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Author Topic: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??  (Read 4469 times)

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Offline nedstruzz

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ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« on: December 30, 2014, 12:08:24 PM »
I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I've never owned a record player.  Born in 1977 so just kinda missed that whole scene but was just given my grand mothers record collection in her will and would like to listen to a few of the live Elvis recordings she had in her collection.

Any ideas what kind of player I should purchase?  Just go with the new and maybe not so improved Audio Technica ones I see on Amazon.

Any record collectors out there?

I would be connecting via RCA to existing stereo system.

Thanks!!
B&K 4023's >Neve Portico>744T

Offline DSatz

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 01:35:30 PM »
Does your existing stereo system have "phono" inputs? The signals from a phonograph cartridge require a very specific load impedance (47 kOhms with a small parallel capacitance), RIAA playback equalization, and considerably more gain than "aux" inputs. The design of a proper phono stage isn't exactly a casual matter. Since most people don't play vinyl any more, and since a number of critical extra components plus special attention to shielding, grounding, and the power supply are all required, some stereo systems made in the past 20 years or so no longer have phono-specific inputs.

If yours is one of those, you'll either need to buy a turntable with its own phono preamp built in (which typically means a low-end product), or else an external phono preamp with "aux" outputs to act as an intermediary.

Apart from that: Within reason, the turntable is a far less critical choice than the phono cartridge is. Cartridges are to microphones more or less as turntables are to digital audio recorders. A turntable really just has to do its job without adding to or taking away from the signal picked up by the cartridge. But a cartridge, like a microphone, is a transducer: It has to convert incredibly tiny mechanical vibrations accurately into electrical signals. It straddles those two realms (mechanical and electrical), and every little aspect of its design and manufacture can audibly affect the results.

--best regards
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 02:49:06 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline hoppedup

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 02:14:30 PM »
My vinyl listening is pretty casual and I don't need the greatest sound from its playback so I picked this turntable up a few months back:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GYTPB8/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

I got it for $99.99 at the time. I've been happy with it. FWIW, I'm not an audiophile. It sounds good enough for me. YMMV.

I have inherited two small record collections. I've yet to find anything of value or interest to me in them. And I probably have around 50 records that I bought as a teen when I was on a vinyl kick.
AKG SE300B CK91
JB Mod NAK 300 CP1 - CP2

Tascam DR-40, Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-22WL, Marantz PMD-706
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7K

↑↑↓↓←→←→ BA Start
         


My recordings on bt.etree
  
My recordings on LMA

mfrench

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 03:00:57 PM »
There are a lot of people giving very warm, positive reviews regarding this deck, and the company that build them.   Its about the best entry level deck being made these days. Its made in the USofA. The company is getting great reviews for its support of the product. Its also slightly upgradeable with OE parts; and some DIY mods coming around.
http://uturnaudio.com
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 04:03:08 PM by m0k3 »

Offline carlbeck

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 04:04:23 PM »
The cartridge is key but there's also something to be said for a quality turntable mostly due to speed regulation & the arm that's included or whether it can be replaced. Either way if you go to the playback section around here you'll find a few of us who geek out about all things vinyl. I'm a Thorens guy personally but MMF, Project, VPI & others all make great decks that are plug & play. You'll spend a little more for some of these but the upgrade bug won't bite you as quickly. Look out, if you think taping is an expensive hobby wait until you get into vinyl  >:D
I know you like, tape for people's approval and stuff, and wave your tapes around like they're your dick...  but even you can't actually think section tapes from philips sound good.  



Mics: Telefunken Elam 260, 61, 62, MBHO KA200, KA500 > Niant PFA's, AKG C34L-MS
Preamps: Grace Lunatec V2, Shure FP24
Decks: Tascam DR-2d, Zoom F8

Old rig: Recording: AKG C34 & AKG CK1X or CK2X > MK46 > 460 > Aeta Mix2000 > Sound Devices 702

Playback: Thorens TD125, Denon DVD-2900> Bel Canto DAC-1 > Audible Illusions 3B > Rogue Atlas >ZU Wax Shotgun> Hyperion 938
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Offline jbell

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 08:23:55 AM »
There are a lot of people giving very warm, positive reviews regarding this deck, and the company that build them.   Its about the best entry level deck being made these days. Its made in the USofA. The company is getting great reviews for its support of the product. Its also slightly upgradeable with OE parts; and some DIY mods coming around.
http://uturnaudio.com

Thanks!  Exactly what I've been looking for.  Any recommendations on a good phono pre that won't break the bank??
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 09:31:50 AM by jbell »
Microtech Gefell m20's> Nbob KCY> Naiant PFA(60v)> Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II

-22        -12         -6        TDS     
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__________________________
|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

mfrench

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 09:53:36 AM »
I bought an AudioTechnica cheapie phono-stage from a major source; musicdirect.com?   It was something like $50 $65  (price increased from several years past, when I bought one)
I bought it for Sarge, for her compact bedroom system. That system is a modern digital-ready system, without phono stage.  The AT preamp is about the size of a pack of smokes, a bit larger, and fit the small profile that she dedicated for audio.
OK,… I've been fairly impressed with what it does.  I've compared it to my Hafler DH110 preamp, Plinius phono, Denon phono, and a custom built tube phono stage. It ultimately does a good job, and certainly won't break the bank.
I'll see if I can find a link to it.  Its a silver box w/ white end plates, a bit larger than a cig pack, with wall-wart power, about $50'ish, by AT.
Model # AT-PEQ3  <--- eBay page link
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 10:10:39 AM by m0k3 »

colinw

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 10:09:03 AM »
My vinyl listening is pretty casual and I don't need the greatest sound from its playback so I picked this turntable up a few months back:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GYTPB8/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

I got it for $99.99 at the time. I've been happy with it. FWIW, I'm not an audiophile. It sounds good enough for me. YMMV.

I have inherited two small record collections. I've yet to find anything of value or interest to me in them. And I probably have around 50 records that I bought as a teen when I was on a vinyl kick.

I have the same deck, but without USB. It is basic, easy to use and sounds great for the cheap price.  You can spend big bucks on vinyl and your deck/carts/stylus, etc. Then you get into the whole phono present, amps, and then speakers. It can get way out of hand very fast.
It sounds like you want a simple deck that can spin a few lps you inherited and maybe pick up a few here and there. The turntable listed above has served me well for the exact same purpose. I am sure I will upgrade down the road, but for $100 you can't really go wrong.
Have fun, I have had a great time rediscovering some great old stuff in the cheap vinyl bins of my local record and bargain stores.
Grab yourself a basic kit to clean the disc's too and you'll enjoy them more.

Offline jbell

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 10:10:31 AM »
Cool, thanks for the suggestions!

I bought an AudioTechnica cheapie phono-stage from a major source; musicdirect.com?   It was something like $50 $65  (price increased from several years past)
I bought it for Sarge, for her compact bedroom system. That system is a modern digital-ready system, without phono stage.  The AT preamp is about the size of a pack of smokes, a bit larger, and fit the small profile that she dedicated for audio.
OK,… I've been fairly impressed with what it does.  I've compared it to my Hafler DH110 preamp, Plinius phono, Denon phono, and a custom built tube phono stage. It ultimately does a good job, and certainly won't break the bank.
I'll see if I can find a link to it.  Its a silver box w/ white end plates, a bit larger than a cig pack, with wall-wart power, about $50'ish, by AT.
Model # AT-PEQ3  <--- eBay page link
Microtech Gefell m20's> Nbob KCY> Naiant PFA(60v)> Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II

-22        -12         -6        TDS     
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][}   
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][} 
__________________________
|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline raymonda

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 10:52:03 AM »
You really should research and shop around before spending any money on a table. There are many directions to go on a tight budget, some good and some not so good. And, if you care about sound quality, you can still get it on the cheap by taking your time and doing it right the first time.

That being said, buying used is your best option and a no brainer is either Rega Planar 2 or 3.....which can be bought for $250-350. Put a Shure M97xe on it for $79.00 or an Ortofon 2m Red for $100.00 and you will have something that will be enjoyed and not just a novelty.

There are many more budget options from all the usual suspects, ProJect and Music Hall to name a few, but the biggest difference is the arm, which Rega wins hands down, IMHO. Get at least a Rega RB200, or its variant. Do not get the RB100 series, which is seriously compromised. For a few more dollars spent you will get a much better arm.

Honestly, do not spend $100 on a new table.. Save your money and wait until you see the right price on the right table. Anything else is a waste of your money.

mfrench

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 11:27:47 AM »
From what I've seen, all of the major players in this TT game, that are repeatedly mentioned here, have been producing inferior decks, with really poor quality control, and at levels above their entry offerings.
Dissing any manufacturer will surely produce antagonists and supporters.  But I wouldn't want any of the commonly listed entry decks, or even decks above that level.  Across the boards, I've read of issues with Rega, Project, Music Hall, and to less of a degree, VPI.  The most common is substantial motor noise.  Some of the fixes offered seem like hasty amateurish fixes.  I'm active on a couple of TT forums, and read of the issues, regularly.  I sold a mid-level Rega due to poor quality control; ran too fast.
In that same time, I've also followed the UTurnAudio offering since its inception as a peer-funded Upstart campaign, and have been really impressed with their actions, and the final product.  My opinion is based on watching others though, and not first hand.  I've been impressed by what I've read though.

My choice:  *Lenco heavy platter series idler drives, and some of the B series light platter idler decks.
I also have a fondness for really early broadcast decks, especially Presto Recording Corp., but thats a whole other story of weirdness.
Caveat: these are 40-to-50 year old decks, and require some fairly easy, well documented, and extremely well supported maintenance, and TLC.  They are candidates for 100year decks.


* Lenco, and its North American cousin Bogen-Presto/Bogen (actually prefer the B-P line)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 11:56:19 AM by m0k3 »

Offline raymonda

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 01:18:43 PM »
VPI's are nice decks but are at times sited as having motor issues. How much more than other manufacturers, I don't know but check out Audiogon or Audioasylum for owners experience. There are plenty of reports on quality control and infield failures. BTW, ProJect is the OEM of Music Hall. On a whole their quality control is fairly good, as is Rega.

I admit to liking what U-turn is doing. One less person buying a Crosley is a good thing. I haven't heard one but it would be a significant note if their arm matched the RB200.  The RB200 series arm is one of the best values ever in audio.  Honestly, I would take a Planar 2 over a U-turn any day. But then again, I would go for the U-turn over any other deck in the $100 range. It is simple and non-complicated. Less to go wrong and most available to tinkering and modifying down the line.

mfrench

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2014, 02:02:51 PM »
But, across the board, Regas are cited for running off speed.  Thats a giant quality control issue. And its a sustained issue, going long back. They claim, in paraphrase, "that it makes the music more lively". So it's  a design that they are comfortable with. 
When i asked about the speed issue, they said: spend another $400 for our speed controller, it'll straighten that right out.  So, after spending $750, i only need to spend another $400 to get a basic element right?  My thoughts are that the speed controller only allows a jump to the next off-speed speed.
/rant
I liked the way that the Rega sounded in its blackness of background. But when I ran a speed strobe disc on it, I was shocked.

Anybody else, beside myself, see a need for 78rpm in a deck?


Offline raymonda

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2014, 02:43:26 PM »
I wouldn't recommend buying new. Used is the way to go and a much better value. Anyway, better to run a bit fast than slow. And, yes, Rega intentionally runs theirs a bit fast. It is not a QC issue but rather it is what they want. All Regas run a wee bit fast but they are stable at speed. Music Hall makes an excellent Speed box for $250, which and when that becomes an issue, can be bought and used. I'm not sure how fast but I would guess around an 1/8th of a step or less, which most people would not notice. Fremmer brought this to the forefront about 15 years ago.

They are musical as all get out and on the used market the older Planar 2 and 3's are a great value and totally turnkey. After taxes you can buy a U-turn for $200 or for $325 you can get a used Planar 2 with a new Shure M92 or Ortofon Red. At times you can buy them for less with a cartridge from a prior owner ready to sell.

At this level there are all sorts of compromises......I'll take the 1/8th step. Plus, there are all kinds of fun upgrades you can do to the Regas, if and when one desires.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 02:45:50 PM by raymonda »

Offline carlbeck

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2014, 03:47:28 PM »
I like the Rega decks as well, especially as noted for the RB200 arm, that is usually worth the price of admission alone IMO. As we all know vinyl is a slippery slope, it can be as complicated as we want to make it. To the original poster you should start by doing some internet research, there are tons of forums dedicated to the subject unlike when a few of us started. Then you can start decide if you want to go new or used, the one caution buying used though if it is to be shipped. Make sure the seller has shipped turntables before, there is a lot that can go wrong in shipping so excellent seller feedback is the only way I would buy from them. Also, if you decide to go used check Craigslist, there are lots of decks in my neck of the woods & buying in person allows you to inspect or listen before you lay your cash down. Finally have fun, there really is no replacement for vinyl, it just sounds "right"  :)
I know you like, tape for people's approval and stuff, and wave your tapes around like they're your dick...  but even you can't actually think section tapes from philips sound good.  



Mics: Telefunken Elam 260, 61, 62, MBHO KA200, KA500 > Niant PFA's, AKG C34L-MS
Preamps: Grace Lunatec V2, Shure FP24
Decks: Tascam DR-2d, Zoom F8

Old rig: Recording: AKG C34 & AKG CK1X or CK2X > MK46 > 460 > Aeta Mix2000 > Sound Devices 702

Playback: Thorens TD125, Denon DVD-2900> Bel Canto DAC-1 > Audible Illusions 3B > Rogue Atlas >ZU Wax Shotgun> Hyperion 938
ALL TUBES BABY!!!

Offline thunderbolt

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2015, 02:13:14 PM »
I've had a Rega Planar 2, Planar 3, Thorens TD-160, AR ES-1, SL-1200 modified with a Rega-RB301 for 78 RPM discs, VPI HW-19 Jr. and Mk. IV.  You can spend crazy money on this stuff.  As with recording equipment, a moderate-middling investment will get you audio quality that is 80% of the way "there," wherever that is.

You don't mention your playback system, so it's hard to know what would be "synchronystic" with your system.  As you move up the TT/cartridge food chain, you find that the better the table/playback system, the more it reflects what is being put into it (arm/cartridge) rather than what the rest of the system is putting into it (coloring the sound).  Audiogon is a great place for deals.  Most, including myself, will advise you in this first outing to buy a belt-drive table with a decent tonearm.  These are simple machines that will last a lifetime.  The minute you start to include auto-return and mechanical elements, you introduce the potential for more to go wrong, and more to introduce mechanical/electrical noise into the system, etc.  I loved my Thorens TD-160, but it is a suspended TT (springs) and takes more fiddling to get it to sound its best.  If you've never installed a cartridge, and don't know anything about turntables, start with a plug-and-play like the Rega.  Seriously.

In general, I was pleased with all of these tables.  They all sound different.  Buying a Rega Planar 2 is great advice.  They were found to run something like 1% fast.  I really wouldn't sweat it.  I never had motor sound issues, but then, I do have a much higher-resolution system than when I owned the Regas.  Throw a nice Audio Technica or Denon cartridge on it and I suspect you'll be very happy.  If you're not, you can sell it easily and recoup your money.

Unlike LMA, there is no way to audition this stuff unless you have a local audio shop that will let you.  Decide what's important in vinyl playback (analytical vs. plush etc. etc. etc.) and start reading some online reviews.

The UTurn table looks pretty damn cute.  I trust much (but not all) of what Mikey Fremer has to say (remember, he has $125K invested in his TT alone).  A used Rega would serve you well.  They are damn good tables for the money.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 02:15:45 PM by boltman »

Offline robeti

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 06:05:55 AM »
Again, my advice would be a vintage Thorens TD-160.

If you have more $$ to spend, a TD125 MK II would be a great choice too!

If you don't mind paying top $$ go for a TD124 MK II.

These vintage Thorens players are build like a tank, you can tweak them a lot and they look and sound beautiful.

mics: schoeps mk41 (matched) | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | nakamichi cm-50 | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-853 4.7k mod (shotguns/h/c/sc/) | ca-11 c/o
power: ca-ubb | ca-9200 | nbob actives > baby nbox 
recorder: roland r-05 
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Offline raymonda

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Re: ISO : Record Player - What brands to consider??
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 09:59:59 AM »
Agreed with the Thorens. However their arms are just OK and really require a different arm in order to get the best out of them. Also, the plinth on the 160 series adds a tremendous amount of coloration to the sound and again, to bring it up to and beyond a R3, it would need to be replaced. This would bring the cost of a finished table north of $1000.00. But after the mods it would be a kick ass table that no table could touch near its price range.

That being said, buying a 160 with the idea of gradual upgrades is a very smart move but one must be comfortable with getting their hands dirty. Sure you could spin it the way it is but it is a project table. Also, it would need a good going over before playing because the spindle and motor would need to be re-lubed and brought up to spec.

I just sold my highly modified 166, which was a killer table, for $1350. So again, these are cheap.

I found that a Denon DL 110 works really well with these tables unmodded. Modified, you can run about any cartridge, within reason, on them and it will sound great.

The 125's are going anywhere from $750 to 1250.......so that may be beyond the OP intended budget.

 

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