two turntables...

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  • 06-02-2009, 10:01 AM
    two turntables...
    ...yeah, ok... and a microphone too.

    Finally have two tables and phono preamps settled into my 2 ch system. When I moved my stereo into a larger listening area, the Bellari VP-129 driving an Ortofon MC3-Turbo (a high output mc) on a Pro-Ject 1.2 just couldn't reach the listening levels I needed without straining. The combination worked well in the small listening room I was in before so I needed to get it back online soon. In the meantime, I was playing around with two carts for the Technics SL1210 Mk2 - Ortofon 2M Red and Grado Red. Both carts have higher output than the MC3-Turbo so volume levels were more acceptable in the new space.

    However, I wasn't satified with the sound quality of either. The Grado attached to a Sumiko headshell seemed closed in (no frequency extremes) and the Ortofon 2M Red on the original Technics headshell seemed too agressive on leading edges of notes and a little irritating with high frequencies. My first step was to get a new preamp with higher gain - the Jolida JD9A. I was able to bring the Pro-Ject/MC3-Turbo back into the system with plenty of gain and after rolling in a pair of Sovtek 12AX7LPs for the stock tubes, I've been very satisfied.

    Next, it finally occurred to me to try the Ortofon 2M Red with the Sumiko headshell. I had to add the supplied endstub to the tonearm to balance the 2M Red which is heavier than the Grado Red. The Ortofon 2M Red's output is a little higher than the Grado's so it would be preferable with the Bellari in the new larger listening space. As it turns out, the 2M Red attached to the Sumiko headshell performs better. The highs are smoother and the aggressive attack on leading edges is not as prominent.

    It's taken me since Christmas to get the setup just right, but it sure is fun having two tables going! (I've asked myself why fool around with two tables and two preamps? Why not just put all that money into one higher-end analog setup? Answer: I don't know.)

    Rest of the system:
    Jolida 202 integrated amp
    Jolida JD100A cdp
    Old Yamaha tape deck and Yamaha tuner (Jolida has only 4 inputs so tuner's output is running through tape deck)
    Soliloquy 5.0 standmount speakers
  • 06-02-2009, 06:25 PM
    It sure is fun, isn't it? I'm starting to miss my previous Pro-Ject TT.

    Have you tried Ortofon MC3 with Pro-Ject and other high compliant cartridges with your Sumiko/Technics? That might be more suitable match than Sumiko/Technics with high compliant cartridges.

    I wish I had a belt-drive and a direct drive like you.
    Have fun moving things around.

  • 06-02-2009, 07:04 PM
    I've kept the MC3 on the Pro-Ject. I like the sound of this combo. The only other carts I've tried on the Pro-Ject are a Sumiko Oyster that came with the table and a new old stock Parasound-branded ADC found on eBay. But that was before I got the MC3. I ran into problems only when I had to move my system to a larger listening area. I originally put this system together for a small room. Needed more gain for the move which I found by using the Jolida 9A phono amp in place of the Bellari.

    The Bellari's gain is fine with the Ortofon 2M Red which is on the Technics with Sumiko headshell.

    I achieved the right combinations (to my ears) by trial and error mostly. I can't seem to grasp the compliance concept. I've found some compliance info online, but I must have a mental block because just when I think I have it figured out, I get confused again.

    Having one album playing while another is cued up in the wings is just too cool!
  • 06-03-2009, 04:39 PM
    Two turntables are cool. Some of the high end tables with multiple tonearms enabled one to tune for different desired characteristics. Having two turntables accomplishes the same thing but to an even greater degree of flexibility. The different decks/platters also have their own characteristics.
    One cartridge/tonearm/turntable combination may highlight jazz/classical while the other combination may sound better playing contemporary/rock.

    Nice job!
  • 06-04-2009, 12:29 PM
    Thanks! I need to take some pics and post'em soon.