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xxmartinxx

Downgrading advice (VPI/Rogue/U-turn/Schiit content)

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I rarely listen to records.  Like almost never.  I downgraded my stereo from a Audio Research VSi55 to a Musical Paradise MP-303.  Now I'm considering downgrading my VPI Scout to maybe a U-turn Orbit with the acrylic platter.  Does anyone know how the Orbit is compared to better turntables?  Also, while I'm at it, I figured I might downgrade my phono preamp from a Rogue Audio Triton to a Schiit Mani.  Any opinions on that?

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Another option to consider is the Parks Audio Budgie. It may be at a bit pricier than others, but in my opinion it's just about the best you can get at that price point. The Exacta loading system makes it super versatile, and the builder has published suggested settings for various carts to try out. Small footprint, vacuum tube driven, nice clean sound.

 

http://parksaudiollc.com/budgiepreamp.html

Edited by bluethumb

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I've heard great things about the Bugle, I'm curious to hear about your U-Turn experience as well )if you go that route). I have a Debut III (w/ acrylic platter) right now and am in the market for an upgrade. I've heard things all over the map about U-turn so I'm interested to hear what someone "downgrading" to it thinks.

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10 hours ago, Sidney Crosley said:

I have a Bugle 2 - been pretty happy with it. Got it a couple years ago for $150 CDN and found that it definitely opened up the sound.  Didn't realize you can tweak it to different dB - thought you had to buy different versions.

 

You can replace a couple of resistors with different values.  Nothing too difficult.

Edited by xxmartinxx

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11 hours ago, bluethumb said:

I've heard great things about the Bugle, I'm curious to hear about your U-Turn experience as well )if you go that route). I have a Debut III (w/ acrylic platter) right now and am in the market for an upgrade. I've heard things all over the map about U-turn so I'm interested to hear what someone "downgrading" to it thinks.

 

I think I'm going to keep the VPI Scout for now.  If I were to buy a U-Turn, I would build it custom with the cheapest cart (since I would replace it anyway), the acrylic platter, and the cueing lever.  I found a video of a guy who was able to significantly knock out vibrations by putting sorbothane padding under the power box, since apparently it vibrates.  I've also heard they do a pretty crap job on setting up the preinstalled cartridges.  

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Here's my opinion of the Bugle 2 (and by proxy the Bugle 3 since the only difference is to change loading and gain on the 2 you need to replace some resistors whereas on the 3 there are dip switches to engage them)... it's good.  It's a step down from the Rogue Triton for sure.  It doesn't have the depth, clarity, or soundstage that the Triton has, but the Bugle 3 is $239 new versus $999 for the Triton.  I picked up the 2 used for $120 shipped.  It's been years since I've used a phono preamp in $200 range, but from what I remember, this is the best sounding by far.  If you're in that price range, I don't think it can be beat.

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On 26/02/2018 at 1:29 AM, xxmartinxx said:

I sold the Rogue locally, so there's no turning back with the phono preamp.  The Mani doesn't seem to have the loading that my Denon DL-301 MKII wants to see, so I think it's between the Pro-ject Phono Box S and the Emotiva XPS-1.

I've got an XPS-1 here and found it underwhelming sadly, can't say on the Project but the other solid state phono stages I've heard from them have been disappointing.

 

Are the Project valve units out of budget? I can't say I was that impressed with them but at least with those you can do a bit of valve swapping if its not to your liking.

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