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

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This is probably a stupid question, but do most receivers have headphone jacks?

Typically, yes.

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I don't know much about Rega but the project debut III is fantastic, but I've also heard that Rega is a quality turntable and is usually regarded as a upgrade from the Project Debut III. Project debut III from what I've been learning needs a few upgrades in itself to reach pike performance (cartridge,pre amp, platter (acrylic) to name some but not sure if the Rega RP1 is good straight out of the box.

Slinch big thanks guy. Received a new pair of speakers. Your advice really helped. Makes an incredibly big difference. Actually this whole thread was incredibly helpful in terms of researching products. Thanks All!

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I'm not an expert but I had been using a Crosley player similar to that and it was shit. I was also advised by many people to stay away from USB turntables because they are said to eat up your records.

Some USB turntables like the Stanton T.92 and the Project Debut USB are fine because they have adjustable tracking force and anti-skate which most other usb turntables don't.

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I'm looking at a Crosley CR6004A

http://www.crosleyradio.com/Product.aspx?pid=1874

any opinions on this one before I buy it? Is there anything better for the price range($199)?

thanks, any advice is much appreciated!!

Jason

AVOID CROSLEY! Are you willing to consider a vintage TT or are you only looking for a brand new TT?

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I have been looking for a budget setup for a few weeks now. I found a Technics SL-B1 belt-driven, fully manual with a new Shure M97xE for about $75. Should I jump on this? I have a good receiver/surround sound I will pump it through until my bar room is finished.

I still have one at home but upgraded to an Ortofon 2M Blue.

Shure 97 was not bad but just a little weak. Definitely a lot less 'punchy' than Ortofons or Grados. Maybe it was just my set up.

Hey everybody...I'm new!

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I'm looking at a Crosley CR6004A

http://www.crosleyradio.com/Product.aspx?pid=1874

any opinions on this one before I buy it? Is there anything better for the price range($199)?

thanks, any advice is much appreciated!!

Jason

AVOID CROSLEY! Are you willing to consider a vintage TT or are you only looking for a brand new TT?

I'd consider vintage, just don't want to spend 6 months looking for one to buy ;)

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Have you all seen the new TDK gear?

http://www.tdkperformance.com/en-us/

Everyone knows TDK makes blank CDs and tapes but in the past month or so they have begun releasing their new line of electronics. They have 2 ghettoblaster style boomboxes (2 speaker and 2 speaker + woofer), a 1 speaker sound cube, headphones and a turntable (non usb and a usb model). These things all look fucking good. I really want to try out and look at these things but the only store that carries them is Futureshop in Canada. Best Buy only sells the 2 Speaker boombox in stores. I thought this stuff was just style but after hearing the boombox at the store, it really impressed me. The other problem is that because they are new, no one has reviews of this stuff yet. The only reviews for the turntable are on Amazon and from their "Vine" program. Vine is a thing they do where they send you free stuff as long as you write a review of it. So the opinions of the people who reviewed the turntable are either, "I haven't played records in 30 years, what the fuck is this?" or "the software they give you is a trial! blah blah this is bullshit."

I've been thinking that the turntable + boombox + headphones would be a good minimal setup for $1100. I already bought the headphones and I'm pretty impressed with them. At $200, they are way way better than Beats and are pretty comparable to things in that price range. But I don't know, I'm not big into headphones so for all I know they're terrible.

I would just give in and get a Pro-Ject like everyone else but I would like to pair it with one of their amps, a new cartridge and maybe a speedbox, it will be around the same price. While I do want this stuff because space is sort of an issue, I feel like I could get a lot better stuff for $1000.

(Right now I have two tables, generic preamp, stereo w/ those Insignia bookshelf speakers everyone raves about. It's not bad but I want to upgrade.)

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Hi Guys,

New to the board, thought I'd jump in with both feet so to speak.

I've been collecting records for the last 8-9 years and have never really had a nice table - I've had about 3 budget fully auto players in that time and they have served me pretty well - not overly happy with the sound quality, but have never really had the cash to do anything about it... But now I do...

So I'm thinking of forking out a big chunk of change on a Pro-Ject Xpression iii...

http://www.encelstereo.com.au/encel/Brand03pop.asp?id=3729

Has anyone had any experience with it? Is it noticeably different from the Pro-Ject Debut?

Realistically, I should probably go with the Debut just because of the considerable price difference, but a) I don't much care for the bright colours it comes in, and I *love* the woodgrain finish the Xpression comes in, B) If I get the Debut, knowing me, I'd probably want to upgrade in a few years anyway... and c) the Xpression comes with an Ortofon 2M Red Cart, which seems like a nice upgrade...

Also, while speaking of Pro-Ject stuff, has anyone got bad things to say about their phono pre-amps? I'm looking at getting the table and the preamp from the same store at the same time, but if there is something better for around the same price point I'd be willing to change it up...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help!

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What is your budget dangerben? What is your set up now, do you have OK speakers / receiver? Sometimes it's better to buy a new receiver with a phono input than to get a preamp, especially one that's $200.

My current setup sucks. I'm using a no-name table that has inbuilt speakers that i bought purely for aesthetic reasons (I'm a sucker for bare wood products)

[image]

the speakers are terrible - hardly any tonal range. good for acoustic stuff, but fall over when anything gets loud. I was thinking of soldering some RCA connections to the back of the box and running leads out to my media center but just haven't found the time.

my budget is currently sitting at $2000. thats half for the table and half for the rest of the setup. I actually did a bit of snooping around and think i may have found a nice rig.

AMP - NAD C316 $449

http://www.carltonaudiovisual.com.au/?q=node/view/1329

SPEAKERS - Monitor Audio BX2 <$600

http://www.carltonaudiovisual.com.au/?q=node/view/1373

PHONO PRE - Cambridge Audio 540P Phono stage $150

http://www.carltonaudiovisual.com.au/?q=node/view/705

That goes a bit above my budget, and obviously if I could get an amp / receiver that had phono input it would cut my cost a bit.

I guess the beauty of buying the pre-amp would be that I could buy the Xpression III and the pre-amp and run it through my media center until I could comfortably buy the amp and speakers which would then replace the speakers in my media center...

Any criticism on the above amp / speakers? Is there anything better out there for that price point?

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I really don't think there is a significant difference between the $40/50 phono preamps and the $150 preamps. You could save $100 by going with the ART DJ Pre II or the TCC TC-750. Also, do you need an integrated amp? Are you going to be using all those inputs? Hooking up a CD player, tape deck, DVD player, tuner, etc? If not, you could get a power amp like the Behringer a500. Or for the very budget minded there is the Sherwood RX4109 if you still need additional connectivity of a receiver/integrated amp. I have to go, more later...

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Also, do you need an integrated amp? Are you going to be using all those inputs? Hooking up a CD player, tape deck, DVD player, tuner, etc?

I don't *need* an integrated amp - I have a media center (Linux Server running Boxee) and a PS3, and it would be nice to run all of these through one receiver.

However, if I can cut costs dramatically without sacrificing audio quality, I'd have no problem having a dedicated stereo receiver with a phono phase.... I just don't know what is out there to be honest.

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First off, the best way to cut costs without sacrificing quality is to buy used gear. You can get pretty much anything for 50%-60% of the retail price and believe me, the difference between new speakers for $500 and used speakers for $500 is substantial. Unfortunately, other than ebay I have no idea where to look for used audio gear in Australia.

Secondly, receivers. I don't know why they are mentioned so often here, but there really is no place for receivers in serious two-channel audio systems. Of course, it's understandable if you're looking for something that will just get the job done for as little money as possible and you manage to score one for $15 at salvation army. But if you're buying new, buying a receiver (stereo or multichannel one) strictly for listening to music is like... well kind of like buying a crosley turntable. It will sound horrible, especially compared to integrated amps in the same price range.

Vintage gear. Here the story is a bit different. 35 years ago receivers were in a completely different league than they are today. Of course not all, but there were models that were (and still are) quality-wise on the same level, if not higher, than the integrated amps in the same price class. Also, today some of the vintage models are the best price/performance deals in audio. Unfortunately, buying a vintage piece of equipment isn't as easy as picking one out and bringing it home. There's a lot of research to be done, and it is very important to know a thing or two about audio gear and electronics to be able to make a good purchase, noticing faulty or badly handled gear on the spot.

If you're decided that you want to purchase everything brand new and you have a budget in mind, it is best to figure out your priorities first. How much does sound quality matter? Do you mostly listen to records, or are the listening sessions split evenly between analog/digital sources? Getting the best out of a record can cost a pretty penny, and even then only the records that are recorded/mastered/pressed well will actually sound really good.

So my advice would be, if you mostly/only listen to music on vinyl, then the way you split your budget sounds about right, however note that a better turntable is only a smart choice if the records you will listen to aren't mostly poor quality pressings. If you also listen to a lot of CDs, mp3s, then maybe a better investment would be $500 for the turntable and $1500 for amp/speakers.

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Vintage has it's disadvantages in that it can be expensive or labor/skill intensive to properly restore (especially old tube equipment), if you don't buy already restored items. But it can also be rewarding, and if you shop around, perhaps even real cheap. If you aren't interested in going that route, then I'd argue that the digital amps in modern receivers aren't much inferior to stand alone digital amps, watt for watt (of course, you can get much more power by going stand alone, but in terms of sound quality, that is about all you'll get more of if they are both quality components). Tube amps are another story, and you might want to seriously consider Yaqin and other Chinese manufactures options for budget solutions. Finally, one other thing to consider, in terms of sound quality, is room acoustics. If you don't have a properly acoustically treated room, then the small differences between various hifi components aren't really going to shine through. Because of this, I wouldn't shy away from an AV receiver if you have your PS3 and media server. Having a dedicated stereo system in a dedicated, treated room is rewarding to some, but on a $2000 in a family room or bedroom, I think getting a quality lower end receiver would work just fine. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend spending over $500 on a turntable/cartridge pair. Then take roughly $200-400 to spend on a receiver or amp + preamp, and sink the rest into speakers, as I think they are the biggest component to sound quality outside of room acoustics.

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Thanks heaps guys - realistically i should just go for the pro-ject debut.. Besides my stupidly huge mp3 collection, i barely if ever listen to CDs. "Records only" is my motto - but having everything in the family room of my apartment really doesn't allow for truly high-end stuff.

I'll give it all some thought and let you know what I end up buying.

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I bought a Rega RP1 with a Rega Phono Mini pre-amp around a month ago and finally received it a few days ago. It was a major step up from my cheap Audio Techinica with a built in pre-amp. The table sounds incredible, and the superior sound quality compared to my old AT was immediately noticeable. Everything sounds so crisp, and the highs are so distinct and clear. I plan on actually doing a side by side comparison of the two tables to make sure I'm not letting my excitement for the Rega fool me into thinking it sounds significantly better when in fact it's just a subtle improvement. As far as I can tell though - and I'm not one of those audiophiles who can tell the difference between a FLAC and 320 kbps MP3 - it's a major step up. Although, my only complaint is the platter on my RP1 is slightly warped, and this seems to be a relatively common problem for the RP1's. I might contact the dealer I bought it from and see if I could get a new one, but even with the slight warp, it sounds unbelievable.

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