My first vinyl setup
Jun 20, 2004 at 7:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

donovansmith

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After having to do some small repairs, I got the Pioneer PL-200 turntable I bought on Ebay working. I had bought an Audio Technica AT71ELC cartridge and a RadioShack "Little Rat" phono stage to use with it. I have a grand total of, get ready for it, one record so of course I had lots of variety to listen to. The album happened to be Steve Perry's Street Talk which I also have on CD. I picked it up at a thrift store 5 years ago or so since I thought I might want it if I ever got a turntable, although I already had the CD and this album isn't particularly great. The turntable is sitting on a cardboard box on my bed since I don't have a permanent place for it yet, I know that location is quite far from ideal. This unit has a built-in speed adjustment which I find quite handy since the speed did need a slight adjustment and it saves me from having to print out a strobe disc. The whole setup ran me less than $100 with shipping.

I really didn't expect much out of this thing and figured the sound would be a bit tinny and thin with almost no soundstage. Remember, I'm from the CD generation and vinyl is suppossed to be quite inferior. I wasn't quite sure of the record's condition either. What I heard was pleasantly surprising. Compared to the CD I have of the album and playing my ripped copy of it on my computer setup, the soundstage is a little smaller although staging doesn't seem too much different and there is less detail, but overall the sound is smoother and is very pleasant to listen to. The bass is a bit more prominent compared to my computer setup. The pops and crackles didn't really bother me much when the music was playing. I doubt this thing would hold a candle to pretty much every vinyl rig that other Head-Fiers may own, but I am quite impressed with it so far. Hopefully it is at least better than a turntable I could spend $100 on in Best Buy or RadioShack. Next I just gotta get some more music to listen to...
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Jun 20, 2004 at 1:11 PM Post #2 of 23

kartik

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I'm not sure why the turntable had a smaller soundstage in your case. In my rig I see a much larger soundstage than I get from a far more expensive digital setup. I agree with the low end though SACD gives it a kind of a run for its money before eventually losing out. One thing I found that was really remarkable with vinyl is the fact that you can play it at much higher volumes without sounding loud. It sounds exceedingly pleasant even when really loud, a great example of this is the Metallica S&M LP. Ask Lan about that one.
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Congrats on taking a step in the right direction. I hope you get to upgrade your vinyl setup before you upgrade your digital rig.
 
Jun 20, 2004 at 1:44 PM Post #3 of 23

eyeteeth

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Congrats on taking the plunge.
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I'm still struggling with taking that plunge.
I have 4 LPs new & sealed purchased in anticipation. But I hesitate still.
I saw a classified yesterday for a 1999 Rega P3 recently serviced- 2nd owner selling- for $330 USD and I am very tempted. But I don't know
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Jun 20, 2004 at 4:00 PM Post #4 of 23

joelongwood

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Congratulations on discovering that "progress" is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. If you do decide to continue with vinyl, might I suggest some sort of record cleaning device (not a simple brush or cloth), because a clean vinyl record makes a world of difference. When I cleaned a small portion of my vinyl collection with a VPI vacuum record cleaner, I simply could not believe the difference it made. Unless there are serious, visible scratches, the record exhibits almost no surface noise at all. Good luck!
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Jun 20, 2004 at 4:03 PM Post #5 of 23

kartik

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What about warpage. I've had trouble with some LPs first track, being practically unlistenable because of the extent of the warp. All the other tracks seem OK though. ANy suggestions.
 
Jun 20, 2004 at 10:10 PM Post #6 of 23

donovansmith

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Today I found a permanent spot for the turntable and properly aligned the cartridge which helped the sound noticably (better soundstage, more detail, and more coherent sound). I haven't heard any other turntable setups but I'm quite pleased at what I got for just under $100. I don't notice any turntable rumble like I expected and the sound overall reminds me of what I would expect from a good casette deck with Dolby C NR and a metal tape. I also ordered :wumpscut: Bone Peeler and am scouting Ebay for some music I want. I am avoiding getting anything on vinyl that I already have on CD for the most part since I want to build out my music collection rather than getting more of the same.

joelongwood, those things seem to be rather expensive although it does seem like a good idea. I'll have to look into one when I get a reasonably sized vinyl collection.

kartik, after I aligned the cartridge properly and relistened to both the LP and CD the soundstage seems pretty similar with a very slight edge to the CD. But sound positioning is roughly the same. This may be due to the condition of the LP, it doesn't have any scratches and plays fine but it may be worn. The CD is also a remastered version so it may have had extra processing added that increased the soundstage. I have also stopped using resampling on my PC which helps the soundstage a bit also, although it isn't quite as smooth sounding as using 96KHz resampling. I don't know if I'll be upgrading the thing soon since I want to get some music to listen to first, although I do want to build a new phono stage since the "Little Rat" has a problem with the left side being slightly louder than the right (I've switched the input plugs to verify this).
 
Jun 26, 2004 at 2:46 AM Post #7 of 23

donovansmith

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I got my first new vinyl purchases today, :wumpscut: Bone Peeler and Razed in Black Share This Poison/Visions. This setup sure does sound good, I'm very impressed by the sound quality. It has also given me a chance to test out my sound card at various recording settings, up to 24-bit/96KHz. When recording a record I can hear clear differences between 16-bit/44.1KHz and 24-bit/96KHz. I have never heard a hi-res recording before, so it was kind of neat hearing what improvements can be heard with higher resolutions. For only $100, this thing sounds pretty damn good. I'm listening to Bone Peeler right now and am thoroughly impressed with just how good it sounds. I can only wonder what a "real" vinyl system would sound like (but my wallet sure doesn't want to know)
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Jun 26, 2004 at 6:11 AM Post #8 of 23

lini

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donovansmith: Record cleaning devices don't have to be that expensive - for example, there's still the Knosti stuff with their moderate prices (https://ssl.kundenserver.de/knosti.d...s.php?wg_id=59 - should be cheaper at www.phonophono.de, which is a good address for vinyl related stuff over here in general, btw (hint: not all of their products are visible in their online shop, though - but you can download the full catalogue, and the ordering codes therein will work for the online shop, too!)... A good brush is highly recommended, nevertheless - personally, I prefer this carbon fibre/velvet cushion/carbon fibre-construction once sold under the QED brand and now available from Goldring: http://www.goldring.co.uk/prod-access.html

Getting some antistatic record sleeves (I used to have those Nagaoka (Nagakoa? whatever...
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ones) is also a good idea, btw.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: I've just ordered a new Dual CS 505-4, yesterday... Should be here next week.
 
Jun 26, 2004 at 7:14 AM Post #9 of 23

donovansmith

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Thanks for the links, lini. I did pick up a carbon fiber brush when I got my cartridge since it was half price ($9.99 normally, but $5 with a cartridge order) and use it both before I play a record and after I'm done before I put it back in the sleeve. It seems to do the job pretty well. I found some record cleaning systems at the same place starting at around $60. It was at http://www.garage-a-records.com which Audio Redneck had pointed me towards for the deal on the cleaning brush.

The antistatic sleeves look like a very good idea. One of my :wumpscut: discs actually gave me a small shock when I picked it up off the turntable and it seems they sure do attract dust. I had found those sleeves you are reffering to online a few days ago at http://www.sleevetown.com (I think I happened it upon from a link on AudioAsylum). They were like $19.99 for 50, which seemed pretty reasonable.
 
Jun 26, 2004 at 7:19 AM Post #10 of 23

lini

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Exactly - Nagaoka 102, these are the right ones. And thanks for the link, btw!

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
Jun 26, 2004 at 8:46 AM Post #11 of 23

eyeteeth

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I bought a turntable & phonostage two days ago to compliment my 6 LPs
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4 I prefer the vinyl & 2 the CD. One LP is Radiohead's HTTT which spins at 45 RPMs and I prefer it over the CD. It has additional harmonics and I feel like considering it high-rez.

I grew up with vinyl and had all my albums stolen exactly at the time CD arrived so I jumped on wholeheartedly and this is really nostagic as it has been 20 years.

But I keep reaching for the remote!!!
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Jun 26, 2004 at 11:30 AM Post #12 of 23

kartik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeteeth
I bought a turntable & phonostage two days ago to compliment my 6 LPs
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Kinda hard to play LPs on a CD player, isn't it!
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Jun 26, 2004 at 1:55 PM Post #14 of 23

JMT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kartik
What about warpage. I've had trouble with some LPs first track, being practically unlistenable because of the extent of the warp. All the other tracks seem OK though. ANy suggestions.


The only remedy to a warped record that I have seen is the Record Flatter. I read about it in Stereophile and see that TTV&HJ is now offering it. At $1700, I would imagine your entire collection would have to be warped to make this cost effective. Quote:

Originally Posted by joelongwood
When I cleaned a small portion of my vinyl collection with a VPI vacuum record cleaner, I simply could not believe the difference it made. Unless there are serious, visible scratches, the record exhibits almost no surface noise at all.


Amen to that. Although I have found a couple of albums in my collection that, although they look perfectly fine, they are unlistenable due to pops and crackles. Todd told me that is was because the album was played on a table with a misaligned cartridge or a worn stylus. Unfortunately there is no fix for that.
 
Jun 26, 2004 at 3:11 PM Post #15 of 23

tk_suki

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Vinyly flattners go for about $700 in Japan. Todd one of my favorite dealers must be doing okay on this one, coz Japan aint known for its low prices, well usually anyway.

Now that you have approached the audio event horizon, never should have come here nor re-discovered vinyl, but to late, suggest you audtion some tube gear with high efficiency speakers, horns and/or single driver wide rangers.

Best of luck and enjoy. Addicting hobby but has its rewards.
 

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