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  1. #1
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    $540 Music Hall MMF 5 turntable worth it on my system?

    Hi, I'm thinking about buying a Music Hall turntable, but before I dish out that much cash on one piece of equipment I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it would be a good investment with my current setup. Thanks.

    Harman/Kardon 3480 stereo reciever
    Onkyo DX-C390 cd changer
    left/right Polk Rti6
    Last edited by G-Zwieb; 03-13-2007 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Zwieb
    Hi, I'm thinking about buying a Music Hall turntable, but before I dish out that much cash on one piece of equipment I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it would be a good investment with my current setup. Thanks.

    Karman/Kardon 3480 stereo reciever
    Onkyo DX-C390 cd changer
    left/right Polk Rti6
    That depends...

    Think this through with me, let me know your mind...

    In the market for a TT...how much do I really want to spend? Given the current market and TTs being in sort of a niche, what is the going rate for a quality TT? What features do I want or need, i.e. pitch control, the ability to play all speeds of disks in my collection? Is it a package; is a cartridge included? Do I like it's looks? Is it available locally? Do I intend to get serious about vinyl?

    Luckily your HK has a moving magnet phono pre-amp built in so that's not an issue...unless of course a moving-coil cart is part of the deal.

    As a unit, they seem to get good "press" and I can't see any reason why your system could not support the addition, just keep in mind, these TTs are limited in their distributorship and as such will command a higher price than other units, you may want to shop around.

    jimHJJ(...just some generalities to contend with...)
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  3. #3
    nerd ericl's Avatar
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    I owned that table for a few years, I thought it was OK. For the price, i think a much better bet is the Technics SL-1200. Sounds just as good but with much better build quality, ease of use, long term durability, etc.

    If i was in the market for any TT up to $1000, I would choose the Technics without hesitation. I own an old Thorens 126mk2 now which I am happy with but I really lucked out on that one (great local deal).

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    vinyl is worth the effort, really, but it demands time, interest, care, and money...
    I don't know or you already have a vinyl collection or not, but vinyl is reasonably expensive these days (costing more than cd's, and you'll have to take care of them, and clean them once in a while).

    The technics is also a really good tt, combine it with a good cart and good...

    Keep them spinning,
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  5. #5
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    the Music Hall comes with a moving coil cartridge. Says in the HK manual that my phono inputs can only take moving magnet. Is there any way to get around that?

  6. #6
    Crank it up, dude! huh? hydroman's Avatar
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    Check the for sale area - the B&O i saw looks incredible (no price) and the DUAL is the same one i had - very good - i loved it.
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  7. #7
    nightflier
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    You'll need a phono preamp

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Zwieb
    the Music Hall comes with a moving coil cartridge. Says in the HK manual that my phono inputs can only take moving magnet. Is there any way to get around that?
    You will need a phono preamp to sit between the MMF-5 and the HK. Considering the equipment you have, I would recommend the NAD PP-2, which you can find used for around $60-80. It's a fine preamp, very easy to set up, ahd both MM and MC inputs and sounds very good to boot. It's not the high-end, of course, but will probably sound a bit better than your HK's internal MM input. But if you want to keep things under budget, the best solution is to get a good MM catridge and use the HK's built-in input. There are many excellent MM cartridges out there.

    On the turntable side, the MSRP for the MMF-5 is $499, but used it goes for around $300. I own the next model up, the MMF-7 and can't say enough good things about it. Please note that shipping of turntables is always difficult, so make sure that if you buy used, the seller has the original packaging or that you pick it up at his home.

    If you don't mind shopping around a bit, there are other great tables out there in that price range, such as the Pro-Ject Xpression and the new Rega P2. If you're willing to up your budget a notch, then there are some very nice models in the Clearaudio Emotion, the Pro-Ject RM6.1SB and Xperience tables, and the Music Hall MMF-7, which I'm a big fan of.

    That said, I've also spent some time auditioning different preamps, starting with the NAD PP2 and working my way up. A good Phono preamp adds quite a bit to the experience.

    As a side note, I also own the HK3480, although I am using it elsewhere, but it is an excellent receiver, nonetheless and should provide ample power for those speakers.

    Let us know what you decide to do.

  8. #8
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    Wow, this is really a great help. Thanks everybody. Im kind of dead set on getting that mmf 5 now after reading up on its reviews. I know almost nill about cartridges, but from what ive heard the goldring it comes with sounds great so i guess a preamp is in order. If I stepped up from that NAD would I be able to notice any real changes in sound? Thanks again.

  9. #9
    nerd ericl's Avatar
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    Sorry Nightflier, but I have to offer a different opinion on the external phono stage. Unless the HK's input is really lousy, and the external unit you are buying is really good, then I don't think it's a huge upgrade. Really nice high phono stages, yeah, they make a big difference. But for something like the NAD, i think it just might not make a noticeable difference.

    You're also adding an extra box, power supply, and set of cables to the chain, which just complicates things and introduces more margin for error. Stick with the internal phono stage for now.

  10. #10
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Wait wait wait waita minute, hold on.

    Where are you buying this table? I assum e you are buying this used since you said it comes with a moving coil deck. Which cartridge are you talking about? If the cartrdige is a high output MC, then not sure if you need an external amp. But if that table comes with a low-output MC cartrdige, then you are screwed.

    LO MC Cart - 0.2-0.8mV output and will require about 52-65db gain.
    HO MC Cart - 0.8mV to 5mV output and will require about 36-52db gain from phono.


    btw, didn't that receiver earn Class C recommendation from one of those magazines?
    Last edited by jrhymeammo; 03-13-2007 at 05:22 PM.

  11. #11
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    Scratch that... I guess i misread. The mmf 5 has a moving magnet not a moving coil i believe. It says it comes with a mounted Goldring 1012GX cartridge. Does that sound right to you guys? If thats the case I guess I wont be needing a preamp after all. Oh and could someone tell me what it means to have a class C reciever? By the way the TT is not used. I found it on froogle for about a hundred bucks cheaper than the regular price but it says new.

  12. #12
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Goldring puts out 6.5mV(I believe) so you shouldnt have any problems driving with your receiver/phono stage. 6.5mV is pretty darn hefty.

    Stereophile magazine rates equipments in A, B, C, and......Recommendated(I think) ratings.

    They dont mean much most of the time. But, if you can get your hands on some A rated items, then chances are, your system sounds pretty good. Just let your ears decide.

  13. #13
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    It...

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Zwieb
    Oh and could someone tell me what it means to have a class C reciever?...
    ...all depends...Where does it say it's a Class C receiver?

    Also there was some misleading info re: phono pre-amps given...If you already have "Phono-in" jacks (which your HK does) it already applies the boost and RIAA equalization required by the cart...All you need to use a MC cart is a pre-pre or head amp which will apply the required boost to interface with thr HKs inputs...If you were to use something like the NAD unit (which is used as an outboard device for gear that does not have phono inputs) it has both boost and EQing, it would need to be plugged into an "AUXL" input as it would be redundant, overdriving the "Phono" inputs and applying double the bass-boost (BTW this is not a good thing)...

    jimHJJ(...just some info...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  14. #14
    nightflier
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    Nad Pp2

    Quote Originally Posted by ericl
    Sorry Nightflier, but I have to offer a different opinion on the external phono stage. Unless the HK's input is really lousy, and the external unit you are buying is really good, then I don't think it's a huge upgrade. Really nice high phono stages, yeah, they make a big difference. But for something like the NAD, i think it just might not make a noticeable difference.

    You're also adding an extra box, power supply, and set of cables to the chain, which just complicates things and introduces more margin for error. Stick with the internal phono stage for now.
    I agree that adding an extra box is problematic, and for the MMF5 with factory cartridge, this may not be necessary at all. I haven't tested the HK3480's phono input, so it may very well be of good quality. HKs in the past certainly never disappointed me, so I'll presume that they are still as good. That said, the NAD did improve on other preamps I have tried over the years, including my venerable B&K PT3, an Adcom GTP-450, and others. In some cases it was slight, perhaps even a question of preference, but it did sound better to my ears.

    But if it's not needed for the MMF5 & factory cartridge, then by all means use the internal one of the HK3480. The simpler, the better.

  15. #15
    Crank it up, dude! huh? hydroman's Avatar
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    My NAD preamp phono input has a ' MM/MC ' switch - does yours?
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  16. #16
    nightflier
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    Yup

    Quote Originally Posted by hydroman
    My NAD preamp phono input has a ' MM/MC ' switch - does yours?
    I think all NAD PP2s have the same configuration.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    the goldring is MM

    no additional electronics required. you should be quite happy with your mmf and there is no big money involved with vinyl. used vinyl is WAY cheeeeper than used CD and for a buck, one can take a lot of chances.

    i feel that vinyl is one of the most affordable parts of my system. i have acquired about 6k pieces of vinyl over the 30 years of being here in socal, most for cheeeep.

    just keep the records clean and also the stylus. search here and at the audioasylum.com for cleaning methods. for the stylus, search the magic eraser (i use it, its the best and follow that cleaning with a swipe of the discwasher sc2 brush or stylast brush. be sure to search for good methods at AA.

    have fun and enjoy a great part of the audio hobby.
    ...regards...tr

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