Any JVC turntable fans here?

BillWojo

Junior Member
Yea, just another Japanese company that happened to sell turntables as well, right? NOT!
JVC (Japanese Victor Corporation) or Victor as it was known in Japan was an engineering company that made a lot of high end gear for the broadcast market. They developed the Quartz locked direct drive table motor, not Technics as so many people think and some of their high end TT's are amazing. In the US we mainly got the QL-A7 or QL-7 but in Japan they had the QL-8 and QL-10. All three flying saucer designs similar to the Denon's.
They also designed and built their own tonearms for the good stuff as well. For pivots they didn't use the traditional methods of knife edge or pointy screws in a cup of bearings. They used a trunion design with tiny ball bearing assembly's for the vertical axis and larger ball bearing assembly's for the horizontal axis. By bearing assembly's I mean with both an inner race, an outer race and a cage with balls. This results in a very responsive but stiff design with no play. They also dampened the tonearm tubes. Very desirable tonearms today. I'm looking for a UA-7082 myself for a project.
They also made constrained layer plinths as well with either 1,2 or 3 arm boards. 2-3/8 inches thick with 7 layers of wood and inorganic material. Again, not available here.
Victor engineers designed and built for the masses but they also built flag ship models as well. Seems few folks know much about them as most never made it outside of Japan.
I've become a big Victor TT fan, is anyone else here into JVC Victor products as well?
My current TT is a JVC QL-A7 with my Denon DL-103 cart. It's amazing. I have something in the works though, hence my desire to find the tonearm I mentioned above.

BillWojo
 
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MWalt

Active Member
Good timing with this post. I just picked up a pretty clean JVC QL-7. I am still trying to decide what cartridge to use. I have a Denon DL103 LCII (Special Edition) with a borked cantilever I can send to Soundsmith or I can buy a new cart of any persuasion. Any suggestions?
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I did have a QL-A7 once. Bought it locally for well under $100. Sadly, I didn’t understand what it was, and didn’t get the best out of it before I sold it. Ah well.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
The first TT I purchased was a JVC QL-A2. This was the entry level, and really wasn't that great. It was built to a price point, and I'm sure the A7 is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
MWalt, I'm having great luck with my Denon DL-103 on my QL-A7. It's exactly the same deck as yours except yours doesn't have auto lift and shutoff at the end of a record. It seems to be a pretty good match. That tonearm is deceptively good. Looks conventional, but it's not. It's very sensitive but also rigid and stiff with no play in the joints at the same time thanks to the use of conventional ball bearings built into the trunion or gimbal. There is also some kind of dampening in the arm tube as well.

JP, The TT 101 as you probably know is the most complicated DD unit out there electronically. Once restored they are awesome.
A lot of folks look towards the TT 81 instead because it is much simpler in design and easier to troubleshoot if anything acts up.
I'm perfectly happy with the next model down, the TT 71 as used in the QL-A7 and QL-7. Even though it's the third model from the top it is still considered one of the best performing DD motors available.
I'm curious how the TT 61 DD non-quartz locked motor will be. It still has the big motor like the upper models, just a simpler control system with the FG technology. I really doubt I'll hear anything different than my TT 71 motor unit.

If I hit the lottery I would have a TT 101 just for the cool digital speed display.

BillWojo
 

MWalt

Active Member
MWalt, I'm having great luck with my Denon DL-103 on my QL-A7. It's exactly the same deck as yours except yours doesn't have auto lift and shutoff at the end of a record. It seems to be a pretty good match. That tonearm is deceptively good. Looks conventional, but it's not. It's very sensitive but also rigid and stiff with no play in the joints at the same time thanks to the use of conventional ball bearings built into the trunion or gimbal. There is also some kind of dampening in the arm tube as well.

Bill, my understanding is that the UA-5045 tonearms that came on this model are audiophile quality arms. The only bad point is the rubber bushing on the stub wears out over time causing droop. My TT doesn't seem to suffer from any of that and the tone arm is in perfect working condition with good leads, smooth cue up and down, and smooth bearings. The plinth isn't perfect (but close), so I may opt for a re-veneer job or I will build a custom one. I am currently using a Denon DL 110 on it and am pretty impressed, but from what I hear and have read, I would have to spend considerable money to better this table. So, in my estimation it deserves a real good cart so I may start with the Soundsmith upgrade on my DL 103 LCII and/or pick up an Audio-Technica VM740ML or THE VESSEL R3SS Cartridge. I am using a Lounge LCR MKIII and I have only a basic Denon SUT. Thoughts?
 
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MWalt

Active Member
Here are some pics of my JVC QL-7. I was going to spend between 2-3k on a new turntable, but I decided I would try one of the better vintage tables first if I could get it cheap, and if I didn't like it I could still buy new. So I found this one. I honestly feel like I stole this table. The only problem it had was it was missing feet. I would have gladly spent real money on bespoke isolation feet, but I found some spikes in my audio knick knack box that were M6 thread and they screwed right in. I have only had a couple of pretty decent turntables in my life; a Basis Audio 1400 and a Merrill Polytable with a 10" Jelco 750 and I like this one better than both of them. It blows the doors off of my Technics SL-Q2 and my Music Hall MMF 2.2. The Denon DL-110 on it now is not really the best match for the arm, but it still sounds great. It also matches up well with my Lounge Audio LCR MKIII phono stage. At the present, I am looking at different options for new carts that will optimize the performance of this tonearm. I am very pleased and pleasantly surprised by this vintage table. What a sleeper!!

IMG_1073.JPGIMG_1076.JPGIMG_1075.JPGIMG_1077.JPGIMG_1074.JPG
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
That's a beauty! There is really only about one thing you can do to make it better and that is to get the factory Victor constrained layer plinth. The single arm version with a arm board is the CL-P1D. It's 7 layers, 4 wood and 3 layers of a in-organic dampening material. It's also covered with a real wood vernier. The stock plinth is a bit of a sounding board, you can also deaden it with modeling clay.
They also make a CL-P2D and a CL-P3D with either 2 or 3 armboards.

My "project " arrived today, it's a CL-P2D plinth with both armboards, cover and a TT 61 motor drive.
The motor drive is very rare, I don't think they ever made it out of Japan. It's non quartz locked but has the Victor FG control circuit so should be dead nuts on speed. Looks like the other models above it. Very, very little info on it. I will use it and see how it performs. The actual motor is just as big and hefty as the bigger brothers.
For the tonearm in the normal position I want to find a clean Victor UA-7082 to mount in the undrilled armboard. For the back position I'm going to use a Audio Technica ATP-12T.

I really think a lot of what your hearing is because of that tonearm. The bearing design eliminates all play or slop in the pivots, combined with the internally damped arm tube it makes for a great tonearm. Add that TT 71 motor with perfect speed and it's a killer combo. I was shocked at how good my QL-A7 sounded with my low compliant Denon DL-103 cart.
I need to do the rubber joint on my QL-A7 tonearm but it really doesn't look all that hard. There are two small setscrews from underneith that hold the stub on. I think they are 1.5mm. You will need to shorten the allen wrench to fit in the restricted space.

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
So my package arrived. Good stuff comes out of Canada, Eh?
I purchased this without the pioneer tonearm and worked out a pretty good deal. This thing is big, 20" deep and 22.25" wide. I need to figure out how to get it on my rack. It will sit on top so I'm thinking a piece of 3/4" thich plywood between the rack and TT so the feet have someplace to fit.
The TT 61 holds speed very well after a short warm up.
Here is a pic from the seller.

Victor-tt-61-quality-direct-drive-turntable.jpg

The tonearm board on the RH side is over 12" long. The one in the rear is a good bit shorter. Both are simple rectangles about 3/4" thick. To mount the APT-12T tonearm I need to move the hole back a good inch or so. I think I'll mill a new board out of a piece of 3/4" thick aluminum plate.
The back tonearm board came with a aluminum collar from that Pioneer tonearm glued to it. It's about 1/4" smaller than the hole in the armboard so it's glued on the side of the collar and probably around the upper flange. I don't want to destroy that board, it has constrained layer construction as well. I'm thinking of heating a chunk of solid metal up really hot and putting it on top of the collar for about 15 seconds to melt the glue. Most glues seem to fail with heat. What do you folks think?

BillWojo
 

MWalt

Active Member
That's a beauty! There is really only about one thing you can do to make it better and that is to get the factory Victor constrained layer plinth. The single arm version with a arm board is the CL-P1D. It's 7 layers, 4 wood and 3 layers of a in-organic dampening material. It's also covered with a real wood vernier. The stock plinth is a bit of a sounding board, you can also deaden it with modeling clay.
They also make a CL-P2D and a CL-P3D with either 2 or 3 armboards.

My "project " arrived today, it's a CL-P2D plinth with both armboards, cover and a TT 61 motor drive.
The motor drive is very rare, I don't think they ever made it out of Japan. It's non quartz locked but has the Victor FG control circuit so should be dead nuts on speed. Looks like the other models above it. Very, very little info on it. I will use it and see how it performs. The actual motor is just as big and hefty as the bigger brothers.
For the tonearm in the normal position I want to find a clean Victor UA-7082 to mount in the undrilled armboard. For the back position I'm going to use a Audio Technica ATP-12T.

I really think a lot of what your hearing is because of that tonearm. The bearing design eliminates all play or slop in the pivots, combined with the internally damped arm tube it makes for a great tonearm. Add that TT 71 motor with perfect speed and it's a killer combo. I was shocked at how good my QL-A7 sounded with my low compliant Denon DL-103 cart.
I need to do the rubber joint on my QL-A7 tonearm but it really doesn't look all that hard. There are two small setscrews from underneith that hold the stub on. I think they are 1.5mm. You will need to shorten the allen wrench to fit in the restricted space.

BillWojo

Bill, where did you find a CL-P2D plinth? It sounds like just what you need if you can get that Victor UA-7082 tonearm and I can only imagine how good that will sound. I want Pics!!

My research on the rubber joint shows that one technique is to use a simple faucet washer as a replacement bushing. I have also read about a technique that uses super glue. I can forward that to you if you wish. I do have a couple of tech questions for you:
-Does the headshell mounting angle adjustment screw on the end of the tonearm use an allen key and if so, what size?
-How good is the factory tonearm cable? Should I replace it with better RCA's?
-What do you use to align your cart? The UA-5045 overhang is the same as on the Technics arm so I just use the Technics alignment tool and it seems to work great.

The UA-5045 tonearm is around 15g mass and based on the resonance chart the Denon DL 103 should be perfect (as you stated earlier). I have a Denon Dl 103 LCII which was a special edition in I believe 1985. It specs almost identical with the 103R with the only exception being that the output impedance is 13 ohms rather than 14 ohms. It is actually a little better due to superior windings (as purported, don't know if it is fact). Mine has a borked cantilever so it is going to Soundsmith to get the Sapphire with laser drilled mounted low Mass Contact line stylus. I looked at everything up to $1000 and couldn't find anything that matches up as well unless you or anyone else has a better idea.

The 103 LCII with Koetsu Headshell (It weighs in at 17 grams!)
IMG_1079.JPG
 

MWalt

Active Member
So my package arrived. Good stuff comes out of Canada, Eh?
I purchased this without the pioneer tonearm and worked out a pretty good deal. This thing is big, 20" deep and 22.25" wide. I need to figure out how to get it on my rack. It will sit on top so I'm thinking a piece of 3/4" thich plywood between the rack and TT so the feet have someplace to fit.
The TT 61 holds speed very well after a short warm up.
Here is a pic from the seller.

View attachment 24568

The tonearm board on the RH side is over 12" long. The one in the rear is a good bit shorter. Both are simple rectangles about 3/4" thick. To mount the APT-12T tonearm I need to move the hole back a good inch or so. I think I'll mill a new board out of a piece of 3/4" thick aluminum plate.
The back tonearm board came with a aluminum collar from that Pioneer tonearm glued to it. It's about 1/4" smaller than the hole in the armboard so it's glued on the side of the collar and probably around the upper flange. I don't want to destroy that board, it has constrained layer construction as well. I'm thinking of heating a chunk of solid metal up really hot and putting it on top of the collar for about 15 seconds to melt the glue. Most glues seem to fail with heat. What do you folks think?

BillWojo

Very impressive!!
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
A fellow on Audiogon started a discussion about these plinths and I said I'd love to find one. He pointed me to this one on Canadian Audio Mart. All in I'm out 500 USD for the plinth, dustcover and TT 61 motor. I forget about that audio mart, always looking at US audio mart. With the exchange rate you can get some great deals.
I'm also starting to look at the Japanese market as well. I don't see a lot listed like there normally is, probably due to shipping restrictions due to Covid. Plus I have to figure out how all that works.
I never had to adjust the mounting angle or azimuth as it's called. Try going to Vinyl Engine, you have to join but than you can download a manual for both your turntable and for the Victor UA-5045 tonearm.
I use the stock cable, I would think the Victor engineers knew what they were doing.
Funny, I align my cart the same way using a over hang gauge. Sounds good to me as well.
I have never had any dealings with Soundsmith as I use Steve at VAS in NJ. Steve is only about an hour from me, quite handy. I'm sure your cart will sound awesome though.
Have you seen the JVC owners thread over at AK under turntables yet?

BillWojo
 
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