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Turntables and vinyl...I'm getting started and need some help! (1 Viewer)

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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Thanks Saurav, One more stupid question..Is the sumiko 1.2 a magnetic cartridge as I see the "little rat" requires that it be magnetic. Also what is the difference between magnetic and other style cartridges ? I know this is getting on your nerves and I really am a total tt rookie but would love to see what the fuss is about.
 

Saurav

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Feb 15, 2001
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No, it's not getting on my nerves at all. There are Moving Magnet and Moving Coil cartridges. The Sumiko 1.2, AFAIK, is a turntable, so you can put either kind of cartridge on it. Most budget cartridges are MM, you'll have to go up to a couple of hundred or so before you start to get MC cartridges. So, yes, the Little Rat should work with most carts that you would buy.

The differences between MM and MC - I can't give you a really technical answer on this. MC cartridges usually have even lower output than MM (usually in the tenths of millivolts), so they need even greater amplification from the phono stage, that's where it becomes a limitation, an MM-only phono stage cannot play MC cartridges.
 

Jeremy Hegna

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Nov 28, 2000
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Wow guys,
I did a lot more listening tonight than I have since I hooked it all up. I cleaned each album before spinning and put some felt disks underneath the feet of my TT. (It's all I had for isolation). All of the rumbling is gone, I'm happy to report. The music sounded fantastic tonight. I played some Pink Floyd "Dark Side", ZZ Top "Eliminato", Heart's "Bad Animals", Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors", and Zepplin #1. Incredible. I am so happy with the sound of a turntable and couldn't be more excited to dive in.
The Technics TT sounds damn good for what it is and how many miles it has on it. I'm sure it only gets better with different upgrades, including cartridges, styli, tables, interconnects, and phono stages...but that make it all the more intriguing. Honestly, the sound is stellar right now and with bringing this table up to spec, I'm sure I can get a bunch more use out of it.
Saurav,
The needle test album is a Shure album. Alot of balance system checks, EQs, bells (High end/Treble), Bass drums, Timpanis, and organs (Low end/Bass), and some other patterns of music. I haven't done anything serious with it because I kept finding more tunes I wanted to check out on vinyl. This is a very cool addition to the HT, and now all I can think about is getting up tomorrow morning and hitting the garage sales:) Who knows....maybe I'll bump into that divorce sale with a Music Hall MMF-7 and a zillion "master recording" albums for $30! Ya never know:)
Jeremy
 

Phil Yeredin

Auditioning
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May 31, 2002
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6
hi there.........just joined the forum here and would like to throw my opinion in.

i have completely upgraded my system over the last few years and now have a rega 3 and the difference in sound quality over my old sony deck was amazing....warmer, clearer....everything.

as for cleaning your records, the actual playing and a carbon brush serve me perfectly fine

regards
phil
 

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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So considering that I dont have a single lp and no phono pre-amp and also no experience at all in setting up a turntable(is this lots of trouble?). Would I be crazy to get into it at this point ? Considering the extra trouble/care/room/hisses/pops/money

I gues what I'm really asking is, is it that much different sounding then cds?...Keep im mind that I have just acquired a bottlehead tube pre and love the sound of it, better then any (expensive)ss gear I have owned..pretty amazing

Seriously contemplating a music hall mmf-5 tt and radio shack phono stage and then hitting some yard sales..hmmm
 

KeithH

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Phil said:

i have completely upgraded my system over the last few years and now have a rega 3 and the difference in sound quality over my old sony deck was amazing....warmer, clearer....everything.
That's good to know. I have a $200 Sony PS-LX350H manual direct-drive turntable and will upgrade it at some point. However, I probably will not take a step up to the Rega P3. More likely, I will go with the P2 or Music Hall MMF-5. I think there is a lot of improvement to be had in moving from my Sony table, so a $500 table should do the trick. I may also consider the P3 and Music Hall MMF-7.

Oh, welcome to the Forum!


John,

I think vinyl can sound decidedly better than CD. Give vinyl a try. I am interested in the MMF-5, and from everythying I have read, it is definitely good enough to show what vinyl can do. Sure, you will have the maintenance and occasional pops and clicks to deal with, but it's worth it. I am looking forward to upgrading my turntable, but I am just laying low right now on the hardware side of things for awhile.
 

Alex Prosak

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Dec 9, 2001
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However, I probably take a step up the Rega P3. More likely, I will go with the P2 or Music Hall MMF-5.
Actually, I believe the P3 is the step up from the P2 or MMF-5. In any case, they're all good units and you won't be going wrong with any of them.
 

Saurav

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That's right, the P3 is the next step up from the P2. You can get it used for less than $500, but knowing Keith, you'd probably prefer buying it new :) It lists for $750, and depending on your budget, if you also buy the cartridge from the same dealer, you might be able to get a deal.
As for it being worth it.... that's hard to say. It's definitely worth it for me, I listen to much more vinyl than CD. But that's my judgement of how much sound quality matters to me, and how much time/effort I'm willing to put into vinyl. It's hard for me to make that call about someone else :)
One year ago, I didn't have a turntable or a phono preamp, and my wife had one record (the Grease soundtrack) that she'd picked up at a flea market years ago just for fun.
 

KeithH

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Alex and Saurav,

I had typos in my previous post (didn't proofread). I have corrected it, and a key portion now says:

However, I probably will not take a step up to the Rega P3. More likely, I will go with the P2 or Music Hall MMF-5.
Saurav,

I will probably buy a new turntable, unless I can find a used P3 or MMF-7 at a good price locally. A turntable is something I don't want to buy used by mail. That's just me.
 

John Tompkins

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How difficult is the arm/cartridge/azimuth all that stuff that I have read about in the last couple of days to set up properly ? and if you buy a new table like the mmf5 is it already basically setup ..thanks guys!!!
 

Saurav

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and if you buy a new table like the mmf5 is it already basically setup
Assuming your dealer knows what he's doing, yes. You can always buy a used 'table and take it over to a dealer and pay him to set it up. The alignment should survive the drive back home.
 

KeithH

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Saurav said:

There are many things that can be messed up in a turntable, and the owner might not even know it.
Exactly. The other thing is that one never knows the real condition of the cartridge or tonearm. So, what might appear to be a good deal could be the opposite in the end.
 

John Tompkins

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Assuming your dealer knows what he's doing, yes. You can always buy a used 'table and take it over to a dealer and pay him to set it up. The alignment should survive the drive back home.
So I guess if you buy a new tt online, it wouldnt be set up and would require alignment etc. I will take your advice and head over to aa for some newbie training;) Its just sometimes easier to ask the good folks here
 

Saurav

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So I guess if you buy a new tt online, it wouldnt be set up and would require alignment etc.
Most likely, yes. Rega TTs probably require less setup than most others, because there's no suspension to tune and level. Also, if you get a Rega cartridge, you can get by without aligning it, because they are plug-and-play on Rega arms. In general though, you will need to know how to install and align a cartridge, and a little bit of turntable setup.
It's definitely more fussy and fiddly than CDs, no doubt about it.
 

Jeremy Hegna

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Nov 28, 2000
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"A steady hand helps:)"
That's funny, and probably the #1 MOST necessary skill when you jump into vinyl.
I never knew how unsteady my hands were until the past 72 hours.
John,
I know what kind of equipment you're using, you seem very interested in the "sound" portion of this hobby, and I do believe it is time for you to try out vinyl for a bit:)
From my experiences over the weekend, I'm as excited about this hobby as I've been in a long time....and I'm using an antique turntable:) The sound is phenomenal and I will graduate to a better table down the road, but I'm going to continue to collect vinyl and do alot of album listening from now on. Audio Asylum is an invaluable tool for this portion of the hobby.
Jeremy
 

Miles_W

Second Unit
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Aug 16, 2000
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John,

Before diving into the wonderful world of vinyl, make sure you can find some of the music, that you really like! I have used the tactic of canvassing freinds, relatives and work associates in the quest for more vinyl... without the software the tt is just a pretty piece of hardware... what I would recommend is grab some music first, then research, research, research... as has been mentioned earlier in the thread the vinyl section of audio assylum is a great place to hang out and learn before spending your hard earned dollars. And to answer your original question... I do not think it would be crazy to get into vinyl even if you start with nothing, just make sure you can get the music first...

good luck

Miles
 

John Tompkins

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Miles,

There is lots of great music that I love on lps, so thats not a problem..plus I hit yardsales looking for deals anyhow.

Jeremy,

Yea your right, when it comes to two channel its all about the sound(bottlehead tube pre rocks!). For HT I also like bells and whistles(lexicon fits nicely, logic 7 is incredible).

Saurav,

You didnt give me an impression of anything but being helpful..

The "little rat" phono stage seems to be sold out everywhere. What other cheap/but good phono stages do you'll recommend ?.
 

Saurav

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What other cheap/but good phono stages do you'll recommend ?.
If you've built the Foreplay, could you DIY one? There are several designs available on the net, for which you'd have to source the parts yourself, and then build the thing from a schematic (i.e., no step-by-step instructions). I built one that cost about $50 with pretty high-quality parts, IMO it's quite a bit better than the Little Rat I used before that (and still have, incidentally). Of course, for twice the cost and DIY, it should be.

If you want to buy something, the next best option, price wise, is the preamp KeithH is using, the NAD PP-1. It's pretty good, goes for around $140 new, can be had for $80 or so used, turns up on Audiogon and eBay every now and then.
 

Frank_S

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Oct 28, 1999
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Jeremy,
Ask Frank how much the Koetsu cart that he's using on a Rega P3 cost
It's double the cost of a P3. The main reason I bought it was based on my dealers recomendation. He is someone I fully trust and has always taken anything back I did'nt like, even if it was months later. This cart. will be better on a more expensive TT and soon I may be upgrading so I'll already have the cart for it. :)
Jeremy, keep us updated on your progress, it's always fun to hear new vinylites enjoying their new hobby, and in most cases listening to more music because of it :)
 

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