New Turntable project

Printable View

  • 02-08-2010, 10:38 AM
    harley .guy07
    2 Attachment(s)
    New Turntable project
    My father just gave me his MCS 6500 series turntable that he used years ago and said it was a good unit and better than a lot of people gave it credit for because it did not have a brand name on it due to the fact that it is a MCS(JC Penney) brand. I read an article online that said that MCS had table made for them from Pioneer,Hitachi, and several others and I heard that Hitachi made the 6500 but this is not a sure thing so if anyone nows any other info let me know.
    My plan is to replace the belt and cartridge with new ones and balance out the tonearm so when I get my cartridge I can put it on I can turn the dial to the prescribed numbers and enjoy. I know its a little dusty and needs some tlc but overall it is in excellent shape for the year made and am quite curious as to how good it will sound with a good phono pre and cartridge. Any help will be appreciated since I am kind of new to the whole vinyl thing. I have heard a lot of it but owning your own turntable is like owning a classic car, you have to know its quirks and how to tune it to make it work the best and sound the best. I am rusty on this part of it but I have heard tables like this one sound pretty good for the money spent and I have already opened the back of this thing and it looks as good as new so I think I did fine.
  • 02-08-2010, 10:59 AM
    02audionoob
    Based on the arm, I think it's got to be a Hitachi...given the small list of manufacturers to choose from (those who made MCS equipment).
  • 02-08-2010, 11:50 AM
    JoeE SP9
    Don't try to balance the arm before you have correctly installed the cartridge. If you don't have a stylus protractor for proper alignment download a free one from www.vinylengine.com .
    Proper alignment can make or break the sound of a TT. I would also recommend a gauge that accurately reads tracking force. The scale on most tonearms is very inaccurate. The Shure SFG-2 is reasonable and will last a lifetime. A good carbon fiber brush is a good thing to have also. A Diskwasher brush will suffice. They're also easier to come by.
    Later, you might consider an RCM like a Nitty Gritty or GemDandy. LP's that have been thoroughly cleaned always sound better.

    BTW:
    That's a nice looking TT. It looks like it was well cared for. The wood is especially nice.
  • 02-08-2010, 12:30 PM
    poppachubby
    Looks good harley. Let me know if you need any help.
  • 02-08-2010, 07:38 PM
    harley .guy07
    Yeah I will let you vinyl gurus know when I need help. I am going to take my time and rework this thing the right way. First of all I need a new belt. then I am going to go ahead and replace the whole cartridge and start from scratch. I will probably need help with cartridge purchase and getting the tone arm balanced right and knowing how to align the cartridge. I have heard from several people that it is a Hitachi which is fine by me since it was free and it looks like it could be a hell of a turntable with the right stuff on it and set up the right way.
  • 02-08-2010, 07:43 PM
    harley .guy07
    Hell this is the first table I have played and set up since I was very young so I might just find someone around my area that is a turntable guru to help me get it set up the first time and then learn all the tricks to keeping it in good order and sounding the best.
  • 02-08-2010, 07:43 PM
    poppachubby
    For sure. Looks like a fine table. Set a budget and list what you want to get, then we can start rcommending some gear.
  • 02-08-2010, 07:50 PM
    harley .guy07
    Well the belt is easily available from several places so I am not that worried about finding a good source for a belt but the cartridge is something else. there are so many makers and styles out there that I am on the fence which way to go. My father always put Audio technica cartridges and needles on it but I know there are a lot of options out there so help in that area would be appreciated. I just wish one of you guys lived close to me so I could bring it over and you guys could show me how to set one up since I have not been around a turntable since I was real young.
  • 02-08-2010, 08:15 PM
    harley .guy07
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Don't try to balance the arm before you have correctly installed the cartridge. If you don't have a stylus protractor for proper alignment download a free one from www.vinylengine.com .
    Proper alignment can make or break the sound of a TT. I would also recommend a gauge that accurately reads tracking force. The scale on most tonearms is very inaccurate. The Shure SFG-2 is reasonable and will last a lifetime. A good carbon fiber brush is a good thing to have also. A Diskwasher brush will suffice. They're also easier to come by.
    Later, you might consider an RCM like a Nitty Gritty or GemDandy. LP's that have been thoroughly cleaned always sound better.

    BTW:
    That's a nice looking TT. It looks like it was well cared for. The wood is especially nice.

    Well my father took real good care of his gear back then when he was in this hobby and he was surprised to hear that I wanted to fix up his ole TT and make it spin again. Maybe I can impress him with how good I can make it sound. And besides I would like to learn how to set up and care for one again since it has been so long.
  • 02-09-2010, 02:58 AM
    poppachubby
    Your dad will be floored by how great the carts sound nowadays. I'm an Ortofon man myself. You didn't say how much you want to spend harley. Anyhow, there are a couple of Orto's that are truly great at their price point.

    Ortofon OMB-10/OM-10 $64.95, this stylus is upgradable http://www.turntableneedles.com/Orto...10_p_2999.html


    Ortofon 2M Red $99.00, this stylus is upgradable http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-...hono-Cartridge


    Nagaoka MP-110 $88, sale price from $109, great deal!!!!! http://www.needledoctor.com/Nagaoka-...&category=-112


    Shure M97 XE $89, sale price from $140!! http://www.needledoctor.com/core/med...02f85b9815270d

    The Ortofons will give you a really forward sound with extended highs, great for older vinyl. The Nag and Shure are more laid back and focus on the mid more. The Shure is by far the best value on this list. I personally have all, except the Nag. You really can't go wrong with any of them, as it will be a starting point for your ears.
  • 02-09-2010, 11:28 AM
    harley .guy07
    cool I figured that ortofon was one of the better in our price class and all of those carts are din the price class that I wanted to stay in for right now since I am new again to all of this spinning plastic stuff. I believe I want to buy a preamp with theater passthrough with a phono input and try that instead of looking for a phono preamp right now because I was trying to get away from using my yamaha for a preamp for stereo use anyway. I will check out all those carts and go from there and after I pick one and get it I will probably need help doing the aligning and balancing thing on the tone arm since my father was the one to do it when I was younger and I never really got the chance.
  • 02-09-2010, 11:56 PM
    JoeE SP9
    If you want a taste of high end cartridge sound you could try a Dynavector 10X5 or a Sumiko Blue Point Special. I liked the original Blue Point so much I traded up to a Blackbird. If those are a little "pricey" I highly recommend a Denon DL-101.
    All my recommendations are high output MC carts. IMO MC carts sound better than MM. They have a more open and relaxed sound to them. The high output ones don't need the extra amp stage or a step up transformer.

    pc's suggestions are good. The 2M Red gets my vote.


    I use an Ortofon HMC30 with a Marcoff head amp for low output MC's. I have ordered a Jico SAS stylus for my old Shure V15IV. I'm looking forward to hearing it again. It's the same Shure the Telarc 1812 snapped the stylus off years ago. It's been sitting in the closet with the Micro Seiki DQ-43 I'm currently using.

    The Blackbird is my favorite of my current cartridges.
  • 02-10-2010, 07:44 AM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    ... The Shure is by far the best value on this list....

    I agree...and that's not just because of how far it's marked down from the list price. The Shure M97XE is very impressive in the sub-$100 price range. It doesn't belong at $140, though. If it really sold for that, it would have new competition..like the Audio Technica AT440MLa. As it stands, its natural competition from AT is probably the 120E ot AT95HE...

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...tegory_Code=A3

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...Code=LPGAT95HE


    The AT440MLa, just for grins...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018MBYEA
  • 02-10-2010, 11:16 AM
    harley .guy07
    I will give thought to all of your suggestions and I am going to take my time getting back into vinyl and I will probably end up like most of you guys and have several different carts by the time its all over with.