Old 'tables vs. new

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Noel Patterson, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    I currently own a ProJect Elemental turntable; very basic, very entry level. I want to upgrade my turntable. Have been looking at the better ProJects, Regas, etc, and know they will be incrementally better. However, how do the vintage 'tables stack up? For instance, there is a Micro Seiki MB-14 available locally for $150 CAD. Or plenty of Duals. Or an older Planar 2. Are these older 'tables comparable to newer?
    scoutbb and PhxJohn like this.
  2. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    I would avoid the older Rega's that have the rubber suspended motor. Lots of wow. An excellent older and most bang for the buck TT is the AR XA or XB. XB-77 is my favorite but they are rare. Check eBay but forget the list prices and look at the sold prices. I got a mint 77-XB for $200.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  3. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    What is your budget?

    Have you looked a specs on vinylengine and compared them with newer models you're looking at?

    Have you perused old threads on this topic? Seems to come up at least once a week.

    In terms of Duals, it depends on the model. Many are complex idler drive machines. Unless you want to put in work to get a used one up to spec, I would either avoid them or stick to those that have been professionally serviced by a well-known tech.
    McLover, nosliw and SandAndGlass like this.
  4. DearLandLord

    DearLandLord Active Member

    How are Audio Technica's new turntables? (non-digital connectivity)
    Old Zorki II likes this.
  5. Tropehjelm

    Tropehjelm Forum Resident

    I had a ProJect Debut Carbon,and went from that to a Micro Seiki BL77. I have no regrets.
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  6. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    Always nice to have an old idler around. The have drive and musicality that the newer tables that I owned seemed to lack. Dual 10 or 12 series, Elac Miracord 40 or 50 series(or even an older 10)a Garrard Lab 80. There's more of course, and they all will probably need some degree of elbow grease and mechanical know how to get them up and running correctly, but once they are it's hard not to want to listen to one's whole collection all over on them.

    That's been my experience, at least.
  7. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    I read the better vintage tables at $400-$800 price range perform as well at the VPI Scout level. Vintage tables may need capacitor replacements and other maintenance. I use a Luxman PD 272 with the great Micro Seiki TA-1 tone arm. The tone arm is a big factor in any TT.
  8. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    That's not been my experience. Tables that were easily had for $100-$300 were able to beat my Scout and Scoutmaster in power and musical presentation. It's why I ended up selling the modern tables.
  9. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode We had some almosts

    I experienced something similar...

    I was given a trashed Dual 1214 that I restored - strictly for playing my 78s. Just for the heck of it, I bought an additional standard conical stylus to swap out.

    Much to my surprise, my regular microgroove 45s and LPs sound fabulous on it. Even modern cut LPs sound sweet. Those cheap Dual tables really punch above their weight.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  10. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura

    Vintage Denon.
  11. Danilo

    Danilo Well-Known Member

    Milano Italy
    Among old turntables Thorens are the most musical and reliable, I have three of them that are around thirty years of age, never had a problem, just changed the belt
  12. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Ya, thats more what im asking, is how well something like the Micro stacks up against say a Rega P1 or a Project Debut
  13. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    If you are asking about tone arms- unclear reply. I believe the Micro Seiki TA-1 tone arm is superior to most newer TTs.
  14. I have an audiophile friend who vastly prefers his (fairly economical) Vinyl Nirvana-refurbished AR to his newly-bought Pro-Ject TT.

    I’d have to be blown away by a TT that could surpass my $350 Thorens-160 (with $100 local-refurbish) to be convinced to spend that much money again on such an outstandingly musical turntable.

    Good luck,

    Wasabi likes this.
  15. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    There are tons of threads on this topic do a search, fundamentally 2 trains of thought and there are prons/cons on both.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  16. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Yamaha DD’s from the 80’s have held up well and are remarkably good performers
    Ezd, nosliw and patient_ot like this.
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The P1 and Debut are very low-end tables. Not a huge upgrade from what you already have.
    SandAndGlass and nosliw like this.
  18. tables_turning

    tables_turning In The Groove

    Mid Atlantic, USA
    Late 70s/early 80s Hitachis...the HT-45 and HT-50 direct drive tables with the Unitorque motor are great values, and are mostly overlooked.
  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I don't know. I like the old AR's, the higher end Garrard rim drives like the 301 and 401, when restored.

    I have a couple of Dual 1219's (which are in some need of service) and they have a nice vintage sound about them.

    I also have a Vinyl Nirvana, restored and upgraded Thorens TD-160 Super, which sounds excellent, but with few exceptions, vintage TT's do not have the same sound as newer TT's do. Which you prefer is a matter of personal taste.

    I find the vintage TT's, to be somewhat richer but darker and the modern day TT's to have more sparkle and air on top.

    My modern TT is a Rega RP6, with a GT sub-platter and white rubber band.
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    What makes any table great is silence and accuracy. This idea the a table has a sound of its own isn’t something I’m looking for.
    sami, RDriftwood, LarryP and 3 others like this.
  21. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Not sure what i'll do, perhaps just stick with the Elemental for now, throw a cork mat on it and just enjoy the tunes!
  22. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    All three of my tables are now vintage - Techincs SL-QL1 (main system), Marantz 6100 (with AT95E), and Denon DP 23-F with original Stanton L737S and stylus. I don't know how they compare to new tables of similar price range when these were new but their specs beat the hell out of all the lower end stuff that people seem to be buying (Pro-Ject, Rega, etc.). I only play what records I have and am more interested in streaming in any event but all three of these tables sound pretty damn good even after all these years.
  23. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Well, IMO a cheap vintage Pioneer PL-12D with aftermarket feet isolators is better than any entry level Pro-Ject or Rega.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    BrentB likes this.
  24. Bathory

    Bathory 30 yr Single Malt, not just for breakfast anymore

    Thought about a new TT.

    why mess w perfection.
  25. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    This isn’t a great forum for discussing entery level anything. Unless you you are running a McIntosh amp with B&W 802d’s or have some sort of golden ear that prevents you from tolerating anything less than the best, it really doesn’t matter. If you are running a mostest system, the limitations of an entry level table isn’t going to be all that noticeable and shouldn’t ruin your good time of playing records. The project is a fine table and just as good or better than any old mass produced table from the 80’s and for damn sure will be more reliable.

    And....the old vs. New is a false premise. Not all new tables are the same and neither are old ones. It’s not like there were artisans that we’re making turntables (In China or Japan) thirty years ago and their skills were lost to the ages. Old doesn’t automatically mean better, it just means old and that is never a great thing for electronics. My first table was a technics sl 23 (I think). It was plenty old, it sucked and a Pro-ject debut carbon blew it away. I have a luxman pd 264 (I think) and it’s better than the project. It’s all a case by case situation. And that luxman work for a week before I had to take it in for a repair to the board. The project has never failed.

    Vintage can be a great value but it takes really being into the hobby and having a back up for your backup is kind of part of the deal. It’s takes a hell of a lot more effort than just buying something from music direct. More times than not, people that are telling you vintage is better are probably selling curb scored equipment they got up and running on their work bench.
    Kristofa, RDriftwood, willboy and 6 others like this.

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