Turntable for Unit Atom

Hi guys, I have a Rega P1 plus turntable which I connect to the Naim Unit Atom. It works well but it’s totally manual. I would like to change it to a slightly more automated model, which stops and raises the arm by itself. Do you have anything to recommend me? If it’s a pre-amplified model, better. I’ve seen the Denon DP-400 for example, what do you think?

Take a look at the pro-ject automat. There’s the a1 and the brand new a2 has just been announced. Fully automatic start/stop with built in phono stage.

Ah good, I didn’t know that. Do you have any news of the new A2? I can’t find anything on the Pro-ject website.

I would look no further than the Technics SL-1500C.


You’ll have to read show reports from the high end Munich show, plus there’s a video on YouTube. Think it’s at least 1000 euro.
The a1 is more akin to your existing rega; easy to get going straight from the box, and no cueing - which for me is the fun bit but it does take practice.

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It’s beautiful

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It really is. It looks better than the higher end and far pricier SL-1200 models above it which aren’t even automatic.

Have a listen. It’s a stonking good player.

Don’t necessarily agree on it looking better than the G(R/AE) versions, but it does look great and it being automatic is a definite plus. Also the “feel” when using it. How the buttons, arm-lift etc feel is a cut above even most high(er)-end tables. And it will last you a lifetime without requiring any maintenance.

Well I mainly mean the SL-1200 has superfluous pitch control. DJ’s are likely to buy the Mk7 not the GR/G models which are firmly aimed at an audiophile crowd. The cueing light is very useful though, I’d not want to lose that. That pitch control is really my only gripe.

I agree with you on the pitch control.

With the 100 & 1500 I think the sloped platter edge looks slightly weird/off. At least with the higher models it’s broken up with the strobe dots. It’s not a huge issue, but overall I prefer the look of the 1200 range. Certainly for the silver ones. For black, the 1500C at least has a black tonearm and buttons, which the 1210GR doesn’t, but the 1210G does again.

My ideal would be the 1200 range looks, but without the pitch control, and with auto-lift added.

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Yes I know. But the strobe really only serves a purpose in the context of the pitch control. After that it is really for nostalgia. I suppose in the rare case there was a speed control problem you’d see it there instantly without any special tool or strobe kit. Nostlagia is a powerful thing though. My other deck was definitely purchased for the warm and fuzzies of the 70s design cues. So I can see how someone might feel any SL deck seems naked without it. Even my old SL-D2 had a simple strobe (I definitely should not have thrown that deck away - idiot!). Actually, a SL-D2 is fully automatic arm up and down (the 1500 only auto arm up). Second hand they go for $40 but will require a lot of work to get them performing again.

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I have no use for the strobe light, I have mine off. I was only saying the dots (whatever their purpose) break up the weird looking sloped platter edge visually. And that platter edge on the 1(5)00C bothers me more than the pitch control on the 12X0G(R/AE). But that’s of course purely personal preference, and I could live with either, or even both, if that was the only choice.

!! You can turn the strobe off? I had better read the manual.

Not fully I think, but there’s a setting so it doesn’t stay on once the correct speed has been reached.

I think that’s a GAE feature only cc @feeling_zen

This from the GAE manual isn’t in the G/GR manual

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Thorens have one that does that, the TD1601, it’s dearer than the Atom but source first and all that.

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May we ask what the requirement for automatic arm up/down stems from?

Nearly every high end turntable only has an arm lift lever. Some don’t even have that. But an arm lift lever usually provides absolutely steady and graceful drop and lift. Is there a specific problem you’re trying to solve or is it just a nice to have?

For me it would be not having to jump up the second a side finishes. Pure convenience.

I have also fallen asleep with a record playing in the past.

Better than auto-lift would be auto-stop IMO, although that’s rarely seen.

In the end I took the Rega P3, instead of comfort I chose quality. For now red but on trial, I have to decide. They ordered the brush head so it took me a few days for the color. It’s especially red. Black is glossy and glossy black drives me crazy, it scratches when I look at it.

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