Second hand turntable - recommendations?

Jan 15, 2015
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Hi, I've had a fairly large vinyl collection sitting around doing nothing for a few years ever since my last turntable ceased functioning - until recently, that is. An extremely generous close friend of the family gave me his more-or-less fully upgraded and very well maintained 30ish-year-old Linn Sondek LP12 as a gift!

Needless to say I've gotten back into playing my vinyl in a big way. So much so that I'm now looking for a second turntable for the bedroom. I can't even begin to afford or remotely justify another deck anything like as expensive as the Sondek. Really I'm looking at a budget of around £170 - and that will have to include a phono stage.

I'm considering the Cambridge Audio AZUR 551P for the phono stage which would leave about £100 for the turntable. There are a couple of other constraints, too.

Firstly, as it's for the bedroom I'm looking for something with automatic lift and stop (I don't care about any other automatic features) - I will certainly be falling asleep whist listening to records and I don't want it running all night and wearing down the stylus.

Secondly, due to space constraints the turntable is going to have to sit on the same surface as the speakers, not an ideal arrangement by any means but there really is no other option in this case - so I'm really looking for a suspended chassis model for decent vibration damping. I'll also place sorbothane pads under the feet of the turntable for a bit of additional damping (the speakers are already sitting on sorbothane discs).

Thirdly, I'm really looking for something that takes a standard 1/2 inch cartridge so I can upgrade in future.

So far in my price range (and it has taken quite a bit of research to get even this far) I seem to be looking at the Dual CS505-2 or 505-3 (the 505-1 apparently doesn't take a standard 1/2 inch cartridge, at least not without an adapter). They are selling fairly regularly on ebay for around the £100 mark or slightly under. From what I've read they're very decent for the price and also have the advantage that replacement belts and so forth are comparatively easy to get hold of.

However before taking the plunge and bidding on one of these I was wondering if anyone could suggest any other models which might fit my requirements - I like to keep my options open! Any thoughts?


New member
Mar 3, 2010
You'll probably get a few more conventional answers, but I'm far more left-field than most, and so if I was wanting to do anything remotely like you want to do I'd be looking for an old well-maintained SP25. This is probably not the answer you're looking for so feel free to ignore it until someone comes along to recommend something newer and more conventional.


Well-known member
May 16, 2008
I used to own a Thorens TD-104 (there's also a MkII version) in the early 1980s. Quite a nice turntable with a suspended subchassis and electronic switch off, not the mechanical like the Duals. I don't know if these were ever sold in the UK, but there's a guy in France selling one for EUR 80 on Ebay (even though he has mislabled it as a TD 140).

Obviously they're not the best and heaviest player ever produced by Thorens, but I was very happy with it when I bought one when I was 18 and had it until it got lost in house fire.


New member
Jan 18, 2008
I use a few tables which would fit your needs; Thorens TD115, Technics SL-7 and SL-6 plus a Sony Front loader (it really is a cool thing).

They all have their merits


New member
Feb 5, 2015
Hi, Pioneers are solid turntables,I've got one, for headshell try Ortofon they are flat ,so plenty of room, the Cambridge 551 is very good



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