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MJD503
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Newbie Question

Very new to the Record/Vinyl listening game. Recently was given a large cache of Vinyl. Bear with me here. Looking into purchasing a record player/turntable.

What I need is a few things: something I can hook up to a receiver while at work, easily portable preferred and also use at home. What do I need to look for so I can move the table from work to home having different set-ups at both places?

At work we have a large component system that has RCA jacks (80's style amp). At home I do not have a large system and would rather not purchase one right away for the purpose of Vinyl enjoyment. Also short on space here so small and compact output would be nice.

I want to be able to listen without purchasing an expensive reciever, speakers and such. What do I need for to save space and money while maximizing my listening at home in terms of sound quality? If I could get a decent table, amp and bookshelf speakers for $200 that would be ideal but I'm flexible on price. Lo-fi or medium-fi is cool by me.

Also, would prefer to find a player that allows me to add/record to Hard Drive via USB or similar.

Lastly, do all record players play all record sizes? Do I need to discern size diffs before purchasing more records? I've noticed there a few different sizes in records but all I got are full sized.

Appreciate your time!

MJD

DBZ
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Re: Newbie Question

You may have come to the wrong place for advice on very cheap, lo-fi gear. The cheapest, decent turntable I've heard of is the Rega P-1 which is reviewed in this month's stereophile. Costs about $350, I think, including cartridge. I doubt that there's ANY really cheapo, mini stereo system that would let you hook up a turntable directly. Turntables require a special preamplifier, which these days wouldn't be found in basic, household products. You're probably looking at $500 at least for a receiver or integrated amp with a built-in phono preamp.
A cheaper option would be to buy an outboard phono preamp. There are some for as little as $100 or so.

Turntables are really not portable devices. I wouldn't try moving it around very often.

As for recording to digital, you can buy various analog to digital converters that accept RCA inputs. I think Edirol makes a fairly inexpensive one. You hook up the output of your phono preamp to the input of the converter. Then you hook the converter into your computer. Some use a USB interface.

MJD503
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Re: Newbie Question

With a quick search, I found the following set-up for $200:
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3719099 :$74.99
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3984736 :$74.99
Cerwin Vega VE5M Compact Size Speaker (Pair per box) : 69.99
Total: $220

Whether that works, who knows. Should I spring for a whole set up in one purchase? Is there such a thing? Maybe I should spring for a record player with built in speakers? I want something a little better though. Sorry if i'm in the wrong place. Any suggestions where to find better info? I figured the hi-fi addicts would have the best answers and info.

CECE
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Re: Newbie Question

Make sure you get good wires for it though. Probably sound as good as some"highly regarded" stuff. What exactly is "highly regarded" Anyway? Brands that are over emphsied in the pages of some magazines?

Monty
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Re: Newbie Question

Several companies used to make portable turntables with built in speakers and everything. I would do an ebay search for an older, used, portable record player.

If it's sound quality you are after, that ain't the way to go. But, before 8 tracks and boom boxes came out, that's what you did if you wanted to carry your music with you.

I wouldn't buy any of the new stuff that's supposed to appeal to nostalgia for $79. That's too much for something that is useless. I know, my inlaws bought me one for Christmas several years ago. It's still in my garage and yes, I did play about half a song on it.

CECE
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Re: Newbie Question

You didn't allow it to fully "break in". How can you judge it, without allowing it to fully form. did you try a new Line cord, maybe one in teh reasonable $1000 range I bet you will hear a difference. If you can't hear a difference, you probably are not an experienced listener. Now don't just say it won't matter on this system, before you actually hear what a new line cord can do. i have heard a difference............in teh amount of money I am told is in my bank, when I bought one of these new $1000 line cords. give it a chance to break in, maybe 3-400 hours of continuos BS should really loosen it up.

DBZ
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Re: Newbie Question

Sorry you had to listen to DUP, who is a big nuisance in the Stereophile forums and seems to have nothing better to do with his time than make sarcastic comments on every thread.

I don't think you'll find any Stereophile reader, though, who would recommend the sound of something like that Numark turntable. I guess one thing I'd want to know is what's the condition of all this vinyl you've got. Are the records already trashed from being played dozens of times on a cheapo turntable. If so, there's probably no point in buying good gear for playback.

CECE
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Re: Newbie Question

Pristine condition of course. Goes back to the 60's and 70's. Never played on junk TT's. AR XA originally. Never had a Garrard automatic TT. Never played with anything heavier than 1.35grams tracking force. Never played on a $100K TT either, but if i do, will it renew the grooves, for $100K it better.

absolutepitch
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Re: Newbie Question

Welcome. I think several responses give good advice for someone geting started in vinyl. If you were given a large number of LPs and if many of those are in good condition, a good turntable will offer much better music than the "$79" variety (as Monty so correctly discourages the use of that kind of TT). A good TT and cartridge will help you preserve the LPs by not putting too much force on the grooves that many simple "record players" do - like the kind with a heavy tonearm and a ceramic cartridge that needs a higher downforce (I used one when I was a kid) that will wear the goove more. I also agree with DBZ's recommendations.

I use an older, straight line tracking TT from the early 1970's that was considered near-state-of-the-art then, and sold for $200, and also have a Dual 1218 that needs work. If you can find something like these, in good condition, it may be worthwhile, but remember that these type of units are over 30 years old, and may need lube, other fixing, etc. I also have been considering a better TT, such as a Rega, a VPI, or something to that effect. No, I can't imagine spending $100K for a TT even if I had the money (for that much money, I would rather use a non-contact TT using a laser or something like that).

Recently, I just started getting into transferring LPs to CDs via a USB connection. What I bought is the Xitel INport from Costco for around $50. I have no experience with this product or any other product for trasnferring LPs. It probably is not high-end, and I could do much better with something else. But, it's a start for me, just as you're starting in vinyl. So far the first test transfer sounds O.K. through headphones. Haven't much time to fully evaluate it yet.

Do come back to the forum; there are many here more than willing to help, if you can get past the few that aren't as amicable. Those few do not aid in encouraging newbies to join, and may hamper the effort to enourage a younger group to enjoy high-end audio hobby (RE: thread "Banning Youth from High-End Audio"). In their defense, sometimes they challenge the current thinking by asking for sanity checks of what is often accepted as agreed-upon high-end "truths". Just look at the thread about power outlets and power line cords, for example, and see the controversy.

Good Luck and let us know what your results are. We'd love to hear about your successes or failures, and hope we can help either way.

CECE
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Re: Newbie Question

checkout www.kabusa.com Some sane TT products.

absolutepitch
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Re: Newbie Question

Thanks for the reference.

Some years ago, I went to the HE show and had a chance to get the 25th anniversary edition of the Linn TT at 50% off. I didn't get it, and regret that I passed-up such an offer. Had I got it, I would not be semi-looking now.

cyclebrain
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Re: Newbie Question

As for the LP library being in good condition, what is that based on? I know of many people that took what they thought was great care of their LPs. Clean, no scratches. But many thinking that less tracking force was better have permenantly damaged their collection because of stylus mistracking. I am one of the guilty parties of this. The records look great but it is not so. My point being, that before getting carried away buying stuff you might want to verify that your collection is what you think it is.

showflash
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Re: Newbie Question

cyclebrain,

How does one go about accurately verifying the quality of an LP or an LP collection? Just asking because I have some(~300) and want to start buying collections.

cyclebrain
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Re: Newbie Question

I think that I have just been busted. I currently have no turntable hooked up and listen only to CDs and XM radio.
I have no answer to your question but I believe that my previous statement is true. A record can be damaged without visual clues. The inner most tracks are most easily damaged because of their closer spacing caused by a reduced radius.
I'm sure that there are many out here that can be of more help.

absolutepitch
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Re: Newbie Question

Regarding your two recent posts, yes the record can be in less than pristine condition without visual clues, just by playing the record over and over for many years. Even when I have low tracking force appropriate for the cartridge, it's possible that a single playing of a new LP will forever alter the groove and is audible in some cases. For the specific cuts on LPs that have been played a lot, I can hear the degradation compared to cuts that are rarely played, in terms of sonic clarity or liveness of the sound. I guess you just live with it. Do keep LPs clean and not touch the grooves with fingers.

I've heard anectdotal stories about the people who inspect the "records" at the manufacturing plant. They use a microscope and look into the groove and assure that there are no defects. It was said that they can tell very quickly if the record is good or not. Most of us are not trained that well, so can't tell except for gross damage to the LP.

I've even heard that there was a person that could look at an LP (with the label and jacket hidden) and can tell what the recording is, i.e. the title, performers, etc.

CECE
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Re: Newbie Question

Look at the grooves and one can know what the recording is!!!! He doesn't review for Stereophile does he?

cyclebrain
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Re: Newbie Question


Quote:
I've even heard that there was a person that could look at an LP (with the label and jacket hidden) and can tell what the recording is, i.e. the title, performers, etc.

I'm not at that level, but I can usually detect if the pressing is analog and what the correct playback speed is just by looking.

Abysmal
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Re: Newbie Question

Stephen Mejias,

This is the kind of rant I'm talking about, which you do NOTHING about day in and day out. Take down his IP address and ban him for a month to start with. WE don't need it and will NOT miss it.

cyclebrain
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Re: Newbie Question


Quote:
Stephen Mejias,

This is the kind of rant I'm talking about, which you do NOTHING about day in and day out. Take down his IP address and ban him for a month to start with. WE don't need it and will NOT miss it.

No, No, No. I disagree. Yes, he often is obnoxious and critical against the industry, and has even been critical of me. But I prefer that to having a Stepford Wives mentality, that has everyone in agreement.

absolutepitch
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Re: Newbie Question

This feat was demonstrated on TV quite a few years ago. I did not get to see it, but have heard about it on two occasions that I can think of. Someone might be able to find some reference to it on-line, if you have time for it. I too am not in that class of talent.

The people who inspected the LP disks during manufacture can remember what the grooves look like and what the recording is. I don't remember what they inspected, the final LP pressing, or the stampers, the mothers, or what.

The human mind can be quite surprising. Once you are familiar with the sound of something, you can remember it quite well. Don't know if this is universal to all people, but that is what I experience. An example for me was one event that happened when I was in grad school. I was doing a lot of repetitive observations and measurements, while the radio in that room was playing a recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. As I listened to it, I suddenly realized that it was the same recording I had at home that I had heard many times. I remarked that it sounds like Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. The person who owned the radio was from Austria and a lover of classical music (obviously), ignored my comment until the piece ended and the announcer says that it was really Herbert von K, etc.! She just turned and stared at me. Is hearing memory really so unreliable as the research literature says? Not in that instance it wasn't.

But we're getting off topic. Sorry.

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