ChemMan

Wanted: Turntable Pros and Cons

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Biggest problem i had with Vinyl was i lost count of the amount of expensive cartridges i wiped out during listening sessions after consuming high quality LSD. never had that problem with CD

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6 minutes ago, Viven said:

....... after consuming high quality LSD. never had that problem with CD

Sniffing CDs, I'd say that's a problem xD

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I think everyone has summed it up perfectly.

I could never be without a vinyl front end and, certainly in terms of expenditure, my setup is massively tilted toards vinyl. However, that's simply because I bought my first LP neary 50 years ago. I still have it. I also seem to have acquired one or two more over the decades. Vinyl remains my source of choice for many older recordings, with the notable point that these were recorded and mastered on the basis that vinyl was really the only replay medium suitable at the time. Nevertheless, I don't think that whether something is mastered digitally makes that much difference. I have plenty of 'modern' vinyl that is notably higher quality than the digital counterpart. It's been said many times that ironically, although digital has theoretically a significantly higher dynamic range and significantly lower noise floor compared with vinly, you'd be easily forgiven for believing it was the other way round the way a lot of stuff is mastered. Classical music included frankly, though to a lesser degree, as probably the majority of digital recordings are decent. Don't think that all classical recordings have escaped the loudness wars though.

Pointless for me to go down the 'if I was starting from scratch' route, because I'm not and my thinking is influenced by years of vinyl use. However, I'd think very carefully before advising anyone to start on the vinyl route if they don't already have a collection of LPs. The biggest issue is cost, pure and simple. It is orders of magnitudes higher than digital to achieve the same quality, and the upgrade path is magnitudes more expensive. Anyone who spends a few hundred notes on a turntable, arm, cartridge and phono stage to compare with their streamer, DAC, etc. at the same price point is in for a disappointment with the vast majority of LPs. Sorry, but that's my experience.

Based on decades of playing around with all sorts of sources and source material, I'd suggest that if you're buying new, then £2500 is the sensibly the bottom rung of the ladder. Of course you can get a vinyl front end for much less, and it will give you an idea of what it's all about. But no more than that, at least, not if you're being honest with yourself.

Yes, £2500 will do it. It will also almost inevitably lead to 'what if', followed by more expenditure.

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

Speaking as a confirmed vinyl addict from a boy who doesn't own any digital replay system I would say tread very carefully. I bought my first record at 10 years old 50 odd years ago, & was already competent at using a record player as my mum was a massive Beatles (as well as other artists) fan & they were played over & over. I think it is as much a physical thing too, almost a religious experience in going through what you want to play, putting it on the platter & cueing up the tonearm, then relaxing back into your chair & listening whilst reading the sleeve notes & not forgetting to get up at "half time" to turn the record over. The whole thing is a wonderful experience, but if I were starting out today I am not sure I would feel the same.

You can certainly get a lovely turntable/phono stage/cartridge for your budget, but equally if you go at it gung ho you might muck it up! Second hand quality recordings are everywhere these days, mainly thanks to the digital boom by the way, so new remastered & digitally recorded records are just not worth considering for the most part, but I just think if you don't have the love for vinyl, & it has to be vinyl, nurtured over many years, then I think it would turn out to be too much of a faff for people who grew up loving the digital sound in whatever format.

Edited by Speedracer
addition.

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Hi OP! I'm not ideally qualified to help you decide but I have had my current TT since the 1980s. Meet Clarence:

Clarence-March4-1.jpg

He's left us now but he was our little Jack Russell. As dogs go, he was rubbish. He never did what he was told, he couldn't be let off lead as he had selective hearing so was unreliable at recall, he was also not to be trusted with small furries due to his strong urge to hunt nor other dogs due to having a very defensive nature that made him attack first and ask questions later! He was very grumpy at bed time and was best left to his own devices, he was very annoying with his toys wanting to play at the most inconvenient moments, he used to treat all our furniture as his own and he would run into the house with muddy paws. But, we loved him. Would we recommend a similar dog to someone else? Of course not!

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Super Wammer

Of course most of the replies are people supporting the formal they use (and think they like best and they may do, but many just have a closed mind).

There have been interesting threads in here where it has shown that You Tube and vinyl sound better than the high res downloads .   Of course those who only stream will pour scorn on this but I guess until we each got our ears around the examples we will never know for sure.

My lad is 23 and he streams all the time to find new music - but he is an ardent music lover and the stuff he loves he buys - on vinyl.   He had no influence on me on the subject at all .. he was brought up with cds - had his own cd bedroom system (like his sisters) because fitting a turntable in a bedroom of a ten year old was a bit too precarious.

If you have no vinyl .. no past collection .. then buying a turntable may seem stupid BUT .. you can get a second hand Systemdek IIX with a reasonable arm and a decent cartridge for well under £500 (or a Thorens TD160/150 or Goldring GL75 etc) .. and the great thing is you will probably be able to sell it on with little or no loss (you may have to take a hit on the cartridge depending on age and condition second hand price will be impacted) and then you can enjoy finding material that is rare and exquisite .. as to cleaning records the chances are you have a Wammer not too far away with a record machine who will gladly clean them for a good chat and a few pints (or a bottle of wine).

I love vinyl and I use the turntable far less than my lad does .. but I could not be without it .. What you have to weigh up is .. do you want to have a play and some enjoyment with a different medium .. and it may be like a girlfriend that is there one day and gone the next or it may turn into a whole love affair that lasts a lifetime .. 

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Posted (edited)

This is one of those issues where everyone has their own truth, and that's ok of course. Owning a TT does give you a reason to pop into record shops though ;-).

Edit: Or to look forward to going into record shops when the world is a little more, erm, settled !

Edited by Ian

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1 hour ago, rabski said:

Based on decades of playing around with all sorts of sources and source material, I'd suggest that if you're buying new, then £2500 is the sensibly the bottom rung of the ladder. Of course you can get a vinyl front end for much less, and it will give you an idea of what it's all about. But no more than that, at least, not if you're being honest with yourself.

Yes, £2500 will do it. It will also almost inevitably lead to 'what if', followed by more expenditure.

This makes me curious Rabski, I spent £1000 and find the sound to be stunning. And yes, it does lead to me thinking 'what if' but I'll have to hold that thought :D. Perhaps there'll be a renewed enthusiasm for bake offs not too long in the future !

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I don't think that there is such a thing as alternative truths.

There are different tastes.

And different masterings for different supports.

This should be our guiding axioms. If you like the "own" sound that vinyl playback adds to recordings and/or most of the recordings you listen to have been better mastered for vinyl then vinyl is the way to go.

Make sure you know that vinyl is more expensive and that many pressings are not representative of the stamper, which is used to print thousands of records but starts losing accuracy from first use and it's downhill from there.

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Just now, Ian said:

This makes me curious Rabski, I spent £1000 and find the sound to be stunning. And yes, it does lead to me thinking 'what if' but I'll have to hold that thought :D. Perhaps there'll be a renewed enthusiasm for bake offs not too long in the future !

I don't doubt it Ian. It's not hindered in your case by the fact that Glen Croft is pretty good at the phono stage section of his preamps. If you didn't have that, you'd need to add a similar quality phono stage for a start.

Also, I was atking account of the OP's point about limited access to specific brands.

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4 minutes ago, rabski said:

I don't doubt it Ian. It's not hindered in your case by the fact that Glen Croft is pretty good at the phono stage section of his preamps. If you didn't have that, you'd need to add a similar quality phono stage for a start.

Also, I was atking account of the OP's point about limited access to specific brands.

Ahh, I hadn't factored in a phono stage. Funny thing is I nearly PM'd you recently, I saw a stunning LP12 on Ebay that I thought was a decent price and was going to seek your view (I know you have experience in such TTs). I didn't in the end though, that decent price was still rather high !

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I am thinking of getting a TT but probably a vintage TT because back in 1970s and 1980s they had all the technology  that expensive TTs have today but at half the cost as long as you no what your looking at and make sure a modern cart will fits a vintage TT so i was looking at a Technics mk1-mk2 1200 TT 

But i will be mostly be playing my old Black sabbath records that came out in the 1970s    

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tuga said:

And different masterings for different supports.

This should be our guiding axioms. If you like the "own" sound that vinyl playback adds to recordings and/or most of the recordings you listen to have been better mastered for vinyl then vinyl is the way to go.

2 hours ago, rabski said:

Anyone who spends a few hundred notes on a turntable, arm, cartridge and phono stage to compare with their streamer, DAC, etc. at the same price

point is in for a disappointment with the vast majority of LPs. Sorry, but that's my experience.

@uzzy

What you have to weigh up is .. do you want to have a play and some enjoyment with a different medium .. and it may be like a girlfriend that is there one day and gone the next or it may turn into a whole love affair that lasts a lifetime .. 

 

Three very important points.  The thinking is that because my new valve amp has now given me what I was missing, and frankly, hugely done so, the hypothesis is that if a similar improvement could be made by going to Vinyl it might be worth €3.5k to collect my favorite 50-100 albums and a TT w/toys.

Based on what I've read today, it would seem less than likely, and if so, would require significantly more money.

I don't want to buy cheap gear and if going with used vinyl it would seem random hiss and pops are going to be most unavoidable. New Vinyl is certainly not coming highly recommended by anyone.

Edited by ChemMan

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Super Wammer

Hi ChemMan

Firstly sorry that this is a long response but I am in a talkative mood given that I can't go out and talk to people!

I would like to disagree with some of my learned colleagues on the fact that digital streaming is pound for pound better than an LP.  This of course is highly subjective and just my opinion. LPs are cheaper now in relation to earnings than in the early 1980s; £5.49 vs £19.99 whilst my first job paid me £203 per month and the same job now pays £1500 per month. Much more importantly clearly digital is cheaper but I find it hard to agree that any Tidal file sounds as good as CD or vinyl so far; on this basis we are comparing apples to oranges.  We also need to remember the cost of any digital subscriptions and the fact that subscription services can delete titles as I found today - Ian Dury songs not available.

I have noticed that the quality of streaming is not as good as the industry has led me to believe.  My DVD player (value £250) feeding a 15 year old DAC (value £350) sounds better to me than modern and well designed Auralic Altair G1 (value £2k); streaming is at best 'ok'. The problem isn't necessarily the kit its the quality of the online file that is being played and on this basis alone seems crazy to spend big money on it - £2k was my limit and I had to drag myself there. Having said that I am a very happy streaming as a casual activity and am listening to streamed music as I the this.  If I really want to enjoy music in its full glory then its LP whether recorded and mastered digitally or not or a CD.

LPs for me offers three things that streaming doesn't.  Firstly LPs have undoubtedly better emotional engagement and musical enjoyment for me.  Depending on the t/t and digital kit the t/t can also 'sound better' (don't want to get into technical arguments).   Secondly t/ts by their very nature are infinitely more flexible than a static digital streamer; at best you will have some filter options. With a t/t you can change the sound dramatically by changing cartridge, arm, phono stage etc. Thirdly it is a more tactile experience.  LP cover art can be fabulous. The act of putting on an LP is an 'event'.

But let's try and see this from a pragmatic point of view of someone starting out.  My second and third point above could be completely irrelevant and a pain to some/most people.  So then its just down to my first point about musical enjoyment.  I would choose a £2k t/t over the Altair G1 for musical enjoyment any day of the week; others will disagree.  But of course that there are t/ts like Clearaudio that to me sound nothing like music and please give me a CDP or a streamer instead! So its all personal.

No LPs? How exciting going off to second hand shops etc and start to get to know new people along the route - unless you don't like shopping and meeting people.  FYI I just met a Wammer who goes to japan to buy LPs and now own LPs (or CDs) that I would never have owned otherwise. LPs take up space.  Do you like to fight for worthwhile things? Just searching Tidal is meaningless as a life struggle.  Searching and searching for an LP that has eluded you and finding it can be fulfilling.  My wife didn't want me to take the LPs out of the lounge as she considered them art but yes they take up space.  So just get the ones that are special to you - it's what I am doing. They can look great as part of a bookcase/shelving mixed with other things.

What turntable should you get?  Judging buy your comments I think that you should start with one that sounds good but is deliberately restrictive (or packaged) and therefore easy to use.  The Technics or Rega would seem to fit that criteria and many people are very happy with them.  I would also advise an MM cartridge to avoid loading problems and when the stylus wears out you just buy a new stylus. You don't need to get complicated with it.  The Well Tempered decks are superior according to my ears but they don't have a lid so you will need a large cover that you will hate taking on and off (maybe) and the decks are a bit quirky.  (I preferred the Well Tempered to a Rega P9 but was put off by quirkiness so bought the P9 for convenience then sold it because I didn't really like the sound).  I would rank WT, then Technics 1200GR then Rega P Something. There are a few lower cost phono stages if your amp doesn't have one.  If it does its probably good enough for MM.

But should you or should you not go down this route?  That you have bought a valve amp tells me that you are ok with a little pain if its worthwhile.  You are very particular with what you like and don't like.  I that its worthwhile going to a dealer for a listen.  You are so close to France and Germany that if the thought of a Well Tempered is off-putting I would try to broaden the pool of available t/ts.  Another though is to avoid suspended decks as they are too much hassle even if they sound good; plenty of non-suspended ones that sound good.  Don't worry about belt vs d/d or arms.  Just go and listen to what the dealers have as they will not start mounting specific arms for you (at least they wouldn't for me when I had £10-15k to spend and I rang several dealers in France and Germany as the UK dealers wouldn't play ball.)

FYI I am in the minority opinion here and to give you an idea where I am coming from I paid £1000 for an Astell and Kern Kann and sold it for £350 four weeks ago because my 30 year old Sony WM-D6C sounded better playing cassettes that were recorded from LP on ANT Audio Aiwa XK-S7000 cassette deck. These cassette are not perfect but they play music rather than sounds; the difference was very large between the two but others would have chosen differently.

Again forgive the length of this and hopefully its is intelligible and not too many typos - would have preferred a chat in a bar over a glass of Vacqueyras 2016!

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, Carrington said:

Hi OP! I'm not ideally qualified to help you decide but I have had my current TT since the 1980s. Meet Clarence:

Clarence-March4-1.jpg

He's left us now but he was our little Jack Russell. As dogs go, he was rubbish. He never did what he was told, he couldn't be let off lead as he had selective hearing so was unreliable at recall, he was also not to be trusted with small furries due to his strong urge to hunt nor other dogs due to having a very defensive nature that made him attack first and ask questions later! He was very grumpy at bed time and was best left to his own devices, he was very annoying with his toys wanting to play at the most inconvenient moments, he used to treat all our furniture as his own and he would run into the house with muddy paws. But, we loved him. Would we recommend a similar dog to someone else? Of course not!

Brilliant response and what an awesome dog! I think that you have summed it up well! I also still have my first t/t from the 1980s!

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