I grew up with vinyl as the primary source for audio reproduction. With the evolution of the CD at the end of the 80s, I followed the mainstream route for many years and had not installed my turntable for more than a decade, also because of a lack of space & time. But in the course of the vinyl revival, I remembered my record collection and the special feeling of putting a record on the player, cleaning it from dust and putting the pickup on the groove: some crackles, some hiss, and then – music!
So I unpacked my Kenwood KD7010 and set it up again. Since then, vinyl has become an equal audio source again, next to CDs and FLAC files streamed over the network. The Kenny is my primary player, with an Ortofon Nr.2 MC pickup mounted.
The second player is a Thorens TD126 MK3, from a later series. It is a very nice edition in all black, with a SME 3009 Series III tonearm. Currently, an Ortofon 530 MK2 MM system is mounted. The Thorens needed some standard service, like new oil, changing capacitors in the power supply (prophylactic), changing trimmers for speed adjustment (prophylactic), and maybe I should install a new belt. There still is minor flaw, my Thorens suffers from a subtle instability of rotation speed, the strobe is not alway perfectly stable. This seems to be a known problem with some of these players, and I have not figured out the reason yet. If you have any idea, let me know.
This is a JVC QL-Y3F which I got cheap from ebay ads. It had to be cleaned, I polished the plinth, and it really shines again. It has a direct drive, servo tonearm and is fully automatic. Everythings works fine. It is not a highend player; there is too much plastic, and the plinth could be more solid. The sound with a Denon DL110 mounted is nice, though. [This player has been sold in the meantime]
Another fine record player: A Technics SL1410 MKII. I also got this one cheap from local ads. It suffered from a typical problem of this series, a broken tonearm lift. It was in really perfect optical condition, but I decided that fixing it would be too much work, so I sold the player and the pickup (original National Panasonic EPC-205C-II). My first record player was a used Technics 1310 MKII, which had exactly the same problem, and I sold that one about 20 years ago. This little fragile plastic lever inside the tonearm mechanism tends to render many of these players useless.