Turntable advice

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Falcor, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Approx. how far to the outside does it 'skip'? Has this been happening since you mounted cart to arm, or begin later? Are you using the string antiskate or the "twisted wire"?
     
  2. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    @powermatic It skips to approximately 2 seconds of music before repeating the skipping-playing-skipping again. It just happens recently. I am using the twisty wire and not the fishing line.
     
  3. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    So after more research and a bit fiddling, I found the problem lies in the rubber piece of the tibearm that contacts the felt pad of the lifting-lowering mechanism. It was too low near the inner grooves, made contact with the pad and skipped the cartridge.
     
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  4. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Remove the anti-skate entirely and try again. It's common not to use anti-skate with the VPI JMW arms.

    EDIT: Ah you found the culprit. The tonearm lifter on those tables can sometimes start to get sticky, as in the plunger starts lingering up too high after a while. But in your case, maybe the installation height was just excessive.
     
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  5. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    Yes, it was either the fuzzy pad being too high or the rubber piece being too thick. Nothing a bit of shaving can’t fix. Now back to the leisure of listening as usual.

    In the interest of upgrading my mono cart (currently AT-Mono3/LP), I’d like to ask for experience/suggestion regarding better mono carts. I’ve seen recommendation for AT-33Mono, Ortofon 2M mono and Ortofon Quintet Mono (and the Miyajima Zero, but that’s when I can join ORFAS in 40 years). If you have experience with them (with or without the VPI JMW 3D arm), I’d love to hear your perspective.
     
  6. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    The answer partially depends on what type of mono records you have. Older mono records have different groove sizes and were cut using mono heads. With modern mono recordings that were cut with a stereo lathe I would be hesitant to use a true mono cart like the Miyajima's that have no vertical movement.

    I have heard the Quintet Mono and own the Quintet Bronze. The Mono is based on the Quintet Blue, which Harry Weisfeld seems to like quite a bit. I thought it sounded a little lean and grainy but that could easily be system synergy or the pressing. My hunch is it would sound good with the 3D arm.

    Another interesting option are the Soundsmith carts, but it really depends how much you want to spend. I would probably skip the Quintet Mono and go to a Cadenza Mono, Soundsmith Zephyr mono, or a cheaper Miyajima if you have pre-70s mono. No question your table and arm could make use of a higher end cart.
     
  7. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    Thanks @Stapsy. The only genre I collect mono records is tango related; most of them were pressed in Columbia, Argentina, and Peru. There aren't a lot of information regarding the year they were issued, so it's hard to know if they were cut with a stereo or mono head. Nonetheless, I estimate they were made in the 1950s, 1960s and until late 1970s. Does the cut off year of 1968 include those pressing plants in South America?
    There is a lightly used Cadenza Mono on 'Gon now, and I'm debating if I should get it.
     
  8. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    In that case I am not sure that the Cadenza mono would be the best choice due to its modern radius fine line stylus. Typically people like a larger stylus with older mono recordings to better "fit" the larger grooves. Perhaps a conical or eliptical stylus might be a better fit for your situation. No point spending for a more expensive stylus if it doesn't actually help.
     
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  9. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    Thanks @Stapsy
    I’ll look into SS Zephyr mono and Miyajima Premium BE mono or eventually the Zero if I get lucky with the used market.
     
  10. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    I believe the Miyajima is only to be used for pre-68 mono records as it is a true mono. If you aren't sure when your records were made I would be hesitant to go with the Miyajima. Something with a conical or eliptical stylus designed for stereo records but with the vertical channel cancelled like the Quintet or 2m mono might actually be a better choice.

    Theoretically, a very thin modern tip that is designed for stereo lathe grooves would fall deeper into a mono lathe groove without actually having the correct profile to touch the sides of the grooves. As with most things, I am sure the impact is debateable. Record wear and condition probably plays a role as well. A stereo eliptical/conical groove is kind of a compromise between the two.

    You can always try your stereo cart with your mono records and see how it sounds. That should give you a pretty good idea of what a modern fine line stylus (like a zephyr or cadenza) would sound like.
     
  11. nonamodnar

    nonamodnar Friend

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    Thanks @Stapsy. That's a lot of helpful information, I've been reading more on this topic and there is so many different reported experience. There is a school that thinks larger conical or spherical stylus will ride higher on these wider grooves, thus avoiding hitting the bottom of the groove. On the other hand, some thinks a diamond tip elliptical or line contact will ride lower and avoid the wears caused by previously played large stylus of the '60s.
     
  12. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I'm going to visit a vintage stereo / turntable shop next week and I'm wondering what would be a good cheap (~$150) starter table or brand to look out for?
     
  13. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    At $150 you'll need to keep your options open. Denon, Pioneer, Micro, Victor (JVC), Kenwood, Sony and many more brand options...
     
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  14. AvijitS25

    AvijitS25 Rando

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    I and my friends are trying to come up with an affordable system as we have wanted to get into vinyl for some time and I have come to seek some advice. I am a complete novice when it comes to turntables, phono stages, and speakers. So far we have decided we will each get a Uturn orbit, and a Schiit mani preamp for them, but we are unsure of what speakers and amp to get, the overall budget is most likely going to be ~800CAD. They would like to use their system with speakers and I would like to use my system with Headphones.

    1.I was wondering if I(we) could get some advice in regards to what speakers may be worth looking into along with an amplifier.

    Additionally, while I was looking for stuff in some classifieds I came across this ad and wanted to ask if any of this gear would be a viable option. Prices are not listed and a lot of it looks really fancy and probably out of the budget. Also, would an integrated amp be a better choice for the system and budget?

    https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rch/ele/d/clearance-saleturntable/6550985228.html

    Lastly, as I mentioned I personally want to get a vinyl system for use with headphones and was wondering would a Jotunheim with phono module or PS Audio Sprout be good options for my intended use and are there any alternatives I should look at. For Headphones I have the ZMF Atticus, Iems are the CFA Orion I don't know if this is necessary information but I thought I would mention it.

    Sorry if the post is confusing, if there are any grammar problems, and if there are any other issues with the writing or the whole post overall.
     
  15. Gallic Dweller

    Gallic Dweller Acquaintance

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    This ad you've posted doesn't make any sense - some of the gear would go for way more than $300 eg. while I don't think m uch of Rega 3 decks (had one, crap cheap bearing) - a Rega 3 with an SME 3009 arm and Shure V15 + new stylus - just check out how much the arm and cartridge go for.

    Best value by far is s/hand BUT you need to know what you are buying or have someone who does really know to hold your hand I wouldn't start down the vinyl road.

    What vinyl are you going to buy - new vinyl simply doesn't compare, why because effectively it is digital, why because all the recording gear is digital. Yes there are audiophile exceptions but not all of that is worth the high price. Just because it is 180g doesn't mean anything. Over the decades I have amassed around 1000 LPs, an awful lot of them from chumps who sold their vinyl for silly money £1 per LP, most I ever paid was £2 at car boot sales in the UK. I did buy some audiophile LPs at the beginning of the 90s' and some of this goes for up to £500.

    You can buy some of the very good vinyl pressed in the 70s at very cheap prices from the US, as you live in Canada the postage won't kill you. But still the best pressings were done in UK/Europe, in the States the vinyl was made to sound good played by radio stations on the AM band, not so in Europe.

    From 1980 onwards most vinyl was made using digital. I remember listening to an interview on a great music programme - Late Junction on BBC radio and Mark Knopfler /Dire Straits ranting at himself for not having put together an analogue recording set-up years earlier as it cost him a small fortune to hunt down and buy the analogue gear, he also had a digital set-up.

    Now if you have an elderly relative who is close to popping his clogs and has promised you a well kept big LP collection - that's a different matter.

    If your musical tastes don't extend to the 60s/70s then I would buy CDs from the 80s onwards, they are now nearly as cheap as vinyl was at the end of the 80s. and into the 90s. With a good set-up digitising these properly will give you a superior sound to the original CDs.

    I have a Kenwood KD990 (in fact 2) which comes with it's own excellent gimbal arm that is a doddle to set-up @ €8-900 An AT 33EV MC cartridge @ $399. A Talk Audio MC3 fully discrete phono stage,bought in 2009 (when the whole international Ponzi scheme was maybe going to collapse) half price @ £600/$1100. In the analogue world, inter/connects are very important and good commercial ones are not cheap. I used to make and sell my own air cored ones and they were cheap @ $300 to comparable well known commercial ones.

    Think carefully and don't get caught up in the expensive upgrade game. If you really do want to go down the vinyl road - do it in two steps - buy s/hand quality gear to start with and never get caught up in the 'bling thing' that is for chumps. The very best is hugely expensive and for what - 2% better - caveat emptor.
     
  16. loki993

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    I got an old Technics and I think I have into it all told 50 or 60 bucks and 90 percent of that was the new cartridge. Vintage audio shops are ok but I fear a lot of them may be charging a premium for some things now that Vinyl is popular again. That said you can probably find some nice stuff and you should at least have a reasonable expectation that its in good working order. If you're ok with tinkering you may have better luck with garage and estate sales maybe even a thrift shop or CL and you can save a ton of money. Don't count out friends and relatives, a lot of people have turntables just sitting around collecting dust or shoved in a closet somewhere and would probably happily give it to you just to get it out of their house, its how I got mine. Be prepared to maybe have to do a bit of work fixing it up, new belt, new cart and everything that that entails.

    True but there are some notable exceptions, Jack White, the Black Keys and Foo Fighters come immediately to mind. Also depending on the music you like there just may not be old records of it...or they are so unobtanium they may as well not exist. I like a lot of stuff from the 90s and back then vinyl wasn't popular at all, so the few records that were made by popular bands are insanely expensive now in the rare instance you find one. Add to that they probably, like you say, was just someone slapping a digital recording onto a record and from my research at least most of those pressings were relatively crappy too so they just aren't worth it, so those are the ones I like to get reissues of. Part of the draw to vinyl as a preferred physical medium is the ritual of it all for me.

    The older stuff, the classic rock stuff I do like to try to find older pressings if I can, but there were still a lot of crappy pressings back then too. Being in the US a good UK or european pressing can fetch a bit of money so it's not always the economical way to go either. I would prefer an original, but I still don't overlook the new stuff because it can be done well.

    I wholeheartedly agree though you really have to know what you are looking for and what you are looking at with vinyl. Moreso than with just about anything else.
     
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  17. Gallic Dweller

    Gallic Dweller Acquaintance

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    If you are determined to go the vinyl route then without hesitation I say - check out the Japanese d/d superdecks. I wasted good money when I decided to get serious about a sound system buying first a Rega 2 and then a Rega 3. I even went as far as buying a dedicated power supply which luckily enough I was able to use to feed a Marantz 63 KI CDP bought s/hand in 92 and was in use until a couple of months ago - value for money.

    As my partner was also into music (wasn't I lucky) I saw a s/hand Technics SL120/SME 3009 detachable h/shell + Shure V15 for sale @ £100. The SME arm had been fitted at the SME factory that was a few miles from the buyer's home. A sad story attached to this buy. The buyer was a retired man who bought a good system for his retirement but a crap doctor had over subscribed a med that left him with raging tinnitus.

    One day soon afterwards the weather was too bad for me to work (construction) so I used the Target wall shelf to site the deck. It was easy to set it up and I put on a side. Straightaway I was shocked at how quiet the deck played and the quality of the music I was listening to - that was the end for the Rega and all belt drive decks. I bought another Technics for myself and guided by an industry professional on a UK audio forum I bought on ebay.de my first Kenwood KD 990.

    This deck was badly packed, very unusual for Germans who are very methodical people. It was dropped in transit and arrived with a corner of the piano/mirror finish plinth smashed. I never the less set it up and guess what, it played flawlessly and was a vast improvement on the Technics SL120. I negotiated a reduction with the German seller and it cost me just £120.

    If you shell out for one of these Kenwood KD series decks you also get a superb gimbal arm, one of the best of it's type wired with solid core silver, revolutionary then and now. The bearing assembly is superb - it is a rod of special alloy steel that is rifled so that a constant film of oil is travelling up it's length, so the bearing operates on two planes not one. If the tolerances were any tighter it would seize up. Change the oil (A Slick 50) every couple of years and unlike the Third Reich it will literally last a thousand years. The arm is so simple to set-up unlike some.

    The turntable is actually separate from the plinth and sits on a huge aluminium spider. If you are not happy with the gimbal arm there are 3 other points to attach other arms to, in this it is unique. You can also strip away the plinth and just have the aluminium spider. With the mirror finish plinth the deck is pure Zen. It has another huge plus point - the PCB components can be replaced. there are no 'audiophile' parts just bog standard commercial ones. I have to replace all the PSU caps and I shall replace all the resistors, the ICs will go on forever.

    These Kenwood KD t/ts have another huge advantage that even the most stupidly priced modern decks don't have - automatic end of side shut down and automatic arm lift. Why all decks don't have this marvellous function built in is incredible. I still have LPs that I bought in the 70s and used in various 'altered states' and the only marks are from lifting the arm at end of side - once you've experienced just how useful these two functions are you can't go back to primitive alternatives.

    Be very careful that you don't choose a Jap d/d that can't be repaired. Their is a glitzy/blingy Denon with raised platter, if the electronic tape within the platter goes, it can't be replaced - caveat emptor. Compared to the Garrards and Lencos the Jap superdecks are completely superior in technical engineering and design.

    The function of a t/t is very simple - it should rotate at the correct speed and be silent in operation. It should impart nothing to the sound. That is the function of the arm and cartridge, ideally the arm should contribute nothing - it's function is to support the cartridge. A lot who support, often fanatically the Garrard and Lenco type love the fact that both these t/ts 'colopur' the sound but they refuse to admit this. The Sondek/Ittok is a complete rip-off. I can remember when there was always another rip-off priced upgrade to be done.

    If you shell out for a good Jap superdeck, you will have no need to ever replace it and as long as there is vinyl it will at least keep it's price. There are fully automatic ones they are not as neutral as the semi-automatic decks but still very,very good.

    The UK/USA audio press slagged off these Jap d/d decks at the behest of western audio businesses. The only people who didn't listen were predominately the Germans, hence the best place to look for these decks is ebay.de.

    Next up phono stages and cartridge/arm matching.
     
  18. loki993

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    Im sort of waiting to see what the Sol comes in at, from everything I've seen it should be a relative bargain albiet a bit fiddly, but then again aren't most TTs anyway, that's not something I have an issue with.

    Are there any of these Japanese DDs around for the bargain hunters out there. The few examples Ive found with a quick look most cost upwards of and beyond a thousand dollars.
     
  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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  20. Gallic Dweller

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    Whatever type of deck you go for a good one is going to cost money, if you buy a cheapo you will be disappointed and put off vinyl. It's true I got into Jap d/ds when a good condition Kenwood KD 990 was €400, now they are €7-900. What makes them a very good deal is, they come with an arm that I am contented with. Indeed James Doddington ( he helped to set up the American DVD A standard) the industry professional I mentioned reckoned it was the best of the gimbal arms and I have found it to be so and an absolute doddle to set up. Check out the prices on quality gimbal arms and you wil;l see that for around €800 you have a good deal.

    It's silly to start out with a so-so deck - a good deck /arm is the bedrock of a vinyl system. A turntable has to do only 3 things well - operate without noise, rumble and play at precisely the right speed - that's it. Why not start with that and improve the rest over time.

    Once you achieve that you then think - well why not digitise and make life simpler - here's the bummer. Just read those who have a really, really good digital rig and why they don't get rid of their analogue one - because no matter how good the digital rig is - you can hear the difference, or - life's a bitch and then it's over - esta la vida hombre.
     
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