*Note: It wasn't clear from the pictures but the original mat is of course included and it is in excellent condition. Also, this is a 120V unit for the North American market. The clamp seen is not included.
Here we have one of the amazing Sony PS-X75 Biotracer turntables, well known as a superbly performing turntable which has displaced many “audiophile” turntables costing a lot more. If you’ve done your homework then you already know that the Biotracer tonearm employs active circuitry which optimizes compliance matching between tonearm and cartridge, and reduces unwanted resonances significantly thus allowing the cartridge to do what it was designed to do, and that is retrieve the most information from the vinyl as possible.
OK good so far right? So if you’ve done a lot of reading and research on these Sony models you would have found instances where people claim that their turntable is dead, has a bad microprocessor and/or the tonearm has gone “whacky”. I like a challenge every now and then so I decided to get one of these “dead” turntables and see if I could figure out what was going on. My own personal curiosity was peaked after reading how great this turntable sounds when it is working properly, at that point I knew I just had to have one! So unfortunately my first purchase was so badly damaged physically that I had to buy a second unit just to have all of the physical parts I needed to build one complete unit. Once I had enough parts to build a complete unit I started investigating the cause(s) of this so called “bad microprocessor” that other people claim is the problem. I started methodically going through everything on the control boards, caps were checked, diodes, resistors, transistors, regulators, pretty much everything in the circuit was checked and no faults found, including the microprocessor… So what did I discover? These turntables have 3 common issues at their current age. The first issue is that the cueing mechanism is most likely seized from sitting unused in storage for many years, although this doesn’t affect every unit. The second issue is that these turntables are most likely needing to be re-adjusted as per the service manual (a must have item if you are going to work on these, and you better have a scope too), and the third and most likely the root cause of the “bad microprocessor” diagnosis is that there are 3 micro switches that sense a cam position at the base of the tonearm. That cam is responsible for the tonearm cueing function, however the microprocessor relies on those switch contacts to be either fully closed or fully open so it can determine the state that the turntable is in. When those micro switches have contact issues (rectified by proper cleaning) the microprocessor may judge an incorrect state and that’s where the problems begin. Those problems typically appear like the unit is unresponsive. The “whacky” tonearm issue (where the tonearm will sometimes just swing from one end to the other) is usually caused by the misalignment which is rectified by proper adjustment of the servo controlling the tonearm. That requires a dual trace oscilloscope and the service manual procedure to cure.
Why am I telling you all of this? Simply because I have a high admiration for these turntables and I want to assure whoever buys this that all of these adjustments, cleaning, and alignments have been done on this turntable and it has been in rotation with many other turntables I have for a couple of years now, and works flawlessly every time. I have no worries or concerns about the stability and functionality of this turntable and I am 100% sure the new owner is going to love it.
OK so if we’ve been in this hobby for a while we also know that there are a few other manufacturers of turntables from that era which also employ some type of Biotracer functionality, like the Denon DP-57 and DP-57L, DP-62 and DP-62L, DP-59L, and a ton of lower models (DP-47, DP-51, DP-45, DP-37, DP-35 and so on) then there are the JVC models like the QL-Y66, QL-Y55, and so on.
Why is the Sony better? It’s the ONLY turntable that I know of which employs a dynamic servo tonearm (Biotracer in this case) and has on the fly VTA adjustment AND on the fly VTF adjustment! These 2 features combined with the Biotracer tonearm allow you to dial the performance in quickly and easily to maximize the sonic benefits of vinyl.
Enough about the turntable’s benefits, now some particulars about this turntable. As I already mentioned it has been completely gone through and adjusted (even the potentiometer for the VTF/Anti Skate has been cleaned with De-Oxit) and the lamp at the rear which allows the turntable to automatically detect the record size has been replaced with 3 bright white LED’s, thus ensuring a lifetime of functionality. This turntable and 4 others I have restored over the years are probably the only PS-X75 models in the world that have this modification done to the light post.
What you will receive with this very fine turntable is as follows (Note: Clamp seen is NOT included)
->The turntable itself which is in excellent physical condition for it’s age.
->The original box and packing which is very rare to find.
->The original headshell which sells for about $75 on it’s own.
->A Signet TK 5e cartridge installed and adjusted to get you spinning vinyl right away. It's suspension is a tad weak but the nude stylus is good and at 1.3 grams it tracks well and sounds fine. The turntable deserves the mest MC you can afford to put on it.
->The original aluminum 45 adapter.
->The original tonearm subweight (mounted on the arm now) which is needed for heavier cartridges like the XL-55 Pro.
->A full size printed copy of the user manual.
What you won’t get is a chance to “try it out” and return it due to buyer’s remorse or whatever. I am not a brick and mortar store, just an audiophile hobbyist that is offering this excellent turntable for someone else to enjoy because of a bad personal situation (divorce) and a major downsizing (due to the divorce).
With that said, this is an opportunity to pick up one of the finest turntables ever produced by Sony, and one that has been completely restored for proper operation. I’ve had several expensive MC cartridges on this turntable and it never fails to allow those cartridges to do their magic. The XL-55 Pro I had (it was sold a while ago) was simply superb on this turntable. I’ve also had excellent results with the Audio Technica OC-9II, Sumiko Talisman S, Audio Technica AT-33ANV, Fidelity Research FR1-MK3, Denon DL-301II, Fidelity Research MC-201, Linn Karma, and a huge variety of MM cartridges too.
One last note, the tonearm movement is completely silent and smooth as butter. It’s a real joy just to watch it!
I rated it conservatively at 7 but it's more like 8 and if you factor in the age then even 8 is a little conservative. It has some swirl marks on the dust cover that could be buffed out easily, no cracks and the hinges work perfectly. A few slight scratches on the plinth but very minor and considering it's age I would say it has survived the years nicely. The front panel display for 33/45 and Locked is a little dim but every one that I have had has been the same so I never worried about it. Look at the pictures and you should get an idea of what it looks like.
There is no return on this. It is as stated and will arrive ready to use (after you remove the transit screws, and place it on a level surface. You will have to remove a couple of transport screws (need an allen key for those) plus a tie wrap that is holding the tonearm securely, and you will have to re-assemble the platter and mat of course.
I will be selling more items as I continue to downsize so stay tuned!
Shipping (insured for full value) will be FedEx ground in the lower 48 contiguous states. If it is less than $50 I will refund the difference. If it is more than $50 I'll absorb the difference, but only for the lower 48 states as described.
Good luck and thanks for reading. Check my feedback and buy with confidence.