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dotchaos
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Upgrade recos (Marantz PM-17, Music Hall MMF5, Linn Tukan)

Hi All,

I put together a system back in the early 2000s and am looking at possible upgrades.

My MMF5 needs a new cartridge and stylus. Would my first upgrade be a new turntable, or would replacing those with something better than Grado Reds be a substantial improvement in and of itself.

I've enjoyed the Lynn's, but they are feeling slightly underpowered for my larger living situation.

The Marantz PM-17 has worked well for me, esp. with the built-in phono preamp.

That's my whole system, so there you have it :)

I have around 3,500 vinyl records across all genres, but featuring a lot of acoustical instrument recordings and jazz, and some rock/pop

Thanks in advance for any advice

Cheers,
John

wkhanna
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The MMF-5 is still a decent

The MMF-5 is still a decent TT.
You have yet to hear how good of a table it really is.
Save the TT upgrade for another day
Keep the Grado as an emergency bAck-up only, & upgrade that cartridge to a Dynavector, Ortofon, Denon DL-103 or other brand/model of your choice.
You will be V happy & quite surprised, I suspect.

Regarding the Linn’s……
Is you room too big for them?
What do you feel is lacking?
Do they seem bright to you?

3500 LP's?
Do you own a vacuum record cleaner yet?

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

dotchaos
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MMF5 - Thanks + answer

Hi Bill,

Thank you kindly for your response.

Since writing my original message, I decided to keep the MMF5 as it is so simple and I believe it has many years left. I changed the motor and ordered an Ortofon cart and cork mat.

The Linns feel "thin", perhaps it's the volume or the configuration of the room, or possibly the connects are just degrading. I am looking at the Dynaudio DM 2/7s as a possible upgrade. From what I've read, they are a good match for my system.

Again, thanks for taking the time to write back.

Best,
John

wkhanna
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dotchaos wrote:
dotchaos wrote:

Thank you kindly for your response.

You are most welcome, John.

dotchaos wrote:

Since writing my original message, I decided to keep the MMF5 as it is so simple and I believe it has many years left. I changed the motor and ordered an Ortofon cart and cork mat.

I believe you have made a good choice.
May I ask why you found it necessary to replace the motor?

dotchaos wrote:

The Linns feel "thin", perhaps it's the volume or the configuration of the room, or possibly the connects are just degrading. I am looking at the Dynaudio DM 2/7s as a possible upgrade. From what I've read, they are a good match for my system.

Do I understand correctly that your system in now in a larger room than what it was originally?

While terminations can show some improvement when cleaned, I would be quite surprised if it would be of enough significance to fill the 'missing pieces' you are in pursuit of.

Do you have any places to audition speakers that are within a day's round-trip?

I am also still curious about that record cleaner ; )

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

dotchaos
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dotchaos wrote:
dotchaos wrote:

Thank you kindly for your response.

wkhanna wrote:

You are most welcome, John.

dotchaos wrote:

Since writing my original message, I decided to keep the MMF5 as it is so simple and I believe it has many years left. I changed the motor and ordered an Ortofon cart and cork mat.

wkhanna wrote:

I believe you have made a good choice.
May I ask why you found it necessary to replace the motor?

The motor was humming loudly after about 30 mins play (and had been for many months). I read about 2 solutions: 1. Try a drop of oil, or 2. Replace the motor. I wrote to Roy Hall and he suggested the latter, given the age of the turntable.

dotchaos wrote:

The Linns feel "thin", perhaps it's the volume or the configuration of the room, or possibly the connects are just degrading. I am looking at the Dynaudio DM 2/7s as a possible upgrade. From what I've read, they are a good match for my system.

wkhanna wrote:

Do I understand correctly that your system in now in a larger room than what it was originally?

While terminations can show some improvement when cleaned, I would be quite surprised if it would be of enough significance to fill the 'missing pieces' you are in pursuit of.

Do you have any places to audition speakers that are within a day's round-trip?

The space is now larger and bleeds into another room. Not an ideal situation. The current cartridge is long due for replacing, will wait to see how everything sounds after the Ortofon is in.

wkhanna wrote:

I am also still curious about that record cleaner ; )

Believe it or not, I cleaned them all manually as I acquired them. The record cleaners always seemed to pricy and persnickety. Thinking back on it, would have been a good idea.

Best,
John

wkhanna wrote:

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

“Bill - on the Hill”: “Lookout Joe” reference?

wkhanna
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Not a NY ref.....

I just happen to live on a hill.....

I too have my system in a non-symmetrical room with a large archway adjacent to the right-hand speaker.
This hobby is all about how you deal with compromises. ; )

You will most likely find better sound with a larger speaker, the Linn's were never intended to fill large areas.

I have never the heard the Dynaudio DM 2/7s & can not offer any advise other to say audition speakers in-home if at all possible.

Likely a good call on the motor replacement.
Roy is a decent fellow from my experience.

I will still press upon you the value of a vacuum RCM.
I purchased a used VPI 16.5 long ago.
Probably one of the better investments in audio gear I ever made.

Your pursuits seem to be on an unhurried schedule.
A good strategy, imho.

Good hunting.
Be well, John,

Bill – on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
– just an “ON” switch, Please –

dotchaos
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Thanks again, Bill. Likewise.

Thanks again, Bill. Likewise.

I'll take another look at cleaners :)

John

bierfeldt
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Listening in home

I could not agree with wkhanna more regarding listening in-home. Given the unique issue that you have regarding the different listening space, I would think that is one of the more critical things you could do.

Check the return policy at the store you buy the speakers from. I spent a bit more but a prerequisite for me in choosing a speaker was that it had to have 30 day return policy since I have a non-traditional placement in my room. Fortunately, I made a wise decision with what I selected for my space and didn't need to take advantage of the return policy but was darn glad I had it as it was a lot easier to pull the trigger and get what I wanted in home.

Regarding the Dynaudio's, I have not heard the DM line but broadly think very, very highly of Dynaudio. I can't say enough good things about the Excite and Focus lines. I did see the review of them at WhatHIFI and they gave them 5 stars which means highly recommended at its price point.

dotchaos
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Thank you, Bierfeldt. Good

Thank you, Bierfeldt. Good info. Cheers!

commsysman
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Phono Preamp
dotchaos wrote:

Hi All,

I put together a system back in the early 2000s and am looking at possible upgrades.

My MMF5 needs a new cartridge and stylus. Would my first upgrade be a new turntable, or would replacing those with something better than Grado Reds be a substantial improvement in and of itself.

I've enjoyed the Lynn's, but they are feeling slightly underpowered for my larger living situation.

The Marantz PM-17 has worked well for me, esp. with the built-in phono preamp.

That's my whole system, so there you have it :)

I have around 3,500 vinyl records across all genres, but featuring a lot of acoustical instrument recordings and jazz, and some rock/pop

Thanks in advance for any advice

Cheers,
John

I think that adding a good phono preamp would be a revelation.

The phono preamp in the Marantz is really not very desirable IMO; pretty basic and not so good.

The Musical Fidelity V90-LPS is only $229 and you will find this a huge improvement in sound quality IMO.

The Musical Fidelity M1LPS, for $450, would be an even bigger improvement.

The Monitor Audio Silver Series 2 speakers are excellent speakers, and with their 8-inch bass drivers have far more bass and power output than most other bookshelf/monitor speakers. They run $1100 per pair I believe. They might be what you want. They sound very nice and will fill a larger room with relative ease. Just get them from Audio Advisor, and after a week or two you can return them for a refund if they do not suit you. You have 30 days. In-home listening is essential, so this is the way to do it.

I am using a Benz Micro Ace Cartridge on my MMF-7, and it is excellent, for what that is worth. There are many cartridges in the $300-600 price range that will be a great improvement to your turntable.

LinnEric
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Linn Tukan

Hi,
I just like to know you this:

In my room I had the same problem with the "thin" sound of the Tukans. However not too bad, I found the solution in replacing the poweramp (previous Yamaha)in 2x a Linn Majik 2100 (or 1 Majik 4200 will do); and adding active cards. So the Tukans are now playing active; a huge improvement. More bass and more powerfull. In my opinion they sound better than speakers 3 or 4 times the original price....

with regards
Eric.

Catch22
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The Tukans can only go so low, which isn't very low

A sub would really fill in the sound and the Tukans really need the help below about 60hz. The Dynaudios will get you down to around 40hz and are comparable in sensitivity and amp requirements. The Marantz would do fine.

40hz is a pretty good benchmark in being able to have a system capable of delivering the goodies. Given your taste for music, I think either a sub or sixing the Tukans for speakers that can get you down to 40hz is the best upgrade path. As much as I love Dyanadio speakers, you have many modestly priced options that would be a substantial improvement over the Tukans.

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