• 08-22-2004, 05:58 PM
    N. Abstentia
    Stupid turntable question...manual control.
    I warned you..it's a stupid question :)

    I'm looking to upgrade to a new turntable in the near future, and I love the looks of the Music Hall/Rega/Project/NAD/Thorens style tables.

    Here's the question..what exactly does 'full manual' mean? I realize that with full manual that you cannot push a button and have the needle move over and down automatically, then return home when the record is over. I don't mind lifting the needle onto the record manually, but what happens when the record is over? Does the needle just lift up or something?
  • 08-23-2004, 03:53 AM
    You have to lift the arm up and put it back on it's rest. Otherwise the 'table will continue to turn and the stylus will continue playing that inner groove until the cows come home.
  • 08-23-2004, 04:46 AM
    N. Abstentia
    Ugh. Thanks Mark. I can now eliminate all manual tables from my search :)

    That puts the Thorens TD170 at the top of my list now.
  • 08-24-2004, 07:32 AM
    The other thing about a fully manual table is that you'll have to manually move the belt from one pulley on the motor to another in order to change speeds.

    So - why does anyone buy a fully manual table???

    Well - here's the thing. They're usually better tables for a couple of reasons:

    1) Automatic tables are usually going to cause more record damage than manual tables will, especially on the inner grooves as the tonearm reaches the end of the record. Most automatic tables use a mechanical device (spring loaded switch, etc.) on the arm to trigger the arm removal at the end of the record. These devices typically add additionl resistance to the travel of the arm and stylus as it reaches the end of the record and can therefore cause those areas to wear faster than the outer grooves - hope that makes sense!

    2) The motors on manual tables run at a constant speed and are therefore typically more accurate.

    3) Your tonearm upgrade path is usually very limited on non-existent on automatic tables.

    This isn't to say that the Thorens TD170 may not be your best bet given your needs - I'm not at all familiar with it since I've only always owned manual tables. Just some things to consider though.
  • 08-24-2004, 08:30 AM
    N. Abstentia
    Yeah I understand why some folks would want a manual turntable, it's just not for me. I'm usually in another room or asleep by the time the record ends, and leave it up to me to forget to go lift it up. It would just stay turning until I went to play another record so that would probably be more damaging than an automatic tonearm!

    As far as upgrades, I won't be upgrading. I just need something basic to play the few records I have. The only upgrade I would probably ever do would be a new cartridge, although the Thorens comes with an Orotofon 10 which might be fine.

    Just to put it into perspective, I am currently using an old Pioneer PL-4 that I got at a yard sale for $10. I did buy a new Grado Black cart for it (seemed like the best el cheapo one out there) and I'm very happy with it actually. It sounds great and outperforms CD by a long shot. The only real reasons I want to get a new one is because I WANT a new one! All the tables I've ever had have been used. Plus I want belt drive, and I want it black (this one is silver..sticks out like sore thumb!)