My Turntable Collection.....

B&O 8002 with an MMC1 and a Sound-Smith SMMC1.

Dual 1219 with some sort of Grado Gold Series.

My favorite - a Garrard Lab 80 MkII with a Grado Silver-Blue Series.

Then a Garrard Type A strictly for 'kitsch' factor. I fitted it with a Grado DJ cartridge because of the weight of the arm.

The Lab 80 fully functions, cycles automatically and drops records properly ( I know its sacrelige {sp?] but I have 12" singles) It's really hard finding a fully functional Lab 80. I really like the heavy platter and the sound that comes out of it.

1219 is a great unit, touted to be comparable to the better units of current day but I'm sorta indifferent to it.

The B&O works fine but the sound is a bit edgy - probably a combination of the light platter and the cartridge.

Aside from the B&O, these units represent things that I lusted after in my youth but was somehow unattainable. A brand new Lab80 or Dual 1219 was a real big deal.

Thoughts or comments on this? Just rambling really.
Tobaccoleafpie, I was just setting one up, so this is a little diversion for me. I will now expose what a retro hermit I am:
Rega P3 (modified)
Rega Planar 25
Thorens TD-2001
Harman/Kardon T65C
Harman/Kardon T55C
Harman/Kardon hk720
Denon DP-62L
Denon DP-60L
Kenwood KD-750
Kenwood KD-650 (two of 'em)
Kenwood KD-5070
Technics SL-1200mk2

I had been a closet audiophile since around 1975, but my paper route and saving for a car was not compatible with acquisition of the high-end Kenwood equipment that I lusted for. I bought a quality cassette deck and integrated amp, built some acoustic suspension speakers, and taped all of my friends' LPs. This was my system until I met my wife-to-be in college. She and I thought that H/K
gear was really classy and built a system together, which rotated between my and her apartments. This one system served until I completed graduate school and began acquiring the stuff I had wanted that whole time.
As can be seen, I equally enjoy heavy japanese direct-drives and neoclassic belt-drives. You will obseve that about half of my tables have auto-lift, which I consider essential-- There's nothing worse than being totally relaxed by the last 23 minutes of music, half a glass of good cab still in the glass, and deciding whether to let the stylus grind away in the lead-out groove. The KD-5070 is fully automatic and is interesting in that Kenwood used two motors to drive the heavy platter and arm mechanism separately-- sound quality does NOT suffer.
retro rules
Morgenholz: Can you tell me why vintage tables frquently have cue down failure? I have about 7-8 linear tracking retro tables. All Japanese i believe but two are OEMed Sherwoods. Of the lot I can rely on 3. My best are in permanet arm up freeze. They are a Technics SL-10 and a Nikko that is as heavy as a tank.
I just don't understand they all work fine for a short while then have this problem.
To address the orginal poster I say if you like it who cares. It is your ears and mind that matter not someone elses. That aside my retro tables at the moment are dormant . I use semi acceptable to the High end crowd TTs. I am not a died in the woll vinylphile. The sound is great but what a pain! without automatic lift or stacking. The sound in my case is better with the latter day TTs I think it's the cartridges mainly. It could also be all the mumbo jumbo technical Wow and Flutter being damped to death.
Mechans, I really like the design of vintage linear trackers, but have avoided them for the reasons that you state. My only experience is with the very cheap, disposable ones that use P-mount cartridges, which are fine on consumer-grade systems and always seem to work well. The only thing I can suggest is to find a tech who also likes linear trackers-- I once knew one who used a high-end one as his only table and kept it maintained.

I just came across your discussion on turntables. I too own some vintage tables (Dual, Denon, Pioneer,Yamaha, Technics, etc.} I am presently looking for a classic Kenwood 500, 600, or 650 to put with a beautiful Accuphase E-202 (made by Kensonics). Without being too forward, could you share what your favorite turntables are and how do they compare to each other, especially the Kenwoods?

Turntable collections? hmmm.. Never thought about collecting them, although I have nice collection of vintage tuners.

I've owned some TT's in the past, but nothing super exotic.

My latest is an old Systemdek IIX that I restored two years ago. The table still has its original Profile tonearm and I added a nice Sumiko BPS MC cartridge to it.

For the money, a great turntable that on the used market costs the price of about seven new record albums.

If your preamp doesn't have a phono section, add an NAD PP-2 and your set for analogue playback whenever the mood strikes you.


PS: As much as I have always wanted to have an exotic phono playback system, I have never been able to justify the price. Although some of these pieces of audio art not only sound terrific, but also make great conversation pieces.
Ahh talk about vintage. You and your future wife lived in separate apartments. Now that is a refreshing idea.

Fun reading about the retro stuff... thank you. Back in the day I had a Denon DP-45. To this day I am partial to those old denon's.

It is amazing the joy one can garnish from simply touching their turntable equipment. Then when you listen you are further reminded of the allure. Nothing takes you back like taking a favorite record for a spin. Damn I am old.
I am more embarrassed than proud:
Technics SP10 Mk2A
Technics SP10 Mk3
Lenco L75
Kenwood L07D (x2!)
Denon DP80
Don't ask about tonearms.
Once you start saying to yourself "it's an investment", you are screwed. That's the road to perdition.
Dear Tobaccoleafpie : The B&O MMC1 is IMHO a great cartridge that the 8002 can't honored.

You need to try it in other TT for the cartridge can show you how really good it is and you can really enjoy it.

Regards and enjoy the music,
This is just in case Joeatlas is still there... I got involved in restoring a '70 Corvette coupe in '08 and my correspondence and sanity got really sketchy for two years...

I really love two classic japanese DD designs: The Kenwood KD-650-750 and the Denon DP-60L, DP-57/62L, and DP-59L. None are as higher-end and worthy of acquisition as Lewm's above, but they are relatively easy to find and provide that late-70's to early-80's golden age of vinyl experience.

The KDs are heavier than all but high-end exotica; the 650 has a few features that are retro-forward: Soft-touch controls and VTA adjustment on the fly (unless you acquire a 600 without the very adequate Kenwood arm. Visually, it has the classic white-grey corian look pioneered by the KD-500. The 750 has a great arm and a titanium headshell; it lacks the soft-touch controls and substitutes clunkier, conventional buttons and a dark "kingrose" veneer over the limestone composite chassis. Same motor, same performance. I mount better cartridges on my 750, and use the 650s with everyday cartridges as I prefer the retro-luxury of the soft-touch controls. I also have the ds-21 ring clamp originally intended for the L-07D, which also fits the 600/650/750 platter. If you are building a rig around your cartridge, I would go with the 750 or a 600 with arm of preference, but the 650 arm is adequate. Performance/stability of the KDs is better than that of the DPs. I won't get into wow/flutter, pitch stability, bass, blackness of backgrounds, etc., I'll just leave it at that, for all the above parameters. I own and enjoy a SL-1200, and enthusiastically recommend them, but the KD presents itself as more serious in every tangible and audible way. The KD-750 owner's manual reads like a Master's Thesis on turntable design.

I love my DP-60 and 57/62Ls for two reasons: They have the appearance that I lusted for in my undergrad days and which I associate with my greatest desire to own vinyl, and they have an excellent auto-drop/auto-lift system. The 60L arm is in a class with the KD-650, although not quite as easily adjustable. I would imagine that of the Denons I list, the 60L S-arm is closest to your needs. The 62/57 (and 59) have the Servo Tracer dynamic control that theoretically allows a greater compliance range and less-than-flat records, but it just doesn't have the mass that I would associate with classic lower- or medium compliance cartridges... Ooops, they originally came with two arm wands, including a heavier S-arm, as did the 60L, but I use the straight arms exclusively with the robotic-looking Servo Tracer housings, and the S-arm with the 60L's conventinal bearing system... I believe that each works better this way, but my belief is not based on extensive testing by any means. Auto-lift is essential if you become incredibly relaxed or otherwise engaged, and I use these in my bedroom system, along with mellower omnidirectional speakers.

Sorry if the above is very basic and not technically helpful. After completing the Corvette, I proved with a very expensive experiment that newer cars are better in every objective measure, but they're not as cool, and the emotional impact is different. I feel the same way about my Kenwoods and Denons. I use them for their "feel," and obsessively tweak my Regas and suspended belt-drives. For me, the direct-drive table is for musical and visual enjoyment, so I am not overly critical of their discrete faults or limitations. However, the KD-750 will never embarrass you in any way if you stick to medium-compliance cartridges.
Morgenholz, I tend to agree with you that the Kenwoods are overlooked and under-appreciated. I think it's the coreless, slotless motors plus the clever and rather unique way that the servo drive system is engineered that makes them special. Have you tried shielding the underside of the platter? I made an EMI/RFI shield using "TI Shield" (bought from Michael Percy), and I inserted it between the alu platter and the alu platter mat of the L07D. This was based on a tip from other L07D owners. It improves the sound in a subtle but important way. Possibly radiations from the motor are adding a very subtle bit of hash which is worth eliminating.
Lewm, I have tried it, but secondarily-- One KD650 that I bought for $65 already had its platter shielded. It also had an IEC socket and cord, and an Audio Fidelity FR1mk3F mounted with the stylus snapped off, which I had re-tipped by Peter at SoundSmith. We are not the first to appreciate the potential of these tables, as another project KD650 I bought cheaply had a DL301 mounted.