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matrickm
Jun 3, 2012, 08:09 PM
I was volunteering at a thrift store and a lady came in with all of these old records- beatles, rolling stones, pink floyd, etc. I ended up getting like 20 of them for $10. So, I'm now in the market for a record player and a decent set of speakers. I want to spend less than $300 for both. Will add more speakers later, not looking for a whole system at the moment (well not able to afford one at the moment).

2 important things:

I don't want to lose analog sound (not sure if modern speakers/adapters somehow digitalize the sound or something).

I also want to be able to plug speakers into my ipod.


Suggestions?



Destroysall
Jun 3, 2012, 10:13 PM
That's a tough one. Honestly, finding a good turntable isn't exactly easy as each turntable sounds different.

I would recommend bringing this question to the Head-Fi community in which, despite them being headphone enthusiast, there are still some huge audiophiles there that can better help you with this matter.

www.Head-Fi.org

ChrisA
Jun 3, 2012, 11:14 PM
I was volunteering at a thrift store and a lady came in with all of these old records- beatles, rolling stones, pink floyd, etc. I ended up getting like 20 of them for $10. So, I'm now in the market for a record player and a decent set of speakers. I want to spend less than $300 for both. Will add more speakers later, not looking for a whole system at the moment (well not able to afford one at the moment).

2 important things:

I don't want to lose analog sound (not sure if modern speakers/adapters somehow digitalize the sound or something).

I also want to be able to plug speakers into my ipod.


Suggestions?

If want sound so good that you can tell if the signal has been digitized then you have a hugely unrealistic budget. By a factor of at least 10x.

That aid these are older likely well-used recordings. I doubt they are the kind of vinyl the audiophile talk about. Vinyl records can be very much degraded by being played even just a few times on a cheap player. You will have to check. You might be lucky or not.

That you need are FOUR things.
1) A turn table that is outfitted with tone arm and cartridge. This what takes the signal of the record and converts it to an analog electrical signal.

2) A "phono preamplifier" you can buy a stand alone pre-amp but almost every stereo receiver has one built-in. You might even own one already if you have an "AV Receiver" connected to your TV set. This is NOT optional. Al records are made with an kind of compression and the phono preamp decompresses the signal

3) A "power amplifier" This makes the signal from the pre-amp bigger so it can drive speakers

4) A Pair of speakers,


OPTIONS:
(A) Many times #2 and #3 are built into the same box. Many time also with an FM radio receiver inside. Goes by names like "stereo receiver" or "integrated amplifier"

(B) Some times #3 and #4 are built into the same box. These are called "powered speakers" or "active speakers"

Please do note that you can NOT simply plug a pair of powered speakers into a turn table. I think this is what you were asking for.

I think a reasonable low-end budget might be close to $600. When you do go shopping no matter what your budget you get the best result if half the budget is in speakers. Divide the other half over the stereo receiver and speakers.

These are not bad speakers for the price:
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monitor-AM6025-A-Floorstanding/dp/B0002Z2416/ref=pd_cp_e_1

They still make inexpensive turn tables too:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_033DP29F/Denon-DP-29F.html?tp=200

A generic receiver is likey good enough
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8255/Onkyo-TX-8255.html?tp=47041


The above would be a "decent" analog system, not great but likely better than what most people have today. If you are filling to move the signal to digital they currently make some "USB Turntables" th=ey are low quality but also inexpensive, and of course don't preserve an analog signal path.

I'm sure others will find other gear to recommend. I'd not recommending anything, just showing examples

Destroysall
Jun 3, 2012, 11:32 PM
If want sound so good that you can tell if the signal has been digitized then you have a hugely unrealistic budget. By a factor of at least 10x.

That aid these are older likely well-used recordings. I doubt they are the kind of vinyl the audiophile talk about. Vinyl records can be very much degraded by being played even just a few times on a cheap player. You will have to check. You might be lucky or not.

That you need are FOUR things.
1) A turn table that is outfitted with tone arm and cartridge. This what takes the signal of the record and converts it to an analog electrical signal.

2) A "phono preamplifier" you can buy a stand alone pre-amp but almost every stereo receiver has one built-in. You might even own one already if you have an "AV Receiver" connected to your TV set. This is NOT optional. Al records are made with an kind of compression and the phono preamp decompresses the signal

3) A "power amplifier" This makes the signal from the pre-amp bigger so it can drive speakers

4) A Pair of speakers,


OPTIONS:
(A) Many times #2 and #3 are built into the same box. Many time also with an FM radio receiver inside. Goes by names like "stereo receiver" or "integrated amplifier"

(B) Some times #3 and #4 are built into the same box. These are called "powered speakers" or "active speakers"

Please do note that you can NOT simply plug a pair of powered speakers into a turn table. I think this is what you were asking for.

I think a reasonable low-end budget might be close to $600. When you do go shopping no matter what your budget you get the best result if half the budget is in speakers. Divide the other half over the stereo receiver and speakers.

These are not bad speakers for the price:
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monitor-AM6025-A-Floorstanding/dp/B0002Z2416/ref=pd_cp_e_1

They still make inexpensive turn tables too:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_033DP29F/Denon-DP-29F.html?tp=200

A generic receiver is likey good enough
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8255/Onkyo-TX-8255.html?tp=47041


The above would be a "decent" analog system, not great but likely better than what most people have today. If you are filling to move the signal to digital they currently make some "USB Turntables" th=ey are low quality but also inexpensive, and of course don't preserve an analog signal path.

I'm sure others will find other gear to recommend. I'd not recommending anything, just showing examples

That is indeed very helpful, ChrisA. My knowledge of turntable setups are small, which was my reason for recommending that OP take this subject to Head-Fi.

Also, my suggestion of speakers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290202

fastlanephil
Jun 4, 2012, 12:18 AM
I want to be able to plug speakers into my ipod.


Suggestions?

Ear buds. ;)

ChrisA
Jun 4, 2012, 10:23 AM
That is indeed very helpful, ChrisA. My knowledge of turntable setups are small, which was my reason for recommending that OP take this subject to Head-Fi.

Also, my suggestion of speakers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290202

Those are very much like the Polk M60 I suggested. Same brand and similar sound but I think the M60 is better. they will reach down in the bass a bit more and are not "boomy". But over all the same style of sound

But you will need a stand of those bookshelf speakers. Why not simply buy a floor standing speaker and not get the stand? You get better sound and less cost. Might depend on the space you have but if you care about sound you are going to place the speakers out from the wall. Speaker placement matters as much as the brand of speaker

Destroysall
Jun 4, 2012, 06:55 PM
Those are very much like the Polk M60 I suggested. Same brand and similar sound but I think the M60 is better. they will reach down in the bass a bit more and are not "boomy". But over all the same style of sound

But you will need a stand of those bookshelf speakers. Why not simply buy a floor standing speaker and not get the stand? You get better sound and less cost. Might depend on the space you have but if you care about sound you are going to place the speakers out from the wall. Speaker placement matters as much as the brand of speaker

True. I only recommended them just in case space was an issue.

brendu
Jun 4, 2012, 09:59 PM
I believe this will suit your needs.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=record+player&hl=en&client=safari&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=672&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=5011198640237698423&sa=X&ei=aHTNT6GYF4fg2AW70oSKAw&ved=0CK4BEPICMAU

lord patton
Jun 5, 2012, 12:27 AM
Pro-ject makes great inexpensive turntables… although inexpensive is relative. I think I paid ~$300 for mine 10 years ago and it's been great.
I suggest looking for a used integrated amp in the audiophile aftermarket. And then get whatever speakers you can afford. The previous suggestion of $600 all-in is a good one. If that seems like way too much then just get the cheapest thing you can find and enjoy your records. You'll know in a year if it's something you want to pursue with $$$$ or if it was a passing fancy.

ChrisA
Jun 5, 2012, 07:00 PM
I believe this will suit your needs.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=record+player&hl=en&client=safari&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=672&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=5011198640237698423&sa=X&ei=aHTNT6GYF4fg2AW70oSKAw&ved=0CK4BEPICMAU

The OP said he wanted to hear the difference between analog records and MP3. If not for that requirement then, yes something "really cheap" might work. But he will need a decent system to notice any difference from a 128K MP3 file.

I still think the minim buy-in is about $600 and that has budget for a pair of speakers that are roughly $150 each. The $150 is still pretty much "entry level" HiFi.

matrickm
Aug 18, 2012, 11:55 AM
[QUOTE=ChrisA;14956438]If want sound so good that you can tell if the signal has been digitized then you have a hugely unrealistic budget. By a factor of at least 10x.

Haha ok maybe I'll spend $3000 over a few years. The $600 route looks great for now. Thanks!

gannonsamuel
Aug 20, 2012, 09:05 AM
I think, rather then buying a really expensive system, just listen. You don't have to have amazing stuff to hear the difference between a record and an mp3. you just have to listen.

I find there's alot of audiophile gear-snobbery around stuff like this, and bottom line is, you don't need a ridiculously priced system to have your music sound good. Yes, up to about £150 you're going to get something maybe alright but passable (though i know people who have spent less then £100 and have awesome systems), upto about £500-£800 you'll get decent stuff past the £800-£1000 mark the benefits vs extra cost become to small to care about and are generally very subjective things that simply WILL sound good because you've been told they will.

Anyways rant over... in answer to the OPs question, a separates system is probably a better way to go, then you will be able to add/upgrade as you wish (the amps generally have a variety of inputs so you will be able to add a CD player or ipod or anything with a line-level output really).

No-one can really tell you if you're going to like a specific model or make, sure there are some that are better then others, but it's such a subjective thing that you've got to work out for yourself what you like.

Go to your local Hi-Fi/electronics store with CDs and records that you know and love and play them on as many systems as you can until you find one you like. Ignore what the sales people say, if anything just ask them to go away :P.

Speaker and amp design hasn't really changed much, it's still really just a paper cone and a big old magnet, and purely because of the way amps work the HAVE to be analogue (you can't make 1001010110 bigger, it just is 1001010110 and thats that) they can be digitally controlled but the actual amplification process is analogue i don't think many hi-fi's will convert your audio in the amplifier.

ChrisA
Aug 20, 2012, 09:10 PM
...
Speaker and amp design hasn't really changed much, it's still really just a paper cone and a big old magnet, and purely because of the way amps work the HAVE to be analogue (you can't make 1001010110 bigger, it just is 1001010110 and thats that) they can be digitally controlled but the actual amplification process is analogue i don't think many hi-fi's will convert your audio in the amplifier.

Question: I wonder if you would call a "class D" amplifier a digital amp. After all it is just outputting 1001010110 and then low pass filtering the result.

No I'd not suggest buying a class D amp for home HiFi. Maybe if you need a 1,000 watt PA system for your band. For home use on a budget, hunt the thrift stores for 1980's vintage high-end gear. Sometime they let stuff go for almost nothing.

gannonsamuel
Aug 21, 2012, 09:44 AM
i wouldn't say it's outputting digital data, its more PWM isn't it?

it's really amplifying a square/rectangle-wave and then filtering it.

Digital signals are used to represent numbers or data.

Analogue signals are just a Waveform that is 'analogous' to the original sound.

This seems more like the an analog signal then a digital one.

Its an interesting question though...

what do you think?