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Buying Vinyl Records for Dummies

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

In the interest of saving storage space, reducing clutter in my house and shifting to a format that I prefer for selected albums, I'm seriously considering selling all my hundreds of CDs and collecting vinyl copies of my favorite albums instead.

The problem now is that I know very little about vinyl and collecting them. Another problem is that I'm in Asia and there are almost no places here to buy these records (and if ever there are, they are overpriced) so I have to turn to ordering online.

So... questions:

1) What are the different types of vinyl records (I heard discussions about different size/weight/pressing)? Which of these is the best?
2) Where is the best place to buy/order vinyl records online aside from direct from the label if it is offered there?
3) Other things to consider?


For example, one of the first records I plan to order if ever I push through with this is Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!. I saw it on Insound for $20. Is this a good purchase?

 

Also... while we're at this, could someone also recommend a decent turntable? In this hobby I don't want to get something too cheap but it's easy to get too expensive, which I don't want to happen. What would a good turntable be?

post #2 of 8

I can't really answer your vinyl question but as for turntables, Rega and Music Hall make some pretty good, readily available models and they have a wide variety of price levels to fit just about any budget. I know there are other makers who do too but I'm not sure if they have as many options as far as price is concerned. 

post #3 of 8

If you want to talk turntables, it's worth your while to head over to the Dedicated Source forum, do some searches, then ask some questions.  Good listening to you!

 

- Ed

post #4 of 8

Decent turntable:

 

For $200, a Stanton T.62. It comes with an alright cartridge, but of course that can always be upgraded. It's a very solid turntable.

 

Then you need a receiver. The Sherwood RX-4109 is about $100. Also the Yamaha RX-397 is around $200. The Sherwood was my first receiver but I have since upgraded to the somewhat better Yamaha.

 

And yes, that is my budget-fi vinyl rig. biggrin.gif

post #5 of 8

Vinyl takes up a lot of space over time, compared to cds.

 

1. They make vinyl in almost every size up to 13 inches (13 being pretty rare and as far as I know it doesn't spin at the regular rpm speeds) but the main vinyl records you will find is 7inch sometimes called a 45 when there is a big hole in the middle and 12inch. They are also sometimes known as EP (Extended Player) and LP (Long Player).

2. Ebay and amazon are two good sites I use. I've read about people buying from Gemm but I don't have any experience with that site.

3. Learn how to balance the tone arm, set tracking force and anti skate correctly. I learned this the hard way.

 

As for good turntables, I've read good things about the Pro-Ject Debut III, Rega RP1 and Music Hall 2.2. I currently own a Audio Technica PL120 which isn't a super cheap table but it isn't pro either. If you can find a used Technics 1200, that would be perfect. Those things are built great, or at least the ones I've played with before. Just know that if your stereo receiver doesn't have a phono output then you will need a phono preamp.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuseboxx View Post

In the interest of saving storage space, reducing clutter in my house and shifting to a format that I prefer for selected albums, I'm seriously considering selling all my hundreds of CDs and collecting vinyl copies of my favorite albums instead.

The problem now is that I know very little about vinyl and collecting them. Another problem is that I'm in Asia and there are almost no places here to buy these records (and if ever there are, they are overpriced) so I have to turn to ordering online.

So... questions:

1) What are the different types of vinyl records (I heard discussions about different size/weight/pressing)? Which of these is the best?
2) Where is the best place to buy/order vinyl records online aside from direct from the label if it is offered there?
3) Other things to consider?


For example, one of the first records I plan to order if ever I push through with this is Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!. I saw it on Insound for $20. Is this a good purchase?

 

Also... while we're at this, could someone also recommend a decent turntable? In this hobby I don't want to get something too cheap but it's easy to get too expensive, which I don't want to happen. What would a good turntable be?

post #6 of 8

 

1) What are the different types of vinyl records (I heard discussions about different size/weight/pressing)? Which of these is the best?

 

I have hundreds of albums of all different weights and types.  Honestly, the only thing I like about the heavier vinyl is that they tend not to warp.  Quality control is awful on mass-produced albums even new vinyl and often new records come warped. MFSL, DCC, and some of the other expensive albums have much better standards, but they're MUCH more expensive, and you probably won't find the albums you're looking for.  If I were you, I wouldn't be so quick to sell off your CDs unless you want to spend thousands of dollars for essentially the same sound.   Instead, try buying some albums that you don't already have on CD and try them out.  Vinyl is fun, but it's also much more expensive if you want it to sound good (read phono stage, turntable, tonearm, cartridge, step-up transformer, not to mention LPs).  Entry-level systems may sound different than playing digital, but they won't sound better IMHO.

 

2) Where is the best place to buy/order vinyl records online aside from direct from the label if it is offered there?

 

I've ordered from Insound and Music Direct here in the states.  I don't think it matters much with new albums.  If you're buying used (on ebay), you'll probably find that 50% of the albums aren't as good as the seller describes.


3) Other things to consider?

 

 

I've found that if you really want good sound from your turntable, you're going to need a good phonostage, and the ones built in to receivers (including vintage receivers) don't cut it (you're going to be better off with CDs if you go that route).  

 
post #7 of 8
I have well over 10,000 LPs, and to be honest, I wouldn't recommend vinyl as a replacement for CDs for modern music. Records take up a lot of space and the reason to collect them is to get older music that has never made it to CD, not to get LPs of things that were recorded and mastered digitally.
post #8 of 8

I personally love my record player. My setup is a Music Hall mmf 5.1 into a Audio Technica PEQ3 Phono Preamp, into a Little Dot MK IV SE into Beyerdynamic 880 (600 ohm).  To my mind they sound much better than their digital counterparts if you put in the effort.  The number one thing that you can do is invest in a good cleaning system.  I usually do a two step process which gets them pretty clean.  Vacuum cleaners are pretty awesome but they do cost a lot.  My records have never sounded better though.  I love the whole process of playing my records from the search to the actual playing.  I usually look on ebay for my records.  You can usually find most anything on there.  Record shows are tons of fun if you can ever get to one.  I always spend way too much money though.

Have fun with it.

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