Turntable FAQ?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Matt Stone, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Are there any FAQs for getting into vinyl? I was thinking about picking some equipment up, but I wouldn't know where to start.
     
  2. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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  3. Ty P.

    Ty P. Auditioning

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    Why??? I'm old enough to have listened to LP records for most of my youth. I can't imagine going back. We have it very good these days ...
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Why?

    Why not?

    As one who is perhaps in the same age bracket (I am 43), I too grew up with LPs, but never had a real first rate table.

    That has now changed (I bought a Rega P2) and can say that there is much joy to discovering and re-discovering vinyl.

    FWIW, I am finding that with certain LPs, the mastering is far superior to what you get with a re-issue on CD. In fact, as far as rock music is concerned, the crap mastering so far outnumbers the good stuff that I would say I would be lucky if 1 in 10 CDs I own actually sound good. Its not a CD thing, its a mastering thing, and for the music I enjoy the most, its almost all universally poor.

    And while I would not be stupid enough to open a debate regarding whether or not digital is more accurate than analog (I would easily concede that digital, even redbook, would mop the floor with even the best LP in terms of measurements), I am finding good vinyl, played on a decent table, to be very, very enjoyable to listen to. As good as the best digital that I have.

    And I do have SACD and DVD-A, and have been buying hi-rez discs for over 18 months, and will continue to do so. But there are some LPs I own which were never properly mastered for CD. For those titles, LP will kill the CD every time.

    Snap, crackle, and pop be damned[​IMG]

    BGL
     
  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Hey, im 18, and i just started gettin into vinyl [​IMG]

    Its just such a more involving medium than CDs and MP3s, needing to change sides, set the needle, also with the big cover art, its a good thing [​IMG]
     
  6. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Nick, it is nice to know that some youngsters can appreciate this "old fogey" medium.

    Brian, I believe you stated your case (and mine) very well indeed.

    Even if one were to TRY LP's again there are so many variables to getting it right and that is the hard part. Going out and buying a $100 table (which isn't the most important part IMO) and then connecting that to a home theater receiver which happens to have a built in phono stage WILL NOT GET IT DONE RIGHT. You can try a outboard phono stage and connect that to the same Home theater receivers AUX input and you still WILL NOT GET IT RIGHT. It may sound a little better but 95% of all HT receivers will take the analog input and digitize it anyway. To get the most out of LP YOU MUST use an all analog path. That is the hard part. And if you can only have 1 system for both HT and music it is that much harder. This has been my experience over the last 10 years or so.

    If you don't understand the above paragraph OR are unwilling to go through the trouble (and it is some trouble but worth it) to get it right, then you will more than likely be disappointed.

    I don't want to totally scare Matt away from his idea but that is the reality. Matt, some feedback would help with your quest. Are you going to integrate a turntable into a home theater setup (much harder and expensive) are do you have the luxury of a standalone analog rig (much easier and cheaper to get right IMO)?
     
  7. Scott*T

    Scott*T Auditioning

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    That's funny, I was looking into this subject last night..What's this 200gram stuff I'm seeing? is that "hi-rez"? I am totally out of the loop on this one..
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, I did read a quote somewhere that said vinyl was "the new hi-rez", but I won't go there!

    200g vinyl is just a really, really, thick LP. In fact, they tend to look and feel like LPs looked like back in the 60's. You could use 'em for spare tires.

    I just bought three new LPs (the first new vinyl I have purchased since '85 or so). A couple 180g (Dylan in mono and AC/DC) and a 200g (Led Zep II).

    Compared to most of my main stream vinyl from the early 70's through the point where most of it went out of print, these new LPs appear to be two to three times thicker. They are seriously heavy and stout.

    Does that make them sound better? Well, I suppose thats the point, but I am too new to my re-acclimation to vinyl to say. I suppose you could draw the conclusion that the new stuff is mastered with great care, and pressed with better quality vinyl so all things being equal, it should sound better.But without pristine original LPs to compare, its anyone's guess.

    BGL
     
  9. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Thanks for not laughing me out of the thread guys, [​IMG]

    I'm 22 and my reasons for getting into vinyl are mainly the same as Nick's. In the last ~2 years I've gotten really into laserdiscs, and I've found that the experience just totally blows away DVD. That's not to say that DVDs aren't better...they most certainly are, but nothing compares to cracking open a new LD and checking out the artwork, etc.

    I'll check out the Needle Doctor when I get home from work. Thanks for the help!
     
  10. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    To be truthful, I came into this with no real plan...and no matter what I decide to do, it will be in stages. I'm graduating in a couple of months, so I'm not exactly rolling in the dough right now. As a result, I don't want to go building an entire setup right off the bat. Basically I'm looking at options, and trying to take the first step.

    Thanks for the help, guys.
     
  11. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I understand that just buying a turntable isn't enough, but is it a plausible first step in building a system? I'm not looking for a top of the line setup right now, I'm just looking to get started.
     
  12. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    The things you'll need:
    1) A preamp/receiver with at least one pure analog input (no digitization whatsoever). Most mid-fi AV receivers not have an analog only input, and you can always purchase a 2ch only preamp or int. amp.
    2) A turntable with tonearm arm and cartridge. The cartridge is the heashell/body and the needle/stylus put together. I would start either by looking to purchase used full setups (must include all the items listed above) or you could go with the Music Hall tables, which are really nicely built for the money and include everything you need in a table
    3) An MM/MC phono preamp. Either you can purchase an outboard phono preamp, or sometimes 2ch preamps and int amps come with their own MM/MC phono stages. If you purchase an outboard one, you will need an extra set of interconnects to feed the input of your preamp/receiver. Make sure that it is MM/MC, as if it is not then it will not have enough gain to amplify the signals from low-output MC cartridges.
    4) A record brush. This is pretty important, as it cleans off the dust that you cannot blow off, and it takes the static off of the records. When you start getting more into vinyl, you can do cleaning with special brushes and fluids, but if you are just starting out, a good brush will do fine.
    5) Lots of vinyl

    Hope this helped
     

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