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  1. #1

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    Default Turntable advice

    Well I have a Technics SL-DD2 with an audio-technica AT101EP cartridge. I am looking at the Grado Green cartridge I can get for $60. I don't know if I am wasting my time on the Technics, and should look at another TT, or what. I can do the upgrade on the cart real cheap, but I don't know if the difference would be that great. The audio-technica is a P mount dual magnet type. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  2. #2

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    Ben, I'm not familiar with that particuliar cartridge. But, I can say that the AT 440 MLa is very well respected by audiophiles high and low. It cost about $100 and is available from a number of online sources. There is a lot of info on this cartridge over at AK. Do a search to find a lot of feedback and observations by die hard vinyl lovers.

    The Technics is a good entry level TT. How does it sound compared to your CD's?
    Carl

  3. #3
    stereo_luver
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    Ben,
    Go talk to Pete at Audio Atlanta. ( http://audioatlanta.com ) (770) 499-0145 This guy is sharp when it comes to turntables. On the square in Marietta, GA. Take a look around too. Not a big store but they have some cool stuff. Venture back into the used room and you may find some goodies. Stuff doesn't last long there but I have seen a few Eico tube amps laying around.

    Chuck

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw View Post
    Ben, I'm not familiar with that particuliar cartridge. But, I can say that the AT 440 MLa is very well respected by audiophiles high and low. It cost about $100 and is available from a number of online sources. There is a lot of info on this cartridge over at AK. Do a search to find a lot of feedback and observations by die hard vinyl lovers.

    The Technics is a good entry level TT. How does it sound compared to your CD's?
    I have a cheap 200 disc Sony, and the sound you TT guys talk about has me giddy:D I listened to a couple Queen albums, and was floored. I had this TT set up before, but my buddy's albums had micro mold on them(like 300 of them). It just looked like real fine dust. All his albums sounded like total crap. I picked up 2 albums at the thrift store for a dollar for haha's, and well now I am in trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by stereo_luver View Post
    Ben,
    Go talk to Pete at Audio Atlanta. ( http://audioatlanta.com ) (770) 499-0145 This guy is sharp when it comes to turntables. On the square in Marietta, GA. Take a look around too. Not a big store but they have some cool stuff. Venture back into the used room and you may find some goodies. Stuff doesn't last long there but I have seen a few Eico tube amps laying around.

    Chuck
    I'm there Chuck!
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    Thanks
    Ben

  5. #5

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    Ben, the AT 440MLa Carl suggested is a good choice in the > $100 range. It is an improved cartridge (better midrange) over the 440ML, which has been discontinued. I see mixed comments on the Grados, though some like the warm sounding Blue ($80) or Red (>$100). The Shure M97Xe ($55.87 on sale at Amazon, $140 list) is another choice.

    You can also experiment with damping any plastic cased turntable. A fellow over at Audio Circle uses clay (although he puts it on the top of the table). Dynamat is a pricier alternative.
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    I think you guys missed the fact that his turntable is P-mount. Shure M97xe won't work. AT440MLa won't work.

    Ben,
    I wouldn't invest in a better cartridge for that table. I'd save up a little and make a jump to a better table, then worry about cartridges. It doesn't have to be a big jump. Even the Technics SL-1200mk2 would be a big step up, and you can find them used on Criagslist every day, (check electronics AND Musical Instruments sections) often for less than $250.

  7. #7

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    I was checking craigslist last night. I saw quite a few 1200's, but at $250 would I be better off getting
    http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...=2&category=46
    or
    http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-P1-...=2&category=46

    Well Bill I am heading out in an hour or so. I'll give you a call later.
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

  8. #8

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    What do you guys think of the Technics SL 1950?
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  9. #9

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    or this?
    Its a "rare" studio TT Parasound PST-1200
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  10. #10

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    ben,

    I would personally quit wanking around and get the rega or the project, you are going to have other stuff to worry about rather than reviving an old p-mount TT.

    The new Rega P-3-24 got great reviews.

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  11. #11
    stereo_luver
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    BTW Ben...they have a nice exchange program there. Buy a table and within a year you can upgrade to a better table and get full price back on your original table. Sorry I know this doesn't help much.

    Chuck

  12. #12

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    No thats cool. I just installed a DAC, and from having my source improved on the CD section I have come the conclusion that I need a better table than some of the used stuff I have been looking at. Chuck I was out by your place today;)
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

  13. #13

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    Ben - I'm in agreement with RT1 - buy a new one TT from the two you found.

    I personally have a Rega Planar 3 (not P3) with a Benz Micro Silver cartridge, and it sounds amazing with my all-Rega 2 channel system (well, 'cept Wharfedale EM99 speakers). I'm actually considering an upgrade to a P25 if I can find a used one in mint condition...and a fair price.

    Like you, I added a DAC (Rega Io) to my original Rega Planet about four years ago, and was very pleased with the uptick in performance. Sure makes it hard to save more money when upgrade-itis is alive and well!!

    Regarding Grado cartridges, I had a Grado Gold installed on my old Onkyo TT, both since sold a few years ago. I was very pleased with the Grado, but to be fair it replaced a low-budget cartridge (original one that came with the TT, IIRC).

    Good luck!!
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  14. #14
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    My tt sits idle 99% of the time. I would never pay more than $30 for one at the thrift store. I would rather save my money and buy a decent cartridge like the at440mla.
    Last edited by candyliquor35m; 07-13-2008 at 08:35 PM.

  15. #15

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    Thanks mak99. I am going to fallow yours, and Ted's advice. I have a new toy for a while. I missed out on a used TT (MF2.1). I'll keep my eyes open,but I am kinda leaning at new. I just don't have the experience to play with adjustments of a used TT. I am pretty sure if I get one from the needle doctor it should be closer than I would ever come.
    Thanks again guys.
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

  16. #16

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    Ben I have the Rega P2 with Grado gold. I am very pleased with it.

    engtaz
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    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Thanks mak99. I am going to fallow yours, and Ted's advice. I have a new toy for a while. I missed out on a used TT (MF2.1). I'll keep my eyes open,but I am kinda leaning at new. I just don't have the experience to play with adjustments of a used TT. I am pretty sure if I get one from the needle doctor it should be closer than I would ever come.
    Thanks again guys.
    Ben
    We need to talk...I have a very different opinion on this matter and I might be able to help you out.

    I think you will find a new table needs the same amount of adjusting that a used one does. Namely:

    -Level table
    -Adjust cartridge alignment.
    -Set tracking force
    -Set Antiskate
    -Set Vertical Tracking Angle/Stylus Rake, if possible.

    The only one of these things that a new table might have is the cartridge alignment already set at the factory.

    If that's the only thing holding you back, I could definitely help you set things up.

  18. #18

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    Put me in the camp of going new.

    Pro-ject, Music Hall and Rega all make some VERY nice entry level tables. TAS ( or Hifi+)did a shoot out a few months back and I think they dug the Rega the most.

    By the time you get done dicking around with the other stuff, it's not much more expensive to go new.

    Anyhow, they all come pretty much plug and play and a belt driven table is, IMO, the only way to fly.

    BDT
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  19. #19

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    Thanks Troy. I went and saw hoosier today. It was really nice to get out and meet anther Polkie.
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

  20. #20

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    Here is a site with AT,sure and an ortofon.Not sure if any of thier stuff is audiophile quality though.Im going to get my karmon kardan up and running again someday. http://www.jukemania.com/ttneedles.htm
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  21. #21

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    Thanks for the link. I may do this just to get me by for a while. I have a couple projects in the works that I just sunk all my money into.
    Ortofon OM 3 E
    Shure 92E
    Thanks
    Ben
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    Ben

  22. #22

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    I know I wanted to stay away from used, but this popped up near me.
    PARASOUND PST-1200. Its like a clone of the SL-1200, but it is built like a tank. The thing weighs about 20lbs, and was used extensively by radio stations, and studios.
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

  23. #23
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    Stop dicking around and get an entry level table from Rega, Pro-ject, Music Hall, etc etc.

    In the mean time, you can't go wrong with an AudioTechnica or Shure, or Ort. cartridge. I'm not partial to Grado's but that's just me.

    PS: your package was sent tonight Priority Mail.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    I know I wanted to stay away from used, but this popped up near me.
    PARASOUND PST-1200. Its like a clone of the SL-1200, but it is built like a tank. The thing weighs about 20lbs, and was used extensively by radio stations, and studios.
    Ben
    That Parasound table is not a clone of the Technics. I'd stay away from it! Parasound does amps and preamps good. That's it.

    However, I'd still strongly recommend a Technics SL-1200mk2 over one of the entry levels from Project, Music Hall, or Rega.

    Why? In a word: Isolation! With the bass you are putting out from those custom SDAs, you need it.

    Those entry level tables have nearly zilch in the department of isolation. They don't have spring loaded feet, no suspension, no platter dampening. They are basically a wood plinth with a bearing and tonearm mounted directly to the plinth.

    Now, look at the SL-1200, which is designed to operate in modern night clubs with 100,000+ watt systems and multiple arrays of 18" woofers. They are built with isolation in mind. Good isolating feet, dense rubber used throughout the plinth to absorb vibrations, the platter is sandwiched with a rubber dampening material to prevent ringing. The tonearm is isolated by dense rubber (and VTA adjustable too). The last time I had an SL-1200, I tried various things and found it to be more resistant to footfalls, bass feedback, and motor hum than my Oracle Alexandria and my VPI HW-19. Now, I wouldn't say that the SL-1200 is better sounding than my VPI or my Oracle, but it gave them both a run for the money. If anything is keeping the Technics back, its the tonearm. Its a very good design, but compared to an SME, Audioquest, or Sumiko arm, it doesn't really stand up. I'd still say its every bit as good as the arms on the Project or Music Hall. The Rega arm is pretty nice, but lack of VTA would keep me from using one of those.

    There is a huge economy of scales in also in favor of the SL-1200. The new price it sells at is only possible from years of development, refinement, and large production numbers.

    Many people say to stay away from direct drive, but that is mainly from the reputation that came from cheap DD tables. Not from the way Technics does it.

    There are other reasons that I'd say the SL-1200 is a good choice for you. Give me a call sometime and I'll elaborate.

  25. #25

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    I am also a big fan of the Technics SL-1200. This table has been in production about 25 years and has been refined to be a reasonably priced, solid performing table. Plus there are a lot of upgrades that can be done to this table. These tables frequently show up used on Craigslist for very reasonable money. Good luck!

    Carl
    Carl

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw View Post
    I am also a big fan of the Technics SL-1200. This table has been in production about 25 years and has been refined to be a reasonably priced, solid performing table. Plus there are a lot of upgrades that can be done to this table. These tables frequently show up used on Craigslist for very reasonable money. Good luck!

    Carl
    Thanks Carl. What do you think a good deal is on this table.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Thanks Carl. What do you think a good deal is on this table.
    Ben
    A decent table (not all scuffed from club use) with a dustcover, and a headshell is a good deal at $250 or less. This is a table you definitely want to see in person. You also need to check the tonearm for the bearings. Sometimes the DJs throw them in these "coffin" cases with no dustcovers. Like that, the tonearm bearings can take some pressure during travel. A good check is to balance the tonearm, then take it off the rest, lower the cue, and get it floating. Set the antiskate to zero. Then gently tap the tonearm and see if it moves smoothly across towards the spindle. Then as it gets towards the middle of the platter, turn up the antiskate and it should smoothly come back to the tonearm rest.

    These come up for sale frequently, often from people who tried their hand at DJ'ing and didn't suceed. Rent comes due and they need to sell them. Just be patient. I picked up a near perfect one a couple years ago for something like $125. I should have kept it.

  28. #28

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    Damn I just learned a couple real valuable lessons in TT's. First was dampening. Just as an experiment I took an old mouse pad, and cut out a disk the size of the record label, and I cut some squares for the feet. This greatly tightened up the bass, and substantially reduced the HF artifacts. Well I was able to really crank it without annoyances. Second lesson I learned while listening to Queen We Will Rock You at 120+ db. The freaken drivers went nutz. The feedback from the air made the TT go into out of control oscillations. Freaked ME Out! Turned it down, and eased back in the throttle. Well will those ghetto mods it has made a huge improvement. The motor is too week to accept much waiting as in the clamp, but a lesson learned none the less.
    Ben
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    Thanks
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Damn I just learned a couple real valuable lessons in TT's. First was dampening. Just as an experiment I took an old mouse pad, and cut out a disk the size of the record label, and I cut some squares for the feet. This greatly tightened up the bass, and substantially reduced the HF artifacts. Well I was able to really crank it without annoyances. Second lesson I learned while listening to Queen We Will Rock You at 120+ db. The freaken drivers went nutz. The feedback from the air made the TT go into out of control oscillations. Freaked ME Out! Turned it down, and eased back in the throttle. Well will those ghetto mods it has made a huge improvement. The motor is too week to accept much waiting as in the clamp, but a lesson learned none the less.
    Ben
    Classic sign of feedback. Do you have a 'sub-filter' on your preamp? It might help a little, but at a 120dB, you probably just need a table with extremely good isolation.

  30. #30
    stereo_luver
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    Ben give me some measurements on the size of your TT base. I am making several isolation decks from granite and marble out here on the west coast while I have the chance to get the material. You'll just need to supply some isolation feet under the decks. It looks like 18"x14" is the average but check your's anyway.

    Chuck

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