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Thread: Impulse purchase - now I need guidance

  1. #26
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Congrats on a very good TT. You will eventually want to upgrade the cartridge and phono preamp to get the best sound.

    Vinyl just sounds different compared to digital. It is smoother and generally much more satisfying. But bad vinyl just like bad digital recordings sound bad.

    I have an audiophile friend who is in his early 30's and he is heavily into computer digital music. He had never heard vinyl until he came over to my house and he fell in love with vinyl and how it sounds. He is now wanting a TT.

    I have to say that good digital is very satisfying especially since I discovered that computer based music with an excellent player like "Bug Head" (which makes JRiver sound low fi and HQ Player sound mid fi in comparison) and a great DAC blows SACD out of the water and it can give Vinyl a run for the money.
    I haven't listened to vinyl for 3-4 years even though my hi-fi experience dates back to the time vinyl and tape were the only options. The TT is somewhere in the basement gathering dust.

    Yes, vinyl may sound different from the same recording in digital form. One reason is that the vinyl version is likely mastered differently than the digital. Notoriously, the digital versions are often more compress so that they are more playable on, e.g., portable players.

    Personally I listen almost entirely classical music. New classical recordings on vinyl are very rare, i.e. your selection will be very limited if you want to have only vinyl. Anyway, compression is less often used for classical music or used to a lessor extent. High-resolution media make compression technically obsolete.

  2. #27
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Feanor, when I play good vinyl and compare it to the same digital recording of good quality, vinyl wins out even with my humble analog system. Using a 1970's Thorens TD-145, Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge and a Bellari VP-129 phono preamp with a fairly rare Vintage Raytheon 1950's black plate tube.

    Vinyl sound more real and it is detailed and smooth at the same time. My analog system has no edge to the music. Even my friends that do not have vinyl are very impressed.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #28
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Feanor, when I play good vinyl and compare it to the same digital recording of good quality, vinyl wins out even with my humble analog system. Using a 1970's Thorens TD-145, Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge and a Bellari VP-129 phono preamp with a fairly rare Vintage Raytheon 1950's black plate tube.

    Vinyl sound more real and it is detailed and smooth at the same time. My analog system has no edge to the music. Even my friends that do not have vinyl are very impressed.
    Some of that I'd attribute to the other first rate equipment that you have. That maybe makes the vinyl sound better than the guy with a VPI Classic TT hooked to a Pioneer receiver running Polk speakers just as an example.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

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  4. #29
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Some of that I'd attribute to the other first rate equipment that you have. That maybe makes the vinyl sound better than the guy with a VPI Classic TT hooked to a Pioneer receiver running Polk speakers just as an example.

    Agreed. I am currently listening to Dire Straits Brothers in Arms on vinyl and the is much punchier and the drums sound more real. Bass seems more dynamic and hits harder than any DAC that I have had in my system and I have had several that cost $3K to $6K in my system.

    I would love to have a $2K TT and a $1K phono pre along with a Nagaoka MP-500, Ortofon Black, or Clear Audio Maestro to hear how much better it could be.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  5. #30
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    i have to agree 100% on the dire straits. BIA was my first cd played on the very good magnavox player i got at target for $140! i was in heaven, the BIA cd was WONDERFUL and then one day, in the used pile was the BIA LP. i figured that for a BUCK, it can't be a bad purchase.

    i had no expectations but i didn't expect the vinyl to be SO much better than the cd, which STILL was damn good. but there it was. so much more THERE there and yes, more impact.

    i did NOT dump my LPs for vinyl, i just figured that like cassette and open reel tape, it was another medium to add to the hifi. many that did dump there LPs made it possible for me to have so many great recordings for cheap.
    ...regards...tr

  6. #31
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy View Post
    i did NOT dump my LPs for vinyl, i just figured that like cassette and open reel tape, it was another medium to add to the hifi. many that did dump there LPs made it possible for me to have so many great recordings for cheap.
    You and I! I acquired a lot of LP's from people dumping them for "perfect sound forever".
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
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    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
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  7. #32
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Yeah...and I was the idiot that sold my records and TT back in the day for the evil silver disc. What a shame.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  8. #33
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Perhaps you vinylheads ought to try ripping you LPs to hi-rez digital. I've heard many people report over the years that the rips sound capture the essential quality of vinyl virtually perfectly ... Which tends to demonstrate that the digital / CD difference is largely in the mastering.

    And I've always maintained that the sound of individual recordings, as a result of their recording & mastering, make far more difference than the distribution medium. (You are aware that many late LPs were recorded digitally, no?)

    Some people feel completely differently than me: they actually enjoy the rituals of handling LPs, viz. pulling the large album sleeves and removing the disc being ever so careful to keep one's fingers of the playing surface, meticulously cleaning the disc before use, destaticing, placing on the TT, perhaps placing the disc weight and/or the dust catching device, lowering ever so carefully the tonearm & cartridge, listening to clicks & pops, ever so carefully raising the tonearm after 20 minutes of listening, destaticing again and/or blowing playtime dust from the disc, replacing the disc in the sleeve being ever so careful to keep fingers off. AND of course the problems of setting up the TT, attaching & adjusting the cartridge and setting tracking force, choosing the right impedance for the phono preamp, and blah yada.

    All these things are of ill memory for me, albeit they were and are a joy for others.

    I have about 100 LPs lying around still. I've offered to sell them for a buck a piece plus shipping; nobody has taken up the offer.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Perhaps you vinylheads ought to try ripping you LPs to hi-rez digital. I've heard many people report over the years that the rips sound capture the essential quality of vinyl virtually perfectly ... Which tends to demonstrate that the digital / CD difference is largely in the mastering.

    And I've always maintained that the sound of individual recordings, as a result of their recording & mastering, make far more difference than the distribution medium. (You are aware that many late LPs were recorded digitally, no?)

    Some people feel completely differently than me: they actually enjoy the rituals of handling LPs, viz. pulling the large album sleeves and removing the disc being ever so careful to keep one's fingers of the playing surface, meticulously cleaning the disc before use, destaticing, placing on the TT, perhaps placing the disc weight and/or the dust catching device, lowering ever so carefully the tonearm & cartridge, listening to clicks & pops, ever so carefully raising the tonearm after 20 minutes of listening, destaticing again and/or blowing playtime dust from the disc, replacing the disc in the sleeve being ever so careful to keep fingers off. AND of course the problems of setting up the TT, attaching & adjusting the cartridge and setting tracking force, choosing the right impedance for the phono preamp, and blah yada.

    All these things are of ill memory for me, albeit they were and are a joy for others.

    I have about 100 LPs lying around still. I've offered to sell them for a buck a piece plus shipping; nobody has taken up the offer.
    I tend to agree that the mastering is a distinguishing factor in SQ vs media. To that end, as a newbie vinyl guy, I have limited my purchases of vinyl to pressings where I can read up on the mastering process befre I buy. I limit myself to new (ie unopened) albums and I doubt my collection will be much more than 100 albums due to this constraint. Essentially if it is digitally mastered, I will seek out the best digital version. I know a couple of digital / analogue albums are in my collection - most of these were gifts and I still enjoy listening to them.

    As for the ritual of listening, my wife says it has improved my patience and all the tender care has made me a better lover...
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
    Marantz SA 8004 SACD Player
    Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable
    Focal Chorus 836V speakers
    Focal Chorus SW 800v subwoofer
    Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables
    AZ WOW interconnects
    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

  10. #35
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    To the OP, The Grado cartridge is what they call a moving iron cartridge,it's still in the MM designation, but will have a different sound to it. Some say more 3D and tube like. It definitely will give a better sound stage in my opinion. I own 2 Dual turntables that I restored fully. A 1229Q and a 701. I use several different cartridges on them. I have a Stanton 881S MKII, Stanton 881S, Stanton 681EEE with a Jico D6800EEE Shibata, Shure V-15 III with Jico SAS VN35E stylus as well as the original VN35E stylus, Shure 1000E, Shure M91ED, Pickering XV-15 with D4500 Jico shibata stylus, and Ortofon VMS 30E MKII with Jico stylus,Ortofon OM40 and OM30. The Ortofon VMS 30E MKII and Stanton 681EEE are both moving iron cartridges and the rest are moving magnet. In my opinion the MM are slightly laid back a little in the bass department. I find myself coming back to the Ortofon and 681 more than the others as I get a better sound stage and imaging with them. I also use a tube amp.

    I would look at half speed issues with records as well as looking at Mobil Fidelity and Music Magic for the type of records you are looking to buy. Also look at discogs and don't limit yourself to only unopened music as you will lose the real quality on vinyl from re-issues that have been tinkered with. Any record that has been "cleaned up" digitally, is now a digital remix and loses that sound quality. Again just my opinion. I just recently got back into vinyl over the last 15 months and after ruining my old collection of over 1200 records,had to start over with only 50 that were salvageable. I now have about 800 and do the same as you, I purchase things that remind me of times gone by. I have 1400+ cds that I uploaded onto my computer and did them in FLAC and put them on an external HD and use the hard drive through JRIVER. But my vinyl is what I find myself playing with more. You'll be surprised by what you can find when going to a Goodwill store or something similar in quality and shape. Invest in a record cleaner as well and make sure to keep your stylus clean and as long as you keep up with things should have a lifetime of listening pleasure.

    When and if you get into MC you'll have the choice of low output and high output. You'll need a step up transformer or an external phono pre amp that does both MM/MC or just MC. The only MC I have tried so far is a high output Denon DL-110 and I didn't like it at all. I am however looking into getting a nice low output MC cartridge to try out.
    Mr Peabody likes this.

  11. #36
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    I know what you mean on remasters. At first listen I really liked the Led Zeppilin remasters Jimmy Page did in 2014, I still do prefer them, but when going back to the old original recording there are some textures missing, I really notice when paying close attention to the acoustic guitar work.

    Buyine used LP's is always a gamble, whether they will be noisy. They used to be cheap enough the gamble didn't matter but now that vinyl is coming back, the prices are going up

    Also, Jim you may want to experiment with better DAC's for your computer playback. Schitt is getting a good rep for making incredible sound on the cheap. A U.S. company.
    James Frace likes this.

  12. #37
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    i personally prefer low output MCs and the /schiit phono preamp will do the job VERY nicely at a real bargain price of about $120!
    James Frace likes this.
    ...regards...tr

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Frace View Post
    To the OP, The Grado cartridge is what they call a moving iron cartridge,it's still in the MM designation, but will have a different sound to it. Some say more 3D and tube like. It definitely will give a better sound stage in my opinion. I own 2 Dual turntables that I restored fully. A 1229Q and a 701. I use several different cartridges on them. I have a Stanton 881S MKII, Stanton 881S, Stanton 681EEE with a Jico D6800EEE Shibata, Shure V-15 III with Jico SAS VN35E stylus as well as the original VN35E stylus, Shure 1000E, Shure M91ED, Pickering XV-15 with D4500 Jico shibata stylus, and Ortofon VMS 30E MKII with Jico stylus,Ortofon OM40 and OM30. The Ortofon VMS 30E MKII and Stanton 681EEE are both moving iron cartridges and the rest are moving magnet. In my opinion the MM are slightly laid back a little in the bass department. I find myself coming back to the Ortofon and 681 more than the others as I get a better sound stage and imaging with them. I also use a tube amp.

    I would look at half speed issues with records as well as looking at Mobil Fidelity and Music Magic for the type of records you are looking to buy. Also look at discogs and don't limit yourself to only unopened music as you will lose the real quality on vinyl from re-issues that have been tinkered with. Any record that has been "cleaned up" digitally, is now a digital remix and loses that sound quality. Again just my opinion. I just recently got back into vinyl over the last 15 months and after ruining my old collection of over 1200 records,had to start over with only 50 that were salvageable. I now have about 800 and do the same as you, I purchase things that remind me of times gone by. I have 1400+ cds that I uploaded onto my computer and did them in FLAC and put them on an external HD and use the hard drive through JRIVER. But my vinyl is what I find myself playing with more. You'll be surprised by what you can find when going to a Goodwill store or something similar in quality and shape. Invest in a record cleaner as well and make sure to keep your stylus clean and as long as you keep up with things should have a lifetime of listening pleasure.

    When and if you get into MC you'll have the choice of low output and high output. You'll need a step up transformer or an external phono pre amp that does both MM/MC or just MC. The only MC I have tried so far is a high output Denon DL-110 and I didn't like it at all. I am however looking into getting a nice low output MC cartridge to try out.
    I am enjoying the Grado Gold for now. I did pick up a Dynavector 10x5 cart but still a little intimidated about doing an install on my own.

    I have been on a bit of a buying spree in the last two months ( assuming 95 albums count as a spree). In almost all cases, these are both albums I listened to in my youth and that have some or a lot of information about the mastering / pressing quality. Overall they tend to be as gooid as or better representations of the original music than the CD equivalent ( at least in the minds of others). I am close to slowing down at this point , as I have months of listening ahead of me with these new acquisitions.

    We do have a pretty decent record venue in our area (Newbury Comics) that buys extensive record collections. That notwithstanding, the better used record are still $9 - $10 dollars (They have $.99 bins but no guarantee of condition). By careful shopping, I am averaging about $18 per album for new records, and, given my investment in source equipment, prefer to have the quietest vinyl I can find. I have hundreds of CD's and quite a few SACd's and XRCD's, most of which have cost between $3 and $10 each, so unless the vinyl sounds "better", I buy the CD.

    A few remasters with digital in the chain are included in my recent purchases, but these albums still satisfy my need to " return to my youth". As I recently told my 16 year old daughter ( I was a late bloomer), try to imagine your life without a computer - my generation felt the same about record players. So go spin LZ I and remember the day you brought it home for the first time back in '69.
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
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    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

  14. #39
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    If you pick up yourself a digital gram scale as well as a protractor and follow directions on them, you'll do just fine. Watch a few videos on youtube, vinylengine also has good stuff as well as lpgear. I learned how to do a really good install in about 3-4 days of watching and doing. Get a good pair of tweezers,and a good small screwdriver (glasses repair kit is a good starter) and you'll be most of the way there for making tweeks with set ups. Use the tweezers to pull off the contacts and put them on.

  15. #40
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    " I have hundreds of CD's and quite a few SACd's and XRCD's, most of which have cost between $3 and $10 each, so unless the vinyl sounds "better", I buy the CD."

    i find that most SACDs sound very close to the standard of LP, and in some cases a safe way of getting the old recordings that, on the available used vinyl, are in rough shape or exorbitantly priced.

    XRCD is just carefully remastered CDs (whether sourced from analog tape or digital original) and are not worth the $30 price to me. they should have given that kind of quality in the first place as they didn't have to make the original recording and pay all the musicians and for the venue and equipment.

    given a decent vinyl playback system ($500-1000), and i don't mean very high priced ($5-10k) , the vinyl will nearly ALWAYS be the superior sound, more like the real thing, than RBCD. vinyl or sacd will have more of a relaxed, satisfying presentation that one gets from the live performance.

    equivalently priced rbcd playback just cannot compete. and don't get me wrong, it's the music first and many recordings just aren't available on vinyl (and vice versa) so cd it will be. just try and find a vinyl copy of Giacomo Gates recording.
    ...regards...tr

  16. #41
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy View Post
    i personally prefer low output MCs and the /schiit phono preamp will do the job VERY nicely at a real bargain price of about $120!

    My AT F7 is playing "Famous Blue Raincoat" through my Moon 110LP/PSU beautifully. I have the Grado Statement Sonata but I think the less expensive AT F7 bests it.
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  17. #42
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    My AT F7 is playing "Famous Blue Raincoat" through my Moon 110LP/PSU beautifully. I have the Grado Statement Sonata but I think the less expensive AT F7 bests it.
    Ever since you got that AT F7, I have occasionally hovered over one online...tempted to buy. I'm contemplating it for a Concept I bought used, recently.

  18. #43
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    My AT F7 is playing "Famous Blue Raincoat" through my Moon 110LP/PSU beautifully. I have the Grado Statement Sonata but I think the less expensive AT F7 bests it.
    JM.....you do know there is an upgraded Statement Sonata, don't you?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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