So many great golden era DD tables out there, what do you recommend for $1000?

Pretty much as the title says.
Have been looking for a while for a decent DD table to add to my lot.
Have bought a few lower end ones and ultimately been dissapointed.
Now I know there were/ are literally hundreds of choices from the Japanese Golden era of DD tables.
Looking for suggestions from actual owners of solid DD tables up to about $1000 .
I have read and read but nothing substitutes for real experience.
This would likely not be my primary table, my Garrard 401 has that position for now.

Thank you.
F9988e03 5b38 4b2f 8f67 357de0a06706uberwaltz
The evergreen Technics SP 10mk2

or Jvc/Victor TT81  (QL8) 

or Pioneer PL 70 (not PL70II)

The DP80 was on my radar but price is just a little over where I really wanted to be. About $1000 just for the deck, then need a plinth  and an arm and now we are over $1500 or more.

The JVC/Victor TT-101 always intrigued me. I own the Victor UA-7045 tonearm & it is excellent, suspect the table would be as well.  
I paid $600 for my DP80 with plinth and DA307 tonearm, but of course that was about 8-10 years ago, and the DP80 was "broken".  Turned out to be an easy fix.  Anyway, even at $1500 a proper DP80 will compete with any belt-drive at least up to $5K.  I realize others may disagree, and I have no problem with that.  To each his own.  In my opinion, the DP80 will out-do the TT81 or PL70 but is on par with a tricked out SP10 Mk2.  I happened to like the DP80 better when I owned both, however.  TT101 would be more like competition for the DP80.

great the TT101 but if I have not recommended it is only because if it presents problems it is difficult to repair .. while the TT81 is very comparable to the TT101 with a few less features and fewer problems.

Outside there are several unsolved TT101 cases.... and I'm one of them.
I've lived for years with DP75 (with mineral plinth and AT-1100 tonearm). It's a very dependable and solid machine and by most accounts very similar in quality to DP80, but somewhat easier to find and at a lower price. 

I switched to PL70L II, which I much preferred over the DP75. But I attribute this mostly to the wonderful tonearm, which makes this Pioneer a great choice in your price range. I got it at HiFiDo several years ago for less than $1000, but have to assume its market value has gone up since. 

I wonder why best groove had just the pl70 with NOT the pl70l II as edgewear appears to really like that one?

Because the PL70 is equipped with the famous MU70 engine and should be identical or derived from (if I remember correctly) to the engine mounted on the Exclusive PL 10 which is better in quality than the PL70II engine even if the written specifications do not say so.
Furthermore the MU 70 in the past was sold separately as an engine this because at Pioneer they believed it very much.
Thanks bestgroove.
Although I fear that too is out of my price range right now.

With my budget likely going to be a middle of the road TT rather than one of their top flight models.

Actually I would prefer a mostly manual DD TT, a lot less to go wrong with aging electronics.
Not particularly handy at small electronics myself an no reputable tech in my area.
Many moons ago I had a Kenwood KD-500 and Kenwood KD-600. Both of them are outstanding tables! Check the Ebay listings, you should find one within your budget!

I am sure that the turntables recommended in this 3ad are all manual.
You can always opt for a Technics Sp10 MkII if you have patience to wait for your budget to reach the sum to buy it.
Keep in mind that the SP10 II not has special IC electronic components that are still on the market in the event of failures it does not have proprietary or specific ICs for applied that model like other turntables; this allows even in future years to find spare parts in case of problems.

However an extraordinary maintenance just purchased any vintage turntable must be taken into consideration and performed if you want to be at peace with yourself by removing all problems for many years; I always do that in the vintage turntables I buy and I feel protected.
Dear @uberwaltz : You don't have to go " vintage " when you have the new Technics line with coreless motors and very good tonearms:

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
I wish I could get a new Technics sl1200 at my budget but not possible I fear.
I think the sl1200gr is $1700 ?
I've never had the opportunity to compare PL-70 and PL-70L II, so best-groove may have a point. But it's difficult enough to get either of these tables where I live.

I know that newer isn't always better. But I do wonder why Pioneer gave up on that MU-70 motor for the PL-70L II, apparently for an inferior alternative. Cost reduction is usually the reason for such alterations. But if so, why go through the trouble of also redesigning the tonearm? Not cost reduction it seems, as the newer design has interchangeable carbon fiber arm pipes similar to the P3/P10 tonearm. Unfortunately they also included an automatic arm lift, which is a feature I don't like.

Of course the P3 or P10 is the perfect solution. Their best motor and best manual tonearm combined in a much more substantial chassis. By all accounts they still compete with anything out there, both new and vintage. But alas, not for $1000......

best-groove, I beg to differ with your claim that the SP10 Mk2 does not rely upon a now discontinued chip.  It does, in fact.  Up until a year or two ago, that chip was unobtainable. (I think the part number is MN6042, but right or wrong as to part number, there IS a critical chip.)  Many users of the Mk2 and the Mk3 purchase the one or two of the SL1200 variants that also use that particular chip, just to have a spare.  However, in the last two years, JP Jones succeeded in producing a PCB that does the job of the MN6042 with even more resulting speed accuracy.  And the PCB is not physically larger than the original chip. He sells it for a very reasonable price at Fidelis Analog.  He'll also install it for extra cost.
As to the Pioneer Exclusive turntables, these are the P10 (not "PL10") and P3.  The P3 is the ne plus ultra of vintage Japanese DD.  The Pioneer PL70II is also very highly regarded and may or may not be competitive with the Exclusive P10.  (See write-ups on Vintage Knob.) But the P3 is in another league, and another price range.
I agree with Raul; coreless motors are the way to go.
Vintage DD for $1000 with plinth and tonearm? I think it’s pretty tough, but much more realistic without plinth and tonearm if you want something special.

Technics SP-20 from the mid 70’s was a budget version of SP-10mkII, exactly the same size and shape, but without external power supply. Simplified DD motor. But look at the finishing, simply amazing. I like this black finishing. This is a rare model. My previous two samples now in use in the hood and friends are happy. Custom plinth and some nice vintage arm will make this model so cool and still not expensive.

And if you want all in one under $1k then only SL-10 comes to my mind. The SL-15 most likely will be over $1k. I’m pretty sure refurbished samples must be great, there is a phonostage inside.

I can’t ignore a budget version of PD-444 made by Luxman, this PD-441 is much smaller, but it has the same decent DD motor! I’m a fan of big and heavy (metal) PD-444 (not 441), but 441 is much cheaper and you can find it without arm under $1k

Lewn you can disagree no problem, if you are more up to date with fresh news this is good and useful.
MN6042 .... mmmm .... I have to understand which is in the logic board and understand what function it has .... you say that inside the SL 1200 you find this chip? Good to know I will do an investigation and if it is true I’ll take that piece for spare parts
IMO the best buy for a DD turntable under $1,000 is a Luxman PD-121 or PD-131.  Pair that w/ a Micro Seiki MA-505 MkII tonearm and you are in the game.

Honorable mention goes to the Teac TN-400, a great little deck that requires a plinth and tonearm.  They are reasonably priced and feature a very quiet drive.

The SP10 Mk2 is a great deck, but for $1,000 these days you are probably going to find a unit that has had hard use at a radio station or needs repair.  They are also big, when you consider the external PS and the need for a plinth of some kind.

There are lots of other great DD decks out there.
The Technics SL-1700mk2 (semi-auto, quartz locked) fits the bill very nicely for me. You can get a restored unit without cartridge in your budget range. Spend another $300 on an Audio-Technica VM540ML with microline contact stylus, and you’ve got something that’s hard to beat. I’ve got one such turntable, as well as another that’s in the restoration process, which will be equipped with a mono cartridge and VM540ML stylus. Parts are somewhat more available because these turntables were the basis for the SL-1200mk2, but the SL-1700mk2 is the audiophile choice, while the SL-1200mk2 is the DeeJay and rap-“DJ” choice. You can also go SL-1800mk2 if you prefer fully manual or SL-1600mk2 if you want fully automatic. 
What is the main difference between 1700 mk1 and mk2?
Just the servo to brushless motor or more?
"Servo" and "brushless" are not mutually exclusive; one has nothing to do with the other. But beyond that, I cannot answer your question.
Sleepwalker,  You have often mentioned the SL1700.  Are you referring to the vintage version?  Last time I was in Tokyo, I saw the SL1700 for sale brand new; Technics apparently still make them.  What I saw might hvae been "Mk2" or Mk3".  But I think they are "old technology", which is to say not related to the SL1200G series: therefore no coreless motor, and none of the other associated improvements.  As you know, for well less than $2K, one can have one of the G series SL1200s. (I forget the correct alphanumeric designation for the least expensive model.)  Unless the SL1700 that you have in mind is dramatically cheaper, I cannot imagine why one would prefer it over a G series.  (I do realize we have been over this ground before.  It's just that I've forgotten your response.)
Best-groove, "MN6042" is the part number of the vital chip used in the Mk2, the MK3, and one or more of the SL series.  I do not know whether it is used in the old SL1200.  SL1500 comes to mind, but I have not looked it up.  In any case, before Fidelis Analog started reproducing the functions of the chip on a PCB and selling it, there were many who bought used SL1500s (if that's the correct SL number) for the sole purpose of cannibalizing the chip for their Mk2 or Mk3.  If you search here on "JP Jones", you will probably find all the info you need. Or maybe look at one of the old threads on the SP10.
@@lewm   Thanks tomorrow I deepen.  :)
@lewm Lucky...the Sp 10II does not have that chip; I confirm that in the world there are still chips for the SP10II
No idea what price you can find one for but another vote for the the Denon line up. Anything from a DP-59 up to the DP-80. I have a 35+ plus year old Denon DP-72L that still works flawlessly. 
JVC Victor QL8 or QL7 complete with plint and arm it is possible safely under $ 1000; they are very performing turntables
Lew, there is a little confusion on JP's site but as I understand it, the 6042 replacement chip is for the SP-10 Mk3 and SP-15, not the SP-10 Mk 2.  It would be best for anyone interested to check with JP before ordering.
@uberwaltz : You are losting a rare opportunity to own the 60L that its specs are better than the DP-80 and with an additional very good advantage over it and this is that the 60L servo is bi-directional not even Technics units have. The TT is at a very good price.

I don’t need other TT but if I need it I already boughth it that 60L with my eyes " closed ", no quesrtion about.

What are you waiting for?. Yes is your decision, of course. I just thinking in " high voice ". That’s all.

lol @rauliruegas

Many thanks sir, it is on my highly consideration list!
And I do thank you for the link!
My big concern on that particular listing is the seller and their very high negative feedback rate, 50 negative feedback in the last 12 months is totally unacceptable to myself, heck 1 is 1 too many!
My eBay feedback is 1702 with ZERO negative or neutral feedback.
Bads feedback bad seller.

Also JVC TT81 or QL8 have bi-diretional servo.
Post removed 
I don’t know where Raul got the information that the "specs" for the DP60L are better than those for the DP80. Perhaps he is even correct, but the DP80 was regarded by Denon as the top of their commercial line, bested only by the DP100 and DP308, which were more intended for professional and studio use. The second most desirable of the commercial line, or maybe a model of equal performance, is the DP75, with the DP60 behind those two. (Raul used to tell me that the DP75 is also superior to the DP80. I’ve seen no data to justify that statement.) There were no universal standards for how to measure turntable specs back in those days, and it would depend upon how Denon made the measurements and in what year, since there were some changes in how to measure S/N, etc, after 1979. Turntables marketed after 1979 will seem to have better specs because of changes in the method for measurement. This does not mean that I think little of the DP60. It would be a fine choice, too.

I think Best groove et al are correct; the SP10 Mk2 did not have the MN6042 chip. I stand corrected on that.
Best groove, Do you know what is special about "bi-directional servo"?  I think it's 90% marketing.  But the TT101, which also has bi-directional servo control, is a great turntable.  I'd put the TT81 on par with maybe the Denon DP60. TT71 is not in the ballpark.  These model differences did mean something, after all.
Also JVC TT81 or QL8 have bi-diretional servo.

This was discussed quite some time ago and any references 
to this statement are incorrect.

Owner of a TT-101.
This is likely a better option for a dp60.

From what scant info I can find on the net it would seem that although the plinth looks substantial it really is not.
A little flimsy with a nice Rosewood veneer. A fair bit of bracing and additional mass should work wonders.

Apparently the earlier models like the dp50 had Much more meaty plinth.

lewn with $ 1000 you do not buy a TT101 nor a QL 10 for this I recommended a complete QL 8 or just the engine of a TT81 .. it’s just a matter of budget.


sorry then I was wrong ... I read a lot in this forum too and probably got drunk with exact and contrary readings.
Owner of a TT71 TT101 and TT801   yup :)
So a JVC victor ql-7 uses the tt71 as its " heart" with a ua5045 tonearm?

Vastly inferior to a ql-8 which uses the tt81 or is it just shades difference?
So a JVC victor ql-7 uses the tt71 as its " heart" with a ua5045 tonearm?

QL 8 there are differences in plinth (and weight of the plinth)
and of turntables compared to upper QL7.
How big? Can they be heard? It depends....
The Denon DP80 is a stellar machine.

Save a little longer and get a DP80 

Good Listening 


Thank you but it is not really a case of saving up.
$1000 is the line I drew in the sand for a spare second machine ( well 4 th if you count the others I already have, lol ).

At this stage I am not prepared to splurge any more.

i really should not even be looking but you know how that goes.....
Uber, Difference between TT71 and TT81 is probably an audible shade.  Difference between TT81 and TT101 is probably a more audible shade.  You might ask Halcro, who has had a TT81 side by side in his home system with a TT101.  But I doubt there is much if any difference in cost on today's market between TT71 and TT81, so why not go for the latter, if you must have a Victor and cannot afford a TT101 (or don't want to deal with its possible problems)? Best-groove seems to be recommending the TT81, too.  For me, the DP80 would be the choice over any Victor except the TT101.  And TT101 vs DP80 would be a toss-up.  I own both and use both.  (TT801 is simply a TT101 with vacuum hold down.  If you think the TT101 is mechanically and electrically problematic, think about that 40-year old vacuum platter of the TT801, complete with decayed rubber gaskets and its associated outboard pump.)
If you think the TT101 is mechanically and electrically problematic, think about that 40-year old vacuum platter of the TT801,

at least and fortunately the 801 only has this little motherboard and a small card for the power supply (bridge diode, regulators and filter capacitors unlike the 101 where total chaos reigns in the 2 motherboards and are decidedly more complex, making the repair
of those who must work extremely difficult.



this (ihmo) turntable no longer has the dna of the DP 80 appears completely overturned .... is it only the engine and the electronics?
The elaborations very pushed forward like those of the Artisan Fidelity or Kaneta on the Technics Sp 10 even if improving the performances leave a little perplexed.

I do not doubt at al that whatever DD TT I end up buying ( if at all ), it will NOT be the pinnacle of DD TT.
But hopefully about as good as it gets at the 1k price break I have self imposed for a complete working unit cw plinth and tonearm.
Rules out a few of the top liners that have been mentioned although it is fantastic and much appreciated to see such enthusiasm and knowledge here!
Years ago I bought the Denon DP-60L. It was one of those why did I do this moments? It had many bells and whistles but it was like having a toy. I gave it to my sister and it is now a dust collector sitting in her basement!
The Technics SL-M3 is a rare linear tracking turntable. Has rock solid speed. Be a good choice.
Are you saying that in your opinion the DP60L was/is not a serious hifi TT?
What did you find toy like about it?


I already have a SL10 linear tracker in perfect shape in another system.