Want to get into Vinyl soon

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by benlee, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. benlee macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #1
    A post today on Gizmodo regarding an audiophile, which was one of the best Gizmodo posts I've read, got me considering that I'm missing out on the sound of vinyl.

    I have never REALLY listened to a vinyl, and always thought of them as inferior to digital sound.

    Now, when I have the money to do so, I would like to purchase a turntable and some vinyls to experience it for myself.

    I found this turntable on Amazon: Audio-Technica

    Will this connect to my normal 7.1 Hdmi Onkyo Receiver? Will it sound like it is supposed to?

    Any tips? Thanks.
     
  2. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    May 18, 2007
    #2
    Keep in mind, vinyl isn't for everyone. Personally I don't perfer LP's to CD's, but I have enough of a collection from "back in the day" to justify spending somewhat on keeping a modern table working.

    http://www.project-audio.com/

    I have a Expression II with a carbon fibre tonearm from them, don't use it much these days but it is a very nice turntable. The Debut III series is the lower end of the bunch, but it is still a very nice table for the money, and is probably what I would go for if I was going to do it over.

    The audio technica table you specified is not really designed for home use, it's more of a DJ turntable, and direct drive means that you'll end up with some motor noise, the table will also be pretty lightweight at that price meaning it also won't damp well. Spend your money on a decient table from the start

    Odds are that your reciever is too modern and not high end enough to have a RIAA phono section, so you'll need a phono input box as well, to take the high impedence, low voltage, un EQ'ed signal from the cartridge, and amplify it to line level and apply the RIAA EQ so it sounds correct.

    This is Pro-Ject's amp:
    http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=phonoboxmm&cat=boxes&lang=en

    I am not sure of the price, but it's probably quite expensive. There are less expensive options out there, and IMO they're less critical so if you've got to cut costs, cut here.

    Also, consider vintage audio gear, any decient integrated amp will have a phono section. There are tons of really great sounding integrated amplifiers out there that can be had for very little money these days, that in their day were very high end. My personal favorites are a little harder to find these days, check eBay for the Technics SU-V5, V7, and V9, the SU-V5 can usually be found for about $75.00, and IMO it sounds better than almost any modern piece of "consumer" level gear.
     
  3. Kirjava444 macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2008
    #3
    I prefer vinyl. Not that I can hear that much of a difference in quality - my ears are not quite that sensitive, but I just really like the popping sound a lot.
     
  4. stormyuklondon1 macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2006
    #4
    sounds like a good place to start.. that t/t has a built in phono preamp according to the blurb, so will hook straight into a spare input of the onkyo, a separate phono preamp could be an upgrade in the future (as it looks like you can bypass the internal one) as well if you find you like what you hear, and you will!
     
  5. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #5
    Thanks for the replies thus far. Now I don't know whether to go with technica or the project audio.

    The project audio definitely looks like a higher quality machine, even though I would have to buy the external Phono amp, which all together would run me much more than the technica.

    However, if I'm going to do this, I want something that is going to last me and provide a decent quality worth investing in. Perhaps I will wait until I can afford the project audio, which may be quite some time.

    I keep adding to the list of things to buy....I need to stop reading gadget blogs and forums.

    Any other tips regarding would be great in the interim.
     
  6. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #6
    If you want to try vinyl my advice would be to start small. I got a great old Harman Kardon table from a guy on craigslist who fixes them up as a hobby for $50. As others have said, you want a belt drive table for listening, and you'll need a phono pre-amp to hook it up to a new receiver.

    My main advice is to have fun. There is nothing quite like digging through rack after rack of musty used records and then finding exactly what you were looking for.
     
  7. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    #7
    Starting with a used turntable is probably the best way to go. Don't know if there's any used stereo stores near you, but it's not difficult to track down a 1970s built-like-a-tank Pioneer or Dual deck for $100ish or less. They'll sound much better than the new, cheap, plasticky low-end decks of today.

    If your receiver doesn't have a phono input stage, there are some pretty decent standalone phone pre-amps in the $50-100 range.

    If you like what you hear, then consider moving up from there to the low-end Pro-jekt turntable.

    For me, CDs are now occupying an unhappy middle ground. I prefer listening to LPs on our main stereo, but prefer the convenience of MP3s for listing on-the-go or when sitting at my desk. Many new LPs these days come with a download code and instructions for getting a "free" digital copy of the album, so you get the best of both worlds out of your purchase. Consequently, I've been buying more LPs and haven't purchased a CD in ages.
     
  8. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #8
    I have the Audio Technica AT-PL120 and IMO it's a great turntable. There is one thing that I would reccomend changing on it though, the cartridge. The ATP-2 cartridge which is included with the AT-PL120 is a good cartridge, but it's not the greatest though. I use a Shure M97xE instead. It's not cheap, but you won't regret getting it. But you can't reverse the record with that cartridge, you will damage the stylus and the record if you do.

    The AT-PL120 will work with your receiver as long as your receiver has RCA inputs. The AT-PL120 also has a built in phono preamp which can be turned off. If your receiver has a phono input, I would turn off the preamp on the turntable and use the phono input on your receiver, but most receivers don't have a phono input anymore.

    I personally prefer vinyl over CD's or any other digital format. I like the "analog warmth," and I can't imagine using CD's as my main format ever again.

    You also have to take care of your records, unfortunatly vinyl is much more likely to get damaged then a CD. But as long as you keep them in their sleeves when not in use, you'll be fine. Also, you should clean your records after every use (I clean them once a week) because oils and dust can be very damaging to records. I use this to clean my records. You should put your records in record bags so the jacket doesn't get damaged, and they also keep dust out of the jacket. You can get record bags here. Some record shops also sell them, which brings me to my next point.

    Find a good record shop. I have found a few record shops around me, and there is one that I just absolutely love. I've been going there for a few months now, and the guy who owns it has learned my music tastes, and he recommends an album for me every time I walk in. Hopefully you can find a record shop around you, because most are wonderful places. Before you buy a record, always ask them to play it play it for you. have them play part of each side, and any tracks that look like they might be damaged.

    I hope I was able to be of some help! Enjoy your record collection.

    EDIT: Some have said that a belt drive turntable would be better for home use, and that you'll hear motor noise with a direct drive turntable. I'm going to disagree with those statements. I never hear any noise coming from my AT-PL120. Also, eventually the belt on a belt drive turntable will stretch, also the belt may slip. One disadvantage to direct drive turntables is vibration, but most new direct drive turntables have some form of vibration reduction, I for one have not had an issue with vibration on my AT-PL120. I see no need for you to go out and spend extra money on a belt driven turntable.

    Don
     
  9. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #9
    Thank you for your insight.

    I'm wondering though, if you recommend changing the cartridge, would it be more efficient to just go ahead and get the low end project-audio one to begin with. Considering the AT-PL120 and a decent cartridge would cost almost the same. Granted I would have to buy a Phono Amp, but the initial $150 extra would skip a step in upgrading.

    What do you think?

    Granted, it may be some time before I can buy so I could shop around some more. Have to convince the fiance whey I NEED it.
     
  10. The Past macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2004
    #10
    I would second FX's comment that you may want to consider other options as well. Not that anything may be wrong with the option you are considering, but that is not what most people would pick for home listening, and for a good reason.

    Your preamp need to be enabled for a phono connection. So check that first. Otherwise, you are adding another couple of hundreds to your budget, depending of which option you go with.
     
  11. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    I personally am biased against belt driven turntables. I had a bad experience with one that I got from my aunt that was two years old, and that had been a total of 5 times by her. The belt continually slipped on the turntable, and I got fed up with having to fix it. Mind you, she paid $600 for that turntable. I got the AT-PL120 for xmas and I haven't had any issues with it yet.

    Regarding the cartridge. I only put the Shure M97xE on the AT-PL120, because I already had bought the M97xE for my old turntable, and I didn't want it to go to waste. I wouldn't pay $150 for it again. While there is a difference in the sound quality, it is marginal, and no one but me notices it. I'm starting to think that I'm imagining the difference, so you should disregard me on my recommendation to change the cartridge, but if you want to you can always change it, but it isn't necessary.

    Also, if you plan on playing any 45's it's going to be a PITA to do so on the Pro-ject turntable, because you need to move the belt over to another pulley. And to do that you need to remove the platter, use a special tool, and then put the platter back on again. And when you want to switch back to LP's you'll have to repeat that process. Whereas you only have to flip a switch on the the AT-PL120.

    Hope I was able to help.

    Don
     
  12. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #12
    i would say if you want the full effect of vinyl, get a vintage stereo. nice warm alalog sound all the way to ur ears!
    i have the Pioneer SX-450. nice basic 70s amp. was my dads. sounds great!
    make sure you have the proper cleaning tools like a little brush. you will also want to do a deep clean every once and a while.
    having vinyl is a lot of work, but is worth it.

    the sound is nice, and its just cool!:D:cool:
     
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #13
    Having a dream of having a wall of vinyl I just had to replace my MIA turntable. I bought the Sony PSLX250h from Amazon, got it yesterday, hooked it up today and just finished listening to a Cheap Trick album on it. It is hooked up via RCA cable (supplied) to my new Denon AVR-589 receiver. Minimal adjustments necessary to the sound output and I am good to go.

    I bought this one over the 350h model because the 250h model came with a built in preamp that is (as far as I understand) critical when using with modern equipment (receivers).

    I saw the one you posted and opted for the Sony. I find the sound to be fairly rich but the bass was higher than I thought so I had to adjust the sub for that.
     
  14. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Michigan
    #14
    I see no reason for the OP to get a new stereo system. The stereo he has right now, won't mess with the analog signal from the turntable, because the RCA inputs are analog, and there is no digital tampering with that signal. If there would be any difference, it would be marginal at best. And with older equipment, he runs a higher rish of it breaking down on him.
    EDIT: Disregard what I said about jessica's turntable. I was thinking of the Sony PS-LX 300USB. Sorry!

    Don
     
  15. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

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    Chicago
    #15
    I got a pro-ject turntable when I was in grad school so I could check out the music library's vinyl. I found lots of good stuff there, from Charles Ives to Mahalia Jackson.

    Good analog sounds great, as does good digital.

    One of the unexpected pleasures I found in vinyl was how perfect a side's length is. There is something about listening to 25 minutes of music that seems right to me. It's not a quality you'd notice listening to a 500 track playlist, but I think there's something to it.

    It's funny what people notice when they're not paying attention. I recall a story about an audiophile company doing listening tests with the general public. They'd blind A/B several set-ups, and ask people what they preferred/distinguished, etc. The data ending up pretty wishy-washy, and there weren't a lot of people who could tell one set-up from another.

    The cool thing was that the girl they hired to handle the participants became—after scores of hours of listening—extremely capable at distinguishing the systems (she herself didn't manipulate or even see the hardware... she just dealt with seating the participants and giving instructions). As the story goes, she grew disgusted with "system A"—claimed she just couldn't stand it any more—while she never suffered such fatigue with system B. System A, of course, was the CD player, and system B was the turntable.
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #16
    Yeah let me say this about USB turntables.
    If you really want a USB turntable so you can convert your vinyl to MP3 then buy the MP3s! They'll be higher quality anyway. Vinyl is meant to be heard and not converted if you're seriously trying to collect to listen. The price you may pay for an LP can exceed what it may cost to download it from iTunes. If you're going to then take said LP home and convert to MP3 you just wasted your money.

    Now I get, buy a LP that you do not have on MP3 and convert to MP3 so you can take it around with you. Sure there are arguments for that as well. In that case the USB is ok, but plugging the RCA plugs into your computer's sound card will work a lot better and sound better at that. the USB recording software is free to download anyway.
     
  17. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #17
    Are there any advantages to having USB? Assuming that converting LP to MP3 would not be contemplated?
    I'm not getting Vinyl to convert to MP3 and I agree that I don't see the advantages of that. But I'm assuming that some people do it not convert to MP3 but rather lossless formats, that may not be otherwise accessible online.
     
  18. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #18
    No, there isn't any advantage to having a USB turntable. In fact IMO it's a disadvantages to have a USB turntable. They are made with plastic, have vibration issues, have extremely bad cartridges that can't be changed (some of them can be changed), and have very poor sound quality. They're a gimmick, and they're targeted at people who found their old vinyl in their basement and want to listen to it on a CD or on their MP3 player. I would avoid a USB turntable.

    I know that there are ways to rip the album to your computer with a normal turntable, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it, because I haven't tried to do that yet. I'll try to find some info for you.

    EDIT: Here's some info on ripping vinyl to a CD. It's not exactly cheap, but the results will be better then using a USB turntable.

    Don
     
  19. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    May 18, 2007
    #19
    What? Almost any modern reciever does not do level attenuation in the analog domain. The RCA inputs are sampled digitally, processed, attenuated, and then spat back out through some cheap chip amps. There is far less tampering in decient amp from the late 70's or early 80's than there is in a modern home theater reciever.

    I have a ton of "older" equipment, and trust me, they're more reliable, better built, and sound better than almost any piece of modern home theater gear.

    Hell, Vintage gear can be downright cool:
    [​IMG]
    The entire top, front, and sides of that unit is one piece of solid aluminum. Oh, and that isn't even an amplifier, it's just a preamp, with a fully descrete class A output stage, and a famous phono section. If you can find one these days they go for $400 on up. Hell the price for a new C2a in 1982 was $1200. Today it's a bargain.
     
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #20
    No I find no advantages with USB. Quite frankly, I am with DMAC on this one in saying USB is a disadvantage. Again, an RCA connection to your computer will be better than a USB connection anyway.

    I am also unclear as to how great the lossless quality will be in the event you want to go from vinyl to lossless. You're better off with a CD there.

    Tonight I sat and listened to Ride the Lightning album and I do love this turntable. Right now I highly recommend it.
     
  21. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

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    #21
    I will second what Jessica said... that is why I didn't buy the 350H and went with the 250H. I want to listen to Vinyl not convert records to MP3. As for as getting into Vinyl, I highly suggest it. Good luck with whatever equipment you buy. Be sure to find a little record store to buy all your records, you can get great deals on records in great shape. And some new stuff that is released on vinyl.
     
  22. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    Dec 29, 2007
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    #22
    Sorry to dig it up, but his thread has piqued my interest in analog equipment.

    Now that you guys have given some great ideas for a turntable - can someone recommend a good analog amp or receiver for me to hunt down to go along with it?
     
  23. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

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    #23
    While the savings in space will keep me forever in digital, I do hear from several how vinyls had a warmer sound than CDs.

    There're still quite a few diehard turntablers out there - and kudos to them that they stick with what they love. The only pity is that Records wear out after while, and being as they don't make them anymore...
     

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