Which Turntable??


It is time for me to go back to vinyl.

For a turntable I am debating between a new Pro-Ject Elemental belt drive with W & F given as .14% & a used Technics SL-1800 DD with W & F given as .025% wrms.

Is this a typo or is the 1800 really that much better? Technics describes their W & F as infinitesimal.

Any comments will be appreciated.

Thanks---r
roscoe50
What is your goal? The Elemental is a USB table. This means it not only has a built-in analog-to-digital converter (ADC), but also a built-in phono preamp, so you can plug it directly into any standard line level preamp. Do you need these things or are you better off spending your money on more turntable and less on preamps and converters?

Speed accuracy is important to a good LP playback experience, but it's not the only thing, and .13-14% isn't bad. The Elemental is $275; how much is the Technics SL1800 and what is its condition?

Each turntable has its own merits; direct drive turntables have a pretty low noise floor, excellent speed accuracy (if the spindle is lubricated and everything is in good working order) and has a strong, rhythmic drive with an assertive midrange. Belt drive tables with elastic belts such as the Element tend to have a more laid back presentation, perhaps not as driving or compelling as a DD when the music calls for it.

It's also helpful to know what preamp/amp and speakers you'd be plugging this into.
I started with Pro-Ject turntables. They're great for the money but other options may be more appealing to you. Depending on budget and other equipment considerations, you may to consider the VPI Scout. I've never regretted this purchase. Absolutely phenomenal turntable from start to finish. I had the Ortofon 2M Black installed professionally and never looked back. Good luck!
Thanks for comments. Actually the Elemental is avail with or w/o USB/ preamp. There is no need for that feature.

By speed accuracy i assume you mean wow & flutter. What I was struck by is the big difference--- .025 comp to .15 for the Elemental. Is that because the former is DD?

I am using a Denon 395 going through a 4 spkr, 4 ohm set up. The speakers are Def Tech SM45 & JBL G300.

VPI Scout looks like it is a bit high.

r
When the 4/ 4 set doesn't give enough bass I will hit the Loudness & most of the time one or the other spkr will do the trick.
"VPI Scout looks like it is a bit high. "

Its worth it.

"By speed accuracy i assume you mean wow & flutter. What I was struck by is the big difference--- .025 comp to .15 for the Elemental. Is that because the former is DD? "

I wouldn't worry too much about that, especially if you get the Scout. It runs good stock, but at some point you're going to want to upgrade for better sound. At that point, getting a stand alone speed control would be a better option.
By high i meant price of the VPI...
I am also looking at the Pro-Ject RM 1.3 that musicdirect is selling...

r
You need to visit the 'U-Turn Audio" web site before making a choice. Great sound, great value.
I like pro-ject tables but I would avoid the USB models. The phono preamp is unreliable. Mine c***ed out shortly after the warranty expired and my dealer told me this is not unusual. If/when that happens, the table is useless unless you know someone who can modify the unit to bypass its pre-amp and allow it to be connected to the phono stage in your amp, receiver, etc.
6-7 weeks turnaround for U turn...I would opt for the Ortofon cart if one is going that route...the AT lp120 another good option...
"03-07-15: Roscoe50
By high i meant price of the VPI..."

It's worth it.
Pioneer recently released a new DD turntable to fill the gap left by the
Technics SL12x0 line discontinued in 2010. The new one takes care of
weaknesses in the old design that should appeal to audiophiles:

1) Motor with about double the torque
2) Rubber (or synthetic) sleeve inside tonearm to dampen the ring
3) More inert top deck of zinc rather than very pingy aluminum
4) Constrained layer damping of the zinc and polymer layers of the top and
plinth for more inert chassis
5) Higher quality better isolating feet
5) RCA, ground, and IEC connectors in back to choose your own AC cord
and interconnects

turntable-an-audiophile-can-love/>Steve Guttenberg on C-Net and Herb
Reichert in the March 2015 Stereophile give very favorable reviews to this
turntable, having (together) reviewed it side-by-side with the VPI Traveler, a
an up-to-spec SL1200 MkII and a restored Thorens TD-124. They clearly
preferred the Pioneer to the VPI Traveler and also the Technics when they got
a better matching platter mat, and while the Thorens has its charms, I get the
sense that the Pioneer made the Thorens sound dated--musical in a vintage
way, but lacking the Pioneer's speed, bandwidth, and lower noise floor.

When you consider what these other turntables can cost compared to the
Pioneer's $699, it appears to be a good value. IIRC, Reichert considered it
the TT to beat under $2K.
EXCEPT, the first Pioneer he tested had very sloppy bearings. BIG if.
03-08-15: Schubert
EXCEPT, the first Pioneer he tested had very sloppy bearings. BIG if.
Not really. They're evidently adjustable. I've read of the same thing in a couple of other reviews. The user or a tech adjusts the bearings and it's good to go.
"Not really. They're evidently adjustable. I've read of the same thing in a couple of other reviews. The user or a tech adjusts the bearings and it's good to go.
Johnnyb53 (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

What kind of bearings do they use?
If I have to take a new TT to a tech to check the bearings I ain't buying it. YMMV
Consider an older table which will blow away those new plastic things for a lot less.
http://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale/stunning-thorens-td-160-super-w-incognito-wired-rega-rb-250/
I tend to agree with Schubert. One shouldn't have to mess with the bearings. And I'll take the Technics all day long over this Pioneer or any of the new direct drive 'tables (made in China) popping up in the last year or so.
Japanese DD tables from the bigger firms, Sony, Pioneer,
Sansui , Technics, Yamaha, Luxman, Micro-Seki, back in the 70's had the best QC ever seen in audio.
Top of the lines were works of art.
TW Acustic best sound.

03-16-15: Dave_72
... One shouldn't have to mess with the bearings. And I'll take the Technics all day long over this Pioneer or any of the new direct drive 'tables (made in China) popping up in the last year or so.

I thought I'd add a friendly counterpoint to this discussion:

With all the tweaks audiophiles do to get a component or system sounding right, a quick bearing adjustment seems pretty minor by comparison. There's also the possibility that this is simply a first-run occurrence that is or will be fixed soon. In the meantime, with Pioneer's warranty, you could probably get it adjusted at a dealer.

As for the China origin, China is where Well Tempered turntables are made now, and are also the country of manufacture of much of LOTS of high end equipment. It's the Chinese motors that have populated the latter day DJ machines including the Stantons, which are very rugged. This Chinese motor puts out twice the torque of the original Panasonic.

Reichert (the S'phile reviewer) *really* liked the Pioneer. It wound up as a Stereophile Recommended Class C turntable, and Reichert considered it "Borderline Class B." This is a turntable you can buy almost anywhere--Guitar Center, Best Buy, B&H, etc.-- for $699. Even if you pay a tech $50 to adjust the bearings, it's still a steal. There were no other Class C turntables anywhere near that low a price, let alone Class B.

Specifically, Reichert (and Guttenberg, who was also in the room and reviewing for C-Net) both felt it smoked the VPI Nomad where it counts--in pace, rhythm, transparency, and inner detail.

Bearing adjustment or no, for someone on a budget, I think it's still worth looking into.
Perhaps, but the Technics is a classic and has better resale value.

As far as Chinese made, I know that, but I don't have to like it, cool?

As for the review, it's just a review. To take with a grain of salt.

Too bad the high end press didn't review the Technics with a upper end MM cart

I suppose it is, but one must look very carefully, and look at the other options out there...
I'm not a fan of analog, but stumbled upon a manufacturer who makes a laser turntable, ELP from Japan. Check them out.
Yeah, I'd like to get my hands on one so I can hear how it *sounds*
"04-10-15: Ejr1953
I'm not a fan of analog, but stumbled upon a manufacturer who makes a laser turntable, ELP from Japan. Check them out."

I was thinking about buying one of those. It's not digital even though it uses a laser. I ended up not getting it because everyone that I spoke to that knew about it, said it won't play unless the record is absolutely perfect. It can't be scratched or dirty in any way. I guess the big deal is you don't hear any tic's or pop's. My answer to that was if you have records that perfect, you won't hear those things on a regular TT.
The laser TT has been around for a long time; first demonstrated in around 1980. See this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_turntable.
If you go for the ELP be prepared to spend extra effort cleaning your LPs. They have trouble tracking even the tiniest dusty bits. I've seen albums cleaned on a Loricraft that won't play properly on the ELP and sound great on the owner's other turntable. Cheers,
Spencer
Good to know. Thanks for the info. Just goes to show you that nothing's perfect. :D