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rock
04-18-2011, 09:38 AM
Hi guys,

I am new to this forum, but have been on the site many times.

I really need some advice regarding vinyl players. I have a reasonable collection of vinyl and have been on the hunt for a really good vinyl player... the only thing is, when I do my research, I end up completely lost, as the world of audiophiles is, respectfully, is a very fussy one and really based on personal opinion. I definitely have audiophile leanings:biggrin5:

What I am looking for is the best vinyl player, sound quality wise) for my 200 ($285) budget.
What's the general consensus, model wise, for a player in that price range?

Cheers

pixelthis
04-18-2011, 10:09 AM
Two words..MUSIC HALL.

http://www.musichallaudio.com/products.php?l=3&c=2

rock
04-18-2011, 10:37 AM
Two words..MUSIC HALL.

http://www.musichallaudio.com/products.php?l=3&c=2

Thanks for the reply.

I've heard of them alright. What's the price range like?

I'm in Ireland... could you recommend me a site that ship to here?

JoeE SP9
04-18-2011, 10:44 AM
I don't know where you can get a "good" TT for your budget amount anywhere other than used.

Woochifer
04-18-2011, 12:48 PM
Problem with your budget is that while there are decent turntables in that price range, you're still short on (IMO) the most important yet overlooked part of the vinyl playback chain -- the cartridge. Each cartridge imparts its own sonic signature on the playback, and they interact differently with different turntable/tonearm combinations.

The two most frequently cited budget turntable brands in audiophile circles are Pro-Ject and Music Hall. They get high marks for their playback quality, but Music Hall uses a proprietary cartridge with its entry level MMF 2.2 model. Supposedly, this is the same thing as the Goldring Electra, which is their entry level model.

Pro-Ject's entry level Essential turntable uses the Ortofon OM 3E. Now, Ortofon's OM series is a solid and versatile choice, but the 3E stylus is their bottom-of-the-line and while I'm not familiar with that model, I used to own the higher line OM 10. If you're concerned with quality playback, I'm not sure if I'd go too much further below the OM 10, which sounds decent but not nearly as good as the higher end 20, 30, and 40 models.

Fortunately, the OM series allows you to upgrade by simply changing the stylus, but each step up will cost you. The best bang-for-the-buck is the stylus 20, which costs about $140. The stylus 10 costs about $50.

I don't think that Goldring offers a similar upgrade path for their Electra model, which means upgrading will require buying an entire cartridge. So, if you need to stick with your budget, and can't add more for a cartridge, I would opt for the Pro-Ject by virtue of its including the more easily upgradable Ortofon OM cartridge.

Keep in mind that with a lot of playing time, you'll need to replace the stylus about once a year or every other year.

hifi-freak
04-18-2011, 05:31 PM
I was going to recommend Ebay...there you can find good deals on used vinyl players. You can also check this site:
http://www.vinylengine.com/

SlumpBuster
04-18-2011, 06:44 PM
There actually are some good turntables in that price range.

Wooch and Pix are right on with the Project and Music Hall recommendations. But they are right that it is mostly the cartridge that will dictate performance. Both allow future upgrade to virtually any cartridge.

Another option is the Audio Technica LP-120 USB turntable. This is a table that has a long history and is a clone of the venerable Technics 1200 DJ tables. The new model has USB output that is gimmicky and may have audiophiles turn up their noses at it. But I've actually spent a fair amount of time with an earlier non-USB version of the table and it is very nice.

Here is a link to one: http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Technica-LP120-USB-Turntable?sc=2&category=46

Most of us will only be able to give you a model name and number. It will be up to you to find an Irish retailer or seller.

pixelthis
04-19-2011, 01:23 PM
There actually are some good turntables in that price range.

Wooch and Pix are right on with the Project and Music Hall recommendations. But they are right that it is mostly the cartridge that will dictate performance. Both allow future upgrade to virtually any cartridge.

Another option is the Audio Technica LP-120 USB turntable. This is a table that has a long history and is a clone of the venerable Technics 1200 DJ tables. The new model has USB output that is gimmicky and may have audiophiles turn up their noses at it. But I've actually spent a fair amount of time with an earlier non-USB version of the table and it is very nice.

Here is a link to one: http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Technica-LP120-USB-Turntable?sc=2&category=46

Most of us will only be able to give you a model name and number. It will be up to you to find an Irish retailer or seller.

YOU DON'T need to buy too much cartridge, however.
My Audio Technica 3003 came on a blister pack from CIRCUIT City, and for my purposes suits me fine. NEVER have been concerned with cartridges much,
most are pretty decent after a certain price point.
AND i believe MUSIC HALL is English, or UK. Your neighborhood, basically.:1:

pixelthis
04-19-2011, 01:25 PM
Hmmmm...wetted my whistle, think I will put LEARNING TO CRAWL on the
platter.:1:

SlumpBuster
04-19-2011, 01:41 PM
YOU DON'T need to buy too much cartridge, however.
My Audio Technica 3003 came on a blister pack from CIRCUIT City, and for my purposes suits me fine. NEVER have been concerned with cartridges much,
most are pretty decent after a certain price point.


I agree to an extent. Most do sound decent after a certain price point, IMHO that is about $60 for a Grado Black or Sumiko Oyster. But I currently have $30, $80, $150 and $350 carts that I like for different reasons and purposes. They all sound good, otherwise I wouldn't use them, but they don't sound the same. But that is the nice thing about the turntables in this price range. I would have no objection to putting a $30 cart on it or a $500 cart on it. They play well with a wide range.

Also, this all pertains to moving magnet carts, which max out at about $500. After that you are looking at moving coil which is a whole other beast.

Woochifer
04-19-2011, 05:21 PM
YOU DON'T need to buy too much cartridge, however.
My Audio Technica 3003 came on a blister pack from CIRCUIT City, and for my purposes suits me fine. NEVER have been concerned with cartridges much,
most are pretty decent after a certain price point.
AND i believe MUSIC HALL is English, or UK. Your neighborhood, basically.

Actually, the cartridge is every bit as important, if not more so, as the turntable/tonearm itself. Upgrading from a Sumiko Black Pearl ($70 piece of crap cartridge that I don't recommend to anyone) to the Ortofon OM30 (lists for $300, but I got it for $160) was like listening to an entirely different component.

And even within the Ortofon lineup, moving up from the entry level OM10 ($80) to the OM20 ($150) is a big step up in sound quality, even though the only difference between the two models is the shape cut on the stylus.

Much like the speakers dictate the personality of your audio system, cartridges do the same thing with the vinyl playback. Skimping on the cartridge has the same effect as skimping on the speakers.


I agree to an extent. Most do sound decent after a certain price point, IMHO that is about $60 for a Grado Black or Sumiko Oyster. But I currently have $30, $80, $150 and $350 carts that I like for different reasons and purposes. They all sound good, otherwise I wouldn't use them, but they don't sound the same. But that is the nice thing about the turntables in this price range. I would have no objection to putting a $30 cart on it or a $500 cart on it. They play well with a wide range.

Also, this all pertains to moving magnet carts, which max out at about $500. After that you are looking at moving coil which is a whole other beast.

I used to have a Sumiko Black Pearl -- biggest mistake of my audio experience. I learned at that point that a manufacturer's reputation in the higher end carries no weight whatsoever in the lower price points. Aside from the Grados, I've not heard anything in the $60 range remotely worth keeping. The issue with the Grados is that they're very susceptible to picking up interference, and that's exactly what they do with my turntable model.

As much as I love the Ortofon OM series and think the OM10 is a very good entry level cartridge at $80, things don't get truly interesting until you arrive at the $150 OM20.

JohnMichael
04-19-2011, 06:08 PM
I would not bother with any cartridge with a conical or sperical stylus. Some of the included cartridges on Pro-ject tables have a conical stylus. I think that is why many listeners are not impressed. Audio Technica offers many cartridges with elliptical or better styli. The AT tables has an S shaped arm and the Denon 160 cartridge might be a good match. Of course once you enter into analog it may just whet your appetite for better stuff down the road. The Denon is a high output moving coil cartridge and the AT MC cartridges are low output and require a high gain phono preamp.

02audionoob
04-22-2011, 07:31 PM
The Music Hall Tracker and the entry-level Goldring are both re-badges of the same cheap cartridge. It can be bought from edsaunders.com with no name at all for $14 for the conical and something like $28 for the elliptical.

Although the cartridge is certainly important...perhaps even of equal importance as the tonearm...perhaps not...I think it's actually overrated in importance in the forums I've seen. I tried a wide array of cartridges on a Technics SL-1200MK2, for example, and was amazed at how the Technics made them all sound so similar. They really had a chance to show their own characteristics on my Music Hall MMF-5. But that turntable too imposed its own laid-back, almost soft and lazy quality on those same cartridges that sounded mechanical and sometimes bloated on the Technics. The same cartridges have had their turn on my Rega P5 and it too imposes its own signature. But in the P5's case it's a sound I like.

As for a first turntable, depending on budget, I think the direct-drive Audio Technica AT-PL120 is a decent option for the money. The Music Hall MMF-2.2, Pro-Ject Debut III and Rega RP1 are all nice, and not too different in their respective levels of performance. They're all a little beyond the OP's budget in the US, but perhaps more cost-effective in Europe.

On the used market, there's a wide array of Japanese direct drive turntables floating around. They're reliable, for the most part, other than occasional problems with automatic arm functions. The solution to that is to just get a manual turntable. These all sound decent enough and are really quite a bargain despite the rising prices in recent years.

Edit: Also...in true opinionated audiophile fashion, I disagree with the idea of showing preference to a turntable with the Ortofon OM series because of its upgrade line of styli. The entire cartridge can be replaced for not much more than the stylus. In fact, with the Audio Technica AT440MLa it often sells for less than its replacement stylus. The stylus upgrade option just doesn't have enough impact to be worth affecting the choice of turntable. Ortofon's published info on the OM indicates the Super OM body that comes with the 10 and up is improved as compared to the OM that comes with the 5, so a complete new cartridge should allow for more of an upgrade than only the stylus. Cartridges come and go. Turntables stick around a while.

basite
04-23-2011, 02:44 AM
Hi, Welcome to AR :)

It's not that easy to find music hall gear over here, and slightly more expensive than they are in the USA...

as another possibility, look at the Pro-Ject RPM1. It's around your budget, and performing pretty good for it's price (and also looking pretty fancy for it's price). I believe it comes with a (budget) ortofon cart too.

http://www.audio2vision.be/catalog/images/Producten/H_Afb/pro-ject-rpm13.jpg

or the Debut III, also from Pro-ject...

I don't know where you are in Europe, but you could also go second hand, although the used market isn't really great around my parts (Belgium), but who knows :)

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

SlumpBuster
04-23-2011, 10:24 AM
The Music Hall Tracker and the entry-level Goldring are both re-badges of the same cheap cartridge. It can be bought from edsaunders.com with no name at all for $14 for the conical and something like $28 for the elliptical.

Good God D@mmit! That bends me out of shape! I've never seen that before. Not that I ever bought the Elan, but now that the replacement styli for 1012GX is going for like $275 it pisses me off. How much are they building/buying the proper carts/needles for?!? This is the kind of crap that makes the AT440 one of the best moving magnet bargains out there. If I wasn't drunk right now I'd pop off my Goldring and slap my AT440 on just to spite those SOBs! Fookin' Brits!

SlumpBuster
04-23-2011, 10:31 AM
I used to have a Sumiko Black Pearl -- biggest mistake of my audio experience.

Too bad. I've got an Oyster awaiting install in my main system (need longer bolts - LP gear says they are in the mail). I've heard it on another system an liked it, but I haven't heard it in the main system. We'll see if it passes muster.

02audionoob
04-23-2011, 11:43 AM
Good God D@mmit! That bends me out of shape! I've never seen that before. Not that I ever bought the Elan, but now that the replacement styli for 1012GX is going for like $275 it pisses me off. How much are they building/buying the proper carts/needles for?!? This is the kind of crap that makes the AT440 one of the best moving magnet bargains out there. If I wasn't drunk right now I'd pop off my Goldring and slap my AT440 on just to spite those SOBs! Fookin' Brits!
You can get that stylus for much less by ordering from a UK seller. I don't know what the deal is with US prices. This site has it for $161, based on the current exchange rate.

https://shop.mantra-audio.co.uk/acatalog/Goldring_stylus.html

The 1000 series is made in UK, so it's apparently in-house. The 2000 series is made in Japan, presumably to their specifications. I've seen rumor that it's outsourced to Nagaoka...one could do worse when looking for someone to manufacture cartridges.

That red stylus on the Tracker and Elan looks exactly like this Sanyo at radioshack.com, so I would guess that makes Sanyo the most-likely original source in my mind...

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2117865

frenchmon
04-23-2011, 04:07 PM
Good God D@mmit! That bends me out of shape! I've never seen that before. Not that I ever bought the Elan, but now that the replacement styli for 1012GX is going for like $275 it pisses me off. How much are they building/buying the proper carts/needles for?!? This is the kind of crap that makes the AT440 one of the best moving magnet bargains out there. If I wasn't drunk right now I'd pop off my Goldring and slap my AT440 on just to spite those SOBs! Fookin' Brits!


hahahaha! That was to funny.

Enochrome
04-23-2011, 04:44 PM
Yeah I checked out the ed saunders site after reading noob's posting many month's ago. Whenever I get my Lab 80 working I am buying one from that guy. Music Hall you no take my money!!! The Music Hall Tracker has received good reviews for being a great budget all arounder. But if it can be a budget budget all arounder = mo better.

I second the Project lll. Some british sites (What Hifi?) gave it "best entry level"
Maybe you can even make a cool exotic wood plynth/box for it to sit on to impress the ladies who don't care for the industrial look :)

02audionoob
04-23-2011, 04:47 PM
My lady actually loves the look of her green Debut III.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4076/4913186387_d95e8611c5.jpg

Enochrome
04-24-2011, 01:06 PM
I don't who scored better: your lady with the cool green Debut lll or you who has a lady with a cool green Debut lll :)

cyh
04-28-2011, 05:58 PM
Hi rock! You say that you're from Ireland? Why don't you consider the Rega TTs. In fact there are lotsa good condition used Planar 2, 3 and P2 &P3 around where you live. With the savings, you can get yourself a good cartridge. My 2 cents/pence

fabchef
04-29-2011, 03:25 PM
I recently bought a (used) rega 2 TT...it's such a nice player! i'm very impressed with it and i strongly recommend getting it!
fabs

Woochifer
04-29-2011, 05:16 PM
The Music Hall Tracker and the entry-level Goldring are both re-badges of the same cheap cartridge. It can be bought from edsaunders.com with no name at all for $14 for the conical and something like $28 for the elliptical.

Although the cartridge is certainly important...perhaps even of equal importance as the tonearm...perhaps not...I think it's actually overrated in importance in the forums I've seen. I tried a wide array of cartridges on a Technics SL-1200MK2, for example, and was amazed at how the Technics made them all sound so similar. They really had a chance to show their own characteristics on my Music Hall MMF-5. But that turntable too imposed its own laid-back, almost soft and lazy quality on those same cartridges that sounded mechanical and sometimes bloated on the Technics. The same cartridges have had their turn on my Rega P5 and it too imposes its own signature. But in the P5's case it's a sound I like.

Oh, I don't know about overrated, given that I don't read a lot of posts on various forums that rate the importance of the cartridge. Just look at this thread, or most other threads dealing with vinyl. What are they primarily asking about? The turntable itself. If not for my bringing up the subject, I doubt it would have been discussed at all. And for a vinyl newbie, the importance of the cartridge cannot be stated enough, because that's rarely mentioned at all in discussions about these entry level turntables (and with good reason, because most of the factory installed carts on those decks are crap).

Indeed, the turntable is an important starting point, but it's not where things end. And in my experience, an inferior cartridge will absolutely handicap the turntable, no matter how good it is.


Edit: Also...in true opinionated audiophile fashion, I disagree with the idea of showing preference to a turntable with the Ortofon OM series because of its upgrade line of styli. The entire cartridge can be replaced for not much more than the stylus. In fact, with the Audio Technica AT440MLa it often sells for less than its replacement stylus. The stylus upgrade option just doesn't have enough impact to be worth affecting the choice of turntable. Ortofon's published info on the OM indicates the Super OM body that comes with the 10 and up is improved as compared to the OM that comes with the 5, so a complete new cartridge should allow for more of an upgrade than only the stylus. Cartridges come and go. Turntables stick around a while.

Well, my experience with the OM series is that it's one of the better budget choices out there. Regardless of whether it's upgradable, I think it's an advantage over many of the other choices out there.

For someone just getting into the vinyl game, ease of upgrading is definitely a consideration. With the Ortofon OM series, it's as simple as swapping out the stylus. No need to unmount and remount the cartridge body, no need to redo the overhang or azimuth, no need to redo the counterweights, etc. These tasks are not inconsequential to a beginner.

The cartridge body between the OM and OM Super isn't the main determinant of any differences in the specs. It's nearly all in the cut of the stylus. I've used the 10 and 20 stylus with both the OM and OM Super bodies, and the performance difference between the cartridge bodies is minimal.

02audionoob
04-29-2011, 05:56 PM
Oh, I don't know about overrated, given that I don't read a lot of posts on various forums that rate the importance of the cartridge. Just look at this thread, or most other threads dealing with vinyl. What are they primarily asking about? The turntable itself. If not for my bringing up the subject, I doubt it would have been discussed at all. And for a vinyl newbie, the importance of the cartridge cannot be stated enough, because that's rarely mentioned at all in discussions about these entry level turntables (and with good reason, because most of the factory installed carts on those decks are crap).

Indeed, the turntable is an important starting point, but it's not where things end. And in my experience, an inferior cartridge will absolutely handicap the turntable, no matter how good it is.



Well, my experience with the OM series is that it's one of the better budget choices out there. Regardless of whether it's upgradable, I think it's an advantage over many of the other choices out there.

For someone just getting into the vinyl game, ease of upgrading is definitely a consideration. With the Ortofon OM series, it's as simple as swapping out the stylus. No need to unmount and remount the cartridge body, no need to redo the overhang or azimuth, no need to redo the counterweights, etc. These tasks are not inconsequential to a beginner.

The cartridge body between the OM and OM Super isn't the main determinant of any differences in the specs. It's nearly all in the cut of the stylus. I've used the 10 and 20 stylus with both the OM and OM Super bodies, and the performance difference between the cartridge bodies is minimal.
The turntable and tonearm can handicap a cartridge every bit as much as the other way around. Members of another forum with far more talk of turntables than this one tend to overrate the importance of the cartridge. The OM series isn't so good that it warrants basing a turntable decision on it. It's all that simple.

I only posted previously because I didn't want to just leave your points there uncontested giving the impression that there's no disagreement on the topic. I'll leave it at that.

Woochifer
05-03-2011, 11:18 AM
The turntable and tonearm can handicap a cartridge every bit as much as the other way around. Members of another forum with far more talk of turntables than this one tend to overrate the importance of the cartridge. The OM series isn't so good that it warrants basing a turntable decision on it. It's all that simple.

If this were a general audiophile discussion about turntables, I'd agree with you. But, the topic is the entry level market, and from what I've seen in this market, the OEM-installed cartridge is very much an afterthought.

Music Hall doesn't even disclose which vendor supplies the cartridges for their entry level MMF 2.2 model. And the flood of USB turntables I've seen coming onto the market similarly don't typically disclose the cartridge make and model, and often use inferior conical styli. Indeed anyone can simply upgrade the cartridge, but that's yet another learning curve for a vinyl novice and an added expense on top of whatever the turntable itself costs.

I'm not claiming that the Ortofon OM series is the last word in cartridges, but it does offer up decent performance in the entry level price points and a seamless upgrade path. Given all that, its inclusion with the Pro-Ject turntable is a plus, especially for someone who's just getting into vinyl and doesn't have a huge budget.

02audionoob
05-03-2011, 03:47 PM
If this were a general audiophile discussion about turntables, I'd agree with you. But, the topic is the entry level market, and from what I've seen in this market, the OEM-installed cartridge is very much an afterthought.

Music Hall doesn't even disclose which vendor supplies the cartridges for their entry level MMF 2.2 model. And the flood of USB turntables I've seen coming onto the market similarly don't typically disclose the cartridge make and model, and often use inferior conical styli. Indeed anyone can simply upgrade the cartridge, but that's yet another learning curve for a vinyl novice and an added expense on top of whatever the turntable itself costs.

I'm not claiming that the Ortofon OM series is the last word in cartridges, but it does offer up decent performance in the entry level price points and a seamless upgrade path. Given all that, its inclusion with the Pro-Ject turntable is a plus, especially for someone who's just getting into vinyl and doesn't have a huge budget.

I'm just saying I disagree, specifically about the turntables and cartridges at hand in this discussion. That's the sum total of it.

rock
09-20-2011, 01:19 AM
Problem with your budget is that while there are decent turntables in that price range, you're still short on (IMO) the most important yet overlooked part of the vinyl playback chain -- the cartridge. Each cartridge imparts its own sonic signature on the playback, and they interact differently with different turntable/tonearm combinations.

The two most frequently cited budget turntable brands in audiophile circles are Pro-Ject and Music Hall. They get high marks for their playback quality, but Music Hall uses a proprietary cartridge with its entry level MMF 2.2 model. Supposedly, this is the same thing as the Goldring Electra, which is their entry level model.

Pro-Ject's entry level Essential turntable uses the Ortofon OM 3E. Now, Ortofon's OM series is a solid and versatile choice, but the 3E stylus is their bottom-of-the-line and while I'm not familiar with that model, I used to own the higher line OM 10. If you're concerned with quality playback, I'm not sure if I'd go too much further below the OM 10, which sounds decent but not nearly as good as the higher end 20, 30, and 40 models.

Fortunately, the OM series allows you to upgrade by simply changing the stylus, but each step up will cost you. The best bang-for-the-buck is the stylus 20, which costs about $140. The stylus 10 costs about $50.

I don't think that Goldring offers a similar upgrade path for their Electra model, which means upgrading will require buying an entire cartridge. So, if you need to stick with your budget, and can't add more for a cartridge, I would opt for the Pro-Ject by virtue of its including the more easily upgradable Ortofon OM cartridge.

Keep in mind that with a lot of playing time, you'll need to replace the stylus about once a year or every other year.

Thanks a million guys for all the advise:thumbsup:. Sorry for the late reply.

I'm going to go for the Pro Ject Debut 3 OM10. Now all I need to find out is what the best suited amp for that vinyl player would be. Can anyone give any suggestions? :thumbsup: Thanks again for all the help so far:smile5:

02audionoob
09-20-2011, 03:40 PM
Thanks a million guys for all the advise:thumbsup:. Sorry for the late reply.

I'm going to go for the Pro Ject Debut 3 OM10. Now all I need to find out is what the best suited amp for that vinyl player would be. Can anyone give any suggestions? :thumbsup: Thanks again for all the help so far:smile5:

Give us a budget, tell us about your speakers or other equipment, musical preferences, whatever else seems pertinent.

rock
09-21-2011, 12:19 AM
Give us a budget, tell us about your speakers or other equipment, musical preferences, whatever else seems pertinent.

Well, I generally go with... your vinyl player is only as good as your cheapest component that you use in your set-up. It's a general rule of thumb that I tend to stick by, so given that the Pro Ject 3 OM10 is approx 250... I would prefer to keep to the same price area for an amp. I haven't got speakers yet... but again, something in and around that price bracket.

Musically, I listen too rock, classical, film score electronic... really a bit of everything:2:

Any help would be much appreciated:smile5:

02audionoob
09-21-2011, 09:31 AM
Trying to get near or into that price range, I'd probably look first at the Marantz PM5004 integrated. I think Cambridge Audio and NAD have comparable models that would be worth considering. I own a Pro-Ject Debut III but in this price range I'd recommend the Rega RP1. I bought my Debut III used and got a good deal. But if I were buying new, I'd be more interested in the Rega.

I also like Rega's small speakers on the value end of things, but it depends on preference. Small speakers will usually not produce the quantity of bass that the larger speakers will.

rock
12-18-2011, 03:28 PM
Hi guys, still on the hunt. But I'm going to commit to buying one... I originally decided on the Pro-Ject Debut 3, but came across the Pro-Ject Audio RPM 1.3 / Genie 3 and now I'm completely lost. Which is better, the Pro-Ject Debut 3 (with a Ortofon Super OM10 cartridge) or the Pro-Ject Audio RPM 1.3 / Genie 3 (with a Ortofon Super OM10 cartridge, which could add later)?
I also need a pre-amp (was looking at the basic Pro-ject Phono stage), as I've only a B&W Zepplin for now. It'll be a good while before I can think of getting anything else, and I don't want to wait any more:crazy::lol:

I'm looking at Ebay for the best prices... have be outbid on a few pro-jects... and one in particular had the phono stage included :cryin:

Please can you guys help me figure this nighmare out:mad2::lol::lol:

Thanks again for all your help:D

hifitommy
12-18-2011, 04:09 PM
"amazed at how the Technics made them all sound so similar."

thats one of the reasons i drifted away from my PLL1000a. yes, the carts sounded different but not as much as in my MMT arm or g707 arm.

getting started, one can accept the cart that comes on the tt but after a while, changing up to a better one will elucidate the reason for doing so. i agree that the pearl (or oyster) is better left for someone else or kept as a backup for when it is better than NO cartridge. a grado, ortofon, or nagoaka can take you to better places than the pearl, oyster, or BP2.

project is certainly a good alternative to mhall and i wouldnt hesitate getting one if i had to start over. a used dd or belt table with an arm that uses a detachable shell can be a great start into the vinyl part of the hobby. changing carts and inspecting the stylus is ever so much easier with a detachable shell. changing carts on an arm on the table is nerve wracking.

02audionoob
12-23-2011, 06:50 AM
Hi guys, still on the hunt. But I'm going to commit to buying one... I originally decided on the Pro-Ject Debut 3, but came across the Pro-Ject Audio RPM 1.3 / Genie 3 and now I'm completely lost. Which is better, the Pro-Ject Debut 3 (with a Ortofon Super OM10 cartridge) or the Pro-Ject Audio RPM 1.3 / Genie 3 (with a Ortofon Super OM10 cartridge, which could add later)?
I also need a pre-amp (was looking at the basic Pro-ject Phono stage), as I've only a B&W Zepplin for now. It'll be a good while before I can think of getting anything else, and I don't want to wait any more:crazy::lol:

I'm looking at Ebay for the best prices... have be outbid on a few pro-jects... and one in particular had the phono stage included :cryin:

Please can you guys help me figure this nighmare out:mad2::lol::lol:

Thanks again for all your help:D

Personal opinion...The Debut III is better than the RPM 1.3. I don't like the 1.3's tonearm.

Ctboyer1
01-09-2012, 09:29 AM
Hey all, I am new to this forum but not new to audio. I would describe myself as a strong audio enthusiast who aspires to be an audiophile but does not quite have the budget yet. My musical interests range from hard rock, alternative to experimental quirky and lounge stuff. Having a house with 3 young kids makes it difficult for daddy to listen to any kind of grown-up music right now. I have the whole surround sound system down for watching movies, but now I want to build something special for the living room.

I would like to be able to listen to some higher end recordings, on 180-200g vinyl. I have an extensive and outdated collection of rock on vinyl that is all scratched from a previous life on panasonic and luxman turntables. I also have a middle sized collection of cd's and some decent super audio cd's but rarely listen to them. I now have about 80gb of mp3's, some high quality rips some not.

I have a decent pair of Monitor Audio Silver 3i's on stands in my 20 x 22 living room. I would like to build a very nicely presentable system around them, as few components as possible but very nice and sweat sounding, for entertaining adult dinner or party guests at our house. I would like to start with vinyl and mp3's only, no cd's and no radio. I think my starting budget should be about $2500 for now just so my wife doesn't get too upset. I have always wanted a tube amp, but most seems out of my budget. I also want a decent turntable, like a Rega or Music Hall.

What can you guys suggest for a decent system, all inclusive, in my budget range? I would be willing to entertain used equipment but I know this can be difficult to find and sometimes troublesome to fix. I am in the Chicago suburbs, so there are quite a few decent hifi stores in the area, including my favorite MusicDirect.

02audionoob
01-09-2012, 10:53 AM
My first thought would be an integrated amp by Marantz, Rega or Cambridge Audio. Marantz starts under $500 and includes a phono input. Put together the Marantz with a Music Hall MMF-5.1 and the stock Goldring cartridge and you're in under $1,500. Or how about Rega's Brio-R integrated, RP3 turntable, and the Elys2 cartridge. Or maybe do an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge instead. That setup would be $2,000 plus tax.

Jack in Wilmington
01-09-2012, 06:10 PM
You could also pick up a nice Jolida tube integrated amp on Audiogon. I saw a JD502RC on there for $1190, add to that the Music Hall MMF 5.1 that Noob had mentioned and you have a very nice system for less than $2000.

Ctboyer1
01-10-2012, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the ideas, but a couple of quick comments/questions:

1. I have owned several Marantz components in the past 10 years, and although I felt like they were very high performance for the money, they all stopped functioning within a few years, which was way too short of a lifespan IMHO. Because of this I vowed never to buy Marantz products again.
2. I have read some nice reviews on the new Rega RP3 with the standard configuration, but you are both recommending the Music Hall MMF 5.1 instead maybe. Any specific reason? Just wondering since the article in Stereophile made it sound like the RP3 was a really top notch choice for the price.
3. What do you think is the minmum threshold of power output into 8 ohms for a tube or other preamp that would still play sufficiently "loud" in case I really want to crank up the volume? I still want something that sounds really nice, but I guess now I am thinking I also want to be able to wake up the neighbors a little...
4. The Jolida integrated amps are really nice looking, especially the jd202rc that I see on Audiogon for $950.00. Are they reliable if you pick one up used?

5. If I simply went this route, and got the Rega RP3 in stock configuration with Elys2 cart and the Jolida JD202rd, that's about $2000.00. Don't I need anything else if I want to play MP3's as well or will an integrated amp do all the connections I need it to? I am used to my audio/video receiver doing everything that I am not sure what I need.

02audionoob
01-10-2012, 03:58 PM
Regarding Marantz, I see no reason you couldn't exclude them and still have very nice options in this price range. I think the Rega amps would be very good contenders for this system.

I think Jack and I have both had good experiences with Music Hall turntables and consider them to be relatively good value in the current market. I moved on from my MMF-5 to a Rega P5, but I really enjoyed the Music Hall. I might even get another, someday. Rega is no doubt a good contender in your price range and I don't have any reservations about the RP3. As you might have noticed, the RP3 was one of the only two turntables I recommended. There are not many new turntables in this price range, but the ones in this range are quite good. They don't necessarily measure up to what you could buy for the same money on the used market, but it's that way with just about any component.

If you want volume that will wake the neighbors, perhaps high sensitivity in the speakers is the way to go. I used to have a 60-watt Adcom amp paired with some efficient JBL speakers and it could play really loud. I also had the 200-watt model and eventually settled on the 100-watt Adcom. They all easily provided enough power. I'm not necessarily recommending Adcom...I'd probably more likely recommend Rotel for economical separates...but the power ratings are the point. That being, it doesn't always take a high number to play loud. My main system contains a 45-watt tube amp and it can play louder than I'd ever want.

I've always had just a little bit of reservation recommending Jolida amps, but for no real concrete reasons. I mostly just think it would be better to look at PrimaLuna for that sort of thing. Personal preference, I suppose...at least partly due to being able to listen to PrimaLuna amps at a local dealer.

If you want to play MP3 files on this system, I would suggest a DAC. A DAC may have a USB input, a coax SPDIF input, a Toslink, and perhaps more. You can run many MP3 players into audio inputs, but a DAC can do a better job. I have a PS Audio Digital Link III for that purpose, which goes for around $600 to $700 on Audiogon and lists for around $1,000. Cambridge, Music Hall, Musical Fidelity and Rega have DACs at various price points from $1,000 on down. Some people use little devices like the HRT Streamer for this purpose, too.

Another use for the DAC is to run your CD or DVD player into it. You can get a substantial upgrade from the sound quality of budget CD players by running the digital output into a DAC. Of course, you could always just plug a computer into the DAC and use your hard drive as your transport instead of a CD player.