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About mikeburns

  • Rank
    Thrift Store 7"
  • Birthday 06/24/1982

Your Gear Setup

  • Turntable
    SL1210 with modified "The Wand" tonearm
  • Speakers
    Monitor Audio Silver 8
  • Amplifiers
    Class D Audio SDS470C 4 channel
  • Phono Preamps
    Quad 99 preamp
    Perreaux SXV2 phono preamp
  • Turntable Cartridge
    Denon 301mk2 MC
  • Turntable Speed Controller / Speed Box
    I have a 1200, no speed control necessary.

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
  • Interests
    Music, Homebrewing, Science, Discgolf, Whisky

Recent Profile Visitors

5,047 profile views
  1. A good second hand Technics 1200 series turntable will destroy the music hall. It is fully manual though so no automatic functionality, but less to go wrong. Get a good MM cartidge for it and you will be good to go. No functional turntable should have to have the setup done over and over. You should just have to do it once, and well, and that should be that. The stylus/cartridge should never ever drag. If your going to invest in better gear you will notice a profound improvement but you will need to check your setup process carefully as a bad setup can wreck both cartridge/stylus and records. On another note I wonder why anyone would bother continuing to listen to records (let alone purchase more) with such a bad sounding setup. Whats the point? Listening to vinyl really requires a minimum entry point for it to sound even close to as good as a basic digital setup. The payoff for getting a decent setup is high, but the cost is really prohibitive. I guess you need to decide on whether it is worth it or not. Have you heard a good vinyl rig before? That is the kind of sound you should always be aiming for. Good luck. It's a rabbit hole.
  2. What was the cartridge that came with your U-Turn? All U-Turns come with stock MM cartridges. These all have replaceable styli. You just figure out which one you have and purchase a replacement styli. Remove the old one, add the new one and check your setup. Good as new (so long as the cartridge wasn't damaged in the process of the needle becoming damaged, which in most cases is unlikely).
  3. DJ mixer will be fine, but you will notice an improvement if you get a separate phono stage (but then you won't be able to mix on the turntables). I always found that when you spent more on mixers you tended to get better built in phono stages (as mixers will have a MM phono stage built in). The improvement moving from a cheapish numark mixer to a basic pioneer mixer was clear for me. The step up from that to a DJM600 mixer was profound. Allen and Heath also have excellent stages, as do rane, along with other brands. These all cost alot though, so you need to ask yourself what your aiming to achieve. If you want to still be able to mix records (and use eq etc) then you will need a new mixer. If you just want to listen to records then a cheap Art DJ phono stage (or other more refined phono stage models) will give you the improvements in sound of a high end mixer, without the mixer functionality.
  4. Sounds like you might have a ground loop. Not grounding the cartridge is fine if it is already grounding somehow (lack of noise when you unground it implies that it is grounding somewhere else, maybe through the turntable or the tonearm plate etc). This is not ideal as the grounding may vary and ideally you can isolate that ground, allowing you to ground it in the normal manner. Options are run a second wire to another ground point to reground it, leave it unplugged if it sounds correct or look for where the loop is occurring elsewhere in the system and try to remove it.
  5. Wow this could be my own post and is my exact experience! I saw him a few years back (in between Morning Phase and just prior to colours). What an awful, predictable, overly produced show. It looked pretty and the band was tight, but it just felt so phoned in. Grace Jones came on late and only played like 5 songs and absolutely cleaned Beck up. She is great live. Beck is not. I will not pay money to see him again.
  6. Completely agree. What a total letdown. This and the Colours are totally awful. Maybe third time lucky for the next one? Not holding my breath.
  7. The london fog pressings look great but are a bit variable as far as pressing quality goes. I had to return mine due to fairly bad warps and the replacement was only marginally better. Sound is ok, though a little congested in parts and noisy in some parts. I am picking this was pressed in some mediocre facility. All in all not the greatest vinyl version, I think the digital copy is just as good. The colour is great though. Like mother of pearl.
  8. You have to ask yourself a few questions. Firstly do you want to go second hand or not? You will get a lot more mileage in the second hand market but I really doubt you will get much better than what you already have for a $500 new speaker budget. You would need to double that budget IMO to make it worthwhile and to really hear a big improvement, and even then, it will depend on what speakers you get as many are not good bang for buck. Second thing to ask yourself is what kind of a speaker do you want? You have bookshelves currently, do you want bookshelves again or are you looking for floor standers? My honest answer is to wait and save up a bit more, say at least another $300 to $500 to get yourself into the sub $1000 area and then look second hand for better value (although brand new at this price has some great speakers). Also go listen to some speakers and see which house sound you like best. You will probably be shopping in the B&W, Kef, Q Acoustics, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Dynaudio range at that mark and they all sound different to one another. Best to know which house sound is most preferable for you and then look second hand within that brand (although this doesn't always work as there can be some variation within a brands sound).
  9. This is exciting! Hopefully these Melvins reissues continue, eagerly awaiting (A) senile animal!
  10. I think a turntable upgrade would suit you well, though not sure the 2M silver would be much of an upgrade and I am also not sure the specs on the Classic are that much of a step up for the money you are looking at spending. I would imagine selling the Debut and looking used you may be able to step up into a whole new level of turntable quality and you may get a second hand cartridge of better quality than the silver thrown in. I would say look for a good quality japanese direct drive (Technics 1200, Denon DP, Kenwood KP families etc) or a high quality belt drive - Linn, Michell etc. These will all provide a big step up in terms of specs (wow, flutter, noise, distortion etc) over the project (although 2nd hand is always a gamble) and it will provide a noticeable difference especially if late on you upgrade your cartridge, as you will get more out of it with a great turntable. You may even have some money left over to upgrade your stylus straight away, though if you want to stay with the 2M family I recommend saving for the bronze, that will be a much larger improvement.
  11. Everyone's a voyeur, their watching me watch them watch me right now...


    Collection: http://www.discogs.com/user/mikeburnsnz/collection

  12. Perreaux SXV2 phono preamp (second hand). Has alot more settings than the phono stage in my Quad 99 preamp, which suits my Denon 301mk2 LOMC better (currently loading set to 1000 ohms with minimal capacitance). The SXV2 brings a bunch more dynamic slam and is both quieter and more detailed than the Quad. It is also much more capable with complex passages of music and seems to bring the most out of the Denon. I do not think I'll be looking for a phono stage upgrade any time soon, but it has left me wondering what I might get from a cartridge upgrade! Also does anyone know why the signature details are not updating? Mine shows gear I had a while ago and does not show any new changes? Weird.
  13. Hey there. It could be a number of things... only a few of which will be an issue with sound reproduction. Firstly it could be that the compliance of the AT is higher than the Ortofon which results in the cartridge appearing to move more due to vibration and groove information. A quick search brought up 18 (at 10 Hz) for the AT and 20 for the ortofon so it looks like they are pretty similar. That will need checking as I only did a superficial search. Secondly, but related to the compliance, you may be seeing excess movement of the tonearm as a result of a mismatch between the compliance of the cartridge and the mass of the tonearm and cartridge. When they mismatch you can get a tonearm resonance that results in the tonearm moving drastically. You can calculate this with the mass of your tonearm and the compliance info on the cartridge and plug it into the calculator at vinyl engine (just search cartridge resonance evaluator). Yu are after a calculated number in the green range to avoid this resonance issue. Your calculations show you are out of the green zone (I was not super careful in these calculations so you should check) which could lead to a visible and audible resonance. Thirdly it could just be the specific record being badly cut. This happens quite a bit and seems more obvious with a compliant cart. Fourthly it could be some extraneous movement of the rack, footfall or motor hum/vibration. There are some other less likely options but I would do the calculations above and check it is not that first.
  14. I am not sure that you will be able to get into an improved phono stage for less than $500USD. The marantz comes from the era where vinyl was king and is likely equipped with an excellent, low noise and accurate phono stage. A preamp itself could be a phono pre or a full preamp with line levels as well as phono inputs, along with potentially eq etc. Not sure exactly what you mean here but as mentioned, if in good condition, the marantz pre stage should be adequate. The next move forward might be to an integrated with some more power (larger power supply to cope with transients in the music at louder levels, where clippingmay occur). The other option is if the marantz has a pre out you could use the preamp stage of the marantz and send that to a power amp which will give you the marantz warmth but will provide the power you need for those big moments. Later on down the road you may want to upgrade your preamp which will give you improved sound, detail etc. That can then plug into your power amp. That gives you a fairly straightforward upgrade path that may take a few years to achieve, but allows you good sound all the way through.
  15. There is probably alot of reasons why the marantz sounds alot better, some of which may be a nice colouration but I doubt it. It is more than likely the fact that it was built for decent stereo music in the first place. Second of all it likely has higher quality components throughout that were used with good sound reproduction in mind. Thirdly it likely has a much better quality phono stage with lower noise and better riaa equalisation than the sony. Lastly likely comes with a significantly improved power supply to the sony that deals with transients better and with less distortion. As far as the colouration goes, 70s gear did often have a warmth about it that modern low end solid state does not. This may reduce the detail but provides a much more pleasing presentation and one that is far easier and musical on the ear. Getting it serviced and recapped will only improve the detail. Congratulations on a significant upgrade. Now upgrade the turntable and speakers and you will not know yourself.