Anyone still listening to LPs. I'll be doing it on the cheap this weekend!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I'm wondering who here is still into vinyl and what set-ups you have. I will be setting up an inexpensive vinyl rig this weekend and can't wait. The turntable is a Sony PS-LX350H manual model that I bought about a year ago. I used it for awhile in my old house with my Sony STR-V444ES A/V receiver, which has a phono input. However, when I moved to an NAD C 370 stereo integrated amp for music that has no phono inputs, I stopped using the turntable. Well, I decided that I had to fire up the vinyl again, so I just got an NAD PP-1 phone pre-amp ($85 from Sound City) to go with the C 370, along with a new and inexpensive table for the turntable to rest on. I should be moving back to the vinyl age this weekend. It should be fun, though I don't know how good my LPs will sound. If I have good results, I'll probably start expanding my vinyl collection and possibly upgrade the turntable cartridge. However, I'll probably find eventually that the turntable will need to be upgraded. One thing at a time, though. [​IMG]
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  2. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,
    I'm still very much into vinyl, in fact listen to it more than CD. I'll avoid getting stung up, I hope, by starting a "digital sucks" thread, but vinyl has it's strengths. I suppose an acceptable analogy in this forum would be to laserdisk. Just as there are videos on Ld that may never appear on DVD and if you are lucky you can get a fistfull of LD's cheap, the same may be said for vinyl. Ten years ago I borrowed an old conrad johnson preamp, and was amazed at how much better it sounded as a pre-amp than the Sony 1000ESD that I had bought for the gizmo DSP features. That got me back on the vinyl craze and over the years I've upgraded a bit. It is a hassle cleaning LP's and handling them and turntable/arms/cart, but it's a labor of love..
    Have fun!
     
  3. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I purchased a new Technics SL-BD20 turntable about 2 years ago. Used it for a couple of months, then never touched it again. Not that I don't want to, it just doesn't fit into the space I have now. The turntable is completely stock, with the original Technics P-mount cartridge. But I am going to get back into vinyl again. The turntable setup will be upgraded, and eventually, the phono pre-amp. Over at audioasylum.com's Vinyl section, they're raving about the Radio Shack phono pre-amp, saying how it beats all inexpensive phono pre-amps, including the NAD PP-1. So maybe I will look into that. Maybe upgrade the Technics cartridge to a Grado.
     
  4. Cary P

    Cary P Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,
    I've gotten back into vinyl in a big way over the last four or five years. My vinyl setup was a Music Hall MMF 2 turntable ($299) and a Rotel RQ-970BX phono preamp ($199). Pretty damn good sound for $500. I recently sold my Music Hall to a friend and plan on upgrading to a better turntable within the next two to three months.
    The main thing driving me is that there is a ton of great, cheap music on vinyl that is otherwise unavailable. I like to listen to a lot of cold war era spy movie soundtracks, space age instrumental pop, private eye jazz, and most of this stuff will never, ever be released on CD (or SACD/DVD-A for that matter).
    Art's analogy about cheap, obscure Laserdiscs is a good one (any hope that Danger[​IMG]iabolik will ever be released on DVD in glorious widescreen? Doubt it). You wouldn't believe some of the great finds I've gotten at thrift stores for 50 cents with unbelievable, spacious, high fidelity sound. It's true that vinyl can be a hassle, but I'm sure you will have a lot of fun with this.
    Cary
     
  5. Kendal Kirk

    Kendal Kirk Stunt Coordinator

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    I am still in love with my LP collection that I built over the years. It brings back some great memories!!!
    Fitting it into my HT space was just not an option for me, and I would discourage anyone from doing so as long as you have the means to build a dedicated 2 channel system. Phono sections in todays HT gear are a joke, more of an afterthought to try and make it more appealing to the older mass market consumer.
    You can find some very good preamps/integrateds from the late 70's and early 80's at very reasonable prices. I assembled my "high end" 2 channel system for under $500, consisting of an Audiare Legato pre, Bryston 2Blp, Kenwood Marble Base(Not sure of the model) and Polk Model 10B. Yes, I had to really hunt, but it can be done.
    Vintage Vinyl stores are a lot of fun to visit, but not the best place to get your LPs. If you have seen the movie "High Fidelity", the prices he throws out as the going rate are accurate($20-60 vinyl for the same material on CD in a dump bin @ Wal Mart for $4.96). Hunt at the GoodWill and thrift shops.
    It is still a great source medium, conversation piece, and "fun for the whole family." My 10 yr old loves it.
    Enjoy your trip to the past this weekend.
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I still listen to vinyl some, but mostly in the process of transferring things to MiniDisc; I don't like the wear and tear on the originals and the MD sound is good enough for most purposes like listening in the car. But my vinyl records aren't going anywhere at all. [​IMG]
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  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I have a lot of vinyl, but it's all rare Beatles stuff that I'd never actually play. If I want to listen, I do it with cds that don't deteriorate with each play. My lps stay in mint condition.
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  8. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Keith, vinyl is still alive though might not be kicking, least not yet. I have a Planar/Black Cube setup with my stereo rig that should last for a while & yet my ancient Dual DD table is still hooked up to the receiver based HT system.
    You can still find new LP's @ CDNow every so often though I agree your best bet/bargain will be thrift stores, garage sales, etc. That said for more serious record collecting/listening one will need a vacuum LP cleaner (I have the Record Doctor, a basic model made By Nitty Gritty for AudioAdvisor) eventually.
    PF
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Great discussion. Thanks. One question though. Since the NAD C 370 has no phono inputs and, therefore, no ground screw, can I put the ground cable from the turntable (spade-like connector) under a screw on the C 370 chassis? Could this cause any problems? If so, are there any alternatives? Thanks in advance.
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  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Keith- Your ground is OK as long as you don't hear any humming.
    I be still into vinyl too. I have a 20 year old (!) Sony PS-x600 turntable with a Shure V-15 type V-MR cartridge. Still works perfectly! Direct drive baby! No wimpy belts for me... [​IMG] (OK, it just got rebuilt by www.theturntablefactory.com. They do excellent work.)
    I do choose to use the phono pre-amp in my relatively current home theater Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro. (BTW, Sony's phono stage was reviewed pretty darn highly by Audio and Stereo Review when the pre/pro came out late '98.)
    Although someday, I will pick up a Creek, or Rotel, or Parasound external phono pre amp for my *next* pre/pro, which more than likely *won't* have a phono stage.
    I listen to lps maybe 10%, and a lot mostly for archiving to DAT.
    Yuppers, still a lot of stuff I like to listen to every now and then that never made it to CD...
    Vinyl rocks, just a lot more inconvenient than CDs.
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  11. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I still use my 20 year old Pioneer PL-707 turntable hooked up to my phono input of my Denon 3801, which I use only as a pre/pro. I have also just purchased a Parasound PPH-100 to use a a phono preamp for use with my Outlaw 950... still hoping to get the beta call....? I've got somewhere around 200, mostly pristine, albums which I listen to from time to time.
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  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin, you listen to LPs and record to DAT?! Well, I'll just call you Mr. Past. [​IMG] Just kidding around. I bought a Tascam DA-20mkII DAT deck last October and sold it earlier this year because I wasn't using it too much. Now I wish I hadn't sold it. I really liked the deck. I used it to make 2-hour CD-quality mixes from CDs. No other format allows you to do that. As much as I would like to get back into DAT, I really can't justify the expense (Oade Bros. sells the DA-20mkII for $675). Let's face it. DAT is not a major medium. It's not like I'm going to go out and buy pre-recorded DAT tapes. I continue to make mixes on CD-Rs and minidiscs, but I do miss DAT. It's too bad the price of DAT decks hasn't come down. Of course, DAT decks are low-volume sellers since DAT never became a consumer medium, so we are not going to see the price come down.
    Thanks for the comment regarding the ground wire. I'll give it a try. Hopefully I won't hear any hum.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on November 01, 2001 at 07:09 PM]
     
  13. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I have an old Technics SL-BD22 turntable but its kinda got problems. Oxidation or rust? Won't spin at a consistent speed. I bought a slightly upgraded cartridge for it a while back (10 years ago!). Unfortunately many of my albums are in crappy shape, but I have a bunch of YES, Big Country and other weird stuff not played too much. I may copy some of my weird albums to CD's so I can use them in a walkman player. But playing the albums with the turntable should be cool.
    How should I go about having my turntable serviced? I could do it myself, I'm pretty handy with stuff, but what do you think needs attention? Belt is fine.
    P.S. Is the SHURE V15-VMR still the best cartridge needle for the money? Does it still exist?
    [Edited last by Chris PC on November 01, 2001 at 07:25 PM]
     
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Saurav, if I were to ever upgrade my turntable, I would probably get a Music Hall or Rega model. Both companies make turntables for around $500, which is probably the most I would spend on a turntable. I've read good things about the Rega Planar 2. I know that the Planar 3 is an excellent turntable, but again, I would not want to spend that much on a turntable. You have a nice set-up there.
    I read some of your posts on Audio Asylum about the Radio Shack phono pre-amp. People seem to really love it for only $25. Is it true that it is battery-operated? That's odd. Has anyone modified it with an AC adapter? I read posts saying the Radio Shack phono pre-amp is better than the NAD PP-1. That's amazing, if true, for as cheap as the Radio Shack unit is. In any event, I am going to stick with the NAD PP-1 and see how things go. The stock Sony cartridge will probably be the biggest weakness in my turntable set-up. Probably much more so than the phono pre-amp. Still, it should be fun to spin some vinyl again.
    On a side note, Audio Asylum is an unusual place. You have many people there who spend thousands of dollars on high-end gear and every tweak imaginable, but then you have audiophiles there who are ga-ga over the $189 ART DI/O DAC and $25 Radio Shack phono pre-amp. Many people are claiming that these two items are better than significantly more expensive mainstay products. Very interesting.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on November 01, 2001 at 11:09 PM]
     
  16. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Thorens TD-160 MkII, Rotel phono preamp, Shure Ultra 500 cartridge, two wands for the arm assembly, anti-resonance pad... All bought used. And it sounds great although I should consider having the cartridge replaced since it was already a bit old when I bought it.
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  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Comments (with a little beer, so if it shows, please "beer" with me [​IMG])
     
  18. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Back in the late 70's, I would head to the record shop every payday and walk out with an armful of albums for $20. I have 1200+ lps now, which I wouldn't part with for a dumptruck full of cds. Young-un's these days will never know the joys of slicing the cellophane with a pocketknife or fingernail (ouch!), peeling away the plastic, pulling out the platter, reading over the liner notes (with lyrics and photos if you're lucky), and spinning the black circle. Somehow, busting open a jewel case (or a DVD case, for that matter) pales in comparison, and will never be recollected with a wave of nostalgia. Vinyl rocks and vinyl rolls.
    Since upgrading my receiver last year, I am unable to play my lps. I still own my Pioneer turntable - working perfectly after 25 years - with its Shure cartridge. I have to get off my tail and go get a preamp somewhere; there's a mess of marvelous music sittin' quietly on my shelves.
    I know many of you can relate.
    Jon
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  19. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I got the itch as well and hauled out my old Phillips 212 turntable with shure V15-II cartridge. To my dismay, something in the electronics was producing a constant buzz (not hum) through the output cables to the RS battery preamp and through the speakers.
    So, off I went to about 4 different Goodwill stores looking for a TT. I found a Technics direct drive SL-D2 (with speed adjustment control) for just $29. I tested the arm bearings for roughness or slop, the auto stop, the arm lift and listened to it with headphones and the RS preamp (one good use of the battery power).
    The old ADC cartridge still sounded OK, but I opted to purchase a Grado Blue from audio advisor ($50). This has been the most fun I've had in recent weeks.
    Now I get to rummage through my 100 or so albums and see which are still good. Looks like I'll have to buy a record cleaning system of some type though. Any recommendations?
    Bruce
    [Edited last by BruceD on November 01, 2001 at 09:28 PM]
     
  20. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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