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I want to get a turntable setup in my living room but have no clue where to begin

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So let me start I guess by saying that I have a good-ish set up in my bedroom, good enough such that I'm satisfied with it for my income and budget.  I've currently just got all my music in flac on my computer, an asus xonar essence ST, and a pair of 600ohm DT880's which I absolutely LOVE [I say this because im terrible at describing what sort of sound I most enjoy].  I've also owned HD555's which I enjoyed, AKG K701's which I absolutely HATED, and a pair of grado sr225i which i thought were...mediocre and incredible uncomfortable.

 

Aside from my own personal listening though, i like having people over and music in the background is nice, but my PS3 sucks at streaming.  It's  just too much of a hassle. Even just for me by myself, its not worth the effort if I just want to sit on my couch and look out the window while I have music going.    Just graduated from college and my parents were asking about what I might want as a graduation present, and after being torn between a telescope and turntable i think i've pretty much decided on turntable.  I had done some research a bit ago but never got past picking a table out, and I think I had decided on the Rega P1, though I don't know if that's really a strong first choice, but seem to remember hearing good things about it.

 

The trouble is, I have no clue what I need, how much things will cost, or where to shop after the turntable.

 

I would love the option to listen to my headphones as well as speakers, I don't know if I have to buy something special for that.

I assume I need an amp or a receiver of some sort.  I also have no clue about speakers.

 

 

So I guess, some guidance and help picking things out would be really appreciated?  I suppose a budget would be helpful.  I'm not sure how much theyre willing to help but I'll assume that my parents will be up for spending about $500 (so just the turntable i guess), and I suppose I would be comfortable spending another $400 on top of that currently.  If that will only get me listening to my headphones at the moment, then so be it.  But I need some specific ideas of what I might be looking to buy

post #2 of 23

I have heard good things about the RP1 too. Another option would be the Pro-Ject Debut III or the Genie. 

 

A rough checklist of things for starting a rig are:

Turntable + tone arm

Cartridge

Phono stage MM/MC (depending on which cartridge you have or want to upgrade to)

Cleaning materials/brushes to keep the vinyl and the stylus clean. 

 

With regards to the phono stage, bear in mind that the cheaper cartridges are usually MM but as you move up the $ ladder, they are exclusively MC cartridges. I think that a general good starting point that most people enjoy is the Denon 103 MC. 

post #3 of 23

I'm kind of on the same boat.

Can you use an old receiver like a Marantz 2235? From my understanding, I would just need a phono preamp before the amp, so the setup would look like this?

Turntable -> preamp -> Marantz 2235 -> my cheapo speakers


Would this work?

post #4 of 23
The Marantz has Phono inputs so one wouldn't necessarily need a preamp. As for the deck, the best bet I think is a Technics 1200 ... You could probably find them for a couple hundred and they will last forever.

I have a Mk 5 and it's built like a tank. I also have a Linn LP 12 and it's falling apart smily_headphones1.gif

Checkout Craigslist a lot off DJs are unfortunately spinning CDs now ... Many Technics available!
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silwen View Post

I have heard good things about the RP1 too. Another option would be the Pro-Ject Debut III or the Genie. 

 

A rough checklist of things for starting a rig are:

Turntable + tone arm

Cartridge

Phono stage MM/MC (depending on which cartridge you have or want to upgrade to)

Cleaning materials/brushes to keep the vinyl and the stylus clean. 

 

With regards to the phono stage, bear in mind that the cheaper cartridges are usually MM but as you move up the $ ladder, they are exclusively MC cartridges. I think that a general good starting point that most people enjoy is the Denon 103 MC. 

I see.  I believe (assume?) that the RP1 includes the arm + cartridge

 

When you say "Phono Stage MM/MC", does that refer to the preamp/amp?  Or cartridge? (I see that the Denon 103MC is a cartridge)  I don't think I would be doing any cartridge changing in the beginning but having the ability to do so without buying a new stage would be nice, is that possible?   Can you recommend me a good starting point for the phono stage? 

 

Something that will support my headphones as well as speakers?  I suppose as an overall, i have about a $1200 budget

post #6 of 23

go to Pink Fish and ask this for best advice

 

for worst advice ask in Steve Hoffman forum!

 

my answer (LP12 owner for 25 years) is used P3 with RB300, and a cheap moving magnet cart like 

AT95e or Rega Bias

the cartridge is the least important part of a turntable

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

the cartridge is the least important part of a turntable

 


Is that sarcasam? It's one of the most important components on a turntable.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyson View Post



Is that sarcasam? It's one of the most important components on a turntable.

Nope. It's from Linn Lore. Deck > Arm > Cartdrige > Amp > Speakers ... And don't forget to remove all other transducers in the listening room.

I forget how cables were marketed. I think they were somewhat important. Anyway I have both a linn and a technics and I much prefer the technics, but I don't spin records much anymore. I used to have a Systemdek IIx as well and that was a nice turntable too.

Don't get me wrong as I like my Linn but it was just not very well built ... I also had a bias against direct drive decks, but that's just because most of them aren't very well made ... The SL 1200 is a superb example of engineering and can be had for song nowadays leaving some extra money to go and buy records!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpkitty View Post
I also had a bias against direct drive decks, but that's just because most of them aren't very well made ...

That's a very strange statement not borne out by hard facts. I have had to replace worn out belts and idlers, but never a direct drive motor. Direct drive turntables are also more expensive to make than belt driven ones, which are by themselves already very expensive for a good one. To get the direct drive performance of a Technics, Micro Seiki, Sony etc. turntable is beyond the technical capabilities of the regular suspects in the belt driven turntable market. That makes it even more questionable why you should care to suggest that most direct turntables are not very well made. I would put a DD against a belt drive of equal price any day and the DD would win hands down on long term reliability without any sort of maintenance.

post #10 of 23
On yes I completely agree with you. Perhaps I worded this awkwardly. Back in the day, linn people used to do heavy disrespecting of dd turntables and so that was sort of what I was referring to. But absolutely absolutely dd is the way to go for me now.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

ermmm, so shall i still head over to pink fish? topic seems to have taken a turn for over my head haha...

 

i assume you mean this? http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratik View Post

ermmm, so shall i still head over to pink fish? topic seems to have taken a turn for over my head haha...

 

Well, i'll give you my advice. The sound you're going to get from your records will only be as good as the combined number of components in your system. Nothing is really more or less important than any other component, despite what some may have you think. A cheap cartridge on an expensive turntable will just turn into a bottleneck. So when planning your budget, you want to have enough money to spread between a good turntable, a good cartridge, a good amp/pre-amp, and speakers. Rather than dumping alot of money into a very nice turntable and then a cheap cartridge/preamp.

 

My advice would be to get a reciever that has a phono stage built in. Component systems (seperate preamp / amp units) are generally more expensive. You can always upgrade to something like that later should you desire to do so.

 

I am a Technics fanboy, so i'll reccomend the SL-1200 because I think it's the best turntable for your budget. You can find a used one in good shape for 300$ if you hunt around and are patient, just make sure to avoid turntables that have been used for DJ'ing because those are often mistreated. Then I would reccomend a cartridge from the Ortofon 2M line. Either the Red or the Blue would let you stay at 500$ for the turntable + cartridge. The SL-1200 turntables are built like tanks and will last you a life time. They are direct drive and have 33/45rpm switching unlike the Rega's and Pro-Jects that require you to buy another 150$ unit to change speeds. (Unless you want to dismantle the turntable and change the belt gear every time)

 

Then you have the rest of your budget to look at a Reciever and Speakers.


Edited by Greyson - 5/14/12 at 8:21pm
post #13 of 23
The used Rega deck that was suggested is fine though I prefer my suggestion of Technics SL 1200 Mk ii or iii for about $250 (where I live). You can check out Craigslist if you have access to that or go to a pro audio store that does rentals and ask if they have any to buy.

A technics deck will come with a tone arm and probably a cartridge like a Shure. Later when you get more into vinyl you can try fancier cartridges. BTW needles are separate things that are attached to a cartridge and have to replaced every now and then.

Then you will need an amp with phono inputs like the Marantz that was suggested. If the amp doesn't have phono inputs then you will need what's called a phono preamp. The preamp is to boost the turntable's signal and apply what's called RIAA equalization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization

After the amp part is sorted out look for some speakers but you won't have too much money left over probably.

Here's sort of a budget:

Turntable $250 - $300 SL 1200 Mk III or II
Used amp $200.00 anything solid state with phono inputs
Speakers Used $400.00 Totem dreamcatchers or Paradigm bookshelfs


Just IMHO

PS

Congratulations on your graduation!
Edited by Warpkitty - 5/14/12 at 8:34pm
post #14 of 23

You may have been able to get prices like that a few years ago, but there's no way you'll find a decent SL-1200 for 300$ with a cartridge, unless it is severely mistreated. Everyone thinks they're worth a fortune now that they've been discontinued and most people remove the cartridge to sell seperatly.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpkitty View Post

The used Rega deck that was suggested is fine though I prefer my suggestion of Technics SL 1200 Mk ii or iii for about $250 (where I live). You can check out Craigslist if you have access to that or go to a pro audio store that does rentals and ask if they have any to buy.
A technics deck will come with a tone arm and probably a cartridge like a Shure. Later when you get more into vinyl you can try fancier cartridges. BTW needles are separate things that are attached to a cartridge and have to replaced every now and then.
Then you will need an amp with phono inputs like the Marantz that was suggested. If the amp doesn't have phono inputs then you will need what's called a phono preamp. The preamp is to boost the turntable's signal and apply what's called RIAA equalization.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization
After the amp part is sorted out look for some speakers but you won't have too much money left over probably.
Here's sort of a budget:
Turntable $250 - $300 SL 1200 Mk III or II
Used amp $200.00 anything solid state with phono inputs
Speakers Used $400.00 Totem dreamcatchers or Paradigm bookshelfs
Just IMHO
PS
Congratulations on your graduation!



This has been so useful, I've been looking for decent speakers. If anyone else has any other recommendations please pass them out! 

This post really has helped me a lot actually

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