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Buying a Debut Project III

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

From a headfi member actually! Used, seems to be in pretty excellent condition for a price I have no problem paying. Now I just need to fill in the other parts of the equation (rest of my set up) and I should soon be in vinyl utopia! Anyway, I want to get a decent set up to accompany my TT, whilst also being within budget. I wish to spend 200 or below on a receiver, and then around 200 on a pair of speakers. Also, I've been looking at powered speakers, which will then only require me to get a phono amp. I've been looking at these: http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studiophile-Powered-Speakers-Previous/dp/B000MUXJCO/ref=cm_cd_al_qh_dp_i

 

also, I have a Little Dot 1+ that I use for my magnums. I heard that this could be used for an amplifier (if so, how well would it work) and in that case I would just need a phono amp and could just get passive speakers that perhaps sound better. What are the most important parts of this equation? I feel like speakers really will alter the sound quality of my setup more so than a receiver or a amp and then a phono amp. anyway. 

 

Debut Project III (200)+reciever or phono amp/amp (or possibly the headphone amp i already have) which i would like to spend no more than 200 on+ speakers (that I'd like to spend no more than 200 on)

 

I feel that if I get the speakers above I will only need to get a phono amp then, correct? anyone have any experience with the speakers, or the project debut III? anyone would like to share or recommend their record player set up or their speaker/reciever would also be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks so much everyone and I really look forward to your answers. as you can see i've been a headphone enthusiast for quite some time now and I believe it's about damn time i leapt into the wonderful world of vinyl head on! 

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studiophile-Powered-Speakers-Previous/dp/B000MUXJCO/ref=cm_cd_al_qh_dp_i

 

also, I have a Little Dot 1+ that I use for my magnums. I heard that this could be used for an amplifier (if so, how well would it work) and in that case I would just need a phono amp and could just get passive speakers that perhaps sound better. What are the most important parts of this equation? I feel like speakers really will alter the sound quality of my setup more so than a receiver or a amp and then a phono amp. anyway. 

 

 

Just to be thorough in case you might be missing out on some details on the gear, if you're using passive speakers with the Little Dot 1+, you'll need a power amp. The 1+ is a hybrid tube-SS headphone amplifier with a preamp output. Hook this up to a pure poweramp (no preamp, or has an integrated with a preamp bypass input) and you can power the speakers.

The WooAmp you mentioned in the other thread is the WA5, correct? That is more like an integrated amp with a headphone output, except instead of a separate headphone driver wired to the preamp as on most modern integrated amps, or some impedance adapter and rerouting the power to the headphone jack as on better amps, it's primarily a high-output headphone amplifier that has provisions for hooking up speakers. Quite frankly that's the better way to design an amp for both since headphone impedance can vary greatly whereas speakers tend to be mostly 8ohm for home audio.

 

However I can't see the output specs on the WA5, so assume it might be best to use it with really efficient speakers. Something like Klipsch, but if you're using it nearfield the horns might be problematic, so try to go with at the very least conventional tweeters at over 90db/1w sensitivity.

 

---

 

On to the Pro-Ject Debut III - make sure you don't just jump into vinyl. A turntable is basically an extremely modular, analog predecessor of the CDP. The TT itself is the transport, the cartridge is like the laser head and the DAC, the tonearm part of the transport or digital transfer system which is more critical than the digital counterpart since physical contact has more vibration than just a laser, and the phono stage the analog output stage (where you find people tweaking opamps, HDAMs, or in high-end CDPs, just have a discrete output stage). It can get expensive if you don't care for it properly.

Do your research well however and I guarantee a TT will reward you.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/20/12 at 2:29am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok so my LD1+ is a preamp??! Someone told me yesterday it's an amp. I'm so damn confused. I'm about to just buy a receiver and say to hell with it. Why would be expensive if I don't care for it properly? as in not be violent with the TT? obviously, I would think. 

 

Thanks though man for helping some of it make sense.

 

Do you have any recommendations on speakers? And what about powered speakers. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

bump.

post #5 of 8
Its only an amp. I got the pic below from someone who sold one here. That only pair of RCA is for input. There is no output RCA. Get a receiver with a phono input.


post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

Ok so my LD1+ is a preamp??! Someone told me yesterday it's an amp.

 

It's a headphone amp which isn't the same as a preamp; and my bad about the preamp, I thought it had that feature like the MkII plus you mentioned passive speakers, to which I was thinking that it's a headphone amp, maybe a preamp, but not a speaker amp. They're not the same thing unless you count how many inefficient headphones just easily work better if you splice the cables and hook them up to big speaker amps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

I'm about to just buy a receiver and say to hell with it.

 

It really depends more on what you need from it and how many components you can afford to have in whatever space is available to you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

Why would be expensive if I don't care for it properly? as in not be violent with the TT?

 

OK, I'll need clarification - I was thinking this is really the kind of TT you really want but can afford the Debut III for now...

...or by "not be violent" were you thinking of handling the TT more like this, if at least just sometimes?

 

Thing is even if it's actually the first one, think of it this way - that's like a CDP with the guts all hanging out, and instead of  fancy spindle mechanism spinning at high RPM with only a laser reading it, you have a slower spin speed but there's a needle constantly threading along the disc surface. At a minimum you have to cover it, but where the CDP at most requires every few years a new laser and maybe belts for the CD tray, a turntable's parts all wear out sooner even if you want to party with it instead of going the Skrillex route with a MacBook (or others who just use CDs or digital audio with a motion-sensor pad to simulate scratching). The needle is most like the laser, for one, and given the physical contact, even the tonearm might wear out before you upgrade; then there are the belts that spin the platter, kind of like if a CD transport is so bad the spindle itself breaks so you'd probably have to switch out the entire transport.

 

Don't get me wrong, I might be making it sound like you're buying a '68 Camaro and you're spending half the time screwing around in the garage, but at least be aware that running a TT isn't as straightforward as a CDPlayer. Heck even that should take into consideration dealer support, preferably within driving distance, so service the laser and maybe the belts/gears, given shipping such gears isn't going to be cheap. Plus with all the modular parts that can wear out and I'm sort of confused by how you used 'amp' in the original post (more on this below), so you really have to be aware of these.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

Do you have any recommendations on speakers? And what about powered speakers. 

 

As above, it all depends on what space you can dedicate to it and how you'd set up your system. If for example I'd be using a dedicated source like a TT with both speakers and headphones and you mentioned the WA5 in the other thread, it would be like this:

 

Project Debut III >phonostage> WooAudio WA5 >headphone out> Magnum, other headphones

                                                   >speaker out> look here

 

If you want to keep your Little Dot, you can skip the cost on the WA5 and do it this way:
 

Project Debut III >phonostage> integrated amp with loop/tape out >loop out> LD 1 > Magnums, other headphones

                                                                                              >speaker output> passive speakers

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

 

...Also, I've been looking at powered speakers, which will then only require me to get a phono amp...

 

I feel that if I get the speakers above I will only need to get a phono amp then, correct?

 

 

Take note, "amp" can be a lot of things - some speaker integrated amps or preamps have auxilliary headphone amps built into them, some headphone amps have preamps, and some are equally designed to drive both headphones and speakers. A phono amp is completely different - it's for amping the signal being read by the cartridge into something the preamp or speaker/headphone amp can read. Some receivers/integrated amps have a phono stage built-in - if you'd get that you have to check if it's MM or MC as it depends on the cartridge. Whether the phono amp is built into the TT or the integrated amp, or separate, and whether you have headphone amps and speaker amps, you'd need the output from a phono stage to feed into either.

 

Assuming it's compatible here's a gear chain strictly as an example:

Debut III >phonoinput> NAD304 or other older NAD or Creek amps >speaker out> Wharfedale Pacific Evo

                                                                                                 >headphone out> Magnums, other headphones

                                                                                                 >loop/tapeout> Little Dot 1 >headphone out> Magnums, other headphones


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/25/12 at 9:22pm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 


ok thanks so much man.

 

was looking at going vintage.

 

would a Pioneer SX 650 be a good idea? i found one online from a seasoned seller for around a hundred bucks. seems worth it.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

ok thanks so much man.

 

 

 

No problem. BTW I just realized what I find conusing in your original post; I think when you refer to "phono amp" sometimes you might be thinking it's the headphone amp, since the headphone plug/jack is called (6.3mm) "phono" (kinda saw the same thing in another thread). In any case, there's a "phonostage," "phonopreamp," or "phonoamp" and that's the analog output circuit used for TTs. Headphone amps are just "amps" here, unless we're talking about speaker amps in the same thread, we'd specify which is which.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

 

was looking at going vintage.

 

would a Pioneer SX 650 be a good idea? i found one online from a seasoned seller for around a hundred bucks. seems worth it.

 

Amps of that vintage are generally good, better than many later Japanese amps (particularly the 90s up to late 00's). Generally. I Googled it though and just based on the interior shots it seems OK, though don't expect it be as spectacular as soem Onkyo Integras, Marantz or Technics New Class A amps many are bound to mention in a discussion on vintage amps. If it's local pick-up though $100 is a great bargain, since shipping on it might be around $70, but either way I'd say it's probably a nice amp.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/26/12 at 6:34am
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