Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sony PS-X5 Turntable

I've been meaning to update my turntable photos here on this kitchen-sink blog. This is my current table, a Sony PS-X5 direct drive from 1977. This beast of a turntable was bought back in January, alongside a PS-X75 which is even more of a beast. But, to be completely honest, I'm having more fun with this one.

Vintage turntables can be found an Ebay, Audiogon, and Craig's List fairly easy, and when kept in pristine order over the years, continue to run circles around the newest models. I picked this one up for $100 on Ebay, and very nearly came away with it for only $10. Now that would have been a spectacular steal. Sony isn't as sought-after as some of the other Japanese turntable brands like Denon or Technics, which makes a PS-X

Oh, and if you're wondering, yes, Sony's videogame consoles are named after their turntables. That says something about these models, which really were the peak of Sony's technical skills.

When one thinks of Japanese direct drives, images of cheap, plastic hunks of junk spring to mind. Cheap, low-grade turntables like those were half the reason the public flocked to Compact Disc in the first place (the other reason: the music industry forced it on us). But this is a cruel irony, because the mid- and high-end Japanese tables are truly spectacular. The PS-X line is the perfect example.

The cartridge I have attached to my PS-X5 is an Ortofon 2M Blue. This is a spectacular Moving Magnet cart that is a perfect match for this tonearm and my stereo system. In fact, it's proving to be a better match than the Dynavector 10x5 I had on my PS-X75, but I'm sure a lot of that was due to the lack of a better phono preamp with the proper loading. Moving Coil carts are definitely higher maintainence, that's for sure.

The bottom line is that I have a spectacular sound system for $400. That's just over the price of an iPod Classic. For that money, I have a killer Marantz 2235b stereo receiver, a pair of speakers, a Sony PS-X5, and an Ortofon 2M Blue. And the music on my system will crush your digital rig to pieces. Guaranteed.


wwj745 said...

I bought PSX5 new in 77. Along with a Kenwood KR6600 reciever and a set of Norman Lab speakers. I have since added a set of NL 9s and a Harmon Kardon cd player. It is served me well. I am going to put it in the shop soon because it is making a clicking noise on start up and the control arm lift has ceased to work.

mark rowland said...

We have the same set up....the same Marantz, same table same cartridge.....what's the chance of that? I run definitive tec towers 2000's ...NAD cd515bee player. I got my X5 for free in 2009 just had sears take a look for $100 and waiting on a card to come in so I know where to set the cartridge in the shell. Anyway you said the moving coil is high maintenance, how so?

Tex said...

I have a PSX5, bought it in the 70's. Now when I turn on the power the arm repeatedly moves to what appears to be the starting point for the edge of a 45, starts to drop and then returns to the origin and starts the process all over again without ever stopping. Doesn't matter if I change the record size switch or playing speed switch or if its set on Manual or not, or repeat or not. Any idea what part has failed or if there is another fix without replacing a part?