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perfoman85's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 22 2012 - 2:03pm
Vinyl - Entry Level Tube Setup for a Musician

I've had a few stereos throughout the years but I was never able to get the great vinyl sound that i've heard in higher end setups. I have a few bucks to spend and since i'm recently single i'd like to spend them as irresponsibly as possible. I want to build a decent dedicated vinyl setup and i'm looking for advice on equipment that will deliver sound that blows a standard CD setup away in terms of quailty. I don't have a specific budget but I'm also not looking to drop $10k+. I'd like to get something around beginner-audiophile level to whet my appetite.I'd like something that I can upgrade later and apreciate the fun of noticing small improvements as I upgrade my system. For now I'm trying for a best bang-for-the-buck type setup.

Parameters i'm working with are:

  • I got rid of all my audio equip during my last move so I'm starting from scratch (TT, preamp, amp, speaks)
  • My job moves me about every year or two and I will probably live in apartments/small houses for the next few years so I'm looking to avoid big floor speakers. I'd prefer a nice set of shelf speaks.
  • My current living room is square (~20x20) and will contain only my audio setup, bookshelves, and a sitting area (tv is in gaming/computer room)
  • I want a setup geared specifically for vinyl, additional features would be an afterthought. 
  • I'm assuming a seperate phono preamp will deliver better sound than an integrated one (correct me if i'm wrong)
  • I'm an engineer so I wouldn't mind building my own amps/speakers cabs, however only if it is markedly cheaper (I don't have a lot of it, so my free time is very valuble to me)
  • I have no preference on new/used/vintage equipment. If it sounds good, it sounds good. 
  • Design/asthetics are not an issue for this first setup
  • I want an all-tube setup, as analog as it can get. I've played music on various instruments throughout my entire life and have been playing guitar for ~15 years. All of my guitar amps are vintage 60s/70's tube amps and after hearing the vast difference between tubes and tranistors I'd rather stay away from solid state gear
  • As an instrumentalist I tend to focus mainly on the various instruments in each recording (mostly in registers above bass). I can hear a song 1000 times and hum the vocal melody but couldn't tell you the words. I'd like to get a preamp and speaks voiced accordingly, though a manual EQ is a likely first addition to my setup. 
  • My vinyl collection consits mainly of instrumentals: classical (solo piano/chamber/concertos for clarinet or piano), Jazz (piano trios/guitar), Blues (Muddy Waters through contemporary blues), Classic Rock(guitar oriented), Jam Bands(guitar oriented), Bluegrass, Classic Country and Folk (Chet Atkins/Doc Watson), and The Beatles

Again, I don't want to break the bank, but am looking for a best representation of live music for $$ spent. 

Thank you in advance for your input. 

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