View Full Version : Turntable Leads
05-26-2003, 03:56 PM
For those who don't know I recently bought a Thorens TD-160 and need to do some work to it. I need to replace the leads. Tour gave me a link to one like this.
I'm looking for something in the $150 range.
$150 Canadian that is, so $100US
05-26-2003, 10:05 PM
I know Rat Shack carries some male RCA's and the cables for DIY'ers. I think the best one they carry is Ultralink. I know you're willing to pay a lot more, but it might be fun to give the cheaper guys a try.
If you like a particular IC, you can buy a pair of those and cut one end for soddering.
How's the TT's performance? Do you like it more than using a digital souce? I'm still saving up for a Rega.
05-26-2003, 10:36 PM
I actually put in an old pair interconnects i had lying around and they're supposed to be shielded but I get a humming that sort of comes and goes as I move the cable around. I'm assuming the interference behind my entertainment unit is the source of my problem. If there's nothing else, I'll try the ones from the ebay link.
The turntable's not bad, I'd say so far minus the hum, it's about even between my CD player and the turntable. I still need to tweak the turntable quite a bit. Wall mount, isolation feet, dampen the inside... I'm pretty confident it'll out perform the CD player. So far, I'm at a running total of $320CDN with a new cart. A far cry from $1100CDN for the Rega with a cart.
I was going to wait a save for a Rega P3 but figured this would get me started quicker. In next year or so my next upgrades are separates or an integrated amp, then Rega P3, then speakers.
How far off are you from getting that Rega? Are you still going to check out that record show in Mississauga?
05-26-2003, 10:49 PM
I was damn close to getting the Rega but had to spend the money for two courses in summer school. That really pissed me off. So I think it's going to take a few more months. And I couldn't make it to the Lacuna Coil concert this evening because of school.
I need to check out the website for the record show for dates. I have night school mon-thurs and work fri-sun. I'm still going to try to make it to the next show. I really want some clasiical and opera LP's.
That's a great price for the TT. I bet most of the money was spent on the cartridge right?
Where did you see the Rega with a cart for $1100? Bay Bloor Radio is selling the P3 for $999? I'm going to talk them down but I'm sure it will exceed $1100 with the cartridge at Bay Bloor. Was it the Rega cart designed for the P3? That's what I'm hoping to get becausee I don't know a thing about installing and and aligning cartridges. The salesman told me they'd install the cartridge for me. I love the service there. Last time they stripped my speaker cables for me.
05-26-2003, 11:01 PM
Too bad about school. The next record show is July 20, I think. I'm not sure how much Classical and opera you'll find, I wasn't looking for any but I'm sure there was some.
I actually only spent $70 on an Ortofon cart. It'll give me a good reference point to how much difference a cart can make. Once I get it all tweaked out, I'll be getting a more expensive one.
The P3 quote was actually from a store here in Sudbury, but I think they copy Bay Bloor's pricing.
Super Bias Cart $180
05-27-2003, 02:10 AM
Are you looking to replace all the way up to the cartridge?
05-27-2003, 09:07 AM
Maybe, if that's my only choice. I don't know if it's possible with the stock Thorens tonearm.
05-28-2003, 02:11 AM
Good to see that you are up and running. The Ortofon was a good intro choice.
If the variations in hum are gradual and fairly equal in both channels as you move the IC around, then it is likely poor shielding as you suspect. If it's sporatic and/or in one channel more than the other, then it could be a bad lead.
Have you tried running a length of wire from the TT's chasis to the grounding lug on your receiver? May help as well...
As for gidrah's question... it's possible with most any arm, but I've not been in my 320's.
05-28-2003, 09:10 AM
I'll try grounding to my receiver. I'm also going to check out the tonearm to see if can replace what's in there.
05-28-2003, 02:07 PM
You need to ground the TT if you aren't. TT should have three leads, L, R and Gnd. The receiver may have a dedicated TT ground terminal, otherwise use whatever ground is provided.
If addition to the hum, if you aren't grounded and you make tapes of records, you'll most likely have a steady underlying hum/buzz sound on the tape.
05-28-2003, 02:38 PM
What's weird is the arm grounds itself to the subchasis.
I also ordered the leads from the earlier link. We'll see how that goes.
05-28-2003, 03:13 PM
Just looked back at the ebay TT cable link I gave you a while back, and it does not apear to have a grounding wire either. But as said earlier, no matter any light gauge wire will do.
Adding this lead will complete the grounding of the arm.
05-28-2003, 03:15 PM
I got him to add a grounding wire for a $1.25
05-28-2003, 03:19 PM
05-29-2003, 12:12 AM
Good catch Tour!
There's also a guy on E-bay that sells 99.99...% pure silver wire and a matching length of teflon tubing. I've seen him list some just for turntable replacement. Polished and about 27 awg. I just did a search and couldn't find any, but he'll be back.
I built some ICs using cat5e and cheapo connects. Cat5e has 4 twisted pairs, I used 1 pair per channel. The results were pretty impressive.
05-29-2003, 12:50 AM
I've also seen the silver tone arm wiring. Impressive little write up by the seller, but the 150 hour break in is a bit off-putting.
Do a search on item # 3023688542 for the wire.
Seller also had some 99.9% silver IC's listed a while ago.
05-29-2003, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Tour2ma
the 150 hour break in is a bit off-putting.
I've heard/read that silver takes quite a bit longer than copper. I have some silver plated speaker wire that I may revisit because of this.
05-29-2003, 09:18 AM
Isn't each strand in the Cat5 pretty thin? I had some old stuff hanging around work that I grabbed, when I stripped one end, it look to thin for me to do anything with. I put it aside for now.
I agree with that silver burn in. With interconnects it's not so bad, you can plug it in and let play while your not there. With a turntable, you can't do that.
05-29-2003, 10:12 PM
I ran a ground to the receiver and the hum is still there. I guess I wait for the new leads to come in.
05-30-2003, 12:15 AM
Yeah, the cat5e is thin. It's 24awg. This is actually pretty thick. As an example Chris Venhaus uses 32awg. Most cables are thick because of the dielectric. Remember we're dealing with mV here not V like in speaker wire.
Good luck on your replacements.
05-30-2003, 09:07 AM
I'll give the cat5 a try.
05-30-2003, 05:54 PM
Sorry to hear that the ground wire did not help.
I think it's time to break out your VOM and do a little continuity testing of the sections of wire. Will need to unsolder the IC you added, but since you're looking to replace it anyway...
One other thought, is the cartridge itself close to the receiver? If TT is to the left of the receiver, try moving it to the right side.
05-30-2003, 06:08 PM
150 hrs break in? I wouldn't want to that much time on my stylus, much less an LP.
Slight, on-topic de-rail:
Is there an 'electrical' way to break in cables, ya know, wire it to some VERY low voltage? Or in case like this are you better off using a Barry Mainlow LP and a cheap cart?
06-01-2003, 08:06 PM
My TT is temporarily sitting on top of my Entertainment unit. Receiver's 2 shelves underneath. I should be getting those new leads this week sometime.
Is there an 'electrical' way to break in cables
Is there a way?
06-01-2003, 11:43 PM
If someone can answer the break-in question posed, I hope they continue with a dissertation on the whole concept of breaking-in wire.
Speakers I understand. Even SS components make some sense, but wire?
06-02-2003, 11:19 AM
I can't explain wire burn in other than it does happen. I auditioned a wack of interconnects when I bought my CD player. I settled on a pair of Kimber Heros. The set I auditioned were burned it, I bought a brand new pair and right out of the box it sounded very harsh and grainy. A week or so of playing and sure enough it smoothed out and was crystal clear just like the other pair.
06-03-2003, 03:07 AM
There isn't really a way to electricaly burn-in a cable other than to put it in a signal path. A tuner works good for this. You might try a quick burn at a slightly higher voltage of AC, but I can't be vouch for this.
From what I (almost) understand about burn-in, it is mostly about two things. Electron flow and dielectric (sheeting)properties.
Various conductors have different properties of electron flow. Silver has a tendency to flow faster and have less loss, but springs back quicker to it's normal state. It's kinda like fish scales. One way they're smooth, the other they're rough. The normal (initial) state of any wire is that of fish scales standing on end, kinda rough both ways. If you pet the fish the same direction for a while the scales lay down to a smooth path. Silver fish just need to be petted more, but have a much smoother finish when done.
Various dielectrics have different properties. Air absorbs the least (when far enough apart). The extra electrons have nowhere to go and are drawn back into the signal path. Cloth is also good in that it absorbs very little and "becomes full". Once it's full or charged there is very little bleed through. Teflon is good in that it absorbs very little, but it does bleed (conduct) from + to - when in close proximity. Polypropylene absorbs more and bleeds more. Thes cables will have the least noticable change from package to dusty.
Generally the better the cable, the better the conductor and dielectric. Silver is the new thing (I've been checking suppliers by the way), cloth sheeting is old style, but still has it's niche and can be found. Teflon is the rage and is often encluded in a silver wire DIY package (w/wo connectors).
I hope this helps as I'm outta beer.
06-04-2003, 11:00 PM
I got the leads today, installed them. Sound is a little better. No hum unless I put my ear upto the speaker.
My receiver has a Phono stage built in. How important is getting an external Phono stage? Will there be a dramatic improvement? Price range would be $150-$250. I got some quotes on Rotel and Rega Phono Stages.
06-04-2003, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by dcarlson
How important is getting an external Phono stage? Will there be a dramatic improvement?
Independent power supply, isolation, better internal build/components. Think 'separates'.
06-04-2003, 11:26 PM
Glad to hear you've made another stride. I forget what receiver you are running.
Outboard helps if no other reason that the mv run can be very short which equals clean.
I am also very found of the Vac-in-the-Box from the now defunct Audio Alchemy. Very nice little phono stage for $100 to 150 US on ebay.
I suspect that the Sumiko that Audio Advisor offers is the Alchemy design.
06-05-2003, 01:10 AM
I'm glad to hear the hum is gone and everything is working. Some extra noise may be attributed to a mis-aligned cartridge.
As far as an outboard phono pre in that price range, I just don't know. I would suggest trying to take one home for a weekend and compare. Some rcvr's/pre's have a totally under appreciated phono stage. The separates route is great after a point, but alot of that money is housing, name, marketing, etc. I suggest waiting until you're ready to spend a little more. Once you get that mighty fine TT going you'll want to upgrade anyways.
Then again I'm just trying to spend your money in the long run. Hell, I need a phono preamp too, but if I can get a nice pre w/phono I'm all for it for now. Then again I'm looking for a deal on a TT (and material) that is more deserving. If you get one in this price range (also Creek), let me know the results as my hesitation may be based on ignorance.
WTF: (off topic) Come on guys. Two heavy hitter replies (+views?) and nothing about the burn-in? I'm usually non-arguemantative. If you agree, let me know. If not, let me know. If it's informative to you, let me know. If you've always wondered or have something to add/subtract, start a new thread in the "Basic Wiring" area. If you skipped it, eff ya' (Clarinex & beer kickin' in).
06-05-2003, 09:53 AM
My receiver is a Denon 2802. I find that my Rotel RCD1070 sounds better than the TT. Hence my question on a Phono Stage. A buddy of mine has a cheap NAD PP-1 that seams to do a very good job with a Dual 505-2.
In 6 months or so, I will be looking to get an integrated for 2 channel. I've been eyeballing a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated which is supposed to have a good phono stage built-in. Should I hold out for that?
One thing to keep in mind, I will be moving in a couple of weeks, so I haven't wall mounted the turntable or anything. It's sitting on top of my entertainment unit.
06-05-2003, 01:49 PM
Well, forget that last post...
At lunch, I gave a good listen to the TT for about 20 min. Then put the same CD in the Rotel. I have to say the TT edges out the CD player. It's hard to explain, other than the CD's vocals are a little edgy and the vinyl sounds more real/natural. I'll have to do some more serious listening to get a better idea.
Despite the price, the new leads do a pretty good job. They look really cheap though.
I think I'll just concentrate on tweaking the TT and save for the amp. Maybe a new cart too... after I have both, I'll look into an external Phono stage. I'm all over the place on what to do next. :D
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