Turntable advice needed
I have been reading like crazy about different turntables and everything regarding them. I know there are direct drive and belt turntables (pros and cons for each), a gazillion different cartridges and so on. When I think of bang for the buck amps NAD and Adcom come to my mind first. Solidly built and good performance for not alot of cash. I am looking for turntables like that. I suppose my price range is up to $400.00-$500.00 for everything (if there is a quality tt that is cheaper I am all ears). Also looking for which cartridge to purchase. Please don't say, "go take a listen and judge for yourself" as I am looking for opinions from those that are in the know. I'm looking for guys/gals that know from experience which turntables to look for and which ones to stay away from. Any advice to point me in the right direction is very appreciated. Thanks in advance to all.:D
Here is what I have in my system as of now.
AVR-Pioneer 1018 (average receiver)
DVD Universal player-Marantz DV-6600 (nice detailed warm sound)
Adcom 535II amp (currently not in use, just sitting around waiting to be hooked up)
Luxman M-117 (very warm and pleasing tube like sound-powering my M10)
Monitor 10b for mains
Monster HTS-1000 Mark III power conditoner/surge protector
Anti Cables speaker wire (bought for a good price to try them out and I was lucky........they had great synergy with my system)
Luminous Audio interconnects (local company that has great quality)
Besides the turntable you are most likely going to need a phono pre unless the Pioneer has one built in. Any of the current turntables from Music Hall, Pro-ject, Denon, Rega, Thorens, to name a few are going to be decent turntables. You could go with the entry level Pro-ject Debut turntable and a NAD phone pre and be pretty close to your budget.
BigMac, no means an expert here but I did get back in to vinyl about 3 monthes ago. Have not listened to digital music all since then.
I bought a local 1 owner just serviced Technics SL-1300 for $120, had a old Signet that was in good shape and sounded good.
BTW, I was using the phono input on my AVR, more on that later.
I tried the Shure 97xe which was a small setup from the Vintage Signet. Paid $54 at the river.
Then I tried the Denon DL-160 which was a huge step up. $155 but it came up a week later at Buy.com for $110. my luck
Ozzy here at CP suggested the Denon and an external phon stage.
Luckly a friend of mine let me borrow his Parasound ZPhone and again this made another big improvement.
I have ordered a Cambridge Azur 640P phone stage which should arrive today to compare to ZPhono.
So from a newbies experience a good cart and Phono stage can make a 1975 mid level TT sound great.
Also, plan on a RCM or DIY RCM. I am buying $1 to 5$ LPs from half priced books and a DIY RCM and Solution make them sound great.
I am getting a little cocky thinking I can take a wasted looking LP and make it sound great but have only been burned once or twice so far.
Oh yeah, Hearing imparied suggested a clearaudio record clamp which made a nice improvement as well.
I like this one and believe it can be had for less, also one of the CP members has a Thoren for a nice price on for sale. Needs some work but not a bad price.
Thank you dkg999 and thesmith for the tips and insight. Now I have research what you all posted and then go from there. I'm kinda short on time right now or I would type 7,498 more pages of questions but, for now I must go work an event. Look forward to reading about everything.:D:)
If you are looking for a used table you can usually find a something like a Thorens or a Dual in the $ 200 range. Budget $ 100 for a new Ortofon Red cart. and another $ 100-$150 for a phono pre-amp (NAD, Cambridge, Goldring, etc,etc) and you have a very nice setup I the $ 400 range.
Don't rule out pawn shops and thrift stores. Earlier this year I found a Marantz Model 6200 belt drive at a pawn shop missing a belt for $15.00. Took it home cleaned it up added a shure cartridge and a belt and the thing works perfectly. Sounds very nice and is used in my bedroom rig.
Been doing a little research on the advice of you all and I am still learning. Thanks to all that responded.:DI have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for (I think, may change tomorrow,lol) but I am going to wait to shell out $500.00 till I can make a more informed decision. I am off from work today so I will be hitting the pawn shops,thrift stores,CL, today and if I see something that looks like it would fit the bill on the cheap (just in case I pick up a dud or something is wrong) I will buy it. I may just go to the shop here in town that has tons of vintage equipment and pick up an old Marantz receiver and record player there if I get a wild hair up my bum. Of course since I am a bargain hunting cheap bastich I may just trade them my subwoofer for them. I need/want a bigger sub anyway,lol.
I went out yesterday and only found junk for the most part. I did run across someone who had a used Music Hall MMF 2.2 that is in great shape. They are going to sell it but are waiting for a new tt to arrive first. I did not know anything about it so this morning I began researching. Looks like a good entry level turntable but I am a newb so what do I know,lol. Don't know if I want something bright red but if it sounds good I don't really care. In the next couple of days I will have access to be able to listen to it so I will make up my mind then.
For those that read this and know about this particular model please give me your opinions.....good or bad (is it worth a shi*). Also, like with speakers, when buyiing a tt what specific things do I need to look for to make sure it is good to go? The guy who owns the tt says he will let it go for around $250.00 or so, good deal or better deals to be had so I should keep looking? Thanks.
Make sure you are happy with fixed headshell and full manual TT. I felt more comfortable with a removeable HS and full auto to get back in to vinyl.
I will move to a fixed HS and manual down the road though.
The Music Hall TT is a great starting point into vinyl. Like thsmith said though it is fully manual (no return on the arm) and has a fixed head shell. This is usually considered a step up from semi-auto or fully auto and removable headshell. The price seems ok for an excellent used 2.2 with a low hours cartridge. From what you've described for what you are looking for this table should fully satisfy.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to take a listen. Looking forward to it for sure. I should hear from the guy later on today. Going to a few places I did not go the other day to see what tt I may stumble upon. Maybe I will have better luck today.:)