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

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I just bought by first "real" turntable...I got on the Technics SL-1200MK2 bandwagon. I think I'll hunt down a vintage Marantz receiver at some point, but I'm happy with my Pioneer VSX-604S for the time being. My first record player was one my mom gave me; it was a Sharp stack system with the record player, tape player and receiver all in one unit. My second was a Sony USB player, which I have had no problems with, but I wanted something sturdier and built to last. I picked the SL1200 up for $400, I feel okay with that.

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I just bought by first "real" turntable...I got on the Technics SL-1200MK2 bandwagon. I think I'll hunt down a vintage Marantz receiver at some point, but I'm happy with my Pioneer VSX-604S for the time being. My first record player was one my mom gave me; it was a Sharp stack system with the record player, tape player and receiver all in one unit. My second was a Sony USB player, which I have had no problems with, but I wanted something sturdier and built to last. I picked the SL1200 up for $400, I feel okay with that.

Congrats on the purchase!!

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I am having a turntable problem. I am using a Pro-Ject Debut III with a Speed Box. The cartridge an Ortofon OM-5E.

In the past few weeks I have noticed that now with any sort of slight wobble in the record the back side of the cartridge (just the plastic) will knock against the record and make a really annoying sound.

This did not used to be the case. Even fairly severe warps were no big deal. The tone arm would just ride up and down with the surface.

Do I need to replace my cartridge or what?

In which case, what sort of cartridge should I get.

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I am having a turntable problem. I am using a Pro-Ject Debut III with a Speed Box. The cartridge an Ortofon OM-5E.

In the past few weeks I have noticed that now with any sort of slight wobble in the record the back side of the cartridge (just the plastic) will knock against the record and make a really annoying sound.

This did not used to be the case. Even fairly severe warps were no big deal. The tone arm would just ride up and down with the surface.

Do I need to replace my cartridge or what?

In which case, what sort of cartridge should I get.

Sounds scary. I've got the same turntable and cartridge. Just bought the Audio Technica AT 440 ML off of Amazon for $99 which is a crazy good deal. Only thing is that they said they're temporarily out of stock. I'm not sure if i'll be getting one from them. Try and order it as well!

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I am having a turntable problem. I am using a Pro-Ject Debut III with a Speed Box. The cartridge an Ortofon OM-5E.

In the past few weeks I have noticed that now with any sort of slight wobble in the record the back side of the cartridge (just the plastic) will knock against the record and make a really annoying sound.

This did not used to be the case. Even fairly severe warps were no big deal. The tone arm would just ride up and down with the surface.

Do I need to replace my cartridge or what?

In which case, what sort of cartridge should I get.

There could be a couple things causing this. First off, are you using any kind of slipmat, perhaps on top of the stock one even? If that's the case, it could be that the added height is the issue, since the cart wouldn't be aligned with the record horizontally, but at a slight angle. Another thing that could cause this is an improper downforce adjustment. Check if it's set according to what the manual states (I think for the stock cart it's 17,5mN). Worst case scenario, collapsed or broken cantilever, in which case a new cart is what you should be looking for. The AT 440 ML mentioned before is still the best buy for under $100.

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So I getting a project debut III in May. I'm getting a pre amp but not a project pre amp. I'm go in go with a audio technica pre amp and upgrade when I get a little more cash. I have been playing a crappy Crosley player connected to a pretty nice PA amp (American Audio) through RCA patch cables. Is it pointless just getting the audio technica pre amp? Any better cheaper pre amps I should be looking at? Also I like the sound I'm getting out of my PA Monitor but I don't exactly know if I'm just oblivious to a truly good sound. Is it a bad idea to be playing out of a PA monitor or should I be investing in some audio speakers?

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The Debut III will definitely be a noticeable improvement over the crosley, but unfortunately won't show its full potential due to the rest of the setup. Low cost PA amps and monitors that are suitable for hi-fi use are few and far between. Although if you're happy with the sound, that's all that matters. I can tell you from my experience, I was always satisfied with the sound I got from any equipment I used, but only right up to the point when I heard something better. Then it was impossible to go back.

The Audio Technica preamp you mentioned, most places have it on sale for just over $40, and in my opinion it is unbeatable at that price point.

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AH! My Sony receiver just crapped out. I am bummed, especially with RSD releases coming in... :-/ My dad has an old tube amp he said I can use. Can someone recommend a half decent and inexpensive preamp, or perhaps vintage receiver for me? I need to replace this ASAP!

Here is a link to some solid, yet relatively cheap preamps: http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/Budget-Phono-Preamps

As for finding a vintage receiver on the quick: best bet is to visit or call up any thrift stores in your area. sometimes a cheap thrift receiver (with phono input, of course) can make do until a proper one is found. just ask to test it before you buy it. this is crucial in the thrift game. but do not rely on a cheap thrift receiver to be a permanent fixture, more like a spare one in case something happens to your main one (like in your initial problem).

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AH! My Sony receiver just crapped out. I am bummed, especially with RSD releases coming in... :-/ My dad has an old tube amp he said I can use. Can someone recommend a half decent and inexpensive preamp, or perhaps vintage receiver for me? I need to replace this ASAP!

Here is a link to some solid, yet relatively cheap preamps: http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/Budget-Phono-Preamps

As for finding a vintage receiver on the quick: best bet is to visit or call up any thrift stores in your area. sometimes a cheap thrift receiver (with phono input, of course) can make do until a proper one is found. just ask to test it before you buy it. this is crucial in the thrift game. but do not rely on a cheap thrift receiver to be a permanent fixture, more like a spare one in case something happens to your main one (like in your initial problem).

thanks! great idea. i am on the prowl.

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Anyone have any experience with the new Rega RP1 that replaced the p1 and p2? It seems like people either think the table is fantastic or horrible with very little middle ground...

i have heard that as far as good quality, entry-level audiophile tables go, it's between this and the pro-ject debut iii. people tend to sway in favor of one of the other, but my understanding is that you'd be happy with either. sorry if that wasn't as concrete of an answer as you may have been looking for. audiogon is a pretty good place to poke around for opinions.

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went to salvation army today and scored BIG. picked up a JVC RX-750V with a turntable and cassette deck for 20 bucks. this receiver blows my old one out of the water. now i have a spare table, and a deck to boot! :)

good to hear! thrift stores are always a good last-ditch effort. sounds like you picked up a combo stack. those are great as back ups, but be aware of the quality of the needle on those things, a low quality needle can fuck up your records over time. it is possible that JVC might actually have replacement cartridges available for that unit, but you'd have to do some digging.

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I'm trying to find a good starter table, and I've been looking at the Music Hall USB-1. Does anybody have any experience with this turntable?

Well Music Hall does make some very quality high end tables, so its a brand I think you can trust.

As for the table itself- the tone arm looks solid, maybe upgrade the cartridge if you feel the need to. Belt drive is usually the way to go with entry level table and I'd buy an extra belt just in case something happens. Pitch control can be awesome if you know how to use it.

As for the USB portion, I personally have never been a fan of USB tables. Recording something from analog to digital defeats the purpose of vinyl enjoyment and quality (IMO)... however! i understand the want to be able to record your records. this can be a good way to get some rare vinyl on to your ipod, just don't expect 320k quality, even with the software included.

i would say this is a good entry buy @ $250. An established, proven brand, and it certainly seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of the majority of USB tables out there. Lots of people look to spend $100-$150 for their entry level table, so you're ahead of the game with $250. Just do your research to make sure you are getting the right table for you and your needs.

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If it goes back in stock, it's the best deal for $100:

http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT440MLA-Dual-Moving-Magnet-Cartridge/dp/B00009MK3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1303514555&sr=8-1

Other than that, Sumiko Pearl ($125), Clearaudio Concept ($200) or the Ortofon 2M Blue ($200) are all pretty good.

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I've repaired a lot of record players and I can honestly recommend that you find a decent turntable on either craigslist or kijiji. No disrespect to audio buffs, but who needs to buy a rega or something of that nature. The truth is that unless you spend a hefty sum on an entire sound system, the tonal and sound characteristics are marginal and may not really improve all that much to most ears, and yes, I have my hearing checked annually! Trust me, I've heard many (very) high-end systems that were very impressive, yet very expensive! Example: I recently got my hands on a beautiful systemdeck with a profile arm and nice grado cartridge, which I thought I would test drive. In the end I didn't hear a big difference, so away it went. Now, if you're just someone who enjoys wanting to hear your records, then you don't have to spend too much to be happy. Don't let anyone tell you different, because it's all a matter of what "you" like.

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