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bucky
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Joined: Dec 18 2005 - 7:37pm
Help a newbie?

Hi everyone. After listening to CD's most of my life I am looking to start a vinyl collection, and I need some gear to go along with it. As a newbie at this sort of thing, I have some questions. I will be buying everything used, spending as little as possible.

- What's a good turntable to start out with? I see a lot of Technics SL-1200's on ebay. Are these any good?
- What else is needed to form a complete turntable system? I know of the turntable, phono preamp, poweramp, and speakers. What else is needed? For now I'll use my CD system, which is a poweramp and speakers built in, with RCA in jacks. What would I need to play vinyl through this?
- For when I do upgrade to a real poweramp, how many watts would be needed? I just want to play it at bedroom listening levels. Would something like a Zvex Imp be sufficient if I had high efficiency speakers?

Thanks a lot.

Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Help a newbie?

Hi, this is actually a whole big ball of wax, but we can get started.

If you have an amp and speakers, in addition to the things you mentioned, you will need a way to slip a volume control into the chain somewhere.

If your "amp" is just a power amp, you will need either a phono-preamp with a volume control or a regular line-level preamp to handle the volume chores.

So, cartridge, arm, turntable, phono-preamp, and preamp are now on your "to do" list.

If you aren't married to the amp, you could look into an integrated amp/preamp/phono preamp combo piece and save money and space.

There is no set correct number of watts, this all depends upon the speakers - we can save this issue for later when you decide if you want to stay with your current speakers or change those, too!

When buying used, beware the "needle"/cartridge of a used turntable - a cartridge that is damaged or worn out or just plain too old not only will deny you the good sound you deserve, it can damage your records, as well.

Whatever you buy, consider going new on the cartridge.

Online, Music Direct, Jerry Raskin's Needle Doctor, and Audio Advisor are pretty good sources. Browse around within your budget and it will be hard to go wrong taking their advice.

As far as the turntable itself, spend some time at those same sites and get a feel for what retail is on these things and decide based on what you see at Ebay or Audiogon if the price of new can be accomodated.

There are lots of killer used tables, but it's starting to sink into my thick head (because I love used gear) that maybe the best decision with a starter table, and a person who is new to the hobby, that it may make for alot less work to go new.

Check some of our old threads on this topic to get an idea of what's out there. A little review homework on the topic forums here will pay for itself.

Good luck, keep us in the loop and we'll try to be helfpful!

bucky
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Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 18 2005 - 7:37pm
Re: Help a newbie?

I hooked up my dad's old stereo equipment, which I was surprised to find worked nicely, so I think I'll use these. The speakers are a pair of Mordaunt-Short MS30's, and the receiver is a Vector Research VR-2200A. Have you ever heard of these, or were they just some budget entry level stuff?

Thanks a lot.

JoeE SP9
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Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: Help a newbie?

A Technics 1200 is an OK TT. You should take note that most audiophiles prefer and own belt drive TT's. I have tried direct drive and belt and have settled on a VPI Jr with a Rega RB300 arm. I bought it used ten years ago and have never looked back.

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