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Justinasia
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Phono amp questions

Hi everyone
I am trying to set up a system to play records. I want to buy a Technics SL-1200, maybe MK3 or 5?
I have an amp already: Audiolab 8000s
but it doesn't have phono input. So I need to buy a seperate one.

Is it right that I must choose between either moving magnet or moving coil, for the amp? As I do not have the layer yet, I want to decide together which is best. Should I get the cheapest Ortofon moving coil cartridge? (I don't want to get the most expensive!)
Really I want to take advantage of the player and amp, so don't want the cartridge and phono-amp to be too low nor uneccesarily high quality for the player and amp. What would suit it?

Also I have seen these amps on sale (second hand). Are they suitable?
-Denon HA-1000
-Audionix MC ADN-III

Thank you very much!
Justin

Jan Vigne
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Re: Phono amp questions

You do not want to buy a moving coil cartridge for the Technics. Buy a mid priced Ortofon, Grado, Audio Technica or Shure. The phono pre amp must match the cartridge you select so buy a pre amp that will work with a moving magnet cartridge. If you have no idea what phono pre amp you might want, either look in Stereophile's recommended components listsings or place "phono pre amp" in a search engine.

I don't know what you're asking about second hand amps. You already have an amplifier, what do you want another amp to do?

Justinasia
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Re: Phono amp questions


Quote:
You do not want to buy a moving coil cartridge for the Technics. Buy a mid priced Ortofon, Grado, Audio Technica or Shure. The phono pre amp must match the cartridge you select so buy a pre amp that will work with a moving magnet cartridge. If you have no idea what phono pre amp you might want, either look in Stereophile's recommended components listsings or place "phono pre amp" in a search engine.

I don't know what you're asking about second hand amps. You already have an amplifier, what do you want another amp to do?

Thank you very much for your advise. About those 2 amps - they are phono amps (pre-amp, or pre-preamp?) so I think I need something like that, as my amp has no phono input. But they are gone now anyway (auction).
So, I will go with the moving magnet type. What is "mid-range"? Like, do I just go by cost? If so, what is "mid-range" cost? Is there a particular model of Ortofon you recommend?

Also, the phono preamp - does the output of that go into the normal pre-amp or power amp?

Thank you very much.
Justin

Jan Vigne
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Re: Phono amp questions

What is midrange price? What kind of car do you drive? Where do you live? Do you pull into McDonald's or Casa de MegaBuck? You know what midrange price is for you. I can't tell you. If you are going with the Ortofon cartridge, there is nothing in their moving magnet line up that would mechanically be too much cartridge for your Technics arm. The top priced cartridge might be more than you need since the cost of diminishing returns is always a factor in audio. As you spend more, the gains become less and it is only your budget and your mania that determine where that point of diminishing returns will fall. Contact a few of the sellers who advertise in Stereophile, tell them you got their name from the money they spent supporting the magazine and they can give you the advice you need to choose the correct cartridge for your needs. Picking a cartridge is very much like picking a speaker as they are both transducers and both have a distinctive sound due to that fact. The retailers will be able to suggest which catridge will suit your tastes.

Typically you will plug the phono pre amp into your control/line level pre amp. The control/line level pre amp than feeds the signal to your power amplifier.

jrhymeammo
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Re: Phono amp questions

Hello to JustinAsian and everyone else here. I just signed up 5 minutes ago. I wanted my first post to be in the Analog section, but this will be just as good.

So, I guess what you need to know first is what type of phono preamp to get. I dont think we still know you budget for your upcoming vinyl setup. Sounds like you are interested in MC cartridges. Most of MC carts can be driven with 47kohms inputs which is a typical MM inputs. You would just need to make sure phonopre's output is sufficient enough to drive your cartridge output. If you get a high output MC, then you can driving them with a MM phonostage. But if you are interested in playing with a low-output cart then your phono pre out need to have a much higher output(say around 60db gain). For your future investments, it may be wise to get a phono-stage that has both MM and MC capability.

Just keep this as a rough reference:
Cart output --------- Gain you may need
2.5mv and up ----------- 40db gain
0.5mv or less ----------- 60db gain

So try to get a suitable cart around your phono-pre, then after that you want to make your a cart will comply with your tonearm. That'll be another topic....

If you havent seen this site already, then have a look to get a some ideas.
http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store...mljGr5XDqQLvpAe

Good Luck,

JRA

JoeE SP9
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Re: Phono amp questions

Very nice first post.

Justinasia
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Re: Phono amp questions

Well, I'd really like to start again, but not wanting to make this forum overcrouded with threads, I'll just continue here. This is the real issue now:

I am wishing to purchase a Technics SL-1200 (MK 3 or 4 or 5). My amp doesn't have a phono input, so I will also need a phono preamp. My question is, what preamp would suit this deck? And, what cartridge? I want to take the best advantage of the deck. I don't want to get an amp and cartridge which would not make full use of the decks capability, and, at the same time, I don't want to waste extra money on equipment which would not be noticeably much different on this deck.
Thanking you in advance for your advise,
Justin

JoeE SP9
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Re: Phono amp questions

Why a DJ turntable?

Buddha
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Re: Phono amp questions

Hey, JoeE!

That Technics has a large Hi Fi cult following. Big enough, in fact, that there are even tweak/mod sites for that baby!

I'm curious enough to wish I could find a 1200 tweaker and hear what it can do!

I am not a member of that cult, myself, but I do still have my vintage 1977 SL 1700.

I'm thinking a new plater mat (I've got an old Discwasher felt mat on it now,) an upgrade to that cute little suspension it had, an arm damping tweak, and, Presto! New toy!

Cheers.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Phono amp questions

Buddha - I think the only way you're going to get close to the kind of sound you crave from a Technics is to replace the arm. I've got a stock direct drive SLD2-02 and a lightly modded, ancient, belt drive AR-XA. Even with its notoriously crappy, barely adjustable arm, the AR killed (killed!) the Technics.

There was at least one mod shop for the old AR that supposedly got it to be competitive with high-end gear, but, this involved virtually replacing everything except the box and metal plate. I've been in forums where people swore by using Technics turntables that had been drilled out for better arms. Having never heard a modded one personally, I can't really comment on the sound. But, I do have my doubts about the direct drive motor and likely resonances of the plastic shell. I've seen articles where Garrard 301s were implanted in granite bases... seems cool, but, I can't help but think more recent technology is the way to go for truly good sound. The other stuff certainly has project fun factor for sure, but, modding can run up the bill.

Buddha
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Re: Phono amp questions

Ah, yes, the "tweaker's trickle," as I call it.

Kind of like reaching the point where your current car's monthly upkeep costs outpace the amount of a payment on a new car.

I have a vintage Gyrodec that I keep thinking of following the upgrade path for, but when you add up all the updates, it's cheaper to buy new! The original Zeta/Van Den Hul arm and wiring still work great, lo these many years.

Same with upgrading the Technics - even a small cash outlay for upgrades approaches the value of the table.

The original Technics arm had really smooth bearings, and I have an old aftermarket headshell and wiring on it (from 1980 or so)...so I'm thinking disassembly and replacement of the suspension with whatever seems like it would be fun to try, and maybe some sort of arm damping (removable)...limit, 20 dineros.

You know, that arm "floated" better than many Hi Fi arms of the day. Those bearings seemed frictionless!

Anyhow, I also dug out a couple of old B.I.C. 1000 tables and I'm thinking the two of them may be able to produce one working table.

How cool would it be to demo at the T.H.E. Show with an LP changer!!

I was never all that fond of the B.I.C. tonearm, but maybe with a little time spent...

Cheers!

Jeff Wong
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Re: Phono amp questions

I always thought it would be cool to build a turntable (and amplifier) where the integral base was a sandbox. The standoffs for the circuit board in the amp would be buried in the sand.

To keep this thread from getting too far off topic, I was thinking the original poster might consider making his own phono preamp:

http://sound.westhost.com/project06.htm

I haven't built this particular project, but, I have experimented with a variety of op amps over the years. The NE5532 is warm, but, very muddy and slow as compared to the OPA2134.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Phono amp questions

My VPI-Jr purchased in 1987 and brought up to full HW-19 specs works fine for me. The RB300 arm with new wiring, weight and VTA adjuster matches the TT quite well.

Justinasia
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Re: Phono amp questions


Quote:
My VPI-Jr purchased in 1987 and brought up to full HW-19 specs works fine for me. The RB300 arm with new wiring, weight and VTA adjuster matches the TT quite well.


Hi Jeff
Thank you for posting on topic! It is a relief to finally get a reply related to my question.
Then, do you think if I made this amp, it would be as good as the phono stage in, say, a $400 or $500 dollar preamp? Honest opinion?
Plus, what tools would I need? How much do you think all the parts would cost?
Thank you very much
Justin

Jeff Wong
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Re: Phono amp questions

Hi Justin,

Having not built or heard the preamp, I couldn't give you a useful answer regarding the sound or performance. But, I do imagine the project would be fun and a nice intro to DIY. Here's a link to someone who built it:

http://sound.westhost.com/rl-p09.htm#top

Granted it's on the same site and the site owner does sell his projects, but, they're relatively inexpensive -- I think the phono board is $14.00 US. The parts count is pretty low, but, the cost could range quite a bit, depending on what kind of parts you use. You could use generic metal film resistors, or more boutique ones that could cost a few dollars each. Same thing with caps. It depends on how you might want to voice the device (different parts result in different sonic attributes.)

For boutique parts, check here:

http://www.percyaudio.com/

For more basic stuff:

http://www.mouser.com/

http://www.digikey.com/

Just glancing at the circuit board and doing a quick guesstimate, the parts to stuff the board might run you $100? The only way to be sure is to check the parts & cost with the places listed above. Bear in mind you'll need a case and some kind of power supply. The thing is, a real manufacturer has overhead and R&D costs to recoup. They might have saved money by buying parts in bulk, but, it wouldn't surprise me if you built this, that you'd have a competitive piece of gear (provided Rod Elliott's design is sound.)

Minimally, you'd need a soldering iron, and maybe a multimeter to test what you've done. With DIY, especially, if you're just learning, you'll want to practice soldering and desoldering, and you'll need some things for that.

http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderfaq.htm

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