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Help me listen to vinyls again :)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Good evening fellow head-fi'ers.
I'm looking to get back into vinyls. The problem is that when it comes to vinyls, music on vinyls, I have no idea of what I'm talking about.
I used to listen to vinyls alot when I was a child. Nowadays most of the music I own is on CDs or bought digitally. Lately I discovered that so many great artists that I adore have released some of their materials on vinyls as well but as years go by, getting my hands on those vinyls gets more pricier or harder (since they are out of print etc).
So here I am, ready to brush the dust of my childhood vinyls and buy some new ones. 
But the question is. What should I listen them on? Budget wise... well the more "bang for  a buck" I could get out of the future LP player, the better. Perhaps around 200€? Could be a bit more, could be less, I dont really mind.
A mate of a mate suggested that I buy a "technics SL -1200MK2". Are there any better options out there? As said, I dont plan to to any DJ'ing, I just want to relax and enjoy my old vinyls and buy some new ones and listen to them :)

PS! Sorry for messing up any terms or grammar-errors. English isn't my first language and by no means, am I a expert when it comes to audio!
Thank you!
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ah yes, forgot to mention that I would rather buy one vinyl player for life, if that is possible. Meaning that the current 200€ budget can be increased if needed.

post #3 of 23

Where do you live? (Country)

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

I live in Estonia. 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 


post #6 of 23
A mate of a mate suggested that I buy a "technics SL -1200MK2".
that's exactly what you don't need. A DJ turntable has very different requirements from a audiophile turntable. DJ's need the record to spin up fast and needles that can stand abuse (round needles that don't neede to be aligned that perfectly). So that means hi torque direct drive and low mass platters. This generates rumble, speed instability and other noise.
I've hardly ever seen a decent arm on a DJ turntable.

A good audiophile turntable usually have heavy platters (pref. material with the same properties as vinyl) with snare drive and low torque motor, a stable arm with good low friction precision bearings (or tangential) and a (super)eliptical needle for the smallest contact surface in the groove.

I think Pro-ject makes the best in your budget range, or try to get something like that 2nd hand. Try to get the best cartridge (high output MC like Denon DL160) and a good phono-pre.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

I can increase the budget if needed, as I wont hopefully upgrade the record player in future.

So paying 200 to 600€ wont be a problem. Any specific recommendations for the record player?

post #8 of 23
Well, something like this: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit Inkl. Ortofon 2M Red MM-Tonabnehmer @ €400
With a phono-pre of about €100 (maybe the Yaqin MS-22B?)
And for cleaning at least a carbon fibre record brush.
post #9 of 23

Jeep's choice looks nice.


However, based on my own experience, I'd go for this:




This player can be upgraded with other cartridges if you feel the wish to go a step further in the future, and upgrading will make sense, as the player is a very good base value.


I started with the predecessor of this player, and it sounded indeed very very good for the price!


You can of course order only the player and add another cartridge. However, personally, I am very convinced of Goldring, at this price range. They have a very natural, involving signature and a very good resolution, considering its MM. However, this is a question of personal taste. Orthofon have generally a little more aggressive trebles. If you like that, you might rather choose Orthofon.


Anyway, what is very important: Have your cartridge installed by a good professional!!! Not just by some whatever-audio-reseller! Somebody who really cares... Even though there are DIY - tools out there, you will never be able to measure the weight, pressure and orientation of your needle as exactly, as a pro with his (expensive) pro tools will do. Be careful: Many audio resellers do this very superficially and in many cases, they don't even own the pro tools for it, but do it with the DIY paper measurement stuff and the scale on the turntable. This matters. I'd have it done directly with reson, that is in my opinion the most secure choice. And this makes a real difference! Be careful not to touch your weight etc. when you transport your player, or when you use it, it gets shifted very easily.


I owned Orthofon, Elac and Goldring cartridges, as well as a couple of others, and I prefer by far Goldring. Now I own a Reson cartridge, which is, in fact, an modified enhanced Goldring. However, it is an "Etile", in another price range. Reson is mainly a reseller of Audio equipment. However, they produce and modify Turntables and Cardridges on their own.


For the phone preamp, I don't have experience on my own, I used only two different ones, both built into Preamps (currently dnm). At Reson they can sell you a good value, too. Where my recommendation comes from: In my experience over the last 15 years now, Reson is very much like a good wine dealer: You know that you will get something really good. Maybe, you can get something slightly cheaper elsewhere, but at a good reseller, you can have the confidence, that you'll never go wrong (I am not at all associated with them :) ).


The website is in German, but you will be able to mail them in English, and probably, they will deliver to Estonia (this is only a guess however). There are many shops: http://www.reson.de/de/shops . And you will surely find one that is keen to deliver to you. My reseller is here: http://www.audiopur.ch . However, from Switzerland it will be a bit more complicated for you, so you might be better off finding a reseller in the EU.


Good luck and I enjoy vinyl, its worth it!!! :)

post #10 of 23

EDIT: If you go for a Goldring 1006 Magnetic Cartridge, this may be upgraded very easily and effectively by only exchanging the stylus to better. You can seen them all here: https://shop.mantra-audio.co.uk/acatalog/Goldring_Cartridges.html . The 1006 will not be much more expensive than the Goldring Elan, but provide a solid base for stylus upgrading after a while. This looks like a nice shop anyway if you want to squeeze most out of your budget, however, I haven't any experience with this shop, so try it on your own risk...

Edited by ursdiego - 6/25/12 at 3:24am
post #11 of 23

If you have the capital to invest in Technics 1210 then it's a no brainer.


Somewhere lost in the mists of time there was a prejudice against direct drive TTs. This was bollocks at the time and is even more bollocks now.


This guy explains the situation from an audiophile perspective far more convincingly than I can.




For twenty years I went through a number of so called audiophile TTs including models from Dual. Linn, Thorens etc. They all broke down or were in some other way unacceptable. Then twenty years ago I bought a pair of Technics. Still going strong today and 20 minutes elbow grease would see them pass as new. It's a  dead safe bet as well. If you don't like them for some reason you can always sell them for close to what you paid.

post #12 of 23

Listen to your friend and definitely consider getting the SL-1210 if you can find one within your budget (you probably can). You'll keep it for years and you can spend any future turntable-budget upgrading the cartridge and / or arm.

post #13 of 23
OK, I feel I must comment on some things....
If you have the capital to invest in Technics 1210 then it's a no brainer.
Yep! Don't buy it.

Forget about the Technics 1210. While it may look nice think about this:
1 like i said; demands on DJ and Hifi turntables ARE different and this leads to different design compromises. Nearly all serious hifi TT's use a belt drive (there are a few rim drive which is even more expensive to get right) and a heavy alu or vinyl like platter. Why is that? Because it sounds best.
2 I feel the TNT review isn't quite honest in their prices. Come on, they trow a Benz Glider on it right away! That ain't fair! come on, thats €900+
3 you need a way more expensive phono-pre able to amplify MC. And considering the weight of the arm you are going to need that because you will need a heavier less compliant cartridge than a simple MM.
4 When you smack such a cartridge on right away you block all upgrade paths. You will need that to keep interested in vinyl or any hobby. Improvements in small or big increments keep you interested and that doesn't have to cost the world (or €).

The smart thing to to is get a good base: the best hifi turntable with a good arm inside your budget. Don't forget the extra budget for a phono-preamp. Consider the cartridge at this pricepoint a trow-in bonus. It won't be your best or last and as long it's not an Ortofon OM-10 you'll be fine. It will give you ample time to look for something better. I'll get to that later.

The Reson looks nice but it's well above your budget (€575 + Phono-pre) and I wonder if it is any better than my option (€400) .
The Reson is just another Rega mod (good base, but kind of lacking in imagination IMHO). No details given (bad thing). Maybe the motor is a tad better, the arm looks like the golden oldie RB250 (I think the Pro-ject Carbon is way better by now), the platter looks like a dense plastic foam (like Funk Firm), might be nice but the acryl platter of the Project is closer to vinyl (e-modulus > propagationspeed of sound is similar to vinyl so no reflections and sound is absorbed). You can buy Pro-ject stuff anywhere so servicing will be no problem in the future. Pro-ject just keeps on giving so much bang for the buck (I know because I own one).
Anyway, what is very important: Have your cartridge installed by a good professional!
While this sounds like excellent advice it is not necessarily true (I'm being kind here) . I had my 3 cartridges looked after and aligned by AJ van den Hul himself but that doesn't mean I did do it myself 3 weeks ago for my new TT. Scaring beginners into the arms of expensive professionals (high end dealers) is not very nice IMHO. I will explain.
If you are careful you can do that yourself very well. The 'experts' weren't born expert. You will sweat the first time you align your first cartridge, just like I did with my $400 cartridge 25y ago. Just like a baby it won't break right away when you drop it. But you won't. All you need to do is align it with the lines on the protractor, get the distance right, arm level, balance the arm and give the weight x degrees turn for the right weight and you're done. If you must buy a small cheap digital scale on Ebay. There is no secret to it. There is even a special thread over here how to....
Why am I saying all this? I hate generalising. A cheap round needle doesn't need an expert. A simple elliptic needle needs a bit better setting up. Only the very expensive super elliptic needles that look like a chisel are getting finicky about the right angle. And even then, the angle changes continually from start to end of the groove. Azimuth is more important but most arm don't have any way of adjusting this and are 0 degrees. The weight is just the same; there is no absolute truth. It may vary and you can hear the difference.

Back to cartridges; save some budget for a good high output MC or MC. They sound simply that much better. If you can afford an MC get some MC-transformers (upgrade path) instead of an MC-pre. The lower moving mass gives you more speed, dynamics, better highs and more space. You'll never want to go back to MM again.

I have more to say but I need to go to sleep now....
post #14 of 23

This is a good resource for those of you who like to spend serious money pimping your gear.



post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

This is a good resource for those of you who like to spend serious money pimping your gear.



He just said he has 600 max available lol...

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