The Yamaha YP-800 is a manual, 2-speed, direct-drive turntable with a fitted static balance S type tonearm. It uses a 12 pole brushless DC motor. It really has an interesting look to it with the all metal base top and cream colored platter mat.
The Yamaha YP-800 truly is a beautiful turntable. Built in the mid 1970’s it has a distinct mid century modern look to it. It was positioned at just below top-of-the line in their turntable lineup and is pretty hard to find, though they do come up for sale occasionally. It ran about 98,000 Yen back in 1976 or around $500 in the U.S.
While most turntables have the speed markings for the strobe light etched or painted on the edge of the platter, Yamaha did it a little differently. The markings are located underneath the platter and visible only through what they called the Mirror-Scope, that little window in the top panel near the bottom of the platter.
On the platter sets a notched-ridge turntable mat that provides resistance to negative feedback. It has four rubber sprung shock absorber feet as well, each of which are independently adjustable. The user can ascertain whether the table is level or not with the built in bubble spirit level to the right of the mirror scope.
The YP-800 weighs around 27 pounds including the heavy 4.4 pound platter. The tonearm uses a one piece diecast gyro Gimbal support. Cueing is hydraulically damped and the anti skate is designed for the lowest possible friction. Some have said the tonearm was made by Grace, perhaps the G-840F. Others have said it was made by Micro Seiki so there is no consensus. Maybe a STAX UA? It measures 242mm with an overhang of 15mm.
The Yamaha YP-800 is a solid performer but its performance is probably outweighed by its styling. They don’t come up for auction very often. The last one I saw sold for $180 but it had some minor issues. A fully serviced unit in nice condition would sell for well over $200 most likely. The YP-701, YP-801 and later YP-D10 are more popular with audiophiles and sell for much more.