SOTA Star Sapphire....might be buying but need help

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Shawn Shultzaberger, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    All,

    I have been looking for a turn table as I have a few LP's that I want to listen and will never EVER part with. And unfortunately my turn table knowledge is just about nil.

    I was talking with a few work buddies and sound systems came up for discussion. I mentioned that I had a small collection of LP's but no turn table and was in the market for one. Then someone who I have known for years says he has a SOTA Star Sapphire with vacuum pump that he'll let me have for $200.00. It's in immaculate condition.

    My question is whether or not the SOTA is worth $200.00. Is this a good deal? It's a little more than I want to pay and my wife would kill me if I spent that much on a "record player". I'm just afraid that any turn table under that price range may not have the same sound as the SOTA.
     
  2. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    If it works, take it. Maybe a new belt is in your future...

    The 100-150 dollar junk is just that-junk. For just a little more, Audio Advisor and some other mail order places sell some Music Hall tables with preloaded cartridges starting at around 300 dollars.

    And records sound great. Don't get me started...
     
  3. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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  4. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    I picked it up today and it is in immaculate condition. No dents, scratches or anything. About the only item that needs replacing is the vacuum hose. It's turned yellow. Even the belt (and spare belt) are still good. It has a "Acos Lustre GST-1 Tonearm" which I guess is good but not the best. He said that it does not have a moving coil head only the diamond moves. Not sure exactly what that meant.

    Either way I'm pretty happy with the condition of the unit. Now I have to figure out if my Outlaw 1050 has a phono in. If not I'll have to pull out the Pioneer until I get a converter.
     
  5. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    Question about how to hook up a turn table to a stereo receiver.

    I have an Outlaw 1050 with no phono inputs. The person I bought this from had it hooked up to his Onkyo and was not using the phono inputs.

    I set up the turn table Sunday morning, cleaned it up and let it rip. But I've got no sound. I can hear the sound at the needle but nothing thru the speakers. No hum, no crackle, nothing.

    The cable that came with the tonearm is a 5-wire DIN to RCA cable with a ground wire at the RCA end. I plugged it directly into the AUX ports of my Outlaw receiver but did not connect the ground wire. I figured without the ground wire I should still hear something although it might sound awful.

    So I guess my question is: Will I need a phono preamp or do I just connect the ground wire to my stereo receiver?
     
  6. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    You say you hear nothing? Normally, if you have a signal coming from the cartridge, and no preamp, you can hear a faint, distorted sound. Turn the amp volume up as far as it will go, and you shouldn't even need to listen hard. I could suggest other tests, involving oscilloscope &c., but that one generally works. If not, you may have an open circuit somewhere. The ground wire is to prevent hum and pop, and shouldn't make a difference one way or the other.
    If the last user was using it connected to line inputs, than it presumably has a built-in preamp, and there could be any number of things dead in that circuit. In any case, you could have a dead cartridge.

    Incidentally, you've broken one of my major rules of audio-video : "Never buy anything which requires compressed air or vacuum to operate". [​IMG]
     
  7. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    That worked. I could hear it. So...it's a phono preamp that I need. Now to search for a good one that is less than $100.00.
     
  8. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Heck, the little-bitty Radio Shack inline preamp which takes one 9V battery, and is very cheap, has a good reputation. Among other things, there's no possibility of AC line leakage.
     
  10. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    That Radio Shack preamp for $25 is one hard booger to find. I checked online but no go. So, I asked my wife to stop at the local R.S. on her way home to see if they had one and she got an ear full from one of the young guys there about how records have gone the way of dinosaurs and why would she want something like this if there are CD's out. And how records don't sound as good as CD's anyway. Some people just don't get it.

    I checked a few other stores but they said there just weren't any in the area.

    Anyway, after a bunch of reading I decided to go with a NAD PP2. A little more than I wanted to spend but I think it will do the job. It can switch between MM and MC. And I found out that the turn table came with a Sumiko Talisman MM cart but if I want to try out an MC I have the preamp to be able to do it now.
     

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