[78-L] Record collecting week 4, turntables

Ken Matheson kenmath at yahoo.com
Tue May 1 10:02:48 PDT 2012

Week 4, Turntables
Capstan/wheel drive, the old ones used in consumer
equipment are inherently noisy, the older, the noisier.
The rubber parts deteriorate over time and are
Impossible To replace. But if this is in your budget, it
may be a good idea where to start.
Belt drive are the next best thing. Don’t expect to
find a new belt cheap or easily. I once bought
a small stereo with a belt drive turntable for five
dollars. The belt had stretched and it was
Impossible to find a new belt. They were available
from England but I had to buy 500 of them. 
Everything worked except the turntable. It got
donated to a thrift store. I know there are good DJ
belt drive turntables out there. I would stay away
from belt drive though.
There are fancy turntable meant for high end systems
that look nice with fancy furniture. Some have glass
turntables, etc. These are out of most of our price
My choice for number one is a direct drive turntable.
I have found consumer grade direct drive turntables
with good cartridges, at garage sales for 10 dollers.
I use direct drive DJ turntables. I don’t have to worry
about belts, or belt slippage. They have handy features
that consumer turntables don’t have. One of the
features is a break. You can put the record on, set the
speed, apply  the break put the needle at the start of
the record lead in, or track. Then you can hit the break
to start the record, and hit the record button on your
equipment at the same time. Thus eliminating fumbling
around with the tone arm while the equipment is
recording. Another is a pitch control. Not all 78s are 78
RPM. Some of the older ones are 76 to 100 RPM.
another feature is the dampened tone arm lowering
device. It saves needle drops and scratches. I have
found direct drive 45/33 RPM DJ Turntables with
cartridge at garage sales for 50 dollers. You can expect
to pay 100 to 200 dollars for a decent used DJ 78/45/33
RPM turntable. One thing to watch out for with used DJ
turntables is a bent tome arm. Drunken parties take
there toll on tone arms.
Another turntable worth a mention is the all in one.
You put a CD in, put your record on and it gives you
a finished CD. I would recommend against this due to
needed restoration of 78s.
You may find a transcription turntable.  This may
be good if you plan on playing transcriptions, but
It may be capstan/wheel drive. If someone gives it to
you, what the heck. 

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