Sota Star Sapphire III Turntable Operation

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by juster2009, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. juster2009

    juster2009 New Member

    Dear all,

    I have a question about Sota Star Sapphire III turntable operation. I just acquired the turntable and a SME Series 3 tone arm yesterday and I have the following questions:

    1. Since the turntable does not have the "Cue" and "Reject" button, I guess every time I play a record I have to press the "On/Off button, right?

    2. Will this repeated action (pressing the On/Off button every time I play a new record) affect the life of the On/Off button?

    3. Is the SME Series 3 arm a manual arm that require manual lift after playing all tracks on each side?

    4. I know the Sota is a very good turntable but it may not for me. If I have to look for a semi-automatic or fully automatic turntable that is compatible with the Sota, what are the options? Or shall I stick with the Sota and learn how to deal with the "inconvenience"

    5. With $200 budget, what are the cartridge option?

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!!!
  2. Punker X

    Punker X AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Your Sota is a full manual turntable. Meaning you will have manually turn it on, queue the record, drop the needle and lift it at the end of the record.

    You get use to it after a while, but if not, you may want to look for something either semi or fully automatic.

    Not sure I could recommend a $200 cartridge, the table probably deserves better. Could probably find a Denon or lower level Benz MC cartrige in the price range.

    I haven't heard of any issues with the on/off switches on Sota's. They are still in business and I'm sure if you ever had an issue with power switch they could supply a replacement.
  3. avionic

    avionic Aim High !!! Subscriber

    A friend of mine back in the early 80's.Bought one of these new.I believe the Turntable alone was close to 12 hundred dollars,That didn't include a tone arm.He spent another 8 hundred on the tonearm.Save your money and get a worthy cartridge for that beauty..:yes:
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  4. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC New Member

  5. jrtrent

    jrtrent Member

    The nice thing about getting a higher quality turntable and tonearm is that even budget cartridges perform better--the better quality bearings in the 'table and arm just extract more performance from any cartridge you mount up. Apparently your tonearm was designed to work with high compliance cartridges, but can accomodate low-compliance models by adding a headshell weight and choosing the appropriate paddle for the damper cup. If it didn't come with your turntable, you can dowload the owner's manual for your tonearm from the Vinyl Engine website.

    I would recommend something like the Shure M97xE, not finding it at all out of place in my Linn LP12/Ittok LVIII combination despite its low cost. I'm also partial to the Stanton 681 EEE Mk III. Many here have liked the Audio Technica AT440MLa; a bit bright for my tastes and system, but tracks well and gives a lively, dynamic, and detailed sound. I Also like the Grado Prestige series, but have come to believe they work best in a damped arm. If you have the damping system and paddles, you might really enjoy the Prestige Red1.
  6. Karma16

    Karma16 New Member

    HI juster,
    My friend, you have bought more than you thought. You are like the sailor who wakes up in the morning with a hangover and finds himself married to the stranger in the bed next to him wondering what happened.

    You have a fine, audiophile turntable and tone arm. Obviously, you don't know this. This set up will justify the finest surrounding system and cartridge. If you don't intend to jump into audio with a commitment to the grail of fine sound, sell it!

    Someone else will make the jump and you will both be happier.

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  7. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC New Member

    If you have the ballast weight, be sure and respond with that information. That opens up more possibilities. Also...if you can increase your budget, that's important to know, too.
  8. marc mc

    marc mc New Member

    What is the rest of your system? How far along are you intending to go? Is this just about playing some records or?

    The Star is a great table and can go as far as you want to go. I'm not a fan of the series III arm but it will more than do with the right cart. I would not get a M97.

    If I could add an obsrvation I see on AK. It's the speaker first guys that constantly say the Transducer (cart) is the real key to the source. And then I see the TT's guys looking for the least expensive cart they can lay their hands on.

    BTW I have a friend that designed speakers and used that table. He still has it and uses a SME-V and a Goldring Excel. It's a great table but do it right.

    marc mc
  9. chadnliz

    chadnliz Member

    I honestly cant think of any semi or fully auto table that is as good OR has as much potential as your SOTA and I think you can quickly get use to it. Best of both worlds would be get a cheap full auto and keep your SOTA for serious listening and a table you can upgrade later as your passion grows.
  10. vinyl1

    vinyl1 Member

    Er, can you explain how you managed to buy a $2000 turntable/arm combination without knowing what it is?

    Now you're going to have to buy an $800 cartridge and upgrade the rest of your system. Sorry, it's required!
  11. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC New Member

    Given that the turntable was acquired yesterday (Christmas) I just assumed this must be a
  12. juster2009

    juster2009 New Member

    Dear all,

    Thanks so much for your replies and I am really appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Now that I know a little bit more about the Sota and I know what I get myself into!

    My system include the following:

    Pre-amp: ARC SP3-A1
    Power-amp: ARC D76A
    Turntable: Quadraflex Reference 610T Automatic turntable
    Cartridge: AT440ML
    CD Player: Yamaha CDX730
    DAC: Monarchy Audio Model 33
    Turntable: Sota Star Sapphire III
    Speakers: Genesis IM8200

    The amps are given by someone about 5 years ago; the Quadraflex was acquired at a Thrift store about 9 years ago for $5. The CD player was about 19 years old, the DAC was bought 2nd hand also 6 years ago. I bought the speakers for $300 couple months ago. The Sota I paid $950 for it so it is the most expensive gear in my system. I did not intend to buy it in the first place just want to go to the seller's place to check it out. I did not do too much research on the turntable before going to the seller's home so I did not know what I actually got when I made the purchase. All I know about Sota is it is a audiophile brand, the turntable has a vacuum pump and that is about it.

    I am not sure if it is a Christmas gift for myself or not but I know I will be poor for a while that is for sure.

    I spent Christmas Day research the table and then found this website so I posted to ask for help.......Need to go now but more to come.
  13. chadnliz

    chadnliz Member

    You can also do research on, they have forums aswell, you will get great info at either this site or over at Audiogon and when doing research the more info the better.
  14. jrtrent

    jrtrent Member

    Since you already have another turntable and cartridge, it would be interesting to mount up your current AT440ML on the Sota to see how it performs relative to your 610C.

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