ChemMan

Wanted: Turntable Pros and Cons

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3 minutes ago, BeeRay said:

if you have never listened to vinyl you may find the other noises a bit annoying, especially between the tracks and quiet pieces.

At 20 years old I had probably 80/90 albums.  Somebody left the radiator on at our place at Uni.  All the records were warped upon returning from Xmas break.  I switched to CD.

When I visit my good pal in CA in the summer, we listen to a lot of vinyl, but on his system, not mine.  Our comparisons revealed digital to CD is/was nearly identical on the stuff we jointly love: Steely Dan, Zep, Beatles, Stones, Supertramp, Elton John, Chicago.  He has audio research amps/pre.  Bel Canto Digital.   TT is a project evolution extension 10 with a Phase Mation 300 cart.  Some kind of tube phono stage.    Pops and hiss and hiss didn't matter to me when we were listening, even critically. Whiskey helps.

  My step father, had a Linn Sondek and only vinyl for my entire childhood. My old man, had only vinyl his entire life.

I have not heard the new cartridge on my Canadian pals system.  I heard the ortofon red cadenza. 

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I never get this idea you have to spend £££'s on a turntable to hear results, I get just as much pleasure out of my P6 as I do out of my Node 2/MDAC combo. Slightly second hand from Moorgate Acoustics it cost about £800 and can easily surpass digital. Don't buy the faff argument either, get record out, put it on and listen.

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15 minutes ago, tuga said:

If I remember correctly you introduced yourself to the Wam by saying that this would be a one time system purchase. We all smiled.

I think I said my budget for speakers was 2k and was looking at B&W 704 or Kef R500.   When it rains............

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I'm a big analogue (vinyl) fan. And I'm also a big digital (CD) fan. Done correctly, both mediums are capable of stunning, immersive, emotionally-rewarding results. I don't like the assumptions some have made here that LPs pressed from digital masters are pointless, implying that only decades-old, all-analogue recordings are worth listening to.

Done properly, I think a modern recording / mastering pressed to LP can sound pretty stunning. Not necessarily the "best of both worlds", and not necessarily producing the "warm, lush, analogue sound" people talk of, but certainly hugely enjoyable. As has been mentioned by others, LP done right has this intangible "rightness" (don't ask me to explain it) that isn't necessarily anything to do with frequency response, channel separation, dynamic headroom or any of that tred. By the measurements, analogue replay is demonstrably inferior to digital but it doesn't necessarily sound that way.

I've heard many an "old" recording that actually sounded pretty sh** to my ears, putting-paid to the idea that you can measure an album's worth by what decade it was manufactured in. I suppose I'm trying to say, (to paraphrase) don't judge the LP by the shininess of it's cover. By the same token, again also mentioned by @griffo104 don't assume every remaster, every 180gm half-speed pressing is going to blow away the old cheapo issue, some are technically superior but don't "connect" the way the old record does. I still prefer my slightly clicky original pressing of Jean-Michel Jarre's Equinoxe over the Mo-Fi copy I have, can't put my finger on why, but I just know that the copy I keep going back to is the original.

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30 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

At 20 years old I had probably 80/90 albums.  Somebody left the radiator on at our place at Uni.  All the records were warped upon returning from Xmas break.  I switched to CD.

When I visit my good pal in CA in the summer, we listen to a lot of vinyl, but on his system, not mine.  Our comparisons revealed digital to CD is/was nearly identical on the stuff we jointly love: Steely Dan, Zep, Beatles, Stones, Supertramp, Elton John, Chicago.  He has audio research amps/pre.  Bel Canto Digital.   TT is a project evolution extension 10 with a Phase Mation 300 cart.  Some kind of tube phono stage.    Pops and hiss and hiss didn't matter to me when we were listening, even critically. Whiskey helps.

  My step father, had a Linn Sondek and only vinyl for my entire childhood. My old man, had only vinyl his entire life.

I have not heard the new cartridge on my Canadian pals system.  I heard the ortofon red cadenza. 

OK thanks, it is a lot clearer now, sounded like you did not have any experience of vinyl from some of your earlier comments.

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To Summarize what I've learned in regard to TT set ups (all inclusive) in the sub €2500 arena.

1. MC in general is superior in sound to MM, but not always.  MM has the benefit of replaceable stylus.

2.  Suspended TT are possibly better than Non, but increase the amount of finagling required.

3.  Most TT are now belt drive with Technics still making direct drive.  Belt drives can be finicky.

4. Project does not get much love from "serious'' TT people.

5.  Album quality whether, new or old varies wildly across the range.  Best bets tend to be older pressings form analog tape, but again not always.

6.  Chances of hearing an enhanced emotional connection with Vinyl over digital, on par with changing from solid state to full tubes, is possible but will require A LOT of effort.

7.  Hunting for nice records has many limiting factors (mastering, quality, where pressed, etc.)  but is FUN.  (it would be for me)

8.  For those who scoff at synergy of a full system, synergy between the four main parts of a TT set up is important. TT, phono stage, tone arm and cart require careful matching and can be changed to create different overall presentations of the music.

9. Record cleaning machine is pretty much mandatory for someone who has to start buying second hand vinyl.

About right?

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Super Wammer
20 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

To Summarize what I've learned in regard to TT set ups (all inclusive) in the sub €2500 arena.

1. MC in general is superior in sound to MM, but not always.  MM has the benefit of replaceable stylus.

2.  Suspended TT are possibly better than Non, but increase the amount of finagling required.

3.  Most TT are now belt drive with Technics still making direct drive.  Belt drives can be finicky.

4. Project does not get much love from "serious'' TT people.

5.  Album quality whether, new or old varies wildly across the range.  Best bets tend to be older pressings form analog tape, but again not always.

6.  Chances of hearing an enhanced emotional connection with Vinyl over digital, on par with changing from solid state to full tubes, is possible but will require A LOT of effort.

7.  Hunting for nice records has many limiting factors (mastering, quality, where pressed, etc.)  but is FUN.  (it would be for me)

8.  For those who scoff at synergy of a full system, synergy between the four main parts of a TT set up is important. TT, phono stage, tone arm and cart require careful matching and can be changed to create different overall presentations of the music.

9. Record cleaning machine is pretty much mandatory for someone who has to start buying second hand vinyl.

About right?

Useful to pull a summary together.  Not everyone will agree with each point but here is my take on it - Y or N

To Summarize what I've learned in regard to TT set ups (all inclusive) in the sub €2500 arena.

1. MC in general is superior in sound to MM, but not always.  MM has the benefit of replaceable stylus. Y

2.  Suspended TT are possibly better than Non, but increase the amount of finagling required. N not better or worse sonically

3.  Belt drives can be finicky. N

4. Project does not get much love from "serious'' TT people. Y its a bland sound for me

5.  Album quality whether, new or old varies wildly across the range.  Best bets tend to be older pressings form analog tape, but again not always. Y

6.  Chances of hearing an enhanced emotional connection with Vinyl over digital, on par with changing from solid state to full tubes, is possible but will require A LOT of effort. Y and N

7.  Hunting for nice records has many limiting factors (mastering, quality, where pressed, etc.)  but is FUN.  (it would be for me) Y but its more about finding right condition of used Lps

8.  For those who scoff at synergy of a full system, synergy between the four main parts of a TT set up is important. TT, phono stage, tone arm and cart require careful matching and can be changed to create different overall presentations of the music. Y but it more the tonearm/cartridge (and phono only if MC)

9. Record cleaning machine is pretty much mandatory for someone who has to start buying second hand vinyl. N many people don't have one inc me for most of my t/t ownership

About right?

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22 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

5.  Album quality whether, new or old varies wildly across the range.  Best bets tend to be older pressings form analog tape, but again not always

Regarding this, I can only add one thing from my rather limited experience, but this thing I'm quite sure of:

Absolutely avoid the major labels' reissues of classic rock or pop. I'm talking exclusively about majors here, since almost everything they've done in this area sounds like crap to me. Even with audible distortion in grooves sometimes, poor quality material, just terrible hack jobs and trying to cash in quickly. Then there's the other side of super-duper extra exclusive special editions and box sets that are a rip off even if done right. With classic rock, I always hit discogs or ebay and search for original pressings in minimum EX/VG+ condition that make sense. Good reissue label for rock is Music on vinyl - I have really good experiences with their stuff.

I'd also avoid like the plague anything by "Back on black". The experience I have with their reissues is almost 100% crap. Oh yeah, also avoid any release by "4 men with beards" label - they are terrible hacks.

On the other hand, new music on smaller, independent labels is very often done right, with care and can sound stunning, even when it's done from digital recording. I think there's often not enough attention given to this fact. I listen to a lot of new(er) independent music and very often it's beautifully done.

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Super Wammer
22 minutes ago, popol_vuh said:

I'd also avoid like the plague anything by "Back on black". The experience I have with their reissues is almost 100% crap. Oh yeah, also avoid any release by "4 men with beards" label - they are terrible hacks.

I have the Back to Black 2014 issue of Grace Jones' Nightclubbing & honestly it is superb, although I concede it might be an exception rather than the rule.

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I am not a serious Vinyl fan. I started with my then girl friend's (now wife) Dansette record player then when we got married I bought my first HiFi system (before such niceties as carpets, curtains or furniture beyond two castoff chairs and a homemade table, oh and one shared single bed!) which included a Pioneer TT (can't remember the model). This was in the early 70's. Later the Pioneer was replaced with a Technics SL7 then I went over to CD players and now gone over to streaming via a Node 2i feeding into the DAC of my amplifier.

When I bought my amp it had a high quality inbuilt Phono stage which is MC only so I bought a ex dem Project Xtension 9 Evolution fitted with an Ortofon Quintette Black S.

I have a few hundred (never counted them) records and occasionally play one. The sound is not as detailed or dynamic as streaming at it's best but is warmer and more involving. Maybe that is what DomT means by bland but could be very different with another cartridge I suspect. Still I am happy with it. Purists look away but I wish the deck at least had an auto - return.

I just wonder if your wonderful new amp would be a little too much on the warm side with the Ortofon range, choose very carefully. My amp is very neutral and reveals what the source is giving it in great detail.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Bit Perfect said:

choose very carefully.

Given the current situation, my initial ambivalence and having a high powered streamer in the house, it's going to be a lengthy wait if at all.

I will however, at the very least, visit some shops with TT and hear the differences between digital and Vinyl on "good" systems.

Edited by ChemMan

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45 minutes ago, DomT said:

many people don't have one inc me for most of my t/t ownership

Sure, but you have ~ 1000 albums.  Many were purchased new and you looked after them.  Would used record store purchases, generally speaking, require some attention?  I wouldn't know.

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3 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

I will however, at the very least, visit some shops with TT and hear the differences between digital and Vinyl on "good" systems.

Yes that sounds (forgive the unintentional pun) like a good fun thing to do when that option is finally possible. I look forward to your eventual thoughts as they are alway very interesting.

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2 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

Would used record store purchases, generally speaking, require some attention?  I wouldn't know.

I am pretty sure that the first thing to do would be to clean s/h ones as probably many people have been casual with their records.

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Super Wammer
10 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

Sure, but you have ~ 1000 albums.  Many were purchased new and you looked after them.  Would used record store purchases, generally speaking, require some attention?  I wouldn't know.

To my mind a RCM of some sort is essential, even new records are dirty, they have some kind of anti mould crap on them & can be covered in dust particles. There are many on the market new or used, even a manual Knosti Anti-stat is a huge improvement over nothing for around £60.

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