Technics SL-3300 Turntable: is it good?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Duck Feeling, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Hello everyone,

    I have a Technics SL-3300 Turntable that belonged to my parents. I like it but I wanted to go further and buy a MKII SL1200. Sadly and as you know the SL1200 is discontinued, so I wondered how good is my Technics SL-3300. Would a Rega RP1 with the performance pack be an improvement for example?

    Thanks!

    PS: I found someone who has the same turntable in pics except I have a much cheaper cartridge http://www.audiovintage.fr/leforum/viewtopic.php?t=24283
    PhilBiker likes this.
  2. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker Formerly Philip Hamm

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    It is great IMO. A Rega RP1 would be more or less a parallel move. I prefer Direct Drive and an easily interchangeable headshell, so personally I would prefer the Technics. I am jealous.
  3. cat9

    cat9 Forum Resident

    If that TT is in great shape....maybe a new cart and away you go. I'd keep it if I were you - it's a lovely DD table!
    Just my opinion of course. An RP1 wouldn't be a huge step up at all.

    But I like the old DD tables :).

    cat9
    PhilBiker likes this.
  4. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    I have a SL-3200 (actually, two of them -- got the 2nd one on the super cheap). I find mine to be "good enough" for my needs, and the 3300 looks similar (adds a memory function, I think?).

    I love the interchangeable headshells as well, as I have a few carts and it's nice to be able to pop them out easily depending on the record. Add a good cart to that, and probably a can of Deoxit if the TT has been sitting in an attic for awhile, and it's all good.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  5. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    Hyannis Ma
    I had 1-2 of those a long while ago. They're not bad, but not all that super either.

    For entry-level, it's good.
  6. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks a lot for your answers! Well, now I'm thinking of getting the cartrdige replaced because mine is some Zafira product hyper cheap.

    So let's say I'm keeping it, any advice of a good cartridge above 100 dollars that works great with Technics?
    And, let's imagine I really want a new turntable, a minimum of 700 dollars could be an improvement?

    I know it depends on many things. But listening to some LPs that sound better than my CD pressings yesterday night made me wonder how to get a nice setup. anyway thanks for your participation!
    PhilBiker likes this.
  7. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Looks like a decent 'table to me. If you like "bright", try an Audio Technica 120e cartridge, a very sweet sounding model, not quite as bright as the AT 440 and an excellent tracker for around $100. I like it better than the Stanton 500 on display in the link you provided. You have provided no info concerning your phono preamp, but if you have a vintage receiver than it would be a good idea to upgrade the sound with a modern phono pre, like those that Cambridge Audio makes. Those run about $200. Others here will chime in as regards similar products, but these items are safe bets and easy to get your mitts on. Upgrading the cartridge and phono preamp will be much more cost effective in the upgrade path than swapping out the turntable.

    Two things worth noting—get the stylus overhang exact [not much chance of altering Vertical Tracking angle with the SL-3300] and make sure that the 'table is on a solid, steady surface that is perfectly level. I am surprised at how important having a 'table perfectly level affects sound quality.

    [​IMG]
  8. thommo

    thommo Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    An alternative to the brighter sounding cart that Robin mentions is the Nagaoka MP110. Warm sounding, very good at suppressing surface noise, great tracker.

    [​IMG]
  9. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Thank you very much for the advices.

    To be perfectly honest, I have multiple issues with my setup that I'd like to correct but I'm saving money to do it.
    In fact I have a Sony TA-FE370 amplifier and a Sony CDP-XE370 CD player as my main setup. I had some good Pioneers speakers that I replaced recently with some JBL ES80 that I absolutely love. That was my first improvement.

    I was quite happy with my Sony components for many years until recently: my CD Player has much more trouble to load CDs and sometimes just ignore them. It has also an annoying trebly noise when it plays some CDs. I cleaned the laser but it did nothing. Anyway as this is cheap setup, I was thinking of buying something a little better: a Marantz CD-6004 CD Player coupled with a Marantz PM-6004 amplifier. It seems pretty good to me and in my budget.

    So to complete these, I want a good sounding turntable and I have this Technics SL-3300 that I wanted to replace with a brand new one in the first place. You know, to have a shiny one: the Technics in is very good shape though. I have no phono pre-amp as I had a phono input on the main Sony amplifier. The main issue I have with my turntable is the background noise, like some sort of white noise due to the ground wire which, I think, is not very good. Could a pre-amp fix that or is it the turntable fault? Or maybe my room electric installation?

    Anyway thanks again. If anyone has more advices, it would be really appreciated. Your experience is very valuable to me.
  10. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    I own both the 120e and the MP110. I personally find the 120e to be overall a better cart on my SL-3200 + my GT40 stage. For me, the MP110 is just too high on the midrange for my tastes, whereas the 120e is a balance with it's lower surface noise, more bright sound (but not as bright as the 440Mla) and a decent tracker as well. My primary cart is still the 440 however, as it tracks wonderfully in the inner groove, and brings out a lot of detail. But, it enhances surface noise a bit and it can be bright at times.
  11. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker Formerly Philip Hamm

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    I love my Audio Technica AT440MLa. It would probably be a good fit for that table. There are *so* many good carts out there!
  12. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker Formerly Philip Hamm

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    With the equipment you list here, I would say replacing your turntable should be very low on your priority list. IMO it's possibly the best component you have (though I personally love old direct drive turntables so take that with some salt!). Remove the headshell and clean it real good. I'm using a Realistic direct drive table of similar vintage and I love love love it. If you're getting noise from your turntable it's probably not properly grounded. There should be three wires - L/R RCA and a ground. Make sure the ground is connected to the proper screw in the back of the receiver.

    Sounds like you need a CD player. There are a zillion great choices.

    Most of all, enjoy! And check and contribute to the "Listening on vinyl" thread in "Long and Winding". It's the most fun here.
  13. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks Phil!

    Yes indeed I'm planning on buying the Marantz CD Player and Amplifier first of course! And then upgrade my Turntable. I saw the Pro-Ject Carbon Esprit which seems pretty good too.
    Yeah, I'll talk about how great and epic sounded Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes on my turntable!
  14. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    The background noise from LP replay could easily be the fault of a so-so phono stage, a modern phono preamp will fix that problem. That Technics SL-3300 is good enough to keep. A better cartridge would be a requirement, not an option. It is not inconceivable that the turntable's wiring could cause additional noise, but that should be easy to fix.
  15. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Yes the ground is indeed connected to the proper screw in the back of my amplifier so it must be the fault of its phono stage. But I'm not sure if I understand correctly: if I own an amplifier with a phono stage but want to upgrade the sound by adding an external phono pre-amp, must that pre-amp be connected to the phono inputs on the main amplifier?

    Also my Technics has a nice rubber mat and I noticed that many turntables come with felt mat. Is there a difference of quality? I suppose the felt is more delicate, but I'm not sure about the sound.
  16. marblesmike

    marblesmike Well-Known Member

    I have an SL-5300 and it looks almost identical to your SL-3300. I love my tt and have had zero issues with it.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  17. atbolding

    atbolding Active Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The Shure m97xe is also good on that type of table if you want something warmer/darker sounding. You might want to get a non plastic headshell. kabusa.com offers a few good options including real Technics ones.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  18. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    You would hook up the output of the phono preamp into something intended for replay of common line-level signals, such as an auxiliary or tape input.

    The mats can change the sound in various ways. If I had both mats, I'd switch back and fort to find what I like best. My Strathclyde has my favorite solution, a felt mat impregnated onto the milled aluminum, effectively damping the platter's ringing. Pays off in the bass reproduction.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  19. Duck Feeling

    Duck Feeling Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks a lot for these precious informations!