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post #1981 of 2630
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma33 View Post
 

I really know nothing of turntables/vinyl/analog sound but I recently inherited quite a large vinyl collection and would like to make use of it.

 

My current setup is as follows

PC outputting sound via toslink to Cambridge Audio DacMagic

Speakers: KRK VXT6s connected to the DacMagic via XLR

Sub: Emotiva Ultra Sub 12 connected to the DacMagic via RCA

 

I am hoping to not have to spend over $200 to get this all working on a decent setup, but since most turntables I've looked at only have RCA outputs I am at a bit of a loss as to how to get this all working. Should I ditch the DAC completely and find a new way to hook it up? Are the turntables with USB or S/PDIF output any good? Kinda scared to go from analog to digital back to analog. I'd like to do with without hurting audio quality.

 

Thanks for any help, sincerely and audio newbie.

 

The issue is you don't have a preamp or any real source switching capability.  And IMO, there is little point in buying a turntable and only listening to it digitized.

 

Here is a neat, and inexpensive phono preamp/line preamp combo:

 

http://www.phonopreamps.com/tc754pp.html

 

The only issue here is that you wouldn't have an easy way to connect your powered speakers and subwoofer both.  Do your speakers have a line-level loop through that you could send to the sub, or (more likely) does the sub have a high-pass output you could run to the speakers?

post #1982 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
 

 

The issue is you don't have a preamp or any real source switching capability.  And IMO, there is little point in buying a turntable and only listening to it digitized.

 

Here is a neat, and inexpensive phono preamp/line preamp combo:

 

http://www.phonopreamps.com/tc754pp.html

 

The only issue here is that you wouldn't have an easy way to connect your powered speakers and subwoofer both.  Do your speakers have a line-level loop through that you could send to the sub, or (more likely) does the sub have a high-pass output you could run to the speakers?

The most bang for the buck solution out there. I own phono only version of this (without additioal input switching) and while not exactly stellar, it punches many times its weight.

 

IF your sub does have low pass filter and your powered speakers high pass filter , you could use 1 male to 2 female Y splitters like this :

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/A1-Black-RCY-1-Male-to-2-Female-Y-RCA-Cable-2-pcs-/191004720566?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item2c78c4bdb6

 

better still

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vampire-Wire-Y-Y-Adapters-1-RCA-male-to-2-RCA-female-all-metal-gold-plated-/400326708506?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item5d3554cd1a

 

Above style Y RCA splitters can be had for considerably less money from chinese sellers on ebay

.

or this :http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Pcs-Monster-RCA-AV-Audio-Y-Splitter-Plug-Adapter-1-Male-to-2-Female-Gold-Plated-/29101

 

Use whatever suits you and is (locally) available at a reasonable price.


Edited by analogsurviver - 12/19/13 at 3:59pm
post #1983 of 2630

Jico SAS 1, stylus upgrade for P77 Cart

 

With the arrival of a new Jico SAS stylus for my vintage P77 cart that's fitted on my Rega Planer, just before Christmas. I thought it was a good time to also start taking my approach to vinyl playback a bit more seriously so a Hi-Fi News Analogue test LP was also ordered.



Key features of the SAS stylus 1 are it is of the boron cantilever and micro ridge tip type.


Initial observation, the Jico is so tiny the tip and cantilever look very delicate the tip is not visible with the naked eye and even with a magnifying glass it is hard to see.

After some fiddling with settings tracking down force was set at 1.20grm my cartridge set up was checked against the analogue test LP and performed well (which was a relief) in the entire test bar the most extreme tracking test 

“Track 9: Bias setting: 300Hz tone, both channels +18dB
This track stands alone as perhaps the most difficult track for a cartridge to track cleanly. Although Its only 2dB higher than track 8, this track is perhaps the most famous of the four, as only the very best gear and alignments can pass it unscathed. For those with more modest gear, results from this track should be taken with a grain of salt.”

Well the TT has been going for most of the afternoon unfortunately any chance to do any objective listening during this period was scotched as my 8 year old daughter decided she wanted to have a disco but we had a great time playing and getting down to the Detroit Spinners,  Boney M, Divine, B gee’s some rock and roll etc etc.  The TT is only a couple of feet away and did not skip or miss a beat, tracking proved to be excellent. I love the simplicity and ease of use of the Rega for this.



Ok so later on I had a chance to make some better observation and comparisons to how the player performed against the original stylus.

Enough with the waffle.  Improvements over the old stylus are immediately noticeable.

Clarity has improved across the board and with it increased resolution and detail retrieval especially in vocals which have more body and texture. Better treble detail which is smooth without tinnyness or harshness.

There is a greatly improved sense of soundstage and imaging it is much more precise and vocals have moved forward from being slightly recessed. 

The bass has tightened up and is more controlled I initially thought there was less but that’s not the case it is just presented in a more coherent form.

It has proved without any doubt to be a very worthwhile upgrade and I am delighted with the results, not really expecting there to be such noticeable improvements from changing something so small as the stylus and not the whole cartridge is something to marvel at.

Thanks to analogsurviver who suggested it.

 


Edited by JamieMcC - 12/27/13 at 3:51pm
post #1984 of 2630
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Jico SAS 1, stylus upgrade for P77 Cart

 

With the arrival of a new Jico SAS stylus for my vintage P77 cart I have on my Rega Planer just before Christmas. I thought it was a good time to also start taking my approach to vinyl playback a bit more seriously so a Hi-Fi News Analogue test LP was also ordered.



Key features of the SAS stylus 1 are it is of the boron cantilever and micro ridge tip type.


Initial observation, the Jico is so tiny the tip and cantilever look very delicate the tip is not visible with the naked eye and even with a magnifying glass it is hard to see.

After some fiddling with settings tracking down force was set at 1.20grm my cartridge set up was checked against the analogue test LP and performed well (which was a relief) in the entire test bar the most extreme tracking test 

“Track 9: Bias setting: 300Hz tone, both channels +18dB
This track stands alone as perhaps the most difficult track for a cartridge to track cleanly. Although Its only 2dB higher than track 8, this track is perhaps the most famous of the four, as only the very best gear and alignments can pass it unscathed. For those with more modest gear, results from this track should be taken with a grain of salt.”

Well the TT has been going for most of the afternoon unfortunately any chance to do any objective listening during this period was scotched as my 8 year old daughter decided she wanted to have a disco but we had a great time playing and getting down to the Detroit Spinners,  Boney M, Divine, B gee’s some rock and roll etc etc.  The TT is only a couple of feet away and did not skip or miss a beat, tracking proved to be excellent. I love the simplicity and ease of use of the Rega for this.



Ok so later on I had a chance to make some better observation and comparisons to how the player performed against the original stylus.

Enough with the waffle.  Improvements over the old stylus are immediately noticeable.

Clarity has improved across the board and with it increased resolution and detail retrieval especially in vocals which have more body and texture. Better treble detail which is smooth without tinnyness or harshness.

There is a greatly improved sense of soundstage and imaging it is much more precise and vocals have moved forward from being slightly recessed. 

The bass has tightened up and is more controlled I initially thought there was less but that’s not the case it is just presented in a more coherent form.

It has proved without any doubt to be a very worthwhile upgrade and I am delighted with the results, not really expecting there to be such noticeable improvements from changing something so small as the stylus and not the whole cartridge is something to marvel at.

Thanks to analogsurviver who suggested it.

 

I am glad you got it so fast and, most importantly, like it.

 

It is a good opportunity to stress the vital point - if the stylus shape, diamond size and cantilever qualities are not "good enough", no cartridge (principle on which it operates, fancy body materials ( lapis lazuli, jade, urushi, etc, etc... )) - can change that fact.  

 

As noted before, Arcam P77 is in fact a Japanese OEM cartridge. In USA it is currently sold as Sumiko Pearl - and it has been "sailing under many flags" in the past 40 or so years. It is basic, but good MM design that changes as the stylus that is used with it dictates.

 

Jico sells it as "limited edition" on the world market as SAS1 cartridge (but it is readily available on the Japanese Jico site without restrictions ).  SAS1 stylus gets substantially subsidized by Jico - it is about 2/3rd cost of Jico's SAS styli for any other cartridge make, but is essentially the same cantilever and stylus tip used in all of them: the difference is in the suspension, possibly magnet and of course "peripherals" that allow fitting the stylus to the intended cartridge.

 

Here the pics of my sample of Jico SAS stylus  for Technics EPC 205C II L (one of the VERY best MMs in history, significantly bettered only by Technics' own EPC 100 series) :

 

20x

 

80x

 

 

350x  

 

Here Micro Ridge is clearly visible - the contact line with the record is the bright line in the second photo, scanning radius being mere 2,5 micrometers. It is the ULTIMATE shape - any sharper than this and it would tend to recut the groove. Micro Ridge also offers the longest lifetime of any type and will not "spread into teardrop shape" with use as any other type eventually will. Jico quotes for its SAS version (called Super Analogue Stylus simply because of commercial/legal purposes ) service life of approx 500 hours - until certain level of distortion is not exceeded. But Micro Ridge will not damage records/erase treble from the innermost grooves up to about 1000 hours - which is well past anything any other design can claim. Any other stylus tip used for that amount of time would have irreparably damaged your, by now mostly irreplaceable records.

 

 

 

 

I apologize for some photos not to be completely in focus and properly aligned - but as stated before, I am not going to risk a perfectly good stylus just for the photo !

 

 

 

 

 

Left channel contact line

 

Right channel contact line

 

Facets from this angle/lighting

 

Facets from another angle/lighting


Edited by analogsurviver - 12/27/13 at 4:56pm
post #1985 of 2630

General question for the panel... 

 

How long does an average needle last?  How do you determine when you've worn it out?

 

Just curious.

post #1986 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltime View Post
 

General question for the panel... 

 

How long does an average needle last?  How do you determine when you've worn it out?

 

Just curious.

It depends who do you ask.

 

It depends how it is used ( vertical tracking force, antiskating, effective mass, condition of records, etc, etc ).

 

If you treasure your records, anything above approx. 500 hours per stylus is to be avoided.  Your records will like fresh new 200 $ stylus every 500 hours MUCH better than 600 $ stylus used for "just a couple albums more".

Once you've shaven off high frequency content in the inner grooves of your records, NOTHING can bring them back .

 

HAPPY & SAFE SPINNING OF VINYL IN 2014 TO EVERYONE !

post #1987 of 2630

Interesting pictures of the stylus tip thanks for posting.

post #1988 of 2630
Quote:

Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

 

 

It depends who do you ask.

 

It depends how it is used ( vertical tracking force, antiskating, effective mass, condition of records, etc, etc ).

 

If you treasure your records, anything above approx. 500 hours per stylus is to be avoided.  Your records will like fresh new 200 $ stylus every 500 hours MUCH better than 600 $ stylus used for "just a couple albums more".

Once you've shaven off high frequency content in the inner grooves of your records, NOTHING can bring them back .

 

HAPPY & SAFE SPINNING OF VINYL IN 2014 TO EVERYONE !

 

:eek: Uh-oh! I'd best get the Needle Doctor on my mobile and fast. 

post #1989 of 2630

Hi guys! 

Decided I would finally make a jump to analog today and purchased a Marantz TT-15S1.  I have a Woo Audio Wa2 headphone amp I will use with my headphones and also purchased a Cambridge Audio - Azur 651P phono preamp to go with it.  So far those are 3 components (plus the headphones obviously).  I am not sure if anyone knows what all comes packaged with all of these products, but I basically am wondering if there are any things (large or small) that I am going to need to accompany what I have so far purchased.  I am guessing all of the necessary cabling will come with the products bundled. 

Again this is my first jump to analog as I have been big into digital forever.  I just wanted to expand my collection of audio equipment and begin to learn more about turntables and their accompanying equipment.  I know that paired with the Woo WA2, my HD800's should sound great.

Any helps/tips would be much appreciated!



 

post #1990 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rem1x View Post
 

Hi guys! 

Decided I would finally make a jump to analog today and purchased a Marantz TT-15S1.  I have a Woo Audio Wa2 headphone amp I will use with my headphones and also purchased a Cambridge Audio - Azur 651P phono preamp to go with it.  So far those are 3 components (plus the headphones obviously).  I am not sure if anyone knows what all comes packaged with all of these products, but I basically am wondering if there are any things (large or small) that I am going to need to accompany what I have so far purchased.  I am guessing all of the necessary cabling will come with the products bundled. 

Again this is my first jump to analog as I have been big into digital forever.  I just wanted to expand my collection of audio equipment and begin to learn more about turntables and their accompanying equipment.  I know that paired with the Woo WA2, my HD800's should sound great.

Any helps/tips would be much appreciated!



 


You will at least need a pair of RCA interconnects from the Cambridge to the headphone amp (it will not come with one). The TT should have its set along with a ground wire which goes to the Cambridge. From there you need a set to go to the headphone amp.

 

If you ever plan to listen to speakers, you will have to look into a regular amp...

post #1991 of 2630

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post
 

 

:eek: Uh-oh! I'd best get the Needle Doctor on my mobile and fast. 

Don't rush on the speed dial

 

1) Average stylus life is around 1000 hours depending on the stylus AND depending on the care of the stylus and the cleanliness of the vinyl played

2) You will NOT just wear out high frequencies on the inner grooves (the myths here are like greek saga's) but if not properly cared for you will wear out all grooves, all frequencies. This also applies to improper setup including

Too light VTF

Too heavy VTF

Misaligned

Poor anti-skate

 

This is how a stylus rides grooves. any dust in those grooves produces heat, friction and thus wear. Diamond stylus's don't WEAR DOWN, the break apart slowly due to microscopic stress factors in the diamond. Heat, friction all serve to cause this. That's why clean stylus, clean vinyl is important

 

 

 

These little bumps are dust

 

 

Stylus magnified - NEVER clean your stylus with alcohol - it can actually loosen the epoxy type bond that connects the diamond to the cantilever

 

post #1992 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Interesting pictures of the stylus tip thanks for posting.

 

And if Pink Floyd are ever in need of more album covers, they know just where to look.

post #1993 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rem1x View Post
 

Hi guys! 

Decided I would finally make a jump to analog today and purchased a Marantz TT-15S1.  I have a Woo Audio Wa2 headphone amp I will use with my headphones and also purchased a Cambridge Audio - Azur 651P phono preamp to go with it.  So far those are 3 components (plus the headphones obviously).  I am not sure if anyone knows what all comes packaged with all of these products, but I basically am wondering if there are any things (large or small) that I am going to need to accompany what I have so far purchased.  I am guessing all of the necessary cabling will come with the products bundled. 

Again this is my first jump to analog as I have been big into digital forever.  I just wanted to expand my collection of audio equipment and begin to learn more about turntables and their accompanying equipment.  I know that paired with the Woo WA2, my HD800's should sound great.

Any helps/tips would be much appreciated!



 

Welcome aboard !

 

Basically, if the TT-15S1 comes with a cartridge, and there are cables bundled, you should be able to listen to analog records. 

 

The first thing to add, if you will find analog to your liking, is a decent record cleaning machine - RCM for short. Even the basic KAB or Audio Advisor vacuum RCMs

should get the job done - but there are costlier designs offering better comfort and higher troughput, so decide with your wallet.

 

Although cartridge alignment on the "Marantz" ( it is actually OEM by Clearaudio ) should be decent, you can always verify if everything is OK by a good test record.

For basic "OK", HFN test record http://www.vinylengine.com/hfn-002-test-lp.shtml should do. Less important (if Marantz arm does have a decent way of setting the vertical tracking force) would be the addition of a precise stylus force gauge - Shure SFG2, although not stellar, is good enough and will not break the bank.

 

Cable from TT to phono preamp IS critical if the cart on your TT is a Clearudio MM. It likes the absolute minimum capacitance in cable - meaning low capacitance cable

(less than 100 pF/m) and/or shortest cable still reasonable in your setup.

post #1994 of 2630

Stylus continued

 

One of mine (from a sheared MC cart) under a microscope

 

 

this is where the cantilever sheared

 

SERIOUS 2 step record wash to use with my RCM

post #1995 of 2630
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

Welcome aboard !

 

Basically, if the TT-15S1 comes with a cartridge, and there are cables bundled, you should be able to listen to analog records. 

 

The first thing to add, if you will find analog to your liking, is a decent record cleaning machine - RCM for short. Even the basic KAB or Audio Advisor vacuum RCMs

should get the job done - but there are costlier designs offering better comfort and higher troughput, so decide with your wallet.

 

Although cartridge alignment on the "Marantz" ( it is actually OEM by Clearaudio ) should be decent, you can always verify if everything is OK by a good test record.

For basic "OK", HFN test record http://www.vinylengine.com/hfn-002-test-lp.shtml should do. Less important (if Marantz arm does have a decent way of setting the vertical tracking force) would be the addition of a precise stylus force gauge - Shure SFG2, although not stellar, is good enough and will not break the bank.

 

Cable from TT to phono preamp IS critical if the cart on your TT is a Clearudio MM. It likes the absolute minimum capacitance in cable - meaning low capacitance cable

(less than 100 pF/m) and/or shortest cable still reasonable in your setup.

 

 

For the person desiring advice, you can watch my setup video and will get the basics done right

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnskL8Pe6fk&feature=player_embedded


Edited by arcorob - 1/1/14 at 5:50am
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