Not much talk about Yamaha turntables.

I've been wanting to jump into the analog world for years, but for a lack of experience and/or knowledge about the equipment, I haven't. There's plenty of talk here about the big names in analog and I was surprised the other day browsing around somewhere that Yamaha has turntables.  Are these any good?  What do they compare to in terms of other more well-known analog names?  I'm not asking about their $8,000 models.  I will never be able to afford that.  I'm asking more about their sub $1k models.  

There you go, i think they are great Direct Drive turntables from the past and highly regarded today, worth the investment for sure.

Yamaha GT2000L is cute, not sure about Yamaha tonearm.

Anyway, i think there are better Direct Drive turntables in the same price like Denon PD-80 for example. 
I can't remember exact price, but i think under $2k or less of you're lucky
Chakster, Have you ever heard a GT2000 or an L version (or an X version)? These are very highly regarded turntables with coreless motors. In fact, on the current market, a very nice GT2000 or any of the variants will cost more than a DP80. I’ve seen them in the flesh, many times in Tokyo. They are beautifully made and not just "cute". I am confident based also on the testimony of owners that the GT2000 is in the same league with any of the vintage decks that you and I also like.
But I think the OP is inquiring about the current models now marketed under the Yamaha name. Unfortunately, they LOOK a lot like the vintage turntables, which were all DD, but they are belt-driven, not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that. One novel feature of the one model I have researched is that it comes with an "underhung" tonearm. That means the stylus underhangs the spindle. Therefore also the headshell is not offset. This has operational advantages and disadvantages (to some) if you require minimal tracking angle error to make you happy. I can say more about underhung tonearms, because they interest me, but I would not shy away from the new Yamahas solely on account of the underhung tonearm. Belt drive is not my thing, however.
A nice GT2000X will be about double the cost of a GT2000 or 2000L.  The X version is rare and very desireable, about $4k to $5K, last time I looked.  Has bigger motor and heavier platter and better standard tonearm, compared to the GT2000, plus an outboard PS, but some or all of those upgrades were also optionally available on at least the GT2000L.  It's a bit confusing on Vintage Knob.  I'd rate a fully equipped X version up with an SP10 Mk3 or Pioneer Exclusive P3.
Yamaha had many very good turntable the PF-1000 and 800 are great turntables. Many of the YB-D series are very good like the 71 and 6 And at a much lower price and fully automatic the   Yamaha P-750 and P-751 are good turntables that can be found for like 300 bucks. Obviously the GT series are what audiophiles would recommend but really not worth the money they were mostly only made for Japan so finding one is hard and has driven the price way up. And depending on what your plugging this into you would need a very good phono stage and system to warrant spending money on a GT series and the Cartridge to go with it to make it worth while would also set you back a pretty penny. So go with what fits your system if your hooking it into a 500 dollar vintage yamaha receiver buy a P-750 or 751 and a good MM cartridge and enjoy    
Not much talk about Yamaha turntables.

The first rule of Yamaha turntables is nobody talks about Yamaha turntables.
@lewm Russian second hand market flooded with vintage Yamaha GT2000 turntables just like in Tokyo. Not "x" version. The black GT2000 is not so expensive, as i said under $2k.

I have no idea about new Yamaha turntables or anything new from this brand.

...the PF-1000 and 800 are great turntables.
I would say good turntables IMO, not great. The main problem is that the integrated tonearms for these decks were designed for very high compliance cartridges that were all the rage on Japanese consumer decks in the late 70s/early 80s. This greatly limits the availability of cartridges that will work well on these tonearms.

The automatic tonearm mechanisms on these decks is also fragile and not easily repairable. When/is they fail the arms can sometimes be used manually but often not. My advice is doable, but be warned.

Hey yogi, i saw that earlier!!! Looks impressive!!! I'll have to buy a cartridge for it. 
I just don't know whether it's MM or MC.  My integrated is MM. 
Can i first say that nobody has a better name for a turntable than Yamaha:
GT - Great Turntable 2000
Secondly, correct me if i am wrong, i think they were developed with Micro Seiki.
All said and done Why not go for a demo of the new yamaha stuff. Do you have to buy Yamaha?
No, I don't have to buy Yamaha.  I was just curious as to why not so much here about Yamaha turntables. 
The main problem is that the integrated tonearms for these decks were designed for very high compliance cartridges that were all the rage on Japanese consumer decks in the late 70s/early 80s. This greatly limits the availability of cartridges that will work well on these tonearms.

Tons of high compliance cartridges available NOS on ebay from brands like grace, Stanton, Pickering, ADC, Sonus, Sony etc. All of them are MM or MI, some of them are amazing. I'm buying those cartridges myself all the time. 

128 posts
04-29-2020 12:18pm
Mark: Are the p750/751 vintage or current models?
They are vintage turntables. Yamaha doesn't make a decent new turntable in my opinion. except models way over 1000 dollars. I didn't know you asking about new models. New there are so many other turntables better than the current Yamaha models I wouldn't even consider them.   

Yogi, thanks!  Everyone else, I'm interested in current models only, no vintage. That's why I asked when someone offered the 750/751.
I didn't know that the sub $1k current Yamahas were garbage, according to some. 
Buy Technics SL1200GR for $1700 NEW (or find lightly used for less), do not expect anything else under $1000 will be even close to Matsushita (Made in Japan). This is the best NEW direct drive at this price available today, tonearm is nice too. 
Chakster, according to Music Direct, the Pioneer above is a descendent of the Technics, and even betters it at only $700.
  Any thoughts?
By "descendant", they mean a copy! It's built to a price. It's very good for the money but it's no 1200.
Put a Nagaoka MP110 on it and you'll be a lot better off than on many other cheap belt drives. If it was my money, I'd save for the 1200GR. 
@yogiboy, Thanks for recommendation and link for Grado cart. I just ordered one and headshell for it.  Easy as pie!  
Re Russian second hand market: they bring Yamaha turntables from Japan (Yahoo or InJapan), with lots of risks involved (technical and cosmetic condition, etc.).
Most of buyers upgrade stock tonearms. I think that Micro Seiki (direct or belt drive turntables) are more popular, with same reservations.
@unison77 since the OP asked this question just for fun, the recommendations to buy vintage turntables (Yamaha or anything else) is irrelevant in this thread. 

Russian audiophile scene is very strong and a lot of local vendors can restore almost everything. A lot of very rare items are here available for sale (including extremely rare stuff). When you buy anything from overseas (no matter what country) packaging is important not only for vintage gear, but for any audio gear. The art of packaging is the key. Some amateur dealers have no clue how to do that, but professionals can do that very well. 
The best TT for under $1K is the Pioneer PLX1000. When I wanted to add a new TT to my collection of vintage TTs, that is what I chose! Direct-drive in a very substantial plinth and an excellent tonearm/headshell. There is even a high-quality interconnect included! Add a Grado Prestige Black cartridge ($79) and you'll have a truly excellent vinyl-playback system! PLX1000 - $700 (and free shipping from many online retailers). Check out the review by Herb Reichert in Stereophile from a few years ago!
BTW I have a nice vintage Yamaha belt-drive TT in a wood plinth in my collection. 
FWIW, the story behind the name "GT2000" is that Toyota had then recently introduced their top of the line sportscar (which is now a VERY valuable collector item), which they called the "2000GT", because it had a 2-liter motor and was a GT car (2 seats meant for rapid touring).  Yamaha just turned it around to get GT2000, so to associate with the Toyota sports car.
I know the OP is talking about "new" Yamaha TT but a lot of the conversation is about the vintage Yamaha TT from back in their "Glory" years.
I have a Yamaha linear tracker, the PX-3 that is an outstanding performer after a little maintenance work.
It included features such as a coreless motor that Technics finally turned to when designing the new series of SL-1200 TT, only took 35 years to catch up.
Micro Seiki did a lot of the component building on the older TOTL Yamaha TT as well. Micro wasn't known for being a leader in electronics but they could build mechanical components like tonearms and such better than most.
Alrighty then.  I'm gonna shoot for the Pioneer.  Now for the cartridge.  I see here that the Grado Prestige Black and the Nagaoka MP110 were recommended for this TT.  Can anyone describe the differences in these two or recommend another cartridge(s)?
Why stuck on Yamaha turntables? They are not what come to my mind when I think of a turntable. Why not, if you are set on direct drive, a pioneer or the technics? Pioneer plx1000 can be had for 699 or 599 on sale. The technics (forget the model#) can be had for 999. Also I'd be looking at some used but cared for denon direct drives from the late 80's. Now if you go belt drive, there Is a plethora of great models, some of which can be had for under a makes a nice table, as does clearaudio, and of course the rega fact there are so many really nice turntables for not a ton of money that I'm not certain I understand your delay in getting into analog/vinyl.....
I put a Denon 103R on my PLX1000. It works fine - no problem with the tonearm compatibility! That mc cartridge won't work with your mm phono input. It will require a step-up device - a transformer or an active stage (head amp - like a Marcof PPA-1). I have several SUTs and a Marcof (battery-powered). I just always prefer mc cartridges! But the Grado Prestige Black is certainly a giant-killer for such a low price!
Alrighty then. I’m gonna shoot for the Pioneer. Now for the cartridge. I see here that the Grado Prestige Black and the Nagaoka MP110 were recommended for this TT. Can anyone describe the differences in these two or recommend another cartridge(s)?

The best advice is to ignore the Pioneer and buy a proper Technics MK7 instead for $899 

About cartridge: 

Rare Pioneer PC-1000 MKII cartridge with Beryllium Cantilever would be the best, but definitely not at the price of entry level Nagaoka or Grado.

If you want the best from Joseph Grado look for Signature XTZ

You will see Pioneer PC-1000 mkII and Grado XTZ on this image from my collection (along with Grace LEVEL II Br/Mr).

Pioneer PC-1000 mkII sound is very close to my favorite Stanton SC-100 WOS (another excellent choice). Stanton and Pickering are great for those tonearms. You can ask KAB who service Technics.  

These are exceptionally good MM cartridges.

Never buy any cartridge with Conical tip, this is the worst stylus profile on the planet with shortest life-span, and you will may a lot if you want to re-tip MC cartridges.

There is ONLY one reason why nagaoka MP110 recommended for this Pioneer turntable, the reason is cheap price, but if you will read more about stylus profile you will understand why it is cheap.

Almost any MM cartridge is perfect for Pioneer or Technics tonearm. There are tons of Technics clones on the market, but if you want the real thing look for Technics instead, the SL1500C comes with cartridge and built-in phono stage if the low price is the key for you! 

Other companies just steal Technics original design (like new Pioneer). 

Something else: You can also read what ZU AUDIO posted about $899 Denon turntable on their site
That Pioneer turntable made for DJs as the Pioneer target market is professionals (for decades), DJs have been using those direct drives for a long time, audiophiles joined later with some praise about them for some reason.

Technics SL1200GR or even cheaper mk7 are much better than all of them.  

Chakster, I'll look into those.   I'm afraid to see how much the "signature" grado will be.  
oh, $450. yeah that's not gonna happen.  I'm trying to keep this whole thing under a grand. 
@shtinkydog i see, i just updated my post above, more options for you, but $1k is tight budget, maybe step by step ? Technics SL1500c also available in black for $1200 (a complete system with built-in phonostage and cart) .......... or $899 Technics mk7 + better cartridge.
Chakster:  There you go, much better!!!! I'm not looking to build a reference TT.  First of all, I'm just getting into vinyl.  It's a whole new world for me.  I was reading about all the adjustments I might have to make and that's what turns me off, although I'm sure others live for this.   And secondly, I'm not looking to blow several grand.  I'm looking for a good, solid quality entry level unit.   I have no plans on upgrading whatever I decide on (that's what we all say).  So I want to get something decent and get it right the first time.  That's why I'm here, to get good solid opinions and advice.  
Had a PF-800 bought for $399 when TT's were considered dead. Sold some years later for $699. Bought a Linn. One item along w/selling a Forte 4A Class A amp I regret. 
I bought a Yamaha YP-D6 new back in the late 70s. Put it in a closet when I got my first CD player in ‘85. Fortunately I kept all my vinyl. Years later I got the old turntable out and spun some records. Couldn’t believe how good they sounded. Inspired me to upgrade to a Clearaudio Performance DC, and expand my vinyl collection. Still have the Yamaha table, it still works and sounds good, but doesn’t compare to the Clearaudio.
I agree, Technics just came out with the 1200mk7.

Get that! It’s under 1k and it’s the original...all around better than the Pioneer and you won’t feel the need to upgrade too soon with a table like that. You won’t regret it.

Chakster: There you go, much better!!!! I’m not looking to build a reference TT.

I bet you can’t with $1k, but don;t give up and buy the best you can within your budget.

First of all, I’m just getting into vinyl.

This is why you need Technics, it can be your last turntable. I still have those pair i bought more than 20 years ago and it’s working as new.

It’s a whole new world for me. I was reading about all the adjustments I might have to make and that’s what turns me off, although I’m sure others live for this.

Life is easier with Technics and MM or MI cartridges, this turntable is very simple to adjust (VTA on the fly, removable headshell with nice overhang gauge) and it build to last fovever, at least 20-30 years!  

And secondly, I’m not looking to blow several grand. I’m looking for a good, solid quality entry level unit. I have no plans on upgrading whatever I decide on (that’s what we all say). So I want to get something decent and get it right the first time.

Yes, the answer is Technics mk7 ($899) in black or silver.

@unison77 - yes it was gigantic and tremendous - my bad - what a great name.

I've bought from Russians and they are very honest and easy to deal with, likewise as @chakster  said the russians have a lot of excellent technicians - they didn't lose their machining skills

I got a mint FR64S for about £700 plus postage about 2 years ago