Sunday, December 16, 2012
Realistic LAB-420 - A Few More Photos
Since I'm in a turntable mood this weekend (I'm obsessed with getting a new one), I thought I would share a few more photos of the Realistic LAB-420 I purchased four years ago as a family Christmas present. At the time, I owned a Pro-Ject Debut III, fully decked out. This was my first introduction to a quality direct drive turntable, and it just swallowed the Pro-Ject up.
Looking back from the year 2012, I've learned a few things about turntables and 1970s direct drives. I can easily spot the weaknesses in the 420's design: the plastic rear and base of the tonearm, the lack of quartz lock, the mediocre rumble stats (-65dB, ouch), the mostly empty frame, the overuse of switches. No matter. This was a really good sounding table, especially with its Audio Technica 440mla. Santana's Abraxis sounded awesome, as did The White Stripes' Icky Thump.
And, of course, the wood frame looks terrific. If I had another one today, I'd definitely give it a coat of varnish. Add some metal polish for the tonearm and you're ready to rock.
I only had this turntable in my possession for a week (before packaging it and a stack of LPs for dear ol' Dad), but it left a deep impression upon me. It set me in pursuit of Japanese direct drive turntables, and opened up a world of music that was actually affordable. I really wish Radio Shack was still selling these things, to be honest. Pair one with an AT 440mla and a '70s stereo receiver, and you'll be one happy camper.