You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
First turntable set up build

Hello All,

This site is such a great resource, I have been enjoying the forums and reviews for about six months now.

I own a 720 square foot condo. Subtracting the bathroom and kitchen leaves about a 600 square foot living/listening area. It is an all concrete building and I have cork flooring. The cieling is 8 feet hight. I live on the 14th floor (not sure if that matters).

I am building an entry level vinyl only system. I grew up listening to my parents music (1960's motown and rock) on their console record player.

The system will be mostly used to listen to rock from the 50s,60s,70s and 90s.

The first piece I got was the Pro-Ject Debut III turntable. Next I am looking at amps. From what I have read and my attraction to retro technology I want to go with a tube amp. However, I do not want my attraction to retro tech cause a bad decision. Also I have a limited budget and would like to spend $500 - $750 on an intergrated amp.

My understanding of amps is that if I do not get a tube amp the analog signal from the turntable will be turned into digital and back to analog. To me this seems to defeat the purpose of having a turntable. Is my assumption right?

I found the Zen Triode Amp from Decware. It is $875. I found no reviews on this amp on this site. Does anyone have advice for me on an amp? Perhaps I should go digital?

Because I live in a condo I am not going to do a lot of high volume listening. I am mainly interested in a warm natural sound.

Thank you in advance for your help. I am excited about the build.

Luci

 

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
First set up

I was wrong. The $875 amp is not integrated.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
First set up

I was wrong. The $875 amp is not integrated.

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
Assumption

No, a tube amp and 99% of solid state amps keep the signal in analog form. 

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
Jolida and others

Jolida & others make well-reviewed integrated amps that are tube based 

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
assumption

Thanks for the info. This widens my amp search. I appreciate it.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
jolida and others

I appreciate it. I will head to those reviews and look them over again.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
Any suggestions

Any other suggestions will be appreciated. I am buying for the first time and know I may not even be asking the right questions. Perhaps I should have bought the amp first.

Shelf speakers will come next. My understanding is the amp speaker combo is important, not just amp.

If I am going to slight a component would I be better off slighting the speakers? That seems like a component that is the easiest to upgrade.

Thanks, Clint

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
suggestions

Correct, the amp and speakers combo is important.  But most good quality amps will do just fine with most "normal" good quality speakers.  Speakers of unusual design (electrostatics, planar magnetics, and some others) will be more demanding, but you prob will not be getting those.

You are sound in saying that the speakers may be easier to upgrade so you could slightly "slight" them.  But on the other hand, I think sound quality differences are much more pronounced with speakers.  Differences between amps are subtle, compared to the large differences between speakers.  To me, an adequate amp and excellent speakers will be a better, more enjoyable solution than the converse.

anarchy84
anarchy84's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2013 - 10:52am
My setup

I recently setup my first turntable stereo system, so I thought I'd share my components.  I am by no means an expert, "audiophile", or what have you...but I've loved music since the day I was born, and I know what sounds good to my ears.  My setup is:

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with acrylic platter and Speed Box upgrades

Harman Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers

Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 analog interconnects

Blue Jeans Cable "Twelve White" speaker cable w/ locking banana plugs (self-made w/ techflex and heat shrink tubing - looks sexy)

Playing vinyl records on this setup has been a dream come true.  I honestly had no idea that home audio could sound this good.  I realize there is a whole world above this when it comes to sound quality / tinkering, but this setup has left me free to shop for more vinyl, which is exactly where I wanted to be when I started.

Regardless of what amp / pre-amp you choose, I can definitely recommend the Wharfedale 10.1's - they're amazing.

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
Cart

Good upgrades to the Pro-Ject. Did u upgrade cartridge too?

anarchy84
anarchy84's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2013 - 10:52am
Ortofon 2M Cartridge

No, I have not upgraded the cartridge yet.  That may come sometime down the road, but I've been told that the 2M is quite good if you give it some time.  I'm going to let it, and the TT, warm up for a few months before I think about updating the cartridge.  For now, I am very happy with the sound coming out of the Wharfedales.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
Your set up
anarchy84 wrote:

I recently setup my first turntable stereo system, so I thought I'd share my components.  I am by no means an expert, "audiophile", or what have you...but I've loved music since the day I was born, and I know what sounds good to my ears.  My setup is:

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with acrylic platter and Speed Box upgrades

Harman Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers

Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 analog interconnects

Blue Jeans Cable "Twelve White" speaker cable w/ locking banana plugs (self-made w/ techflex and heat shrink tubing - looks sexy)

Playing vinyl records on this setup has been a dream come true.  I honestly had no idea that home audio could sound this good.  I realize there is a whole world above this when it comes to sound quality / tinkering, but this setup has left me free to shop for more vinyl, which is exactly where I wanted to be when I started.

Regardless of what amp / pre-amp you choose, I can definitely recommend the Wharfedale 10.1's - they're amazing.

 

I appreciate your post. You caused me to take a second look at the WD 10.1s. I was looking at the Dali Zensor 1. However, unless someone has a better perspective I believe I will go with the WD 10.1.

 

anarchy84
anarchy84's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2013 - 10:52am
Wharfedale 10.1's
Luci wrote:

I appreciate your post. You caused me to take a second look at the WD 10.1s. I was looking at the Dali Zensor 1. However, unless someone has a better perspective I believe I will go with the WD 10.1.

 

You won't be sorry.  The more hours I put into listening, the more I love them.  Also, if you order them from a reputable source, you can always try them out for 30-60 days and send them back if you're not satisfied.  Though, based on my experience, I doubt you'll find yourself in that situation.  :)

Good luck!

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
UPDATE:

Hello All,

Thank you for all of you input so far. I have been researching my set up for some time now and with your help I am closing in on a decision.

 

After speaking with Music Direct in Chicago I am seriously looking at going with the WD 10.2s ($100 more than the 10.1s). Also the salesman turned me onto Marantz 6004 Integrated Amp ($150 more than the HK 3490). The reviews I have read on it seem very positive.

I know I am being "sold up" by the salesman (to the tune of $250) but from what I have read the products he has sold me up on do have more value than what I was looking at.

I told the salesman I have $1000 to spend on speakers and an amp. His combo comes out to $1050 so he is right there.

Please give my your thoughts on the equipement suggested by MD.

This is my first set up. Am I going to appreciate the extra $250 spent?

 

Thanks.

anarchy84
anarchy84's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2013 - 10:52am
Marantz 6004 vs HK 3490

I've been in your shoes, Luci.  Doesn't it fry your brain trying to compare things you haven't had experience with before?

Honestly, if your room is big enough to justify the 10.2's, you should go for it.  I chose the 10.1's simply because I live in an apartment (and probably will for the forseeable future), and I took my girlfriend out to a nice dinner with the $100 I saved.  If I had the space, I'd have gotten the 10.2's.  I'm sure they have a similiar - if not identical - sound.

As far as the Marantz 6004, I did exhaustive research and asked numerous people for opinions on Harman Kardon vs Marantz, and the general consensus was they would reproduce sound at a similar quality.  This may seem superflous, but what pushed me over the edge was this forum post:

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/amps-pre-pros-receivers/77321-so-much-marantz-pm6004-hk-kicks.html

Price is another thing to consider, at least for me.  The HK 3490 is substantially cheaper, and can often be found on sale.  For instance, J&R has it on sale right now for $349, no tax, free shipping - sale ends today.

http://www.jr.com/harman-kardon/pe/HK_3490/

Hope this helps.

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
I'd keep saving and get something more powerful.

You have a fairly large listening area and are considering speakers with relatively low sensitivity and which are a nominal 6 Ohm load. I know I'd want more than 45 wpc into 8 Ohms for those. The HK3490 would be a good entry level choice without too many compromises.

I'd also consider the Jolida JD 1501 or a Emotiva USP-1 and XPA-200. But then there are other choices at $1000.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
Marantz 45 WPC

I noticed that as well. I read a review that said Marantz underestimates it's wpc rating. I know high end car audio amps will underestimate, but not sure it that is a legit comment concerning home audio. The article said it should perform the same as a 100 wpc amp from some other companies.

 

What are your thoughts?

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Its not so much a matter of underestimating as it is

being conservative. However, to say an amp rated by the manufacturer for 45 wpc into 8 Ohms at 20Hz-20kHz and 0.08% THD will perform the same as a 100 wpc amp from some other companies is a worthless observation. For those speakers and room I'd want an amp for which the manufacturer has a rating of at least 100 wpc into 8 Ohms at 20Hz-20kHz and 0.1% or less THD.

Luci
Luci's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 13 2013 - 3:06pm
Placed the order...

for Wharfedale 10.2's, Marantz 8004 amp and 10 feet long Audioquest type 4 cables. I got it all free shipping and no tax. Total came to $1486.00

Jackfish was right. Once I started digging deep enough I found I was close enough to the next best thing that I could justify bumping it up. I will audition the equipment and see what I think of it. I do not expect to be 100% happy with the speakers, but I just do not want to spend another $1000 right now.

I was looking at the Rega Brio r and the Marantz, while the focus is on the turntable (and all of the reviews I read pointed to Brega for the best phono) I will also purchase a CD and would like a DAC and perhaps a tuner. The pieces to be purchased are much more expensive with Brega.

At this entry level I do not consider myself an audiophile. I will see where it all leads. Perhaps I will upgrade in the future.

Thank you all for your in put. I am also open to more comments as I have 30 days to return or exchange the product.

 

 

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