CHERRY VINTAGE AUDIO / objets d'art (Since 2014) 

CHERRY VINTAGE AUDIO / objets d'art (Since 2014) 


Page 1 Stereo Turntables (NO shipping)

Pioneer PL-600
Pioneer PL-600

Pioneer PL-600 

(1979)  $600

This *original model Pioneer PL-600 is in amazing cosmetic condition and is absolutely fully operational.  This heavyweight from Pioneer is a fully automatic, direct-drive unit with quartz locked speed and completely electronic push button operation.  These are pretty rare...not often seen and certainly hardly ever seen in such great condition as this one is.

It has the original Pioneer headshell equipped with a new Sumiko Oyster "Classic" cartridge & stylus.  The PL-600 was a generation ahead of the Pioneer’s prior turntables, being sleek and futuristic.

By the mid-to-late 70's, Pioneer was determined to remain the "king of sales" when going head to head with the competition.  When it came to turntables, there was no doubt that Technics was in Pioneer's way. 
The various versions of the excellent Technics SL-1700, 1301, 1200, etc were making waves in the marketplace so...Pioneer had to do something about that...along came the PL-600...

For those who may not know, Pioneer made two different model PL-600 turntables. The original model described above and below was built In 1979 when they introduced the excellent quartz direct-drive PL-600 (with silver plinth) and the PL-600X (with black plinth) that's pretty heavy at 26 lbs.  Later on in the 80's, they produced a much lesser quality, belt drive PL-600.  So...same model numbers, yet TOTALLY different turntables. 

This unit is one of those original PL-600 models which has been compared to the Technics SL-1301, both of which have isolators/suspension (sometimes referred to as a coaxial suspension), unlike the Technics SL1200, for comparison sake. As mentioned, it weighs 26 lbs and not only was it very well built, but is much closer to "honest" audiophile quality than most of the cheaper direct drive units (or even cheaper belt drive units for that matter).   

Besides the 2-speed functionality it also has record selection size as well with repeat and most importantly, it has VTA!   The VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) of a tonearm on a turntable is a critical adjustment for good sound.  This is the angle the cantilever makes with the surface of the record.  That's another function of design on the PL-600 giving quality at it's best! 

Other features include the heavy champagne (light gold-coated) aluminium platter, superb tone arm and an excellent direct drive motor.  The platter and tone arm are suspended as mentioned above.  The platter is separate from the turntable base, which was constructed of pressed steel and painted black. It was joined by four springs, which were foam-dampened. The platter and tonearm were also mounted on this springy subchassis, so vibrations picked up from the plinth or dustcover had to pass through the springs before reaching the platter and tonearm.

One of the very few caveats in the PL-600 design was the rubber feet; they would tend to disintegrate over time.  Fortunately, this particular unit's feet are still in great shape plus we added four new anti-resonant 1/2" thick pads under each foot.  The original dustcover and the solid metal spring hinges are also in excellent condition.

Everything from the optically triggered, non-contact tonearm drive motor to the microswitch regulating the lift-lower cueing motor is of the finest quality. The brushless, slotless linear turntable drive motor is quiet and powerful, with a phase-locked loop quartz circuit that reduces wow and flutter to 0.02 percent WRMS and noise to a claimed -78dB.

Essentially, the PL-600 is best described as a true collector quality Pioneer turntable that's generally considered to be one of the best from Pioneer.

NOTE: as a free bonus, this turntable comes with three separate essential and fully functional parts from another PL-600 parts unit including: platter motor, tonearm motor and transformer.

Type: direct drive
Motor: quartz PLL Hall motor
Platter: 330mm aluminium alloy diecast
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: 0.025%
Rumble: 78dB
Tonearm: static-balanced type, s-shaped pipe arm
Cartridge weight range: 4 to 12.5g
Dimensions: 18"W x 6"H x 15.1"D
Weight: 24 lbs

About Pioneer...
Not much needs to be said about Pioneer other then the simple fact that the name is known worldwide for above average quality and excellence in high fidelity component design.  They were the unchallenged leader in stereo advertising and marketing in the 70's.  Back in the day, Pioneer made it clear that if you didn't have a Pioneer stereo system in your house (or college dorm) you just didn't have the right stuff.


Kenwood KD-3033
Kenwood KD-3033

Kenwood KD-3033 

('75-'77)  $350

In excellent cosmetic condition and fully operational, this gorgeous (and very rare) Kenwood KD-3033 is a belt drive fully automatic turntable.

There are two motors in this unit; one drives the platter and the other handles the automatic functions.  The mechanism is handled with a unique independent geared motor.  After 5 years of prototype testing (starting in 1971) this was Kenwood's exclusive design that features several functions: automatic lead-in of the stylus, automatic cut, auto-return, auto-repeat and auto-stop.  It was their fully tested and proven system, refined to the nth degree, from which all possible bugs were eliminated.  Today, about 45+ years later, it still works exactly as it did the day it was first released.

The very handsome and visually stunning, walnut veneer plinth sits on four brand new, custom color-matched, elevated anti-resonant feet. It has been completely serviced and has a brand new belt. 
The original (and totally unique) two-piece dust cover features an elaborate rotating hinge system.  

Kenwood's 4-pole AC synchronous motor that operates the turntable is completely stable and extremely accurate.  Inside, holding the motor, the rubber damping mounts are supple and appear almost new.  The second motor is a 24 pole synchronous gear motor housed in a separate location inside the unit and handles all the automatic functions.

The static-balanced pipe-styled tonearm has both the original counterbalance and lateral balancer.  Mounted on the custom real timberwood headshell is a brand new Ortofon Omega cartridge & stylus.
The platter also has a new "Corkey" cork 'n rubber anti-resonant mat.

All the topside controls are a perfect example of how to build a complex machine that operates with an uncluttered minimalist design. The single start/stop/repeat bar handles all the functions; there's really no need to ever touch the arm.  

If you want to get involved manually, you can switch the selector switch at the rear right hand side of the arm into "manual" mode.  You can then move the arm over any part of the record and push the control bar; the arm will slowly descend onto the record and will still return and shut off at the end.

Drive: belt-drive system
Motor: 4-pole synchro / 24-pole synchro gear for auto opeation
Platter: 30cm aluminium alloy die-cast
Speeds: 33.33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: less than 0.06% WRMS
Signal to noise ratio: more than 49dB
Tonearm: static balance type, s-shaped pipe arm
Dimensions: 19"W x 14"D x 6.6"H
Weight: 16 lbs

About Kenwood (Trio)...
Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles.

In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Co with a focus on CB radio.

An importer of Japanese-made electronics Radio Shack (Realistic, Tandy Corp) was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there established a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.

The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and North America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliance (Sears) \, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood.  The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood.  Eventually, Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC/Kenwood.


Sansui XR-Q7
Sansui XR-Q7

Sansui XR-Q7  

(1981)  $600

Rarely seen and duly noted as one of Japan's very best during the height of turntable production, this Sansui XR-Q7 is in excellent cosmetic and working condition.  
NOTE: Sansui had a series of turntables that included the XR-Q7, Q9 and Q11.  Of all three, the XR-Q7 is deemed the most reliable and "service friendly" in comparison to the other models.

Essentially, besides being a beautiful vintage turntable, it's a fully automatic, direct-drive, quartz locked design with the proprietary plinth encased in a stunning rosewood laminate base.  The large, double-layered custom feet assure a resonant free operation. 

The statically symmetrical removable straight arm comes with a brand new Ortofon Blue cartridge and stylus.

The unique split-platter is composed of a polyester composite resin that forgoes the need for an additional mat.  The underside inside diameter of the platter is coated with a recorded signal that's called a magnetic timing strip (similar to the coated tape used in reel-to-reel tape decks.) There is a sensor that "reads" the strip to measure and control the speed.   The sensor resembles a typical tape deck head.
The entire operation is by a computer-controlled photoelectric (detection type) pushbutton system and a contactless full auto mechanism.

From Sansui:
"The innovatively developed silent synchrotor system, which is located in the XR-Q7 turntable, proved that it prevents the reactionary force generated by the direct drive motor from vibrating the turntable housing. It works by turning the silent synchrotor in the opposite direction of the direct drive motor at any given time, eliminating any torque fluctuations when they occur. The design features a quartz-servo system for perfect speed control, an amazing vibration-free D-O-B arm (Dynaoptimum Balanced) with a vibration-free arm base, precise computer-controlled fully automated operation and a solid disc mat that helps ensure optimal reproduction quality.  The Sansui XR-Q7 proves that an automatic turntable does not have to compromise in terms of sound performance in the least. This is a great device that provides a sensational, multi-faceted sound."


~2-speed, fully automatic turntable with synchrotor and quartz servo
~Motor: DC coreless brushless DC motor
~Drive: direct spindle drive with synchrotor system
~Platter: 330 mm aluminum alloy
~Wow and flutter: less than 0.009%
~Signal to noise ratio: better than 80 dB
~Speeds: 33 and 45 rpm
~Tonearm: Statically symmetrical straight arm D-O-B  with a two-piece support
~Angle of movement: 22 degrees
~Cartridge weight: from 4 to 9.5 g
~Input: SV-101 double magnet
~Dimensions: 19.3"W x 7.5"H x 17"D
~Weight: 25 lbs

About Sansui...

The name Sansui is translated as meaning "mountain and water".  Founded in Tokyo in 1947, Sansui initially manufactured electronic parts.  By the 1960s, they had developed a reputation for making serious audio components. They were sold in foreign markets through that and the next decade.  Sansui's amplifiers, receivers, speakers turntables and tuners from the late 60's, through the 70's and very early 80's continue to remain in high demand by audio enthusiasts.

Note: Sansui Electric Co., Ltd. is now part of Grande Holdings, a Chinese Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which also owns Japanese brands Akai and Nakamichi. The name still appears on modern budget hi-fi separates in some markets, but doesn’t share any real DNA with the great vintage models from the 70's and 80's. If you want to know how great it once was, then check out some of those vintage lovelies; they’re far cheaper than you’d expect for such well built and sonically capable products.


Thorens TD-180
Thorens TD-180

Thorens TD-180 

('91-'98)   $300

In excellent condition and fully operational this unusual Thorens TD-180 turntable is a three speed, belt-drive semi-automatic with an "auto-retract" automatic return and shutoff.   When you lift the cover, the *LencoLamp switches on to illuminate the interior.  When you lower the tinted acrylic cover down, it almost has a mysterious appeal, especially with the attractive wood-tone accent that wraps around the black satin finish.  

*Bonus:  Included is an extremely rare "LencoLamp" with a brand new bulb.  This unique lamp has an internal mercury switch that activates the light when the dustcover is opened.

The straight pipe tonearm has a brand new Audio-Technica AT85EP cartridge with a new elliptical stylus.  Most unusual are the three speeds on this unit for 33, 45 and 78 RPM!  It has a new belt and (most important) the proprietary (separate) power supply.

Apparently, Thorens decided that, in order to save money, they chucked out any ideas involving a lot of wood and went with a black resin base (plinth).  Although the TD-180 was designed by Thorens, it was sub-contracted out for the actual construction and distribution.

Originally, this model was designed to attract those who wanted the "assumed" Thorens quality but didn't have the bucks to buy their more expensive units.  

Essentially, this is a great (unique) turntable with flawless operation.

About Thorens...
We found an excellent link that does a deep dive into the origins and history of Thorens:


Pro-Ject Debut III

(2005)  $250

The Pro-Ject Debut III is a manually operated unit and was the second version of the earlier Pro-Ject 1.2 and is basically the same turntable.  Very few analog hi-fi products were more often honored to be a real "Best Buy" than this one. It was (and still is) considered a real bargain with outstanding sound quality! 

This turntable is a complete "plug'n'play" unit that includes a Pro-Ject 8.6 tonearm and an Ortofon Omega moving-magnet cartridge.  The Pro-Ject's AC motor has a two-step metal pulley, for 33 and 45rpm which drives the hub and platter via a flat-ground belt.

To reduce the transmission of vibrations, the motor is decoupled from the fiber-board plinth, which sits on four shock-absorbing feet. The steel-sheet platter is fitted with a felt mat and sits on a hub with a spindle of chrome-plated stainless steel runs on a polished ball bearing in a brass housing.  The unit's power supply is separately housed.The headshell and undamped arm-tube are cut from a single piece of aluminum. The inverted horizontal bearings consist of two hardened stainless-steel points.  However, the arm's vertical tracking angle (VTA) is not adjustable. The phono cable terminates in gold-plated plugs.  The attractive, original dust-cover is included.

The Pro-Ject Debut III:

• Plinth is made out of MDF in piano black gloss (an optional wood & aluminum base is available at extra cost)

• 3 lb balanced steel platter with felt mat  

• Bearing Block 3: Low-tolerance chrome-plated stainless-steel axle runs on a polished ball bearing in a brass bearing housing  

• Motor decoupled to reduce vibration  

• Special, resonance damping feet are copied through the base of the console 


The Tonearm 

• 8.6" tone-arm with aluminum headshell made out of one piece  

• Inverted tonearm bearing comprises inverted hardened stainless steel points and sapphire thrust-pads  

• Single-screw fixing of arm-tube allows rotation for easy adjustment of needle azimuth despite fixed headshell  

• Silicon damped tone-armlift 

Dimensions: 16.2"W x by 4.6"H x by 12.5"D.
Weight: 12.1 lbs
Platter weight: 2.7 lbs

About Pro-Ject...
Heinz Lichtenegger founded Pro-Ject Audio Systems in Austria in 1990.  He made no bones about his abiding faith in the superiority and endurance of the vinyl record medium. Was this “old school” audiophile out of his mind? It certainly seemed that way, because virtually everyone in the audio business just knew that the LP (long playing) was destined to be dead as a popular music-reproduction medium.

The last laugh now belongs to Lichtenegger, whose company’s Czech-made record players are selling quite well, along with its host of related record-playing accessories (preamps, cleaners, stylus gauges, cables, and more). Today, Pro-Ject offers a dizzying menu of turntables at wildly varying prices. But, very evidently by design, there are extremely attractive choices for music lovers who are just entering the market or are serious about upgrading from a low-end turntable.