News:
December 06, 2022, 09:06:01 AM

Author Topic: Vinyl newbie  (Read 291 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Happy Ghost

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Vinyl newbie
« on: August 08, 2022, 12:18:49 PM »
Hi folks!

I have recently started on my vinyl journey and I know already, that I am going to get hooked :) My current setup is quite modest. I have a Audio-Technica AT-LP120 table. And I listen to it using  S3X 3.0 and a pair of DIY Overnight Sensations MTM speakers.

My goal however is to improve the current sound and ultimately also listen to it using my C2A. Where should I focus my attention first? My budget much like my system is quite modest. I can stretch it quite a bit though, because what's life without succumbing to temptations :) I want to keep the existing table as long as I can. So should I look at changing the cartridge, or using a better phono preamp (than what came with the turntable)? Do minor mods like changing the turntable mat make a big difference? 

This is all a bit new to me. Any help in clearing my "dazed and confused" state, would be welcome :)

Thanks!
Atul

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17661
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 01:45:22 PM »
I think you have a pretty good opportunity to build a Reduction and to compare it with the onboard phono preamp on your turntable.  A different cartridge would also be very, very high up on my list.  I'd probably look to move to something else in the same form factor from AT so you can have an easier time swapping them out.  I would recommend using a mechanical pencil to mark where the screws are now just to make things as simple as possible, but don't let that stop you from getting a protractor and a cartridge scale to double check the factory settings.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Mucker

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2022, 02:08:38 PM »
IMO, if you want a "buy once and use forever" turntable, save your pennies for a Technics SL-1210GR. It will be a huge upgrade to your AT table in every way. And it will retain the familiarity you are used to with a direct drive system.

Top tier drive system
Excellent tonearm and bearings
Excellent platter weight

The GR is a very precise machine and should last a lifetime with little or no maintenance.

I am a Technics guy (biased one at that) and own a handful of SL1200 MK2 variants as well as the GR. I've been into the guts of all of them and they are outstanding quality with good parts availability. I have upgraded those machines and it's relatively affordable to still do so.

But the GR is even better and is a much improved design that needs no upgrading (ever). Of course it can use a variety of carts.

I love the Denon DL-103R and Denon AU-320 SUT on Technics tables.

The SUT is connected to a Parks Budgie Phono tube preamp or Hagerman Trumpet MC. I hope to one day try a BH Reduction.

Then from there into my Crack or S3X.

Proper geometrical setup of an table is absolutely critical to minimize distortion. Once your there, it's bliss. 

These tables will rival anything in performance IMO, with major bang for buck in the long run.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 02:22:39 PM by Mucker »

Offline Larpy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 09:30:12 AM »
Atul,

Mucker's right that an excellent turntable will make a huge difference, but I hear you when you say you're on a budget and want to keep your current table as long as possible.  If so, Paul B's recommendation makes sense: get a better (Audio Technica) cartridge.  In audio, the biggest differences you'll hear switching out gear is when you change speakers or cartridge: as transducers, they "flavor" the sound in more obvious ways than electronics tend to do.

I wouldn't worry about turntable mats.  They can make a difference, but those differences tend to be subtle.
Larry

Offline Happy Ghost

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2022, 10:43:20 AM »
Thank you all for the advise. This validates the rough plan which was brewing in my mind. Better cartridge, better phono preamp and then finally a good turntable ...

Do you have any recommendations on how to clean vinyl? Any products which stand out?
Atul

Offline Mucker

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2022, 07:21:10 PM »

Offline Doc B.

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9192
    • Bottlehead
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2022, 06:15:14 AM »
Quote
Have my eye on trying one of these out:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273591962180?epid=18026706972&hash=item3fb35a0a44:g:Xu8AAOSwClJhiJID

Now that this concept is not brand new the price has really come down compared the first of these I remember seeing back in the late 90s. It's very tempting! Caveat - I have a standard 10 liter version of one of these Chinese ultrasonic cleaners that I use mostly for race bike parts. It's works great but is incredibly, painfully noisy to have in the room with you. And mine has a lid to cut down the noise level a bit. Consider this something you would place in the garage or shop, not the listening room.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Mucker

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
Re: Vinyl newbie
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2022, 07:19:14 PM »
It is nice to see the affordable pricing on these now. We use ultrasonic cleaners  in our labs at work and agree with the noise. Best if used in another room with a closed door. (like my RC LiPo battery chargers).