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Freedom Bacon
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Joined: May 7 2012 - 8:19pm
Entry level turntable & preamp

My father gave me a stereo system consisting of a tube amp, high end CD player and a decent set of speakers. I've been meaning to add a turntable and a pre-amp, so I'm here for advice on what to look for.

What would you suggest to get me started for my first venture into analog? I can't spend too much money or I will have to face the wrath of my wife. I'd really like to keep it in the 200-300 dollar range.

I have an old record player with the amp built in that I picked up used for cheap, but there's some distortion and the line output has some serious issues. I've resorted to using the tape output since the 8 ohm speaker output left side is shot. I'm also afraid that it might damage records over time since the unit is in rough shape. Gonna have to see if I can change the stylus out on this one so maybe it can hold me over for now.

jackfish
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Used Project Debut III, Rega P1 or Music Hall MMF-2.1 or 2.2.

TCC TC-750 phono preamp for $44. TC-760LC phono preamp for $74. Rek-O-Kut Professional Phono Preamp MkII for $70.

commsysman
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Turntable

That old player can destroy your records.

You can get the Music Hall USB-1 turntable from Audio Advisor for $249, and it comes with an Audio-Technica cartridge and a built-in phono stage as well as a USB output to transfer tunes to your computer for archiving.

When you say "tube amp", is this a power amplifier only or an integrated amplifer? What is it? More details would help.

Dediacted preamps are usually quite expensive. If what you have is just a power amplifier, that is a problem. You would probably be better off buying a decent integrated amplifier, cost-wise.

 

 

 

 

Freedom Bacon wrote:

My father gave me a stereo system consisting of a tube amp, high end CD player and a decent set of speakers. I've been meaning to add a turntable and a pre-amp, so I'm here for advice on what to look for. What would you suggest to get me started for my first venture into analog? I can't spend too much money or I will have to face the wrath of my wife. I'd really like to keep it in the 200-300 dollar range. I have an old record player with the amp built in that I picked up used for cheap, but there's some distortion and the line output has some serious issues. I've resorted to using the tape output since the 8 ohm speaker output left side is shot. I'm also afraid that it might damage records over time since the unit is in rough shape. Gonna have to see if I can change the stylus out on this one so maybe it can hold me over for now.

Freedom Bacon
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Joined: May 7 2012 - 8:19pm
Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the replies jackfish and commsysman. 

@ commsysman

I should have mentioned this when I posted, but yes,the tube amp is a power amplifier.  Maybe I'll wait until I have some more spending cash to purchase anything and keep any new records in the shrink wrap. 

It has been suggested to me to get a decent dedicated solid state pre-amp.  How strongly do you feel about the turntables with a built in pre-amp as you mentioned? I have heard good things about Audio-Technica, so I would seriously consider getting something like the Music Hall USB-1 if it will provide me with some years of good listening.

commsysman
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PREAMP

There are VERY few preamps for under $2000 that sound worth spit.

The ONLY one I would recommend for under $2000 is the Vincent SA-31, which sells for $650 and is pretty good. That might be your best bet. A decent integrated amplifier (amp with preamp) will cost you that much anyway.

A few turntables have a built-in phono stage, but don't confuse that with an actual PREAMP, which is something entirely different.

 

 

P.S. - I DO have a Cambridge Audio Azur 340A Integrated amplifier, which is like new that is not being used now. You could have it for $210 plus shipping. You can look it up in detail on the Cambridge Audio website. 

 

Freedom Bacon wrote:

Thanks for the replies jackfish and commsysman. 

@ commsysman

I should have mentioned this when I posted, but yes,the tube amp is a power amplifier.  Maybe I'll wait until I have some more spending cash to purchase anything and keep any new records in the shrink wrap. 

It has been suggested to me to get a decent dedicated solid state pre-amp.  How strongly do you feel about the turntables with a built in pre-amp as you mentioned? I have heard good things about Audio-Technica, so I would seriously consider getting something like the Music Hall USB-1 if it will provide me with some years of good listening.

JIMV
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IMHO...

That is about the least expensive turntable setup you can get and still make music. It is a very good recommendation...I am still unclear as to what the rest of your setup is...Could you list brands and models??

Freedom Bacon
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Basically, I just have an old

Basically, I just have an old Scott tube amp that my dad had used to try out all these tubes he was buying.  It requires line level input.  Once he had the tubes he wanted, he put some of the leftovers in this Scott amp and gave it to me. It's a custom piece, and I couldn't tell you all the specs on it.  He knows what he's doing, and I know he's invested countless time and money into his rig. If he has some spare stuff he usually sends it my way.  He knows that I'll need a good pre-amp, he doesn't have any spares, and that has been part of the reason I haven't invested in a fine vinyl setup.  I have a large collection of CDs and a Cary 303/300 CD player holding me over :)

Hmm, since a really nice pre-amp is going to run that much dough, I might put it off perpetually unless my collection of LPs really starts to surpass around $2k.  For now, I have a cheap turntable with a preamp in it  and a few reissues and used copies of a few favorites.  I might not persue much more than that, but we'll see.

Thanks for the offer commsysman, but I must decline.  I'm sure your integrated amp will find a loving home soon though. 

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