The dreaded upright/vertical turntable

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by PretzelLogic, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic I have just got out of prison. Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, England
    So, I'm not going to lie. I came very close to buying a Gramovox 'floating turntable' recently, because I am a sucker for novel and also aesthetically pleasing (YMMV) pieces of hardware. I was talked out of it, not only because of the scathing thread on this very board, but also because my S.O. refuses to have it in the house.

    But, it got me thinking about vertical turntables and I remembered I used to have one many years ago that was given to me and sat in a cupboard for years needing a new cartridge, then got thrown out simply because I couldn't be bothered to fix it. That led me to the infernal wormhole eBay, and to cut a long story short, I now have a Sharp Optonica 114 sitting in front of me. It was a repair job, but nothing too taxing, and I've got it working fine now.

    [​IMG]

    In the grand scheme of early-80s mid-range hi-fi equipment, it's not terrible sound quality. It has the novelty value of having two cartridges to play both sides without turning over (you press a button and when Side One ends, the platter reverses direction and Side Two begins), as well as the obvious aesthetic pleasure of seeing a record playing upright. This won't ever be my main turntable, but it does the job.

    I'm curious as to why the vertical/upright turntable didn't take off - I guess the tracking force was an issue as it couldn't be adjusted? Are there any other models out there that are actually good (as opposed to just good)?

    (Also worth watching the Techmoan clip about this model - always enjoy his vids:

    )
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
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  2. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Likely due to gadget freaks going CD early on.
     
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  3. BuddhaBob

    BuddhaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    Any turntable with spring tension VTF should play vertically. Great party trick years ago with my Empire 598. Never skipped--I had steadier hands then. Won a few bets, too.
     
  4. TEKWRX

    TEKWRX Am I Demon?

    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Sony also made some nice looking vertical TT's in the '80's I believe
     
  5. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    An interesting design. The more I look at it, the more different design cues become visible. For example - in the first photo this TF resembles an AC utility box, in the second a dishwasher.
     
  6. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic I have just got out of prison. Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, England
    Funny you should say that - one of the discs I span to test it was the new Matmos album 'Ultimate Care II' which is created entirely from manipulated sounds of a washing machine, and is on aqua blue and white vinyl. Very fitting!
     
  7. Aerobat

    Aerobat Forum Resident

    I used to be into Technics linear trackers and had a SL-V5 for a time. It was pretty cheaply made and the arm motor made an audible "whoosh" when it tried to track an off-center record so I sold it.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. BuddhaBob

    BuddhaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    Weren't most of those P-mount designs, so they would have had a 6G cartridge weight and ~1.25G tracking force as standard? I guess some P-mount arms could be adjusted as to VTF but in a limited range?

    I see the Gramovox new kid on the block has an AT95E, which I could live with. I still wonder how stable it can be in that configuration rather than a shaft in a well, with even gravity on all points not adding to wow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  9. bhazen

    bhazen Yes, this IS a Beatles forum.

    Yeah, but will it play upside-down?
     
  10. forthlin

    forthlin Senior Member

    I'm vaguely recalling a vertical tracker, but I've forgotten the brand. Seems like the design was a bit more "up--scale" than the Technics, and the controls were on a sort of keypad to the right of the platter. Almost like they had taken a B&O 8002 and turned it up-right. Ring any bells? Almost certainly a Japanese manufacturer.
     
  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic I have just got out of prison. Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, England
  12. forthlin

    forthlin Senior Member

  13. Sterling Cooper

    Sterling Cooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    One of my spare turntables is a Mitsubishi LT-5V from the early 1980's; shown here with the recent re-issue of the Yardbirds "Little Games".

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sterling Cooper

    Sterling Cooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Here is a Gramovox-style phonograph made by Pyle. I don't play my good vinyl on this. The album is the picture disc of "Parallel Lines" by Blondie.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Damien DiAngelo

    Damien DiAngelo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Here's Techmoan's review of a Gramovox Vertical:
     
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