The Technics Sp-15 is a standard among Archivist world wide! It's a well
built unit with 3 speeds that was originally used for radio station
work. And can be had with a good SME arm for around 500-600.00

 The Sp-15 was originally sold as just the motor unit, no base or tone
arm. But Technics Did have a SH-15 base available. This setup with a SME
3009II arm is a great setup for transcription work. Add a custom base
and a SME 3012R and you have one of the better setups for 16" disc

 The Esoteric Sound units seem very "flimsy" to me in comparison to the
Sp-15 systems. And if you like torque, the Sp-15 can spin it's 6lb
platter to speed in as little as .4 seconds!! And its Digital pitch
control with its +/- 9.9% range will satisfy most demands!

 Ok I Am a little BIASED! I own a company called Overkill audio that
specializes in SP-15 sales & service! I also custom manufacture a number
of upgrade items for these decks like a Removable Spindle!!! A Must for
78 work! We also custom manufacture bases in any size, finish or
material! You can find me at

 Of course if you want the absolute ultimate in transcription decks then
the Simon York decks are the king, but who has 10K++++ to spend. And in
fact I have yet to find a deck under 10K that can compete with the Sp-15
for 78 rpm transcription work!

 The SP-15 is not by any means an audiophile deck, it was never meant to
be. it is a very good deck, but generally Audiophiles will want
something that is belt drive etc. I recommend the VPI's, Basis, Sota,
Music Hall and many others for that type of thing.

 One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a Used SP-15, is that because
this model uses a Switching Power supply and digitally controlled
circuitry it WILL need to be rebuilt to be reliable. These decks are
approaching 20 years old and often times exhibit quirky problems due to
many factors. I have yet to find one that doesn't need to be rebuilt.

 My rebuild kits will fix many of those problems and I offer a complete
rebuild service, or trade in of any SP-15 working or not towards one of
my rebuilt units!

 I have talked with many people on this list that have these decks so
you should be able to find opinions on these decks other then my heavily
biased opinion hahahahah

 Best of luck, let me know if Overkill audio inc. can be of any service!

 Dave Meyers
 Overkill audio inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sirnailhead JR Superfly
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 9:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Need Turntable advice for amateur archivist

Hello...I just signed up again after being off the list for quite a few
months, so if I'm dredging up a recent thread please fell free to give
me a link that I can check it out on the web archives, or however that

I'm in need of a new TT, and I would like to be able to do some amateur
sound restoration/preservation.  Mostly it is working with my own
collection and that of various pals and associates, and by and large it
would be records made in the last 30 years or so, often garage/punk type
stuff that was at times poorly recorded and cheaply pressed.  I do have
other interests, including a small personal collection of 78's so I'm
looking for something that gives me the most options for the future.
And my budget tops out at about $500.

At first I was looking for a nice Technics 1200, but I found a Denon
Model, the DP DJ151.  It plays 33/45/78, is direct drive and has a
digital line out that can be jacked directly into a PC, CDR, etc.  This
possibility sounds intriguing, but I would be curious as to how it
sounds.  It has the proper phono EQ to compensate for newer equipment
that doesn't have a Phono pre standard, or you can run out of the analog
set into an amp that does.  Anyone familiar with sound and workability
of this?

I'm also considering several of the models that Esoteric sound has.
I've never bought from them, but have heard only positive things.  I
like that they have more speeds and an even wider range of RPMs with the
pitch controls.  Has anyone owned or used any of the models that have
under $500 (RA-6, Rondine Jr, Rek o Kut Seti, Ramses II and Vintage
models) and have any advice or opinions in choosing one?  I don't expect
I will need to deal with 16" transcription discs or exceptionally
rare/high end 78's.  Much of what I would devote large amounts of time
would be 45's, with the occasional LP, some of which are in less than
mint shape.  Due to the rarity of such things I would like to be able to
get the best possible sound off the grooves before I start working on
them with PC cleanup tools.

At this point I'm leaning towards one of the Esoteric Models, unless
someone gives me another model to consider or the Denon turns out to be
highly recommended.  I'd also like info about the best cartridge's I can
get for this type of thing.  Up to now I have always used Shure and
Stanton cartridges, but often with the DJ/Warhorse needles like the
Stanton D6800s.  Should I stick with these brands and switch to a
different type of needle?  Should I have one needle that I use only for
transfers and a 2nd (of the same or different model) to use for everyday
listening so I don't run them down?  If anyone has already wrestled thru
these questions lately please give me your thoughts, and if there is a
thread in the archives point me to it and I'll check that out.  Thanks.
Randy Lancelot