Discussion in 'Turntables' started by 2020, Aug 31, 2017.
That turntable is awesome!
I notice in your last picture of the red plinth, there is a blue plinth in the background. Could you tell me how to get that deep blue and still have the wood grain show through so well? I am going to build a heavy plinth for my Garrard Lab 80 mkI this summer and love how that blue works on yours.
A properly serviced lenco l75 in a heavy plinth is as good as it gets. No rumble either.
The plinth was done by Larry Spence on here, it's a blue and black ink, so the tiger maple's wood still shows through. He then gave it a guitar finish. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that type of work.
Thanks, Jim. I can do that kind of work, but never thought of using ink before.
I have used food coloring mixed in shellac, but it takes a lot of coats to get anywhere near that dark. Ink sounds like the perfect solution. I am a luthier and have built many stringed instruments and finished many more, but never had a call for dark blue before. May try the ink on an old beatup fiddle I have laying around.
I'll look that up, too.
Thought I'd post a pic or two of my Garrard Lab 80, a wonderful idler drive table that is a real sleeper. This is my 2nd one, the first having a changer mechanism that had been fooled with to the point of no return (it play nice manually). I was impressed enough to buy a 2nd one in full working condition. This is proving to be the best idler drive I have owned so far (I've owned Dual 1219, 1229, 1225, 1228, 1019, 1009, Rek-O-Kut Rondine B12, and Garrard Synchro-Lab 95b. I also own a Denon DP75, and have owned a Thorens TD160, TD145 and also an AR-XA. This Lab 80 has the most solid feel, and has an arm that tracks anything. I have used a Grado Blue, Audio-Technica AT95E, Shure M92E and Shure M95ED. I like the Shure M95ED best. It comfortably tracks at 1.25g and plays my worst torture records with ease. Sounds great, too. This is a keeper! Later this summer I plan to build a heavy plinth for it to make it even better.
Beautiful table gurdy. I have a couple idlers but not a Garrard or a Dual. Rek, Elac and Neat. Of those the Rek is by far the most solid but the others can hold their own. I am a fan of idlers and when sorted are a real treat to use.
Which was also not imported officially to the USA, and you'll pay a very high premium because of Dieter Rams aesthetics, a good Miracord 50H is cheaper and the real ELAC/Miracord and you'll pay half or even less for a nice one.
Your RCA consumer grade cartridge player can't be compared to a upper end idler turntable from the days of yore, built to far higher standards. An ROK 12-H is very far from that standard, for example, or a Lenco L 75 in good stock order. Both of these in good order, need not apologize to anybody's turntable serviced, and plinthed right, paired with a good tonearm. Some of those belt drives you discuss have bad jokes of a motor, poor engineering which demands upgrade after upgrade, before I can listen to my records, and not the turntable.
My McMartin/QRK TT-12C has no more rumble than quite a few neo belt drives, gives me constantly accurate speeds, and built to outlast most anything and doesn't need a subplatter upgrade, speed controller upgrade, or other upgrades. And the specifications it has listed, are the minimum specifications it is warranted to meet (most do far better). My platter on my McMartin or my Lenco L 70 outweighs an entire neo belt drive by itself. Some people do need torquey motors in their turntables, studio and professional users for example. Some also need turntables which are built to last, and to stand the test of time.
Not all belt drive turntables are bad, but neither are all idler or DD turntables bad either. There's good and bad examples of all drive systems. And I am not dumping on RCA either, the RCA Broadcast 70 D turntable makes most everything else this side of EMT look like a toy. It's that overbuilt and over engineered, mechanical genius.
The Europeans, the Japanese, Chinese, and Asian audiophiles and quite a few folks here disagree with you. The best idlers fettled right can meet or beat anything today at any price. I play more records in a day than many do in one week. I demand honest engineering, and honest build quality and need mine to last many years. I also demand my turntables meet the NAB standards for performance (google them) and the only one which has leeway is platter start up time.
Check out sometime what Gates, QRK, Lenco, Rek-O-Kut, Fairchild and Empire turntables go for on ebay. They're bought often for good reasons, try one one day, if you don't like it bought right, you won't lose money or have any difficulty selling it, Then see what a Rega or Pro-Ject sell for by comparison. Quite an education. A turntable is not a HDD. Speed accuracy matters, listen to anything with a held guitar chord, or piano solo. My trained ear hears wavering.
I guess I'll weigh in on this. I am not so sure what my opinion is. Its been my experience that the newer belt drive and direct drive turntables are more efficient, longer lasting and quieter of the turntable crafts, so my preference is with them. However, my first experiences with turntables, changers etc. have been with the idlers. Garrard was known as being proficient with idler drive turntables during their period, and my experience lies with their crafts. In general I like them, as they were sturdy and well built. What I don't like or tolerate is excessive noise or rumble, and if idler machines do this excessively then it would not be the turntable of choice for me.
Curiosity, however, would make me try one of those idler models from my past, just to see what I'm missing. I would guess its another way for me to relive the past.
A few weeks ago I acquired a Miracord 760, which basically a 50H, minus the H-motor and a few features.
I have really enjoyed using it.
It was very easy to clean and lubricate the mechanical parts, and put it back into good working condition.
It sounds great to me!
I use a strobe disc and LED lamp to check table speed. My Garrard Lab 80 runs spot on and doesn't waver. My Garrard SL 95b is just a tad fast, but holds steady there. Well within tolerance for accuracy standards. My ROK Rondine B12 runs a bit slow on a cold start, but after around 10-15 minutes is dead on with no wavering. The various Dual idler drives I've had run a bit slow on cold start, but warm up fast and stay there. The belt drives I've had: The Thornes TD160 ran a bit fast, but probably withing standards. It had no wavering. My AR-XA was dead on. My DD Denon DP75 is dead on from the git-go and stays there. If speed is what one judges a turntable on, The Denon tromps all of mine except the AR-XA and Garrard Lab 80. My guess is that absolute speed is not what makes a turntable sound great. My AR-XA didn't do it for me at all. Something else on it caused me to sell it, even though speed was right on and rumble couldn't be heard. The Thorens sounded good and quiet, but was unusable on my suspended floor. The Denon and ROK Rondine B12 ignored floor bounce. Ultimately I chose the ROK over the Denon. It was just more involving in spite of the Denon having perfect speed (oh yeah, the Denon was mounted in an after-market 2 part plinth with layered floating sub-chassis and hardwood base). There is no way I could describe what I heard that made me always come back to idlers (went back to a Dual 1019 after first after the Denon, Thorens and AR). Every time I went back to any of my idlers, after spending a few months with each of the DD and BD tables, I just breathed a sigh, "Oh yeah! This is it!"
Your Lab 80 is a beauty! Had several 95s to learn about them. Then moved on to a Zero 100. I really like it. Back up to three 1219 Dual's that I like as well. Would be nice to find a Lab 80
I recently picked up a Kenwood KP-5021 turntable, I have to agree with flasher1, this is by far the best turntable I have ever owned. The platter itself weighs over 4 lbs. Even though it is a fully manual TT it is the quietest I've come across. I have it paired with a Kenwood Model Eleven III receiver and Sansui SP-2700 speakers that I bought in the 70's while stationed overseas.
Not true properly serviced idler are silent headphones or otherwise.
+1 - the inferior statement is not true regarding a sorted idler wheel table and in my estimation comes from a lack of experience with said tables.
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