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  1. #1

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    Default Turntable Questions and Advice

    So, I've decided I want to give analog a shot. I have a BUNCH of old LPs I've inherited from various sources, and think I would enjoy listening to them as they were originally heard :) Plus I'm nostalgic for the days I found the White Album in my parents basement and listened to it for the first time on their old turntable.. man.

    That said, i've been trolling around trying to learn, but have a few questions and would like a few suggestions.

    Firstly, since I'm really just "trying this out," whatever player I buy for now I'd like to be like 100 bucks (ebay price...), plus a decent cartridge. That way I don't invest that much into something that I'm not even sure if I'll stick with, if that makes sense. So I've looked at a few "budget" models that seems pretty reasonable. There are a couple of technics SL-BD22's on ebay for around a hundred. I've also seen the Audio-Technica PL50, which is nice because it includes the preamp (my H/K doesn't have a phono input). The Denon DP-29F also looks OK, same reasons as the Audio-Technica, plus name recognition :)

    Anyways, so any thoughts on those or similar type alternatives would be nice.

    My other questions were :
    - What is the significance of a P-Mount, and is it important at the level I'm at?
    - Belt vs Direct drive, same question?

    Thanks for any help or advice.

    Bob
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

  2. #2

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    Default

    I would do one of the following:

    *Keep everything below $150, all used and enjoy whatever you get from it.

    *Be prepared to spend $1500 to $3000 to get really close to standard CD quality or $3K+ to better a CD's performance. (just so you know what it takes).



    All of the bad things that come from LP's can be fixed with cold hard cash. :)

    Good luck!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  3. #3
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    max,
    "CD quality" does depend on the level of CDP and CD's in play.

    Bob,
    Dual TT's can be a nice entry level value for $100 give or take. I lived with a 1229 for many years, and still have it. Solid, semi-automatic, rim drive design (yup... a 3rd category), easy to set up.

    Used cartridges are a plenty on ebay, but you have to be careful. Some are shot to begin with and it's easy to buy one for which replacement styli are no longer made, i.e., expensive as hell on ebay. Most old Shures unfortunately fall into this category now. You might consider new ones. Shure's M-97XE cartridge is nice for around $70 new. Grado also has decent under $100 models.

    Separate phono-pre's are out there... Audio Alchemy's old "Vac-in-the-Box" (VITB) is a great value for around $150 on ebay. On a tighter budget, old Shure M-64's go for around $50. All step up the cartridge output to line level signal strength.

    You will also need to put a couple bucks into record care items. At minimum a decent preener to remove dust. Watts made maybe the best IMO... NOS ones still pop up on the 'bay...

    Don't forget Audiogon as an ebay alternative. Their OBO classifieds can yield nice savings vs. da 'bay's auctions. I just nailed a mint, M-64 for $20... shipped...

    On your specific questions:
    P-mount
    A plug-in cartridge, made for specific turntables. Alternative is mounting a "standard" cartridge on a headshell using screws and spacers, and pushing connectors onto 4 posts on the rear of the cartridge. P-mounts are easier, but I'd avoid them and the turntables that use them.

    Belt vs Direct (vs Rim) Drive...
    Will generate as much debate as any other audio topic... All can be very good. For entry level, I'd go belt or rim...

    One last note... If you buy a used TT that will be shipped, start comunicating pre-win about the packing plan for it, and continue asking until you are satisfied.... and then fully insure it...

    I have a couple packing plan documents I'd be happy to send you, one is for Duals.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  4. #4

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    Tour :

    Thanks man. I was planning on buying the cartridge new, and that price was separate from my $100 aim. I figure a hundred for the basic turntable, another 100 or so for a good cartridge, and then a pre-amp if necessary, which it most likely will be.

    I'm surprised to hear what you said about the p-mount, only because I thought from my reading that that was a "good" thing. Glad you said that.

    And thanks for bringing up the record care items - yet another expense I forgot about :)

    I know people who are really into this stuff hate to hear budget hounds like me, but I appreciate y'all helpin out.

    Bob
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

  5. #5

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    Avoid P-mount cartridges like the plague.
    I second getting a used Dual TT. I've owned several Duals and currently use a CS-741Q with the Shure V15 TypeVxMR.
    Be careful about the old Bang & Olafuson TT, they used only B&O cartridges kinda like P-mount but smaller.

  6. #6
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    tony,
    How do you like the VxMR?

    Bob,
    You're welcome... Analog is a whole new way to say good-bye to your $$$....

    Again, think "phono-pre-amp"...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  7. #7

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    Default Audio suggestion

    Hi Bob,

    Since you're in Everett, MA you might want to check out Used Sound in Davis Sq. Somerville. http://www.usedsound.com/hours2.aspx
    I'm not sure if they still have much stereo gear (their website seems to be concentrating on guitars/amps) but I've got some good buys in there.

    Dr. Hepcat

    Originally posted by Tour2ma
    max,
    "CD quality" does depend on the level of CDP and CD's in play.

    Bob,
    Dual TT's can be a nice entry level value for $100 give or take. I lived with a 1229 for many years, and still have it. Solid, semi-automatic, rim drive design (yup... a 3rd category), easy to set up.

    Used cartridges are a plenty on ebay, but you have to be careful. Some are shot to begin with and it's easy to buy one for which replacement styli are no longer made, i.e., expensive as hell on ebay. Most old Shures unfortunately fall into this category now. You might consider new ones. Shure's M-97XE cartridge is nice for around $70 new. Grado also has decent under $100 models.

    Separate phono-pre's are out there... Audio Alchemy's old "Vac-in-the-Box" (VITB) is a great value for around $150 on ebay. On a tighter budget, old Shure M-64's go for around $50. All step up the cartridge output to line level signal strength.

    You will also need to put a couple bucks into record care items. At minimum a decent preener to remove dust. Watts made maybe the best IMO... NOS ones still pop up on the 'bay...

    Don't forget Audiogon as an ebay alternative. Their OBO classifieds can yield nice savings vs. da 'bay's auctions. I just nailed a mint, M-64 for $20... shipped...

    On your specific questions:
    P-mount
    A plug-in cartridge, made for specific turntables. Alternative is mounting a "standard" cartridge on a headshell using screws and spacers, and pushing connectors onto 4 posts on the rear of the cartridge. P-mounts are easier, but I'd avoid them and the turntables that use them.

    Belt vs Direct (vs Rim) Drive...
    Will generate as much debate as any other audio topic... All can be very good. For entry level, I'd go belt or rim...

    One last note... If you buy a used TT that will be shipped, start comunicating pre-win about the packing plan for it, and continue asking until you are satisfied.... and then fully insure it...

    I have a couple packing plan documents I'd be happy to send you, one is for Duals.
    www.usedsound.com/hours2.aspx http://www.usedsound.com/hours2.aspx

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by Tour2ma
    max,
    "CD quality" does depend on the level of CDP and CD's in play.

    That is correct. Didn't mean to sound snobby. Let me clarify.

    In my opinion:

    To reach the level of a $30 CD player you would have to spend around $600 for the turntable and accessories.

    To reach the level of a $100 CD player maybe spend $1K.

    To reach the level of a $3K CD player maybe spend around $10K.


    There are some special attributes though, even to the $150 turntables which some find appealing but you have to put up with a bunch of noise and such. That is why I said to spend the cash and get what you get out of it. :)

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  9. #9

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    Probably want to start with a belt drive- Direct drive tends to be found on DJ turntables because it spins up faster and can take tons of abuse, but will add cost without much benefit on lower end turntables.

    However, the best best cost/return investment in vinyl is a good velvet brush/ other cleaning system. You can drop $600 on cables, $1500 on a phono stange and one f---ing cat hair will drive you nuts...

    POP..... one thousand one... one thousand two.... POP!

    goddamn cat.

  10. #10

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    Default

    I think that the P-mount was meant to be a way to make the cartridge more user friendly. A turntable / tonearm combination designed for P-mount had to have certain things "fixed" in place - non adjustable - because the P-mount is non-ajustable. The location of the stylus, front to back, is fixed and the tracking angle is fixed, etc. I think that the P-mount cartridges you will find tend to be more toward the lower end of the price ranges.

    With the more conventional mounting design, there is more ability to tweak things.

    One of the best websites to shop for new cartridges is www.needledoctor.com.

    I love the sound of vinyl. It does have its drawbacks, but there is just something neat about listening to a vinyl record, watching the turntable spin. I guess I'm revealing my age (I just turned 50). It may be part nostalgia, but it is part sound quality. A clean record that has not been abused played with a half way decent ($75 to $100) cartridge just has an inviting sound that seems to sometimes be lost on CD.
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    You are officially in the high-end of the deep-end of the top-end.

    Bonus Room Over Garage:
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  11. #11

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    Love the V15 TypeVxMr. I was running a Shure V15 Type IV MR (I bought an extra stylus before they discontinue it) and a Grado Prestige Silver. The xMR has lots more detail and BASS than both of those plus tracks everything even the Telarc 1812! Get one now as they've been discontinued. Shure has styli stock for 5 years.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, tony... I've got a VxMR on the shelf, via ebay, still in the shrink wrap.

    I am so sad that Shure has/ is dropping replacement styli... especially since I did not cash in on their trade in deal...

    TNPL,
    Fellow "geezer" here... I do love the tactile interaction with vinyl as well. It's kinda like driving a stick vs. an automatic... more involving.
    Of course, sometimes a good remote is all I need.. ;D

    unc,
    Easy solution... no cats... but if not practical, Watts' "Dust Bug" is still invaluable.

    max,
    LOL... are we all hyper "snob" concious now?
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by Tour2ma

    LOL... are we all hyper "snob" concious now?

    Not me. :)

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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