Turntable Recommendations Needed!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dehost00, May 11, 2018.

  1. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    You know, I had the same experience with U-turn, their customer service is really something. I have heard that pro-ject tone arms are too short, so they have trouble tracking well or something at certain points. This is my main fear with the Music Hall. I'm pretty sure they're very similar, especially in arms. I know they come from the same factory. Did you ever find any of the Orbit's components cheap or flimsy?
     
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  2. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I believe all the Pro-ject arms are effective 8.6 until you get up to The Classic... so the $1,000 price range.
     
  3. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Sorry, answering the arm thing twice. Pro-ject is 8.6" until you get higher up. But Music Hall is 9" starting on the mmf 1.5 I believe. (edit* looks like the 2.3 has an 8.6 carbon arm now)
    to answer your question... yes somethings on the UTurn do feel cheap. It's the honest answer. You have to ask yourself this price where they focused their money.

    On the UTurn the lid hinges feel so bad and cheap, but they haven't broken yet, and I haven't heard of any one's breaking a normal situation. The debut has nice hinges, but they plinth is so light you need sometimes need to hold it down to open the lid. The plinth feels to be of the same general material and weight as the Project/Music Hall options... but with an obviously inferior paint on the UTurn. The arm on the Project does feel more premium, but at the expense of being shorter.

    You just kind of need to decide which design philosophies seem more important to you. Longer arm, or premium materials. You can't have both at this price point.
     
  4. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    I don't know about US prices, but you may want to check on ex-demo or vgc Rega Planar 3's in comparison. KT88 on here is a US Rega dealer and knows their range.
     
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  5. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    Well, in 20 years of owning the very similar Pro-Ject 1.2 (same arm, same arm mounting situation) I've never had a skip or repeat, except for a couple of days after a dealer installed a new cart for me and didn't move the fishing line loop to the proper slot on the anti-skate bar/stem, whatever it's called. One thing about the fishing weight: it doesn't wear out.

    I've had the 2.2 for two years and have never had a record not behave perfectly - including a couple of reasonably warped ones.

    IGD? I sure don't think so, unless I just don't have any ears. Many of my best "demo" tracks are the final tracks of sides. I get sibilance on a couple of tracks in my collection (there may be more, but can't think of any at the moment), but it's not a big deal and they're the only track on the album to have it. So I think it's a record/pressing issue when it has happened.

    According to Music Direct, the effective arm length is 9". Speed is 33.3 on the phone app whenever I check.

    Most people seem to think that the Music Hall Magic arm is an Ortofon OM10. I've noted mentions of people using Grado Golds or the Ortofon 2M Bronze on this or the older MMF5, which has the same arm. The acrylic platter is another potential upgrade; I ponder that every now and then. I use a $27 deerhide mat sold on ebay by a nice guy from LA,

    And one thing about a Music Direct purchase is that you get the 60 day satisfaction guarantee. Just be sure to take pics of the unboxing sequence.:D
     
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  6. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    And 8.6 is inferior to 9, yes?
     
  7. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    I have found one online without a cartridge for something like $845
     
  8. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    If the U-turn has the superior arm, better plinth, and seemingly better platter, I can sacrifice some cheap hinges that I know will be quickly replaced when they go.
     
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  9. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    Wow, thanks for the help! I'm sort of down to orbit vs 2.2. I have a super OM cart body with a terribly worn stylus from a Pioneer I bought (another horror story), but what I'm hearing is that it can support some pretty nice carts
     
  10. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Yes, the most expensive SL1200 too.
    There are some belt drive models with removable headshell too if you wanna go vintage. Even Technics ones (the SL23 is one that comes to my mind).
     
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  11. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    In theory, not always in practice. Everything can be debated.

    Again, it's not fair to say one is vastly superior to the other. I think it's important to get that point across. At this price point (virtually every price point) design choices are made that make a difference, not always better or worse, just different.

    UTurn has a different arm.
    UTurn advantage, 9 inch arm, set and forget
    Pro-ject/mmf 2.3 advantage, carbon and adjustable antiskake.
    Are you changing carts often? Have you ever had clean records skipping?
    Different - better based on who you ask.

    Better Plinth
    No real advantage for either. To me the paint on the pro-ject/MH feels more high quality, but the UTurn shows no sign of wear either. Just a premium touch element.
    I'd imagine materials and weight are nearly identical at this price point.

    Platter
    All of the tables mentioned can be upgraded to acrylic. UTurns acrylic does still require a mat so the VTA is correct.
    Are you playing 45s? Because if so Projects SB models have a button switch which is great. On non -SB models you have to remove the platter to change speeds on the Project/MH. On the UTurn the belt is external, but admittedly a little tricky.

    I'm not trying to sell you either way. Just laying out the pros/cons of each. I love my UTurn, and have friends that love their Project Carbon.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    DocBrown likes this.
  12. spridle

    spridle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland
    Yes, the current iteration is the Planar 1. I'd skip the performance pack. If you go for that, just get a Planar 2. It's got a better arm and the glass platter is the way to go. You can buy a different belt and the cartridge of your choice any time. I'd definitely recommend getting a tracking force scale, or at least borrowing one. You won't use it often, but it's nice to have.

    So far as "vast improvements" go, I can't tell the difference between my old P1 and a friend's RP1, and that was supposed to be "night and day better." I've listened to a Planar 1 and wasn't really able to compare it to the others, but I liked it. The people that perceive these "huge" differences and write about them are generally in the business of making sure they sell more and more of the new ones. The Planar 1 and the Music Hall you're looking at will both work very well and last a long, long time.
     
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  13. spridle

    spridle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I think Rega has the best arm of everything you're looking at. U Turn is a good choice, just be careful with upgrades. If I were on a tight budget, and would feel more comfortable spending less, I'd go for a U Turn with a basic plinth, acrylic platter (it really will help with speed stability), the entry level AT cart, which you can get a better stylus for from LP Gear any time you want, and a cue lever. The cue lever isn't necessary, but if you're going off to school, other people may touch your turntable and you can teach them how to take care of your records way easier with a cue lever. 294 bucks to get started, and an upgraded stylus when you wear out the first one for very little money. It should get you through college nicely. Maybe ask for a nicer cart for xmas some day, but you'll be surprised how good a cheap AT cart sounds. Nobody can compete with them in that market and every time I hear one an AT3600 or 95 it just never seems like the cartridge is holding things back.
     
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  14. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    I should clarify that the difference between the 2.2 and 2.3 is the arm - and the latter's msrp got raised $50 when the change was made. Aluminum 9" for the 2.2 and the carbon 8 .6 for the 2.3. The 2.2 arm was used in the original MMF 5 and seems to be on my Pro-Ject 1.2 (predecessor to the current 1Xpression series).

    The 2.2 weighs more- an acrylic platter down the road is- I assume - heavier than the stock metal platter, so that would add to the difference. As mentioned above, nicer platter paint finish. Tonearm lift included. Adjustable anti-skate and arm adjustment capabilities (which I've certainly have never done). Nicer dust cover.

    Belt type is an obvious difference. I'd say that the UTurn belt is potentially more fiddly, but the things are really cheap to replace at $5. A MH belt is more like $30, but would have a way longer life. Then again, the UTurn motor location may make it theoretically quieter. I can't hear anything on the 2.2 when I stick my ear by the platter, though.

    I guess I did vote 2.2 with my own dollars, but I'm also a big fan of the Boston Boys. And they do have the superb customer support.
     
  15. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    You make a good point. Thanks for the comparison, I hadnt really heard one. I honestly would love a planar 3 down the line a ways, but I think that when I could actually find a reason to get one, I'd have enough money to get something better
     
  16. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    I like the idea of the 9" arm way better. It sounds to me like the 2.3 isnt really worth the increase in price too much. There is really nothing about the music hall I dont like so far, hypothetically speaking.
     
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  17. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    Cartridge choice is a whole nother thing to me. Thanks for the input, i'm sort of between Music Hall and Orbit right now
     
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  18. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    Yeah, I would think Music Hall would hate that the 2.2 can still be gotten, though it's only at Music Direct. A no brainer to pocket the $200, IMHO. I don't know if it's the arm or the 2M Red, but I didn't care for the sound of the Debut Carbon, which has the same arm. Not "analoguey" (though it tracked perfectly, with low surface noise) . Picked up one cheaply for my son in 2015, but I really wish the marked down 2.2 would have been around then. I think they showed up in the second half of '16.
     
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  19. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    It's a real life-saver for someone like me then. There are hardly any hi-fi shops around me so I can't even really hear any of my options
     
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  20. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    To be fair, most HiFi shops I've been to don't stock tables in this price point either. A few record shops do, but not really set up for demos either.
    They do have a small stage at one of my local shops. It would be cool if they partnered with a hifi shop and did a demo show.
     
  21. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Audiogon has a store demo Planar 2 at $525 open to offer....(there may be others listed).:)
     
  22. hex lumphries

    hex lumphries Active Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Used Thorens.
     
  23. llama

    llama Forum Resident

    Ok I have had the orbit for 2 weeks. Here is what I can say with authority:
    The motor is dead silent.
    The speed is perfect. (I play bass tuned to A440 along with a few of my records and it’s dead on)
    The arm is pretty decent.
    The bearings are free and smooth with no slop.

    I would buy it again with no hesitation.

    I got mine with the acrylic platter , cue lift and an Ortofon 2m red. The cart noticeably loosened up today and the difference in bass response is fantastic. In your budget I can’t recommend this enough.
     
  24. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for the review, it's exactly what I needed
     
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  25. dehost00

    dehost00 Active Member Thread Starter

    Found it. That is quite tempting
     
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