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Everything posted by allenh

  1. You don't need to spend a lot but you do need to spend what you do spend wisely but to do it you need to go used. The problem for most beginners is that the knowledge and experience that allows you to do that takes time and effort. Sadly as you're finding out all of those all in ones are utter utter rubbish and new there is no such thing as a cheap turntable or any hifi for that matter that will do the job without spending a reasonable sum so as @lastvaultboy rightly suggested read that beginners thread a couple of times (make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks as it's going to be a long haul) and then head out to the local thrift stores, garage sales, craigs list, ebay etc etc and see what you can find for next to nothing. You might still buy some rubbish but I doubt it will be as bad as the rubbish you currently have and it will be a great learning experience
  2. I think a used Technics is all you're going to find that's any good, the P mounts tended to be made down to a price and be careful with some of the Technics as some have fixed tracking force. There is another option for you if it's shakiness of the hands that worries you, they're generally pretty expensive but if you can find any one of the Revox turntables is brilliant for anyone who struggles with a conventional table. They are direct drive, very high quality, built like a brick outhouse and linear tracking. The arm and whole drive system swings out of the way so you can put the record on, you then swing it back where it clicks into place and you move the cart across to where you want it using buttons that drive the servo's in the arm and then you hit the drop button and it lowers the cart down itself correctly and plays, if I had mine set up I'd take a video of it as it's a lot better than I'm describing, I let my daughter use mine when she was 3 years old as there was absolutely no risk of stylus and vinyl meeting when they shouldn't This is the one I have https://www.vinylengine.com/library/revox/b795.shtml
  3. Just get a used hifi amplifier of receiver so thrift store, Craig's list, ebay, local classifieds, garage sales etc etc. but preferably somwhere you can take it back to if there's anything wrong and more importantly from someone who can show you how to hook it up I'm guessing you're in the US and this is in the Uk but something like this would be ideal. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cambridge-Audio-A1-Amplifier-/192173773136?hash=item2cbe731150:g:fUEAAOSwhvFZBi4U
  4. From the first table if the record damage was permanent i.e. it's repeatable every play then it sounds like the arm bearings bound up or moved out of true which caused the IGD and subsequent damage, it will have worn one side of the groove wall on the inner grooves. The rest just sounds like static, so an acrylic platter and a zero stat is the way I'd go and yes if you like the Ortofon sound then upgrading to the blue stylus would be worthwhile. And moving forward to check for tracking issues however they appear it's worth getting a HiFi set up record, they usually cost next to nothing and can be pretty useful.
  5. I may be reading your post wrong but I don't think what you're describing will work. Bluetooth speakers are designed to receive a signal from a bluetooth source like a phone or laptop and a receiver with bluetooth capability is designed the same way to receive a signal from a bluetooth phone or laptop and then play that signal via it's wired speakers not to transmit bluetooth to wireless bluetooth speakers. Bluetooth speakers would defeat the object of the receiver and wired speakers as they have their own amplifiers inside them and because of that apart from the really expensive ones they are not going to be anywhere near as good quality as the average receiver and wired speakers so you might as well play an mp3 file through them anyway rather than a record on a turntable. You would need some sort of device that could take an output like the tape output from your receiver and for it to transmit bluetooth to your bluetooth speakers but what's point? The only wireless thing I've found that is any good at all is the Google Chromecast audio which I use a few of to link up all the proper HiFi's in my house, it's way better than Sonos or any of the other wireless things I've found but still no good for sending the signal from a turntable to another audio system.
  6. The impedance and sensitivity is more important than the Watt rating because both speaker and amp manufacturers quote Watts in different ways and in some cases just lie. I'm simplifying quite a bit as all the measurements affect each other and obviously you cant use a 500W amp on 100W speakers so they need to be close and in general impedance is measured in Ohms and you want to make sure your amp can cope with the speaker load but 4 to 8 is normal with 6 Ohms being common now. And Sensitivity is measured in DB with the higher the number meaning they are easier to drive so a Valve (tube) amp is generally looking for speakers with a sensitivity in the low 90's but a very beefy solid state amp can drive speakers that have a sensitivity in the mid 80's. Most modern hifi amps want to see something around 87 or 88db but there is leeway either way.
  7. Forget the Onkyo and go and listen to the other 3 or 4 to see which you prefer and like the price of. Also it's more a case of your speakers pairing with your amp than your turntable pairing with your amp so you'd need to replace your speakers, as it stands now I would say your speakers will be your weakest link so I'd replace those first but as you are replacing your amp you'd need to have a good idea which way you're going there ideally before you buy your speakers. Your best bet I would say is find somewhere that does an amplifier and speaker package deal
  8. Yes it's just the white part you are replacing. It pulls out from the black part and the new one pushes back in the opposite way. Be careful of the needle itself when you push the new one back in as they are easy to bend or snap and most Stanton needles are interchangeable, certainly for the 500/600/680 body cartridges anyway
  9. The Cambridge phono stage is quite good (it should be the same if not very similar in design to their cheaper stand alone one) but yes it can be improved upon. Get used to what you have now for a while though so that if you do upgrade further you will know what the difference is. If the Cambridge is new let it burn in for a bit, it will get better. The Chomecast is a wonderful thing, I use them all around the house myself, much better than Sonus and things like that.
  10. The clock is very important here and has been the biggest single improvement in CD replay as it's the reference for the output so it's accuracy is of paramount importance, originally the clock was triggered with a simple crystal which wasn't accurate so these have been replaced with crystal oscillators that are much more accurate, people like Trichord knew this years ago and used to modify peoples players at great expense to achieve this, there also used to be lots of DIY kits available and I've done a few myself over the years with great success. There are also op amps and other stages in the signal path from the laser to the digital output so the quality of these will influence the output. Also the simple mechanics of the disc drive will have an influence. Not just simple 1's and 0's, there's a bit more to it than that.
  11. The first thing that came into my head when I saw them was that they looked like big ear trumpets which I thought was apposite for Bose nothing more. Unfortunately the sun wasn't over the yard arm so no alcohol was indulged in at that time. Also the dimensions of said ear trumpets are too great as I have a rather small arse, they would of course do as somewhere to rest my elbow.
  12. Oooh look now Bose even make big ear trumpets for their more sonically challenged clientèle, you wouldn't think there would be a big enough market but with all those Sunday supplement readers I suppose being deaf is a pre requirement to liking the Bose sound.
  13. CD players, Meh, boring things for people with no musical imagination and up until recently more money than sense. The things that matter to both the digital and analogue outputs of a CD player are the accuracy of the internal clock signal, the quality of the op amps and converters in the signal chain and of course the quality of the mechanics involved in actually spinning the disc and driving the laser. In the early days of CD's there were pretty big leaps in quality once people like Boothroyd and Stuart (Meridian) got involved but now in reality the differences in CD players tend to be a lot smaller than say a turntable so the law of diminishing returns kicks in a lot earlier and with modern machines at a surprisingly low level in a lot of cases you are talking about differences rather than actual quality gains now. Like everything in life you get what you pay for and there is still some utter shit on the market but it's now a lot easier to throw a dart at a stack of CD players and hit a perfectly good machine but it won't stop any of them from being boring.
  14. Hi Kim As everyone else I'm sorry to hear of your loss but also glad to hear you are carrying on with his equipment. As to your power amp I suspect it's an audionics and was quite a nice thing so I'd try elsewhere for repair, it was a well made US designed and made product and I would expect pretty rare now, it dates from the late 70's http://www.nutshellhifi.com/library/bobsickler.html To get something new of the same quality and lively sound I would expect would cost a lot of money and if used it would probably need to be something valve (tube) or possibly British which is not going to be that easy in the US so I would reach out to the people on the web page in the link above to see if they can help, you might need to ship to someone for repair but I think it would be worth it.
  15. If you are using this for audio only rather than audio visual (i.e using it for watching films etc with 5 or 7 speakers and a sub woofer etc) my advice would be try something else for audio work and if possible a normal 2 channel stereo integrated amplifier rather than a multi channel AV receiver. My own opinion on Onkyo amplification is pretty low and that there are much better options for the money even as an AV receiver let alone a Stereo amplifier, as I say that's my opinion and you don't have to agree. Most importantly with any hifi component if you can find somewhere to listen to as much of this stuff as possible before you hand over your money you can go with what your own ears tell you, that way other peoples taste and opinions are completely irrelevant On the CD player look at used, CD players in general have fallen through the floor price wise so there some real bargains out there.
  16. The reason the OP has been given lots of different advice is that because people are talking from a stand point of personal experience which is perfectly fine but also very confusing for the OP. If we take this back to basics the biggest problem is that everything in the chain needs to be of a similar quality but it's ok to buy something that is out of place if you are going to bring the rest of the chain into line at a later date. Yes in normal circumstances the the start and end of the chain have the biggest effect on sound but to that end that Onkyo receiver will not allow any better components to shine at their best so to my mind that's the best place to start before spending out on an off board phono stage or better turntable or cartridge. You can of course do it the other way but won't really know if your new turntable etc. Is actually any better. I agree about the imbalance between the speakers and the rest of the system but don't agree about the Grado, any cartridge will only shine in the right arm so needs to be fitted in an arm with a suitable compliance and quite often people's opinions about different cartridges are formed because they've heard them in the wrong arm but the usual problem people complain about with Grado carts is IGD which just isn't true, its just that they are a little more difficult to align. To the OP it's your money so take all of the advice here as a guide only as there is also the factor of personal taste so as always the best advice is to listen to as much stuff as possible before handing over any money but either way enjoy it as it's a learning curve and you are going to make mistakes along the way, we all do.
  17. That would be a vast improvement over most AV amps let alone an Onkyo. That Yamaha is designed with proper 2 channel stereo audio in mind from the start whereas AV amps are designed to do many things so they mostly end up being average at pretty much everything, obviously some are better at some things than others but as a general rule a half decent stereo integrated amplifier like that Yamaha will show the vast majority of AV receivers a clean pair of heels when it comes to audio. All that said you might have a unique taste in sound so I will put in my usual caveat that all of this is down to personal preference and would always give the same advice of going and having an actual listen to stuff before handing over any money, but if you do prefer the Onkyo over the Yamaha for music then I would take a trip to the ear doctor.
  18. Only if the Onkyo amp in general allows the off board phono stage to give of it's best and my experience of Onkyo amplification in the last 30 or 40 years tells me that it won't. Modern Onkyo amplifiers and especially the AV ones are not really at their best when it comes to audio use so I would say that is the weakest link here. The Orbit/Grado Black and Lounge Phono stage choice is a good one but pointless without replacing the Onkyo so If this was my money I would be replacing that amplifier before spending money on anything else. Using an off board will give an improvement as the on board phono stage is so poor but the rest of the amplifier won't allow the off board phono to give it's best anyway so how much is debatable.
  19. Put me down for all the variants of this, where do I sign? Definitely moved to the top of my wants list.
  20. Take it back for a refund and unless there's a big ball of fluff on the stylus the most likely causes are going to be a shite cartridge/stylus or the on board electronics. Both of which require replacement parts and or repair
  21. Don't panic, it's not HiFi in the true sense but it will work fine. There are fundamental things you could do to improve things like put the speakers on separate stands or have a headshell with a more HiFi cart you could use and set the VTA better but if it sounds ok it's fine. I have a DJ system setup that uses slightly better components in the audio chain and HiFI speakers and the results are pretty good. I'm not familiar with your mixer but some have pretty good phono stages in them and are pretty good pre amps in their own right
  22. If you want a cheap entry into it you can look out a Systemdek iix900, they're a little easier to modify than the AR as arm boards are easier to make for them, they can still be had for not a lot of money and there are a few off the shelf worthwhile upgrades like an acrylic platter and acrylic base board about for them The biggest wins by far though for either your AR or any other basic sprung deck involve the motor and it's control (so either a decent electronic PSU for the original AC motor or a DC motor and control board) and the arm and a cheap upgrade here is a rewire with Cardas cable. In your shoes I would rewire the arm with Cardas and add a Pink Triangle PT T00 or similar PSU to that superb looking AR of yours and you'd be amazed on how many giants it would slay. As you say there is something about the presentation with a sprung table that grabs you and you either like it or you don't, it's what Linn have been trading on for years whilst removing people from a lot of money and you can trace that lineage all the way back through the Ariston RD11 and Thorens TD150 back to your AR's Grandad the AR XA which is what pretty much every 3 point suspended turntable has been based on ever since.
  23. The solid plinth will be the biggest gain, the original AR one really was very poor. The same is true of the plinths used on things like Lenco's, Garrard 301/401's and to some extent the later Thorens Tables. The bouncy thing could well be taste thing. I've been lucky enough to have owned many many nice tables including a couple of earlier Nottingham's and a few other notable non suspended tables like Garrard 301/401's, Gyrodec and Oracle but I much prefer sprung sub chassis tables, my table of choice for years has been a Pink Triangle PT1 but I also currently have a Manticore Mantra and a MRM Source and have had a few of the other notable sprung tables like the Voyd and Voyd Valdi and of course Thorens, AR's and Aristons, there is a whole world of sprung tables for you to explore all of which to my ears sound better than the un sprung tables, you could even try an LP12 but that's only if you want to spend way too much on your turntable. On your plinth it was only a tongue in cheek comment and I should really have a go myself but still that's a very very nice job.