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Beginner’s Guide to Turntables & Hi–Fi *READ 1st PAGE BEFORE POSTING NEW THREADS / BASIC QUESTIONS*

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Even though the Postal Service 10 Year repress really made me love vinyl again.

 

OH and

 

And then you just fucking love audio so much that you need to listen to them in every single room in your house, which means buying way more equipment than any normal person should have.

 

I'm on setup #3.... doing better than my BFF in your neck of the woods. He has 6. Yes. 6.

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God this is my struggle right now. I just turned off my Mellon Collie LP and put the CD in... currently playing with filters on my DAC.

Sounds like someone needs a new turntable, not speakers.

 

Bearchuck, you also forgot: Due to the higher fidelity of your new equipment, you start to realize that copy of _________ doesn't sound "AMAZING!!!" like you posted on VC a couple of years previously and you start to seek out better sounding pressings of records you already own.

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Sounds like someone needs a new turntable, not speakers.

 

Bearchuck, you also forgot: Due to the higher fidelity of your new equipment, you start to realize that copy of _________ doesn't sound "AMAZING!!!" like you posted on VC a couple of years previously and you start to seek out better sounding pressings of records you already own.

 

See previous posts in other threads. ALL OF THEM. New TT is last on the upgrade list... but its coming.

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Bearchuck, you also forgot: Due to the higher fidelity of your new equipment, you start to realize that copy of _________ doesn't sound "AMAZING!!!" like you posted on VC a couple of years previously and you start to seek out better sounding pressings of records you already own.

 

That's where I draw the line.  I've pressed enough records myself to know that if something doesn't sound good, there's a giant shit list of things that might have gone wrong in the process - crappy recording / mixing / mastering, etc etc - and "incompetence at the manufacturing plant" is the last box I check off that list.

 

In other words, if you have a record that doesn't sound awesome, don't automatically assume that it has anything to do with the actual pressing.  More often than not, it's an engineer (or a band) who doesn't know what they're doing in the studio, or someone cutting a master lacquer who pushes the volume past the threshold of what vinyl can reasonably handle.  Stuff like that.  Vinyl is a really fickle medium and there's so many opportunities for things to go sidewise at some point in the process.  Honestly, it's a miracle that LPs ever sound good at all!

 

Of course, that's not to say that vinyl manufacturing plants don't occasionally fuck up as well, but it would take a lot to convince me to buy a different pressing of a record unless I knew it had been remixed / remastered.

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I have a really shitty and cheap set up right now and I plan on upgrading everything by the end of this year. This thread has helped me a lot already as I knew pretty much nothing about what equipment I need or what to buy. I'm just curious though, is there really a big difference in what receiver I should purchase? The one I have right now (which has a phono input) seems fine to me. Doesn't the sound depend more on the TT / stylus / cartridge / speakers rather than the receiver?

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I disagree. The GK cut Rush albums sound so much better than the HW. The Green label early Sabbath albums sound much better than later pressings. Etc, etc...

 

I understand what you're saying.  I think we're just interpreting the use of the word "pressing" differently.

 

Let's assume this GK fellow cut the original vinyl master of Rush's "Blow Me In the Morn" (I don't know any actual Rush albums ... but that would be an awesome title, btw) and this HW jabroni cut a new master 10 years later.  You may be correct in your assessment of the former's superiority over the latter.  But that's kind of what I'm saying; something changed in the mastering process ... not in the process of actually pressing the records.

 

My point was that I get annoyed when people assume that when a record sounds shitty on vinyl, it's the fault of the manufacturing plant.  You've heard it on VC a million times before ...

 

"My copy of so-and-so sounds terrible; it must be a bad pressing."

 

Well, no ... the pressing is probably fine.  More likely, it was a poorly-recorded recorded / mixed / mastered record.  You could send that master to any vinyl manufacturing plant in the world and it will sound equally as crappy.

 

But to your point, remixed / remastered / recut pressings of a record can definitely sound better / worse than older pressings. I completely agree.

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Why not? A receiver is an integrated amp... But just with a radio receiver.

For me it's preference. I don't listen to the radio so I don't need the added feature. Plus I was under the impression from everything I have read and experienced that recievers are on the bottom end of high quality audio. The next step would be intergrated which essentially is the amp and pre amp together and the next step would be a pre amp and amp separately. Pre-amps usually get better circuits, capacitors, potentiometers and processing chips, to name a few. Amps usually get bigger power supplies, more heat sinks and a

better chassis. Which is why I wanna go that route next.

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For me it's preference. I don't listen to the radio so I don't need the added feature. Plus I was under the impression from everything I have read and experienced that recievers are on the bottom end of high quality audio. The next step would be intergrated which essentially is the amp and pre amp together and the next step would be a pre amp and amp separately. Pre-amps usually get better circuits, capacitors, potentiometers and processing chips, to name a few. Amps usually get bigger power supplies, more heat sinks and a

better chassis. Which is why I wanna go that route next.

 

I feel like this is just such a dangerous way of thinking. That all separate pre/power combos > integrated amps > receivers. I could name receivers that are better than pre/power combos, and integrated amps that are better than most anything in the world. It all depends on the individual component(s). Now, receivers (in a modern sense...A/V stuff) are not normally considered to be the end-all, be-all in the audio world, but in a vintage sense...that's all that was made back then. So many people listened to the radio that all the money went into stereo receivers. So there are a lot of good stereo receivers from the past.

But in terms of "modern" audio, I'd say that there are some shitty cheap separates, and some really great inexpensive integrateds. And then there's the Boulder 865.

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I honestly was not aware that I didn't have to buy a receiver, but rather an integrated amp. Which actually seems to be a better option considering I don't use any of the other inputs on my receiver. Are these more expensive, would anyone recommend them?

 

I have yet to add a buying guide for integrateds/receivers, but strcictly speaking in terms of purchasing something brand new, (good) integrateds start at $300 to $350. I believe that receivers are still much more popular simply because you can get a new one at $100 or even less. Sound quality though is horrendous. A solid used integrated (5-10 years old) will run you slightly over $100, but you'll get best sound for your buck. Going vintage though, it's not so straightforward anymore. That era was ruled by receivers, which in terms of build quality and functions have hardly anything in common with modern receivers. So with vintage equipment it is impossible to say one is better than the other, because most were pretty damn good. A lot of shitty equipment was made as well, but those mostly ended up garbage cans.

 

I feel like this is just such a dangerous way of thinking. That all separate pre/power combos > integrated amps > receivers. I could name receivers that are better than pre/power combos, and integrated amps that are better than most anything in the world. It all depends on the individual component(s). Now, receivers (in a modern sense...A/V stuff) are not normally considered to be the end-all, be-all in the audio world, but in a vintage sense...that's all that was made back then. So many people listened to the radio that all the money went into stereo receivers. So there are a lot of good stereo receivers from the past.

But in terms of "modern" audio, I'd say that there are some shitty cheap separates, and some really great inexpensive integrateds. And then there's the Boulder 865.

 

If we're talking about modern equipment, then the receiver vs integrated battle is pretty one sided. In the same price class, a modern receiver will never be as good as a modern integrated. Vintage though, like mentioned above, is a completely different story.

 

I wouldn't even compare pre/power combos to integrateds in the sense of which is better, because there is no rule here. Apart from the fact that new pre/power combos start in a price class a bit above the average consumer, so for a low budget there isn't really many options. But going higher up the chain, in the same price class pre/power combos and integrateds are pretty equal, and should be decided between only in terms of personal preference and desired use. There is more freedom with a pre/power combination for an experienced user, but also a higher chance of missing the synergy of the system for someone less experienced.

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I love upgrading gear! When I got my McIntosh the Marantz went upstairs and the Kenwood went out to the garage. The same happened with speakers except the bookshelf Klipsch's went out to the garage when I replaced them with KG4's. Now the garage speakers are a nice pair of  DLK Model 1's. I'm sure in the next year I get another itch to swap something out. Maybe I'll finally get my Thorens' I've been dreaming about forever.

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