Here we archive information on turntable models that are no longer in production.
Acoustic Research (Teledyne) Although this company is mostly famous for their loudspeakers they did indeed make a line of hi-fi from the early 60's into the late 80's. Their turntables were almost legendary in the US but are seldom seen in Europe with their 80's models being an exception, but those were actually manufactured at the company's UK plant. There is an archive here of articles and pictures concerning the modification and rebuilding of classic 60's AR turntables.
The AR-11 model from the early 70's is unusually enough not a USA made or designed table but rather a OEM Japanese model that features a rim drive and auto return in contrast to the belt driven manual models that you have come to expect from the company, this model may not have been sold in all markets. The AR Turntable was the first UK made deck that was introduced in 1984 (slightly different to the US model that was introduced in 82 and not to be confused with the original 60's era models which are classified by the serial numbers), it was a reasonably priced unlike most of the indigenous opposition, got excellent reviews and sold quite well at the time, it's a classic AR 3 point suspended design a la Linn. The deck was usually sold with a unbranded or AR branded Japanese arms, available in a fixed headshell version with a straight armtube or a S type arm with a replaceable headshell, this means a standard Japanese mounting hole and thus it's easier to fit an arm originating from the land of the rising sun such as one of the Linn or Audioquest models than a SME or suchlike. The table could be had without an arm and some dealers sold them set up with Linn arms, company brochures state that the fixed headshell version of the AR arm will only work properly with carts of 8 g. or less, but provides no technical info. There is some info on the USA made models on the Vinyl Nirvana site and the same site offers repairs, parts and upgrades to most AR models.
Acoustic Signature Their mainstay turntable has been the Analogue One a high end deck actually introduced in the early/mid 90's as the Solid One, but it's name changed in 1998 when Acoustic Solid introduced their line of turntables but the company feared that people might confuse the two, retroactivly the company referes to the model as the Analogue One although almost all models sold were marked Solid One. The turntable featured some innovative design and construction techniques, it is a high mass unsuspended design created largely out of varying types of aluminium alloys, the platter is driven by a string from a motor that sits isolated from the main deck, but like with so many modern German decks the most imressive aspect of the deck is the bearing, which in this case is is a selflubrcating unit designed exclusvly for the Analogue One that has a coated steel base and a tungstein ball. This model sold well in Germany even though the original RRP was 4200 DM, it was replaced with the improved Analogue One Mk II in 1999 or thereabouts, which in turn was replaced by the current Acoustic Signature Analogue One MkIII in ca 2004, note that while the Analogue One was usually supplied with one motor and one tonearm board it supports up to 3 motors and 3 tonearm boards, and although these 2 models have been replaced AS will sell you extra motors and boards, the pickup arm boards are obviously only for those that plan to add more arms or are interested in using an arm that is longer than the one supplied (9") but the addition of an extra motor really is an improvement in sound quality, the company also has an updated motor controller power supply that I understand will work with all AO models in the form of the Alpha, but most post 2001 of the MKII models have featured this PSU as standard. In the mid 90's the company also had a slightly cheaper model called Transparent, but apart from the fact that the original RRP was 3100DM and that it was discontinued in late 1997 I have very little other info..
Introduced the budget DR 130 in 2004, it is a fully automatic belt driven turntable that it is midi sized so it can be stationed on top of a midi system and has a built in switchable phonographic pre-amplifier that allows it to be connected to just about anything that has an input, bargain priced as well was in fact for a time the cheapest midi sized turntable in the UK despite being slightly better specified than some of its competitors. Discontinued in 2006 or thereabouts.
The company sold a version of the Home Mix TT2000 as the Acoustic Solutions TT-2000 for a limited time but in early 2004 introduced a version of the belt driven TT-1000 DJ turntable sold with the Home Mix TT1000M kit in a variant called SP-131 that is identical to the TT1000 except that the SP-131 has no variable speed control and features a normal platter mat. Given that the TT-1000 is primarily a DJ table it is completely manual
The company replaced the SP-131 with the SP-132, it is mostly identical to the 131 except that in addition to a phono out it has a line level output and a built in USB converter. It appears to have discontinued that model in around 2010. Note that the company supplied the all of their turntables with a spherical stylus, this makes sense if you are using them for DJ purposes but for home use the performance of the spherical stylus is considerably inferior to an elliptical one. They all use a Audio Technica type replacement stylus format which is commonly available with other diamond types on them, so you might want to look into getting a compatible elliptical stylus the next time you wear yours out, it should be the same price as the spherical one or in worst case scenario slightly dearer.
The Acoustic Solutions DR-130 technical specifications are : Supported speeds: 33 and 45 RPM Drive system: Belt. Automation: Fully automatic. Supported disk sizes: 17 & 30cm. Supplied pickup type:moving magnet. Phono output sensitivity: 1.7 ~ 3.5mV @ 1kHz/47kohms. Line output sensitivity: 112 ~ 270mV @ 1kH/47kohms. Size: 42 x 10 x 34.2cm (Width x height x depth). Weight: 2.7kg. Power requirements: 230 ~ 240v. Power consumption: 2 watts.
The Acoustic Solutions SP-131 technical specifications are : Supported speeds: 33 and 45 RPM Speed indicator: Strobe. Drive system: Belt. Automation: None/Fully manual. Supplied pickup type:moving magnet. Size: 45 x 15 x 35cm (Width x height x depth). Weight: 3.75kg. Power requirements: 220 ~ 240v or 110 ~ 120v, switcable. Power consumption: 8 watts.
The Acoustic Solutions SP-132 technical specifications are : Supported speeds: 33 and 45 RPM Speed indicator: Strobe. Drive system: Belt. Automation: None/Fully manual. Supplied pickup type:moving magnet. USB output resolution: 16bits. Size: 43 x 16 x 36cm (Width x height x depth). Weight: 4kg. Power requirements: 230 ~ 240v. Power consumption: 8 watts.
AEG/Telefunken Stefano Pasini has info on the history of the broadcast and transcription range from the company on his page. There is a page on 80's Telefunken Hi-Fi here, amongst other things it has very good pages on the R100 and R200 record player models.
Aiwa Aiwa did in the 60's and into the early 80's manufacture a number of interesting turntable models, they persevered with the manufacture of low budget models that were intended to fit midi sized music systems up until the take-over by Sony in late 2003 early 2004 when the Aiwa was retargeted to a more high tech image and product line, a kind of a budget Sony, but prior to that Aiwa had become something of a Midi system specialist with probably the largest line-up of such on the market. Since most midi systems only had a line input all the more recent models from the company came with a preamplifier built in and can thus be used with any hi-fi system that has an input and interestingly enough in 2001 they introduced a midi music system that come with a turntable called the Z-L720 320W Mini Turntable System, apparently this was due to customers requests, examples of these decks are PX-E850, the PX-E860 which is by far the most common record player by Aiwa on the second hand market and was one of the last models they produced being introduced on the 21 of March 1999 with the initial price being 9500¥ ex tax in Japan the main difference between this model and the earlier 850 appears to be the silver colour scheme the tech specs are virtually identical, there was a variant available called PX-E860EZ but I have not been able to find out the differences, and the PX-E900, all the above models are all pretty similar in specification with belt driven platters and fully automatic operation, note that in all cases the phono preamplifier can be switched out. Earlier models such as the PX-30 and PX-E80 were broadly similar in design to the more recent model in that they were budget priced, midi sized and fully automatic belt driven model, however they did not have a built in phono preamplifier and thus will only mate with an amp that has such built in. More interesting are some of their early 80's models in particular the D-20 and D-50 front loaders, these are direct driven turntables that can be operated either as per usual from the top by opening the lid etc., but they can also be placed within a rack and used from there since the platter can slide out and all the necessary controls of the fully automatic record player are on the front of the deck, not unlike some Philips models of a similar vintage, you should note though that these decks are over 20 years old and need to have the loading mechanism oiled up every 10 years or so and since few people do this there is a number of examples of these models out there that work as record players but have problems with the loading mechanism. The D-35 is however a budget belt driven semi-automatic model from the early 80's and the LX-110 is a direct drive deck with a linear tracking tonearm that comes from a similar time frame and was only slightly more expensive when new.
Akai Electric Co. Introduced the AP-206C in 1979, it's a direct driven model that was near the top of their range at the time. It had a pitch control and the supplied tonearm had antiskating, there was also a stroboscope on the platter for both 33 and 45 speeds using 50 or 60Hz but note that the turntables were supplied in distinct 240/50Hz and 120/60Hz versions, that the strobe shows both does not mean that you can use it with both voltages. It's unclear what difference there was between this model and the earlier AP-206 model, they look identical except that the colour of the C version is somewhat darker.
Alphason While this manufacturer is still with us they neither manufacture turntables nor do they support their old models, but one fan has some modifications to the Sonata listed on his homepage, most examples of this model seen for sale come with the upgraded AtlasPSU, but their later Symphony was a more expensive and more universally liked, by the hi-fi press at the least. As far as I can gather the last model was the Solo but that was their "budget" offering at something like 400£ when introduced, in some respects it took things too far, for instance the pully only had provision for one speed, 33.3 RPM.
Agile Made the Swift a mid price deck, the Verve a high mass deck but appears to have dropped them from their product lines in 2004.
This Belgian company manufactured a turntable called TD-4001 that had superficial visual similarities to the Transcriptors turntables, not a lot though, only the platter and the end piece looked similar but it was enough to prompt the Transcriptors Limited company to threaten them with a law suit. The turntable was a belt driven mid end model, it was sold armless although most dealers bundled the model with a SME ltd. arm, the deck was actually made by a subcontractor in Spain, fairly common in Germany and the lowlands but more seldom seen in the rest of the world..
Bang & Olufsen This long running Danish manufacturer has some of the most hard core fans of any audio manufacturer, thus info on their old models is relatively easy to find on the web. This French site lists all B & O models by date of introduction while this Dutch one lists them by function so it's best that you go directly to the Beogram page. If you are looking for info on Beograms or want to sell or by one there is a site for nothing but trading in B & O gear its called Beomaster.com. Beophile does nothing but repair B & O equipment, and he is apparently well regarded by other "beophiles", especially for his turntable service. And finally here is the homepage of Jacob Jensen Design, that company designed almost all B & O stuff made between the early 60's and 1992 and in fact all record players except one as far as I can fathom. The 4000 Series of linear tracking turntables (4000, 4002 and 4004) are getting a bit on in years after all the first one in the line was introduced as far back as in 1972, the lubricant used in those models dries up over time and will need to be replaced by now, the most common symptoms of this is when the pickup arm will not lift up from the record either fully or partially, the solution to this is to remove the arm assembly from the pivot point and clean out the old lubricant and replace it with a similar industrial lubricant, it is important to clean out the existing lubricant fully and note that this is delicate work that you might want to have done by a technician (BTW this may be a problem with some newer B&O linear tracking designs as well).
Benjamin We got a mail from Richard Steinfeld that informed us that after they stopped importing and rebadging ELAC turntables they started making their own models using Lenco motors.
BIC When the company stopped manufacturing record players in the 1980's a company called South Street Service Company bought up the spares inventory and does supply both spares and service for the company's products.
BSR One of their later models intended for integration into DJ sets etc. was the P256 deck, it was a budget belt driven unit with an aluminium platter (tyically retailed for £30 to 35 in the mid 80's) that had a unusually good arm for a BSR table, a S shaped affair with a replaceable headshell, antiskate adjustment and a damped cueing action. A fully manual unit NB.
BST Sound Many of the DJ models from this company have been belt driven models that are not really worth chasing down but the PR-136 that was introduced in 1998 and discontinued recently is one of the better models that the company has made featuring a high torque motor and is DD with a start-up time of around half a second, remote start, specification and build wise it's not dissimilar to the current PR-336 top of the range model. It also has a couple of property connectors intended to mate with the CD players that the company makes, allowing you to sync the 2 together (the CD being the slave, the cheaper PR-106 also had this feature).
CEC This Japanese company had been making turntables and related products since 1954 but discontinued their last turntable product the ST-930 turntable in early 2002/late 2001 but still has a picture and technical specification of it on the web. The 930 was a well regarded design that has been around for a few years and you might be able to find a model or 2 still with dealers on mainland Europe.
Cosmocord/ACOS Quite a few turntable designs were sold under this name over the years but the last table we have seen using this trade mark was actually the Rega Planet which was distributed under this name from 1973 to 75 prior to the formal founding of the Rega company.
Coloney Manufactured the AB-1 turntable at around 1982 in very limited quantities, this was a complicated air bearing turntable with a linear tracking arm that also used an air bearing with the air pressure for both bearings supplied by a fish tank pump. The turntable and arm later resurrected as the Maplenoll turntables while the arm is the predecessor to the current Eminent Technology Model 2.5e.