It's true that you need to give it an extra manual push to get
it to 78 RPM.  There is method behind this madness - the idea
being to minimize the torque applied by the motor to reduce the
affects of motor cogging on the platter speed.

You'll find that many of the high-end tables need to be manually
brought up to speed.  Some, like the Nottingham, leave the motor
in a stalled condition when "on", and when you want to play, you
manually spin the platter to "start".

The lack of speed control is a valid shortcoming of the P78 for
playing "78s" whose record speed differs greatly from 78 (or
78.23) RPM.  This can be remedied with a speed controller, but
that adds considerable cost.  However, the speed controller
gives you more than pitch control, it gives you constant voltage
and frequency independent of what is happening on your power
line.  You can have a very heavy platter, but that still won't
counteract inconsistent power at the motor.  The speed controller
will improve the sound.

There are some third-party semi-automatic lifts (at end of play)
that can be added to a turntable, but I don't have any experience
with these.  But this may be one way to make a manual turntable

The Rega P78 may be a better sounding 'table than the Technics
(in my opinion), but it may not have the features you're looking
for if you want pitch control.  The Rega P78 is only $100 more
than the Technics.

Other recommendations:

  - Elberg MD-12 phono preamp (for non-RIAA EQ of 78s)
  - Shure M44-7 cartridge

The Elberg MD-12 only lacks a lateral/vertical switch (if you
don't have any vertically cut records, you don't need the
switch anyway), but is otherwise very easy to use, and the
design and electronics are very high caliber and sound good.
Although the Elberg doesn't give you every last EQ combination,
it does a great job for "getting close" for listening purposes.

The Shure M44-7 is a great bang-for-buck cartridge.  You can
get custom styli for it from Expert Stylus in England so that
you can play just about any record.  Also, the manufacturing
consistency on the Shures is much better than the Stantons.
The Shure is a dynamic cartridge and is harmonically correct
for the most part.  For listening to 78s, it's a hard cartridge
to beat without stepping up to a moving coil.

Eric Jacobs
The Audio Archive

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Daniel Leech-Wilkinson
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 12:07 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] turntable recommendations

I have a Rega planar 78 at home and a Technics 1200MkII at work, and I wish
I'd never bought the Rega. You have to swing the turntable to get it to 78,
and then there's no (other!) speed control. But the Technics is great.


At 11:30 13/06/2005 -0700, eugene audio wrote:
>13 June 2005
>     That's funny - the statement about the Thorens
>crashing into the dumpster being the best sound it
>    I've had a few of the Thorens 124's and 160's.
>I never liked them much. I've also had a thousand
>  other turntables over the years.
>    If you want to buy new, I lke the Technics
>1200Mk2. We just received a new one here at work.
>They have improved the feet and chassis to
>help isolate external vibrations. And they
>have a simple adjustment to set tonearm height.
>IT IS NOT SEMI-AUTOMATIC, only manual. But it
>is a nice heavy turntable that should give many
>years of reliable use. At $450. it leaves money for a
>good cartridge compared to much more expensive tables.
>   If you want to buy used, I have a Technics 1700
>at home which is an auto-return model.(not for sale)
>It's ok, but
>not as nice as the 1200. They also made a model
>(1900?) which was an automatic version of the 1200.
>But buying used may put you into another situation
>where you might have problems. Some older turntables
>developed problems with the cueing mechanisms which
>caused the stylus to scratch across the record during
>auto-return. Some were easy to service, some not.
>   What I like about the 1200 is that you can listen
>to your records as the debates flow back
>and forth comaring/contrasting belt drives, platform
>isolated tonearms, S-shape or straight tonearms,
>linear tracking arms, la de da, la de da .......
>   My opinion is, buy a turnatble with plenty of
>weight/mass and a sturdy toearm, then put your money
>into the cartridge which is where most of the sound
>characteristic comes from.
>   I'm NOT a big Technics/Panasonic fan. But they
>did consistently make some nice turntables. And
>some cheap ones too.
>--- James Lindner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I would like to get a turntable for personal use -
> > not for restoration, just
> > to play back some of my personal collection of LP's
> > for personal listening.
> > No transcription disks or anything fancy - just for
> > home use, no "DJ
> > Scratching" - just playing some old disks in
> > reasonably good condition.
> >
> > I want something that has good isolation, that may
> > be the most important
> > issue where my turntable is located. People will
> > walk on the floor nearby -
> > it is unavoidable. Nothing huge - it has to fit on a
> > normal "entertainment
> > center" shelf.
> >
> > I hate hum - I had to throw away a thorens 145c -
> > worst hum in history and I
> > could not get it out of the system no matter what I
> > did and no matter what I
> > tried, it did however make a very nice sound as it
> > smashed into the dumpster
> > when dropped 20 feet - that was probably the best
> > sound it ever made. I am
> > not interested in another  "project" - I just want
> > something out of the box
> > that works.  I would prefer automatic or
> > semi-automatic.
> >
> > Suggestions??
> >
> > Jim Lindner
> >
> > *
> >