Musical Hall or Rega [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : Musical Hall or Rega



mjennings909
01-28-2014, 10:47 AM
I have been looking at a Music Hall 7.1 and a Rega RP6 anybody have any input on this decision?

JohnMichael
01-28-2014, 03:33 PM
I have been enjoying my Rega for over 16 years now. It has been upgraded with the latest motor and has been braced similar to the RP6. Other than speaking on reliability I can only welcome you to AR and we have one member who has the Music Hall 7.1. I am sure he will be along to give his insights to that table.

mjennings909
01-28-2014, 04:32 PM
I have been looking at a Music Hall 7.1 and a Rega RP6 anybody have any input on this decision?

nad av T163
musical fidelity A3.2cr
Klipsch RF 3

mjennings909
01-28-2014, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the welcome I want to go to analog but I haven't looked at turntables in along time the last one I had was a pioneer pl518 direct drive that I bought in 1978. I found out there is a lot to learn and my budget is around $1500 not including the phono amp. I listen to mostly 70's rock

JohnMichael
01-28-2014, 04:51 PM
Thanks for the welcome I want to go to analog but I haven't looked at turntables in along time the last one I had was a pioneer pl518 direct drive that I bought in 1978. I found out there is a lot to learn and my budget is around $1500 not including the phono amp. I listen to mostly 70's rock


They will be along to respond when next they check in to the Forums. There are few instant responses. Mr Peabody recently checked out the Clearaudio Concept turntable which is in your budget. He purchased the Clearaudio Performance which is a step up. The VPI Traveler is also within budget. As people read this they will have suggestions.

mjennings909
01-30-2014, 08:20 AM
I have another question besides the TT, being on a budget how would you allocate the money as far as importance, being TT #1 where would you rank the Cart and the phono amp?

Jack in Wilmington
01-30-2014, 09:56 AM
I would spend approximately twice as much on my cart as I do on my phono pre. IMO a good cart can make a budget pre sound good, but a good pre can't make a budget cart sound good.

mjennings909
01-30-2014, 11:46 AM
Thanks for that, makes sense, by the way are you happy with you Music Hall TT?

frenchmon
01-30-2014, 12:03 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum!

I have a MM-7.1 and really enjoy it. It's a fine TT that I believe is underrated. Very quiet background...and the motor is not connected but separate from the TT. It lives up to its name...Musical. Its a more airy presentation with great mids and a bottom as well. I have a $600 phono stage which is neutral and I have a $700 cart. So it's a very nice sounding Record player that sounds great. The Clearaudio Concept JM mention is also another great table. But you have to be sure of a great stable foundation with it or you may have foot falls. My rig is in my basement on concrete floors but have not hear about any problems with foot falls on wood floors.

Jack in Wilmington
01-30-2014, 12:21 PM
Thanks for that, makes sense, by the way are you happy with you Music Hall TT?

I started with Music Hall's 2.1. I had that for about 6 months and upgraded to the 5.1, because my dealer gave me full price as a trade in on the new table. The 5.1 is a nice intermediate table and it fits my needs. I'm not a vinyl junkie and still enjoy CD's and computer audio, so I haven't put as much into my vinyl rig as some of the other guys on this site.

mjennings909
01-30-2014, 05:02 PM
Does anybody know anything about the Vincent PHO-8 preamp?

JohnMichael
01-30-2014, 05:36 PM
Does anybody know anything about the Vincent PHO-8 preamp?

Have you decided on a phono cartridge yet? Some carts work with some preamps better than others. If you know a cart or type of cart you will be sticking with it would be easy to suggest a preamp. I happen to be quite pleased with the Simaudio Moon 110LP phono preamp and I would suggest it.

mjennings909
01-30-2014, 06:30 PM
I am leaning towards the Ortofon 2m blue

frenchmon
01-31-2014, 05:51 AM
I have not personally, but a buddy of mine has the PHO-8 preamp and compared it to a PS Audio GCPH phono stage and said while not better than the PS Audio, said it wasnt that far off....and he had a 2M Blue as well as a 2M Bronze.

Mr Peabody
01-31-2014, 07:13 AM
Some are harden fans of certain japanese direct drive tables with the PL518 on their list. You might first try making sure your table set up is optimized and then add a new cart and phono stage to see what your old table does first. This is assuming you may still have the table.

The Clearaudio Concept is certainly a great table in that price but as mentioned you have to have a solid floor or the magnetic arm may skip. Also it's vary transparent and quiet which may not be the most exciting for 70's rock. I had a Rega P3 for years before I recently upgraded. The 7.1 or Rega are decent choices.

It's pretty well accepted that a better table with less expensive cart will yield better sound than a mediocre table with expensive cart. I also don't think you should skimp on a phono stage. It doesn't make sense to spend $1500.00 plus on a table and run it through a $200.00 phno stage. Cost is not always the factor but you do have to get one that will perform. You may have to rely on those with experience or the dealer to find what phono stages have synergy with certain cartridges, also, the cart has to be a good fit with the table, will it track good etc.

JohnMichael
01-31-2014, 08:49 AM
My first turntable was a marble based Kenwood and the store included a Shure M91ED for $0.99. I have never paid over $600 for a phono cartridge or $600 for a phono preamp. My current table when new was about $495. Of course as you add cost of upgrades it's cost is much greater than original purchase price.

I own an Audio Technica F7 low output moving coil cartridge. When I first installed it I thought what a good budget LO MC. Several mods later I reinstalled it and was pleased with how much better the cartridge sounded. Since the first time using it I updated the motor with the 24V and Michael Lim braces. Since the table improved sonically so did the cartridge.

I agree with Mr Peabody that you need a good turntable first. Using the low vibration motor, machined subplatter, ceramic bearing and top and bottom braces the noise floor dropped and when there is less noise there is more music.

As far as a phono preamp I have a budget recommendation. This is from my experience using Ortofon OM 10's and 20's. The Cambridge Audio 650P which is now the 651P does a very nice job for the money with the Ortofon cartridges. If you have no interest in ever trying LO MC cartridges you could even go with the 551P. There was one review where for high output cartridges such as your Blue they liked the 551P even better. Some designers believe it is better to have a single gain stage in their preamps. I think this is true at the budget end. Two warnings is the 650P sounds less good when the subsonic filter is used and it does not have enough gain for low output moving coil cartridges. I would say anything below .4 mv and dynamics suffer.

I would also check out Musical Fidelity's entry level phono preamp. Creek is another brand worth checking out. It all depends on your budget and how much you want upgrade in the future. Can you see yourself ever buying a $2,000 cartridge? There are a lot of ways to spend your money and if I had more of it I might upgrade but nothing about my vinyl set up makes me want to upgrade.

mjennings909
01-31-2014, 12:35 PM
I really appreciate everyone's input, obviously I want to make the right decision. Does anybody have a dealer they recommend, I live in Raleigh NC, is Needle Doctor reputable?

JohnMichael
01-31-2014, 01:43 PM
I really appreciate everyone's input, obviously I want to make the right decision. Does anybody have a dealer they recommend, I live in Raleigh NC, is Needle Doctor reputable?


I have had great service at Needle Doctor and Music Direct. Most of my system is from Music Direct. Several cartridges, tweaks and cables from Needle Doctor.

Mr Peabody
01-31-2014, 06:50 PM
JM, ever here of Lejonklou phono stages? They are designed purely for MM and according to Michael Fremer, and the guy I bought my table from, they are supposed to be incredible. Here's a deal on one:
LEJONKLOU KINKI 3

Michael Fremer called the Kinki 3 the best moving magnet only phono preamp that he had heard. We think itís good enough to question buying a moving coil phono cartridge.



The Kinki 3 is compact and simple and offers the best moving magnet sound weíve heard, and at a reasonable price. Our demo unit comes with full factory warranty and is in like new condition. Only one available at this price.



Learn more about the Lejonklou Kinki 3 here: Osage Audio Products, LLC (http://www.osageaudio.com/lejonklou.html).

Jim is a nice guy and could help with some table questions.



Retail Price: $895.00 Demo Closeout Price: $625.00

02audionoob
02-01-2014, 05:42 PM
I'd go see what they have at this store -

Charlotte/Raleigh, NC?Brands?B&W, Lutron, Integra, Control4, McIntosh (http://www.audioadvice.com/audio-video-brands/)

They list VPI and Clearaudio on their website. Between the MMF-7.1 and the RP6, it's personal preference. Both are very nice. I'd consider the Dynavector 10X5 with either of these, or the Clearaudio Concept. The VPI Traveler is approximately within budget, assuming the 2M Blue cartridge. If you go to the Raleigh shop, you might also ask about the Musical Surroundings phono preamps.

mjennings909
02-04-2014, 12:26 PM
Thanks for that, they are going to actually let me take a Clearaudio Concept with MC home to play it on my system for 2 days. This one has 100 hours on it and they will sell it to me if I like for $1800

JohnMichael
02-04-2014, 01:32 PM
Thanks for that, they are going to actually let me take a Clearaudio Concept with MC home to play it on my system for 2 days. This one has 100 hours on it and they will sell it to me if I like for $1800

Bargain! I would not pass up that deal. Did they recommend a phono preamp? Let us know what you think.

Mr Peabody
02-04-2014, 02:15 PM
I forget now what budget was but the Clearaudio and Musical Surroundings phono stages have serious synergy.

When you hear the Concept I suspect it will sound like no other table you've heard before, The thing to concentrate on is the detail flowing through. My personal taste so far I am not a big fan of the Clearaudio carts, it's just sort of the tone they have. If for some reason you find the audition not quite to your liking, see if they will swap the Clearaudio for an Ortofon 2M Black, they actually track some better and more neutral and lively. Ortofon has a nnew MC series but I haven't heard any of them. Looking forward to hearing back from you on your thoughts of the table. Play a big variety of your LP's because production quality varies a lot.

mjennings909
02-04-2014, 03:59 PM
Yes I will, I am excited to hear it. I am getting it on Saturday, to answer JM question they are going to let me use a Sutherland Insight phono preamp. They said it sells for $1400. 100 hours on that table isn't very much is it?

Mr Peabody
02-04-2014, 04:59 PM
100 hours is not much, it may be about broke in at that point. The Insight is a nice phono stage, I believe battery powered. The Musical Surroundings Super Nova 2 is $1200.00 you might want to check it out before purchasing. You couldn't go wrong with either.

mjennings909
02-04-2014, 05:33 PM
I am also going to listen to a Music Hall 9.1 on Friday so that will be good reference for the Clearaudio on Saturday. I am leaning now on the Concept with a Ortofon 2M blue Verso and a Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2 Preamp. That will be Max of my budge

Mr Peabody
02-04-2014, 06:02 PM
I am also going to listen to a Music Hall 9.1 on Friday so that will be good reference for the Clearaudio on Saturday. I am leaning now on the Concept with a Ortofon 2M blue Verso and a Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2 Preamp. That will be Max of my budge

Sounds like a nice set up

frenchmon
02-05-2014, 04:03 AM
I really appreciate everyone's input, obviously I want to make the right decision. Does anybody have a dealer they recommend, I live in Raleigh NC, is Needle Doctor reputable?

Have you been to Audio Advice down on Glenwood Ave? I use to go there all the time and check out the gear.

frenchmon
02-05-2014, 04:21 AM
Thanks for that, they are going to actually let me take a Clearaudio Concept with MC home to play it on my system for 2 days. This one has 100 hours on it and they will sell it to me if I like for $1800


Oh great, so you have been to Audio Advice! Good! Also right around the corner from Audio Advice is two more audio stores....at least there was when I lived in Durham. I forget the name of the street, but its right around the corner on the same street as a Target store. One store sells a lot of gear and the other sells mostly British gear with Quads. Also on Glenwood up the street from Audio Advice was another store....I think it was called Audio Xperts are something like that....Oh how I miss Raleigh/Durham.

mjennings909
02-05-2014, 07:12 AM
Yes, that is who is going to let me take a Clearaudio Concept table home to play it on my system as wells as a Sutherland Insight phono pre

mjennings909
02-07-2014, 02:47 PM
I listened to the Music Hall 9.1 today it was hooked up to a PS Audio preamp and a PS Audio Amp, the table had a Grado Cart, cant remember the model but it was in the $600 range. The speakers were Electrostatic I cant remember the brand NOT Martin Logans. I listened to my LP's and they sounded good but I am comparing to my table so not a good reference point, but it sounded ok, it didn't blow me away, I didn't know if it was the table or the speakers but the sound was warm and sounded vinyl and I kept turning the volume up and it responded nicely and you knew you were listening to vinyl because you still could hear some noise from the LP but not much, the lows were good but the highs and vocals did not jump out, it wasn't very detail as I was expecting, again I don't have that much experience with the Electrostatics. Tomorrow will be very interesting listening to the Concept on my system with the Insight pre. Stay tune for round 2, I did like the Hall 9.1 very smooth and quiet, had a thick heavy duty platter.

Mr Peabody
02-07-2014, 04:29 PM
Typically electrostats are very detailed but don't give you a physical sensation like a dynamic speaker would. I think the overly warm sound was probably the Grado cart. Keep us posted.

mjennings909
02-09-2014, 08:51 AM
Ok, first impression after listening to a variety of LP's is that the first thing that jumped out was the incredible imaging and detail, I heard sounds that I hadn't noticed like in Pink Floyd's Shine on you crazy diamonds I heard a stream of bells in the beginning of the guitar piece. I am blown away it doesn't sound like this was my stereo, that I am listening to something else, I cant believe what is coming out of my speakers. The detail and the overall sound is incredible, its even keeping true the heavier rock pieces. With that said now here is the problem. When I went to pick up the Concept with MC table and Insight phono pre, I knew I was getting a Sutherland Insight pre and its out of my budget but what I didn't know I was getting a set of Transparent Musiclink Phono cables to go from the pre to my NAD AV T163. This set of Transparent cables are $1400.00, way way past my budget. So my question to you guys is how much is the cables adding to my excitement of this system? I could wait for a while to save more for the Insight but trying to get these cables would be very difficult and are they worth it. I don't have another phono cables to put in to see if there is much difference. Comments are much appreciated???

02audionoob
02-09-2014, 10:03 AM
Don't worry. Leave yourself $100 for that interconnect and you'll be good. That $1,400 cable isn't going to make or break what you're hearing.

Jack in Wilmington
02-09-2014, 10:44 AM
Agreed, I replaced my stock cable with a $200 cable and that's all you really need. I can't see paying as much for a cable as you pay for the turntable.

Mr Peabody
02-09-2014, 11:28 AM
That is a bit crazy to put that level of cable on the Concept. The detail you heard will still be there to some extent but it's foolish to say the Transparent didn't make a difference. Some fine detail could be lost or at least not as vivid as you heard it in your audition. You might see if they'd put the stock back in place for another audition. Or, maybe Transparent comes with the deal :).

mjennings909
02-09-2014, 02:08 PM
Yea, I cant afford the $1400 cables and they want $1800 for the Concept with a Clearaudio MC, which is $200 off what it is originally. I am thinking about getting the Concept with a Ortofon 2M Blue vesero for $1659.00 and get the Musical Surroundings 2 phonomena for $600 which brings the total to $2259. vs, the $5125 sitting in my house right now and hope I don't lose very much in sound quality, unless you guys think that the deal for the concept with the MC is a good deal for $1800 and then get the musical surroundings and be at $2400 vs, the $2259?

Mr Peabody
02-09-2014, 03:59 PM
No, you are on the right track, the Ortofon will be a better cart in my opinion. They should remove that cable, seems a bit sleezy to leave it on, I can't imagine any one paying as much for the cable as the table. If you were going to spend more money I'd suggest stretching for the Super Nova 2 but it's twice as much. I think the package you have selected makes good use of your budget.

Mr Peabody
02-09-2014, 05:18 PM
Hey, I talked to a Clearaudio dealer and something isn't right, the phono cables on the Clearaudio are intregral to the arm and integrated into the anti-skating as well so it's not just something you can put an aftermarket cable on. Are there RCA outputs on the table or do they go into the arm? The guy I talked to didn't say it was impossible but even if they are aftermarket they would have to cut the stock cable and leave part of it to attach to, so either this isn't a typical Concept or some one has really jacked around with it, either way you may want to pass on that one and get one still in the box. The Concept is basically plug & play out of the box if you even wanted to find another dealer.

02audionoob
02-09-2014, 05:26 PM
Hey, I talked to a Clearaudio dealer and something isn't right, the phono cables on the Clearaudio are intregral to the arm and integrated into the anti-skating as well so it's not just something you can put an aftermarket cable on. Are there RCA outputs on the table or do they go into the arm? The guy I talked to didn't say it was impossible but even if they are aftermarket they would have to cut the stock cable and leave part of it to attach to, so either this isn't a typical Concept or some one has really jacked around with it, either way you may want to pass on that one and get one still in the box. The Concept is basically plug & play out of the box if you even wanted to find another dealer.

The high-dollar cable isn't on the turntable. It's on the phono preamp.

02audionoob
02-09-2014, 05:38 PM
I'm not following how one can say the Ortofon 2M Blue is better than the Clearaudio Concept MC. How are we coming by that one?

Mr Peabody
02-09-2014, 05:42 PM
Here's what was told me;

"Iíve never seen a Clearaudio tonearm that was terminated right behind the bearing and base with a pair of RCA or XLR jacks, but I know that Clearaudio has made some that way for customers in other places in the world. The Clearaudio wire is made by a famous maker of copper wire cables. Iím not sure exactly who since theyíve kept that a secret, but it is one of the European cable makers. "

Since all of the Clearaudio turntables that are imported into the U.S. have an integral tonearm cable, Iím not sure how this guy had a Transparent Audio tonearm cable on his Concept. Was he in some other country?"

"In order to change the tonearm cable you would have to either cut off the one you have and leave the original wire in the tonearm, which doesnít make a lot of sense, or you would have to rewire the tonearm. I donít know of anyone who has done either offhand. Another thing to consider is that on the Concept the tonearm wiring is also part of the anti-skate mechanism. If you replaced the wire you would have to do so with something almost identical in order for things to work correctly."

02audionoob
02-09-2014, 05:50 PM
Here's what the OP said:

"...Transparent Musiclink Phono cables to go from the pre to my NAD AV T163. "

Mr Peabody
02-09-2014, 06:03 PM
LOL, wow, thanks for reeling me in, apparently something didn't register. On the upside all that detail was coming from the table or else it wouldn't have been heard.

Jack in Wilmington
02-09-2014, 06:05 PM
I think that's where we got confused, the OP said they were "phono cables" where in fact they were IC cables.

mjennings909
02-10-2014, 06:06 AM
Sorry my bad, I meant interconnect cables, sorry for the confusion

mjennings909
02-10-2014, 10:05 AM
Ok, moment of truth do I get this 100 hour demo Concept with Clearaudio MC for $1800.00 or get a new one with a Ortofon 2M Blue Verso for $1659?

mjennings909
02-11-2014, 01:40 PM
Ok, done with the decision, here it is
1. Concept
2. Ortofon 2M Black
3. Musical Surroundings Phonomena2
4. Transparent MusicLink Phono IC's

Jack in Wilmington
02-11-2014, 01:55 PM
Ok, done with the decision, here it is
1. Concept
2. Ortofon 2M Black
3. Musical Surroundings Phonomena2
4. Transparent MusicLink Phono IC's

All that gear lists for around $4100. Isn't that stretching your budget a little.

mjennings909
02-11-2014, 03:06 PM
I went on Transparent's website and found Phono IC cables for $185

Mr Peabody
02-11-2014, 04:39 PM
Nice set up and choices.

Did you notice Transparent's trade in policy? Any time you want to upgrade in the Transparent line you can trade the cables you bought for a nice discount, no worries about selling them etc.

Mr Peabody
02-11-2014, 04:49 PM
I missed your post Anoob, personal preference mainly, I haven't been impressed with what I've heard of the Clearaudio carts compared to others in the price range. Ortofon tracks exceptionally well on the Concept and I feel perform beyond their price. With that being said I fully intend to audition the Meastro when upgrade time comes for me. I've heard although not cheap it's a stand out cart.

02audionoob
02-15-2014, 09:46 AM
I can respect the opinion that a 2M Blue is preferred over a moving coil Clearaudio if it's personal preference and first-hand experience. Just surprised by it.

Mr Peabody
02-15-2014, 03:32 PM
I was reading a guy's post who had the MC and a Phenomenon, he was commenting on how the impedance adjustments changed the sound of the MC which I found interesting and had me wondering about prior audition set ups. I am glad the OP was able to go to the 2M Black though. By the time I get ready to change carts who knows where my head will be but at this point it would be between the 2M Black or Meastro. It will also be interesting to see how people like the New Ortofon MC line.