jhulud

Official "Help Me Choose a Turntable" v.2.0 Thread

664 posts in this topic

Well looks like the original thread's been deleted, thanks to Corbet being a douche. Time to get this thing started up again: What kind of turntables do y'all recommend for $/$$/$$$ price ranges?

Next time I see you at a Cleveland show I'll make sure to buy you a beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is page one of the new turntable thread, i figure we should pool as much info as we can on to page one.

i'll start with my recommendations.

1. your vinyl collection means the world to you, so treat it right with a quality system to listen to it on. this doesn't mean your old Technics DJ table is bad (well not TOTALLY bad), just that if you are serious about your hobby, you should try to save up for some better components.

2. the #1 question people will have is "what table should i buy?" which is why they clicked here in the first place. These are, for the most part, the top 2 recommended tables:

Rega P1

[image]

Price: 375 - 400

Pro-Ject Debut III

[image]

Price: 375 - 400

Do your research when it comes to a new table. There are differences between these two, so you should find the one that suits you best.

Needles and cartridges are a very in depth product. Many Starter tables will come with a cartridge already installed, but if you want to upgrade I'd say check out www.needledoctor.com. This site is one of, if not the best to browse audiophile equipment and the prices are generally fair and a good gauge of how much other places might charge.

3. Another question we see a lot is "i plugged everything in, but the sound is low, crackling, and almost inaudible."

this means your receiver doesn't have a phono pre-amp. Some people see the AUX setting and assume it's good for vinyl. Incorrect! unless the receiver says phono input, and has a phono setting, you will need to purchase a pre-amp (or new receiver) to get the most of from your turntable. and to make the sound come out right.

that's all that comes to mind now, other guys feel free to post info you feel needs to be on page one. maybe we can get the bulk of questions answered before people have to click past page 3.

chad says good luck!

[image]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also make sure the cartridge is properly aligned. Use of these protractors can make a world of difference.

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml

Belt drive is no better or worse than direct drive, it's all personal preference. Also make sure the platter on the turn table is level on a handful of check points. Also never a good thing to run your stylus at more or less than the required tracking force, there are many scales out there to pick from. I got a nice little digital scale on eBay that makes that a much less stressful project.

My personal favorite combination is the Technics SL-1200, sure its known as a DJ table, but when this table was designed in 1979 it was made with only one thing in mind, high end home audio. DJ's took use of it since its ROCK solid speed and stability, very low Wow and Flutter and almost non existent rumble. Plus the removable headshell makes installing and switching carts a breeze. Not to mention this table is a TANK, weighing in at a solid 25 pounds of metal and rubber, which also helps it isolate vibrations from outside sources. Plus its nice to be able to switch from 33 to 45rpm at the push if a button. I've gone through way to many tables since I've gotten into vinyl and this is by far the best I've used, no cheap plastic on this one. I'm not sure what this goes for these days, but I bought mine brand new in 2009 for $399.

For cart/stylus I would have to say my personal favorite is the Audio Technica AT-440Mla. It's a wonderful stylus at tracking ability and the elimination of surface noise, and as well as the cut back in inner groove distortion. Right now its available for under $150 at a handful of online retailers, and is a steal at that price point. But there are countless options out there for those, but that's just the favorite one I've yet to use.

I'm not even going to touch pre-amps, all I will say is I love the Cambridge Audio 640p.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I'm ready to get yelled at, but honestly, I can't afford even $200 bucks on a turntable, I really just don't have a lot money to spend. Does anyone have a starter deck they can recommend before I buy an Ion? I'm not looking to entertain a big party or anything fancy I just want to listen to my records

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOW DARE YOU NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD A 400 DOLLAR TURNTABLE! YOU'RE A DISGRACE TO VINYL COLLECTING!

okay now that the yelling is out of the way...

if you just want to listen to your records, buy whatever you want. Salvation Army stores, thrift stores, used electronic stores all have cheap turntables that you can use with little to no problem. But be aware that an inferior/older cartridge can hurt your records over time! Sometimes they are an all in one unit. This is great for newbies, and what I used when i first started getting into collecting. It's got the table, receiver, amp, output and usually a tape deck or cd player all in the same unit. you can get these for under 100 bucks usually. but beware, make sure you TEST the product before you buy it. take a 7" and a 12" to the store and ask to test it. this way you can tell if you have a bad needle, bad wiring, bad sound, bad alignment, bad whatever.

if you're looking to spend a little more, and already have a phono receiver you can swing over to best buy, or any big electronics website and search for turntables. You can find a new Sony, JVC, ION (which ION are you looking to buy/saving for?) for about 100 bucks, but they're very base models. GuitarCenter.com also has a bunch, but you might have to wade through a lot of strictly DJ tables.

hope this helps! let us know how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thrift stores can definitely have some sweet tables. I've seen Realistic LAB-400's for like 12 bucks, which are great tables that were built in the 70's. Old Pioneers are pretty abundant too.

I just hate to recommend new cheap tables, I've been down that road and they are just terrible, and a waste of time and money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alrighty I have about a thousand dollars (max) I can spend on my first new vinyl system. I have been looking at the Rega P1 and Pro-Ject for my turntable but have no idea what kind of pre amp, receiver and speaker system to get, any recommendations? (keep in mind I am building this from the ground up, I need everything) This will be used in my room so for me sound quality>>>overall power. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alrighty I have about a thousand dollars (max) I can spend on my first new vinyl system. I have been looking at the Rega P1 and Pro-Ject for my turntable but have no idea what kind of pre amp, receiver and speaker system to get, any recommendations? (keep in mind I am building this from the ground up, I need everything) This will be used in my room so for me sound quality>>>overall power. Thanks!

If you're building from the ground up there's no reason to go for a separate phono pre-amp, and also no reason for buying a receiver or a speaker system. What you need is a decent stereo amp with a phono input and a pair of bookshelf/standmount speakers. Also, if you just want to listen to records from time to time and do most of your listening through a computer/laptop/CD player, and if you want the best sound quality for your buck, I'd suggest you skip on buying a record player (at least for now).

If listening to records is a priority, try getting a used turntable. A new one will burn up almost half of your budget, which then doesn't leave much for everything else you need. Unless you don't mind owning vintage stuff.

If you decide to go for a new turntable, then that leaves around $600 for amp+speakers. In that case I'd set aside $400 for speakers and $200 for a vintage amp.

Some of the speakers you should keep an eye out:

Epos ELS 8 (if you can get them cheap enough)

Klipsch RB51

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1

Monitor Audio BX2

DALI Lektor 2

Also, if you're willing to buy them used, there's lots more to find. Try here:

http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?spkrmoni

And if you can find them for under $450 used, I'd strongly recommend Dali Ikon 1. If I were looking for a pair of bookshelfs, this would be it.

I also found a pretty sweet deal on some floorstanders:

Jamo C 405 ($800/pair, now on amazon for $300/pair) I don't know what the size of your room is, but if it's over 15 square meters these should do you good.

As for the amp, for $200 you can find a really god vintage model by Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha, Sansui, Luxman, Onkyo, Rotel... My amp of choice would be Marantz 1090. This one shouldn't cost you more than $130, so that leaves enough for some speaker stands and various cables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got back into vinyl for reals, I tried the Numark route and feel like I threw away $100. Thrift stores and yard sales have been great for me. I've come across some real gems out in the wild. Don't get me wrong, about 85% of the stuff out there is garbage, but I have found a few beautiful quality vintage turntables for no more than $15.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long time lurker but first time posting!

I've been playing records for a good few months on my dad's old player but it's really terrible so i'm looking for something new.

I've got about £300 ($450) to spend. Thing is I don't know where to even start with all the components needed to play records on a "proper" record player. The one i'm using has built in speakers (i know) so I just plug it straight into the wall.

I've read about pre amps and stuff, but no idea what I actually need altogether.

Can anyone help me in just writing out the setup really simply for me?

Thanks a lot and I look forward to posting a lot more regularly when I'm all set up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spiderland,

Your most basic setup need only to consist of a turntable and powered speakers(speakers which have amplification built-in). However, when choosing a record player be sure that you select one that not only has a phono out jack, but also a line out jack (this is what you'll connect to the speakers with). For the man on a budget this is the most advantageous setup because you'll only have spent a fraction of your allotment. With the leftover money you can buy cool things like more vinyl and dirty magazines.

If you are looking to "complicate" things, you can throw an amplifier into the mix, thus eliminating the need for powered speakers and a line out connection. This is a better setup option simply based on overall sound quality and fewer constraints on table choice. When deliberating over amplification you will need to choose one of the following options:

A. Stereo Receiver- Power amp+pre amp+radio tuner

Usually has beyond stereo (two channel) capability and is financially conservative. However, you are basically paying for more options and not necessarily quality.

B. Integrated Amp- Power amp+pre amp

This middle of the road approach is pretty popular as you are able to achieve more than adequate ends for still financially reasonable means.

C. Power Amp and Pre-Amp

Really for the serious audiophile. This set up requires that you buy the power amp (having one to two line inputs/outputs) and pre amp (used to control volume and shape the sound) separately. Arguably this setup provides with the best performance but you may find the dollar to yield ratio unjustifiable.

All of these come in tube, solidstate, and hybrid varieties. Tubes offer better sound quality but demand more in the price and upkeep departments. Solidstate provides reliability for a lower price but fall short of tubes in yield quality (though the technology is constantly improving).

As ThrillHo said: make sure your amp is equipped with a phono input jack.

Finally, you'll need to purchase a decent set of speakers. You should be able to judge for your self what exactly will work for you according to your listening space and remaining cash.

good places to troll: ebay, craigslist, audiogoN

Once you have all that, hook the table up to the amp via the phono jack, connect the speakers to the amplifier a la speaker cable (be sure to match those colors!), plug in your table and amp to a safe, grounded power outlet, select a vinyl, flip some switches.... stare.... stare.... pay your power bill, flip some switches, and thus begins the first day of the rest of your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello-

This is my first post ::), and I was curious as to what everyone thought of the Audio Technica ATLP120. I am considering getting it. I noticed that it had some DJ features that I will probably not use. Is there a better table for just playing records that is in the 200-250 price range?

Any advice would be great, also if anyone has an ATLP 120 how do they like it?

Much thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello-

This is my first post ::), and I was curious as to what everyone thought of the Audio Technica ATLP120. I am considering getting it. I noticed that it had some DJ features that I will probably not use. Is there a better table for just playing records that is in the 200-250 price range?

Any advice would be great, also if anyone has an ATLP 120 how do they like it?

Much thanks

I had one for a while, a overall very nice table. Pretty solid build quality, this bitch is HEAVY (about 20lbs), and the speed was dead on. Plus the removable headshell makes installing,switching, upgrading carts/styli very easy. It's also a great starter table since it has a built in pre-amp. Having that made me lust after what its modeled after which is the Technics SL-1200, and after having both and doing a A/B comparison the AT-PL120 turned out to be a better performer than I expected. Definitely a good all around table. I sold mine to a friend and he still uses it, and loves it.

Also, it comes with a cartridge, but its not really that good, the one that comes installed is kind of a hybrid that is sorta meant for DJ'in so it would be a good idea to swap that out for a hifi one.

I'd honestly still have that table, but after having it for a while I started looking at what it was modeled after and but the bullet on the 1200. But I was impressed with how well the PL120 lined up against its big brother, the 1200 is a much better table, but its also like $150 more.

Great table, I never had any issues with it and it sounded damn good. Especially when I switched carts and threw external pre-amp in the mix. That really woke the table up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for Vinyl Collective. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now