Finally got the Sony PS FL-1 home. A lengthy story but I don't use couriers for these things anymore.
Fascinating object. It is surprisingly heavy and fun to watch when the smoked screen disappears and the drawer slides open.
It is a DD servo regulated turntable and is fully automatic, how very un-audiophile. Came with a new stylus fitted. All works relatively smooth and silent, somewhat of a surprise considering the age. The arm looks well made and moves freely in all directions with no friction.
I just spinned some Sade and it sounds good. Smooth with good drive and rhythm. It is not as precise as either the Garrard or Thorens but it adds a little bit of warmth which is pleasant. - I'd say this comes close to the archetypal turntable sound people expect without straying into soggyness. - It lacks a little bit of soundstage precision and texture at the frequency extremes but will never offend. - My Thorens in comparison is truthful and revealing ... for good or bad.
I will get around to service the Sony next week on my days off but taking top/bottom and front off for a quick look reveals 'sound' Sony typical engineering. The weight comes from the bearing and plate and well as the sliders and other assorted metal parts. Electronics are fairly elaborate with a good, large power supply on its separate panel. There is substantial cross bracing and although the platter sub chassis is plastic, it is not the normal thin stuff often found but really quite thick and inert.
I expect that sound will improve after a service and precise set-up so all happy here. She is silver at the moment but will get a nice new, black matt coat.
Should look and sound like new shortly.
Happy weekend everyone x