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good cheap turntable?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I'm batting around the idea of buying a turntable....I was wondering a few things about them.....

1. Is it pretty unanimous that they sound better than cd players? On headphones?

2. If so, how much do you have to spend on one (used) to get better than cd sound?

3. Are they expensive to maintain?

4. I'm looking to get away with spending as little as possible...Where can I find one inexpensively? What are some brands and models I should look for?

Everyone's help is appreciated
post #2 of 11
I love the vinyl sound... but it's such a hastle to maintain it.. CD's are just so much more convenient. Isn't SACD supposed to sound as good (or better) than vinyl?
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by fiddler
I love the vinyl sound... but it's such a hastle to maintain it.. CD's are just so much more convenient. Isn't SACD supposed to sound as good (or better) than vinyl?
I've listened to a lot of good/great vinyl rigs. And I have SACD at home now (Sony SCD-C333ES), and my ears would still give vinyl the nod. Mind you, I've not listened to the top notch SACD players, but I'd be surprised if even the best of the SACD players would win the comparison against good/great vinyl rigs to my ears. So far, I'm finding SACD (especially well-done SACD's) to be a significant -- if not huge -- step in the right direction (versus regular CD's). But there's a certain magic in a good vinyl rig and in so many of those shiny big, black discs. For anyone here who hasn't heard a good/great vinyl rig, I'd highly recommend you go to a local dealer who has the good stuff and give it a listen. I don't think it'll take more than a few seconds of music you're familiar with to convince you too.
post #4 of 11
I love vinyl, but abandoned it long ago for reasons of cost and convenience/maintenance. My theory on vinyl:

At any given price point below the cost of a KIA, you can get better sound via CD Above that, vinyl can sound better, but it takes a lot of care, a lot of work, a lot of shopping for good media, and (quite frankly) a lot of hassle. You have to really be into not only the SOUND of vinyl, but also the IDEA of vinyl.

That said, vinyl can really sound amazing. It's simply too inconvenient for me. YMMV.
post #5 of 11
Well actually there was a test 10 years ago in the german magazin Stereoplay.
The test setup was:
turntable->phone preamp->preamp
output of the abovementioned phone pre->ADC->DAC->preamp

In this test noone of the 100 test persons, most of them vinyl fans, could find any difference between both in a blind test. Therefor the digital format must be better than vinyl. Otherwise there would have been a difference.
There might have been an error in the test setup, i have to get my hands on this article first.
And it is a cheap test, everyone can easily repeat the test setup and check the results.

But there is still the possibility that vinyl records are better produced and sound better because of that.
post #6 of 11
Unless you're willing to invest a lot of money into a high quality turntable and high quality cartridge ($1,000.00 or more....possibly a lot more ) you will never get the sound from vinyl that everyone raves about. And even if you do, you'd still have to get used to the annoying clicks and pops that inevitably show up on vinyl records.

Some people can hear a difference between cd players....between hi-fi cartridges it's considerably more noticable. So you'd be on that never-ending quest for the ideal cartridge/turntable as well.

I've got nearly 1500 LPs in storage and haven't played them in years.

Too much hassle for me.
post #7 of 11
Vinyl has a smooth, relaxed sound with a 3D image that is very hard for a CD player to match. The 3D image is more noticable on a good speaker system than on headphones. On the other hand, it's harder for a lower priced LP setup to match the overall intensity and the bass impact of a decent home CD player. So some of the decision has to be based on the type of sound you're after. I think once you've crossed the $500 barrier, the LP player can beat a similarly priced CD player.

A LP system (turntable, cartridge, phono preamp) needs a little more care than a CD player, but with care (ie, you don't bend the needle by being careless...I never have) the upkeep cost is not that high. You would have to replace a belt and the cartidge every 2-8 years, depending on how much you used it. Once you set it up by setting the tracking force, antiskate, overhang, etc, then you can forget about these things. If the setup sounds scary to you (maybe a half hour of work), then you can look into getting one all set up from a dealer.

Rega Planar-2 and Planar 3 turntables have been made for a very long time and can be found on the used market for $300-500. You can look for them at audiogon.com. You can also get the Music Hall tables for around that new, complete with cartridge. A new Rega P3 is $750 without cartridge. These are the two big names in this price range and offer very good performance.

There is no question that LPs are not as handy as CDs, so LPs are not for everyone. Vinyl is a commitment, but it can be fun too. There is another thread on this forum about vinyl that you should read if you haven't already.
post #8 of 11
Don't bother w/ it unless you have a decent collection of LPs. It's software matters. Once I was attempted to buy a good turntable setup at ultra discount but finally decided to pass since I didn't own a single record in my life.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
you'd still have to get used to the annoying clicks and pops that inevitably show up on vinyl records
This is such an overblown myth. True, there are some poor pressings out there but I have around 4000 LPs and I'd say about 1% of them have obvious factory generated noise problems. But then, I take care of my records, keep 'em clean and keep my stylus clean and StyLast'd after every album. It's worth it. If this is too much trouble for some people, then they do not deserve good sound, they deserve microwaved TV dinners.
post #10 of 11
LPs certainly don't sound bad, there are some clicks every now and than but it isn't annoying. And there is a slight background noise, the signal to noise ratio of a LP is well below 75 dB. Nevertheless LPs can sound very well.

But i do think LPs are much to inconvinient, no remote control, having to clean them, they can be damaged more easily than CDs, not portable, setup of the turntable and cartridge...
Of course, you can see this hassle as a ritual to worship the artist/the music but i am annoyed by it.
post #11 of 11
As all of the posts state here, if you are willing to make the requisite investments, vinyl can run rings around CDs from a sonic perspective. I have about 1000 albums currently in storage, that I haven't listened to in many many years. My turntable died, and I am not willing to make the dollar investment nor the convenience compromise.

However, there is a lot of great music that I am missing out on simply because the album has not been remastered onto CD. Some old jazz albums (Bird, Coltrane, Dizz, Kenton, Ferguson) I sorely miss and cannot find anywhere for any amount of money. Some I would pay dearly for to find on CD.
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