @billstevenson  : I agree with you and I posted that several times.


I like DD but even that I have it I'm usinc a BD one.


Yes, most important than that is cartridge/tonearm and almost at the same level than the phono stage that's nothing less that the system link tha has to proccess the cartridge signal !



Yes Raul you keep posting good information and It is appreciated by me.  I hope others are reading it too.  For example the recent technical paper of 9" vs. 12" tonearms, which is excellent.


Just for the record, in more ways than one, I don't think the Pioneer PLX1000 should be classified as "vintage".  It's a recent model apparently aimed at undercutting the cost factor of the Technics G series turntables, in that it is cheaper than any of those.  So, it's a candidate if you are on a budget, but not in the vintage category.  Pioneer did make a very high quality line of DD turntables back in the day, topped by the nonpareil Exclusive P3, which is now very costly if you can even find a good one. Below that was the Exclusive P10 and then the Pioneer line headed by the PL70 MkII, I think. (Chak can correct me if I have the alphanumeric designation wrong.)  All of these used coreless motors. These top 3 came with an excellent tonearm, too.

I have moved on from Belt Drive and Idler Drive, but still retain these TT Drives to use at my leisure.

I also have the opportuniity to listen to a SME Belt Drive, Linn Belt Drive and Garrard and Lenco Idler Drives in other systems.

Today I use a DD as my main TT and others I know have swapped out their Belt Drive TT's to be superseded by DD in their systems.

Taking the Drive out of the equation, there are other areas where the DD wins over.

The DD has in many cases especially on the models being refferred to, exceptional speed control built in.

Other Drive systems can cost much more to achieve a speed control that is with similar desirability.

An Idler Drive can easily have a Standalone Speed Control that commands a $1000+ and Belt Drives have had many add on ancillaries to improve Speed Control at similar asking prices. 

This is one of the reasons I became interested in a DD.

After hearing a DD in A/B comparisons to a owned and well respected Idler Drive,

I became a convert to the DD and have not looked back.   



I am happy to report, my friend/neighbor/music producer and I listened for 4 hours and we could not entice the piano to sing.

we agreed with you, it must be doing something, but try as we may, could hear no sound emanating from it. he walked here, there, bent, stretched behind, ...

I thought, lets get blasting, and hit pause. the magnets stop the speakers rapidly, but the piano would keep singing. nope.

lucky is all I can say.


meanwhile, I had kept my tweeter's l-pads too low, he heard that readily, I adjusted, them speck by speck, he listened, then the slight compression he heard was gone, he pronounced the sound, imaging, depth excellent, and suspected when I checked the next day with the sound meter that I would find we raised the tweeters 2db.

sure enough, I simply perfected the Left tweeter's L pad a speck to match the right one with specific frequency bands from the GRP/Carver Test CD.

Listening a great deal the next day, I realized my mistake, and it's more than subtle effect.

While the meter was showing the level of the 16k band which I surprisingly heard, I thought, if I, 73 year old ears, can hear 16k, then it must be too high for Donna and younger ears. So, I lowered the L-Pad to reduce the tweeters (by about 2db is turned out).

What I didn't think about, didn't realize: the SPL I was hearing did not correlate to the SPL of the Meter. I heard 16k surprisingly well, but I think it is fair to say not as well as the meter.

Thinking/Listening the next day, duh, I wasn't just erroneously avoiding 'too much tweeter', I was causing some compression, because it reduced both the volume and time decay of the overtones of the upper mids.

The Eurythmics, Andreas Vollenwider, Blue Nile are full of splendid highs and the overtones of lower notes I had cut off. 

What a gift to have my friends ears.

I agree, the best isolation solution is a wall mount for your turntable, but I feared drilling anchors into our apartment wall. We got a set of adjustabe sorbothane isolation turntable feet here, Turntable Phonograph Vinyl Record Player lsolation Feet – Mnpctech

As an addition to my previous post, the DD TT has other benefits in the daily maintenace department.

A DD TT,  Set into a Plinth that has a properties that are not effected by the ambient environment in the place of the set up for the Source Components, has a capability to maintain a set up that does not generate a concern over long periods of time.

The Chassis > Spindle Housing > Plinth are all Rigidly Fastened.

A DD TT design that allows for a Tonearm to be inserted into the same Plinth Material, allows for this Part to be Rigidly Fastened to the Plinth, hence decoupled from the Chassis is beneficial, as well as being able to maintain a very accurate alignment for the long term to the Platter Spindle.

For a end user this set up is very easy to maintain and offers many reassurances that critical parts are maintained at their optimum at the interfaces, especially if the Plinth Material is known to be unchanging in different ambient conditions.

An added consideration is how the Plinth Material Dissipates and Damps energy Transferred to it.  

Other TT Drives and in certain cases the designs produced around them do not allow for this simplicity of set up as offered from a DD TT.

A design with multiple components used at interfaces will potentially need fetling/ tweaking on a regular basis, as changes will be occurring at the interfaces, and SQ will again potentially be perceived as inconsistent and at certain times undesirable.



Pioneer did make a very high quality line of DD turntables back in the day, topped by the nonpareil Exclusive P3,

There's been one for sale on CAM located in Canada less the 30 plus %

exchange rate. But not on my buying list.