You are here

Log in or register to post comments
onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
Building a New Turntable System

Hey Guys - would love some help on a new system I'm building - I dont know much about audio equipment but I have a lot of vinyl records (my dad gave me his collection) and I want to start building a good system.  I have a cheap Crosly turntable (WHICH SUCKS) and now want to get into something more serious.  I'm going to ordre the Project Debut Carbon (thew new Debut III) and have no idea what I else I need to get with it - I've read I need a (1) pre-amp (2) amp and (3) speakers.

Do you all have any recommendations on what pre-amp, amp, and speakers I should get to make it a decent system?

Sorry for my ignorance - I'm just learning this stuff! Thanks in advance!

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Budget?

We gotta know...

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
budget

I'm thinking $800-1000 total (including the $399 for the turntable) - so about $500-600 for the other stuff!

Thanks!

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is a decent entry level table,

particularly that it comes with the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge.  $600 for a phono stage, integrated amp and speakers might be seen as rather limiting. However, this is the entry level so compromises will have to be made. The speakers I can whole heartedly recommend are the newly Andrew Jones redesigned SP-FS52 Floor Standing Speakers from Pioneer for $260 a pair. Watch for them discounted when they come into stock again; might find them for about $160/pair.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Home+Theater+Speakers/SP-FS52

Here is a review of the predecessor Pioneer bookshelves: http://www.stereophile.com/content/pioneer-sp-bs41-lr-loudspeaker

You should get pretty good service from a Harman Kardon HK3490 stereo receiver, found online right now for $300. Has a passable phono section and is competently designed.

http://hometheaterreview.com/harman-kardon-hk-3490-stereo-receiver/

http://stereos.about.com/od/stereoreceiverreviews/fr/HK3490.htm

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
thanks! follow-up questions!

Thanks Jackfish for your prompt reply!  Extremely helpful (esp for someone like me who is ignorant of all this stuff-ha).

 Some follow-up if you don’t mind:

  1. I’ve seen in other posts you recommend the Music Hall MMF-2.2 – is this a better TT than the Pro-ject Carbon Debut?  I’m not wedded to the Pro-Ject so could get the Music Hall if it is a better unit.
  2. Does the Harman Kardon HK3490 stereo receiver replace the need for a pre-amp, and amp that I see posts about?
  3. I could increase my price point to $1300-1500 if need be, are there better speaks, pre-amp, and amp at that point?  Will I need anything else?

Thanks again Jackfish – you posts are extremely helpful!

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
and another quick question

my understanding for doing some research is that the Harman Kardon HK3490 stereo receiver cannot be connected for TV/video audio HDMI (in addition to the turntable) - if that is correct, does Harman Kardon make something like that HK3490 stereo receiver that would allow me to connect the TV/video audio also?

thanks again for answering all my questions! much appreciated! 

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The Music Hall MMF-2.2 is certainly the best of the entry

level turntables in my estimation. Good cartridge, decent motor and plinth, and a good tonearm with adjustable VTA. You will have to decide if that is worth the extra $50. The difference in the sound between the two might be largely attributable to the cartridge. I prefer the sound of the Tracker, you might like the 2M Red better. If you absolutely need to save the $50 to spend elsewhere then get the Carbon.

The HK3490 has a passable built in phono preamp, so no additional phono preamp is required.

$1,500 certainly increases the possibilities. Again, there are going to be tradeoffs, but you could put together a really good sounding system with $1,500.

Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable $450 or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon $400

Music Hall A15.2 integrated amplifier w/ built-in phono preamp $500

Magnepan MMG loudspeakers $600

How are you wanting to connect a TV to a music system? If it is for two channel audio only, most TVs have a stereo analog output which can be connected to a line level input of your amplifier.

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
follow-up/connecting to TV

Thanks you kind sir- appreciate it!  Will def get the Music Hall TT based on your rec!

Some follow-up:

(1) Connecting to TV: Right now I have a Sony soundbar with subwoofer connected to my flatscreen- this: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/50-14110&scode=GS401&CAWELAID=823323914?cagpspn=pla&gclid=CIyB9tqi27ECFcyA7QodZl0AQQ

I would like to connect the turntalbe/speaker system I buy to the TV (instead of the soundbar) - not sure with what - I'm assuming the same way as I connect to the Sony soundbar?  Does that make sense.

(2) Are there major differences b/n the HK3490 and the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amplifier w/ built-in phono preamp (besides price).  When you say "passable" built-in phono preamp for the HK3490- what does that mean.  Will I be able to use these to connect to my flatscreen.

(3) What about connectivity to my Ipod- that seems simple audio in audio out- correct? 

 

Thanks again in advance!

 

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Here you go...

(1) What make and model of flatscreen TV do you have? Most have stereo analog output that would patch to the amplifier with an RCA cable or 1/8" cable. HDMI would not be used.

(2) Yes, there are major differences between the HK3490 and the Music Hall A15.2. You can expect better sound quality with the Music Hall A15.2. The phono preamp in the HK3490 is not great but adequate. I would expect the phono preamp in the Music Hall A15.2 to be better. Again, you would use the stereo analog output from your TV with an RCA or 1/8" cable to connect to a line level input of the amplifier.

(3) You would use the headphone jack from the iPod to connect to the 1/8" jack on the front panel of the Music Hall A15.2 with a stereo 1/8" cable. With the HK3490 you can use the Bridge II iPod dock (sold separately) which uses the digital output of the iPod and the HK3490's internal DAC for better sound quality. With the Music Hall A15.2, the iPod DAC is used and the amplifier receives an analog signal through the headphone jack. If you are playing MP3s it probably doesn't make much difference. But if you are playing Apple Lossless the iPod will probably sound better through the HK3490.

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
thanks again!

really appreciate the feedback!  

my TV is a Samsung LED HD Flatscreen TV- I bought in 2009.  It has a number of HDMI slots as well as many audio/video componout output slots- does that make sense?  how would I connect it to the amp?

thanks!

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
I have a 40" Samsung bought about the same time...

On the back panel there should be a L/R pair of RCA jacks labelled AUDIO OUT. You would connect to an amp with a stereo RCA cable between the TV AUDIO OUT and a line level input of the amp. Line level inputs are usually labelled AUX, Input 1 through 5 on the Music Hall A15.2 or in the case of the HK3490 VID 1 through 3 in the AUDIO input section. While watching TV you could control the volume with the TV remote after setting the amp volume at an appropriate level.

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
just got the Music Hall TT and the A15.2 -question!

Just a quick follow-up - just received the TT and the A15.2.  Still awaiting my speakers.  But my question is, on the back of the A15.2 integrated amp, there are two slots for speakers (Speaker OUT) and (Line OUT) - which do I put my speakers into (speaker out)?  What is Line Out for...in the manual is has a picture of what looks like another integrated amp (and speakers and an amplifier).  Do I have to put anything into the line out?

 

thanks in advance! 

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
LINE OUT is for an RCA cable connection to an external

amplifier or subwoofer. The SPEAKER OUT has right and left speaker binding posts which accept bare wire, spades or bananas for the connection to loudspeakers.

Drtrey3
Drtrey3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
Way to go . . .

Jackfish. Patient and informative answers like yours are a credit and a boon to our hobby. Outstanding!

Hey, I went to Emofest and had a ball! You should come some year!

 

Trey

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
awesome thank you sir!

appreciate your promptness as usual!

onehaqq01
onehaqq01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 8 2012 - 3:09pm
love my new system-quick follow-up!

i love my new system - I got the Music Hall MMF -2.2 TT, and Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp and the pioneer speakers.  beautiful sound.

I bought two of the pioneer speakers you recommended- love them - but for some reason the left speaker players louder than the right?  is this normal, or did i not connect it correctly with the speaker wire?

thanks again in advance!

gabrieleug
gabrieleug's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Mar 1 2013 - 6:27am
Debut -volume problems

Hi,

 

I have a Pro-ject Debut III Phono USB (which includes a phono preamp), connected to a Peachtree Nova. At first, the volume was too low, so I connected it to a line level booster (JEC 780 LC), which raised the volume satisfactorily.

However, I wasn’t fully satisfied with the quality of the sound the was coming out, so I decided to try a different cartridge (an Audio-Technica 120E). I noticed a great improve in the quality, but the side-effect was a lower volume. I mean, it’s really low, especially when I compare with the sound coming from other sources, like a Ipod or CD.

By now, you probably noticed that I’m far from being an expert on hi-fi. I wonder what can I do to raise the volume (without causing any distortion) and maybe even improve the quality of the music coming form the turntable…

Should I get a better preamp (bearing in mind that the Debut phono already has a built-in preamp) ? The turntable Manual says that, due to the built-in pre-amp, connecting the Debut to a phono input is not suitable.  

Should I get a  better line level booster?

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
There is something wrong with your turntable.

I would take it to an authorized dealer for inspection.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading