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linden518
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Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

I'd like to get into vinyl but am kind of intimidated. Don't even know where to begin! So far, I have my 1st system set: Plinius 8150, Harbeth Super HL5, Cambridge Audio 840C & SB3 as source. Then I remembered that my dad has a whole bunch of LPs back at my house in California which don't see the light of day, i.e. Caruso, out-of-print piano LP's (Really young Horowitz, Dmitri Sguoros playing Liszt, etc etc...) and started getting an idea that I should add a turntable to my system.

But I find it all pretty intimidating. Just setting up a cartridge seems pretty daunting, as I'm not so technically adept. But I've been looking, and it seems that a pretty good system could be had for under $1500, right? (I'd like to go used, but I don't know if that's a good decision, as turntable systems seem very fragile & susceptible to easy damage...)

I've been scoping around here & there and read about Pro-ject 5, VPI Scout & Rega, etc., all of which seem to be well-regarded. And maybe an older Linn LP12? My Plinius has a pretty decent MM/MC stage according to the dealer I got it from... so I should go w/ MC for sure in my system?

I'd appreciate all of your advices, and also, if there's a pretty good website where I can read up on all of this, that would be great. Please recommend some turntable/tonearm/cartridge combos I should look into for my system. (Also, when I purchase Leben CS600 in Japan, Leben should also have a phono stage out by the time I'm there, so I intend to come back to the States w/ both... so please keep this in mind as you recommend.. Thank you!)

bobedaone
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Listen to the Rega P3-24; You will not be sorry. I can't compare it to its contemporaries, but it is - and long has been - the sweet spot in the Rega range, where "better" will cost you dearly.

I'm trying to scrape together enough to buy one right now. I desperately want a turntable, and could buy a P2 TOMORROW, but I'm sitting on my money. The P3 is that good. Food for thougt.

dcstep
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Forget about the Linn because it's too "tweaky". All the others you listed are good, uncomplicated machines. The Rega mentioned is also very good. Chose a dealer that'll set it up for you, so you don't have to worry with the cartridge.

I find that when you buy a package my local dealers meet or beat the mail order prices, or at least get very close. It's nice to have someone with lots of experience aligning your cartridge.

Let us know what you do.

Dave

smejias
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


Quote:
But I find it all pretty intimidating.

Once you decide on a turntable, Michael Fremer's Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up might help you through the scary stuff.

Buddha
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

You live in 'used turntable heaven' in NYC.

Grab an audiophile buddy or someone here and look in the used shops for a well cared for cheap used table.

Heck, take a didgital camera or notepad and pencil and tell us here what you are finding and we'll all chime in!

There are so many bargains, I hesitate to mention brands.

Instead of being intimidated, think of it as an adventure.

You can get some KILLER used bargains on tables, then we'll talk about putting a new cartridge on it!

linden518
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Thanks, Stephen. I just put an order for Fremer's book from Amazon. Looking forward to reading it.

And thanks for that great suggestion, Buddha. But can anyone tell me where I might go to look for used turntables in Manhattan? The only times I actually roamed the city are the times spent looking to get drunk; don't really know what's where in this town. I think I'm going to head to Stereo Exchange to see the Pro-ject turntables to start.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Once a year, there's an audiophile swap meet in Manhattan, but, I forget when it happens (it might be in October); years ago, I bought an old AR-XA for 50 bucks and an oscilloscope for about 25. Even with its crappy arm with clunky headshell, the belt drive AR killed my direct drive Technics in terms of performance, much to my surprise (I have since moved on to a Scoutmaster). Audiophile level turntables are less likely to turn up at Salvation Army shops, but, I suppose it could happen. I remember Stereo Exchange having an old Well Tempered rig for the longest time, but, haven't stopped in there in awhile.

Personally, one of the reasons I chose the VPI was the upgrade path.

linden518
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Buddha - I just read your list of budget turntables in your other thread, and it was EXCELLENT!

I just found out that Fremer has a DVD on how to set up turntable systems?! Maybe I should have bought the DVD instead of the book...

Jeff, I'd love to check out that swap meet. I only wish it was earlier than October, though. The VPI sounds really great, although I only read the Stereophile review of the Scout.

Also, from what I understand, MC is the way to go, right? But I also hear good things about MM cartridges, like the Goldring MM cartridge that Tellig raves about in the review of LFD's phono stage in this month's Stereophile. So what gives?

smejias
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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I just found out that Fremer has a DVD on how to set up turntable systems?!

Yes, the DVD is what I mentioned earlier. Maybe you did purchase the DVD?

Buddha
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


Quote:

Quote:
I just found out that Fremer has a DVD on how to set up turntable systems?!

Yes, the DVD is what I mentioned earlier. Maybe you did purchase the DVD?

The book is almost as good as the DVD if you are able to flip the pages really fast.

linden518
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Oh! I just checked and I DID get the DVD, hooray! Thanks for the recommendation, Stephen. Someone in Audio Asylum also swears by Fremer's DVD, so I'm pretty excited to watch it. God, I'm such a nerd.

Buddha: too funny. But maybe Fremer should do a flip-page book.

smejias
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Buddha: too funny. But maybe Fremer should do a flip-page book.

He probably already has. I'll ask him.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

This is a good primer on MM versus MC:

http://www.needledoctor.com/core/media/m...8&_xt=.html

I have a MM cartridge (Shure V15-MR) that sounds sluggish and opaque to my ears. JA once explained to me that a low output MC would have less distortion and more likely deliver what I crave. I've been researching going the MC route, and to be done right appears to require a considerable expense (at least for my system requirements). I'm not going to rush into anything and plan on exploring my options. You should be patient as well.

Maybe I'll check out some analogue gear with you (I'm in NY).

dcstep
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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I have a MM cartridge (Shure V15-MR) that sounds sluggish and opaque to my ears. JA once explained to me that a low output MC would have less distortion and more likely deliver what I crave. I've been researching going the MC route, and to be done right appears to require a considerable expense (at least for my system requirements). I'm not going to rush into anything and plan on exploring my options. You should be patient as well.

You might want to include High Output moving coils in your consideration. LOMC demand a very quiet step-up transformer or phono-preamp. Starting with high output can result in a much quieter sound for much less investment in front end. The Sumiko Blackbird is a great example.

Dave

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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Listen to the Rega P3-24; You will not be sorry. I can't compare it to its contemporaries, but it is - and long has been - the sweet spot in the Rega range, where "better" will cost you dearly.

Wondering if there are reviews of the P3-24 around? Not yet in stereophile, as far as I know.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Dave - I've considered high output (and it may still be an option on the table), but, knowing my anal retentive self and how demanding I am of my system, I'm thinking doing it right the first time with MC might be the way for me. We'll see... been wrestling with this awhile.

Elk
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

You are going to adore MC. I know precisely what you mean when you describe the sound of the Shure.

Elk
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Buddha: too funny. But maybe Fremer should do a flip-page book.


But wouldn't a flip-page book be <gasp> digital?

linden518
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Maybe I'll check out some analogue gear with you (I'm in NY).

Hey, I'd appreciate that, Jeff! I'll owe you a drink or seven. Maybe we should organize an Analogue/Happy Hour day for the NYC-ers in this forum...

smejias
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Hey, I'd appreciate that, Jeff! I'll owe you a drink or seven. Maybe we should organize an Analogue/Happy Hour day for the NYC-ers in this forum...

Meet up! Let's do it.

linden518
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Meet up! Let's do it.

Sweet! I'm so psyched! Maybe we should start a new thread with the title NYC Analog Drunkards Meet-up & see who's down (Stephen, do you want to start it or shall I put it up?) As for the dates, it would be less hectic for me from mid-February. Family flying over from Cali & too many deadlines.

bobedaone
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

http://www.stereotimes.com/acc010708.shtml

Unlike this reviewer, I've found the power supply to be primarily a convenience item, and not some Heaven-sent sonic necessity. I don't plan to buy a PSU.

smejias
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


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Maybe we should start a new thread with the title NYC Analog Drunkards Meet-up & see who's down (Stephen, do you want to start it or shall I put it up?) As for the dates, it would be less hectic for me from mid-February. Family flying over from Cali & too many deadlines.

A great idea, selfdivider. Please feel free to start it. Thanks so much.

BillB
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...


Quote:
http://www.stereotimes.com/acc010708.shtml

Unlike this reviewer, I've found the power supply to be primarily a convenience item, and not some Heaven-sent sonic necessity. I don't plan to buy a PSU.

Thanks!

dcstep
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

I think it's almost always a good idea to reserve judgement of a power supply until you've lived with the TT a while w/o the power supply. If piano tone wavers and bothers you, then you will want to try the PSU. Some people aren't sensitive to this at all, or never listen to acoustic piano, or something. For them the PSU won't be needed. If you can, compare a DVD-A of piano vs. you TT. You'll either know for certain that you want a PSU or not. I do think peoples' sensitivity to this varies quite widely.

There was a significant improvement with my Pro-ject RM10. Yes, it is more convenient also.

Dave

bobedaone
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Re: Want Vinyl in System but Intimidated...

Thanks for the input, Dave! I don't listen to much piano (at least not with a very critical ear). I am a big fan of cello and orchestral music, however, so I'll have to listen carefully with that material.

At any rate, $1100 will be plenty, whenever it is that I do have enough to take the 3 home. My dealer allows in-home auditions if you're serious, so I'll try out the PSU sometime after the initial purchase, I think.

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