Automatic Or Semi-automatic Turntable Suggestions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Baldego, May 1, 2015.

  1. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    Hello All,

    I am looking for an Automatic or Semi-Automatic Turntable. Here are my main requirements:

    -Removable RCA cables (MUST)
    -No phono preamp (But not deal breaker)
    -Upgradeable Cartridge (MUST)
    -Plays 33/45 and preferably 78 (but not deal breaker)
    -Preferably a direct drive (But not a deal breaker)
    -<$700
    -Preferably newer model but open to decent high quality vintage suggestions (but most of these likely won't have removable RCA)
    -Looking for something a little nicer than a basic Pioneer model

    Any Suggestions?

    I keep striking out.
     
  2. Matt Snyder

    Matt Snyder New Member

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    Just throwing this out there, you can get really really really nice turntables for under $700, but you don't see higher end turntables being automatic because you can't adjust the tracking weight or completely isolate the tone arm from noise. Generally cheaper turntables have the automatic feature, have a heavier tracking weight, and really limit your options as far the cartridges go. Not that automatic turntables will destroy your records but you will see more wear on your records over time from them. I would highly reconsider and go with something like the Project Debut Carbon. It's around $400 and comes with a really nice cartridge. It has really low noise and it will make your records sound fantastic. They are barebones but are made to be upgraded over time. At least check it out and read some reviews.
     
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  3. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    My main concern is that I want to be able to put on a record and if I leave the room have the record player stop when it gets to the end instead of grinding down the label and wearing out the needle.

    Also, it is pretty ridiculous to pay $400 bucks on a turntable and have to lift the platter off to change the belt to 45 rpm in my opinion. I will give up a little bit of sound quality for some basic functionality. Otherwise I really like that turntable, but that is a deal breaker for me as I like to switch back and forth a lot and don't want to have to take my turntable apart to get the right speed for the record i want to play. Also the tracking weight just seems flimsy and cheap.
     
  4. Matt Snyder

    Matt Snyder New Member

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    What kind of turntable do you have now? The needle on a turntable should continue to track in the deadwax after a side is done playing, which shouldn't add any more wear than normal listening. I have thousands of records and I have never seen the needle touch the label. I am closing in on probably around 1500 hours on it and I have let mine play in the deadwax quite a bit without noticing any damage to the stylus. The other problem I've seen with full automatic is that it makes listening to 45's kinda difficult because it usually won't start them at the correct time.

    A couple last remarks about the Project Debut Carbon. . . The tracking weight or counterweight is actually quite nice on the tonearm. You might be looking at the anti-skate weight, the little weight that is hanging from the fishing line. It is used so when the needle hits the vinyl, it doesn't skip across the vinyl and damage your record or stylus (nice feature). The only downside is if you have someone who is really rough when handling the turntable, they can bump it off the tonearm, but it takes 2 seconds to put it back on. Also, there is a box you can buy made by Project that is will let you switch speeds with the push of a button. This also allows you to play 78's since you can switch it to 45 on the box and change the belt under the platter to 45 as well.

    The project is the only really nice turntable I have any experience with so it's the only one I can recommend (highly recommend). But I have heard great things about U-turn turntables, as well as some of the higher end audio technicas (which are direct drive). You might want to look at those as well, but the only one that I know that is automatic is the cheap audio technica.
     
  5. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    Currently I have two Stanton ST-150's but i mostly use them for dj purposes and am looking for something for home use. Yeah I meant the anti-skate weight. It just seems flimsy and not well thought out. I'm not a big fun of loose parts like that on a TT. I have been looking at the Project Carbon Debut Espirit line which does have a switch for changing speeds it might be a good back up. But i'm still pretty stuck on the auto shut off feature for a variety of reasons. I wouldn't really use the auto start feature anyways so the 45 issue wouldn't be a problem for me.
     
  6. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    Pioneer PLX-1000 fits all your requirements. Pioneer owns the Technics brand, and this is essentially their reboot of the real 1200 series.

    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/DJ/Turntable/PLX-1000

    -Removable RCA cables
    -No phono preamp
    -Upgradeable Cartridge
    -Plays 33/45 and preferably 78
    -Direct drive (But not a deal breaker)
    -$699
    -Brand new
    -Nicer than a basic Pioneer model
     
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  7. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    I really like that turntable, but I really want something that is Automatic or Semi-Automatic (i.e. it stops at the end of the record) as the title of the thread suggests. This appears to be a manual DJ style turntable, which is sweet but I already have a pair of this style of turntables for DJing. I am looking more for something to play records in the house where it can stop playing at the end of the record in case I end up leaving the room for a while.

    Thanks for the recommendation though.
     
  8. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    Then you're out of luck unless you want to purchase a new or old turntable that meets your other requirements and can be modified to have removable RCA jacks, then I think you are out of luck. Denon and Thorens both make relatively affordable automatic turntables, but they both have integrated cables. Get handy with a dremel and a soldering iron, or prepare yourself to pay someone else to do the job for you. It would be a relatively simple job, for custom work.

    If you are not going to use them to DJ then why do you need removable RCA cables anyways? How often do you plug your cables in and out and home?
     
  9. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    I prefer removable cables so you can upgrade or replace if they go bad easily without having to do soldering work as my experience with integrated cables is that they can wear out and also are generally not the best connection b/t the turntable and preamp/amp. It's one of the nicer features I like about most DJ style turntables. The Project and MMF tables have that feature but none of them have an auto-return or auto shut off feature.

    I realize I am being somewhat picky. But it is a pretty nice convenience feature.

    I also really don't want to have to move belts to change speeds that just screams cheap to me. And I have seen speed controllers for these mid level belt drive turntables at $300 which seems crazy to me just to be able to automatically move from one speed to another.

    If I could find a DJ style turntable with an auto-stop feature when it got to the end of the record that would be perfect. I'm not sure anybody is making that.
     
  10. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right, you might be looking for a unicorn.

    You might do some hunting for an tonearm lifter in the meantime. The Qup gets mixed reviews and probably costs more than it's worth, but it's a thing. Doesn't stop the platter, but that's not the part you're concerned with, right?

    As for the unit, I'd find something close and think about having some custom work done. Might be able to have a vintage unit refurb/rebuild and have the rebuilder make your RCA adjustments. Might not hurt to drop an email to one of those guys and see what they think or get a quote.
     
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  11. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    Hmmm...that is a really good suggestion. Thanks! It is not the most elegant solution, but it is affordable and does accomplish what I want. I think I can deal with the platter spin that is not that big of a deal. I will give that some strong consideration, I need to check out some reviews. I didn't even think anyone made an aftermarket part like that. That is sweet.

    If I went with the tonearm lifter I think I would be okay with the Project Debut Carbon Esprit SB and that would solve most of my concerns.

    Very interesting.
     
  12. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    Just read up on it. The Qup is pretty divisive and it's known to have compatibility issues. It's a minor addition though. There's other DIY auto lift options, and if you keep an eye on EBay you might find an older auto lift (a few companies made them years ago).
     
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  13. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    Very cool. I will definitely look into this. You may have found a way to construct my own unicorn!
     
  14. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    That's not a bad idea. There just isn't a turntable made, or ever made, as far as I know, that would meet all of your musts.

    If the Qup works for you, great. I had just assumed that you wanted an integrated turntable.
     
  15. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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    I'm with you. I don't think it exists. I would prefer an integrated turntable, but in lieu of that this might be the next best option. As I can still get an audiophile mid level turntable and this thing is like $60 bucks and pretty much does what I want it to do.

    I really do like the Project Debut Carbon Esprit SB. Sooo...if I can't have my unicorn, then Ill take a horse with a strap-on horn.
     
  16. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    You said strap-on.
     
  17. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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  18. Baldego

    Baldego Active Member

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  19. popthropologist

    popthropologist Well-Known Member

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    There once was a little gem of a turntable called the Technics SL-10. In my opinion, the pinnacle of minimalist turntable design and a simple joy to use.
    [​IMG]
    https://theturntableshop.com/turntables/technics-sl-10-direct-drive-turntable/

    It fits your criteria:
    -Removable RCA cables (MUST) Check
    -No phono preamp (But not deal breaker) Check (there is an optional SUT included for MC output, however)
    -Upgradeable Cartridge (MUST) Check (but why you'd want to upgrade it from the standard Technics 310MC I don't know. Arm is a P-mount, so high end options are more limited than standard mounts)
    -Plays 33/45 and preferably 78 (but not deal breaker) Check (FYI: no 78s. Buy an idler turntable for your 78s.The SL-10 is able to sense whether you've dropped a 7", 10" or 12" on the platter and play them accordingly, though, which is pretty neat)
    -Preferably a direct drive (But not a deal breaker) Check
    -<$700 Check (Examples in good condition can be found on eBay for ~$500.)
    -Preferably newer model but open to decent high quality vintage suggestions (but most of these likely won't have removable RCA) "Newer" is all relative I guess, but it's circa 1980.
    -Looking for something a little nicer than a basic Pioneer model Check.

    Plus:

    -It's the size of a record jacket
    -It's a linear tracker
    -It can play in literally any position, like hanging on a wall or upside down
    -There's one in MoMA, which is pretty cool
     
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  20. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    Neat! That's a fine looking piece. How does it sound compared to a similarly high end regular table? I know some people looooove linear trackers, but they've always seemed weird to me. I understand the advantages, they just don't look right, if you get my drift.

    I've seen the later and less high end of this series and was never a fan. Too prone to breakage and a pain to fix. Plus the cheaper models had very little clearance, so records that were even slightly warped would scrape on the top cover.

    One of the coolest models had a sensor that could detect the gaps between tracks. You could program tracks to play, skip, or repeat, just like a CD player.
     

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