Thoughts on the Marantz TT-15S1?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheRavenPoe, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. bun

    bun New Member

    Location:
    California
    So aside from the holes of the staples, everything else inside is pack just like brand new and plastics are sealed. Is it hard to assemble? This will be my first turntable and I'm not sure if I can set it up properly. Let me know you have any tips for me and youthink I should bring it to hifi shops. Thanks.

     
  2. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Straightforward to setup if you follow the manual exactly. You'll probably have it done in less time than it takes to drive to a hifi shop.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  3. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    12" 45rpm 's time estimate seems about right to me. Unless you live next-door to a hifi shop.

    My previous turntables were all pre-assembled out of the box, including the cartridges being pre-installed. All I had to do was set the counterweight...

    So this Marantz TT-15S1 was my first opportunity to assemble a turntable that arrived in pieces, including installing the cartridge. Yep, I went 48 years of my life, most of it as a music fan and collector of vinyl, without ever replacing or installing a cartridge. I'm embarrassed by that, and I feel that I should apologize to my collection of LPs. :)

    That aside, I prepared in advance by
    • reading any turntable setup threads I could find on Steve Hoffman Forums
    • watching some YouTube videos that were recommended in those threads, as well as others I found myself
    • ordering all of the setup tools I thought I might need, such as a stylus gauge, alignment protractor, etc.

    The assembly instructions were easy to follow. Taking my time and double/triple checking my understanding of each step before moving forward, took me around an hour to finish assembling the turntable. Installing the cartridge was nerve-racking, because of how small and delicate the wires are.

    As I mentioned earlier, I ran into some challenges after turntable assembly, so I had to pause and go out to get an external phono preamp and then come back to finalize hooking up the turntable to my system.

    But once I had it all ready to go, I turned it on and it worked!

    One thing I haven't done yet is purchase some tools to test the speed accuracy. I think it involves some special disc and light? But I've re-checked the stylus weight and it's stayed where I set it, so I feel like I did well in my turntable assembly.

    With well-mastered vinyl, the sound is truly holographic in a way that none of my optical discs are (not even high-resolution discs like SACDs). My old Thorens turntable never got close to that impressive sound ... but then again, as I admitted above, I'd never checked the alignment or stylus weight on that Thoren turntable, so maybe I spent 20 years with a turntable that was never properly calibrated. :sigh:

    Craig.
     
    dbz and Nick Brook like this.
  4. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I will add that the experience of assembling the turntable from pieces has given me a much better understanding of how the turntable is designed to work. I appreciate the quality of the workmanship of each component. It a weird way, I felt humbled and honored to be holding each precision-crafted piece of that turntable. I feel more capable to make adjustments in the future, and to troubleshoot if something ever goes wrong.
     
    4xoddic, JackG, stax o' wax and 2 others like this.
  5. bun

    bun New Member

    Location:
    California
    Is there any must have tools that I should buy to make the job done easier and faster? Or everything I need are included w/ the TT. Thanks again for all the help.

     
  6. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I think most of the assembly tools (wrenches, etc.) are included.

    But setup/calibration tools are not included. Clearaudio sells a turntable setup kit ... for $1,500! There are less expensive alternatives ...

    Here is what I bought, in order of necessity (in my opinion). There are many options for each type of tool, so don't take the specific item I bought as an endorsement or "the best." I was going for budget/value, and tried to pay attention to the reviews and star ratings to help guide me.
    1. stylus gauge
    2.cartridge alignment protractor (though there are free ones online you can print out that may work as well)
    3. remote controlled outlet (with this device, I can turn on and off my turntable by push-button, without ever having to reach around behind the turntable to toggle the on/off switch and risk nudging the motor into contact with the plinth)
    4. ONZOW ZeroDust stylus cleaner (I also already had a Discwasher stylus brush, which I also use)

    I also bought a Q-Up tonearm lifter for $49, but decided not to install it, so it's still "Like New" and never used. If you are interested in buying mine, I can list it on the Forums Classifieds (though I see you're a "New Member" so you may not have the forums activity to enable participating in our Classifieds section yet) at a coordinated time when you can snag it quickly.

    I also have a Hunt carbon fiber brush for cleaning records prior to playing.

    Oh, and there is not a 45 RPM record adapter included, so you'll need to buy one if you don't already have something to adapt large-holed singles to a turntable's small spindle. I've been using the one that came with my old Thorens turntable, but I'll probably buy a different one if I ever sell that Thorens turntable.

    EDIT: I forgot to add that you'll need a good bubble level, to make sure the turntable is level in all directions.

    Craig.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  7. bun

    bun New Member

    Location:
    California
    I may wait another week and see if they will have better turntable deals for July 4th holiday. Thanks for all the help Craig!
     
  8. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I don't think you really need these tools assuming it comes with the Clearaudio virtuoso cartridge. The instructions say to just mount it all the way forward and that magically puts it in alignment..

    The counterweight looks quite accurate, so for now I would just trust it.
     
    bun and 4xoddic like this.
  9. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I got the alignment protractor because in my reading of others who'd set up the turntable, there was some question about whether the best position was all the way forward, or partially back. If I remember correctly, I did end up leaving my cartridge all the way forward, so maybe I didn't need the alignment protractor, but it was nice to have to confirm correct positioning.

    Regarding the counterweight, I set it as per the instructions, then weighed it with the gauge, and it was several tenths of a gram off. (Unless the weight of the object they included the calibrate the scale was not correct, I did calibrate the scale first before using it.) So I am glad I have the scale to help me get the counterweight exactly where it's recommended. However, I didn't listen to the turntable before & after, so I guess I can't say whether getting the counterweight closer to recommended made a difference in the sound quality or not. Perhaps "close enough" would have been sufficient?

    Craig.
     
    bun likes this.
  10. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    Location:
    Louisville
    The manual should explain everything you need to know about setting the tonearm height. There is small, white, rectangular piece of foam or plastic -- I can't remember which as it's been years since I had this 'table. Place it under the arm lift mechanism. Loosen the arm's VTA screw until it sits comfortably on said foam or plastic and then tighten the arm.
     
    bun likes this.
  11. bun

    bun New Member

    Location:
    California
    Anybody here compared Marantz TT-15S1 to VPI Scout Jr.? Which one has better sq and more reliable? And better turntable for long term. I know Marantz is more expensive if you price it by parts, but sometimes it also matters how the parts match/blend with each other. Brand new Scout Jr w/ red cartridge is $100 more than the Marantz open box price at Amazon. Thanks.
     
  12. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    I think the difference in carts alone makes the Marantz the better value. The 2M Red is a mediocre cart, and that's putting it kindly. It's strange to me that VPI didn't choose to bundle it with at least the 2M Blue. Even the most entry level Clearaudio cart is a big improvement over the Red.
     
  13. bun

    bun New Member

    Location:
    California
    As I pointed out in my previous post Im aware Marantz uses expensive parts. And I totally agree value wise Marantz have the edge. Im just curious comparing their sound quality and reliability. Sometimes it matters also how the company design and implement not just using expensive parts is enough and guaranteed will give you better sound. Just too bad I can't audition these 2 TT as no one have them in my local area.
     
  14. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Based on my experience with the 2mRed and Clearaudio carts, I think the differences in cartridge quality will far outweigh those of the tables. The 2MRed is heavy in sibilance which makes it a non-starter for quality playback IMO.
     
    bun likes this.
  15. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I followed the manual so I assume I have correctly set the tonearm height. The height adjustment sheet that you mentioned should not be left under the arm lift mechanism; it should be removed after setting the height, as shown in this diagram (I think maybe that's what you meant, but I wanted to be more clear since some new TT15S1 owners might be using this thread for advice):

    [​IMG]
     
    bun likes this.
  16. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Since I'm grabbing screenshots, here's part of the TT15S1 reference turntable "spec sheet" from 2006.

    [​IMG]
     
    Mr.Sneis and bun like this.
  17. GeorgeDJungle

    GeorgeDJungle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Aberdeen NJ
    Does anyone know where to get a replacement “belt” for less than $50?
     
  18. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I don't think you will find one for less, I checked around a bit when buying the AC071 belt for my Avantgarde, every place I checked it was the same $50 price so finally had to pull the trigger, it's really just down to which is the best place to buy it since cost is the same.

    Mine was a used deck when I got it and had sat around for a long time without being played and developed a slight depression in a little section of the belt, presumably the part that sat looped around the motor pulley for a few years. You could see a slight vibration of the belt as that part passed around the pulley, and could feel it as a thinner section when pulling the belt through my fingers. Nice and smooth after the change. The moral of the story: either use and enjoy your table, or remove the belt if it's gonna sit around undisturbed for a few years :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    warp2600, 12" 45rpm and H8SLKC like this.
  19. jkev2

    jkev2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    atlanta
    Mine came with an extra belt, double check the box that your turntable came in.
     
  20. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Looks like member H8SLKC has offered up his TT15 in the "Equipment for sale" sub-forum...
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  21. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Also looks like a nice one on audiogon listed for $725 ... great deal in either case ... almost makes me wish I was looking for another table. Like I've said before, take a good thick slab of glass or acrylic as a base (in my case, two tempered glass cutting boards with a layer of silicone rubber mold-making compound in-between), and cut the compliant rubber bumpers off the feet and the motor, and blu-tack them to the base to stop any movement, and you could have a real super table, that's what I do on my Clearaudio Avantgarde :)

    Marantz TT-15s1 | Turntables | Oxnard, California 93030 | Audiogon

    Some nice Kenwood tables on ebay as of late too, like the KP 990 for $600, super table with that aluminum transformer-like subchassis to tie it all together, amazing stuff from the golden era ... Used KENWOOD KP-990 direct drive Turntable | eBay
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  22. comiconart

    comiconart Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashvegas
    Hi everyone - brand new here (1st post!), and I just wanted to stop in and thank everyone for this thread, as it's been very informative and very helpful. A bit about me:

    I have just been getting back into vinyl (and vintage receivers and such) over the last few months, and it's been quite a learning experience. I started out just looking for a decent setup so could start playing records again...and now I am quite far from where I started! My first purchase was an AT-LP-60 that was recommended by a friend that has one (not an audiophile, obviously - just a guy that likes to play records), and paired that with a pair of Edifier bookshelf speakers - total purchase price of less than $200. The AT-LP-60 arrived DOA (it played half of one song before stopping on its own, and would not power up again), and that was a blessing in disguise. The sound was fine for what it was (I enjoyed it quite a bit, if only for the thrill of playing my first record in over 30 years), but the build quality was absolute crap, and I immediately decided that I wanted something nicer. After doing some research, I settled on a U-Turn Orbit Plus, as it looked nice, was still fairly affordable, and reviews were overwhelmingly positive. At the same time, I started reading other forums (head-fi.org, for example) to learn more about pairing the right speakers and receivers and such...and quickly discovered that the Edifier speakers were much too small for the space I was in...and this led me to also start investigating better receivers, etc. Next thing I know, I've now bought and tested three different vintage receivers. I started with a Pioneer SX-750, which sounded very nice with nothing to compare it to, which was then quickly replaced by a Marantz 2245 which was much, MUCH warmer, and so night-and-day from the Pioneer, which was very clean and precise, but seemingly with no heart to it. Then I found a Fisher 400 Tube Receiver on CL locally that was in excellent condition, and I wanted to see what a tube receiver would sound like, and now that's the one I use the most, as it seems to have more natural reverb, which makes me feel more like I'm IN the music rather than WITH the music (perhaps this is what people mean when they refer to music as "holographic"...?). Anyway - I pair this with a pair of Golden Ear Triton 2's, which I absolutely LOVE. My only concern was that the Fisher might be too small to push the Triton 2's, as I discovered distortion when I try to push past 7 on the volume knob. Luckily, this is louder than I would choose to normally listen anyway - I was just pushing to see what I could get out of them - but even so, the Marantz is much better at driving the Triton 2's, even though I prefer the sound of the Fisher a bit more (the Marantz sure is a looker, though!). So, anyway...I thought I was happy with my setup, until I saw a used Technics SL-1200MK at a shop locally...and having read plenty about this deck, obviously, as it's been such an industry stalwart for 40+ years, I was very curious to see what all the fuss was about. I honestly had no idea what I was in for. The first thing I noticed was that it immediately sounded LOUDER. Suddenly the limitations on the Fisher were less of an issue. I was already getting more out of the T2's without adjusting the volume. I then did a "Pepsi challenge" (and asked my wife to play along as well), and we began to swap TT's while playing the same song, same amp, same volume, on both. We both agreed that it felt like the Technics was playing in a larger sandbox. The Orbit sounded great, but the sound through the Technics was so much wider and deeper. The highs and lows were further apart - and there was more definition in-between. Now, I understand that this could largely have to with the cartridge - but the Orbit was setup with an Ortofon OM5E, while the Technics has a standard DJ cart (Ortofon Pro).

    Anyway, as happy as I suddenly was with the Technics (and the fact that the Orbit was still within the return window), the 1200 has obviously seen a good deal of wear, and is not in great cosmetic shape...and so I started looking for a nicer one (and would then sell the other as I got a great price on it, so not worried about being able to recoup costs there). I then discovered the SL-1200GR, and started reading all about it. I was initially looking to spend $500-$600 on a lightly used 1200MK2, but the 1200GR sounded like it was a big improvement across the board. The price, though, was MUCH higher ($1699 MSRP). Ugh. And while I'm reading up on everything I can find regarding the 1200GR, what is this Marantz TT-15S1 that keeps making all of these "best of" lists, both in online reviews, and on forums such as this one...?

    Well...after much (MUCH!) deliberation (and even though it wasn't what I was initially after), I ended up going with the 15S1 through IQ Home on Amazon ($1200). And...I am really excited for it to get here (Wednesday)!

    Even though there was a lot of internal infighting over this decision, it was eventually made much easier by everything that I read here in this thread. So...once again, thanks! I certainly didn't expect to end up here when I initially bought that AT-LP-60 for $99...but I sure am glad that I did!

    And sorry for such a long post!

    Best - Court
     
    4xoddic, ranch 22b, H8SLKC and 2 others like this.
  23. comiconart

    comiconart Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashvegas
    Just a quick update to say that the TT arrived today! First time ever setting up a TT (or adjusting VTA, anti-skate, tracking force, installing a cart, the whole 9) - and I will reiterate what everyone else has said: Setup is fairly straightforward and not at all difficult as long as you follow the manual. I did find that the cart was a bit easier to connect to the tonearm wires if you connect the wires before attaching the headshell to the tonearm...but this is the only step I didn't follow to the letter. My only other hiccup was that I intially put the belt too low on the pulley, and so initially played slower than 33rpm, but this was obvious as soon as it happened, and a very easy fix. No problem getting the belt to stay on, though I did notice that, as others have mentioned, it has a tendency to squeak a bit upon startup...though this does seem to be alleviated if you start the platter spinning before turning the motor on. Also - no problem turning the motor off and on - and I see no need to connect it to a remote control as others have suggested.

    On first listen, I do notice that the TT-15S1 is not as naturally loud as the 1200 I was using previously - but the sound is fantastic, and I have already noticed new details in a few songs, even though I've heard the songs themselves countless times before. Can't wait to see how the sound evolves as the cart burns in. So far, though - love this table. :)
     
    4xoddic, PhilBiker, Davey and 2 others like this.
  24. comiconart

    comiconart Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashvegas
    OK - for the most part I have been absolutely loving the Marantz TT, but i just noticed something a bit troubling. I was playing Jack White's "Lazaretto" album, and it sounded like the pitch was way off. Not just off...but as if the speed was warbling / changing as the record was playing. Piano notes were dive-bombing...and not just a little bit. Is this "wow and flutter"...? And...what can I do to try to correct this?

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
  25. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    It's the wow part of wow & flutter, which is the low frequency component. It will happen at the rotation rate if the record is pressed off center, which is the main cause, especially in modern times when there isn't as much expertise in mastering records around (punching the center hole in the stamper is an optically-aided manual process the operator performs). Can you see any movement in your tonearm swinging in and out when playing that record? Warps can also cause wow.

    But check that your belt is moving smoothly around the platter and motor pulley with no sticking or vibration. Try removing belt and make sure the platter will spin freely for a long time on it's own after a nudge, meaning the bearing is well oiled (I assume you applied oil when assembling). Run the belt through your fingers and make sure it is smooth all around with no significant anomalies (dents, flat areas, etc).
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    comiconart likes this.

Share This Page