Yamaha GT-2000 Direct Drive Turntable – Tweaking the Beast

My friend recently had a little mishap with his beautiful Yamaha GT-2000 direct drive turntable. Naturally, I helped him sort it out…

The mishap occurred when my friend was cleaning his beloved GT-2000. While using a cleaning cloth near the headshell, he must have brought the cloth too near to the stylus and just caught it, moving the cloth and causing the whole cantilever and stylus to snap clean off his Denon DL-103R moving coil cartridge.

This is one of those moments where you feel sick when you realise what you’ve done, and I know he did. Still, it raises a really important point of order – NEVER USE A CLOTH near your deck unless the stylus guard is fitted, or better still, the headshell has been removed!

Anyway, once the dust settled and I convinced my buddy to get back on the horse, a new DL-103R was ordered and I performed a basic setup. I installed the Denon into the Ortofon LH-9000 headshell, performed some listening tests of the DL-103R, before heading over to the home of the Yamaha GT-2000 and doing the final setup there. I took a couple of photos as we dialled in the downforce and ride height.

Keep in mind that the DL-103 is not ideal in this set-up. Yes, it will play a record and sound ‘nice’, but it isn’t an optimal match, having too low a compliance to really suit this arm.

Yep, gigantic AND tremendous, especially when mounted into the special, unobtainable, cast-iron base and fitted with the optional vacuum platter mat, as depicted here!

The Yahama GT-2000 is a legendary direct-drive deck from Japan. It sold especially well in its home country, but not that well outside of it. These days, people import them from Japan and often have to use a step-down transformer to allow local operation. Anyway, the Yamaha GT-2000 is a heavy-hitting monster deck.

GT stood for ‘Gigantic and Tremendous’ – I kid you not. This was the kind of thing the Japanese loved in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I really like the deck – the platter really is ah… gigantic – and I guess tremendous as well… The chassis is heavy and finished in a very nice black ash. Quite honestly, the deck is gigantic, taking up more physical space than even my Kenwood L-07D, though the Kenwood is still heavier 🙂

IMG 2870
Regular GT-2000, with standard oversized platter and arm – look at how long that bloody arm is! Note that there is not a cleaning cloth to be seen.

The tonearm for me is the weakest link here. The arm is relatively light-weight despite what the specs suggest and I think lets the deck down a little. Ride height is adjustable, but there is no vernier adjustment like say on the L-07D.

With the GT-2000, the arm slides up and down a metal post, held in place by a grub-screw. Having said that, the arm is a long one, at least 10 inches, reducing tracking distortion when an installed cartridge is correctly aligned.

The motor is also a true beast, a really nice die-cast monster, bolted into the chassis with Allen bolts and beautifully finished. The platter spins up reasonably quickly and once there, speed is locked with a quartz servo.

I haven’t pulled her apart yet so I am not able to comment further on the circuitry used or the internal construction, but a more detailed look will happen at some point in the future.

All-up, I would certainly recommend a GT-2000, for the right price. You can read more about them here, from the legendary Vintage Knob!

IMG 2871
The Ortofon LH-9000 headshell is beautiful but heavy, too heavy for this arm in fact.

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