Stereo Turntables (Page 2)

JVC Victor VL-5

JVC Victor VL-5 (1972) $225 (rare)


During the early 70's, competition in the turntable market was fierce between all the major leading Japanese brands.  The VL-5 was produced in this era and was designed to directly challenge Pioneer for dominance in the market. 

One of the most popular was Pioneer's PL-41 with it's huge, real timber-wood case.  We've had a few of these as well.  

Despite it's obvious beauty and excellent build, a few things were "lacking" in the the original PL-41.  It was strictly a manually operated deck (you had to be there to pick up the arm at the end of the record) and it was a dedicated stereo-only turntable.  

The huge electronics conglomerate JVC/Victor Co decided to go head-to-head with Pioneer and brought out the VL-5.  

Similar in physical design to the PL-41, the VL-5 has the same type of beautiful real timber case, large tinted dust cover with strong metal hinges (they never break) but...it had two major upgrades while selling for the same price as the Pioneer.

The upgrades?  

The VL-5 was CD4 capable and had tonearm auto-up at the end of play.  So, this beauty is a semi-automatic, two-speed belt drive with a cueing lifter and static balanced S-shaped tonearm that offered the customer the ease of operation and no worry at the end of play.  

Plus, if you desired, it could deliver excellent stereo or 4-channel playback.

Underneath, as far as servicing goes, the VL-5 is so simple to take care of, it's a breeze even if you're not technically proficient.

There can be no argument that, when it comes to the "vintage" look of the 70's, the JVC Victor VL-5 definitely has that...in spades.

About JVC (Victor) of Japan...

JVC was established in Yokohama, Japan in 1927 as the Japanese subsidiary of the U.S. firm, Victor Talking Machine Company. They pressed the very first record ever...in Japan in 1930.
There unusual approach to design (for vintage stereo gear) included the extensive use of multi-band graphic equalizers instead of simple bass/mid/treble controls.  The quality of their vintage turntables and electronic gear is mostly first rate and has emerged from being "under the radar" of collectors looking for excellent value.

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Panasonic RD-2900

Panasonic RD-2900 aka Technics SL-2900 (1978) SOLD

Designed in Japan (1978) then released in North America as the Technics SL-2900 and in South America as the Panasonic RD-2900, they are virtually identical except for badges on the front.  The Panasonic brand had a much wider acceptance in South America while the name Technics was not as well known.

This beautiful RD-2900 is a direct-drive, fully automatic turntable with features including: 
automated starting and stopping...

selectable record size for the automated start of different sized records...

repeat function...

S-shaped static balanced tone arm...

ift/lower cueing toggle...

adjustable RPM knobs for both 33rpm & 45rpm...

pitch controls...

strobe light for timing and anti-skating. 

The walnut veneer plinth on these vintage Panasonic and Technics models were some of the very few turntables with that "woodsy" look from Matsushida of Japan...most were plastic.



About PANASONIC/ TECHNICS / MATSUSHITA
Founded in the 1920's, the huge Japanese conglomerate Matsushita had interests in many electronics companies.  The most well known would be Technics and Panasonic. Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965.  Eventually, Technics became a premium brand bringing classics like the SL-1200mkii turntable and the absolute monster receiver at the top of the list: Technics SA-1000 (330 watts per channel)


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Sony PS-5520

Sony PS-5520 (1972) SOLD


We have another of these classic vintage, high quality turntables from Sony and, as such, has become one of our personal favorite decks...we've had several in the last few years. 

When first released in 1972, the PS-5520 was a well engineered and versatile fully automatic turntable.     

Operation is accomplished using only one push of the operating lever.  

This model has many important features which contribute to the faithful reproduction of your records; a static balance tonearm, an effective anti-skating compensator and, as mentioned before, now has a new (NOS) reliable 4-pole hysteresis synchronous motor.
Built into a gorgeous walnut plinth, this "Gold Badge" edition Sony PS-5520 also has the great looking classic split design, perplex tinted dust cover with heavy duty hinges.  

Nothing cheap here, tough as nails yet beautiful and simple...a pleasure to own, to admire and easy to operate.


About Sony...

One of the oldest and most famous brands in the world, there's nothing we can say about Sony that hasn't been said already.


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Optonica RP-4705

Optonica RP-4705 ('80-'82) $245 reduced

For those of you who are upscale-minded Optonica collectors (like us), we offer this very unique and beautiful RP-4705 direct-drive turntable. 

 In flawless cosmetic condition with the original unique Optonica headshell and, as an added plus, it's mounted with a very nice *Accutex LPM-312 cartridge and stylus (see note below) 
The RP-4705 is a quartz-locked, direct drive turntable featuring simple push button operation, even with the crystal clear solid glass top lowered in position. 

Accurate speed controls are verified by the strobe window on the front of the platter. 

The beautiful glass top that covers the dark grey aluminum "well" (plinth) and protects the platter and tonearm, swings up on heavy duty hinges.  

Truly this is a stunning setup designed to impress and built to excellent specs. 


*Note: The Acutex LPM-312 cartridge/stylus has a number of qualities that tend to put it in a higher class than the "average" setup.  "LPM" stands for "Lowest Possible Mass".  

The cartridge is a "Tri-Pole Induced Magnetic System" (MM, moving magnet) with a frequency response of 20Hz - 35kHz
The bonded, modified "Shibata tri-radial" (STR) stylus has an aluminum alloy cantilever.  The stylus was named after the Japanese engineer who originally designed the the stylus for the complicated demands of quadraphonic recordings but, it's absolutely perfect for stereo.Although this LPM-312 is not new, it still sounds just fine... 


About Optonica...
Slowly becoming more popular, the once "under the radar" Optonica components have been rising in price for collectors of fine vintage audio gear.  Sharp Industries of Japan, the parent company, decided to go all out and compete with the best of the competition of the era.  History shows that they told their labs and designers to create the brand "Optonica" and go full bore. spare no expense towards designing unique, high end components that would stand out in the crowded audio marketplace of the 70's and 80's.  Their decision to jump in the market was almost too late to have a major impact because by the end of the 70's and early 80's, the so-called "Golden era of HiFi was coming to an end...

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Micro Seiki MB-15

Micro Seiki MB-15 ('76-'80)  $175 (reduced)


From very expensive, high-end turntables to budget models, truth be told, Micro Seiki never made a cheap turntable...a few less expensive models to be sure but never cheap.

In 1976, using the same technology that introduced the famous Micro Seiki DDX-1000, they released the mid-level, belt-drive MB-15 as a less expensive alternative with its own elegance and understatement in design.  Other than the motor drive, they both had the same, very excellent S-shaped tonearms (solid feel, no wobble), same electronic automatic tonearm lift and shutoff along with the identical solenoid oil-damped cueing. 

An electronic sensor controls shut-off and arm-lift operation: a "Hall-effect" IC sensor detects a change in tonearm speed at the end of the record and activates a viscous-damped device which lifts the tonearm and shuts off power.

Its diecast aluminum platter is driven by a 4-pole synchronous motor coupled with a precision polished belt that effectively acts a damping device; wow and flutter is less than 0.06%

A solenoid-activated cueing system and an easy-to-adjust anti-skating control are among its attractions.

The semi-automatic Micro Seiki MB-15 has a beautiful champagne faux-metallic plinth.

Although there is no dustcover included, this is still a VERY good price for a VERY good turntable.



About Micro-Seiki...

‚ÄčThe company was founded in 1961, in Tokyo, as a maker of high-precision metal parts but was not primarily an audio company at first. It didn't get into the turntable business until 1976 with the massive DDX-1000, which accepted up to three tonearms simultaneously. The company continued to make turntables throughout the '70s and '80s. But it fell on hard times and shipped its last turntable in 2001. Even today Even today, Micro-Seiki still has a large international fan base.
Micro Seiki's eight or nine product lines boasted 89 turntables and 18 tonearms.  The assortment is epic, with belt drive and direct drive both well represented, and a variety of price points from entry level to bleeding edge.
It's a little known fact that that Luxman turntables, back in the day, had been manufactured by Micro Seiki. And, as is well known today, Micro Seiki has a well-earned reputation for making high-performance turntables under its own name


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Sanyo TP-626

Sanyo TP-626 (1977) $200


Often passed up by "experts" as just another turntable, this is actually a pretty rare, well-made beauty, made in Japan by CEC for Sanyo. The TP-626 is a high-performance, auto-return, stereo turntable that was designed and engineered to be a source of entertainment and listening pleasure for many years to come.
The specs and build quality for this elegant, semi-automatic, 2-speed, belt-drive turntable are very, very good.  

The design of the 626 is a departure from the usual, basic styling of most vintage decks out there. The simple controls along with the twin chrome counterweights and anti-skate pendulum all combine to set this apart.  

The 626 is fairly heavy at 16 lbs and has a unique greyish-green wooden plinth that sits on a secondary black wooden base.  

Basically the entire unit is in very good working and cosmetic condition...the original dust cover is free from cracks, scratches or any blemishes.  

Like we said earlier...pretty rare, hardly ever seen for sale (especially in this great condition) because they're keepers.  

It is certainly one of the better vintage era Sanyo turntables ever made. 

Sanyo Plus Q40

Sanyo Plus Q40  (1979) $200

This beauty is a Quartz PLL direct-drive, fully automatic turntable and one of Sanyo's higher end, premium quality Plus series of audio components.
A masterful design of high quality with many features including: 

Simple push buttons for full auto operation, 

low mass straight pipe tonearm, 

quartz locked speed with illuminated strobe, 

high density base for virtual near zero resonance, 

slow motion liquid smooth cueing and 

retro/modern satin back plinth and brushed aluminum frame with wood highlights.
The Plus Q-40 is mounted with a very nice Empire 90 EE/X cartridge / stylus and the original dust cover is crystal clear.

The turntable sits on a walnut base with spring loaded feet to eliminate acoustic feedback.

Sanyo TP-1010

Sanyo TP-1010 (1978) $175


The Sanyo TP-1010 was a so-called "entry-level" turntable yet was still a basic copy of the slightly more expensive TP-1012.  The biggest difference was the belt drive on the 1010 vs direct-drive on the 1012.  

The PLL servo motor on the 1010 is a worry free, reliable performer.

The 1010 is a semi-automatic, two-speed turntable with recently adjusted trim pots giving it a smooth, steady speed performance in both 33 and 45 RPM..

A nice feature on the 1010 (and seldom found on most belt drive units) is the topside built-in strobe and speed controls with an electronic speed change function.  

Even though this one has a brand new belt, any fluctuation in the motor speed (in the future) is easily fixed with a slight user-friendly adjustment of the 33 or 45 speed dials. 

A convenient cueing lever takes away any worry about accidentally dropping the static balance S-shaped tonearm on the record.  

The entire unit along with the original dust cover is in very good condition.

Sanyo, in an attempt to enhance the economical yet boring look of plastic, included a walnut vinyl veneer strip that wraps around the front and sides of the grey plinth...a nice design touch.


About Sanyo...

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. was a Japanese major electronics company and formerly a member of the Fortune Global 500.  They were one of the few electronics companies (like Hitachi) that made most of their own high fidelity components in-house using their own parts.  They also supplied some of the other big names like Pioneer, Sansui, etc. with Sanyo built parts and components. Their late 70's JCX series and the much improved "Plus Series" of components are very well known and in high demand by audiophiles.  At one point in their history, they had over 230 subsidiaries and affiliates.  Sanyo was eventually bought by Panasonic in 2009. 

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