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Turntable vs. Computer? - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post
if you like changing records every 20-30 minutes, and don't mind an occasional scratching sound, go for vinyl.
You can have a lot of fun with a vinyl system as long as you realize going in that it's going to take a lot more involvement from you, from setting it up, to cleaning the records, to having to change the music at the end of an album side.

Or you can also spend $800 on a DAC and Amp and have a system that is at least as good as it's analog counterpart and certainly a good bit easier to enjoy.

Some people enjoy the "romance" and the ritual of listening to vinyl. I grew up on records so not only do I think they sound great in a good system but they are nostalgic for me. Still I put my turntable away about a year ago, because, as another poster wrote, I don't have time right now for a fussy hobby.
post #17 of 28
I like my turntable better than computer audio. So much so, that the computer rig as dismantled and sold off. It just didn't get any use.

My advice is to not jump into an expensive deck right away. You will be tempted, but resist.

More than any other component (save selection of headphones) a turntable is a somehat fiddly beast with a mind-blowing array of options. When you start looking at them seriously, you'll feel your frontal lobe begin to melt as it jumps through the options and possibilities.

The problem is that you don't yet have a frame of reference. That's what entry level decks are for. I'd recommend buying a good used one locally (there are a couple of threads on this), get it working, learn to do a correct setup, and install a new cartridge. That will get the records spinning and should sell you on the format. Once you get familiar with the quirks and habits of your deck, you can use that to narrow down a higher grade turntable.

I went around and around until I found a good price on an old Rega Planar 3 locally. I loved that deck. It delivered the magic of vinyl and I couldn't wait to get home to spin discs. Eventually, I started to itch to upgrade it with various mods (there are a lot for Regas) and, instead, settled on a used Michell Gyrodec. The Gyrodec was a serious upgrade and I loved it. After some consideration, I gathered the parts needed to turn it into an Orbe (Michell designed it this way) and have been in love since. There are other excellent tables out there, but the Orbe is everything I could want. Of course, you'll probably settle on something else, but I strongly recommend that you take the same path of starting somewhat small and working your way up.

You can find lots of good entry-level tables a Audiogon. The best thing is that sellers there are usually audiophiles who babied the deck and have the original packing boxes. My Gyrodec arrived in its original packaging, disassembled, just like one from the factory. It was less than half the price of a new one.

I also strongly recommend reading through the Vinyl Anachronist articles. I'm posting from the phone and don't have a URL, but Google should bring him up. You'll find great articles on the vinyl obsession, how to set up, and much else. There are over 40 articles, so you'll have plenty to read.

Finally, Grawk is right about used vinyl. It is the best thing ever. I've stumbled across all sorts of wonderful music at thrift and junk stores. Stuff I never knew existed. It completely broadened my musical tastes and it's been nothing but fun.
post #18 of 28
They're a whole different ball game. A well setup turntable will thrash the pants off all but the best DACs for sheer get-up-and-go dynamism and resolution. But half-decent digital systems offer extreme clarity, transparency and lack of colouration. Then there's clicks and pop vs. silence, and 'the ritual' vs 'the convenience', not to mention to the different back catalogues available. What I'm saying is: perhaps you need both?!
post #19 of 28
There are many practical reasons for turning to vinyl. Cost of software can be very low...from pennies on the dollar all the way up to collector prices. Choices available dwarf supply of CDs.

A well set up TT can sound better than a CD rig of comparable cost.

You can make CDr copies of your vinyl that can sound better than commercially available CD reissues.

You can enter the hobby through the purchase of a yardsale TT and a few records....maybe $50 total investment.

Since you have some means at your disposal I would recomend spending a bit more money on your TT. Brand new tables from Music Hall and Project are available for less then $300 and come with cartridges. If your preamp/receiver does not have a "Phono" input you will need a dedicated Phono preamp; budget another $100-150 for this.

After you are comfortable then you may want to upgrade. A path for many is to look for a used Thorens, Rega or AR table, better arm and cartridge. Quality of playback from a carefully adjusted table can be astonishing. Many stop here, others move on into the $1000+ range.

With the addition of a dedicated analogue to digital converter (NOT the internal audio card of your computer), you will be able to convert your newly aquired vinyl to digital- CD or MP3 etc. If done carefully, and with a good system, you can create CDr copies that are beter than their commercially produced cousins.

My rig: AR XA TT / Shure M97 cartridge / Hafler DH101 preamp / M Audio Audiophile USB analogue to digital converter / USB into computer / Audacity to record.

Workflow:

Record both sides of LP as a continious file.
Truncate lead in, side turnover, lead out areas.
Normalize volume to -1db.
Split into discrete files.

From placing the stylus onto the record to finished CDr takes me about 1hr.

Have Fun !
post #20 of 28
Vinyl is definitely worth getting into. I'll reiterate what other have said and recommend finding a used table at a yard sale or thrift store or Craig's List. 20 to 30 year old high end tables from Thorens, Phillips, Technics, Denon, etc can be had for about $100. Another $20 for a new belt and $50-100 for a new cartridge/stylus and you should be all set.

At the same yardsale, look for the vintage receiver and speakers that accompany it. $300 or less and you should be all set.

You can spend the money on a record cleaning machine, or you can go with a homemade mix of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol (about 7:3 ratio) with a drop of dish detergent. There are different recipes and different soft brushes and lint-free cloths that people prefer, do some research and experiment on $0.99 discs from Goodwill.
post #21 of 28
An alternative POV. I am sitting here, right now, listening to Andy Summer's and Robert Fripp's "Bewitched" (a really good recording) -- Apple Lossless>optical>AVI ADM9.1s (active speakers with built-in DAC/Preamp). I've owned and heard many vinyl rigs and have never heard anything approaching the precision and clarity I'm listening to now. Vinyl does a thing that many people love, but it isn't better, it's just different. In fact, it isn't as accurate, for what that's worth. I wouldn't trade this for vinyl if vinyl cleaned itself and changed sides via ESP.

P
post #22 of 28
Good all-analog recorded vinyl still sounds best. Vinyl records are collectible with tangible value. Can that be said about data files on a computer?

It's never too late to get into vinyl - they're not going away any time soon. Record pressing plants are working OT to keep up with demand.

You can buy a good Rega turntable for a few hundred dollars. Have it set up properly by a dealer. Second best investment is a record cleaning machine. You can get those for a couple hundred. Then sit back and have fun!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald North View Post
Good all-analog recorded vinyl still sounds best. Vinyl records are collectible with tangible value. Can that be said about data files on a computer?
OT: Good question. There is an article in today's Wall Street Journal about Disney moving to the "Keychest" program. They want to convert all movies to Keychest, where the movies would live on the cloud and you would have "lifetime" rights to access the files. If this is at all successful, can music be far behind? I am against this idea for just the point you make above but taken one step further. Those files don't even reside on your computer. They are on a computer(s) somewhere out there in the Internet.
post #24 of 28
Its also like asking do you like apples or oranges? Maybe I like both and dont need to choose one and have both. I like the clarity and fidelity of the modern songs and have a cd/computer based rig. At the same time I also love the analogue sound of vinyls and have 2 TTs. Its does not have to be a choice in my opinion. Both can co-exist in my opinion. Enjoy the best of both the worlds.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikzen View Post
OT: Good question. There is an article in today's Wall Street Journal about Disney moving to the "Keychest" program. They want to convert all movies to Keychest, where the movies would live on the cloud and you would have "lifetime" rights to access the files. If this is at all successful, can music be far behind? I am against this idea for just the point you make above but taken one step further. Those files don't even reside on your computer. They are on a computer(s) somewhere out there in the Internet.
I don't trust any of the various DRM schemes.

If you check the contract/licensing information, you'll probably find an infinite amount of opportunities for them to discontinue your access and/or charge you for "upgrades" to their service. I'd also wager that there's no way to transfer your "ownership" interest to another. If you die, your rights will die with you. On the other hand, my heirs can easily use or sell any physical medium I own.

Until digital rights match my rights to physical media, I won't spend a dime. I'll happily sacrifice convenience (if that's the right term) for actually owning what I paid for. I want the right to transfer to a beneficiary of my estate or anyone I want to transfer to.
post #26 of 28
Here, here! There, there! Where?

I agree. The used cd store is my friend.

P
post #27 of 28
I'll add another wrinkle to this discussion. Has anyone tried the turntables with a USB connection to digitize their vinyl? New LPs are not overly compressed like CDs are so the sound would be better in the ripped versions as well, wouldn't it?

I'm just skeptical of how well it works.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwired View Post
I'll add another wrinkle to this discussion. Has anyone tried the turntables with a USB connection to digitize their vinyl? New LPs are not overly compressed like CDs are so the sound would be better in the ripped versions as well, wouldn't it?

I'm just skeptical of how well it works.
You're on the right track. The problem is that the USB turntables you see advertised tend to be stinky.

However, a good deck with a good phonostage into a good soundcard can sound phenomenal. LFF has done quite a few vinyl to digital transfers and they sound incredibly good. If you want to try your hand at this, he is the one to talk to.

Once of these days, I plan to try my hand at it. I've got almost all of the equipment but no time. I'd like to get quite a few discs ripped into 24/96 for playback through my DAC.
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