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

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For a reputable seller, do you have any stores that refurbish and resell vintage equipment in your area? Or we have Canuck Audio Mart up here. I think there is an equivalent in the US. eBay can be okay but I notice a lot of sellers that are similar to craigslist sellers. The ones who pull out vintage equipment from their attic/basement/garage that's been collecting dust for 30+ years and try to sell it after cleaning the exterior. Some don't even do that.

 

As an example in this eBay listing, the seller states they have only tested everything. He assumes a lot but wants $450. Servicing this unit can be time consuming but is worth it. You could spend $450 plus shipping then be forced to spend another $200+ on servicing. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marantz-2270-AM-FM-Stereo-Receiver-Beautiful-Condition-TESTED-WORKING-/171050089083

 

When I say don't spend more than $50, I mean when dealing with eBay sellers (some), craigslist sellers, garage sales, etc. That way if you need to put money into the unit, you're out less cash overall. If something hasn't been serviced, it's safe to assume it will require it sooner than later.

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So my question is what is everyone's opinion on what piece to the gear puzzle should be purchased first?  I've had the same set-up for years now probably since I was 18 and I'm almost 30 now.  Sony Turntable(w/ built in pre-amp) running through my stereo.  To help minimize the amount of money I'm dropping at once I'm trying to figure out what to buy first.  Turntable?  or Integrated amp?  or even Speakers?  Ultimately I'm looking at getting a Carbon, but didn't know if I should first look at an integrated first.  I ask because I think my Sansui deal my have fallen through since I haven't heard from the guy since thursday, and so I'm kind of back to square one.  My wife has sort of given me a budget of about $1k although at first it was half that and I said well that will cover the turntable.

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Quick question from a HiFi ignoramus: If I have an integrated receiver with a phono input, like the Yamaha a-s500, is a separate component phono pre-amp worthwhile or overkill?

 

Depends on what the rest of your system is. A solid separate phono preamp will most likely perform better than any phono stage in a modern receiver, though integrated amplifiers like the yamaha you mentioned are better in that regard. 

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Depends on what the rest of your system is. A solid separate phono preamp will most likely perform better than any phono stage in a modern receiver, though integrated amplifiers like the yamaha you mentioned are better in that regard. 

 

 

Do not need. Would not be good for your speakers or your ears. If you want to spend the money to enhance the sound of your set up get a preamp and plug it into another line level input.

 

Thanks to you both.  I think I'll try the Yamaha on its own and then, budget providing, pick your brains about pre-amps in due course.  Cheers!

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So is it the majority of people opinion that spending more on Speakers over an integrated amp is the way to go?  I've got a budget of maybe $1k.  I'm interested to see what people suggest and see if it lines up with what I'm thinking.  The $1k would be Speakers, Integrated or Pre although I'd prefer the integrated I think unless I can be convinced otherwise, and the TT.  

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So is it the majority of people opinion that spending more on Speakers over an integrated amp is the way to go?  I've got a budget of maybe $1k.  I'm interested to see what people suggest and see if it lines up with what I'm thinking.  The $1k would be Speakers, Integrated or Pre although I'd prefer the integrated I think unless I can be convinced otherwise, and the TT.  

 

Whether it's the majority, I don't know. Most likely. But they're wrong. Put the most money into your source (TT, CD player, DAC, etc), as that will transfer the most sound to the rest of the system. I would easily spend half of the budget you have on a TT, and then piece together an integrated and speakers. Rega RP1, NAD C316BEE, and PSB Image B5s gets you pretty close to $1k.

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Whether it's the majority, I don't know. Most likely. But they're wrong. Put the most money into your source (TT, CD player, DAC, etc), as that will transfer the most sound to the rest of the system. I would easily spend half of the budget you have on a TT, and then piece together an integrated and speakers. Rega RP1, NAD C316BEE, and PSB Image B5s gets you pretty close to $1k.

 

This.

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Then a cheaper option (just as good as the one above):

 

Debut Carbon $400

Marantz PM 5004 (from amazon warehouse deals) $200

Mordaunt Short Aviano 2 $310

or

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 $350

 

Total: $910 - $950

 

Or if you want to go ultra cheap and still get good sound:

 

Debut III $300

Focal XS Book $300 (those are powered speakers, so you don't need extra amplification)

Bellari VP-29 phono $76

 

Total: $676

 

Of course there might be some extra shipping costs, as I don't know if places other than amazon offer free shipping. But you get really good value for money with these setups.

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Then a cheaper option (just as good as the one above):

 

Debut Carbon $400

Marantz PM 5004 (from amazon warehouse deals) $200

Mordaunt Short Aviano 2 $310

or

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 $350

 

Total: $910 - $950

 

This is more the set up I was looking at, actually pretty much exactly.  What are the differences in the speakers?  I've been leaning towards the 10.1s lately.  Do you have a preference?

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The Diamond 10.1 are on of my all time favorite bookshelf speakers because the sound quallity they offer at this price is out of this world. If I were buying in this segment, I'd have to up my speaker budget to at least $500 to consider anything else than these. Note that I have very limited experience with brands that aren't widely available in EU, so I cannot compare them to something like Boston Acoutics, Definite Tech or Paradigm speakers. But I find it hard to imagine getting more bang for your buck than with these.

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Thanks you've pretty much helped me solidify my decision on these and everything else I'm pretty much interested in.  Now just waiting for a PM5004 to go up on Amazon for that price again.  If all goes according to plan I should have a fairly satisfying set up in the very near future.

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Could someone suggest me some decent bookshelf speakers in the range of $150-250? 

 

I have a Pro-Ject Carbon

And my dads old 1989(?) Yamaha RX-500U

 

Save $100 more and and instead of decent you can get these highly recommended speakers. That's what I'm going to do. This is not the first time I have heard that these Wharfdales are amazing especially considering the price.

 

The Diamond 10.1 are on of my all time favorite bookshelf speakers because the sound quallity they offer at this price is out of this world. If I were buying in this segment, I'd have to up my speaker budget to at least $500 to consider anything else than these. Note that I have very limited experience with brands that aren't widely available in EU, so I cannot compare them to something like Boston Acoutics, Definite Tech or Paradigm speakers. But I find it hard to imagine getting more bang for your buck than with these.

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Any good deals on an integrated amp out there? Just bought the Epic Epos 2 bookshelves. Kinda upgrading piece by piece. Following step is going to probably be an RP1 turntable (have an audio technica 120 right now). So going for the ~$400 per component range.

 

Trying to just be a smart shopper and be patient, though.

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Hi Everyone,

 

 Great thread. I wish I had stumbled upon this before I bought what I have, but it is what it is and I'm hoping someone can guide me in the right direction. I recently upgraded my speakers which is part of a surround sound setup in hopes my vinyl listening would be louder and clearer. The new speakers do sound quite awesome while watching blu rays etc, but I still have to turn my receiver up to 9 or 8, with 1 being the loudest, to get the sound to where I like it when I am listening to records. I can still have a normal conversation with someone quite easily until it hits the single digits which seems odd to me. Can someone look at my set up and see if there is something else I can do?

 

My set up:

 

Audio Technica LP120 plugged into a

 

behringer microphono pp400 that is plugged directly into my receiver which is a

 

Marantz sr5003 and finally my speakers which are

 

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

 

I did see where someone said to check the settings on whatever input the turntable is hooked up to and make sure it's set on 'direct' which will be the first thing I do when I get home from work. Is there anything I can do?

 

Thanks so much in advance!

 

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I have the same turntable and am having similar issues. Just getting in to the world of hi-fi as well.

 

I am thinking the problem might be the turntable. Yes, you can change the turntable from phono to direct for a volume boost, but this is treating your vinyl audio signal like it is an ipod and defeating the purpose of listening to vinyl.

 

On the phono setting, I'm not sure you should use a phono preamp as well. The turntable has one built in. I thought that was a no-no.

 

I just run that turntable with the volume of my receiver jacked to full power. It's not a very good receiver and (post above) I am looking to upgrade. The only trouble is that I have to be really careful not to accidentally switch the radio on with the receiver at full power or it is very unpleasant.

 

Someone else will answer better. I guess just saying, I have that turntable too and also have volume issues.

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Big Lebowski,

Interesting you as that about the at lp120. I wonder if anyone else that has one can confirm the same problem? I thought I had decent equipment, especially my receiver but who knows. I have seen a youtube video floating around on how to disconnect the AT LP120 internal preamp, which is supposed to make the signal more pure, clearer and louder. But I'm a disaster when it comes to those kind of upgrades and I'm deathly afraid ill just brick my turntable.

I've also heard that if I don't care about the mp3 recording option, there's a way to wire the arm directly into the auxiliary output connection and that's supposed to make the AT LP120 quite the beast of a turntable, but again, I'm terrible at those type of things but I am too afraid to try it..right now anyway.

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I have the same turntable and am having similar issues. Just getting in to the world of hi-fi as well.

 

I am thinking the problem might be the turntable. Yes, you can change the turntable from phono to direct for a volume boost, but this is treating your vinyl audio signal like it is an ipod and defeating the purpose of listening to vinyl.

 

On the phono setting, I'm not sure you should use a phono preamp as well. The turntable has one built in. I thought that was a no-no.

 

I just run that turntable with the volume of my receiver jacked to full power. It's not a very good receiver and (post above) I am looking to upgrade. The only trouble is that I have to be really careful not to accidentally switch the radio on with the receiver at full power or it is very unpleasant.

 

Someone else will answer better. I guess just saying, I have that turntable too and also have volume issues.

And on the external preamp, vs the built in one, someone said the internal one is really terrible and that I should try an external one for better sound. It actually does sound cleaner with the external pre amp and does not start humming as badly as when I used the internal one when the sound is increased, but it still hums.

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Last winter I upgraded my TT and preamp. I am now in the market for an integrated amp and speakers. Here is my current set up:

 

VPI Scout 

Dynavector DV 10X5 cart

Jolida JD9 pre

Panasonic receiver

Klipsch Quintet speakers

 

My absolute max budget is $2000. It would be great to stay under that.

I am looking at the Epos Epic 2 bookshelf speakers.

The integrated amp doesn't need a phono stage and can be SS, tube, or hybrid. The Jolida is a tube pre. Let me know what you think.

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And on the external preamp, vs the built in one, someone said the internal one is really terrible and that I should try an external one for better sound. It actually does sound cleaner with the external pre amp and does not start humming as badly as when I used the internal one when the sound is increased, but it still hums.

I think you are using the internal one regardless. Only two settings on the TT -- line and phono. Phono includes the TT preamp.

Little surprised no one who actually knows what they are talking about (unlike me) chipped in yet. I'd make a separate thread and ask your question if no one does today.

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I think you are using the internal one regardless. Only two settings on the TT -- line and phono. Phono includes the TT preamp.

Little surprised no one who actually knows what they are talking about (unlike me) chipped in yet. I'd make a separate thread and ask your question if no one does today.

 

 I switched the phono to line when I connected it to the external so I should be ok in that aspect.

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 I switched the phono to line when I connected it to the external so I should be ok in that aspect.

 

 

I could be horribly mistaken, but I would assume that a "line" setting would use the internal preamp to bring the signal up to a "line" level and a phono setting would bypass the internal preamp and deliver a "phono" level signal to an external preamp.

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