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Lets get Retro: looking to buy a record player!


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted March 06 2007 - 04:28 AM

So over the weekend, I was at Best Buy picking up a Wii game, when I saw one of those retro 1940's looking units with a radio, CD player and record - for 40 bucks. Caught up in a impulse buy, thinking "Yeah, I have some vinal that I could spin", I grabbed it.

Long story short, it was a piece of crap unit - and I took it back the next day. However, I got the idea that I need to pick up a turntable. The problem is - it's been 20 years since I was in the market for one, and I was never a discriminating teenager anyway. So I'm really shooting in the dark here.

Of the reading I've done, I favor these two -

The Ion USB:
http://www.engadget.....usb-turntable/

And the Audio Technica AT-PL50:
http://www.amazon.co..../dp/B00006HO3O

Both are capable of hooking up to my computer, should I want to copy my records (the Ion is designed with that in mind, it seems). Both are within the budget without being bottom of the line models (about 150 bucks is about the limit right now).

I'm more leaning away from the Ion, since it doesnt have a dust cover - and I'd like it to plug into my home theater setup in addition to hooking up to my computer too.

But, I'll turn to you guys. Anyone have suggestions for a reasonably priced, solidly built turntable?

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Mattias_ka

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Posted March 07 2007 - 12:01 PM

Well, it depends. Do you want something that sounds good, or just some cool stuff? If you want something that sounds good, look for a Rega, Music Hall or any other good quality, cheap tables. That would be much better.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted March 07 2007 - 12:21 PM

I have a reasonably priced Pro-Ject turntable. This unit was inexpensive (around $300) and sounds great. Something to consider with a turntable like this is that many, if not most, AVRs these days don't have a phono in, so you'll have to pick up a preamp of some sort. These can range from cheap (under $100) to multiple thousands, depending on what you're into. My Harman Kardon unit doesn't even have a likely slot for one, I'm running it through a "video 3" input. Good luck.
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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted March 08 2007 - 08:05 AM

Well, I'm looking for something nice, but not TOO spendy. My home theater set up isnt bad, but it's not high end or anything (one of the Costco out-of-the-box sets). So, something in the 100-200 dollar range that sounds moderate. Well, at least doesnt sound like crap Posted Image

The Audio Technica has the bonus of having a pre-amp built right in, so that's a plus in it's favor. This one here ( http://www.amazon.co....180639-3858362 ) doesnt look too bad, if a bit on the high end.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted March 14 2007 - 01:22 AM

That AT is a copy of the ubiquitous Technics DJ turntables. Not as good as the two tables in your original post for your purposes. In the low end I prefer Technics tables personally, but anything you buy will be funtional for you, I'd probably get the AT in your original post if I were in your shoes. AT is a good name. How many records you have and what shape they're in would help with a recommendation. Are you hoping on using this table just to play and enjoy some old musical friends or to try to achieve some kind of analog audiophile euphoria? Check the search function, there is a lot of good stuff already here. BTW, I don't know what software you're hoping to use, but I would recommend Cakewalk Pyro (also recommended at Amazon.com) for a good basic analog recording and CD authoring software at a very low price.
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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted April 06 2007 - 09:34 AM

How about audiophile euphoria on a budget? Posted Image

Actually I wound up with the AT-PL120, just a bit more than I was looking to spend but it has a ton of bells and whistles - a really customizable turn table. I've had it for a week or two now and it's a very nice unit.

As for my albums, while I'm certanly looking for the best shape, I'm not a hard core pureist that demands that every track be 100% scratch and pop free. Just so long as it sounds nice, I'm ok. That said - I'm amazed at the condition of the records I'm finding at goodwill. Sure you get the ones that look like they were dragged behind a car, but a great many of them look damn near prestine!

As for editing, my mission statement's changed abit - I'd still like to dump my records to digital, but I'll get to that soon enough. It does sound like Cakewalk Pro might be the way to go. Of course I'll have to get 40 foot long RCA cables to get from my set up to my computer down the hall. But that's just details.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted April 23 2007 - 03:15 PM

For those with turntables or thinking about getting one, you might want to check out this announcement:

"Kevin Gray/Steve Hoffman remastering of Warner Bros./Reprise catalog for Rhino vinyl!"

(one inch analog tape running at 30 inches per second is VERY high quality, IMO better than CD quality actually)

Him and the other mastering engineer* are highly respected and make sure the music sounds right, instead of just cranking up the bass and treble and overcompressing the sound like so many Corporate Label engineers are forced to do only so it sounds good on $5 earbuds. Posted Image

Other FYIs about the article:

because sound matters this is something Neil Young has been writing on the cover of most of his new releases. He's a major fan of good sound.

Warner Bros./Reprise records and it all its many sublabels, like Elektra, Atlantic, Asylum and many other smaller ones are responsible for some of the best rock/pop ever made. Rhino Records is Warner's specialty release division. I'm not totally sure if *all* these other sublabels are included though, but just Warner and Reprise all by themselves have loads of music to offer.

"180 gram vinyl" this type of LP is very thick and resistant to warping.

"virgin vinyl" cheaper records many times actually use recycled vinyl, which can contain foreign matter which shows itself as clicks & pops or an overall subtly noisy quality.

"original Warner Bros./Reprise stereo master mixes" many CDs and LPs are still made from what are called safety copies (called a 1st generation copy i.e. once removed from the original) & some are made from 2nd and even 3rd generation copies (bleh) ---> every time you make a copy of an analog recording, X amount of quality is lost. So if you can make the CD/LP from the original master tape, that's awesome!!!

A new decent turntable say, Toyota quality, with a decent cartridge will run you about $300. Chevy quality: around $175. MANY people older than say 35 are selling off their 'tables so great deals can be found that way.

Becausesoundmatters.com is also going to be releasing dvd-audio titles, which are more for surround music fans like me Posted Image and can also be stereo-only like some of Neil Young's dvd-audio albums, but unfortunately Steve Hoffman isn't really into 5.1 music so they won't be mastered by him (I guess).

Vinyl can be transferred to CD-R and other formats via various methods - one of them is using one of the several new 'tables with USB and/or optical digital connections. This one from ION is pretty popular.

* read here how back in the 70s Kevin Gray produced that nasal/cheap-radio sound of the spoken part at the beginning of E.L.O.'s "Telephone Line"

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted April 23 2007 - 03:25 PM

I own a Technics SL-BD22 table with a Shure M92E cartridge both of which I bought 3 years ago for $270 - sounds nice! I think only the SL-BD20 is available now, same as mine but is missing the strobe (to monitor platter speed) and associated speed adjustment control. Of course the venerable SL-1200 series is still for sale and while it's a favorite for DJs, many audiophiles use it at home with great results. It runs about $450 without a cart.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   petitjean

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Posted January 31 2011 - 12:44 AM

Hello I have a hold record player it work but it dosen't work do you can subit a mail of manuel work please thanks




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