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In over my head with a Gryodec!


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Hey guys!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. As you'll see in this post, I'm a total n00b, and this is my first record player. I feel like I've inherited a Ferrari as my first car, and I'm just learning how to drive.

So my mom inherited a gyrodec from a family friend. It came with a bunch of Bryston (Canadian company) pre-amps and amplifiers. The pre-amp is a Bryston Tf-1. I'll attach a picture. The gyrodec itself seems to have a Alphason HR 100 MCS arm. Not sure what the needle is, but I know it's an MC.

So, the story. When I first got it, the motor wasn't "working". I took it into a shop who wanted a small car's worth to rebuild it, and they also told me I'd never be able to afford speakers to do it justice. So it sat in a closet for a few years. Then, another shop quoted me $1500 plus parts. A third shop discovered a small piece of packing foam that was inhibiting the motor. Problem solved! Sort of.

So I had the up-and-up shop help me get going, bought some records, etc. I even got a decent set of Wharfedale speakers that ought to be servicable. Spent a night learning how to hook it all up. I set up a Marantz radio, and the sound from the radio was incredible. I feel bad for the neighbours.

The thing is, the turntable sound is... meh. With how good the radio sounds, I thought the sound from the turntable would be similar. It's not. The tone is fine (for all I know), but the volume is about 25% of the radio's. Maybe less. So if I crank it all the way to 100, it's loud enough to comfortable listen in the room. But with the radio, that same volume would be loud enough to listen in a room 3 doors down.

I've been told to take it into a shop, and that's a possibility. But I live way out in the sticks, and it's about 3 hours round trip. So if have to leave it there, that's 6 hours of driving. And I've done that a few times already getting up and going. I'm hoping this might be something I can fix on my own.

I'm trying to narrow down what it could be. Please correct me if I'm off on something. It seems that I need a phono pre-amp for the MC needle. But the Bryston TF1 fits that bill. So could it be the pre-amp? Another thought I had was the needle itself is probably old. Could that be the culprit? Would it make that much of a difference? Would switching to another MC or even an MM needle improve it? Another idea, I haven't touched the balance on the arm at all. Could the weight of the arm have something to do with it? Finally, I've been reading about the "phono" setting on the mixer (is it called a mixer?). Mine doesn't have a phono setting, so I have the table -> pre-amp -> Disc line in. I tried to switch the radio and the disc up, because whatever the radio is plugged into is clearly working well. No dice, same results in any of the inputs.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Here are pictures:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KSPIzE ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s1tPX0 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s-g5E0 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rwOX5E ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ruMScM ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oqz35D ... sp=sharing

And here is a video to (hopefully) demonstrate the issue with the volume:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/BGZgtSidDAQdPXZq9

Thanks!

Brock

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First, congrats on the awesome setup. 

I think I know the issue but could be mistaken. 

The TF-1 is what's called a step-up transformer. It basically brings the MC signal strength output up to what a MM cartridge typically is (eg. .3 mv vs 3mv). Now that the MC has been stepped-up, it's still not at what's called "line level". You still need MM phono pre-amp for that. As you mentioned, your "mixer" doesn't have one built in, so you'll need an external one.

The connections would go: Turntable>TF-1 inputs>TF-1 output to external MM phono pre-amp inputs>external MM pre-amp outputs>"mixer" Aux inputs.

Diagram in the TF-1 manual

You have other options that I can elaborate on later if you want.

Edited by Smellman
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12 hours ago, BrockYoung said:

Hey guys!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. As you'll see in this post, I'm a total n00b, and this is my first record player. I feel like I've inherited a Ferrari as my first car, and I'm just learning how to drive.

So my mom inherited a gyrodec from a family friend. It came with a bunch of Bryston (Canadian company) pre-amps and amplifiers. The pre-amp is a Bryston Tf-1. I'll attach a picture. The gyrodec itself seems to have a Alphason HR 100 MCS arm. Not sure what the needle is, but I know it's an MC.

So, the story. When I first got it, the motor wasn't "working". I took it into a shop who wanted a small car's worth to rebuild it, and they also told me I'd never be able to afford speakers to do it justice. So it sat in a closet for a few years. Then, another shop quoted me $1500 plus parts. A third shop discovered a small piece of packing foam that was inhibiting the motor. Problem solved! Sort of.

So I had the up-and-up shop help me get going, bought some records, etc. I even got a decent set of Wharfedale speakers that ought to be servicable. Spent a night learning how to hook it all up. I set up a Marantz radio, and the sound from the radio was incredible. I feel bad for the neighbours.

The thing is, the turntable sound is... meh. With how good the radio sounds, I thought the sound from the turntable would be similar. It's not. The tone is fine (for all I know), but the volume is about 25% of the radio's. Maybe less. So if I crank it all the way to 100, it's loud enough to comfortable listen in the room. But with the radio, that same volume would be loud enough to listen in a room 3 doors down.

I've been told to take it into a shop, and that's a possibility. But I live way out in the sticks, and it's about 3 hours round trip. So if have to leave it there, that's 6 hours of driving. And I've done that a few times already getting up and going. I'm hoping this might be something I can fix on my own.

I'm trying to narrow down what it could be. Please correct me if I'm off on something. It seems that I need a phono pre-amp for the MC needle. But the Bryston TF1 fits that bill. So could it be the pre-amp? Another thought I had was the needle itself is probably old. Could that be the culprit? Would it make that much of a difference? Would switching to another MC or even an MM needle improve it? Another idea, I haven't touched the balance on the arm at all. Could the weight of the arm have something to do with it? Finally, I've been reading about the "phono" setting on the mixer (is it called a mixer?). Mine doesn't have a phono setting, so I have the table -> pre-amp -> Disc line in. I tried to switch the radio and the disc up, because whatever the radio is plugged into is clearly working well. No dice, same results in any of the inputs.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Here are pictures:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KSPIzE ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s1tPX0 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s-g5E0 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rwOX5E ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ruMScM ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oqz35D ... sp=sharing

And here is a video to (hopefully) demonstrate the issue with the volume:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/BGZgtSidDAQdPXZq9

Thanks!

Brock

While I cannot help you with a solution, I would like to commend you for an A+ first post

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