Pioneer Direct Drives - Now and then?

I'm toying with the idea of getting into vinyl in the near future, and saw a recent model Pioneer recommended as a poor-man's Technics.  Also saw some very pretty vintage units for sale here and there.

I'm wondering if anyone has direct experience with them who could offer suggestions?
Vintage Pioneer is much better turntable and much more expensive. If you want the best from Pioneer then look for Pioneer Exclussive P3a series, but prepare tons of cash. If you want a decent Pioneer Hi-Fi look for PL70II (used).

New Pioneer is a company primarily oriented on professional market. Pioneer is the manufacturer of audio equipment for clubs (professional multimedia players like CDJ, mixers, vinyl turntables). This is the reason why their turntable is not a re-issue of Pioneer own turntables from the past, but just a "clone" of Technics for lower price, it’s not bad but it was valid only before Technics returned to the business with their iconic turntables adored by professionals and audiophiles, now on the low side you can buy brand new Technics mk7 for about $900 (or any higher Technics models if you wish to, including top of the line SL1200G or SP10R).

The difference between Pioneer strategy and Technics strategy is obvious. Technics made audiophile gear like SP-10R (the best direct drive available today new). Pioneer did not make anything equal to their old Pioneer Exclussive p3 or even p10 yet.  

@chakster  I understand that the opener is looking for entry level turntables and not turntables top level.
I’ve been looking at the PL-530, specifically which seems pretty and affordable.

On the new side was thinking about the PLX-1000

Has anyone actually spent time listening?
I've also looked at the Luxman's, but it seems the good used models are on the high side.
What’s your budget, Erik?
PL50L is cheaper

With inexpensive Technics SP-20 you could build your own turntable buying tonearm separately, with custom plinth etc.

Here is what i put together for a friend locally.

@chakster  I understand that the opener is looking for entry level turntables and not turntables top level. 

@best-groove maybe, but anyway it's nice to see the whole picture
Pioneer was great in the past, i'm still using their top MM cartridge. 
Japanese archive is here

I'd like to spend $1000 or less, given I may buy like 5 records. :)

Cost for cartridge + player. 

Main requirement for me is that it not damage the vinyl while playing, and have rock solid settings.  Want to set it up exactly once.
Chosing between these 3 turntables I think *1st one is the best:

Technics mk7 $999 *
Denon VL12 PRIME $899
PLX-1000 $649

But you can’t buy a turntable you’re looking for, and a proper cartridge, within $1k total.

A good cartridge alone is about $400

FWIW, I had a Pioneer PL-600 (I understand there were two Pioneer turntables with this model designation...mine was the higher end one from ‘79 or ‘80 in grey finish). With, first, an ADC ZLM cart and later a Shure V-15 type (4 or 5), it was a good sounding rig.....sort of a “loaded out Chevy Impala” of a turntable.  The Shure cartridge was a step up.  It started having pronounced platter speed stability issues suddenly in about 2005-ish after a quarter-century’s worth of light/moderate use.  I replaced it with a Music Hall MMF 5/Goldring 1012 cart which has been an infinitely better match for my sonic sensibilities 
I owned the PLX-1000 for a spell. Contrary to fanboy myth, it does sound and perform just as well if not better than the fabled 1200 MKII. Also feels like a higher quality machine in my opinion. 

I think to get a DD that's significantly better you'd have to spring for the 1200GR. 

Note that cartridge overhang for the PLX is different than the 1200s so you can't use the Technics plastic headshell jig. No loss really as that thing only achieves a ballpark alignment anyhow.

The KAB arm damper fits the PLX.

I also preferred the PLX to a VPI Classic 1, though that was not with a particularly good cartridge admittedly. 

It's a good performer in the objective sense, however, it does play with the forced-weightiness and digital-like glare typical of DD tables. Though, to get better objective performance out of a belt-drive  you'd be looking at $3K^. 

I’m blown away at your post Eric.  You have been a member since 2005, 9000 posts, and you sound like this will be your first turntable. You want to spend $1000 but you claim you will buy as little as 5 albums.  You also want to set it and forget it.  Unlikely.   Why bother?
Having said that my first table was a Pioneer PL -530.  Semi-automatic.  It worked wonderfully for many years including being packed for several international moves. One of these might scratch your itch on the cheap.
So weird!  Earlier this year, I bought a Lyngdorf integrated with a built in MM phono preamp and said to myself--Hey remember that old Pioneer PL 51 table you bought in 1973 that you've had in storage since 1982?   Maybe it's time.  The drive still works, but the cantilever was broken on the Shure 97HE I was using.  I can't find a replacement stylus, and I've sort of choked on the cost of buying a decent replacement.  I've still got my modest vinyl collection, but--- do I want to start putting cash into this?  There are two ways this could go.   I could fall in love with vinyl again, which is going to be crossing the event horizon into the black hole for me and my cash.  Or, I could just keep the thing around as an exercise in nostalgia.   But along comes Eric, and I think, maybe Eric will run this experiment for me.  @erik_squires , do keep us posted on how you decide to go.  I may be following in your footsteps.
helomech, Was interested in your comment about "forced-weightiness and digital-like glare typical of DD tables".  Would you care to back that up? Exactly what turntables have exhibited those qualities in your system?  And can you define "forced-weightiness"?  Thanks.
helomech, Was interested in your comment about "forced-weightiness and digital-like glare typical of DD tables". Would you care to back that up? Exactly what turntables have exhibited those qualities in your system? And can you define "forced-weightiness"? Thanks.
Herb Reichert does a better job describing it in his review of the PLX. In fact, "forced-weightiness" might be his term. I read it somewhere as I recall and felt it very apt to what I've heard from the PLX and various DD tables I've owned. Some of those would include vintage Pioneer, Kenwood, Technics and MCS tables. 

"Would I care to back that up?" Well, I'm not the only one who has noticed this trait but most things in this hobby are subjective. A bit of Google searching will turn up posts from others who've noticed the same.
Hi Erik! Start your vinyl journey right, and you'll buy not only 5 records, but definitely more. If you want a set and forget set up just to get started, I agree that a good DD turntable is what you need. And good tonearm, cartridge and electronics of course. 

I started my vinyl journey not too long ago with a  70's-era Technics SL-150MK2 sporting SME Series III and Shure V15 Type IV with NOS MR stylus. For peace of mind I recapped the turntable electronics. Phono output went into a vintage Scott 340b receiver. This receiver was also painstakingly restored. That set up got me hooked. Now I have a VPI and c-j phono stage, thanks to a wonderful first experience.  A friend of mine who inspired me to get into vinyl started out with the KAB SL-1200MK2. 

I suggest you listen to the gentleman from St Petersburg. Happy listening! 

I actually have a PL 530 taking up space under the bed.  I kept it primarily for the auto function but that was a problem a few years ago.  I got it used for next to nothing back in the 90's but it wasn't in great shape, plinth mostly and no dust cover.
I had a Pioneer PL 550 turntable . It was heavy , sturdy , well made and beautiful to look at . Above all it sounded exceptionally well . Had it in combination with a Supex high output moving coil , the SD 901 .

Even now if I could put my hands on one at a good price I would buy it in a heart beat . The problem is that when being sold nowadays they are charging in many cases over 700 dollars .

 I bought.mine at the navy base for 340.00 dollars . In 1980 the list price was over 500.00 so today it would be easily over 900.00 dollars new . 
When I wanted to add a new TT to my collection of vintage TTs I chose the Pioneer PLX1000 as the best value under $1K. Excellent build quality! I added a Denon 103R mc cartridge and am very happy with this matchup! 
I owned the PLX-1000 for a spell. Contrary to fanboy myth, it does sound and perform just as well if not better than the fabled 1200 MKII. Also feels like a higher quality machine in my opinion.

Did anyone advice an old SL1200 mkII here ? The Pioneer is exactly on that level, maybe a bit better. Most of audiophiles here must be ashamed because PLX-1000 was made for DJs/Clubs to replace Technics (at that time Technics was out of business).

NEW $999 Technics mk7 is better than Pioneer PLX-1000. The price is very close and it’s worth to pay the difference for an elegant looking brand new Technics mk7 with the latest DD motor (not a bad clone from Pioneer for lower price).

I think to get a DD that’s significantly better you’d have to spring for the 1200GR.

Not necessary to buy GR for $1700, just mk7 for $999 is enough to outperform Pioneer PLX-1000

Let’s face is: Pioneer copied Technics look to serve clubs/djs because Technics SL1200mkII+ was/is a pro tool, an iconic turntable in this category since the 70’s.

An old Pioneer design from the 70’s was better but Pioneer is not gonna make a re-issue of the Exclusive series models, that’s too bad, because this is an original Pioneer iconic design for audiophiles!

Before the reviewers remember what is Technics and Pioneer we’ve been using them for decades while they have been messing around with their funny looking modern belt drive turntables. 

I’ve been using Technics turntables for 25 years, the SP-10mkII was my reference, but even my very old and fully upgraded SL1210mkII (pair) is still here and perfectly working without any service in 25 years! This is Technics made in Japan quality.

Post removed 
"I’d like to spend $1000 or less, given I may buy like 5 records."

LOL, but we have another thread where a gentleman asking is it worth to spend $10k just for the phono stage. Welcome to the analog world.

Another person in another thread asking what to do with pre-owned vinyl ? (1000 LPs of Jazz, R’n’B, Gospel and Classical music).

I think the Pioneer PLX-1000 is a terrific player, way better than my vintage Yamaha direct drive...
I think Yamaha GT-2000L is great, can be $3k but black version is 50% cheaper.
I believe you’re referring not to GT2000 model ? @jl35
When I began my journey back into vinyl after a long hiatus, I bought a Music Hall 5.1, which is a belt drive and came pretty well set up and with a good Goldring MM cartridge mounted. I thought it represented a good taste of what analog was about and after I was convinced I wanted to continue, I sold it for a few hundred less than I paid and bought something much more expensive. IMO, it’s a good way to dip your toe in the water, although if I were doing it today, I would probably be tempted to go for the Pioneer 1000. I just think you need to remember that this is an experiment to see how vinyl goes and everything at this pricepoint (and at almost all pricepoints) are going to have compromises. But once you get used to playing vinyl, you’ll be in a better position to purchase something better. Ironically, the advent of internet sales in some ways made things more difficult by giving us such a huge range of choices.  In the old days, you walked into Crazy Eddie or Stereo Warehouse and picked one of the 10 turntables they had there.  Or if you made it to a high end dealer, they had maybe Technics, Linn and Thorens and you picked one.  Now, my god, there are hundreds at your fingertips.  Have fun. 
I got into vinyl about  5 years ago.  I actually had records before I had a turntable.

Walked into an flea-market / re-sale type of store in my city one Saturday morning, asked the girl working the counter if she had any turntables.  At first she said no, but then said "oh hold on, I think I have one in the back".

She walked out from the back carrying a Pioneer PL-550 turntable in excellent condition, with the original owners manual. I had already been looking around online for a decent turntable, so I knew I was looking at something that was pretty damn nice and desirable.

Asked her what she wanted for it, she replied "how about $60?". 

I'll take it!

It had an Acutex cartridge on it. I bought a new needle for that cartridge, checked the alignment and settings, and have been listening to it for the past 5 years without issue. 

I plan on getting a new cartridge for it in the near future. 

Great turntable.

There's a Kenwood KD550 listed here on Agon. $799 in Washington State. I'd buy this myself but already have too many TTs - including a Kenwood KD650! Great DD TTs worth owning and using!

I was looking intensely for a TT for my office system, and wanted either semi or full automatic. The Pioneer PL-530 caught my eye and budget also. I agree with Chackster, with higher budget, the PL-70II is a great choice.

Have you ruled out JVC or Denon DD?

Hopping about this am, I noticed, the PL-530 is not Quartz Locked. If you can fine one you like, Quartz Lock is better IMO. PL-505; A500; 707 are in that price range.

Fully Manual, this one with a solid wood base is on eBay, a curiosity for sure

btw, to play a turntable, you will need two specific electronic things to occur:

1. phono signal equalization (RIAA curve)
2. phono signal boost (preamp).

many amps do not include phono inputs/phono equalization/phono signal strength boost, they only accept 'line level' signals (think 1 volt), like tuners, tape decks, .....

1. equalization: boost the lows and cut the highs

a. the lows are cut during recording (keeps grooves smaller, that is how they got more grooves on a platter, more music on a 12" disk. i.e. Long Play, i.e. LP.

b. the highs are boosted during recording.

Eventually RIAA curve was standardized: defined agreed amounts of alteration during recording and corresponding re-equalization during playback.

2. Preamplification. Original tuners and ceramic cartridges produced around 1 volt directly into amps. New stereo MM moving magnet cartridges produce a lower signal, half or often less strong. That weaker signal has to boosted (preamp) up to 1 volt, then sent to your amp designed to receive/boost a 1 volt signal strength enough for your speakers.

3. IF you choose a Moving Coil cartridge, they in turn produce an even weaker signal, and they need a pre-pre amp, to get up to the MM signal strength, then the 'normal' pre-amp boost up to 1 volt. A few High Output Moving Coil cartridges exist, they are 'strong enough or just strong enough' to go into a MM phono input

many new moderately priced TT have an optional/switchable built in phono eq/preamp, so you can use it and go into a 'line' input, or not use it and go to your external phono eq/pre-amp.
Helomech, seems like you have an intuitive understanding of what Herb Reichert might have meant when he used the term “forced weightiness”. I do not. Sounds like nonsense to me. So if you could expound on what you think it means, I’d appreciate it.

Chakster, somewhere above you suggested that the SL 1200 Mk7 incorporates the new coreless direct drive motor that distinguishes the latest crop of technics turntables in the G series and the new SP 10R from any olderTechnics DD turntables. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think that is the case. I think the SL 1200 Mk7 has the older iron core motor from the older 1200 series. Which is one reason why it is so relatively inexpensive.

From the Turntable Lab link.

"- newly designed coreless direct drive motor for higher torque, super-stable rotation"

I’m blown away at your post Eric. You have been a member since 2005, 9000 posts,

Those are kind of weird statistics to associate with turntable ownership. Since you’ve only been here since 2018 and have under 200 posts, should I assume you only listen to music on your phone?

and you sound like this will be your first turntable.

Second actually. My first was a DD Technics with a p-mount system. Since then I’ve gone completely digital. I buy direct, use Tidal or listen to Internet radio, but I can't remember the last time I actually spun a CD.

I’d like to take this time from explaining myself to weird suppositions guy by plugging the ladies who run as running a great modern Jazz station.

You want to spend $1000 but you claim you will buy as little as 5 albums. You also want to set it and forget it. Unlikely. Why bother?

Buddy, no one is born with a large LP collection, and few can afford to start a hobby with a fully maximized set of tools and equipment. Tone it down a bit?


Dear @erik_squires  : I owned this TT and is really good ( my brother still have it and working great. ) and comes with a very good cartridge, I could say a famous vintage cartridge:

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
In case it wasn't clear, I don't know how many LPs I'll end up buying, but buying inexpensively to learn whether I like this part of the audiophile hobby for myself or not is a good idea. 

"Buy a decent rig that won't hurt the albums and see what happens" is a good pattern.

The end of the P-mount, and the convenience of CD's, improvement in DAC's and availability of streaming services + internet radio have all contributed to me not turning to LPs.  That plus my apartment lifestyle.

Even this modest expense would have to be put on hold.

Also agree with Chakster about the PL-70LII, which I have the pleasure of owning. It’s an excellent table, but what most sets it apart from similar ’80s DD tables is the superb 12" tonearm. This is very closely related to the one used in the Exclusive P3 and P10, except is has static balance instead of dynamic balance. Some would even argue this is preferable.

While the 70LII will exceed your budget, the smaller PL-50LII and PL-30LII probably won’t. They also feature a coreless motor and basically the same tonearm in 10" length, which comes with S-type and straight armpipes and several counter weights. So you can accommodate just about any cartridge and sonically it won’t be embarrased by even the most exotic MC cartridges.

It would be a great way to get started on vinyl (again). You won’t stop at 5 records.....

PS - If you have a 2nd turntable you haven't used in years and want to donate it to a good cause, I'm a very good cause. ;-)
twoleftears, Clearly, you are correct.  The SL1200 Mk7 does have a coreless motor.  Basically, I couldn't imagine how they could sell it for so little and still retain the coreless motor, or why that would be a wise marketing decision.  Anyway, the SL1200 Mk7 rises in my esteem.
I have the Pioneer PL530

it was my first turntable.  Sort of. 
Interesting how I came to own it.  
After looking for TT’s in thrift stores for something that looked of decent quality, and not finding anything, and not knowing much about TT’s at the time, I just about gave up. Then one day, while walking to my car at the apartment complex I lived in,  I found a PL530 thrown in the garbage by someone.  
I took it out, cleaned it up.  It appeared to work. It was missing a cart and counterweight. Found the counterweight on eBay and ordered an entry Grado cart.  It then sat for several years after that since I lacked the resources to buy a phono pre, then one day I decided to buy an entry Music Hall phono pre unit. 
I wasn’t blown away compared to my Digital set up, so I let it sit. Several more years past and I decided to try vinyl again.  This time I bought a VPI scout with a dynavector 20x2L and dynavector phono pre.  Mkiii I do believe. Now I was starting to get all the hubbub. I then plugged the Pioneer into the Dynavector phono pre, and while it wasn’t quite as good as the VPI (owing to the cart mostly) I was well impressed. 

Now it sports a Nagaoka MP200 and still feeds the dynavector pho on pre in a side system. 
I have been listening to Pioneer PLX-1000 from time to time for over a year, if not two, now. For hours at the time. A friend of mine owns it and I even had to set it up. The cartridge is Ortofon 2M Red, amplifier one of the recent Yamahas, and speakers Monitor Audio, Silver (I think).

Turntable seems well-built, feels more substantial than Technics SL-1500C. I have not had a chance to compare it to new Technics 1200 (any of them). Everything works as intended, arm lift, all the buttons, etc. I know, it should go without saying but check Technics SL-1500C reviews regarding arm lift. This Pioneer comes with an adapter for singles and a place for it. It starts quicker than you will ever need and stops the same way.

What you are probably more interested in, until you lose your singles adapter that is, is the sound. Unfortunately, I cannot properly describe it as I have never compared this Pioneer to some other turntable in the same system. I hear no real flaws, though. Maybe that tapping on the plinth while playing may get noticed? Yes, but not even close to some of those cheaper Projects. We play music for hours and it always sounds "engaging", if that even means anything.

I suspect that some corners must have been cut on this turntable, but, if I were looking for a new turntable and would rather spend $700 than $1700, I would look no further than Pioneer PLX-1000. If $1700 would be ok, I would probably pick Technics. For the good old times sake.
I think the SL 1200 Mk7 has the older iron core motor from the older 1200 series. Which is one reason why it is so relatively inexpensive.

@lewm this is why i recommend Technics for the newbies, no one can compete with this brand in terms price/quality today on Direct Drive territory. The price for this mk7 with new coreless motor is $999. I’m not sure how anyone can buy a better brand new turntable, even belt drive turntables are more expensive and it’s the biggest mistake to accept their price for belt drive. Technics mk7 is the best deal when a user looking for complete turntable with nice tonearm (vta on the fly) with removable headshell, with warranty etc. This mk7 can be easily upgraded with some inexpensive tweaks (better mat, fluid damper if needed, maybe even rewire). But at $999 it’s great start and a ticket to Technics world of perfection.

Direct Drive Turntable System SL-1200MK7:
Coreless Direct Drive Motor Achieving Stable Rotation

"The direct drive system uses a slow-turning motor to directly drive the platter. This system has various advantages. It offers high performance, such as rotation accuracy and powerful torque, does not require replacement of parts and maintains high reliability over a long period of time. On the other hand, the direct drive system was said to produce a rotation irregularity called cogging. For the SL-1200MK7, a new coreless direct drive motor was developed. This motor employs a coreless stator. The removal of the core (iron core) from the stator eliminated the root cause of cogging. Furthermore, the magnetic force of the rotor magnets was improved to the highest possible level, and the gap between the coreless stator and rotor magnets was optimised, thus achieving high-torque-performance equaling that of the SL-1200MK5. Boasting smooth rotation and powerful torque, this motor reproduces sound accurately and faithfully from the groove on an analogue record."


This is better turntable than new Pioneer. It was Technics answer to all the cheap clones other brands copied from iconic SL1210mkII when Technics was temporary out of business in this category. 

I have no respect to the brand that copied Technics look instead of creating something unique. But the target audience for those brands was djs/clubs where the price is the key point (and where the Technics is iconic turntable), so it was a compromise. Now it makes no sense at all to buy Pioneer. 

Technics SL10 with the EPC 310 MC head and you don't need to go crazy in adjustments or other settings, it looks like a toy but instead it is a turntable that plays divinely, better than many others.
I just got two vintage decks going:

1. Mitsubishi, LT-5V, Vertical Linear Tracking,  any 1/2" cartridge, using my Audio Technica MM micro line stylus, AT440ml, it sounds wonderful, both in my main system via McIntosh mx110z preamp phono1, and now in my office via Cambridge Audio DUO phono preamp (MC and/or MM). Belt drive, I need to warm it up to let the speed stabilize, then it holds steady.

2. Technics SL-J33, Horizontal Linear Tracking, limited to P mount, new Audio Technica elliptical. Quartz Direct Drive speed lock is terrific, however, in either system, the sound is in no way involving as the Mitsubishi and my Vintage JVC system's are. I will polish the clear plastic cover and sell it. I could give it to my son, but I don't want him to hear a non-involving TT.

My point is, I suspect your prior TT P mount, and many people's listening to TT/LP was not an involving experience, why so many say no to Analog.

Chackster's point about the new SL-1200MK7 combining superb direct drive with a darn good tonearm essentially ensures success, assuming a combo of cartridge, phono preamp, AND alignment skills. Sell something, stretch your budget? Easier said than done. I don't like the plastic/metal look, or new prices, so it's carefully chosen vintage for me, wood veneer, combined with my ability to fix things mechanically, and handle tonearms/cartridges separately.

Saving money, vintage, so much out there, you are right to ask for help. I asked here and got a great deal of help.

I assure you, the sound of a carefully chosen Vintage TT, and a darn good tonearm, and a darn good cartridge, darn good phono preamp is truly involving and very hard to beat.

Ideologically, I prefer Direct Drive, Quartz Locked speed, however, after letting my old Thorens TD124 idler wheel, and this Mitsubishi belt drive warm up, they both have very nice platters and maintain speed extremely well.
"This is better turntable than new Pioneer. It was Technics answer to all the cheap clones other brands copied from iconic SL1210mkII..."
In what way is it better?
In what way is it better?

@glupson, did you ever compare Pioneer and Technics?

I did that and i will tell you while the old SL1210mkII and Pioneer PLX-1000 can be compared and this is where the Pioneer can be slightly better, because an old SL1210 mkII had some weak parts (which can be easily upgraded by the user himself).

The mk7 is a brand new turntable with new CORELESS MOTOR, new tonearm, new footers, new cabinet, it’s entirely different, no weak parts like in old SL1210mkII from 20th century. It is also much better design.

The mk7 is simplified version of the SL1200GR and reference SL1200G. It has nothing to do with an old SL1210 mkII, except the same dust cover.

Pioneer is competitive only with old Technics from SL1200mkII to SL1200 mk6 (and everything in between).

But Technics mk7 is the answer to Pioneer and all the clones you can find in every store like, click here and try to ID where is the Technics between all those Technics clones from many other manufacturers.

If you like Pioneer you should start with PL-70II - this is an original High-End turntable made by Pioneer in the 70s.

Could you tell me why the Pioneer released a "clone" of Technics instead their own great original design ?

Denon, for example, never tried to copy Technics look when they made something for audiophiles (not for clubs/djs like Pioneer), this is Denon 100th Anniversary turntable (specs are here) and here is another Denon for DJs. Both are entirely different.

If Pioneer could make a re-issue of their classic Exclussive series i’d love to buy one (but the price could be insane).

At the moment only Technics can do that, because the SP10R pretended to be superior to the SP10 mkIII. And still reasonably priced! 


I got the part about new Technics having more sophisticated parts than Pioneer and that is what I assumed just based on price differences. I was wondering if there is any significant performance difference.

Of course, I have no knowledge about Pioneer business decisions involved in marketing this PLX-1000, but I have my guess.

That particular (1200ish) design has been copied by many over the years. I would guess that some manufacturer had one in the works or already ready and Pioneer took it and branded it as Pioneer. That way they had an opportunity to put it on the market quickly and capitalize on growing turntable market without wasting time and resources on development of the whole new product and manufacturing side.

Technics seems to have been attempting to resurrect the whole brand (not only turntable part) with turntables being the most visible ambassador product. Pioneer just needed some turntable to add to the existing product line.

Could you tell me why Technics released a "clone" of their own great original design instead of making a new own great original design? I am simply not a fan of 1200 (and its clones including Pioneer) design. Why wouldn't they release a nice turntable that does not look like their designer got fired on the day the project development started. 1500C is much better attempt at design, but lacking in final execution.

helomech said
"It's a good performer in the objective sense, however, it does play with the forced-weightiness and digital-like glare typical of DD tables"What in the world is "digital-like glare typical of DD tables"? I also have no clue what "forced-weightiness" refers to.
If your going to make a statement like that than back it up please.

or, for a grand finish, start with something like this dual arm plinth, (convert CAD, the dollar is strong now) (this one is sold)

add a JVC Direct Drive Spinner, i.e. TT61, 71, 81

start with a stereo arm in the rear. add a long stereo arm on the side. then change the rear cartridge to mono, bingo you end up with a teeeerific TT system.
Could you tell me why Technics released a "clone" of their own great original design instead of making a new own great original design? I am simply not a fan of 1200 (and its clones including Pioneer) design. Why wouldn’t they release a nice turntable that does not look like their designer got fired on the day the project development started. 1500C is much better attempt at design, but lacking in final execution.

We discussed this issue here when they released new line of turntables.
When SL1200GAE was out no one could imagine Technics will make cheaper G, GR, mk7 and 1500 series soon. And no one can imagine SP10R as the reference deck from Technics.

The answer is very simple:
Technics just made a newer version of their iconic SL1200mkII+ series, simply because it was the most popular turntable in the world (they sold millions of them like no other brand in the history). The reason why SL1200 mkII - mk6 were so popular is obvious - only because of the the club culture, SL1200mkII became reference DJ turntable since the early 80’s worldwide, it is an industry standard for professionals (clubs or radiostations).

But it was originally made as a Hi-Fi component. This model almost immediately replaced belt-drive Thorens turntables used by the first disco deejays in the 70’s (at studio 54 and in many placed in NYC). Technics appeared to be ideal for DJing, it was robust, made like a tank with powerful Direct Drive motor. And Technics made a pitch control +/- 8% as a fader (not a knob). It was groundbreaking turntable for night club industry and dj culture (and still is).

So why do you think Technics should have to ignore their iconic model when their own master plan was to make SP-10R a bit later anyway? They just updated everything, released different turntables for different categories of people (including deejays and audiophiles).

For the most critical listeners they made SP-10R and SL1200GAE

You said pretty vintage units. are you limited to Pioneer, or looking at JVC or Denon?

this fully auto JVC looks very nice, I don’t know anything other than that it also fits your budget.

quite a few QL-Y5's around (QL is quartz lock, I prefer that)

btw, IF 100v unit (some are 120v), you will need a small 100/120 transformer. No need for an expensive one.
Erik like others I'm just surprised you are going into analog considering some deep (and good posts) you have about digital and audio in general. Good call I think, on the same path myself, already waiting for TT, cartridge and vinyl to see if it really can perform better than a good digital rig
I’m just surprised you are going into analog


What is a hobby if you can’t experiment and play with things?  Besides, it's not as if I have been anti-analog, but digital is just sooooooooo convenient!

Of course, I could forget all of this and just buy a camera.

considering some deep (and good posts) you have about digital and audio in general.

Why thank you kindly.