Turntable cakewalk


Junior Member
Hey all!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays so far!

I've been MIA from the audio forums for quite some time, I'm sure I've conversed with a few of you over on AK years ago. I'm a single father with 3 little ones full time and work full time, so beyond my daily listening, I've had time for little else.

SO, I'll have some time off for Christmas and want to get my record collection dusted off. Unfortunately, I've retired my turntable(s) due to children and their propensity for destruction. I've had a couple styli ruined and gave up and stored my player but lately I've really been missing my turntable and I believe my youngest is just old enough to know not to touch daddys stereo gear.

In my earlier years I collected some gear. Some might say too much gear. I was visiting thrift stores like they were going out of style (they didn't go out of style it turns out.) I've since sold some gear and given some away, but I still have a small collection of record players and I'd like some professional advice on which table/cart will give me the best results.

I know the best answer here is to try them all and see which one I like the best. I just don't have the time to set up multiple tables and test and listen. I also understand that there is probably no 'right' answer, but I'd really appreciate some advice from the groups collective experience.

The tables:
All the tables are in working order (at least the last I knew) there are a few exceptions which I will note.

Technics SL-1300 - Table is in working order except I seemed to have misplaced the counterweight. I've found a few options online and can order one. Also dust cover is cracked and needs replaced.
Pioneer PL-530 - Table works good, no known issues.
Pioneer PL-A45D - Table works good, no issues.
Pioneer PL-530 - This was my first turntable and I used it for quite a while with good results EXCEPT it developed a slight sibilance (at least that's how I would describe it.)

The Carts

Stanton 500 - Gold version 1 I believe. This HAD a new stylus on it until I came home one night to find a gouge in my record and tonearm in limbo. My babysitter had no memory of anything.
Stanton 681EEE - I got this used and I'm sure it will need a new stylus
Ortofon Concorde 10 - I just ordered a new OM10 stylus for this sucker.
Audio Technica - AT13Ea - Will need stylus

I'm far from an expert here and would love to hear your thoughts on a good combo to move forward with. I REALLY appreciate any help you could offer, good to be here!

Thank you!
The Case



Junior Member
Thanks Fellas!

I just realized this is my first post. I could have sworn when I first signed up a few months ago that I posted an introduction :(. Could be my brain malfunctioning...again. I didn't mean to make my very first post a plea for help!

MikeT - I do think the PL530 is the best looking turntable of the group, so that's good news! Thank you again!



Staff member
I think I'd go with the Pioneer table as well.

Which phono pre are you using? Do you have the capability of mm and mc cartridges?


Junior Member
Good evening Marantzfan,

Right now I'm using an old Onkyo Integra p-304, it has the capability for both. Thanks for the input!


Staff member
The reason I ask, is that it seems like most of your carts aside from the Ortofon are getting a little long in the tooth. So, I'd get started with the Ortofon for now certainly.

Another cart that a few of us like here for short money is the Denon DL-103, so you might consider giving it a try down the road. The only thing is, its an LOMC, but I'm thinking your Onkyo can handle it although the manual doesn't really state how much gain each stage has.


Agree with the PL-530 and getting a DL-103. Your Onkyo can serve as the MC head amp + phono stage until you decide to step up.

The DIY phono stage that sachu888 linked is highly thought of by several Haven Members. I would also look at the DIY EAR 834P tube phono stage which is also owned by and liked by several Haven Members (including me :) ).

If DIY is not your thing (it is most certainly NOT mine ;) ) then I would spend the money on the Quicksilver Phono Stage and Quicksilver MC Step Up Transformer. Both sould incredible when matched to the Denon DL-103.

Just my opinions and YMMV..... :)


Junior Member
Great info guys, thank you again. I'll probably put in an order for that Denon cartridge, it seems like a better match that this Ortofon anyhow, which is too light for the arm without adding weight to the cart itself.

I don't mind going the DIY route with the phono pre, except that I just lack the time to work on anything. It does sound very promising and actually sounds like fun to build. Who knows, maybe I'll figure out a way to make it work down the road.

Thanks again for all the info!


Senior Member
Of the carts in your list I currently own the AT-13ea, Stanton 681eee and 500. The 681eee and AT-13ea are both really nice, with the nod going to the AT with the phono stage I run it with. I've found it to have a really vibrant and lively presentation and terrific tight bottom end. Apparently there are still stylus options for them, but I haven't completely researched a replacement yet. Soon....