turntable upgrade

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sathyan, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    I would like to upgrade my turntable and phono stage. Can spend up to about $300. I am currently using a Sony table and Radio Shack phono preamp. My complaints with the current vinyl playback include*:
    speed is not completely stable
    smaller sound stage
    less ambiant information
    highs and lows rolled off
    distortion on anything above mf
    high noise floor
    hums unless unplugged
    limited dynamic range
    cartridge not upgradable

    Amp is Onkyo SR500 reciever
    Speakers are Wharfedale Diamond 8.2's

    All of the LPs I play are purchased used. They are cleaned with DiscWasher and then an antistatic brush. I will not be buying audiophile pressings.

    Is the Pro-Ject Debut II (http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/debut.htm) any good?

    Other suggestions?
    Must be standard or p-mount (I'll likely go with a cheap Grado)
    If phono preamp not on board, I'll need to get one
    I'm willing to trade semi-automatic shut off for sound quality

    thanks

    Sathyan

    * as compared to my Music Hall CD25
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    You might want to take a look at the Music Hall MMF 2.1. It is a good entry level audiophile turntable. I do not believe it has a built in preamp.
     
  3. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Sathyan, you are kind of on the bubble with your budget IMO. You will have very limited choices unless you are willing to go used and going used for TT's is a risky business. needledoctor.com is a great resource

    J and R has a very good deal on the turntable I use, the technics BD22
    http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.p...oduct_Id=25128

    The problem may be getting a good enough p-mount cart. I use a Shure V15-P which is not made anymore and it is a VERY good cart. STill, getting the BD22 for around $160 will be hard to beat IMO. Then get a Parasound phono stage (about $100). I use a CREek OBH-8 phono preamp and like it but it will cost closer to $200.

    The Denon DP-29f with built in preamp and cart may be a consideration for about $150....

    http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.p...uct_Id=3958795

    I believe with your stated budget, the BD22, Parasound phono stage with a $50 to $70 cart is your best setup.

    Here is the J and R link to all of their TT based products....

    http://www.jandr.com/JRSectionView.p...11627&Ne=10000
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Or you could (literally) go for broke with this

    humble turntable

    Scroll down to 4th item down the list.[​IMG]

    Sorry, didn't mean to derail the thread. It's just that I came across this yesterday and had to share it with someone who is still into turntables. On a more serious note, I too would like to re-acquire a not too expensive turntable to rescue my (limited) vinyl collection. Amazingly enough, my brand-new 2004 model receiver actually has a phono input, so I can again contemplate this format.

    P.S., thanks for those links, Charles, I've been trying to find a way to archive my parents' extensive 78rpm collection and the idea of hooking up the big console stereo to any kind of recording equipment has had me stymied.
     
  5. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Sorry but if you are looking for a turntable that will sound as good or better than CD you will have to spend more than $300 unless you find a great deal on a demo or a used table. I used to have a Sony turntable and it was crap and the difference between it and my Nottingham Horizon is huge. The Music Hall 2.1 is ok but it won't sound better than CD IMO. I would save up for a Music Hall MMF 5 and a Creek phono preamp if possible.
     
  6. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Scott's suggestion of the MMF 5 and Creek would be good but it would be closer to $700.

    I personally feel the Technics BD22 with a parasound preamp and a good $70 pmount will sound as good in HIS system as a good cd player. As a matter of opinion (note I didn't say fact), my TT chain going into the Aragon Soundstage (full analog bypass helps) can compete with 2 channel SACD and DVD-Audio with lots of my vinyl. I am sure the MMF 5 would be a nice upgrade to my system. I'd like to hear what all the fuss is about. [​IMG] I think the key to my TT setup is a nicer P mount than you can currently get anywhere. They just don't make really top notch ones anymore.

    I think my suggestion fits in better with his setup. Why would you spend $700 on a TT setup and then connect it to a Onkyo SR500 receiver?
     
  7. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Charles

    Receivers come and go but a nice analog system could last him for years and you would have to spend more than a $1000 to better the MMF 5/Creek combo IMO. With records in decent conditon I prefer the sound of my Nottingham Horizon, Rega RB250, Dynavector 10x4 and Creek phono over my $2500 CD player.
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    It's more than just the condition...

    Having just gotten back into vinyl myself after 10+ years w/o (I am using a new Rega P2/Bias Cart/NAD Pre Amp), I would offer that while a poor condition LP will sound like crap, even LP's that are in good condition, but poorly mastered, or poorly pressed will also sound like crap (which is true of ANY media, I suppose).

    Going through my +250 or so LPs, most bought new from the early 70's to the early 80's, I can say, unfortunately, that the LPs I have that sound really, really good are few and far between.

    A couple standouts: Dire Straights "Love Over Gold", The Police "Ghost in the Machine", and Alan Parsons "I Robot". These three will kill the CD in terms of smoothness of the highs, and overall dynamics.

    Several that I thought would sound great don't. In particular, most of my Steely Dan LPs (these are not original pressings, but re-issues bought in the early 80's). Only played once back in the day (I made tapes), they just sound bad. I will take the CDs of my Steely Dan catalog any day.

    I guess the point I would make is, you can get stunning sound with even a modest TT set-up, but like all things audio, its the software that's going to make or break what you hear.

    BGL
     
  9. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Grado still make a whole series of P-mount cartridges....click here and check out the Prestige Series; every cartridge in the series is available in P-mount.

    As an owner of a Technics SL-BD20B turntable, I would say their turntables are truly underrated. Check out this thread on the discussion on the SL-BD22 and the SL-BD20B.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You may also find the lower end Stantons (discounte often at 50%) with digital outs to be an unusually cost effective solution and one which would facilitate your transferring of vinyl over to a digital medium.

    Regarding your noise, perhaps this is due to either a defective unit or you're just not grounding it correctly.
     
  11. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Scott, what preamp are you using for your rig?

    Still, I think Sathyan would be better off spending some of that extra money on a better preamp/receiver and getting the $300 TT rig. Why use a $700 TT rig on a $400 receiver? That would make no sense.
     
  12. PrinzII

    PrinzII Agent

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    For several years, I thought about using a Technics SL1200 as an audiophile turntable. The main reason for this is that the wow and flutter is pretty low (I believe .025%). The only thing I think I'd do is change the tonearm and put a decent needle on it.

    I know some audiophiles frown on direct drive turntables but the sound quality on them isn't too bad.
     
  13. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    PrinzII- The problem with your plan is that as soon as you put a better arm and cartridge on the TT, you'll realize why High End tables don't put the motor under the platter. The platter (and record) on all TT act like a diaphram and the better the arm and cartridge are, the more likey that it will pick up bearing and motor noises. This will negate any advantage of low wow and flutter.
     
  14. JacobK

    JacobK Auditioning

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    If I were you I would put all my money into the table and then later you can upgrade your phono pre. I haven't heard your pre but I have read that it doesn't do much wrong especially for the price. I replace a mmf-5 with a used VPI that I bought for $400 without the cartride and there was no comparison. Obviously this is out of your price range so I would look at used thorens or rega's. Both of these have a wide following and can be tweaked as much as you would like. The Rega comes with a very good arm that can be rewired and had been put on some very expensive tables. This is good if you were to ever upgrade. Check out audioasylum.com there are many knowledgable people there that like to help.
     

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