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Turntable questions


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   jacampb

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Posted September 13 2010 - 08:57 AM

hey, don't know much about turntables - but here we go.

 

I have a Technics SL-1300 with no cartridge on it.  Wondering what budget cartridge/stylus I could get out there that I could play mono/stereo vinyl with without doing too much damage.

 

Also, there's an MCS 6604 turntable on craigslist right now and I was wondering if that's a better or worse TT than what I've got (since it's likely cheaper than I could buy a new cartridge/stylus for.)

 

Thanks, hope someone can answer my questions here.

 

Josh



#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted September 16 2010 - 02:12 PM

The Technics SL-1300 is a nice turntable.  I wouldn't trust the needle on a used turntable.  You'll need a new stylus or cartridge no matter what you do.

 

You have to define your "budget".  

 

It's tough to go wrong with an Audio Technica branded cartridge in my experience.

 

Avoid professional DJ cartridges.

 

I have an Audio Technica AT440MLa cartridge on my turntable and it is wonderful.  Recommended.  The AT120E/T is well regarded at a lower price.  At a lower budget I would speculate that the modest AT95E is a great choice.

 

Lots of great online stores:

 

http://www.needledoctor.com/

 

http://www.lpgear.com/

 

Two that I've had good experience with .  There are many others.

 

Use google to find installation guides and protractors that you need.  It's not difficult to install a cart, but make sure you do it right.


Philip Hamm
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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted September 21 2010 - 07:54 AM

I just started collecting some vinyl, despite not having a record player.  The OG mentions a cartridge that is suitable for mono and stereo playback.  Is their an actual difference in cartridges for this?

 

Also, are needles/cartridges independent of players?  I was under the impression that whatever brand of turn table you bought, you had to buy their cartridges/needles to.

 

I might not know if their is actually a difference between a cartridge or needle either.. Posted Image



#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted September 22 2010 - 02:05 AM

Any stereo cartridge can play mono also.  Dedicated mono cartridges have some advantages for mono playback, but will damage stereo records.  They are usually only used by high end users with large mono record collections.

 

Very cheap turntables have proprietary cartridges which only work with their table.  These generally sound poor and destroy records.

 

There are two standard mounting types for cartridges, "P-Mount" and "Standard 1/2 inch mount".  Any P-mount cart can work with any P-mount table.  Any Standard mount cart can work with any standard mount table.  (Many P-mount carts can work with standard mount tables through an adapter).

 

Some turntables, particularly less expensive ones, come new in the box with cartridges pre-installed from the same manufacturer.  This makes it easier for customers to get "up and running".  Some tables require that you buy a cart separately.

 

The cartridge is a housing containing magnets and coils that translates the vibration of the needle to an electronic signal.  The stylus/needle is a tiny diamond glued on a metal stick called a "cantilever".  Usually there is a little plastic housing which holds the cantilever which snaps into the cartridge.  It's replaceable, because the tiny diamond wears out when you play records.  On some types of cartridge the stylus is not housed this way - don't worry about those, they're generally only very high end.

 

Google "turntable faq" for lots more information.


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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted September 22 2010 - 02:43 AM

Thanks for taking the time to explain all that Philip, it's handy to know when I go out to look for turn tables.  I appreciate it.



#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Kazz

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Posted December 14 2010 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for the info