thinking about buying a turntable

aragorn723 · 20647

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aragorn723

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1009
on: May 21, 2015, 04:40:13 PM
Hi,

I have been thinking about branching out into vinyl for a while (just got a few records a week ago-Simon and Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence, and The Very Best of Cream).  They look almost new (and not warped).  I don't have a turntable now, but was wondering what to look for in one besides maybe belt-drive.  Someone suggested looking at uturnaudio in another thread..  What makes a turntable good?

Dave



Offline Bonzo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 251
  • My name is Marco, best known as Bonzo
Reply #1 on: May 21, 2015, 07:44:40 PM
Ciao Dave,
if you've never set up a turntable, the "best" turntable is a new one (Project, Rega, ecc... even their entry-level models are good!).

TT performance depends on the accuracy with which you level the plate, set the tonearm, align the cartridge ecc... The older the turntable, the more difficult the set up (statistically speaking), the worst could be the sound!  :(

Moreover, as it has been written several times on "TNT audio", you can consider buying a new TT only if you already have a vinyl collection (but I don't agree 100%, 20 vinyl should be enough to buy a TT  ::)  ;D ;D ).

Bisogna avere orecchio!


Offline galyons

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 626
  • Geary Lyons
Reply #2 on: May 21, 2015, 08:27:15 PM
Ciao Dave,
 The older the turntable, the more difficult the set up (statistically speaking), the worst could be the sound!  :(

This is IMO, simply not true.  Quality vintage turntables were simple.  Can't get much simpler than a plinth, platter, bearing, motor and belt.  You can buy far more quality in a vintage TT, than a new TT for the same money.  Think Empire, Thorens, AR, even VPI HW19 Jr.  Some of the early Sansui and Pioneer belt drive, manual turntables with solid wooden plinths and decent arms will give a current entry level deck a good run for half the money. It is just not possible to newly manufacture a TT to the vintage level of quality for the same price at which the vintage decks sell today.

Moreover, as it has been written several times on "TNT audio", you can consider buying a new TT only if you already have a vinyl collection (but I don't agree 100%, 20 vinyl should be enough to buy a TT  ::)  ;D ;D ).

You don't need anyone's blessing or permission to buy  a TT.  I mean really...how many folks waited to buy a CD player until they had a "collection" of CD's?   Your ears...Your $$!!

Of course, YMMV!

Cheers,
Geary

VPI TNT IV/JMW 3D 12+Benz LP-S>  Eros + Auralic Aries + ANK Dac 4.1 >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's


Offline Bonzo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 251
  • My name is Marco, best known as Bonzo
Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 10:47:55 PM
Ciao Geary,

not to create a flame, but are you sure that an used TT can be a good choice for a person who cannot say if it's in good working order or not?  ::)  (I'm assuming Dave is not a TT expert, but if the assumption is wrong feel free to correct me)

Speaking about Thorens, don't you think a suspended TT needs lot more care in set up than a not suspended one?

I'm not saying old platter aren't good (I own only vintage TT), but if you don't know exactly what to do you'll likely get bad sound and damage your records and the cartridge. With a new TT everything is more or less already set up and ready to use.

Speaking about my last statement, I'm not blessing anyone, I'm only saying that we invest money to listen to music: it's really a good choice to spend at least € 500 to listen to 3 records?  ???

In any case: peace, love and music for anyone!

Bisogna avere orecchio!


Offline Grainger49

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 7175
Reply #4 on: May 21, 2015, 11:48:16 PM
The table's job (you asked what to look for in a table) is to spin the vinyl at 33 1/3 or 45 RPM without speed variances.  It also should not introduce noise, rumble, into the cartridge.

The arm's job is to allow the cartridge to track the grooves properly.  The grooves are very often not concentric with the hole in the middle of the LP.  So the arm must move forward and backward easily with every revolution. 

The cartridge's job is to produce the signal.  It is what makes the sound you hear so don't be cheap here.

I have a Dual 1219 that does a great job as a table/arm combination.  I also have a VPI HW-19 and Souther linear tracking arm.

My two cents worth of advice.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 08:19:12 AM by Grainger49 »



Offline Loggie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
    • Posts: 36
Reply #5 on: May 22, 2015, 02:11:48 AM
If this is going to be your first TT the U-Turn isn't a bad choice.
http://www.klipsch.com/blog/u-turn-audio-orbit-basic-turntable-review/

Did you know the U-Turn was a Kickstarter project ?


Its simple and does the job. Also when you get the TT its completely setup.....no need for adjustments).
The U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable also has a very nice Cartridge (Grado Black 1). But you can always upgrade later if needed.

(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0339/2397/products/Red_uTurn9553_Acrylic_Grado_no_Arm_1_F_8e4c6fa5-7271-444a-9f1a-ab1df497d96d_1024x1024.jpg?v=1431463408)

The U-Turn ,Pro-ject and such TT's are also excellent for a beginner as their prices start low and have good quality for money.
Also if you want better sound you can always go for a better sounding cartridge (as that is the part that actually produces the audio).

I own several vintage TT's and they sound fantastic. The only thing is that you need a bit of how a TT works and how to setup one.
Especially when you are going to change the cartridge or need to make repairs.

So in my opinion start with an entry level one and while listening to some great albums check out one of the many forums that deal with the wonderful world of TT's and vinyl.

Playing vinyl is so much fun  ;D
I haven't bought CD's in a long time now since I started to play my vinyl collection again.
The good thing is that a lot of artists still bring out their albums on vinyl and there are loads of repressings of old albums. Not to mention the the secondhand market is really booming (at least here in the Netherlands but it mmust be the same in the US).

One thing though.....you can't hookup the TT to any amplifier. You will need a phono pre-amp ....unless you have an amplifier that does have a phono input.
Phono pre-amps can be bought cheap and very expensive.......or you can build one yourself with a Bottlehead kit  8)

Whatever you're choise is going to be I'm sure you will enjoy listening to your albums !

Have fun  :)

Arno

Bottlehead Crack--Lenco L76-Thorens TD147--Cyrus IIIi+PSX-R--KEF Q7--Klipsch R-26F--Marantz CD72 SE--Philips CD202--Musical Fidelity XLPS V3--CNC Phono Stage


Offline Zimmer64

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 210
    • Blog
Reply #6 on: May 22, 2015, 02:13:51 AM

Nelson Pass F5 Turbo V2, Quickie (mod), S.E.X. 2.1, Tubes4hifi SP14, Dynaco VTA ST 70, Tubelab SSE, Vroemen Diva Superiore ER4, Jordan JX92S VTL, 47 labs 0647 CD, Aqvox DAC, Rowen Absolute pre / psu / power amps, BG Neo3 / Betsy / Eminence A15 open baffles


Offline Adrian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 274
Reply #7 on: May 22, 2015, 04:12:19 AM
I have been using a Dual 721 direct drive, fully automatic TT since the mid-'70s.
For almost 30 years I have used an Ortofon OM40 cartridge which has excellent resolution and detail charactistics.
This is obviously a "vintage" TT.  After all these years it is still "dead quiet" on low and silent passages (no rumble) and the speed control is spot on (low wow and flutter).
This is a fully automatic TT (automatic tonearm pick-up and set-down, pick-up and return, and unit turn off) and everything still works like new.  Given the many thousands of hours of operation (with only one complete overhaul and cleaning by me) it may be a rarity that this unit and the complex mechanisms required for automatic operation still work.
Given all that, a new TT is not a bad choice.  I haven't had a new TT for 40 years but I know there are excellent ones available at just about every price point.
Good Luck and welcome to the vinyl community.

Adrian C.

VPI Prime w/Ortofon Quintet Black MC/Rothwell MCL Lundahl SUT/EROS/Submissive (3 output mod)/Mainline/Crack - Speedball/S.E.X. 2.1 - C4S/S.E.X. 3.0 - C4S/Paramounts - Blumenstein 2.2 Mini-Max w/DOF mod -Senn HD600/Viso HP50/Focal Elear.


Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 19364
Reply #8 on: May 22, 2015, 06:03:12 AM
You only have a few records, so maybe spending $50 on a used turntable isn't such a bad idea.

Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man


Offline Grainger49

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 7175
Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 08:21:02 AM
Dave,

You didn't say what you were willing to pay for a table/arm/cartridge. 



Offline aragorn723

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1009
Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 10:32:40 AM
Wow, thanks for all the replies!  So it sounds like the cartridge is the most important part for the sound.  Do they wear out?  I saw some turntables on eBay, but wonder what other sources are out there?  Here's the thing, I could buy a used one, but don't know how to tell if its set up right.  The local high-end store could prob do a setup, but how much would that be (figure about $100 for a used tt, then setup and possibly a cartridge).  Seems like that could get expensive fast, compared to a brand-new uturnaudio at $179.  Is the basic cartridge good, or should I jump to the grado (big fan of them) and upgraded platter?

For the phono stage, I'll hook it up to an onkyo ht receiver temporarily (got a phono stage in there) and eventually build something like a reduction to hook it up to the main stereo.

Dave





Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 19364
Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 11:25:23 AM
Here is some reading you can do, since this is a topic that has been discussed literally thousands of times on many audio websites.

http://audiojunkies.com/forum/blog/4483-turntable-basics-beginners-guide-turntables-vinyl-records.html

Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man


Offline Bill Epstein

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 104
Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 02:25:26 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies!  So it sounds like the cartridge is the most important part for the sound.  Do they wear out?  I saw some turntables on eBay, but wonder what other sources are out there?  Here's the thing, I could buy a used one, but don't know how to tell if its set up right.  The local high-end store could prob do a setup, but how much would that be (figure about $100 for a used tt, then setup and possibly a cartridge).  Seems like that could get expensive fast, compared to a brand-new uturnaudio at $179.  Is the basic cartridge good, or should I jump to the grado (big fan of them) and upgraded platter?

For the phono stage, I'll hook it up to an onkyo ht receiver temporarily (got a phono stage in there) and eventually build something like a reduction to hook it up to the main stereo.

Dave
Since you're a senior member here and are thinking about a Reduction, it's clear you won't be satisfied with a cheap new table or a 70's used "plastic fantastic". At least not after a few months.

You also express doubts about set-up.

No doubt in my mind that a Rega with an Exact cartridge that needs no mounting set-up is where you should begin. Buying a P-3 used from a "
high-end" audio site like Audiogon or Audio Asylum, you'll have a table from someone who probably took care in it's original purchase, maintenance and set-up. Right now, there are 3 P-3s on Audio Asylum in the $700 range and with patience you'll get something closer to $500.

Eventually. you will, of course, upgrade. You're a Bottlehead.





Edited to fix closure of quotation - PB
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 05:27:13 PM by Caucasian Blackplate »

VPI Traveler/ZYX R50
Cinemag 3440 AH
Steve Brown Caravaggio Phono
Foreplay 2.1
The Twins: 55 Watt Mullard 5-20 KT-88 mono-Blocks
4 Pi Speakers


Offline Adrian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 274
Reply #13 on: May 23, 2015, 03:13:25 AM
Check out http://www.soundstagedirect.com/.
New TTs by Clearaudio, Rega, Music Hall, Thorens, VPI in all price ranges (starting around $450).  Many come with supplied cartridges already setup and should be plug-n-play.
Not a bad place to look for a starter TT as well as some really fine higher end models.

Adrian C.

VPI Prime w/Ortofon Quintet Black MC/Rothwell MCL Lundahl SUT/EROS/Submissive (3 output mod)/Mainline/Crack - Speedball/S.E.X. 2.1 - C4S/S.E.X. 3.0 - C4S/Paramounts - Blumenstein 2.2 Mini-Max w/DOF mod -Senn HD600/Viso HP50/Focal Elear.


Offline aragorn723

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1009
Reply #14 on: May 23, 2015, 11:13:45 AM
Right now i'm leaning towards a uturnaudio table.  I like the idea of customizing the table and cartridge.  Here is the configuration:

Green table with Grado black 1 cartridge/Cue

Would this work well with the reduction?  Also, is the platter upgrade with it? 

Dave