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Beginner turntable questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm looking to get into vinyl on a (relatively) low budget. I looked around and I can get a Music Hall MMF-2.2 for about $250, slightly used. This seems like a pretty decent deal to me, but I'm not sure if I should go for it. I'm pretty new to this stuff, so I was wondering if it was a decent beginner's table or not? It seems that the low end Rega and Technics tables are better regarded, but the prices for them seem to be quite a bit higher. I'd say that my budget for the table is around $300 tops.

 

Also, I would probably need a phono preamp along with the table. I know a lot less about this and would love to hear your recommendations about that. Budget for this is ~$100 if possible.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

That's a fine beginner table to start with that has everything included. If you can push 125, the yaqin ms-22b phono tube preamp is hard to beat
 

post #3 of 13

I had to reply to a guy with a NMH avatar pic. But I have nothing to say.

 

You could consider going for some 70s turntables, that's what I've done. But it makes setup a lot finickier.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

That preamp looks ok, but I'm a little wary of buying gear from Hong Kong. Any other pre-amp recommendations?

post #5 of 13

Get a vintage receiver/amp. They'll probably complement your Music Hall and not to mention the bargains you might find. I own a Kenwood KR 6060/6600 and a Marantz 1000 that both I've bought for <$150. Both sound great. I don't know much about the music hall but turntables sell for pretty low esp if you can get the old 70s 80s ones. I believe that most of them are more stable in build too. Deals shouldn't be hard to find, try CL and check if there are people selling their hifi set. Most of the time the people selling turntables would have an amplifier that they probably haven't listed on the classifieds yet. Good luck! I think a decent system can be <$150. Like just earlier I bought a Pioneer PL7 for $30 but I have to change the needle but everything else works.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjacq View Post

Get a vintage receiver/amp. They'll probably complement your Music Hall and not to mention the bargains you might find. I own a Kenwood KR 6060/6600 and a Marantz 1000 that both I've bought for <$150. Both sound great. I don't know much about the music hall but turntables sell for pretty low esp if you can get the old 70s 80s ones. I believe that most of them are more stable in build too. Deals shouldn't be hard to find, try CL and check if there are people selling their hifi set. Most of the time the people selling turntables would have an amplifier that they probably haven't listed on the classifieds yet. Good luck! I think a decent system can be <$150. Like just earlier I bought a Pioneer PL7 for $30 but I have to change the needle but everything else works.

 

Thanks for the help! I'll definitely go looking for a vintage receiver/amp, since that would seem to be the best deal, but I live in a pretty rural area, so no guarantees. Any other recommendations?

post #7 of 13

I was actually looking at Music Hall too but everyone seemed to disagree on getting a new turntable and the ones on eBay are overpriced. I think if you can get a good deal on a Music Hall or maybe Rega you can just get a new one. I know Onecall and Shoreline has pretty solid deals for open box.

 

Like this one: http://www.shorelinemusic.com/closeouts/closeout-music-hall-mmf-22/


I'm pretty sure I saw a $150 one like days ago :( now it's gone... 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjacq View Post

I was actually looking at Music Hall too but everyone seemed to disagree on getting a new turntable and the ones on eBay are overpriced. I think if you can get a good deal on a Music Hall or maybe Rega you can just get a new one. I know Onecall and Shoreline has pretty solid deals for open box.

 

Like this one: http://www.shorelinemusic.com/closeouts/closeout-music-hall-mmf-22/


I'm pretty sure I saw a $150 one like days ago :( now it's gone... 

 

Yeah, that looks like a pretty good deal! Do you know how reputable Shoreline Music is as a dealer? Kinda wary of the no returns policy, although for this kind of deal, I can't really complain too much.

post #9 of 13

^Sorry no :( I'm not really sure but it's open box so if you find problems with it I think they'll honor is since it's so new but maybe it's best to call. And :'( the one that sold for $150 is the USB one. It's pretty cool to have a USB turntable although lots of them are no good either.

post #10 of 13
The music hall 2.2 is probably the best of the new tables under $500. The cart that comes stock on it is an OEM called the 'red ed' that you can pick up for $15 if it's not included.

I'm generally one to push for vintage gear but that's a pretty good deal there. You can do much better with vintage, but buying vintage comes with a risk, or a lot of patience in finding a good deal from a trustworthy seller. Just last week I got a Dual 701(sold new in 1976 for the equivalent of what would be $1,500 today) and I paid $200 for it counting shipping. Duals are pretty good automatic tables but they have a lot of things that can go wrong so you're need to make sure you're dealing with someone trustworthy when buying one. There are really a ton of good tables out there, and it isn't too hard to find info on most models. Make sure that the seller knows how to ship a table as well, heavy platters and unsecured arms can make quite a mess during shipping. Most sellers will separately pack the platter and the arm or counterweight. Installation is easy, you should be able to find a manual on vinylengine, and with a bit of patience you're have a great working table.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroicPenguin View Post

That preamp looks ok, but I'm a little wary of buying gear from Hong Kong. Any other pre-amp recommendations?


I think you would be remiss on disregarding the yaqin, just because it comes from "hong kong". There are tons of ChiFi equipment out there that is top knotch and priced alot less then their US counter parts. I've had my Yaqin MS-12b for over a year now with no issues, it's quality built. The 12AX7 "Mullard Reissue" tubes sound really good for a decent price too. Nothing comes close to Yaqin Phono tube pres in the price range at all :)

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'll do a bit more research on the Yaqin -- it's just the website doesn't exactly look like the most reliable thing. The whole "bank transfer" thing is throwing me off.

post #13 of 13

Look around locally for vintage receivers and/or turntables. I was able to find a Pioneer PL-518 for $50 (late-1970's model), and a Pioneer SA-6500 II integrated amplifier (early 1970s) for $30. I bought a Shure M97xe cartridge for $70 online. YMMV, I'm just happy to have put together a decent vinyl rig for under $200.

 

If you decide to go for the Music Hall turntable (which looks to be quite good for the money), I would still recommend trying to find a good vintage receiver, as they are almost guaranteed to have a good onboard phonostage if they were made in the 1970s.

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