Vinyl Love!!!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scott_N, May 5, 2003.

  1. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well now that I have about 100 records I couldn't wait anymore to get the setup I want(Nottingham Horizon,Rega RB250 tonearm and Dynavector 10x4 cartridge) so I bought a Sony PS-LX250H at Best Buy and as i'm walking out one of the employees tells me a friend of hers is selling about 300 records for 50 cents apiece! This Sony table sounds pretty good for as little as it costs.
     
  2. KennethF

    KennethF Stunt Coordinator

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    dude... any place other than an audio sources forum and you might get posts other than about lp's... [​IMG]
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Wow you could have gotten a much better Technics table for just a little more money. I would say don't play any records that you really treasure on that Sony table.
     
  4. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    For the price, the Sony is a good turntable. I have one and think it does a fine job. Now of course you will get better quality from a higher end turntable. But if your just a casual vinyl buyer and don't have a huge collection, I wouldn't spend lots of money on an expensive turntable. With that said, I've been thinking about getting a Music Hall. They seem to be pretty well thought of.
     
  5. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    This is just to get me by for now. I want to upgrade my amp and preamp before I get the Nottingham.
     
  6. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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    I just picked up my fathers Denon turntable he wasnt using anymore. I dont own any records but I thought I'd try it out. Sounds pretty good but I'm not sure I'll keep it. How much are records going for nowadays?
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Go look at thrift stores around you. You can often pick up records in good condition (and good music too) for 25c - $1. If you want to buy new records from a dealer, they cost about the same as a new CD, or a little more sometimes, especially if it's a double LP.
     
  8. Brice

    Brice Stunt Coordinator

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    any good cheaper/high quality record players out there that people swear by... my friend bought me a Queens of the Stone Age vinyl to help me start out yet a new collection so i'm starting to be on the prowl... i'm looking for less than $100 (a must for a college student like me)... and i want my records to last for a while... any suggestions.. thanks. Brice
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Brice. Go to www.refurbishedstore.com - click "Audio" then "Audio System". Scroll down to "PANASONIC/TECHNICS SL-BD20D Semi-Automatic Turntable". This is IMO the best table you'll find for under $100. http://www.overstock.com/ has it for $89 refurbished also. I don't think this model has a built-in phono preamp so you'll either need a phono input on your receiver or an external phono preamp (Radio Shack sells a really nice one for about $30).
     
  10. aalguero

    aalguero Auditioning

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    I think your absolute best bet is to buy used! I have a Thorens turntable that is absolutely beautiful. $150 used. I have seen many deals of this ilk for german hardware. Just find a respectable local record dealer and ask them where you could find deals in the local area.

    BTW, It is critical that you use good hardware to play records. First,the wear will be greatly reduced. Second, its the only way to make your albums sound better than CD.
     
  11. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Scott N,

    I know your excitement over getting into vinyl. I have been working towards this end for about the past 6 months. Had to get a good stereo preamp and phono stage first, and now I am hopefully a month away from adding a turntable.

    I am looking at going with the Nottingham Analogue Spacedeck w/ Spacearm, then to save money I will initially just start with a low level Benz Micro cartridge. Then eventually I will improve the cartridge but this setup should cure my vinyliitis for a long, long time.
     
  12. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I'm looking into vinyl also. I've already got a small collection of records (a little less than 100) and a record player. My record player, I think, is a piece of junk. I've bought some new releases on vinyl, and have been suckered into the "it sounds better" from some musicians I like. (I'm looking at you, Neil Young and Steve Albini. [​IMG])

    However, after doing research on the net, I've come to the realization that vinyl maybe over my head. I'm forging ahead, because I really want to at least get started. But I have some questions:

    1. I plan to buy a new record player (I'm looking at a budget-end Technics) that has a P-Mount head. I have no idea what cartridges will and will not work, since I e-mailed a guy about a Grado Black that uses a "universal" collar, and he said it wouldn't fit. So, the question is, can someone recommend a P-Mount that's cheap and good?

    2. What, exactly, is a Phono pre-amp, or a phono in? I've got my current turntable hooked up with just RCA's. I feel like a complete newbie, but I need some info.

    3. What's a good cleaner for records?

    4. How much improvement is 180 gram vinyl over standard vinyl? It'll play on a standard player, right?

    5. What are some good turntables for less than $100 used?

    Thanks for any help in educating someone whose very new at this.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I can't cover all your concernes. But for some..

    I use an Audio Technica AT311EP in my P-mount turntable. I bought it from my local audiophile shop and like it a lot. It's a decent cartridge.

    I personally don't think that in general vinyl sounds dramatically better than CD. I have about 300 records (I'm guessing - could easily be 500). In most cases it sounds about the same, often worse, in some cases better. In some very rare cases (recent remastered Jazz records come to mind) it does sound dramatically better than CD. I've never had a real high end vinyl rig at home (nor have I cared to do so).

    The problem is that most of my vinyl is old mass-produced stuff, and vinyl was notoriously variable in the quality of pressings. When pressed with care like my Mobile Fidelity Original Master Recording of "Dark Side of the Moon" or my recent re-release of Coltrane's "Blue Train" it can sound amazing. But unfortunately that's the vast minority.

    I've always taken meticulous care of my records so they're scratch free. I also have been very careful in buying (many - many) used records.

    When CD came out I never replaced most of my records, just because I thought the LPs sounded fine and I'd rather buy something that I didn't already have with my money. Except for some stuff that is my favorite. I'm adopting the same philosophy with the transition from LD to DVD.

    I use the Discwasher D4 system for cleaning and I'm happy with it.
     
  14. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Scott

    Sounds like a pretty good setup you have planned. I want to upgrade my Aragon preamp and amp to a Cary V12R and Cary SLP-98P before I get a better table. I haven't listened to vinyl since the 80's so it's like a new toy. I should have about 500 LP's in a couple of weeks but I have over 800 CD's and a $2500 CDP so CD's will still be what I listen to most of the time.
     
  15. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    The thing with vinyl is, it requires extremely tight tolerances in the playback equipment in order to be played accurately (some of the groove modulations that the stylus needs to track are down in the millionths of a meter), so that automatically makes it expensive. Also, you need more parts - the table, cartridge and phono stage are all needed, and that adds to the cost too. Once you get up to around $300 - $500 total investment though (i.e., table + cart + phono stage), I think turntables start to get better than CD players.

    To answer your questions...

    1. P-mount cartridges - I'm pretty sure that Grado Blacks come in a P mount version too, or they have an adaptor which lets the cartridge work with both mounts. Ask around some more and you should be able to find this information. Have you tried the Grado website? Philip's Audio Technica recommendation should also be a good one.

    2. Phono preamp - it serves two functions. One, it amplifies the output of the cartridge (which is a millivolt or two) up to the normal line-level (around 2V, which is roughly the output of an average CD player), so that a regular preamp/prepro/receiver can handle it. Two, it performs a specific EQ on the output of the cartridge - records aren't cut with flat frequency response, they are EQ'd (for various reasons, mostly dealing with issues related to constructing the actual record). In any case, the signal needs to be re-EQ'd before it can be heard, or it'll sound completely out of whack.

    3. Cleaners - how much do you want to spend? Discwasher is a decent cheap option. If you can spring $60 or so, get the Disc Doctor - it's excellent, almost as good as a dedicated vacuum record cleaner. If you have even more money to spend here, get a vacuum record cleaner. Look for Nitty Gritty and VPI cleaners on Audiogon.

    4. Opinions vary on this, so you can pretty much ignore it. I can think of many more factors that would make a bigger difference than the weight of the vinyl. The quality of the original recording is often the biggest determining factor.

    5. Used turntables - if you can get up to $150 - $200, I think you'll find several Thorens, Dual and similar brands. These are supposed to be much better than what you'll get at the next step down, but I have no personal experience with them. If you're looking for cheap tables, try some of the belt drive Pioneers (I own a PL-12D) - those perform much better than you'd think, given their $25 - $50 price tag on eBay.

    Hope that helps. FWIW, I started with a Pioneer PL-12D, Discwasher D4, Grado Black, and Radio Shack "Little Rat" phono stage. I can certainly recommend that combination. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions.
     
  16. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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    So would a phono preamp be necessary if you have a phono input on the pre/pro or receiver?
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    No, in that case it would not be necessary. You could still use an external phono preamp if you thought it was of better quality than the one built into your receiver/prepro.
     
  18. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Wow, thanks Saurav.

    Another question-my receiver (Kenwood VR-507) has a phono selection, but it looks like that uses standard RCA cables. Do I still need a phono stage?
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Even if you needed a phono stage, that would still use standard interconnects with RCA connectors. Phono cables don't usually have different connectors. But if your receiver says it has a phono input, then you don't need another phono stage.
     

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