Vintage DD turntables. Are we living dangerously?

I have just acquired a 32 year old JVC/Victor TT-101 DD turntable after having its lesser brother, the TT-81 for the last year.
This is one of the great DD designs made at a time when the giant Japanese electronics companies like Technics, Denon, JVC/Victor and Pioneer could pour millions of dollars into 'flagship' models to 'enhance' their lower range models which often sold in the millions.
Because of their complexity however.......if they are 'unobtanium'....and they often cannot be repaired.
Just to clarify the above posts the Victor TT-81 Japan 100 volt drive only, is the JVC N.A. 115 volt QL8, that was supplied with a plinth and an arm.

I started this Thread over five years ago, bemoaning the imagined horror of being unable to keep our beloved vintage Japanese DD turntables functioning due to lack of parts……notably ‘chips’.

I believe, in the course of the many Posts since…. we have probably allayed those fears.

I also, in the second Post…..complained about the complexity of the Victor TT-101 compared to its ‘brother’, the TT-81.

Both decks perform the same. They both share the exact same construction, dimensions, platter construction and bi-directional speed control patented by Victor.

The only functional differences between the two were the use of a coreless motor for the TT-101 and the highly complex but accurate, 4Hz stepped speed-control buttons contained within the TT-101 circuitry.

I also mentioned years ago that I was unable to detect any differences in 'sound' or performance between the two.

Why then....was the TT-101 designed to be so overly complex in comparison❓ 👀

Last week, whilst I was listening to the TT-101......the speed accelerated instantly and a 'bang' coincided with a total power outage. The entire street (and suburb) was without power for two hours. When power was restored.....the TT-101 was unable to maintain correct speed 😱

How a 'spike' or 'surge' in the current was able to bypass the Eaton DSFi Dual-Stage Surge Power Filter positioned at the switchboard before the dedicated power circuit, then bypass the PS Audio P3 Power Regenerator before also bypassing the 240V-100V step down transformer in front of the TT-101 power supply is a mystery to me...... Particularly as nothing else in the entire audio electrical architecture was affected 🤔

I rushed to the attic to retrieve my TT-81 and it slipped into the polished black granite cradle without a single change to my surrounding three arms being required 👐

I was not prepared for what I heard when I resumed my listening......

The sound was better than I had been hearing from the TT-101.....and considerably better...

And whilst the TT-101 is with my Tech....I'm left to ponder this dilemma 🤔


Hi Halco,

Sorry to hear about the TT-101. Hope your Tech can return the TT-101 back to its original glory. We can only make assumptions why the TT-81 sound better than the TT-101.  Could it be possible that the TT-101 performance deteriorated overtime and went unnoticed?  Your redundancy in power surge protection should have kept the TT-101 from harm.  Is it possible the power outage was merely a coincidence the TT-101 failed? It’s difficult to imagine two models made by the same company where their “top” model is trumped by a lower model. When the TT-101 is back on-line, you will undoubtedly do another side by side comparison again.  That should settle the ambiguity