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Record Players

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 

 

Up till now, I've only been concerned with digital audio - headphones, amps, DACs, etc. But recently I've been getting into digital rips of vinyls, such as Dr. Robert's Beatles rips, and the sound difference is substantial. The vinyl sounds much warmer and full. I had always wanted to try analog, but the fear of not having anywhere except online to buy vinyls put me off, until I discovered that Urban Outfitters, of all places, boasts a respectable vinyl section (first time being dragged to the mall has paid off). I'm a bit wary of all these new, "compact" turntables though. Where should I start for high-value budget components (turntable, phono cartridge, preamp)?

 

Thanks!


Edited by akong - 12/29/13 at 7:04pm
post #2 of 12

Oxymoron - high valued budget components...LOL

 

So  I would recommend a vintage table for you (best bang for the buck) but if it needs any work, it could be frustrating. So lets start with a couple of basic questions and I can help you (and btw..there are better sources of vinyl than urban outfitters...LOL)

 

1) Does you amp have a phono input ? If no, we'll address that

2) what kind of budget are you looking at ? For new, anything under $300 is going to be relatively CHEAP and not high value.

 

So as far as cart and preamp...we'll get to the cart when you narrow the budget

 

As far as phono pre (if number 1 is no) then a good HIGH VALUE BUDGET component is the Art DJ Pre II. I kid you not. AT $50, blows away a number of name brands up to about $250 range.

 

So..give me more of a clue..I can show you these...all under 500..all pretty entry level

 

http://www.amazon.com/PRO-JECT-DEBUT-MATTE-BLACK-TURNTABLE/dp/B000CDHQK2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388375589&sr=8-1&keywords=project+turntable

 

http://www.amazon.com/REGA-RP1-TURNTABLE-COOL-GRAY/dp/B004B3GELG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388375616&sr=8-2&keywords=rega+turntable

 

http://www.amazon.com/Music-Hall-Driven-Turntable-Cartridge/dp/B001FUF8FQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388375656&sr=8-2&keywords=music+hall+turntable

 

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP1240-USB-Direct-Turntable/dp/B007R9B0UQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1388375728&sr=8-7&keywords=audio+technica+turntable

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcorob View Post

1) Does you amp have a phono input ? If no, we'll address that

I'm not sure :P It has the two red and white RCA inputs - is that it? 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arcorob View Post

2) what kind of budget are you looking at ? For new, anything under $300 is going to be relatively CHEAP and not high value.

Under $300 sounds like a good benchmark. And by high value, I meant bang for the buck, not the most valuable :P 

 

Thanks for the help! 

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post
 

I'm not sure :P It has the two red and white RCA inputs - is that it? 

Under $300 sounds like a good benchmark. And by high value, I meant bang for the buck, not the most valuable :P 

 

Thanks for the help! 

Okay, this simplifies things...in some ways.

 

First, those two sets of RCA thingies are LINE Inputs - Red right, white left. If not clearly marked as phono then they are straight line in and not suitable for PHONO. Never fear, that's what a phono stage is for. This one works awesome and at $49 doesn't break the bank

 

http://www.amazon.com/ART-II-Preamplifier-Output-Switchable/dp/B000AJR482

 

Next up - decent NEW tables in your range

 

The Orbit - New - Made in the USA and has been given great reviews as an entry level table. I HIGHLY recommend the upgraded model as it has a better platter and better cartridge (yes, you do not have to buy a cart separately) This is a link to their store page but you can click around their site to get more info

 

http://uturnaudio.com/store/

 

The second I would recommend with a caveat is the AT LP120 USB . It is made by audio technical, is full featured and actually works quite nice. It even has an onboard phono stage so you could use that and not buy the ART DJ Pre. So the negatives ?

 

1) I would not recommend using the onboard amp as it is not that great. Using it as a normal table to the ART Pre and to your amp wil sound MUCH better

 

2) Quality control - If you receive it and all is working fine, then it is a very very nice table. But there have been  high number of items delivered faulty requiring return and exchange. Amazon is great about it but still its a pain. Also, some of the features you will likely never use..like playing 78's or 45's...

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP120-USB-Direct-Drive-Professional-Turntable/dp/B002S1CJ2Q

 

I hope this helps get you started. If it was me, I would get the upgrade Orbit and the Art DJ pre...you will have no issues and be playing immediately...

 

Rob

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Awesome, thanks! 

 

But what if I want to play records without headphones? Will these be able to do that as well? 

post #6 of 12

They are inputs only. If you can play speakers today, then yes. If not then no. They would plug into an amp which would then drive the speakers (I assumed when you mentioned RCA inputs you meant on a small amp and already had a partial system)

post #7 of 12

I too have been kind of thinking that I should break into vinyl.. but haven't decided yet.  I will probably make a post about it at some point.  The last time I had a record player in my house was about 15 years ago, and I was almost too young to even know what it was. 

post #8 of 12

Help is always here :beerchug:

post #9 of 12

People like you are why I love head-fi.org!

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

So just to clear up a logistical question: 

 

If I were to buy a record turntable and phono stage (or the Audio Techinca LP120 which has both built in), then I could connect it to any digital output, like headphones or speakers? Would the headphone / speaker jack (1/8 inch) connect directly into the input, or is there something else I need to buy to get everything to link together? 

post #11 of 12
Hmm, been meaning to look up a turntable that actually sounds good. Pretty sure my AT table was 100 or so when I got it as a present, and I know these can become really quite expensive, but worth it none the less.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post

So just to clear up a logistical question: 

If I were to buy a record turntable and phono stage (or the Audio Techinca LP120 which has both built in), then I could connect it to any digital output, like headphones or speakers? Would the headphone / speaker jack (1/8 inch) connect directly into the input, or is there something else I need to buy to get everything to link together? 

Wasn't clear from the above posts what you already have, but you would need to have the following audio chain:

Turntable->phono stage-> some amplifier (that you already have?) -> headphones/speakers

You can't plug headphones directly into the phono stage (unless you are talking about a full function amp with a phono stage built in).
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