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

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Hey guys, just a quick note. I finally upgrade the pre-amp from the crappy $20 one I got on amazon to the Cambridge Audio 640p and it sounds amazing paired with my music hall mmf 2.2. Seriously, it's like an entirely different system! I highly recommend it if you're looking to improve your sound without dropping a ton of cash.

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Hey guys, just a quick note. I finally upgrade the pre-amp from the crappy $20 one I got on amazon to the Cambridge Audio 640p and it sounds amazing paired with my music hall mmf 2.2. Seriously, it's like an entirely different system! I highly recommend it if you're looking to improve your sound without dropping a ton of cash.

It really is a killer pre-amp. I've been using the 640p for 2 years now. It's also nice how it will work with MC and MM carts. It's nice to know ya have the option to move up to higher end carts if need be. I have a feeling it would take 4-5x the price of this to really beat it, or at least notice any difference. It's a bargain at under $200 new.

It edges out the built in pre-amp in my 1984 Denon PMA-777 integrated amp, and that internal one has been praised as being excellent. I believe the 640p is better in all the tests I have done.

Gotta love that synergy ya get when equipment matches up perfectly. :D

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Well for a budget of 1k......

200$ Turntable: You can find a decent used one for 100 or under, but don't get one of those Ion usb suckers they have a fucked up arm geometry so you would never be able to correctly align the cartridge, you would be stuck using spherical styli and hearing all kinds of distortion. Dual's can be nice, but usally require quite a bit of in depth servicing before you use them due to age and lubricants they used, can be done if you have some decent DIY skill. There are alot of Japanese Direct Drive Tables on ebay that would be fantastic and are easy as pie to setup, JVC, Technics (though I tend to avoid used 1200s as DJ's use and abuse them and pawn them off on someone else once the arm bearings go bad), Sansui, Denon, and Pioneer all had some good models.

50 to 75$ Phono Cartridge: An Audio Technica AT95e is a terrific buy and is a very musical cartridge for not alot of cash. It is no Lyra or Benz Micro, but it is very well respected as one of the best budget cartridges. Lpgear.com has rebranded some AT95 series carts as there own with better Styli as well, The lpgear AT95he is a great buy at 75 bux and has a Hyper Elliptical Stylus, and it mates well with Heavier Sarms you find on most DD tables.

150$ Phono Preamp: This is one area that people tend to overlook or disregard, but I find it one of the most important. You will never hear all the details and subtleties in the music, you will not hear as black (quiet) of a background, you will get more distortion, and well it just will be veiled if you don't use a external Phono Pre. The Music Hall PA 1.2 is a great deal, the cambridge 640p isnt bad either. If you can soldier, the Hagerman Bugle is a great kit and I think you would have to spend your whole budget to best it.

100$ Reciever (amp) I find that vintage Pioneers of the SX series are terrific, very nice and underrated. I have a couple an SX-450 and an SX-780 and they are both fantastic! If you can find one that would be what I would get just remember the SX series gos 400s to 1900s then it jumps to the 3400s to 3900s the 3400s are the same as the 400s and the 3900s are the same as the 900s the 3000s are not as good as the older models though are still nice. The bigger the number of the originall series the more watts per channel.

350$ Speakers: Now this is going to hurt the most price wise but speakers are a huge link in the chain! I am going to recomend new ones as I have found a company that has blown me away with how reasonbly priced they are and how wonderfly musicial yet still detailed they are. They are Tekton 6.5n's. Over on the other forum I frequent some guys have these and love them, and they have 1000 dollar Benz Micro Gliders and 2000 ZYX carts, and still like them! They are a wonderful speak anyhow. If you wanted to go used just be warned that most will need a recap and posibly a refoam, and never buy them unless you can hear them, you want to make sure the Voice Coils are in good shape and there is no rubbing or distortion. Dynaco A25's are another favorite of mine and are vintage speaks. They are quite nice but due to age most will need a recap.

Now whats left over you will need to buy some good speaker cables and some good interconects. Composite Video cables are nice and low capasitance and work quite well for hooking up stuff:) If your a DIYer at all then you can get airline tubing and some Cat5e cable and braid some interconects out of it.

You also want to be sure and setup your table well, get the alignment right with a protactor, which can be had for free over at Vinylengine.com.

Wish you the best!

-Nick

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dumb question, can someone suggest me a good preamp? i have a marantz 6100.

Wow! Nice table!

I love my Cambridge Audio 640p pre-amp.

http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-640P-B-Phono-Preamp/dp/B00106E67G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1286464865&sr=8-1

thanks, ive actually debated selling it. but i just got it not too long ago. ill look into that pre-amp

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dumb question, can someone suggest me a good preamp? i have a marantz 6100.

I have been using the Yaqin MS-12B for the last 6 months and love it. My dad has been using one for about a year and I decided to buy one based on how much he like his.

It is very inexpensive for what you get. Search it on google, you will see it has quite a cult following.

Here is a link to the guy I bought mine from on ebay. He is the main seller in Hong Kong, if you would rather buy from someone not in China, there is a guy on ebay who imports these and says he QC's them before shipping them out. He is in Canada, my dad bought his from the guy in Canada.

http://cgi.ebay.com/YAQIN-MS-12B-MM-Vacu....item 3f03cf0331

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I have to support the motion towards Rega turntables. I have a P2 myself and it is wonderful. These are really no-frills machines that will last a long time. They don't even have a switch to go from 33 to 45, as the mechanism to do so adds to the cost and accelerates wear on the belt. You lift up the platter and switch the belt from one pulley to the next. I bought this after a number of years of fighting through various $100-$200 cheap/old used turntables, and it really is worth it financially in the long run, not to mention the sound advantage.

Something to keep in mind: Though DJ turntables such as the Technics 1200 are great units, you will be spending a significant amount of money on aspects that don't contribute to either sound quality nor durability of the turntable. The home listener does not need a high-torque, high-acceleration direct drive unit. They don't need pitch adjust, nor a reversible motor, or the strobe or a quick release cartridge. It's just a lot of features that you pay for which probably have no benefit in the long run and are avenues for mechanical problems.

Regarding Project turntables: I've heard from a few sources that you'll be paying for aesthetics on these, and performance wise you'll find more in a Rega. This is fairly evident by Project's cheap looking weight-on-a-fishing-line anti skating system. Something to keep in mind, though there's nothing wrong with wanting a yellow turntable, either!

Someone mentioned speakers above. Where sound quality is concerned, speakers will give you the most return for your dollar, and it's not even close. Spend more on these than any other component if sonics is your concern.

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God, I don't even know what kind of turntable I'm using. It was my grandfathers and it is fucking old.

It's a Panasonic 8-Track FM/AM Stereo. On the front right side, there's a small thing that says FET C.

The speakers are shit, and I'd imagine it's not the best thing to listen to your vinyl on, but it's all I got. I'd love a Rega.

I replaced the cartridge/needle on it a few months ago, and it sounds a lot better now.

But yeah! Does anyone have any idea what the hell this thing is, and if it's decent or just old shit? Haha.

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I think the best budget turntable on the market right now is the Pro-ject RPM 1.3. If you're thinking about getting a Rega RP1 (used to be the P1), you're better off saving another $50 and upgrading to this. The major benefit is that it has the motor detached from the plinth to avoid vibration. This also means that it's easier to from one speed to the other. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

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One sort of obvious thing I rarely see in threads like this is to go talk to the older members of your family. People who have owned houses since vinyl was the #1 format out there tend to have stuff lying around. My father-in-law had a Micro Seiki DD-22 sitting around that he gave me because he didn't use it and thought it was broken. Well, it was a little broken... but $100 of work (including a new cartridge/stylus) and it's a phenomenal second turntable. my primary is an audio technica at-pl120 (not the more recent usb at-lp120). i love them both.

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I've decided I'm sick of my old setup, which is a collection of low-end gear, and I'm going to spend a decent chunk of money on a new setup.

I need a help on a power amp as I'm really anxious to pick up a Yaqin MS-12B for a pre-amp, after hearing so many good things about it. Any suggestions on a power amp?

Keep in mind, I do not want to use EQ. I'd like this to be a really high end system and would prefer the speakers to support that, so please, if you have any suggestions for that as well. I'd appreciate it. Looking for either bookshelf or floor-standing.

I'm leaning towards a Pro-ject Turntable to round it out.

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