The Garrard Zero 100 did have a VTA adjustment for playing multiple records, and many tables had an auto lift. Your stylus will not be damaged running in to the center of the record at the end of play. Relax a bit. Yes single sided play is a chore. (A Benjamin Miracord model, I forget which one, actually lifted the record, flipped it over, and played the other side!) Happy Listening,
The Technics small linear tracking tables were quite good and were very convenient. The show up regularly on ebay. The SL 10 is probably the best overall but all were good. I sold them when they were current and sometimes wish I had kept one. The 205 MM cartridge that some of them used was possibly the best MM ever made. If I wanted connivence and sound quality I would check them out.
The thing I LIKE about TTs is the LACK of convenience. CDs are too easy to do things like skip tracks and never listen to anything other than your favorites. TTs get you more involved in the listening process. Besides 20 minutes in one sitting is enough for me.
You know, I bet you could sell that VPI for almost what you paid for it and buy yourself a nice Dual or Denon from the 70s or 80s. Put the surplus bucks in your pocket and go out and buy lots of vinyl. The coolness factor is diminished but with a good matching cartridge, you might not miss whatever the VPI brought to the party.
Or keep the VPI for critical listening, whatever that means to you, and use a semi-automatic to play the old vinyl from your youth.
the new dual 405's and 505's are killer and they only look expensive next to their vintage ancestors. in fact, compared to many tables in the 2 to 3k range with out arm, they are pretty damn close, and autolift to book. no, they're not 3 ft. tall, but i've never understood how, when and why spinning of vinyl became more difficult than getting laid.
Jaybo, trust me, it's not. Having spent the last 47 years doing the former and an even longer time attempting the latter I have to say that unless you have a table that self-destructs and must be reassembled after each play OR you are a combination of Casanova and Count Dracula there is no comparison.
stanwal...none of your tables are that tall, so I'm inclined to think you know your stuff.
"Automatic lift up when side is over to avoid damaging your $680 cartridge . I sit nervously until the last track then I stand up to catch the arm" Gee, you must not be old enough to have left tt's running for days, nay, weeks by accident.
You won't hurt your cartridge. Stop worrying! If you can't stop worrying then it's your fault not your turntables.
Dear Mechans: You can always buy/install an arm lift out there.
A repeat button it is more a " desired " tonearm charateristic than a TT one. Probably this characteristic in a tonearm could compromise its quality performance but I can't say for sure.
No more than 20 minutes by recording: well this is not a TT issue but a recording industry subject. I have some old recordings with a time exceding 30 minutes, so it can happen if the recording industry want to do it.
I'm with you, I don't like either those " little stones on the road " but unfortunately ( maybe with no serious reason. ) is the way things are.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I may check out one of those Duals when the time comes to replace what I have.
My almost 30 year old Dual 1264 fully automatic sounds better than ever these days running on an equally old Yamaha cr-640 receiver into Triangle Titus speaks and M&K sub. A very fulfilling mix of old and new. YEs, it even has an interchangeable stacking spindle, which is why I bought it in the first place, but that part has not been working of late.
I agree with Creativepart - what on earth are you worried about in regards to the lead-out groove?
I have been running fiddly high-end tables for decades and recently purchased a Technics SL-1200MK2, replaced the arm with a Jelco SA-750D fluid damped arm via a SoundHiFi armboard and have one of the most enjoyable tables I have EVER owned - and that includes the Rega's, Linn's, JA Michells, SOTA's, et. al that have graced my rack of the years.
I'm sitting here spinning an absolutely devine mono pressing of Hank Mobley's "Soul Station" and grinnin' like a Cheshire cat!
I am with ya. I am a lazy guy who does not want to run to pick up the arm when the side is over. I also want a removal headshell so I can rotate cartridge's without the use of a screwdriver.
My main table is a Technics 1700 with auto lift off. I replaced the standard Technics headshell with a Sumiko HS12 for a Denon DL-160 MC cartridge.
I have willingly given up fine tuning adjustments for ease of use and for me it was a fair trade.
I love automatic TTs. I wish some of them sounded better. I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but some of the great Japanese TTs of the 1970s and 1980s had substantial automation - even among the greats. And Raul points out that it's easy to install an aftermarket armlift (and there are a lot of VTA-on-the-fly jigs out there too). The table I am using most of the time recently sounds great, has (manual) VTA on the fly, and auto-lift/auto-return. I have to cue the record myself but I have resigned myself to that... :^)
With all the re-plinthing of Garrard 301s/401s, Thorens 124s, and Lencos going on, I am surprised I have not seen someone build a phono pre and MC stage into a big plinth (and if one really tried, one could put an ADC in there too with a USB jack output). Talk about one-touch convenience...
If one wanted super-duper-easy, one could try a Denon DN-308F-T. The arm is not automated (but autolift could be added), but you can cue/drop when the record is stopped, and then one button for the on-switch, and one twist of the Attenuator-Start dial and you get the play button and the volume in one twist. Autolift can be added. It already has a mono/stereo switch, MC headamp, phono stage, and line amp built in. And there's plenty of place in the chassis for some chip amps (if one could build them with XLR inputs) and then all one would have to do is connect speaker cables out the back. Hmmm...
Truth is that I never left a record spinning in the run out track for very long.
My audio group is well represented with vimyl devotees with it's chief proponent being Llyod Walker of Walker Audio Proscenium TTs. His favorite cartridge was at one time something called a Magic Diamond. They were on a couple of our groups Walker owners. These guys are/were very careful, not a klutz like myself. As good as they are/were they had "ripped" out the moon rock impregnated einsteinium boron alloy stylus which is repaired only one way. You buy another . At $5,000 a pop.
My humble little rig is actually backed up with Technics sansui etc.a Few Linear tracking tables even the SP 10. They never sound as goodas my Table. I never invested a few hundred into a cartridge for a $50 pawn shop garage sale TT.
Now that you have given me permission to let the stylus hit the paper. Can anyone really think about why a few extra bits would cost so much in the quality of playback. The differences between this entry level VPI and an 80s Mid Fi table are not subtle.
Truth be told the fancier they get the more honest they are. Lloyds personal rig is not the analytical detail retriever he has at shows. His has been modded to the point of sheer musicality.
Even though being a member will give you the table for less than a long pair of Synergistics or Stealth Indra ICs.The table is free but you have to buy a cartridge cable stands anti resonance pucks contact enhancer Valid points (a very good deal really beiung valid is honestly a trip.) All of which adds up to the MRSP.
Seriously you think a used Dual will sound as good as the scout. I will sell off my carefully selected collection of reserve of extra tables just for that.
I still can't quite figure out when buying a turntable meant a platter that spins with the entire remaining necessary parts like the arm as separates. Well I 'll look or trade down for an in.
Mechans, "I sit nervously until the last track then I stand up to catch the arm."
What is the fear? It sits in the runout groove until you lift the arm.
BTW Thorens used to sell an arm lift device for less than $20 that mounts easily to most any table. I use it on my Linn Axis and it has worked for almost 30 years now without fail. You can see it in the picture of the Linn Axis in my system if you look carefully.
Does anyone still sell this gadget or anything like it? If so, it is the answer to the woes of those who are bothered by the stylus remaining engaged at the end of a record which I agree is annoying at best.
I am currently using what has been my secondary 'table, an old B&O Beogram 4004 -- and I will repeat my recommendation of B&O turntables for the "ritual-averse" audiophile. Most of their linear-tracking models will deliver exactly what you're asking for, especially with one of the better B&O or Soundsmith cartridges. The only problem is . . . all your Walker-owning friends will certainly give you a hard time for it.