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question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:31 pm

I think what it really comes down to is the question of what exactly are you looking for?

If you want vintage BBC nostalgia, then the RP2/10 is classic 70/80s BBC nostalgia.

If you want bland but standard international high-end broadcast kit, then the EMT is the better option.

If you want a good quality high-end hi-fi turntable, then go look in the second hand hi-fi shops because there's lots of very nice stuff kicking around that will easily outperform any broadcast-standard gramophone!
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:37 pm

James Perrett wrote:...fast start is not the 401's forte.

True... But then with a 6lb platter it was never meant to be!

That's why the BBC RP2/1 (and later players that used the Garrard 301 and 401 decks) kept the actual platter spinning all the time. The record was carried on a lightweight aluminium plate suspended a few mm above the platter and it was literally dropped down onto the platter when cued. A bit like dropping the clutch on a sports car for a fast get-away!

The massive weight of the platter meant that there was little reduction in speed when the disk was dropped, and it was completely brought up to the correct speed within 1/6 turn, if not less.

With the advent of the Technics high-torque direct-drive this suspended plate nonsense was no longer required, so the RP2/8 and 2/9s just had the straight SP10s.
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby CeruttiA » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:06 pm

Dear All,

after careful thinking I have decided to exchange the BBC TT against an EMT 938 - more solidly built and, I think, more likely to achieve a good sound with my set up (rogers 5/8 , audio research sp11).

Would be interested to have your experiences / opinions about the EMT machines (and cartridges). Perhaps , being half German, I am simply biased ...

Alexander
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Arpangel » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:56 pm

James Perrett wrote:There's a parallel thread going on at

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/sho ... p?t=173274

where Ted Kendall mentions that the SP10 was sometimes described as "a Garrard that works". I can quite understand why - fast start is not the 401's forte. I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of 401's when they were unfashionable and have been using them for nearly 40 years.

When I do get around to getting a turntable, it will be Technics based, probably a 1210 with a different arm.
Thechnics have amazing speed stability, it’s like having some of the advantages of CD with the sound of vinyl, I can remember comparing a friends Thorens 125 against his newly acquired 1210 with a decent cartridge in it, we were both really surprised, the Thorens sounded very vague, and weak, compared to the solidity of the 1210.
A 1210, in a custom plinth, with a decent arm and cartridge is a very formidable turntable indeed, if you can be bothered, if not I’d go for a Michell Gyro, or Project Experience.
It’s crazy though, the same friend recently found a Goldring GL69 in the street, he fixed it up and it sounds wonderful, you can pick these up for around £150.
I’ve owned all sorts of Thorens, a 150, 160, 125, and I was always "not quite" satisfied, I’ve owned various Michell's, and they’ve always sounded good, no niggly problems, like Thorens.
Uh-Oh...just spotted this...

http://www.emporiumhifi.com/head-office-norfolk-suffolk/technics-sl110-with-sme-3009-and-ortofon-cartridge/
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby ef37a » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:07 pm

In all the millions of pages of total bllx printed about "high fidelity" equipment by by beardy, tweaky t***s there was one properly tested component.

Despite my initial disbelief, the humble turntable mat was found to influence the sound of vinyl. No one it seemed had had the idea of isolating the record playing system from the speakers and trying various TT mats?

I shall not insult the intelligence of forumites with the acoustic reasons for the differences but, iirc (long time ago) the basic cheapo piece of 6mm felt was the least coloured.

From mastering stage (you have to ****k the response a bit to cut a decent level) to the lottery that is arms and PU cartridges it is a wonder the whole resonating mess sounds a good as it does. I am very happy to leave it to history.

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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Arpangel » Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:03 pm

I’m a big fan of feedback, you see people trying to isolate everything, turntables on wall mounted thick glass shelves, massively thick turntable platters, no no no, I like mine on big tables, coupled to the floor, so the speakers vibrations can travel up the legs.
I always wondered why my turntables sounded so much better actually on the floor, rather than on my wall shelf, so that’s what I’ll do from now on, just put it on a little wooden table on the floor. It ads a lovely colouration, velvety, rich.
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:23 pm

When I do get around to getting a turntable, it will be Technics based, probably a 1210 with a different arm.

I've had a Technics SL1800 MkII from new, (1980), and it's a great turntable. With the march of the 'rubber-band' army, Linn Sondek, etc., direct drives were pretty much sneered at and derided for years, but now with the SL1200G/GR, they are very much back in fashion!

I am also restoring my mother's old Thorens deck, have bought a new smoked grey lid, new arm board, etc.. I was going to go down the SME 3009 route, but despite their mechanical excellence, they are quite old now, tolerances a bit out and often missing parts, so am getting a new Rega arm instead.
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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:54 pm

ef37a wrote:In all the millions of pages of total bllx printed about "high fidelity" equipment by by beardy, tweaky t***s there was one properly tested component.

Despite my initial disbelief, the humble turntable mat was found to influence the sound of vinyl. No one it seemed had had the idea of isolating the record playing system from the speakers and trying various TT mats?

I shall not insult the intelligence of forumites with the acoustic reasons for the differences but, iirc (long time ago) the basic cheapo piece of 6mm felt was the least coloured.

I still have a Sansui 222 turntable (with an Ortofon cartridge) I bought in the late '70s. The mags rated it as the best budget buy by far back then. I stuck bitumen based car body panel dampening on the underside of the platter and, as I worked for a piano retailer at the time*, made a ¼" which felt mat for it. It is due for resurrection this winter and, hopefully, a new belt will be available.

* Where do you go to get felt?.... A piano workshop...

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Re: question on the BBC turntables : opinions !

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:38 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think what it really comes down to is the question of what exactly are you looking for?

If you want vintage BBC nostalgia, then the RP2/10 is classic 70/80s BBC nostalgia.

If you want bland but standard international high-end broadcast kit, then the EMT is the better option.

If you want a good quality high-end hi-fi turntable, then go look in the second hand hi-fi shops because there's lots of very nice stuff kicking around that will easily outperform any broadcast-standard gramophone!

Secondhand hi-fi shops are the last places to buy hi-fi, I can count the good ones (?) on the fingers of one finger, you’re much better off looking in the classifieds, and taking your chances. The prices in some shops are nothing short of being mugged, they make the vintage synth/recording gear market look positively cheap.
I love my records, but after awhile all that cleaning and having to put things back in sleeves is all a bit of a pain, records are OK for awhile, but then that "character" gets on my nerves and I start longing for a CD.
Also, records (not vinyl) are very trendy at the moment too, which is pushing up prices.
Turntables of a certain type are works of art, beautiful objects, that’s the attraction mainly, for me.
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