JVC QL-70The Victor Corporation of Japan was a fully committed hi-fi manufacturer in the nineteen seventies, making a range of very clean sounding amplifiers, tuners, cassette decks and turntables. The 1977 QL-70 was one of its very best vinyl spinners, being a turntable motor unit and plinth minus tonearm (the QL-7 was fitted with a manual tonearm, the QL-A7 an automatic arm, but were otherwise the same), with users invariably fitting their own SME Series 3009S2 (or latterly SME III) pickup.

With a claimed wow and flutter figure of 0.025% WRMS, and a decently torquey direct drive motor, the deck was a fine design, let down only but its almost complete lack of isolation – like so many of its Japanese contemporaries, it had only vibration-absorbing feet and a moderately massy plinth to keep acoustic feedback at bay. The big JVC sounded tight, taut and punchy in a classic mid-price direct drive way, but lacks the subtlety and smoothness of a similarly priced belt drive. It’s an enjoyable listen, and complemented nicely by soft sounding arms such as SME’s 3009S2 improved. No rival to a well set up Technics SL-1200, it’s nevertheless a solidly made classic that is well worth buying if for sale at under £150.

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