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brsanko
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What to replace what to keep

I currently have a Technics SL-D2 direct drive turntable with a Ortofon cartridge I paid about $69 for at The Neddle Doctor I forget the model, connected to my Denon AVR-1906 receiver through an old Marantz integrated I'm using as a phono stage. My speakers are B&W DM220s. It is a humble set up but it serves me well. The Marantz is being moved to another room for other duties and I am planing on investing about $500 into my playback system. My question is would I be best served spending the entire $500 on a phono stage or should I also replace the cartridge, or should I just get a whole new turntable? Any suggestions are welcome. Just don't tell me to replace the receiver because it is in my living room and is my main HT system.

bifcake
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Save a few grand and then reassess.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep


Quote:
Save a few grand and then reassess.


Don't be such a f'n snob. My system is 10X better than what the average person has in their home and $500 could make a significant difference in the quality of vinyl playback. I don't make a lot of money and will probably never spend "a couple grand" on record playing gear in my life time, as it would be extreemly irrisponsible. HIFI is a hobby, it's for fun. So telling some one they can't even play without "a couple grand" means you have your head up your @$$!!!!

Now if anyone with some genuine experience and a spirit of helpfulness would like to offer me some advice in line with my actual question it would be apreciated. And somebody tell this jackass that with his stupid I paid more for mine so I'm better than you attitude to stay out of the budget forum.

bjh
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Why not get used Project Phono Box SE? It shouln't cost more than $200, probably less, and they come up on AudiogoN fairly regularly.

Of course it's not the last word in refinement but it has a high "fun factor", a big sound with impressive dynamic quality that is rare in budget phono stages (which as a group tend to be dry or sterile sounding).

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Sorry if my last post was a little salty, but the first response wasn't what I was looking for and was not helpful at all. Thanks for the advice that still leaves me with $300. What are your thoughts on the cartridge and turntable?

JohnMichael
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Brett I have had great success with the Cambridge Audio 640P phono preamp. I would recommend it for about $190 and with the Ortofon if it is one of the OM models you can improve the sound by upgrading the stylus. If you have an OM 10 cart. it will sound better with the OM 20 or 30 stylus. Ortofon recommends this as an upgrade since the bodies are the same.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Looks like it's the OM 10 but I noticed that the plastic body of the cartridge is cracked it seems to still work fine I don't know if this would affect it sonicly. Although this could just be a seam because it doesn't seem to open at the crack. Basically I want to know how to get the best sounding phono set up possible for my $500. When I bought the cartridge I said I was looking to spend about $150 on it and the kid asked me if my turntable was belt driven or not. I told him it wasn't so he said I should stay away from Grado because they tend to hum on DD tables. I've never heard this anywhere else so I'm kinda questioning it. He then directed me to the OM 10 for $69 which I though was kinda odd. He must not work on commission. But then I spent $250 on a Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine. I really think my $250 could have gone to better use. What are your opinions on the Pro-Ject Tube Box it's a little more spendy but if I could find a used one it might be in my price range.

bifcake
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Re: What to replace what to keep


Quote:

Quote:
Save a few grand and then reassess.


Don't be such a f'n snob. My system is 10X better than what the average person has in their home and $500 could make a significant difference in the quality of vinyl playback. I don't make a lot of money and will probably never spend "a couple grand" on record playing gear in my life time, as it would be extreemly irrisponsible. HIFI is a hobby, it's for fun. So telling some one they can't even play without "a couple grand" means you have your head up your @$$!!!!

Now if anyone with some genuine experience and a spirit of helpfulness would like to offer me some advice in line with my actual question it would be apreciated. And somebody tell this jackass that with his stupid I paid more for mine so I'm better than you attitude to stay out of the budget forum.

Wow! Nice! This is what I get for trying to help. Sir, you're true class act.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

I apologize I over reacted I'm sure your intentions we not to be a snob, but if you look at what I wrote and consider my financial situation your comment wasn't particularly helpful. If I could save a couple of grand I would buy myself a better car. If I spend $500 a year on my audio system I'll be spending a little more than I should seeing as I only make about $1000 a month. Now I realize you didn't know this but you should try to be a little more sensitive to other peoples budgets. Once again I apologize for being rude.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Just curious, and I'm probably displaying my ignorance here but how do these preamps compare to the one built into my Marantz PM300 amp?

bifcake
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Apology accepted.

Let me elaborate on my thinking vis-a-vis budgetary constraints. The way I see it, your system is pretty much as good as it can get given your budgetary constraints. I think that spending $500 to replace your current components would result in lateral shifts, rather than upgrades. You could try getting a different cartridge or an arm and it would make your setup sound somewhat different, but not necessarily better. If you want to play around with different sounds, then you can try different components, etc. However, I really feel that your current set of components cannot benefit from a $500 upgrade. They're good enough not to need it.

Perhaps you should consider getting yourself a set of good headphones and a headphone amp? That may open up some possibilities for you.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Well it's just that I'm moving the Marantz to another room so I need a phono preamp as the Denon doesn't have one. So I guess I really want to know how much money I should invest in it and what benefits would be attained. Eventually I plan to get a power amp to power my speakers and just use the receiver as a preamp. So if I buy a phono stage I want it to be a good one that will bring out the best in a amplifier when I get one. I guess I was just wondering if the turntable I have is a decent one or if I could benefit from purchasing a different one with in that price range.

bifcake
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Here is a very economical phono stage. It's probably better than most phono stages built into receivers. If you want to spend a bit more, try this

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Yeah I was checking that Antique Sound Labs one out a few hours ago unfortunatly it will probably be sold before I get the money, but I imagine there will always be a good deal to be had on AudiogoN. On a side note here's something else I was drooling over earlier today.http://cgi.ebay.com/Cary-Audio-Design-SE...1QQcmdZViewItem

Jeff Wong
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Brett - I do wonder if spending the allotted funds as mentioned might result in a lateral or inaudible shift as AlexO suggests. I wonder if you might gain more significant changes by a slightly different approach. I was thinking if you could stretch your budget by 100 dollars to $600, you could get the Outlaw receiver that has a built in phono stage.

http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/306outlaw/

This may not be ideal as your Denon appears to be the heart of your system which incorporates home theatre, but, it might provide different 2 channel sound and phono--just an option to consider.

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Not going to give up surround sound for phono playback. If I wanted to go that route I would just switch to using the Marantz. I wouldn't be suprised if it equaled the Outlaw in sound quality. The Denon was a $550 receiver (I didn't pay that much mind you) and really sounds pretty decent, worlds above the Sony and Technics crap I had previously. I think adding a good phono stage is going to do more than replacing the whole rig. If I didn't need the Marantz for my studio downstairs I might consider using it both as a phono stage and using it to power my main speakers. That way when I play records I could turn the Denon off altogether. But alas I am moving the Marantz downstairs and so will need a new phono stage. Till I get one I'll have to use the one built into my Technics integrated amp.

Elk
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Re: What to replace what to keep

Another vote for a good phono stage. In particular, buying used will easily get you something that sounds good and improves the overall sound. This also gives you some added flexibility when you change things again in the future - something always seems to come up.

Remember to report back after you decide what to move/change/buy. It's always great to have more data points and we like knowing what others decide to do.

Buddha
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Re: What to replace what to keep


Quote:
Brett I have had great success with the Cambridge Audio 640P phono preamp. I would recommend it for about $190 and with the Ortofon if it is one of the OM models you can improve the sound by upgrading the stylus. If you have an OM 10 cart. it will sound better with the OM 20 or 30 stylus. Ortofon recommends this as an upgrade since the bodies are the same.

Man, that was a near perfect reply.

I don't think you could squeeze out anything more in terms of bang for your buck!

I am slightly familiar with that table, and it may also be worth investing in some sort of isolation for the table. That could yield some good bang for the buck, too.

Where do you keep your table?

brsanko
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Re: What to replace what to keep

I keep the turntable atop a four shelf rack which holds (from top to bottom)my Toshiba power amp,which powers my subwoofer, the aforementioned Marantz, my three DVD players(it's a long story), and of course the turntable. (see attachments) the rack sits right in front of the subwoofer which I'm sure causes some unwanted vibrations. When I first installed the rack it was touching the sub box and this caused serious hum when I played records.

Looks like I'm going to have to replace the stylus on my cartridge because when I removed the headshell to see what model the cartridge was some how the tip got bent. I didn't notice it until I decided to play my Coltrane Plays the Blues record and the needle slid right across it. So then I jacked up the tracking force so it wouldn't slide and the sound was very distorted. I tried to bend it back into shape but it didn't help. I can't believe a stylus for a $69 cartridge costs $45. You can't tell me the rest of the cartridge is only worth $24. What do you suggest for isolation. As you can see from the photos I also need to invest in some acoustic treatment. I was thinking of hanging some thick curtains on the walls.

Ok I don't get it HTF do you post attachments!!

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