Customer Reviews: Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt-Drive Turntable with Pre-Mounted Cartridge
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on August 6, 2010
Vinyl enthusiasts anno 2010 beware: there is a huge discrepancy between the high quality of vinyl records offered these days and the mediocre state of affairs in the turntable department. A cheap plastic turntable will NOT let you enjoy the benefits of heavier pressings, quite the contrary: it is this type of equipment that gave vinyl a bad name in the first place. Flimsy 'starter level' gear will damage your records, play them at varying speeds (who wants that?) and generally subdue your appetite for analog to the point of disdain. No wonder so many people were eager to switch formats when cd's came along. Most of us never were exposed to halfway decent playback equipment or never committed to the first and foremost investment: a good turntable.
Stanton offers a line of affordable quality gear, including this basic model - a belt drive built of composite materials and metal parts. The model allows for adjustments in tracking, tonearm weight and has an easy-to-change universal mount headshell. Only thing lacking is an armlift and a hard dust cover, but those are compromises I'm willing to make for the benefits I get at this price. Often overlooked but important: since the tonearm is straight, you'll have to install the cartridge at an angle - the correct position is indicated with two lines on the top of the headshell. That way, inner groove distortion is minimized and tracking improved.
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on January 10, 2014
Very nice, plays well. The drive system seems really well made. Great sound from the cartridge. Wish there was a lift lever to take the needle off and on the vinyl. Must be careful when drinking... do not scratch nice records...
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on January 8, 2016
Bottom Line? This is a terrific turntable if you're just getting into vinyl. I recommend purchasing Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt-Drive Turntable with Pre-Mounted Cartridge (this item) if your budget is $500 or less.

First, let's talk about this item itself. It comes in a box (mine was refurbished) that requires you to put a few pieces together. The instructions are pretty clear and you shouldn't have any issue assembling the turntable (TT). The parent company of Stanton is "Gibson" so you're backed by a pretty strong warranty.

-+ This TT uses a "belt" drive, which means there is a large rubber-band that you'll install which ultimately makes the records spin. The rubber-band can break but they are very cheap to replace and it should last for years.
-+ There is a "tone" adjustment slider on the TT, which makes the voice on the record sound lower (baritone) or higher (soprano) without changing the "speed" of the record. It isn't too useful if you aren't DJ'ing, but it is fun to mess around with when entertaining friends.
-+ This TT does not have any sort of capability to change the "speed" of the record. If the record is spinning too fast or too slow (due to your "belt" being frayed) you can't change the RPM (rotation per minute). The standard RPM for an LP record (the larger records you're most familiar with) is 33.33.
-+ The platter of this TT is actually quite cool; you'll see in the photo the "stanton" logo -- that's actually a nice piece of felt that fits over the machined platter itself. You'll also notice that the platter is raised a bit off the base of the TT and has a bunch of small circular dots going all the way around the edge so that when your record is spinning, a red light shines onto the dots and gives an illusion of them moving slowly in one direction. As you change the "tone" using the slider, the dots will move faster in one direction, or go backwards... it gives you the ability to quickly glance down and see what you've set the "tone" (more useful in the dark, I suppose).
-+ The tone arm itself is straight (which works just as well as a curved arm) and has a weight balance that you can attach to the end. Giving the weight balance a twist or two can make sure that your needle stays in full contact with the record during play.
-+ The record keeps spinning after it's finished playing, so be on the lookout.
-+ Something called a "45 adapter" is included, but if you're purchasing newer records (like the latest Adele LP) you won't need to worry about it, as the adapter is used to player older 7" records that spin at a higher RPM.
-+ One other interesting accessory that comes with this TT is a small "light" that plugs into the base which shines directly down the record next to the tone arm, which means you can easily switch tracks in the dark (by being able to see where each song starts and stops on the record).
-+ Finally, to keep dust off the TT while not in use, a cloth cover is provided which fits over everything quite nicely.

Now let's talk about the accessories you'll need:

1. The audio-out for this TT is called "phono" so you'll need a "phono to line" converter, also known as a "pre-amp" -- I recommend this one: BEHRINGER MICROPHONO PP400 ($25)
2. The TT comes with a cord that will connect the TT to the "pre-amp"; it includes two grounding wires which you MUST attach to both the TT and the "pre-amp" in order to remove a high pitch whine you'll hear when you crank the volume up on your speakers. You may want to tape the grounding wire to the grounding "nub" to make sure it's always in contact.
3. You'll need a pair of speakers, preferably something that is "active" (meaning the speakers plug into the wall). I recommend these speakers as they are compact and sound really nice: Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers ($100)
4. Finally, you'll need a cord that connects your "pre-amp" to your speakers. If you go with the Bose speakers I linked, the cord you need is this one: Mediabridge 3.5mm Male to 2-Male RCA Adapter (6 Feet) - Step Down Design - (Part# MPC-35-2XRCA-6 ) ($10)
5. Once everything is plugged in you'll have a terrific setup that looks great and sounds even better.
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on May 3, 2014
The Stanton T52B was easy to set up and provides great sound quality. Many of my records sound as if I am listening to the bands live. The heavy weight and the rubber foot pads of the table really reduce the vibration, even on the somewhat wobbly bookshelf I have it on now. Considering the price and obvious quality of the product, I highly recommend it.
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on July 31, 2010
Vinyl record albums had left my life many years ago, but suddenly I was faced with the need to collect some music which had gone out of print before the CD revolution. As I started the search for a turntable, I found that the industry seemed to have become split--one half serving people who wanted to spend thousands of dollars on their turntable, and the other who didn't care how it sounded, so long as it was cheap.

Happily, I eventually came across this turntable. While not priced anywhere near the high end, it is well made, gives me excellent sound (I also purchased the American Audio Genie Pro USB Phono Interface), and let me scan in many albums of material with no fuss and uniformly good sound.
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on August 31, 2013
There is a lot to be said for products made today. Some good some bad. This is a great product.
I did a lot of research on turntables before I bought this one. This one does what it is suppose
to do, and that is play records, and it does it very well. The set up is easy,took only 15 mins.
to get everything running. Cds have a cold sound to them vinyl has a much warmer sound. I didn't
realize how much I missed vinyl until I got out my old records. When I heard them again ,all the great memories came back.Where was I when this song came out or what was I doing when I first heard that song. This turntable is replacing a 40 year old JVC. If I get 40 yrs. out of this one I will be 107 years old. Wow!! This is a great turntable I can`t recommend it enough. The only thing it does`nt have is a cueing device . I can live without that.Take this review from a guy who grew up with vinyl, it`s good to be home. In closing all I can say is this is a great product
My hat is off to Stanton. Jimbo in nh
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on September 28, 2014
The only thing I would have wanted on this would have been the anti-skate adjustment. but this is a pro turntable so not as adjustable as you might want but great sound easy of operation.
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on October 26, 2015
Bought this to go with a t62 I already have. First one was refurbished and came with no belt among other faults, second one is new direct from Amazon advertised with the Stanton 500 V3 cartridge already installed, it isn't, it's just a stock cartridge. Bit disappointed but cannot be bothered packing and returning this again only to find the next replacement also advertised incorrectly. Shame, love using Amazon but this has made me think twice about using it for audio/music production equipment.
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on June 7, 2016
just bought the t52, no where on the cartridge does it say Stanton, only says "made in China". so they include a generic cartridge but advertise the Stanton 300 v3. doesn't sound bad compared to a audio-technica $20 cartridge but, c'mon!
i'm just trying to live again the days i had high end 'tables and built a sizable lp collection. the t52 is no high end tt but will have to do till i can afford at least a project essential.
but you know what? with the cheap audio-technica cart it makes music that has dynamics, i had forgotten all about dynamics listening to screaming CD's for the past 25 yrs.
if you are on a budget or simply want an inexpensive TT to enjoy your old, dusty lp's again, the t52 will do the job.
someone recommended the ortofon omega and the audio-technica 95 as good budget cartridges for this 'table.
6/8/16: i ordered a cheap pyle phono pre-amp and now i can say i am listening to vinyl. my receiver is a cheap insignia and i suspected its phono stage is not good. the pyle phono stage saved the day.
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on September 25, 2014
I started out collecting records a few months ago and bought a low end lower quality turntable. It worked for its purpose but a lot of my brand new mint condition records were skipping on the table as the stylus wasn't heavy enough. I bought this because my friend with a degree in audio engineering had one and recommended it to me. This works great. I had a little bit of trouble balancing the stylus because I had no idea what I was doing and the directions were unclear, so if you've never done it have a friend help or watch some youtube videos to get you started. Other than that it was super easy to set up and sounds FANTASTIC. Note: the turntable I had before had a built in preamp, this one does not. I had to go buy one.
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