Replacing My Trusty Technics Turntable

Moving into the new world of Vinyl

Vinyl > digital

Well, I invested $150 in a new turntable to take over from my aging Technics SL-QD33, which still is a faithful servant, but its Perspex cover is cracked and its days must inevitably be numbered (as are all of ours, but that is another thread…). For its first test I decided on my newly-purchased vinyl LP Sting — The Bridge. It is a direct follow-on from the excellent Nothing Like the Sun which is among my favouritest albums, especially its production. The Bridge is equally excellent. And the new TT rendered it faithfully. The only downer was the low overwhelming hum at the end because the stylus does not automatically lift. I soon found that low hum extended to pretty much everywhere…

The newbie is an enticingly-priced DigitNow (no, I didn’t even know the brand), found on (what else?) Amazon, that really looks to have the specs. One of the biggest reasons I pulled the trigger was those familiar dots on the turntable with a blue light that meant I can adjust its speed exactly. It’s the only one under a thousand that has that feature. Plus the adjustable counterweight and S-arm. Well, it turns out that this turntable is a f***ing piece of s**t.

Don’t buy it. Hum is everywhere. Adjust the arm weight, eq it, put foam buffers under its feet — doesn’t make a difference. What looked like the holy grail of updated vinyl Valhalla is mere smoke and mirrors. What seemed to be the case before I ordered this buzz kill is in fact the reality: there are NOT any decent, affordable turntables out there. I have looked, trust me. The best you can do, apparently, is spend $1000+ on one that doesn’t even return the arm to its home at the end of a record. WTF?? What the hell has happened to the heady heights we achieved in the 70s?

I am restoring my Technics SL-QD33 to its rightful place. I just hope they keep on making f***ing styluses for it!

Stay analog, my friends! And I have a lot to say about that too! Look for my next blog on analog vs digital…

Writer and laboratory informatics expert. BS in Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has authored a number of published articles and books.