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Hi friends,

I am looking to getting into vinyl , also I have heard Vinyl sounds better(without digital edge) if we choose a good turntable/cart & PSU. But I have never listened to a turntable/Vinyl. I am looking for some of your inputs.

 

Can anyone please help me with a good Turntable/cart?  (mid level$$)

 

What to look into when purchasing a turntable. Happy to go for preloved ones.

 

My current system is 

 

>Monitor Audio silver floor stand speakers>Aurealis Litz Speaker Cable>Marantz PM8005 Integrated amplifier>Aurealis R1 Dragon Silver Copper Litz Interconnect>Gieseler Klein lll DAC + Kraftwerk PSU>Curious USB cable>Auralic Aries Femto streamer listen to Tidal only

 

 I want a turntable which should perform better than Tidal

 

Thank you

Edited by MOOV
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I'm guessing from these two models that your budget is about $500? Just at first glance they'd both be decent options. The questions/ considerations I have are:

 

- what are the other parts of your system (and especially, do you already have an integrated amplifier with a phono stage?)

- do you want to keep improving the turntable's performance, or do you just want something to enjoy vinyl?

- do you want any form of automation (I like the semi automated tables that lift the arm at the end of the record - otherwise I would have wasted a lot of playing hours on the stylus by now!)

- are you specifically looking for a wooden finish on the plinth, or a specific look?

- would you consider second hand?

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$500-600 is kinda low.
I mean, if you expect it to sound fairly good I'd be thinking a budget of $1,500 inc cartridge (all new) would serve you better.
I have known of ppl that buy a cheap TT and soon find they need to upgrade.
So I think it is far better to jump in at a higher price bracket.
 

Edited by rockpig
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Starting too low on the TT ladder can sometimes lead people to think vinyl is not worth it, agree with @rockpig, i would save a bit more, i would look at a new Rega planar3 or the equivelant ( may get lots of opinions of which is prefered), or second hand as @Tone Malone suggested, more bang for buck,  this will give you a more satisfying listen

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Hi @MOOV, at your price point, the Music Hall MMF 1.5 is a great option. That was my first turntable a couple of years ago, recommended by a couple of dealers here in Melbourne. I used it up until August this year, at which point I gave to a friend also commencing on their vinyl journey.
 

I never had an issue with it, easy to set-up, sounds great, built well, the on-board phono stage is good enough to get you going and was no worse than my amplifiers inbuilt phono stages, and the cartridge is a rebranded Rega Carbon, which you can swap when you’re ready for a sound you prefer. Can’t ask for much more as a beginner.

 

My only caveat is that the sound is on the livelier/brighter side of neutral. So if your system leans that way, might not be the best choice. But with my warm and relaxed speakers, it was great.

 

Overall, I would recommend it to anyone who asks as an entry level table at your price point.

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My experience getting into vinyl was different, I inherited my grandfather's old, unserviced Yamaha P-350, put a Rega Carbon on it and it was a great entry point. With benefit of hindsight it really wasn't properly set up and I reckon a new $500-$600 table would have bettered it. But it was enough to trigger the enjoyment, now shared with the family, of putting on records.

 

So, at least IMHO, $500 is enough to get started - but need to accept that if you upgrade later, it will end up costing you more than just buying a better TT upfront.

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I started with a mmf 1.3, still have it. The std cartridge needed replacing as it wasn'tvery good. Was same as Rega Carbon if the 1.5 has that, factor in a cartridge upgrade real soon.

 

I'm still happy with my 1.3 good place to start or save more coin. I've been eyeing of the X2.

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On 20/11/2021 at 7:00 AM, MOOV said:

Monitor Audio silver floor stand speakers>Aurealis Litz Speaker Cable>Marantz PM8005 Integrated amplifier>Aurealis R1 Dragon Silver Copper Litz Interconnect>Gieseler Klein lll DAC + Kraftwerk PSU>Curious USB cable>Auralic Aries Femto streamer mostly listen to Tidal. 

 

 I want a turntable which should perform better than Tidal..

Hey, great taste in system! (I say this because I own a Marantz PM8005 and Monitor Audio gold speakers - I find the two balance each other nicely).

 

A few thoughts:

 

- Using a turntable, you'll get a different (analogue) sound to Tidal that you may prefer - but, judging by your digital pathway, you'll need quite an impressive TT setup to outright "better" it.

 

- I wouldn't get a TT with a built in phono stage. I'm not convinced the PM8005's phono stage is "great" (Marantz upgraded it in the PM8006) but the phono stages built in to budget TTs are also pretty cheap. Maybe use the PM8005's phono stage in the interim, then look at external phono stages, which is the approach I'm taking.

 

- The biggest difference I found when listening to vinyl vs digital was the "lack" of bass from the turntable. At first it frustrated me but then I realised I had become conditioned to a thick bass. Give it time - it gives you the chance to hear more detail in the music, and with setup adjustments, you can increase the bass to taste. 

 

Overall, I wouldn't actively discourage you from trying a $500-$600 turntable as a starting point. As a couple of us here have said, we got started on cheaper models.  But to actively improve on your Tidal set up, yes, I'm thinking a $1000+ turntable as a base to start with, and then be prepared to do some upgrades with the right cartridge and separate phono preamp.

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I agree that It's better to start with something more in the P3 level, be it belt or DD ect''.

 

Also as some have suggested the phono stage plays a important part and can have a great amount of influence on the results.

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I chose the pro-ject debut carbon evo - after ditching my HMV Sceptre

 

sounds great out of the box and has many upgrade paths - acrylic platter, aluminum sub platter etc and you can swap out the ortofon red for the slightly better 2M blue or further down the traxk swap to a bronze or black cart (which costs more than the TT but the reviews speak for themselves ) - 

 

 

 

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Reading this you sound like I did when I was wanting to get in to "Vinyl" (LPs) just over 2 years ago.

 

My journey was that I wanted to test the waters to see if I liked the sound first as opposed to Digital (as CDs is what I grew up with).

You have not mentioned if you have heard Vinyl before?

 

I wanted to test it out but did not want to outlay too much in case I actually did not like it.

 

I purchased an Audio Technica LP120 as my first turntable - to "test the waters".

Picked it up from JB Hifi at 20% off (Black Friday sales coming up btw).

A member from here kindly set it up properly & to be honest - it was pretty decent to test the waters and I knew pretty quickly I loved the sound of LPs.

 

I kept that table for about 3 months and brought some vinyl whilst getting familiar the Turntable and all that entails with handling records and the table itself.

It really was a great beginner table.

 

After about 3-4 months I decided I was committed to the LP Experience and saved up to buy a Technics 1200GR and a good cartridge etc.

 

The Audio Technica I was able to sell on Gumtree to another person that wanted to test the waters and pretty much got my money back.

 

But my point is .........as I was not totally sure what to expect from Vinyl to start with it was a great way to test it out and then decide if I was committed, if I decided I rather stick with CDs then it was not too much $ to lose.

 

Records are not cheap now - they are a big commitment, as it is not just buying the records it is buying the anti-stat sleeves and outer-sleeves and then storing them - they take up space. It is really a big commitment that goes far beyond the Turntable itself. But it is very rewarding if you do fall in love with it.

 

I decided to "dip my toe" in the water before diving right in - because I did not know anyone that had Turntables - but for you it might be different.

 

Anyway, just my experience & what I did 🙂

 

 

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My guess is your a younger generation, many here grew up with vinyl. 

Trying it out without spending heaps is probably wise. But be warned, it isn't a cheap path if you get hooked. That said, I still use my mmf 1.3 and I'm quite happy with it. I have upgraded phone stage cables etc. I also upgraded cart to a better cart but not a good cart, that's my next step. Might upgrade TT one day.

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Based on music that is good for my soul:

 

For me there's a quality to a good LP that digital can't quite match. Nevertheless digital owns the frequency response, the ease of EQing, the lack of noise, and the convenience.

 

I don't know whether I'd start on LPs now; but much of my history of music listening is in the 700+ LPs I have collected over the years, and I still play them regularly. I generally don't buy LPs now unless they are all analog. I figure that once the music has been recorded digitally, mixed digitally, and (probably) mastered digitally, the analog quality is likely gone or at least drastically reduced.

 

I'm also not sure that adding another source that can be expensive is a good replacement for more money spent elsewhere—including music.

 

That's my position, but of course YMMV. As long as you are doing what rewards you.

 

 

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7 hours ago, GregWormald said:

. I figure that once the music has been recorded digitally, mixed digitally, and (probably) mastered digitally, the analog quality is likely gone or at least drastically reduced.

Valid point to consider...thanks for your thoughts. @GregWormald

Edited by MOOV
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Someone said about getting a TT to at least rival your digital setup. I agree.
This is important because if you get a TT setup that sounds worse than your digital then you have done yourself a dis-service.

 

I started listening with records in the 70's, moved to CD in 1985 and then returned to records around 2009.
When I decided try records again and buy a TT in 2009 I went to a proper hifi store and said to the guy (who had been in the biz since the 70's) I want a TT & cartridge that is NOT entry level but at a price point where is gives really good sound before you start spending lots for smaller improvements in sound.

As soon as I played the first record on that 2009 TT I was blown away by how much more I liked the sound over CD. The extra bass was amazing!

 

So very glad I spent the $1,500AUD for a Rega with a Garrott Brothers cart.

Records
If pressed well and made from good sources be it digital or analog source still sound more pleasing to me than streaming or CD/SACD.
There are plenty of dud sounding records, but find the good ones and it is magic.
 

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On 20/11/2021 at 9:55 AM, wen said:

Starting too low on the TT ladder can sometimes lead people to think vinyl is not worth it, agree with @rockpig, i would save a bit more, i would look at a new Rega planar3 or the equivelant ( may get lots of opinions of which is prefered), or second hand as @Tone Malone suggested, more bang for buck,  this will give you a more satisfying listen

 

What wen said ^^^^

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Lots of good advice here. Lots.

 

I came back to vinyl after a 30 year hiatus and started back on a Rega P3 with Elys2 cartridge. Advice on the Rega is that it does everything well, but nothing brilliantly - it is a great first workhorse though.

 

I think any options (Rega P3, Music Hall, Pro-ject etc) in the $1300-1500 bracket are a sensible option. You'll know fairly quickly if it is for you. Make sure to buy some older NM vinyl pressed in the 70s and early 80s to get the real flavour of what it can do. If you like what you hear and want to go further, there are paths that don't immediately require a new TT.

 

Assuming you'll be using the phono input in your amp, it will 95% certainly be a moving magnet stage, so there is an opportunity for an interim upgrade and lots of options for playing when it comes to acquiring a dedicated separate phonostage (pre-amp). Alternatively, try higher-spec MM cartridge (not as easy with Rega due to height/VTL of other manufacturers' cartridges.

 

On the quality of newer vinyl, and as @GregWormald mentioned, be careful on the source. If it is a digital source, that is not necessarily disastrous provided the recording was mastered for higher dynamic range expressly for vinyl and not a victim of the digital Loudness Wars. I find this resource can be useful sometimes for finding a decent pressing: Album list - Dynamic Range Database You can certainly see the pressings you don't want pretty quickly.

 

If in doubt, ask on here. There are thousands of years worth of listening experience and advice available.

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You have a really good digital system- great DAC and fantastic streamer ( I have that Auralic ) ....... plus quality speakers and cables. No doubt Tidal would sound very good indeed.  In my 20s/30s I had over 400 LPs and loved the sound, but went fully digital years ago. About 5 years ago I got the bug and spent around $1500 on a new Rega setup  ............    and was rather let down when my old expectations were not realised .........   my digital set up sound considerably better and on top of that I couldn't go back to cleaning / dusting / being paranoid about scratching my records and the associated occasional pop. .....     maybe I just got lazy with the ease of digital. As a few have said above, I think you will need to spend quite a bit more to better your existing digital system . .....    Please let me stress that this was my personal experience and that every audio fan on this site will have different experiences based on existing gear, levels of nostalgia, access to good records/recordings and what their audio friends enjoy.   In the end, if you can afford it, the journey is always interesting.

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