New to Vinyl and VPI HW-19 Jr
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darkclouds

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Ok, here's the story. I've always been curious about all the raves and fuss of vinyls. After a week of reading, searching and deciphering (VTA/VTF?) the aa's vinyl section, I made my selection. Well, I just completed a deal to aquire a slightly used VPI HW-19 Jr with a Benz MC20E2 cart and AQ PT6 tonearm. How did I do? Is this a decent table?

So, my vinyl adventure begins.


Now what?
I have no clue on how to set this baby up. I'll just hope that the manual would give sufficient info. Any quick tips or "trick of the trade" would be deeply appreciated.

I'll be needing a phono stage along with some LPs.
But I'll need a few suggestions for a phono pre in under the $200 range. Currently, I'm thinking of the Pro-ject phono box or Parasound's P/PH 100. Any ideas? or other possiblities?

Is there anything else I need? Did I leave out something?

I'll be hooking this up to ASL 1005DTI integrated 300B SET amp.

Hope there'll be no problems.

Any comments would be appreciated. (Exceot for the ones that says something like I messed up and that TT is a POS.)
 
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Hirsch

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You got a great table. Most definitely NOT a POS, much closer to being the best you can get in the price range. It will sound fantastic as is, and, depending on how much you like it (and the state of your bank account), there are some excellent upgrade paths.

I'd avoid the Pro-Ject Phonobox. I've got one in perfect condition I'll sell real cheap if you really want it, but, if you really want to get the best out of your table, you don't want it. The Parasound may be a better choice, but I haven't heard it. I have heard the NAD PP-1 and it's a decent phono amp in the $100 range.

Another interesting choice is the battery-powered phono amp from Radio Shack. Surprisingly good, and you can't beat the price ($25). This won't be your final phono amp, but it will get you started while you look for others.

Another possibility at the $200 price point is the Creek OBH-8. Check out www.audioadvisor.com to see if they have any on their clearance list, for a decent price. Elusivedisc.com carries Creek, and they have frequent specials if you're on their e-mail list (their basic pricing is better than audioadvisor anyway). The OBH-9 is for low-output cartridges: your Benz will need the OBH-8 or OBH-8se.

There's a Music Hall phono amp at elusivedisc for $99, but I have no idea at all how good it is.

For setup, you might want to look at the turntable setup articles at www.audioasylum.com in the FAQ section. A basic one is here , but there are others.
 
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carlo

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darkclouds,

that's one hell of a nice first rig. i second most of what hirsch said, but when funds allow increase your phono stage budget (if you're still in california upscale in upland sells the aes and asl phono stages, i heard soundfactor in pasadena has a used krell phono in stock, and ambrosia's always got good stuff). put aside $50 for a stylus guage and a good brush, then look into quality record care (nitty gritty, vpi, or you may want to ask tanfenton about his results with what looks to be a very cool and cheap vacuum based deal - i forget the name of it) when you can afford it.

(sorry for making it seem like you need to spend more money, none of this stuff is all that urgent.)

best,
carlo.
 
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Tuberoller

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Man,I think this is the second time you have asked about something just as I was using it or setting it up.I just got this VPI HW-19 Jr. in and was setting up the arm and installing the cartridge(a Dynavector 10X4 Gold).These tables are not the easiest to set-up but are not really super difficult either.I would strongly recommend that you buy some set up tools like the turntable basics cartridge alignment tool,a bubble level and the Sure stylus force gauge.The big problem with the VPI and tables like it is the inability to level the table and in particular the platter.I don't worry too much about getting the plinth level but a level platter is essential.I usually replace the tables' feet with cone feet if a stand or wall mount that allows leveling is not available.Once the platter is level I install the cartridge using non-magnetic mounting hardware.I make adjustments for overhang and tracking angle at this stage.When adusting VTA I always place a record on the platter.The adustments for VTA are arm and table specific but I always perform this adjustment based on sonics.While common practice is to have the arm parallel to the record surface,I have found that a slight forward pitch of the stylus in relation to the record surface sounds a bit better to my ears,particularly when playing deep groove records like 45 rpms.Still I don't place the largest emphasis on VTA.It rarely adversly effects sonics unless it is visually far out of whack.If you get the cartridge installed correctly,take a listen.Always use a single recording during the adjustment process to verify sonic changes.Make all adjustments in increments and trust your ears first,not a tool.


I really like the Creek Phono stages as well as the Gram Amp2 Special Edition .The Creek has a more quiet backround and seems to be less cartridge dependant but the Gram gets the RIAA curve perfect and sounds awesome with cartridges such as Benz and Dynavectors.I also like the Rega fono but the wall wart must go.If you can find the earlier battery powered Radio Shack units these are excellent and all the hype you have heard is deserved.Good luck and let us know how it sounds when you get it squared.
 
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akshobhyavajra

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An excellent rig! The Jr is a wonderful TT and is easily upgraded to a M III or M IV if you so desire.

As far as phono stages go - I have a Monolithic which I like a lot. It is very flexible and can be upgraded with a larger power supply. Nice detail; tonality and soundstage. Easy to set up.

The basic unit is $390 or so. Class B recomended component - Stereophile - FWIW.

Enjoy your new toy!

~Michael~
 
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darkclouds

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thanks all for the replies.

Hirsch: I think I'll take you up on that offer. As I really just need something really cheap (no dinero left) to get started. RS online is out of stock for the rat. And I'll do some LP hunting this weekend.

Carlo: man, you're freaking me out LOL. This tt was alot more than I had planned to spend. But you know how it goes, after reading all the posts at audio asylum. Wish I had read the setup FAQ first and then would budget for the necessary tools. I think the record vacuum cleaner will have to wait. I'd like to see if I like vinyl first before I go on investing more into it.

Tuberoller: I was waiting for your comments, as I know they'll be useful to me, as always. Looks like I'll have to spend some more money for the tools. Maybe I should have just purchased a new MMF 7. I've read comments on how it's pretty much a plug and play tt. But then again, it wouldn't be such an adventure.

Ok, here's my list of the 'basic' tools: cartridge alignment tool, bubble level, a carbon fiber record brush, and a stylus force gauge (does it have to be a Sure?) all from turntable basics. Anything else I should pick up while I'm at it? Oh yeah, which cone feet would you recommend for a good price.

Michael: I'd like to get a nice phono stage, but that will have to wait for awhile for funds. Plus I'll have to see if I like the sound of vinyl first.


Thanks again all.
 
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jopi

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Don't go overboard.

I've downloaded and printed a protractor from vinylengine.com, which worked fine in my case. You don't have to spend money on a protractor or if you do, go with a custom made WallyTractor.

The washing machine is only needed for convenience. I've got the low end manual Nitty Gritty and I only use it, if I have half a dozen or more records to wash. Manual drying is a little bit more hassle, but sound quality is the same, at least in my experience. Make sure you go with DiscDoctor brushes and solutions and you'll be all set for now.

You made the right decision by going with a better table and skimp on the tools. You can always get better tools and tweak your table, but it's more difficult to upgrade the table.

The only thing I would be careful about is your software. Without good cartridge alignment and correct tracking force you could damage your vinyl. Stick with garage sales, ebay, neighbor records before destroying too many new $25 records in the beginning. Start experimenting and most of all have fun!
 
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Hirsch

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To get a free cartridge alignment protractor, go here Basically, you send them a self-addressed stamped envelope and they send you an alignment protractor. The price is right.

I'd also try and get the Shure tracking force guage. $20 at www.amusicdirect.com These will get you the basic tools you need to make sure your table is correctly set up.

A record cleaner of some sort should be next on your list. I still like the discwasher system for routine cleaning. Should be under $20 with very wide availability.
 
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Tuberoller

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Don't second-guess your purchase of the VPI.I have used all the Music Hall Tables and they are all very good and easy to use.They still require adjustments.The VPI has an upgrade path that is very promising and each upgrade really does improve performance.The HW-19 series is one of those tables that you may never have to get rid of.

The reason I recommend the Sure gauge over others is that the Sure allows the tracking force to be adjusted right at the record surface.I think all adustments should be made with the stylus-record suface relationship in mind.I always make adjustments with a record on the platter.Don't go overboard though.That bubble level costs $.99 at Home Depot and those carbon brushes are for sale on ebay all the time for as little as $4.00.The other guys are correct about using the free protractors but I would only use them to get me in the ballpark.The Wallytools are fantastic for this as well.

I also very strongly recommend the Orbitrac 2 record cleaning system.There are a few other head-fiers using them and they can attest to the performance.I think this is the next best thing to a vacuum machine.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Tuberoller
I also very strongly recommend the Orbitrac 2 record cleaning system.There are a few other head-fiers using them and they can attest to the performance.I think this is the next best thing to a vacuum machine.


I agree. In fact, I rather like Fremer's path of using the Orbitrac 2 before cleaning with record vacuum (ancient VPI HW 16.5, upgraded from HW-16 when VPI first came out with the 16.5 version (not very recent!). However, when the object is to minimize cost, I still think the Discwasher is great value for money (caveat, you need to read the instructions carefully, as misuse will greatly reduce its effectiveness).
 
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dariusf

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darkclouds

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I'm picking up Hirsch's project phono box to get started, and the basic setup tools recommended by you guys.

I'll hold off on the expensive record cleaners until I have a decent selection.

Gonna go look for some LPs this weekend and spend whatever I have left on them. I guess that'll be my main goal for awhile.

Thanks again, everyone.
 
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darkclouds

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Tuberoller: can you tell me where I can get an inexpensive set of those adjustable cone feets.

Thanks
 
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TimSchirmer

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darkclouds.... i have a little rat i could give ya for 15$ or whatever it costs to ship. (the condition is not perfect though, but it sounds fine) I actually have two of them now, and should get rid of the second one, so that if the first one breaks i'll have an excuse to get a better phono stage.

I really need to get a "real" turntable. Maaan.... for the cost of that VPI, I would've been waaaay too tempted to just get a stock LP12.

You will definetly enjoy the sound of vinyl. It is so much more pure than digital. Also... try to get a tube phono stage eventually, because you don't want to ruin a lovely all-tube setup with a solid state phono stage.
 
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