Should I get into vinyl?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Garrett Lundy, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    With the exception of my parents all-in-one player when I was a kid, and the occasional tape-deck in a car, its been CD's for me since I've been into music.

    I've just recently graduated to a 'real' stereo (NAD integrated & seperate Cd) as opposed to table-top mini-systems and boom boxes. Now I'm wondering if I should get into vinyl. Most folks say it sounds best ya'know. [​IMG]

    What do i need to get started? I figure I need a seperate phono pre-amp (My Nad C370 doesn't have a phono input), a turntable, and some sort of cartridges? But above that I have a few basic questions...

    *33, 78, 45.. what do these numbers mean? Am I going to need more than one turntable?
    *where do I buy vinyl? I can find some old stuff on Ebay, but where do I buy new stuff?
    *How long do cratridges last?
    *Do they sell new printings of old material? (example: I want to but David Bowies 'Space oddity'. Can I buy a new copy still, or do I have to look for a used copy?)
     
  2. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    I'm not that good on the hardware end, but I can be of some assistance on the software end.

    A good place to find vinyl, both new and used, is http://www.alibris.com/

    It started out as a bookstore, but now carries music and movies, too. You name it, chances are they have it, and oftentimes wrapped, too.

    Also, some of the better-selling older material can still be found on vinyl (Zeppelin, Zappa), but most of it can only be bought used.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    I have a pretty cool collection of dance remixes on vinyl.
     
  3. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    Unless you want to listen to 78s (which haven't been mass-produced in America for decades), then most record players have 33 RPM and 45 RMP on the flip of a switch.

    33 is generally the speed for albums, 45 for singles. It simple means the number of revolutions per minute.
     
  4. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Beware vinyl pressings from the 70s. For example, if you were to collect Beatles records, 60s pressings (swirl label, Apple label) will sound great. 70s pressings, (green label, red label) will sound poor. 80s pressings (purple label, re-issued swirl label) will sound pretty good. This doesn't apply to all 70s records, however. Bowie albums on RCA "dynaflex" sound really really good. Many LP afficionados scoff at them because they are lighter than regular pressings, but they were pressed very well.

    Also, if you like music made during the switchover from mono to stereo, (late 50s-late 60s) the original mono will often be a REVELATION. Even the stereo records by The Who (to name just one example) sound radically different than the CDs, due to the fact that the CDs are re-mixed. (Which in my opinion is like re-editing a great film.)

    If you ever get into Phil Spector, remember three little words:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    if you really want good info, try to find saurav. he doesn't hang here much more, but he is the total vinyl stud.

    regarding turntables, here's a thread i did a while ago that may help.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=84150

    also, i think someone else recently jumped into vinyl...possibly nickso.
     
  6. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah, i got into vinyl early this year, taking my dad's uber-cheap Fisher turntable and putting it into my bedroom system...

    In fact, i just picked up Franz Ferdinand's album on Vinyl for $9.99CAD yesterday [​IMG]

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=176467
     
  7. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Hi Henry! I've been busy with my mom in hospital. I like vinyl, si!

    The best reason to get vinyl maybe of all is that t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s of album are ooow, OOP, permanently, apparently! Secondly, when vinyl is well-conditioned, hot dam, can it sound good!

    Garrett, I have a few guidelines for aqquiring a turntable.

    1. Get one that uses a Standard Mount cartridge, not a P-Mount!

    2. If I had to cut a corner on the TT package, I wouldn't cut it too much on the cartridge end. Buy a used table if you must, but get a really good cartridge. I've used Shure for a long, long time myself. I'm a devottee of their V-15.

    IMO, you don't have to get the best of the best of the best of phono equipment to get very superior performance. I got my 1983 Denon turntable at the flea market for $35. They said it didn't work, I lifted the platter up and the rubber drive belt was dried up and loose. Suspecting that's all it needed, I made and won that $35 bet.

    The Denon is a well above average turntable though. I got lucky! With the V-15 installed, it's become formidable enough. The new Allman Brothers At Fillmore East SA-CD sounds almost as good as the v-i-n-y-l, IMO. Of course, I have a nearly purr-fect copy. Record condition is vinyl's bug-a-boo. Beat records are depressing!

    Good luck on your quest! Be patient, go slow, and ask plenty of questions.
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Rachael,

    I'm not very knowledgable about turntable hardware. Why do you recommend the standard mount vs the P-mount?
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    How long does a cartridge last, and what do they cost?
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Rob, most of the P-Mount designs proably have a higher tracking error rate for the tonearm. Most of the better cartridges are Standard Mount, only, with a very few exceptions. P-Mount usually means a lesser designed table.
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Garrett, cartridges can last many decades. My Shure V-15 dates to 1982. It was a Type 3 then. I have an upgrade needle on it now that, I think, makes it a Type 4. Replacement needles are a bigger worry, or could be eventually...? The latest Shure V-15 is about $350. It's cheaper now than when I got one, relatively. I think I paid $280. If you indexed the dollars, it was more in '82, I'd bet.

    There are other good brands. Somebody else will have to advise you on them. I haven't kept up with them since I'm fixed up. Grado is a respected brand. I see Audio Technica for sale some places.

    A cartridge should run you, if you skimped, $40-$150. Prices are astronomical for some, $1000+. You know how that goes!
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    P-mount design cartridges is one of those "set it and forget it" designs. Plug and play, in other words. It was developed by Technics and is still used on almost all currently available Technics turntables. Here's a link on inexpensive Technics turntables....

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...nics+turntable

    Grado, Shure, and Ortofon continue to manufacture P-mount cartridges.
     
  15. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    P-mount arms add mass to the tone arm where you least want it, at the cartridge end. This makes it harder for the arm/cartridge to properly track the groves as it moves across the record. Specially if there's a slight warp. Even if you properly balance it for 3/4 or so gram tracking force, the total mass of the tone arm is still something that must be overcome when the arm is dynamicly tracking the record grooves. The second problem is rigidity. A P-mount will never be as rigid a straight through design.

    Another good advice, in addition to the ones already mentioned, make sure you go through the proper cartridge alignment procedures. The last thing you want is for your TT to ruin your vinyl. You may not notice it for a while but if you really like vinyl and begin to upgrade, your new TT/cartridge may pick up the degradation caused by having your previous TT/cartridge improperly aligned. You'll soon find out that the software (vinyl) is harder to replace than the hardware.
     

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