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Vinyl LP and Turntable Discussion


RussTCB

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The one I've got has a radio and an mp3 encoding system in it and internal speakers so I didn't have to go out and buy speakers for it :shrugs: I love it, it's been great.

If you go back a few pages, people were explaining how some of the newer low-end record players can damage vinyl. Mine are all old so I want to make sure I'm taking care of them as best I can on my crappy budget.

So I have a tiny collection, probably 15 or so vinyls that I've picked up from various places over the years.

Problem is, I don't have a (working) player. I'm a uni student, so I can't afford anything expensive. Are you guys saying I have to wait until I'm working full time before I can play any of them? Or can I still pick something second hand up that won't damage my vinyls?

Any suggestions on the following options? I don't really know what I'm looking for, but these are some auctions ending close-by:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Turntable-PS-LX431-Magnetic-Cartridge-Stylus-Auto-Manual-Made-in-Japan-/261309497190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3cd7427f66&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Direct-Drive-ManualTurntable-/370919098101?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item565c8046f5&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pioneer-PL-340-Stereo-Turntable-/321227383043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4acaa4e103&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Akai-AC-3800-HiFi-Music-Centre-Dolby-/231069794821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35ccd54205&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VINTAGE-TURNTABLE-PIONEER-PL4-WORKING-/380733568751?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item58a57d36ef&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AKAI-DIRECT-DRIVE-TURNTABLE-AKAI-CPU-CONTROLLED-AMP-RECEIVER-SPEAKERS-/271298503559?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3f2aa6a387&_uhb=1

I don't mind getting my hands dirty in terms of servicing it and getting something working myself.

Somehow missed this earlier, sorry about that! Out of what you have there, pretty much all of them would be great except the first and last ones. The ones in between all have a "T" mount for the stylus as opposed to the "P" mount found on the first and last.

The short version of why you want the T mount is that you have a FAR greater selection to chose from down the line as you upgrade the stylus. You can get a stylus for like $50-60 to get you by for now that won't damage your LPs at all. But down the line you may want to start hearing more detail or use a micro line stylus or something and you can't do that at all with a P mount.

Thanks! Appreciate the advice. Other thing I was wondering was whether I should be getting a belt-drive or direct-drive player? Most of what I read basically seems to distill to "it depends" which is annoying because I'm trying to narrow my options. :lol:

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The one I've got has a radio and an mp3 encoding system in it and internal speakers so I didn't have to go out and buy speakers for it :shrugs: I love it, it's been great.

If you go back a few pages, people were explaining how some of the newer low-end record players can damage vinyl. Mine are all old so I want to make sure I'm taking care of them as best I can on my crappy budget.

So I have a tiny collection, probably 15 or so vinyls that I've picked up from various places over the years.

Problem is, I don't have a (working) player. I'm a uni student, so I can't afford anything expensive. Are you guys saying I have to wait until I'm working full time before I can play any of them? Or can I still pick something second hand up that won't damage my vinyls?

Any suggestions on the following options? I don't really know what I'm looking for, but these are some auctions ending close-by:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Turntable-PS-LX431-Magnetic-Cartridge-Stylus-Auto-Manual-Made-in-Japan-/261309497190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3cd7427f66&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Direct-Drive-ManualTurntable-/370919098101?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item565c8046f5&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pioneer-PL-340-Stereo-Turntable-/321227383043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4acaa4e103&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Akai-AC-3800-HiFi-Music-Centre-Dolby-/231069794821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35ccd54205&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VINTAGE-TURNTABLE-PIONEER-PL4-WORKING-/380733568751?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item58a57d36ef&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AKAI-DIRECT-DRIVE-TURNTABLE-AKAI-CPU-CONTROLLED-AMP-RECEIVER-SPEAKERS-/271298503559?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3f2aa6a387&_uhb=1

I don't mind getting my hands dirty in terms of servicing it and getting something working myself.

Somehow missed this earlier, sorry about that! Out of what you have there, pretty much all of them would be great except the first and last ones. The ones in between all have a "T" mount for the stylus as opposed to the "P" mount found on the first and last.

The short version of why you want the T mount is that you have a FAR greater selection to chose from down the line as you upgrade the stylus. You can get a stylus for like $50-60 to get you by for now that won't damage your LPs at all. But down the line you may want to start hearing more detail or use a micro line stylus or something and you can't do that at all with a P mount.

Thanks! Appreciate the advice. Other thing I was wondering was whether I should be getting a belt-drive or direct-drive player? Most of what I read basically seems to distill to "it depends" which is annoying because I'm trying to narrow my options. :lol:

I won't say "It depends", but I would say "It's a matter of opinion" which I know doesn't help much either haha.

I don't know if you've read a lot on why people chose either, but here's the general info: Direct drives don't wear out over time and if they're timed right from the factory, they're deadly accurate on speeds. Belt driven gives you more control and ability to change speeds if you chose to or need to for some reason. Some pressings of LPs are notorious for being a little fast for some reason, so a lot of purists want that belt drive to adjust it slightly for those pressings.

Personally, I went with direct drive as I tend to listen to a TON of records (see pics earlier in thread lol) and a belt wearing out is a very real concern. Here's the turntable I settled on:

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP240-USB-Direct-Drive-Turntable-Output/dp/B0047S3XU0

There was a LOT of bitching in the audiophile forums about it many units being set too fast, but I've never noticed it. Mine seemed to be set just fine out of the box so I've been happy as hell with it. I read all of that stuff prior to getting it so I did a lot of A/B comparisons with my digital versions of tracks to make sure it was right. I checked it against some really long tracks like Pink Floyd's Echoes and Shine On as well as Locomotive and Coma. All them ran at the same speed throughout the whole tune, so I'm set.

As for stylus, I tried a couple different ones, but I am currently absolutely in love with this:

http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT440MLA-Dual-Moving-Magnet-Cartridge/dp/B00009MK3A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1382459079&sr=1-1&keywords=audio+technica+mla440

It's a micro line stylus, which you can only use with the "T" mount I was talking about before. It's a micro line stylus which means that the diamond tip is far more fine than most others. It makes inner groove distortion almost non-existent which is a huge blessing for lots of late 80s, early 90s albums. When CDs were booming and albums started getting longer, the labels started to try to force as many albums on 1 LP (instead of 2) as possible to save money. So you end up with many songs near the center that are almost un-listenable because the grooves are too close together. The micro line stylus corrects that in almost ever single case I've come across. I have two of the most infamous records for this: Warrant's Cherry Pie and Chinese. That stylus plays both straight through with no distortion whatsoever, so it's worth the extra dough.

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Thanks for the info. That makes a lot of sense. I guess because I'm buying used, direct drive makes more sense, otherwise I risk having a belt to replace from day 1. You've given me a great starting point, I'm expecting a little extra in my pocket this month so this is where it's going to go. :D

I'm thinking that I'll upgrade within 12 months - something like what you've gone for is what I'll get myself as a graduation present when I'm on a full-time salary. I dig audio technica, I actually rock these bad boys at home.

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last week i bought empyriums songs of moors and misty fields for about 50 dollars.

my stereo and my collection is still in storage, so i havent been able to listen to it yet :(

I've done that before, but it's gonna be oh so sweet when you get to hear it though!

I won a record on eBay last night (Pearl Jam-Yield) and paid the most I've paid for a single record in quite some time. It's supposed to be here early next week and I'm beside myself excited to get it!

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last week i bought empyriums songs of moors and misty fields for about 50 dollars.

my stereo and my collection is still in storage, so i havent been able to listen to it yet :(

I've done that before, but it's gonna be oh so sweet when you get to hear it though!

I won a record on eBay last night (Pearl Jam-Yield) and paid the most I've paid for a single record in quite some time. It's supposed to be here early next week and I'm beside myself excited to get it!

yeah i cannot wait, moving just sucks :lol:

nice album i really liked yield.

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The one I've got has a radio and an mp3 encoding system in it and internal speakers so I didn't have to go out and buy speakers for it :shrugs: I love it, it's been great.

If you go back a few pages, people were explaining how some of the newer low-end record players can damage vinyl. Mine are all old so I want to make sure I'm taking care of them as best I can on my crappy budget.

So I have a tiny collection, probably 15 or so vinyls that I've picked up from various places over the years.

Problem is, I don't have a (working) player. I'm a uni student, so I can't afford anything expensive. Are you guys saying I have to wait until I'm working full time before I can play any of them? Or can I still pick something second hand up that won't damage my vinyls?

Any suggestions on the following options? I don't really know what I'm looking for, but these are some auctions ending close-by:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Turntable-PS-LX431-Magnetic-Cartridge-Stylus-Auto-Manual-Made-in-Japan-/261309497190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3cd7427f66&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Direct-Drive-ManualTurntable-/370919098101?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item565c8046f5&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pioneer-PL-340-Stereo-Turntable-/321227383043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4acaa4e103&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Akai-AC-3800-HiFi-Music-Centre-Dolby-/231069794821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35ccd54205&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VINTAGE-TURNTABLE-PIONEER-PL4-WORKING-/380733568751?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item58a57d36ef&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AKAI-DIRECT-DRIVE-TURNTABLE-AKAI-CPU-CONTROLLED-AMP-RECEIVER-SPEAKERS-/271298503559?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3f2aa6a387&_uhb=1

I don't mind getting my hands dirty in terms of servicing it and getting something working myself.

Somehow missed this earlier, sorry about that! Out of what you have there, pretty much all of them would be great except the first and last ones. The ones in between all have a "T" mount for the stylus as opposed to the "P" mount found on the first and last.

The short version of why you want the T mount is that you have a FAR greater selection to chose from down the line as you upgrade the stylus. You can get a stylus for like $50-60 to get you by for now that won't damage your LPs at all. But down the line you may want to start hearing more detail or use a micro line stylus or something and you can't do that at all with a P mount.

Thanks! Appreciate the advice. Other thing I was wondering was whether I should be getting a belt-drive or direct-drive player? Most of what I read basically seems to distill to "it depends" which is annoying because I'm trying to narrow my options. :lol:

I won't say "It depends", but I would say "It's a matter of opinion" which I know doesn't help much either haha.

I don't know if you've read a lot on why people chose either, but here's the general info: Direct drives don't wear out over time and if they're timed right from the factory, they're deadly accurate on speeds. Belt driven gives you more control and ability to change speeds if you chose to or need to for some reason. Some pressings of LPs are notorious for being a little fast for some reason, so a lot of purists want that belt drive to adjust it slightly for those pressings.

Personally, I went with direct drive as I tend to listen to a TON of records (see pics earlier in thread lol) and a belt wearing out is a very real concern. Here's the turntable I settled on:

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP240-USB-Direct-Drive-Turntable-Output/dp/B0047S3XU0

There was a LOT of bitching in the audiophile forums about it many units being set too fast, but I've never noticed it. Mine seemed to be set just fine out of the box so I've been happy as hell with it. I read all of that stuff prior to getting it so I did a lot of A/B comparisons with my digital versions of tracks to make sure it was right. I checked it against some really long tracks like Pink Floyd's Echoes and Shine On as well as Locomotive and Coma. All them ran at the same speed throughout the whole tune, so I'm set.

As for stylus, I tried a couple different ones, but I am currently absolutely in love with this:

http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT440MLA-Dual-Moving-Magnet-Cartridge/dp/B00009MK3A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1382459079&sr=1-1&keywords=audio+technica+mla440

It's a micro line stylus, which you can only use with the "T" mount I was talking about before. It's a micro line stylus which means that the diamond tip is far more fine than most others. It makes inner groove distortion almost non-existent which is a huge blessing for lots of late 80s, early 90s albums. When CDs were booming and albums started getting longer, the labels started to try to force as many albums on 1 LP (instead of 2) as possible to save money. So you end up with many songs near the center that are almost un-listenable because the grooves are too close together. The micro line stylus corrects that in almost ever single case I've come across. I have two of the most infamous records for this: Warrant's Cherry Pie and Chinese. That stylus plays both straight through with no distortion whatsoever, so it's worth the extra dough.

Hmm, how does one make fine adjustment for speed using a belt drive? I think perhaps some belt drive tables have a speed adjustment feature, but most I have seen do not. You'd probably need to use a different belt to vary speed.

I think the primary advantage of a belt drive is that the motor isn't coupled directly to the platter as it is with DD, reducing any rumble from the motor reaching the platter and arm/cart. Though possibly with less accurate speed, as you stated. Although a good belt drive table will be accurate.

I wouldn't fret too much over each approach...it's all in the execution. There are great examples of both. I have both types myself, a Rega belt drive and a Technics direct drive (which I haven't listened to yet as it needs to be rebuilt first).

Also, I wouldn't worry about replacing a belt. They cost what, $20 or $30?

For inexpensive carts, you can look at something like the Grado Green, which I have. http://www.musicdirect.com/p-7130-grado-green-cartridge-standard-mount.aspx If you want a nice warm and rich sound, this is a good choice. You may want to reconsider if you get a Rega table though, as some have reported hum when using Grado carts with Rega tables. Others, like myself, do not seem to have this issue. Other (audiophile) turntables on the inexpensive side, besides Rega, are offered by Pro-ject and Music Hall. You can buy them used starting at maybe $200-$300, and each of these companies still makes tables, so parts support should be there if you buy a model that isn't too old.

Another inexpensive cart that comes highly recommended is this one: http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT3482P-Conical-Cartridge-Turntables/dp/B002OSWGLW

Finally, if you want to clean vinyl without spending $600 for a good record cleaning machine, check out the KAB EV-1.

Oh, and a good phono stage will help immensely. This is where I would spend some money ($500 or more on the used market), although it's always something you can upgrade down the road. When I upgraded my phono stage from a model that costs $150ish new to one that costs closer to $1,000 (but I bought it used for $500) the improvement was ridiculous.

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The one I've got has a radio and an mp3 encoding system in it and internal speakers so I didn't have to go out and buy speakers for it :shrugs: I love it, it's been great.

If you go back a few pages, people were explaining how some of the newer low-end record players can damage vinyl. Mine are all old so I want to make sure I'm taking care of them as best I can on my crappy budget.

So I have a tiny collection, probably 15 or so vinyls that I've picked up from various places over the years.

Problem is, I don't have a (working) player. I'm a uni student, so I can't afford anything expensive. Are you guys saying I have to wait until I'm working full time before I can play any of them? Or can I still pick something second hand up that won't damage my vinyls?

Any suggestions on the following options? I don't really know what I'm looking for, but these are some auctions ending close-by:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Turntable-PS-LX431-Magnetic-Cartridge-Stylus-Auto-Manual-Made-in-Japan-/261309497190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3cd7427f66&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-Direct-Drive-ManualTurntable-/370919098101?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item565c8046f5&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pioneer-PL-340-Stereo-Turntable-/321227383043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4acaa4e103&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Akai-AC-3800-HiFi-Music-Centre-Dolby-/231069794821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35ccd54205&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VINTAGE-TURNTABLE-PIONEER-PL4-WORKING-/380733568751?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item58a57d36ef&_uhb=1

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AKAI-DIRECT-DRIVE-TURNTABLE-AKAI-CPU-CONTROLLED-AMP-RECEIVER-SPEAKERS-/271298503559?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3f2aa6a387&_uhb=1

I don't mind getting my hands dirty in terms of servicing it and getting something working myself.

Somehow missed this earlier, sorry about that! Out of what you have there, pretty much all of them would be great except the first and last ones. The ones in between all have a "T" mount for the stylus as opposed to the "P" mount found on the first and last.

The short version of why you want the T mount is that you have a FAR greater selection to chose from down the line as you upgrade the stylus. You can get a stylus for like $50-60 to get you by for now that won't damage your LPs at all. But down the line you may want to start hearing more detail or use a micro line stylus or something and you can't do that at all with a P mount.

Thanks! Appreciate the advice. Other thing I was wondering was whether I should be getting a belt-drive or direct-drive player? Most of what I read basically seems to distill to "it depends" which is annoying because I'm trying to narrow my options. :lol:

I won't say "It depends", but I would say "It's a matter of opinion" which I know doesn't help much either haha.

I don't know if you've read a lot on why people chose either, but here's the general info: Direct drives don't wear out over time and if they're timed right from the factory, they're deadly accurate on speeds. Belt driven gives you more control and ability to change speeds if you chose to or need to for some reason. Some pressings of LPs are notorious for being a little fast for some reason, so a lot of purists want that belt drive to adjust it slightly for those pressings.

Personally, I went with direct drive as I tend to listen to a TON of records (see pics earlier in thread lol) and a belt wearing out is a very real concern. Here's the turntable I settled on:

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP240-USB-Direct-Drive-Turntable-Output/dp/B0047S3XU0

There was a LOT of bitching in the audiophile forums about it many units being set too fast, but I've never noticed it. Mine seemed to be set just fine out of the box so I've been happy as hell with it. I read all of that stuff prior to getting it so I did a lot of A/B comparisons with my digital versions of tracks to make sure it was right. I checked it against some really long tracks like Pink Floyd's Echoes and Shine On as well as Locomotive and Coma. All them ran at the same speed throughout the whole tune, so I'm set.

As for stylus, I tried a couple different ones, but I am currently absolutely in love with this:

http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT440MLA-Dual-Moving-Magnet-Cartridge/dp/B00009MK3A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1382459079&sr=1-1&keywords=audio+technica+mla440

It's a micro line stylus, which you can only use with the "T" mount I was talking about before. It's a micro line stylus which means that the diamond tip is far more fine than most others. It makes inner groove distortion almost non-existent which is a huge blessing for lots of late 80s, early 90s albums. When CDs were booming and albums started getting longer, the labels started to try to force as many albums on 1 LP (instead of 2) as possible to save money. So you end up with many songs near the center that are almost un-listenable because the grooves are too close together. The micro line stylus corrects that in almost ever single case I've come across. I have two of the most infamous records for this: Warrant's Cherry Pie and Chinese. That stylus plays both straight through with no distortion whatsoever, so it's worth the extra dough.

Hmm, how does one make fine adjustment for speed using a belt drive? I think perhaps some belt drive tables have a speed adjustment feature, but most I have seen do not. You'd probably need to use a different belt to vary speed.

I think the primary advantage of a belt drive is that the motor isn't coupled directly to the platter as it is with DD, reducing any rumble from the motor reaching the platter and arm/cart. Though possibly with less accurate speed, as you stated. Although a good belt drive table will be accurate.

I wouldn't fret too much over each approach...it's all in the execution. There are great examples of both. I have both types myself, a Rega belt drive and a Technics direct drive (which I haven't listened to yet as it needs to be rebuilt first).

Also, I wouldn't worry about replacing a belt. They cost what, $20 or $30?

For inexpensive carts, you can look at something like the Grado Green, which I have. http://www.musicdirect.com/p-7130-grado-green-cartridge-standard-mount.aspx If you want a nice warm and rich sound, this is a good choice. You may want to reconsider if you get a Rega table though, as some have reported hum when using Grado carts with Rega tables. Others, like myself, do not seem to have this issue. Other (audiophile) turntables on the inexpensive side, besides Rega, are offered by Pro-ject and Music Hall. You can buy them used starting at maybe $200-$300, and each of these companies still makes tables, so parts support should be there if you buy a model that isn't too old.

Another inexpensive cart that comes highly recommended is this one: http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT3482P-Conical-Cartridge-Turntables/dp/B002OSWGLW

Finally, if you want to clean vinyl without spending $600 for a good record cleaning machine, check out the KAB EV-1.

Oh, and a good phono stage will help immensely. This is where I would spend some money ($500 or more on the used market), although it's always something you can upgrade down the road. When I upgraded my phono stage from a model that costs $150ish new to one that costs closer to $1,000 (but I bought it used for $500) the improvement was ridiculous.

I may have mixed up a bit of my info as it's been a few years since I did all my research and finally bought a turntable haha, but thank you for the clarification on belts/direct drives :)

I'm very interested in more information on phono stages if/when you have time. I really need to get a solid one, but to be honest I think I could only swing about $500-$600. Would it just be best to wait around until I can spend about double that?

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Hey russtcb,

You could be right about the ability to adjust speed. It's just not something I have come across yet.

As for phono stages, I know that some audiophiles spend nutty money on this stuff. Like thousands of dollars just for the phono stage, forget about the table, arm, and cart. Most of us don't have that kind of money to throw around.

If you are buying new it is best to get the store to lend you a phono stage to try out (they would probably put a hold for that amount on your credit card while you had the unit, usually for a day or two). That is the only way for you to know for certain whether you think it is worth your money.

If buying used it is good to read what people online think, but $500 used translates to a unit that cost $1000 new, and anything that expensive should by default be a pretty big upgrade.

Consider as well the amount of gain that a phono pre gives, as one that has good gain will allow you to try lower output carts. I have a Synthesis Brio, which gives a nice level of gain and uses two 12ax7 tubes. These are very inexpensive to replace, and with such low power these will last a long time. They may need replacing once every five years.

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Hey russtcb,

You could be right about the ability to adjust speed. It's just not something I have come across yet.

As for phono stages, I know that some audiophiles spend nutty money on this stuff. Like thousands of dollars just for the phono stage, forget about the table, arm, and cart. Most of us don't have that kind of money to throw around.

If you are buying new it is best to get the store to lend you a phono stage to try out (they would probably put a hold for that amount on your credit card while you had the unit, usually for a day or two). That is the only way for you to know for certain whether you think it is worth your money.

If buying used it is good to read what people online think, but $500 used translates to a unit that cost $1000 new, and anything that expensive should by default be a pretty big upgrade.

Consider as well the amount of gain that a phono pre gives, as one that has good gain will allow you to try lower output carts. I have a Synthesis Brio, which gives a nice level of gain and uses two 12ax7 tubes. These are very inexpensive to replace, and with such low power these will last a long time. They may need replacing once every five years.

Also, you can check out a site like Needledoctor to see many of the options that exist. These should all be good, but again, spending $500 and up in my experience will yield better results.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/View-All-Phono-Preamps

Ok great, thanks for the point in the right direction!

The current pre-amp I'm using was around $150 new. I basically grabbed it just so it would (barely) outdo the one built into the turntable. I did notice a slight improvement so it's not exactly money wasted but I probably could have just saved towards something better to begin with.

I'll need to check around the Detroit area for stores that sell higher end equipment. We've got a bunch of great record stores to purchase from but no one who actually deals higher end equipment that I've seen. Usually I order my equipment online from Music Direct, but what you're saying makes sense. Trying something out at home with several records over a couple hours would probably give me the best idea of how it'll sound.

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One of my local shops had the 4LP "Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd" and gave me a great deal on it yesterday so I grabbed it. I prefer to listen to Floyd records straight through, but it's worth having this to me just for When The Tigers Broke Free.

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Found a SUPER nice copy of Pink Floyd-The Final Cut today and had to grab it. I also happened across a sealed copy of Mariah Carey's first LP for $6 and grabbed that too.

Scooped up a bunch of cool 80s 45s for cheap as well. A lot of them are really dirty but should sound OK after a good clean up.

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I picked up Pearl Jam's Ten (remastered edition). The bonus "remix" LP is pretty good. This is my first PJ record (I don't own any of their CDs either) and I must say that side 1 is amazing!

YES.

That edition of Ten is the shit. I like that they included both versions instead of just issuing a new mix. I go back and forth between which one I listen to from time to time. Sometimes I like hearing the version I heard first, other times I like hearing that new mix.

As for the album itself, if you like side 1 wait til you hear side 2!

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Russ, maybe you can help. My records are loud but not loud enough. How can I get some more volume? Here are the details:

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turntables/583f30b3a8662772/index.html

I use its built-in preamp and have it connected to a surround sound system via audio cables. Do I need an external preamp or is the problem with the needle? Or cartridge? Or stylus (or is that the needle)? Will the needle ruin my records (and why)?

Sorry, it is all still somewhat new to me...

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Russ, maybe you can help. My records are loud but not loud enough. How can I get some more volume? Here are the details:

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turntables/583f30b3a8662772/index.html

I use its built-in preamp and have it connected to a surround sound system via audio cables. Do I need an external preamp or is the problem with the needle? Or cartridge? Or stylus (or is that the needle)? Will the needle ruin my records (and why)?

Sorry, it is all still somewhat new to me...

I have the ATLP240USB so we're using similar units. The built in pre-amp on mine was enough when I was using it, but I've heard others complain that the built in pre-amp is not loud enough for their tastes. If you go back, you'll see a little discussion going on about pre-amps. Like anything, you can spend quite a bit on one real quick.

For the time being, this is what I'm using:

http://www.amazon.com/TC-750-BLACK-Audiophile-Phono-Preamplifier/dp/B000A36LQ4/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1383602468&sr=1-4&keywords=phono+preamp

These days, I'm running out of the turntable into that, from that to a separate power amp, out of that into a Sony ES receiver. However, when I first got it I had a different living situation so I was running my turntable into that pre-amp then right to a stand (actually a low end) soundbar. It was loud enough for a living room situation and it held it's own through getting really drunk and blasting it.

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The preamp must of course run into a power amp and then to the speakers. So there must be another amplification stage before the signal reaches your speakers. When you say it's connected to your surround sound system, maybe that's the case but it is connected in such a way that you aren't getting the needed further amplification.

Assuming that is taken care of, that preamp may either not be a great match for the cart on your table (though I doubt this, as you are probably running the cart chosen by AT for that table) or it just does not have a high output level. I'm not sure what specs might point to this...maybe gain or nominal/max output. I just know that it's an issue I had with my old preamp but was eliminated when I made a preamp change.

The reviews on Amazon seem positive overall, so I'm guessing the low volume is probably fixable.

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