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Posted: 11/1/2009 8:34:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 8:36:53 PM EST by Wheelie]
I'm thinking about collecting vinyl and will need an entry level system to play it on that will sould good.

I have no idea where to start......Lets keep it under 2K for the moment..

edit, tube amps only...
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 4:15:18 PM EST
Tube phono preamp.


Tube amplifier.


JBL dual 15 bass bin, Altec 511B horns w/ Altec 902 drivers, 100dB/watt


Paladin
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 4:19:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:44:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 8:26:31 AM EST by A_Free_Man]
Originally Posted By Wheelie:
I'm thinking about collecting vinyl and will need an entry level system to play it on that will sould good.

I have no idea where to start......Lets keep it under 2K for the moment..

edit, tube amps only...


OK, I'll school you...

(1) They are called records, or LP's. And if I catch you playing "DJ" and going "zippy zippy" with good records I'll kick your butt! Oh, speaking of DJ... avoid anything that is marketed to the DJ crowd. Never buy a "DJ cartridge". The stylii are not correctly shaped for audiophile records and the tracking force is way to high.

(2) You aren't going to get a tube amp and decent turntable for $2k, though I do have some suggestions.

(3) Along with a decent, not necessarily expensive turntable you need a good cartridge, too.

Back to (2) above... don't drink the tube koolaid. Nothing wrong with good solid state gear. Some newer receivers, or integrated amps don't have a phono preamp section. You may need to look at some older gear. I like Onkyo products myself, but there are plenty of good receivers to chose from.

Unless you are an FM enthusiast, and want to pick up some dx, or a lot of strong locals in a large metro area, a nice receiver will do. You can leave the separates to buy when you know more about this stuff. Personally, I have two nice receivers (three systems, one main, one bedroom, one shop), each 80 watts per channel, another receiver at 105 watts per channel I'm not using now. I have a great 150 w/ch Onkyo amp, preamp, and tuner for my main system.

For now, just get a good receiver that has a phono section. Anything over 60 watts should do well for you.

Put as much money into speakers as all the rest of your system combined. A $10 transistor radio played through $1000 speakers will sound much better than the world's best gear played through $100 speakers.

Another thing about tubes... many of the tube amps are very low power. They require very large, very high efficiency speakers (SPL in the 98-104+db range), specifically, horns, or a ported bass section and horns on top.

Now, an entry level turntable... without a doubt, get on ebay or other places, look for nice Technics turntables. While some will tell you to buy belt drive, Technics had the direct drive thing down pat. My turntables are direct drive. They will run for years with just a drop or two of oil on the bearing every few years. The turntables with a D in the model are direct drive. The ones with a B are belt drive. OK, if you buy a belt drive go to [www.turntableneedles.com[/url] and order some extra belts. You can get a pkg of 3 for not much more than a single belt.

http://www.vinylengine.com/ Lots of info here, read up.

Don't buy a "linear drive" turntable. Complicated mechanism that can screw up with wear and tear. Get a turntable with an S-shaped arm. OK, I have my reasons.

Make sure whoever ships to you knows how to pack a turntable properly.

http://www.sonicperfectionists.com/TTPacking.htm Feel free to send a shipper this link.

While there are a lot of good turntables that accept "P-mount" cartridges, let me advise you to buy one with "1/2" mount".

Cartridges... Shure is almost out of the cartridge business, but you are still in luck. There is a way to assemble a darn good cartridge.

Buy a lowly Shure M92E. This cart can be used with either 1/2" or P-mount tonearms. You can buy an M92E for about $25.00.

Save the included stylus for crappy records, set it aside for now.

Order this, it plugs right in:

http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LG&Product_Code=RSR16X

The photo is wrong. It's a similar stylus, but not quite. Just order that and you'll get the correct stylus.

You have now assembled a cartridge/stylus that is very near to the Shure M111E. That was just below the famous top of the line V15-V cartridge. This combo will cost you about the same as the best price you can get for a M97xE, but with a better stylus.

I'm an occasional columnist for an audio magazine, so call bs if you want, but you asked for some "schooling".


ETA: OK you other guys, note that the OP said, "an entry level system".
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:03:25 PM EST

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:05:45 PM EST
Save your money, vinyl sucks compared to everything else.

/thread.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:06:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Save your money, vinyl sucks compared to everything else.

/thread.


Ahem... NO.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:09:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:09:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:17:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By N1Rampage:
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Save your money, vinyl sucks compared to everything else.

/thread.


Ahem... NO.

Eh, in a lot of ways it does. Let's be honest.

You ever had to move a couple hundred LPs?
Storage, care, and transport... the big reason I love CDs and digital formats.

Vinyl is cool, I just don't feel it's worth the bother. Explore SACD, and DVD-A instead.
Also consider your home theater with concert DVDs or BluRay .... can beat the living daylights outta Quadraphonic!
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:29:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By PALADIN-hgwt:
100dB/watt


Hmm, 100 dB SPL per watt...So, at 100 watts, it produces 10,000 dB?

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:47:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By PALADIN-hgwt:
100dB/watt


Hmm, 100 dB SPL per watt...So, at 100 watts, it produces 10,000 dB?



I imagine that he meant 100db measured 1 meter away with 1 watt of input power.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:00:00 PM EST
Nope, if he'd meant that, he would have posted 100 dB @ 1 Watt @ 1 Meter...

I've got an amplifier that's capable of putting a KW into an 8 ohm load (given a REALLY solid AC mains supply!!!) - So where I can buy a speaker that will produce 100,000 dB SPL?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 12:47:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Rega P3


+1
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:51:40 AM EST


That's what you consider a "Starter System"...damn....

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:01:19 AM EST
If you're serious, I have a friend who has a cabinet phonograph that looks like it was built in the 1960s, and just last night he was talking about selling it. It's your classic old-school cabinet system with stereo speakers, amplifier, and phonograph built into a nice piece of wood furniture. It's not high tech, but if you get it working, it'll give you a nice, warm, old-school sound that I absolutely love.

The turntable spins, the speakers work, and the reverb knob all work, but the needle's shot. At least, I think that's the problem––you can spin a record on the platter and you will get sound, but it sounds like the record is just a series of deep scratches. You get "fuzz" instead of what's on the record. Anyway, that's an option if you're into the retro feel of how we used to listen to music in the analog days. I have no idea how much he would want, or if he's even decided to sell them, but if that's something you might be interested in, PM me and I'll get in touch with the guy.

If you want a more modern experience, I have a pair of Techniques 1200s (silver), which is what you'll find many (if not most) professional DJs using. I'm not sure that I want to sell them, but I never use them anymore, so I might be able to be talked into parting with them.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:26:58 AM EST
Good vinyl > Redbook CD

... by a long shot. There is a lot of detail missing on CDs and especially MP3 recordings.

Tubes are an expensive habit, much like crack. Solid state nowadays is very good. Rare to find receivers with phono pre-amps. Try HK.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:34:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 2:45:51 AM EST by gus]
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Save your money, vinyl sucks compared to everything else.

/thread.


Yep, at least everything that isn't compressed out the wazzu like MP3 files. Compared to straight CD's (properly mastered), vinyl cannot hold a candle to digital. It's a free country so by all means don't hesitate to waste your money though...

click..pop.....click..pop.....click..pop..... Man that sounds good!!



ETA: If anybody's really interested I have a mint condition ADC turntable with a brand new Shure V15 Type V MR cartridge that I'd be happy to sell - only $1000!! It's certainly worth it simply because it's analog!!!!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:41:22 AM EST
LPs are noiseless when you get them, for all intents and purposes. It's a lack of care that adds the clicks and pops. Cleaning them properly with a GOOD
cleaning system will help keep them clean and noiseless.

Rega, Music Hall, Thorens, Clearaudio, and Cambridge Audio all make turntables that might fit in your budget but are all unquestionably very good units.

The tube amp will be the killer. There are no cheap tube amps that work. Your budget is not big enough to achieve your goals.


CJ
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:55:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 4:59:19 AM EST by gus]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
LPs are noiseless when you get them, for all intents and purposes. It's a lack of care that adds the clicks and pops. Cleaning them properly with a GOOD
cleaning system will help keep them clean and noiseless.
CJ


Take the grills off your speakers and play a brand new and thus "noiseless" vinyl album. See those woofers pumping in and out, even when there's no music playing? That's called rumble and is a form of distortion that begins the moment the needle hits the groove. The only cure is a low frequency cut-off filter, except now you have no deep bass. In fact, the amount of deep bass is necessarily limited on vinyl to begin with since the needle can only track so much movement. God forbid someone walks across your wood floor while the record is playing....

That is just one of MANY limitations of mechanical playback (vinyl records) that cannot be overcome. It's bad enough that the recording industry had to come up with the "RIAA Equalization Curve" for records just so they could play bass reliably without skipping. Now to retrieve an accurate signal out of the record, your pre-amp (or whatever contains the phono preamp in your particular system) must have an exactly calibrated RIAA equalizer that perfectly matches the one used in mastering the album or you wind up with inaccuracies in frequency response. Unless your preamp is exactly matched to the one used on that particular record, you have another insurmountable form of distortion. Not ONE phono pre-amp out there can say it's perfectly matched since they also used different pre-emphasis eq's on every album.

Nope, it is scientifically impossible that vinyl records could be superior to digital. You can say that you "like the sound of vinyl better", but you cannot accurately say "vinyl sounds better". If you think you can you're fooling yourself.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:05:14 AM EST
Ya know, you can get a Dynaco stereo 70 on fleabay for a good price. They actually sound great when 2 of them are used for a system (gets you enough power to keep the distortion down). Find a good used turntable and a tube preamp with conventional RIAA equalization.

Newer amps have modified the RIAA equalization and it sounds crummy.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:06:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 5:31:45 AM EST by pazzo]
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By PALADIN-hgwt:
100dB/watt


Hmm, 100 dB SPL per watt...So, at 100 watts, it produces 10,000 dB?



100 dB at 1 watt equates to about 120 db at 100 watts: There is a 3 dB increase per doubling of power.

ETA: This is a good site for equipment: http://www.needledoctor.com/


Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:16:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 5:23:03 AM EST by nightstalker]
Project X makes a nice entry level turntable ($379) and decent phono pre-amp. (not tube).


Get Acoustic Sounds Catalog for the listing of Vinyl albums and also for equipment write-ups.


Edit, like CM Johnson said, you're not going anywhere near tubes for $2K for the whole setup. I've got a Rotel 90watt per channel stereo amp and a Rotel 5 channel at roughly the same power and they sound pretty musical to me but are not tubes.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:21:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 5:22:06 AM EST by gus]
I'm also always amused that most of the people buying those silly doodads like wooden volume control knobs(several hundred dollars), high end ($100+) electrical wall outlets, and thousands of dollars worth of speaker cables and interconnects, are the very same folks that swear that vinyl is superior.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:43:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
LPs are noiseless when you get them, for all intents and purposes. It's a lack of care that adds the clicks and pops. Cleaning them properly with a GOOD
cleaning system will help keep them clean and noiseless.

Rega, Music Hall, Thorens, Clearaudio, and Cambridge Audio all make turntables that might fit in your budget but are all unquestionably very good units.

The tube amp will be the killer. There are no cheap tube amps that work. Your budget is not big enough to achieve your goals.


CJ


Good info from cmjohnson.

I don't know much about the tube side of the fence, but I agree you do not have the budget to get anything worth while. Tube audio is usually something you move into once you have knowledge and money (mostly money).

Nothing wrong with starting out with solid state. However I do recommend a separate phono preamp for a modern solid state receiver/amp even if the receiver/amp has a phono input. Modern phono inputs tend to be crap and are there only for convenience.

The turntables cmjohnson recommended are a very good place to start shopping. I would however include the Technics 1200MKII series as well. There are several variants. The original MKII, then 1200M3D, 1200MK5, and the latest 1210M5G which is what I have. The M5G has an upgraded tonearm and wiring. I highly recommend buying new. Buying used turntables is like playing Russian roulette with one empty chamber (Turntables are either beat to crap from DJ'ing and/or are never packaged right for shipping).

There will be the whole belt vs. direct drive argument. Which is equal to AR vs AK, 9 vs 45, and so on. They both do the same thing in a different way. Technics DD have been around for well over 30 years. But that is a choice you will need to make. I will say this. The 1200MKII series is a safe bet. They are reliable, well built, easy to use TTs that will last over 30 + years.

Carts is a whole other can of worms. Audio Technica, Shure, Denon, Benz Micro, Grado. The list goes on. A budget of $250 will get you a very nice cart. A budget of $100 will get you a decent cart. Of course you can drop several Gs for a cart if you want, but at or under $250 gets you in the game.

Check out the forums at audiokarma.org. There are plenty of people will help you get started. No one will argue why you want to go to vinyl or tube amps. They all get it.

My two current turntables. The Technics is in my home office and the Denon is connected to my surround sound system in the living room.

Technics 1210M5G with a Denon DL-160 cart


Denon 47F with a Denon DL-110



Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:17:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By gus:
I'm also always amused that most of the people buying those silly doodads like wooden volume control knobs(several hundred dollars), high end ($100+) electrical wall outlets, and thousands of dollars worth of speaker cables and interconnects, are the very same folks that swear that vinyl is superior.


It's really starting to look as if you are following this thread with the sole intention of causing problems. Perhaps you should start a new thread denigrating "audiophiles" so that this one doesn't get cluttered up? That might be fun...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:24:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By XterraJohn:
Originally Posted By gus:
I'm also always amused that most of the people buying those silly doodads like wooden volume control knobs(several hundred dollars), high end ($100+) electrical wall outlets, and thousands of dollars worth of speaker cables and interconnects, are the very same folks that swear that vinyl is superior.


It's really starting to look as if you are following this thread with the sole intention of causing problems. Perhaps you should start a new thread denigrating "audiophiles" so that this one doesn't get cluttered up? That might be fun...


Nope, I've said my piece, called a spade a spade, and I'm done. Carry on!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:24:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 8:13:04 AM EST by gus]
double tap...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:18:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By Wheelie:
I'm thinking about collecting vinyl and will need an entry level system to play it on that will sould good.

I have no idea where to start......Lets keep it under 2K for the moment..

edit, tube amps only...


You'll probably not be able to do even an entry level tube amp or integrated amp, with a turntable and speakers for $2,000. Even buying used. $3000-$5000 would probably do it.

Like the fellow above mentioned, Rega P3 packages can be had for under a grand, with tonearm and a decent MM cartridge. Music Hall also is another brand to consider for budget TTs. This however, is half of your $2000 and you'd still need a amp with preamp and phono stage, or an integrated amp with phono stage and finally, speakers, interconnects and speaker wire.

If you really knew what you were doing and didn't mind buying used gear, you could probably get close to a listenable system for $2k, but tube equipment is like a nice boat or exotic car, in that it takes some maintenance to keep running vs. SS power.

This being said, I'm a tube guy and have a very nice vinyl rig. I kept all of my records growing up.

Chris









Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:32:33 AM EST
You could afford a tube amp for some nice headphones. I'm a 'phone freak. You would be amazed at what kind of headphone system you could get for 2K. Computer (Foobar playing FLACs)->Off Board DAC->Tube Amp (check out Woo Audio)->Headphones.

I also think Gus and I would get along famously
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:03:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 8:06:55 AM EST by Green_Canoe]
Originally Posted By cujet:
Ya know, you can get a Dynaco stereo 70 on fleabay for a good price. They actually sound great when 2 of them are used for a system (gets you enough power to keep the distortion down). Find a good used turntable and a tube preamp with conventional RIAA equalization.

Newer amps have modified the RIAA equalization and it sounds crummy.


I wasn't going to weigh in as I'm a tube guitar amp guy not a tube stereo guy, but since Dynaco has been brought up...

I have used Dynaco and Heathkit monoblock amps as the starting points for some of my guitar amp builds. You can pick up some pretty good amps (from my point of view) on ebay for $300 -$500 each. Some classic power amps you might look at are the Dynaco Mark III or the Heathkit W-7A or W-5M. This would give you $600 - $1k into power amps leaving $1K - $1.4K for the turntable, preamp, and speakers. (Still pretty tough I'd guess.)

I've got a pair of Heathkit AA-91s (same as the W-7A, just different cosmetics) I was going to use as slave amps for my wife's bass. If you're are interested in them, drop me an IM.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:12:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 10:13:57 AM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By pazzo:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By PALADIN-hgwt:
100dB/watt


Hmm, 100 dB SPL per watt...So, at 100 watts, it produces 10,000 dB?



100 dB at 1 watt equates to about 120 db at 100 watts: There is a 3 dB increase per doubling of power.


Yes, we're all familiar with the relationship between power and dBs, but PALADIN claims to have a speaker which produces 100 dB per watt - i.e., an additional 100 dB of SPL for every additional watt of input.

Where can I buy one of those physics-defying speakers?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:33:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By Danner130:
Save your money, vinyl sucks compared to everything else.

/thread.

......................
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 11:46:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By gus:


Take the grills off your speakers and play a brand new and thus "noiseless" vinyl album. See those woofers pumping in and out, even when there's no music playing? That's called rumble and is a form of distortion that begins the moment the needle hits the groove. The only cure is a low frequency cut-off filter, except now you have no deep bass. In fact, the amount of deep bass is necessarily limited on vinyl to begin with since the needle can only track so much movement. God forbid someone walks across your wood floor while the record is playing....

That is just one of MANY limitations of mechanical playback (vinyl records) that cannot be overcome. It's bad enough that the recording industry had to come up with the "RIAA Equalization Curve" for records just so they could play bass reliably without skipping. Now to retrieve an accurate signal out of the record, your pre-amp (or whatever contains the phono preamp in your particular system) must have an exactly calibrated RIAA equalizer that perfectly matches the one used in mastering the album or you wind up with inaccuracies in frequency response. Unless your preamp is exactly matched to the one used on that particular record, you have another insurmountable form of distortion. Not ONE phono pre-amp out there can say it's perfectly matched since they also used different pre-emphasis eq's on every album.

Nope, it is scientifically impossible that vinyl records could be superior to digital. You can say that you "like the sound of vinyl better", but you cannot accurately say "vinyl sounds better". If you think you can you're fooling yourself.
There is a certain amount of FAILure in these comments.

While what you are saying IS true of "consumer grade" record grinders, it is NOT true of better grade turntables which utilize better vibration dampening/isolation systems. One of the
things that make good turntables expensive and VERY good turntables VERY expensive is that they are more comprehensively engineered to minimize all mechanically induced sonic
artifacts.

Of course, you have to do your part, too. Setting up your turntable in the middle of your second floor living room, in a wood frame house, and it's a large room, is hardly conducive
to best vibration management. But if you're sitting it on a solid platform on concrete basement floor, you don't have as much to worry about.

Visible pumping of speaker cones is due to SUBSONIC, non-musical rumble that can be cut out completely, for all intents and purposes, by suitable and audibly transparent subsonic
filters. It's no big deal and doesn't have any impact on sound quality with the subsonic filter engaged, unless you have the low end hearing response of an elephant or a blue whale.


As for the argument that LP sound reproduction is inferior to CD for technical reasons, I understand Nyquist's Information Theorem VERY well indeed. Hell, I've only been working
and playing in the field of electronics, from DC to damn near daylight, for about thirty years now. I sort of know my way around a circuit, both in practical and theoretical aspects,
and I can tell you that I'm in the camp that firmly believes that the alleged hearing response curve of a young adult, described as being nominally from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, may be
accurate as far as it goes but it does no take into consideration some aspects of our hearing system that are at best difficult to pin down.

There is a considerable body of evidence to support the belief that human hearing does not end at 20,000 Hz, and that the supersonic information contained above 20,000 Hz, while
not directly audible in hearing tests, is still a stimulus that the ear and brain are able to respond to, and music doesn't sound quite natural if those supersonic overtones which are
part and parcel of the output spectra of many instruments, including but not limited to drums, cymbals, percussion, string, and brass instruments, are not present in the recording
and being reproduced by the playback system.

There are people who adhere to the belief that 16 bit 44.1 KHz sampling (Red Book CD audio spec) is sufficient to fully capture all perceptible sound that the human ear can discern,
but I'm not one of them. If this were true, then 48 KHz/24 bit, 96 KHz/24 bit, and 192 KHz/24 bit sampling would NOT result in any perceptible sound quality differences, but,
time and time again, when live music is sampled at ALL mentioned rates and played back at that same data rate, almost every single time, any person with normal hearing, and
who doesn't even have to be an audiophile, will state that the higher bit rate recording sounds better even in a single or double blind listening test.

Full bandwidth, uncompressed 24/192 is a revelation. Done right, it's like you're the microphone in the studio. (Assuming you have a suitably good playback system.) It's High Definition
for audio, and it IS a perceptible and worthwhile improvement. It sounds like the BEST aspects of vinyl records, WITHOUT the shortcomings that I freely admit ARE part and parcel of
the experience that is the vinyl LP.

Red Book CD quality is good. But by NO means is it sufficient to fully engage the human hearing system at its maximum perceptive capacity.


My opinion on the electronics side of the playback system heavily favors top quality solid state gear. I run Krell amps, myself. In part because I got them very cheaply, but I had
to rebuild them. They'd been in a house fire. They had not been burned but they had been hosed down with the fire. They required a considerable amount of corrosion control and
very thorough cleaning.

I want the electronics to be faithfully accurate to the incoming signal. And I want the incoming signal to be excellent. I don't want the amplifier to contribute "tubey warmth and
sweetness", I just want it to amplify without changing anything but the level of the incoming signal.


CJ


CJ


Link Posted: 11/3/2009 11:48:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By Khemist:
You could afford a tube amp for some nice headphones. I'm a 'phone freak. You would be amazed at what kind of headphone system you could get for 2K. Computer (Foobar playing FLACs)->Off Board DAC->Tube Amp (check out Woo Audio)->Headphones.

I also think Gus and I would get along famously


I also love good cans. Sennheiser HD-600s are on my head almost every evening.


CJ

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:06:23 PM EST
I scanned what most above me wrote.

I've spent a good bit of coin on audio, these are my opinions, your experiences may vary.

I had comparable systems (none, state of the art, but good class B to low class A Stereophole type stuff (back when Stereophile's reviews meant something)) playing several tracks on each of redbook, SACD, and vinyl simultaneoulsy, and to to anyone that stepped in the room, vinly was always the clear preference.

It may, or may not be worth the trouble. Wadia makes a really nifty processor for the IPOD that, with a good DAC, can get great quality from this format.
Redbook, while most consider it outdated, and few would debate that the format is flawed, is only recently being used to its full potential, both in getting music onto the discs, and back out of the land of ones and zeros.

SACD is basically a dead format. Sure, its out there, but come on.

Things are moving toward digital, but right now you're not able to purchase pre-recorded music on any format that will sound better on any system that money can build, than a well-put together analog based rig.

I'd pick up an audio advisor catalog, call them, tell them how much you have to play with, and let them guide you into an easily upgradeable analog rig.

If you spend a couple hundred on vinyl, and $500 or so on a starter system and hate it, I bet you can recoup 80% of that, if not more. But if you love it, watch out. I know BRD is tough to shake, but if Audiophilia takes hold, you just might end up explaining to your friends why you have $50 per foot speaker cable resting gracefully in ceramic towers as they travel from your single ended triode tube amp to your $5000 monitors.

you have been warned.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:21:51 PM EST
digital FTW
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:31:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By Wheelie:
I'm thinking about collecting vinyl and will need an entry level system to play it on that will sould good.

I have no idea where to start......Lets keep it under 2K for the moment..

edit, tube amps only...


OK, I'll school you...

(1) They are called records, or LP's. And if I catch you playing "DJ" and going "zippy zippy" with good records I'll kick your butt! Oh, speaking of DJ... avoid anything that is marketed to the DJ crowd. Never buy a "DJ cartridge". The stylii are not correctly shaped for audiophile records and the tracking force is way to high.

(2) You aren't going to get a tube amp and decent turntable for $2k, though I do have some suggestions.

(3) Along with a decent, not necessarily expensive turntable you need a good cartridge, too.

Back to (2) above... don't drink the tube koolaid. Nothing wrong with good solid state gear. Some newer receivers, or integrated amps don't have a phono preamp section. You may need to look at some older gear. I like Onkyo products myself, but there are plenty of good receivers to chose from.

Unless you are an FM enthusiast, and want to pick up some dx, or a lot of strong locals in a large metro area, a nice receiver will do. You can leave the separates to buy when you know more about this stuff. Personally, I have two nice receivers (three systems, one main, one bedroom, one shop), each 80 watts per channel, another receiver at 105 watts per channel I'm not using now. I have a great 150 w/ch Onkyo amp, preamp, and tuner for my main system.

For now, just get a good receiver that has a phono section. Anything over 60 watts should do well for you.

Put as much money into speakers as all the rest of your system combined. A $10 transistor radio played through $1000 speakers will sound much better than the world's best gear played through $100 speakers.

Another thing about tubes... many of the tube amps are very low power. They require very large, very high efficiency speakers (SPL in the 98-104+db range), specifically, horns, or a ported bass section and horns on top.

Now, an entry level turntable... without a doubt, get on ebay or other places, look for nice Technics turntables. While some will tell you to buy belt drive, Technics had the direct drive thing down pat. My turntables are direct drive. They will run for years with just a drop or two of oil on the bearing every few years. The turntables with a D in the model are direct drive. The ones with a B are belt drive. OK, if you buy a belt drive go to [www.turntableneedles.com[/url] and order some extra belts. You can get a pkg of 3 for not much more than a single belt.

http://www.vinylengine.com/ Lots of info here, read up.

Don't buy a "linear drive" turntable. Complicated mechanism that can screw up with wear and tear. Get a turntable with an S-shaped arm. OK, I have my reasons.

Make sure whoever ships to you knows how to pack a turntable properly.

http://www.sonicperfectionists.com/TTPacking.htm Feel free to send a shipper this link.

While there are a lot of good turntables that accept "P-mount" cartridges, let me advise you to buy one with "1/2" mount".

Cartridges... Shure is almost out of the cartridge business, but you are still in luck. There is a way to assemble a darn good cartridge.

Buy a lowly Shure M92E. This cart can be used with either 1/2" or P-mount tonearms. You can buy an M92E for about $25.00.

Save the included stylus for crappy records, set it aside for now.

Order this, it plugs right in:

http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LG&Product_Code=RSR16X

The photo is wrong. It's a similar stylus, but not quite. Just order that and you'll get the correct stylus.

You have now assembled a cartridge/stylus that is very near to the Shure M111E. That was just below the famous top of the line V15-V cartridge. This combo will cost you about the same as the best price you can get for a M97xE, but with a better stylus.

I'm an occasional columnist for an audio magazine, so call bs if you want, but you asked for some "schooling".





Where can I get a stylus for a V15 Type III?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:58:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:03:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:04:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
CJ




I'd respond (and I could), but I've been booted from the thread for causing trouble.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:27:02 PM EST
It's OK.

I don't buy wooden volume knobs.

I don't buy expensive speaker cables unless I get them for the same price as cheap cables.

I don't go for cable elevators, Shakti stones, green pens for CDs, or all sorts of other pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo bullshit that doesn't work.
My amp power cables came from the accessory packages that came with new Sun workstations. Heavy 12 gauge cables with good quality connectors,
but absolutely nothing special other than their large wire gauge. I got them for free. I make my own interconnects by braiding up 22 ga. stranded
silver plated, teflon insulated mil-spec hookup wire and adding locking connectors. I got a stash of the wire for free so the cost of the cables is just what
the connectors cost. They sound as good as any high dollar interconnect I ever tried, and DO sound better than really cheap cables. That was VERY evident.

What I do go for is equipment that simply works reliably, and outputs a faithful representation of what's on the source, whatever it might be. The equipment that
measures closest to technically perfect, within my budgetary constraints, is likely to be appreciated by me. And I like the equipment to have some versatility
in the way it can be hooked up.

I'm running a 22 year old Pioneer Elite series preamp (C90) in my stereo system. Because it's totally reliable, almost totally silent (crank it up all the way with no input
signal and you don't hear any hiss from the speakers even close up), and it has 10 inputs and four loops to work with. That flexibility works in a complicated system
like mine. I've had innumerable opportunities to "upgrade" to a newer preamp for little money, and have even tried it, but I always return to this good old Pioneer
unit because it does everything better than anything else I've tried yet.

I want my amps to be hugely powerful with immense headroom and phenomenal ability to deliver current, as my speakers (Aerial Acoustics 10ts, rated Stereophile
Class A, Joint Loudspeaker of the Year, 1996) are not very efficient and can take a lot of power to drive.

I chose my speakers simply because when I first heard them, they smoked me in place. I truly had never heard reproduced sound like that before! Though they
were out of my price range, I was able to pick them up on the used market about two years after I'd first heard them....the same exact pair, as a matter of fact!
I own the demo pair that blew me away!

I'm very skeptical of many things about the audiophile world, like you are. But I also know that there IS a lot to it. When smart people set out to build BETTER products,
and have the budget to support their goals, they will generally succeed. And there will be those who are willing to pay for it, regardless of whether or not they themselves
are really all that smart.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 2:19:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 2:25:22 AM EST by gus]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
It's OK.

I don't buy wooden volume knobs.

I don't buy expensive speaker cables unless I get them for the same price as cheap cables.

I don't go for cable elevators, Shakti stones, green pens for CDs, or all sorts of other pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo bullshit that doesn't work.
My amp power cables came from the accessory packages that came with new Sun workstations. Heavy 12 gauge cables with good quality connectors,
but absolutely nothing special other than their large wire gauge. I got them for free. I make my own interconnects by braiding up 22 ga. stranded
silver plated, teflon insulated mil-spec hookup wire and adding locking connectors. I got a stash of the wire for free so the cost of the cables is just what
the connectors cost. They sound as good as any high dollar interconnect I ever tried, and DO sound better than really cheap cables. That was VERY evident.

What I do go for is equipment that simply works reliably, and outputs a faithful representation of what's on the source, whatever it might be. The equipment that
measures closest to technically perfect, within my budgetary constraints, is likely to be appreciated by me. And I like the equipment to have some versatility
in the way it can be hooked up.

I'm running a 22 year old Pioneer Elite series preamp (C90) in my stereo system. Because it's totally reliable, almost totally silent (crank it up all the way with no input
signal and you don't hear any hiss from the speakers even close up), and it has 10 inputs and four loops to work with. That flexibility works in a complicated system
like mine. I've had innumerable opportunities to "upgrade" to a newer preamp for little money, and have even tried it, but I always return to this good old Pioneer
unit because it does everything better than anything else I've tried yet.

I want my amps to be hugely powerful with immense headroom and phenomenal ability to deliver current, as my speakers (Aerial Acoustics 10ts, rated Stereophile
Class A, Joint Loudspeaker of the Year, 1996) are not very efficient and can take a lot of power to drive.

I chose my speakers simply because when I first heard them, they smoked me in place. I truly had never heard reproduced sound like that before! Though they
were out of my price range, I was able to pick them up on the used market about two years after I'd first heard them....the same exact pair, as a matter of fact!
I own the demo pair that blew me away!

I'm very skeptical of many things about the audiophile world, like you are. But I also know that there IS a lot to it. When smart people set out to build BETTER products,
and have the budget to support their goals, they will generally succeed. And there will be those who are willing to pay for it, regardless of whether or not they themselves
are really all that smart.

CJ


See, we're in complete agreement on all of the above, and we're in agreement on amps (tubes vs ss). I have nothing to say bad about tube amps other than the high cost. But look at all the expense and trouble you have to go through to get a vinyl album to play well enough to even approach a well recorded digital track. Also, the biggest problems reported with CD's came early after their introduction and can be traced to two simple causes. First, the early CD players used an analog RLC "brick wall" filter to eliminate high frequency aliasing artifacts, and that filter caused all sorts of phase weirdness that affected imaging. Modern CD players don't have that issue as the anti-aliasing is either taken care of digitally (no phase effects), or is addressed by cranking up the sampling frequency to the point where any aliasing noise is completely out of band. The other problem with early CD's was that in many cases the record companies simply dumped their latest RIAA equalized master tapes onto CD's without de-emhasis, or in other cases they ran it through de-emphasis before digitizing it (the better approach would be to use a source that had never had the RIAA phono eq applied to begin with). CD's more recently released (after 1990 or so) or older CD's that have now been correctly re-mastered don't have that issue.

I have no problem with someone that loves vinyl and is willing to go to the considerable expense and hassle of making the format perform at its highest potential. It's a hobby, a labor of love, and some people enjoy all of that as a part of their audiophile experience. I get that. Also, there will always be some old material that has never been available in a digital form (which is why I too own a turntable).

As an electrical engineer I know that there is no physically possible way that the best vinyl LP on the highest quality gear is superior to the best CD recording played on modern, quality equipment. It just isn't possible.

OK, I'm done again.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 8:15:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Nope, if he'd meant that, he would have posted 100 dB @ 1 Watt @ 1 Meter...

I've got an amplifier that's capable of putting a KW into an 8 ohm load (given a REALLY solid AC mains supply!!!) - So where I can buy a speaker that will produce 100,000 dB SPL?



I was referring SPL rating of speakers, 100 db @ 1 w @ 1 meter. High efficiency speakers.

As opposed to, for example, the typical bookshelf speaker with an SPL of 85 db @ 1 w @ 1 meter. To sound produce a sound level of 100 db (which the big speaker can do with 1 watt) that little speaker would require 32 watts of power.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 8:23:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 8:49:27 AM EST by A_Free_Man]
My main system currently is:

Technics SL-D2 turntable, like new.
Shure M111E cartridge and stylus. Other carts include (2) Realistic/Shure RXT6, Shure 1000E, which are all the same as the M111E.

Onkyo P3200 Preamp
Onkyo T4500 Tuner, with filter mods (new Murata low loss 180 khz wide mode and 150 khz filters narrow mode filters).
Antenna - Antennacraft FM6 for FM, MTM Scientific loop for AM
Onkyo M5160 Power Amp - 150 wpc.
Onkyo DX-C370 CD Changer
Speakerlab (prototype similar to Super 7) built from sketches and schematic from their designer Dave Graebner.

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 5:36:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By pazzo:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By PALADIN-hgwt:
100dB/watt


Hmm, 100 dB SPL per watt...So, at 100 watts, it produces 10,000 dB?



100 dB at 1 watt equates to about 120 db at 100 watts: There is a 3 dB increase per doubling of power.


Yes, we're all familiar with the relationship between power and dBs, but PALADIN claims to have a speaker which produces 100 dB per watt - i.e., an additional 100 dB of SPL for every additional watt of input.

Where can I buy one of those physics-defying speakers?


I think some of you guys are deliberately taking my remarks out of context regarding something that most audiophiles would understand when stating a speakers efficiency. 100dB at 1 watt input translates into 130dB with a 1024 watt input. The bass bins shown can handle 1200 watts. They never see that kind of power input at my house, and their main benefit is very low distortion at reasonable listening levels.

Paladin

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 6:13:43 PM EST
My speakers are rated at 88 dB sensitivity, 1 watt 1 meter. That's FAR from being a highly efficient loudspeaker, but they're not about loud, they're about sounding
excellent. I have no shortage of power to drive them with, as I can either use my Krells which will deliver 480 watts each into 4 ohm loads, and these speakers are close
to 4 ohms, or if I want to watch movies or keep the room cooler (the Krells are pure class A and generate an amazing amount of heat at all times when turned on,
and they always draw 7 amps of current from the outlet and dissipate it as about a kilowatt of heat EACH), then I can change over to a pair of QSC MX1500A pro power
amps which give a full kilowatt per channel the way I configure them. One amp, in stereo mode, drives one speaker. One channel drives the bass cabinet, the other
channel drives the mid/tweeter head. I'm actually running 4x500 WPC in this mode.

I've never actually done a full power test run with all 2000 watts in the speakers, but I HAVE run one of those amps in stereo mode, driving the pair of speakers, and
seen the clipping LED flash a little, at roughly 500 watts per channel. It's not the loudest sound you ever heard, but make no mistake, it's not trivial! It's a BIG sound
and phenomenally clean. 1000 watts is +30 dB over the 1 watt reference, so that should be 118 dB. If I used both amps at full output, I should get 121 dB total,
and frankly that's a lot louder than I'd EVER realistically play music or watch movies. It's like a drag race. You just don't do it all that often. A few seconds of thrills
ever couple of weekends. Not a daily thing.

I've spoken directly to the designer of my speakers, Michael Kelly, and he says that it's safe to run 1000 watts into these speakers but he would not recommend
doing it full time at full power. Avoid full scale continuous test tones. Given that no driver in my speakers is exactly cheap, I have no overwhelming desire to test
the speakers for durability at a full kilowatt. The pain of repair would not be worth the pleasure of getting my ears bashed in.


CJ
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 6:17:31 PM EST


I had one of those.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 6:38:56 PM EST
my shitty system is compiled from the following crap:

pioneer sx-1010 receiver
marantz 2245 receiver
marantz 2235 receiver
marantz 5220 cassette deck
marantz 6370q turntable
dual 1019 turntable
sony tc-651 reel to reel
crown d-150 amplifier
1 set of design acoustics da-4's
1 set of ads l-400's


Link Posted: 11/4/2009 6:55:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 6:55:59 PM EST by cmjohnson]
The Pioneer SX-1010 receiver is a GOOD sounding unit. All of the 70s vintage Pioneer receivers sound good.

I've had quite a few of them. I sort of collected them. I had at least this assortment, maybe more:

SX-737
SX-838
SX-950
SX-1050
SX-1280

I'm SURE I had all of those. I may have had more.

The 1280 was a beast at 225 watts RMS per channel into 8 ohm loads. When I rebuilt one channel's power amplifier, I got the LAST
stock of the output devices that Pioneer had in stock. It was truly a monstrous receiver in every sense of the word.

I sold it for a very respectable price, for the time. I think I got 450 dollars for it.

I wanted, but never found, an SX-1980, which was arguably the most powerful stereo receiver ever made. 270 watts per channel into 8 ohms!


Here's a nice pic: The ENTIRE SX-x80 receiver series!





Do not be ashamed of your SX series receiver. They are GOOD units, they sound good, their tone controls are exceptionally well designed,
and their construction quality would easily qualify as audiophile grade, being all hand-built and hand wired, today.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 7:07:12 PM EST
cj,

i have to say that the 1010 is an awesome receiver. if memory serves, i believe it was the model touted to have started the "wattage wars" in 74 an on.

i picked up mine at a goodwill for 21 bucks. had to rebuild the power supply board as pioneer had a nasty habit of putting the board underneath the chassis, and in the center to boot. dried lytics all over that board.

the marantz receivers are pretty nice too. on both i listed, i have replaced the lamps with l.e.d.s and they look phenomenal.

the da-4's, very eccentric design but having talked to a fellow that worked for design acoustics, i was told that their speakers were pretty much hand made and tuned, and i have to say that they present a very nice soundstage just about where ever you are sitting.

will have to post a pic of my shit.
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