Question Which automatic turntable to buy and share with child?

eys

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Nov 25, 2019
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Hi, I'm about to let a childhood dream come true and buy a turntable. I haven't had access to one since I was a little kid playing on my dad's hi-fi.

I'm looking for a decent automatic turntable. If it was just for me I'd go manual, but I don't dear to have a manual turntable, because I have a 3 year old kid myself now. And I will let my kid put on and play records. So I think having a start/stop button will be a good move.

My current hi-fi setup is a Bluesound PowerNode 2 (combo streamer and amp) with a 3.5mm mini-jack input as only analog input option. I'm looking to upgrade/replace this with a normal amp as well, and have streaming over a separate box, but that's a semi-separate issue.

It's paired with a set of Davis Acoustics Matisse Signature speakers.

After looking around a bit, I've found these turn-tables:
  • Denon DP-300F - 349 €
  • Marantz TT42
  • Thorens TD 170-1 - 420 €
  • Thorens TD 190-2
  • Thorens TD 240-2
I've included a couple of more expensive ones, but I'd prefer to stick under the 500 € range.

I hope you could help me make a good choise. Other recomandations are welcome too!

Thank you
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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We have the Pro-Ject. It's not fully automatic. It just switches of at the end of a side. Not recommended for a child.

The Thorens TD-170-1 is fully automatic and gets decent reviews. There's also a better one, the TD-190-2.

We had an fully automatic turntable when I was a child and my parents allowed me to put records on. If you plan on letting your young child play records, I would choose a fully automatic player, even if they're frowned upon by audiophiles.
 
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DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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If you intend to let your child loose on the turntable then it has to be a fully automatic so discount any from your list which aren't. My main concern would be for the stylus and the records as these are both easily destroyed by the uninitiated.
 

eys

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Nov 25, 2019
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We have the Pro-Ject. It's not fully automatic. It just switches of at the end of a side. Not recommended for a child.

The Thorens TD-170-1 is fully automatic and gets decent reviews. There's also a better one, the TD-190-2.

We had an fully automatic turntable when I was a child and my parents allowed me to put records on. If you plan on letting your young child play records, I would choose a fully automatic player, even if they're frowned upon by audiophiles.
Thanks, I can take the Pro-Ject off the list then :)
I'll have a closer look at the Thorens'.
 

eys

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Nov 25, 2019
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If you intend to let your child loose on the turntable then it has to be a fully automatic so discount any from your list which aren't. My main concern would be for the stylus and the records as these are both easily destroyed by the uninitiated.
I think my list only has fully automatic turntables..? Apart from the Pro-Ject which iMark pointed out is only semi-automatic.

Stylus and records are a concern for sure, but one that I'm willing to live with :)

I'm still interested in hearing other audiophile parents' feedback though!
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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I think my list only has fully automatic turntables..? Apart from the Pro-Ject which iMark pointed out is only semi-automatic.

Stylus and records are a concern for sure, but one that I'm willing to live with :)

I'm still interested in hearing other audiophile parents' feedback though!
You may need to look at your list again as the Thorens is the only fully automatic turntable on that list! Failing that go for any on the list and invest in some nice cheap records.
As for your next amp you'll need a phono stage, internal or external, or purchase a turntable with an internal phono stage.
 
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eys

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Nov 25, 2019
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You may need to look at your list again as the Thorens is the only fully automatic turntable on that list! Failing that go for any on the list and invest in some nice cheap records.
As for your next amp you'll need a phono stage, internal or external, or purchase a turntable with an internal phono stage.
I've come to realise that they weren't all automatic, and have updated the list accordingly. I hope it's more correct now. I've found it strangely hard to find fully automatic turntables!
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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You wanted feedback.
I like kids (I used to go to school with them) probably because I've only ever been an Uncle.
On one occasion I saw a young nephew heading towards the volume control on my amp, with a chocolate covered hand. My family said they'd never seen me move so fast.
Your 3 year old has a very trusting Dad, that's all I can say.
 

eys

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Nov 25, 2019
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You wanted feedback.
I like kids (I used to go to school with them) probably because I've only ever been an Uncle.
On one occasion I saw a young nephew heading towards the volume control on my amp, with a chocolate covered hand. My family said they'd never seen me move so fast.
Your 3 year old has a very trusting Dad, that's all I can say.
LOL, good story :D

My 3 year old has got a fairly good understanding of what to be careful with and not, and yes, also a very trusting Dad.
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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I've come to realise that they weren't all automatic, and have updated the list accordingly. I hope it's more correct now. I've found it strangely hard to find fully automatic turntables!
Lose the Technics off your list as it's only semi-auto, there's no auto cue facility, only return. Fully auto tables aren't considered to be audiophile, therein lies your dilemma. Wouldn't worry to much about it just get the best one that floats your boat and **** the snob value :)
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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Back in the day Dual made some very decent fully automatic record players. I still have a restoration project record player that I inherited, a Dual CS 1249. Always sounded pretty decent to me. But that player came on the market in 1978. There may be some decent Dual players on the second hand market. Unfortunately a lot of them were discarded with the arrival of CDs.

I think you'll be OK with a Thorens TD-170 of even better the TD-190. Don't worry about the snobs. Just enjoy listening to records with your son. A properly designed fully automatic player will return to arm to the starting position, thus minimising the risk of damage to the arm and cartridge. That's what the Duals used to do.
However, the TD-170 can have problems:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTfZWvo6KU8


Maybe the TD-240 is better made. It's also a lot more expensive, but also fully automatic.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ2BGIVOFoI
 
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priam

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Oct 26, 2016
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To use with a three years old, try something like second hand Technics or Pioneer, they're built to last, and most are direct drive.
 

daytona600

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Oct 5, 2012
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Semi auto reloop with detachable headshell , when the kids want to play records
remove the supplied ortofon & fit a ortofon DJ cartridge as these can take a lot of abuse
or a reloop DJ direct drive - these can take abuse


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMZpgJ6qRI8&t=4s
 

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