Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Turntable Upgrade Ideas

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ListeningBoy, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    Hey folks

    I've lurked here on and off for 10+ years and finally feel compelled to post. I'm looking to upgrade my system and I think the most bang for my buck would be the turntable at the moment. Currently working with the following:
    • Amp - Parasound HCA 1200 MKII (recently serviced)
    • Pre - Parasound NewClassic 2100
    • Turntable - ATLP120 w/ 440mla cart, heavier counterweight and internal preamp removed
    • Speakers - Polk SDA2

    Nothing too fancy, but I'm considering spending on a new table (~$1000 ideally) and you can probably tell I like to go the vintage route. Currently really interested in the Thorens TD160, but can be swayed on Rega or Technics depending on my mood, not in a huge rush.

    Interested in hearing what yall might do in this scenario. Appreciate it.
     
  2. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    That is a great turntable. I have its cousin, the VN150 with an Ortofon 2m bronze. Old Thorens are solid and easy to maintain, but IMO the upgrades involved in turning a Thorens into a VN (as in Vinyl Nirvana), especially the damping and wiring, even more than the gorgeous plinths and arm upgrades, are very valuable. Are you on a "bouncy" floor? The Thorens suspension may require a wall shelf or other isolation. I'd save a bit more.
     
  3. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    No we're in a house and that room is hardwood with a rug in front of the speakers/audio rack. It is a pretty open room with high ceilings so there is a pretty delicate sweet spot to really sit and listen. Those polks do a pretty good job of filling the space when driven well with a decent source (poorly mastered records seem to really stick out in there).
     
  4. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    The AT LP120 is not a bad table, mine is just pushing 10 years old and starting to show age between usage and kids getting to it. This cart is also on it's last legs and I figure why not spend that cash towards a new table
     
  5. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Music is medicine, dose often.

    I got a Technics SL1500C this past Christmas and I've been really happy with it. Replaced an AT-LP120USB. I didn't hate my LP120 but the Technics really stands head and shoulders above in all regards.
     
    csgreene and woodpigeon like this.
  6. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    So it basically comes down to an upgraded Thorens td160, a Rega P3/P6 or Technics SL-1200MK7/SL-1500C?
    Or do you mean vintage when comes to the Technics and Rega too?
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  7. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I'd like to know too. Though I will say between the options he's listed, I'd go with either the Thorens or the 1500C.
     
    Oelewapper likes this.
  8. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I have said it many times before and will say it again; You will have to spend way more than 1K for a new modern turntable that will outclass a well maintained / refurbished vintage one from the late seventies / early eighties.
     
    nosliw, Tim Irvine and Szeppelin75 like this.
  9. Nakamichi

    Nakamichi The iceage is coming....

    Location:
    St199nf
    Why are vintage tables better?
    Genuinely interested because I am looking to buy a new deck and have considered the vintage route.
     
    olschl likes this.
  10. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I guess it depends on if you want to stay with direct drive, like going for a vintage Technics, or if you want to try a belt driven table. When I upgraded from my LP120, I liked the LP120 setup but had hit its limitations, notably the motor noise and hum. I don't live anywhere close to get a vintage table or have one serviced if it had any issues, so I moved to a Pioneer PLX 1000 and have stayed with the AT microline, the AT VM740ml. The Pioneer is heavier, much quieter, and all the things I liked about direct drive otherwise. I've had it a few years now and been very happy with it.
     
    csgreene, HiFi Guy, Nathan Z and 2 others like this.
  11. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Of course it depends on the table. Not all vintage tables are great. I do own 2 vintage tables form the late seventies and had them serviced.
    -Dual 704 with Sure V15 Jico Sas stylus. total cost around 500 Euro
    -Toshiba SR 370 with Nagaoka MP 110. total cost around 400 Euro
    These tables were quite expensive when they came on the market. They are sturdy build and sound fantastic.
    Before I bought my modern table last summer, I did audition several tables up to 1200 Euro and not one came close in performance. In the end I decided to buy the Rega Planar 8 / Apheta 2. This table does sound different and to my ears better. My wife still prefers the Dual 704..............If you wanna go for quality, value for money, vintage is the way to go.
     
    Andy Saunders and Nakamichi like this.
  12. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Keep what you've got and stick a great cartridge to it. I have the A-T120 usb, as well as a Technics SL-1210GR and a vintage Sony PS-4750. Each of these turntables delivers a tone which can not be distinguished from the others when fitted with the same model cartridge. The A-T has some faults for sure, like an anti-skate feature which does not function; but, nevertheless, it gets the job done.
     
  13. Nakamichi

    Nakamichi The iceage is coming....

    Location:
    St199nf
    Thanks. Good information.
     
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Nothing wrong with vintage if they are in good working order and ideally, recently serviced. Just watch out for unobtanium parts if something goes wrong, particularly if it is a deck with complex features like computer controlled cueing, servo tonearms, etc.
     
    PooreBoy and luckybaer like this.
  15. plugmeintosomething

    plugmeintosomething Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Oops! I replied to the wrong thread. Anyway good luck!
     
  16. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I had a Dual 704. The SL-1200 MK7 blew it away. The MoFi StudioDeck then blew the MK7 away.
     
    HiFi Guy likes this.
  17. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England

    Good point- l had a SONY PS6750 for a while and it sounded amazing - even with a budget MM cart installed- kicked my tweaked Technics SL1200MK2 into next week, just an example.

    That said the T/T is one of the most subjective topics in audio.
     
  18. Stanton56

    Stanton56 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Idaho
    You have a $1000 budget, so i would decide on the drive system you want. Direct drive or belt drive. It takes research and time to fig it out.
     
  19. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Why would that be the main thing to figure out?
     
  20. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    Those are more or less the tables that have caught my eye on audiogon and in researching options. I've always enjoyed my friends Rega P2 that he's upgraded a few components on, I'd probably be more inclined to buy new here as the used deals I've seen aren't exceptional . The Thorens I haven't actually heard (if anyone knows any hifi shops in Dallas, Texas please send recs).
     
    Oelewapper likes this.
  21. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    I've considered this, but have been thinking about upgrading for a few years now pending the right table at the right price. Rather than drop $300 on a new cart I could spend a few extra bucks on a table that could be a forever table. Also not a huge fan of the look of the AT design (which is shying me away from Technics as well)
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  22. JustGotPaid

    JustGotPaid Forum Resident

    Used SL-1200 all the way with a Nagaoka MP-200. Lots of upgrades at KAB if you go down that road. SL-1200 is a tank and holds it value.
     
  23. ListeningBoy

    ListeningBoy Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    I was considering the 540ml to replace the 440mlb, would you say the 740 is worth the extra $100 performance wise?
     
  24. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Not sure since I never had that one. I wanted the 740 so I could eventually upgrade to the 750sh, to try the shibata. Which I've done, but I think I prefer the 740ml over the shibata after all. I think the 540ml would be just fine, everyone I've heard that tried it, loves it. It's very much like the 440mlb, but a touch warmer while still having all that detail and low surface noise. Depends what kind of audio nerd you are. For me, I've got my hard budget, but also tend to wonder "if only I spent $100 more, I wonder how much better it is!" and usually just go the slight step up so I don't sweat it anymore.
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  25. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    The Technics SL-1500C doesn’t have the standard 1200 looks.
    But if it’s about build and sound quality, you shouldn’t judge on looks.
    If you’re interested in playing 78s in the future, a pitchfader might be an interesting feature, since not every 78 is cut at exactly 78rpm.
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine