You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Jmowrer's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: May 10 2013 - 6:37pm
Entry Level System under $450

Hello all,

I've been pouring over this site and a couple others trying to soak up as much information as I can. I decided I wanted to get into the world of Vinyl from the world of CDs and MP3s. The information on systems is dizzing and pretty overwhelming, but there is a lot of great useful information for those of us just starting out. I wish I had the budget for a high end system, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. I wanted to post what I put together and get some opinions, criticisms, and to give a potential system build to other noobs trying to put a low cost system together to start out. I have to say I am really pleased with the sound I am getting out of my cheap system. Here's what I have:

Turntable - Audio Technica AT-LP120 $237
Preamp - ART DJ Pre II Phono Preamp $49
Amplifier - Dayton DTA 100A $92
Speakers - Dayton B652 $51
Dayton Audio SCP-6 6 Feet Cable $45 (I think this was probably uncessary with my system)

Grand total of $429 without the cables or $474 with the cables.

I couldn't be happier with the sound I'm hearing. I'm sure in time I will find a way to upgrade my turntable, speakers, and preamp, but as a starter system this sounds exceptional.

(I did buy some accessories like a spin clean, an mofi brush, 4 mil sleeves, mofi inner sleeves, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, micro scale, and an odyssey album case. None of which is critical to get started...but nice to have.)

Any recommendations on a cartridge upgrade in a few months? Would an Ortofon 2m Red be a good match for my system?

Demondog's picture
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
Joined: Feb 22 2009 - 5:01pm
It's great you are enjoying

It's great you are enjoying your system. You've really put something together at a minimal price.

I'm no turntable expert, and an Ortofon 2m Red could probably be useful even with a better turntable in the future, but I'm not sure I would be very excited at the thought of putting money into a cartridge for your current turntable. I think if it were me, I would save for a future turntable/cartridge combination upgrade in one swoop. But what do I know, haha. let us know how it goes.

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Why did you get the phono preamp?

I thought that turntable has a built in phono preamp. Could have saved $50.

Jmowrer's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: May 10 2013 - 6:37pm
I see your point, Demondog.

I see your point, Demondog.  Makes more sense to put that money towards a future TT than a cartridge for this one. much as I try, I don't always operate on sense.


Jackfish, you're right it does have a built in phono preamp though in several forum postings I've seen people recommend removing the built in preamp and using a dedicated one.  I'm not ready to do surgery on my new TT.  I bought the DJ Pre II based on several forum reviews around the net and I'm pretty pleased.  To my ears it does seem to be an improvement over the built in preamp.  Of course without the seperate phono preamp the cost would be $380 to start in vinyl.

  • X