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Turntables


Syoung
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Obviously, this doesn't pertain to production sound but I figured there could be a conversation here about turntables since real audiophiles (pros) live here. I'd hate to open up the box to all receivers, peripherals and A/V. I really just need some tech info on a particular product and figured this was the best place to look.
So, please take this down if I've trampled a FAQ.
 

I have a vintage Pioneer PL-570. Pioneer marketed 2 versions of this turntable and I have the first. They are very different. I'm looking for someone who has some maintenance experience with this model.

And since I'm at it, let's open this up to all conversations turntable.

IMG_3078.HEIC

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Decent turntable and I'm sure that Grado cartridge sounds nice.  I had a similar albeit later model Pioneer at one point with a Grado Black series cartridge and it sounded pretty good.

Here's all the schematics / transitors / maintenance for it: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/953611/Pioneer-Pl-570.html#manual

 

Personally, I'm more a fan of belt driven, manual turntables because these Pioneers got pretty complicated with the auto start / stop / quartz lock etc and I ended up parting ways with mine once it started acting up and I picked up an Orbit U-Turn table that I use with my Marantzes / Klipsch Heresy III's.  You'll get a million subjective opinions on turntables but my main approach is keep it simple!

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simple belt driven is the way to go... 

 

and totally manual. 

 

i have the funk firm turntable with ortofon red. 

 

sounds fantastic. 

 

needs the cartridge\stylus to be calibrated (physical) every now and then. 

 

cheers

-vin

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I find the turntable forums to be a bigger jungle than gearslutz sometimes with opinions that often get beyond fiery.   Just this one topic alone comparing direct drive to belt drive can open up a month's long can of worms to pick through of slightly relevant information.  I chose direct drive for my needs.  

 

I have a nice setup that I use though not so much for listening pleasure but for transferring to digital, so transparency was my driving factor in equipment selection.  I have a Technics SL1200G with an Audio-Technica ART9XA cartridge. I use a Jensen setup transformer to get phono level into a Radial J33.   From there it goes mic level into a Grace microphone preamp and then into my Lavry AD.  Since much of my work is classical music, it works quite well.  I also use a VPI16.5 to clean all vinyl before it goes on the turntable.  

 

I recently replaced my monitoring system with a Grace M905 which comes with a RIAA input for turntables that I haven't tried yet.  This would effectively bypass my step-up transformer and DI, but I have to figure out how to take an AES line out of the 905 into my interface.  I may try it on the next transfer to see how it goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have had many people over the years tell me that their turn tables were broken and asked if I wanted them before they threw them out. In every instance, it was because the belt had slipped. So that, and the somewhat unstable speeds you can get from belts, has lead me to go with direct drive. 
 

I had to give up my beloved turntable from my childhood when I decided to move abroad in my early 20s, but years later, living without a stereo of any kind except my computer, I decided to go back to how I loved to listen to music. I decided on the classic Technics SL-1200, mostly known as a professional turn table. It is solid, and sounds great. Paired with a high end stylus, a Grado Silver, it’s an unbeatable combination.
 

The one thing that I did not consider when purchasing this turntable is that it has no automatic features, so when the record ends, you have to manually return the arm to its rest position, or it will just keep playing the end loop forever. If I could go back, I would have chosen a similar turntable but with those features. 

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If I'm being honest here, this is the first time I've heard somebody advocate for belt-driven over direct drive.

 

Belts need to get up to speed, and will wear over time. Direct drive has almost instant torque, and will last a lifetime. Granted, my wants and needs out of a turntable may be different than yours (Hip Hop DJ over here).

 

I also use the Technics SL1200, though in the past 5-10 years there have been a lot of advancements in the DJ turntable industry and I don't know that it would be my first choice any longer.

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Back in the '90s when I was much more into the "audiophile/hi-fi" thing than I am now, belt-drive 'tables were the thing. DD tables have advantages, too, of course. And Doc - you're right, DD tables come up to speed quickly, have more torque, can often be more accurate in terms of on-pitch or speed. These are huge advantages for DJ work, and of course can sound great if designed right into an audiophile 'table as well. 

 

If I remember correctly, the advantages of belt-drive is that any motor chatter would be absorbed by the belt. I still own a VPI HW-19 mark II, that I modified a bit here and there, purchased used in probably 1995. It is the simple silicone belt, heavy platter (19 lbs) unipoint bearing design. I've never once been disappointed by this 'table - it sounds truly great when set up right and with a good cartridge, which has been the case for the past 26 years... And I don't think I've ever heard a better 'table than a Linn LP-12 with all the trimmings. But I haven't listened to many newer 'tables since the '90s. So, there could well be newer ones that are equally or even more impressive. 

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