Turntable advice: total newbie to analog [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-13-2014, 07:49 AM
I'm really interested in getting to know about vinyl, I'm totally a laymen on this subject, would appreciate every bit of advice on this. I'm looking at buying an used turntable on eBay, which I see for around the $100-200 price range. What should I be looking for in a turntable, I'm not even sure of the various parts of one, please treat me as a total dud on this. Any recommendations for a used turntable and advice is most appreciated. Thanks guys

06-13-2014, 08:55 AM
I am unfamiliar with the used market. My initial suggestion is a Technics table with a Pmount arm. Easiest way to mount a cartridge if you have no experience. These days it can be difficult to find a shop to mount the cartridge for you.

Of course your electronics would need a built in phono preamp. If it does not you would have the expense of a phono preamp to raise the output voltage and apply EQ to the cartridges output.

For example

Technics SL BD20D Belt Drive 2 Speed Turntable Serviced New Stylus and Belt | eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Technics-SL-BD20D-Belt-Drive-2-Speed-Turntable-Serviced-New-Stylus-and-Belt-/191207816920?pt=US_Record_Players_Home_Turntables&hash=item2c84dfbed8)

Mr Peabody
06-13-2014, 09:26 PM
P-mount is a great idea for getting started. There's turntable set up videos on YouTube and most of the audio forums have some "how to" info for set up as well. If you have any thrift or Goodwill around you might check them out to see if any turntables in there.

06-14-2014, 07:34 AM
Thanks a lot John and Mr P for ur advice and expert onions, much appreciated. I've the Nad 3020i with a phono stage which I intend to use with the turntable I plan to buy. Will this work ok and can I plug in the tt directly to the Nad? Sorry for being so ignorant about this but it's because I'm.!! Also any advice on what I should be looking at for a tt? Either brand new or used would be better as I've seen many like the one John has kindly shown me, quite cheap on eBay. All advice and inputs will be greatly appreciated. Really wanting to get started on vinyl!! Cheers

Mr Peabody
06-14-2014, 08:49 AM
Anything new approaching quality would begin around $400.00 for entry Pro-Ject, Rega or Music Hall. For just getting started on a budget a used table would be a good option. As JM suggested the P-mount carts just plug in and pretty easy to set up compared to the typical screw on with wires. Brands like Ortofon still offer good performing P-mount new.

You can use the "phono" input on the NAD and only that input, it has an additional preamp section to step up the turntable signal to the level of other sources.

Just off the top of my head, if you had the budget I believe the Pro-ject pretty much comes out of the box ready to play. These packages are nice to get started but usually don't have much for cart as to keep the price down. Music Hall comes with cart as well but I can't remember if pre-mounted and set. I have a friend who bought sort of a mid line Pro-ject and his was set to go right out of the box.

What would be nice is if you had some one local looking to sell a table so you could see it work before buying.

06-15-2014, 02:12 PM
Shipping turntables is risky. Many of them get damaged from poor packing or rough handling. If you can find a local deal, you should be better off. In your price range you could probably find a capable turntable on most cities' Craigslist. I usually see about 10 different brands, like Technics, Pioneer, Kenwood, MCS, Fisher, Hitachi, JVC, Marantz, Sony, etc. that are mostly of similar quality. Put an Audio Technica AT95E on any of them and you're ready to roll.

06-18-2014, 12:09 PM
I've purchased used/refurbished audio gear in the past, but the idea of purchasing something with as many moving...and fragile...parts as a turntable is terrifying. There are simply too many things to go wrong and as 02 mentioned, even it was working before, there's no guarantee it will once USPS/UPS/Fed Ex gets done with it.

I was in the exact same headspace that you were Tony and was considering this Denon from the local BestBuy.
Denon USB Turntable DP-200USB - Best Buy (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/denon-usb-turntable/2354226.p?id=1219072217674&skuId=2354226&st=denon%20turntable&cp=1&lp=2)
I hadn't touched vinyl in decades and honestly, hadn't even been that much into music for awhile. The combination of work, kid's sports, and the abysmal selection of new music all contributed. A few months ago, my wife bought me a Sony USB turntable which was a fantastic gift...that I immediately returned to purchase a Pro-Ject Carbon. I hadn't heard either, I only knew the Carbon had been declared the de facto starter 'table by Stereophile & most reviewers. If I was going to get back in to the hobby, I wanted a solid cornerstone. The table costs $399 and does require minor assembly, however (and most importantly) the cartidge comes pre-mounted and aligned. As mentioned, there are plenty of YouTube videos that will walk you right through it, which was a blessing as I had no idea what an "anti-skid weight" was and where it went! Logic prevailed when I put it together, but it was comforting to watch the video and know I had guessed correctly. Watch a video and you'll go from opening the box to spinning tunes in 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that vinyl, for all its merits, is still a flawed delivery device. Whereas cd's are somewhat homogenous by nature, the differences between good and bad lp's are readily apparent the second you drop the needle. You've spent the money to get what I understand is a giant killer of an integrated amp, feed it the right source. You don't have to go bananas and start with a Walker Proscenium, just consider whether a cheap turntable is going to allow you to really enjoy that little bit of magic that vinyl can offer.

I can only tell you that since I plugged back into vinyl, I've managed to find time to actually sit and listen for the first time in years. The act of pulling the record out of the sheath, dusting it off, placing it on the platter, dropping the needle, and admiring the artwork and inside cover has allowed me to integrate and enjoy music in a way that I'd long forgotten. I'm also convinced my rig has never sounded better, LOL! Whatever you decide, good luck in your choice and enjoy the music.

06-20-2014, 02:13 AM
Thanks to all very much, topspeed thanks a lot for ur advice, time and thoughts, really appreciate it. Yes I too have been bogged down by family for the past few years, now found some time to do the hobby I love so much. The unfortunate thing for me is that I live in Vietnam, which is a wonderful place to live overall, but not particularly for an audio enthusiast :-D the equipment here is plus a huge tax, hence it's grossly overpriced. Also the used market here is virtually non existent. That's why I.can't audition much stuff at all. Also I rely on eBay etc. I might consider doing a trip to Singapore soon and get one. How are the new audio technics ones? I'm planning in upgrading two systems at the same time so I do have a tight budget unfortunately :-P thanks very much for all ur input, appreciate it as always

Mr Peabody
06-20-2014, 04:46 AM
In my opinion the Audio Technika wouldn't provide the level of sound quality as the Pro-Ject.

06-24-2014, 02:11 PM
Obviously, I agree with Mr. P. Pro-Ject is the way to go.