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Beginner record player for budding audiophile

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey, friends.

Now I don't know if i'm exactly a budding audiophile but I love my music, there's no denying that. Anyway, I want to buy a record player for myself because the capitalist digital age has weakened me into an mp3 collector, which I think is a tad depressing. I used to be a big time cd buyer but i've seen friends' and others' tables and there's something about the whole package that sunk it's teeth into me. I want to start a nice little collection of vinyl for myself, and I want to be able to come home from school/work/wherever and take the record out of it's packaging and lose myself in the music while admiring the laboured- over artwork.

I don't want to spend too much yet since my budget is really tight, but I don't want a piece of junk either. Can you guys/gals help a brother out?

Thanks!
post #2 of 21
Fortune cookie says, "You and the thrift store lady will soon become fast friends."

Welcome to head-fi. Sorry about your wallet.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just to give everyone a heads up, I know next to nothing about record players and what to look for in a good one. Does the needle make the most difference, etc? I want something that sounds good and wont give me a ton of cracks and pops. Or is that normal for all record players?

Thanks for your input.
post #4 of 21
Clicks and pops are a part of vinyl, but it's mostly the condition of the records themselves that determine how much of that you get (although some higher-end cartridge/turntable combos do have the ability to minimize surface noise).

The cartridge DOES matter. I tried a BUNCH of budget cartridges a couple years ago, and my favorite by far was the Shure M97xe. For under $100 it cannot be beat. Put it on a cheap Pro-ject or Music Hall TT and you'll be very happy.

JMO.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Awesome info, Skylab. Thanks a lot!
post #6 of 21
I don't know how you could possibly do better as a beginner in vinyl than a Rega P1. 350 dollars includes a very nice Ortofon cartridge pre-installed with plenty of capability left in the table to upgrade to something even nicer down the road. Its a real foot in the door of high-end turntables and if I were starting out now I'd get one of those for sure.
post #7 of 21
I'd like to hear some options that will get me running around the $100-$150 mark. I'm in the same boat. I've been a musician (studio and live) for 18 years, and I'm interested in getting into vinyl. I actually just bought two of my all-time favorite albums on vinyl (Bill Evans - Sunday at Village Vanguard, and Jaco Pastorius - Jaco), and I don't have a turntable yet.

For someone like me, is there a real difference in belt-drive and direct-drive? How important is it to get cleaning solution for the records?

Sorry for the hijack of the thread, but I didn't see the point in starting a new thread.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooveWarrior View Post
that will get me running around the $100-$150 mark.

That may be a tough price range unless you can find something good used. I have been looking at the Music Hall MMF2.1 for $349. In that price range, the aformentioned Rega and the Pro-Jekt also get some mentions. I haven't seen anything much cheaper that gets decent recommendations. If there is, I'm interested, as a friend's $100 Sony just broke, and I'd love to steer him towards a better turntable even though he probably won;t want to spend more than $150 either.
post #9 of 21
This certainly isn't the greatest possible deck, but it's a good solid player from an era when Vinyl ruled all - might be your best option in that price range...

http://cgi.ebay.com/DENON-DP-35F-TUR...QQcmdZViewItem

IMPORTANT EDIT: I am in NO WAY affiliated with that seller and it looks like they don't have perfect feedback, so maybe just use that link as an example, rather than something to go out and buy...
post #10 of 21
How about this denon deck? I too have a friend who wants to get a decent record player that's repectable and not no mickey mouse quality.

http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/529.asp
post #11 of 21
I can't vouch for that Denon. It looks like a pretty cheap plastic deck. Denon makes a NICE modern belt drive deck, the 300F, but it's $250.
post #12 of 21
HI Guys,

I would look for an old used Technics, Pioneer or some other table from the 70's and early 80's. Yard sales and thrift stores will yield some good gear. Ask your uncles and your dads friends to see if they have one stashed away that they might want to part with. They may even have some cool old albums they won't be needing!

The first thing to do once you get one of these tables is to make sure it runs at the right speed (most of them have a strobe so you can adjust it to run at the right speed) and then change the cartridge to a new one. Both Grado and Shure make good budget cartridges that will give you the flavor of vinyl.

Next get a good wet record brush (Mobile Fidelity makes one that works very well) and some TTVJ Vinyl Zyme and you will get rid of a lot of the pops and ticks on your records. There is NOTHING you can do about scratches - light surface scratches will not be heard but deeper ones will make a pop or ticking sound. The Vinyl Zyme will remove dirt, mold and mildew from your records and leave them sounding much better. Once you have a boatload of records, get a good VPI cleaning machine and take it to the next level. And of course get an even better turntable and cartridge...

Todd
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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
HI Guys,

I would look for an old used Technics, Pioneer or some other table from the 70's and early 80's.

Todd,

You're the man. I may be doing just that for my own long-delayed re-entry into vinyl, but I very much look forward to someday stepping up to a higher level turntable from your store. After seeing a friend's junky new $99 table with its fixed cartridge and light-plastic construction, I knew those were a compromise to be avoided.
post #14 of 21
Thanks Todd. I'll send you a PM. I'm loving the SR-60's I got from you last week. Thanks.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by videocrew View Post
I don't know how you could possibly do better as a beginner in vinyl than a Rega P1. 350 dollars includes a very nice Ortofon cartridge pre-installed with plenty of capability left in the table to upgrade to something even nicer down the road. Its a real foot in the door of high-end turntables and if I were starting out now I'd get one of those for sure.
Well this is good news...I know NOTHING about vinyl and ordered the P1 on a whim...it arrived today and will soon be spinning a brand new copy of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" !!! LOL! It was the cheapest LP on TTVJ!!!
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