Turntable advice

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

  1. Gallic Dweller

    Gallic Dweller Acquaintance

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    Milty Zerostat gun - they now make a mark 3 model - and yes it does work. I used to live behind the Sierra Nevada mountains in Guadix, Andalucia. A wonderful healthy climate, semi desert with bone dry air. The locals said "you will have rocks in your nose for at least 3 years" -and they were right.

    Static was a serious problem for me, if I touched the volume on my Kat88 amp I got static, if I stroked one of our dogs I got a real shock.

    I used to use the Milty gun on an LP and then use a carbon fibre brush, then I would use the Milty again because even a carbon fibre brush creates static.

    Don't forget the stylus - never use any kind of 'stylus cleaning fluid'. They don't make them any more but look to buy s/hand an Audio Technica ultra-sonic stylus cleaner, they are brilliant. It's amazing what kind of gunge a stylus can pick up. It's battery operated. there's a 'cleaning pad' that you lower the stylus onto, switch on and leave for about 15 seconds. I've never heard of anyone damaging their stylus using this simple device. Your stylus is now 'polished' clean.

    The only effective way to keep your vinyl clean, is a record cleaning machine. Some people club together to buy one and that makes sense. I now use an MC, it cost me $399 - the AT33EV - bloody brilliant. I plan to buy another AT, the ART 9 @ around £700/$925, the amount of time a stylus lasts is determined by 2 factors - the amount of play time and the state of the vinyl.

    Keeping an LP static free means that the vinyl grooves won't be full of dust and other grunge. I've got LPs I bought in the 70s' some of which I've replaced via discogs and ebay but some are still good and playable - keep ypour vinyl clean and static free ditto for your stylus - oh yes, the music sounds better as well.
     
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  2. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    I've had
    Oddly (or maybe not) using a Zerostat eliminated exactly the type of static discharge as @Ziva describes on my Prime.

    I'd also play around with the ground wire on the TNT, checking different configurations to see if that makes a difference.
     
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  3. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master East

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    Could be I was using it wrong, but the static discharges it seemed to contribute to killed one of the opamps in my phono pre and another member's. Both repaired now, but I stopped using the Zerostat that day, and have since also stopped having as much static. Moved on to a different table now and I don't have this issue at all.
     
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  4. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Wow, that sucks! It is easy to use them incorrectly i.e. they are just as capable of adding static as they are of removing it. I've had good luck with it.
     
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  5. Conor Brennan

    Conor Brennan Rando

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    I don't know if you'll know the answer to this, but I have the base Audio-Technica LP120 with the base stylus and cartridge. Would I hear a noticable different with a Grado/Ortofon cartridge? And which ones of the Grados are worth the cost? Also, will a better cartridge reduce popping noise at all?
     
  6. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Hi, Conor. Welcome to SBAF. You accidentally replied to a post from 2015. No worries, you'll get the hang of it. I have the LP120 too, and I'll share some general thoughts/tips about getting the most out of it:
    • If you're not already using an external pre-amp, be sure to pick one up. Don't spend too much money. I recommend either an Art DJ Pre II or a TCC TC-750 (the Schiit Mani would be a good choice too). In order to use an external phono pre, you'll need to flip the switch on the back of the LP120 from "LINE" to "PHONO".
    • If you haven't done so already, pick up a proper platter mat. The felt slipmat that comes with the table is not for playing records (it's mostly for decoration since the LP120 isn't a DJ table). I recommend a heavy rubber mat because the LP120 platter is very lightweight and resonant. The Technics RGS0008 and RGS0010A are good choices that can usually be found on eBay for ~$30.
    • If you haven't modified your turntable to remove the internal preamp, I highly recommend not sinking a bunch of money into a cartridge. You won't get a very good return on your investment. At the budget end of things, the Nagaoka MP-110 is highly regarded and is said to do a pretty good job of minimizing surface noise. The Ortofon 2M red is also around the same price and would be a fine choice for your first cartridge upgrade.
    • If you have a little electronics know-how, look into removing the internal preamp. It's not particularly difficult, but I only recommend doing this if you know how to solder or have a knowledgable friend who can help you. If you're uncertain about this, don't worry about it and just enjoy your table.
    There are some other considerations too, but the list above should get you headed in the right direction. Good luck!
     
  7. Conor Brennan

    Conor Brennan Rando

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    Haha, thanks. I didn't even see the posted date, more used to the headphones and audio subreddits so I'm not used to seeing much over a year old.


    Thanks a ton for the help!
     
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  8. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Thought's on Pro-Ject RPM 9 Carbon vs Nottingham Ace Spacedeck with Ace Space arm?

    I'm having a lot of trouble getting a decent turntable in Australia for a realistic price. Kuzma Stabi S with arm is over $5k! The Pro-Ject is $2700 right now. A Nottingham deck with arm will run me around $4k when landed from the UK. I don't want to touch Rega. The new Schiit might be OK but who know's when that's coming? The MoFi tables get mixed reviews. I just don't know what to do..
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  9. Conor Brennan

    Conor Brennan Rando

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    Oh, and if I can bug you some more..

    Why does the cartridge upgrade make no difference if I don't take the preamp out? And, if I do, what advantage does a outside preamp make?

    I know when I had the phono preamp on and I tried to rip it in Audacity, it sounded really loud and and distorted. I was plugging it into my line in jack, btw.
     
  10. Conor Brennan

    Conor Brennan Rando

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    So if I may annoy you a bit more and ask some more questions:

    what is the purpose of an external preamp? Before I realized that I should rip my vinyl to computer using the LINE setting, I ripped them via phone and it sounded really loud and kinda distorted. Would an external preamp rectify that? Otherwise what is the purpose of it over just the normal preamp?
     
  11. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    @Conor Brennan send me a PM (Inbox > Start a New Conversation) so you don't reduce the SNR of this thread. Thanks~
     
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  12. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    I bought an Ace Spacedeck and couldn’t be happier. I didn’t think the Kuzma sounded that great and there were a few design elements that I didn’t like. The Ace Spacedeck has a couple nice features that were trickled down from their higher end tables since the original Spacedeck was released. I am not convinced that the higher end project stuff is worth it. Another nice table I really liked was the Clearaudio Concept. If you want to go less than the Nott that would be my first choice.

    One more thing about the Spacedeck. Some trusted associates told me it sounds better without the Ace Space arm. The arm can be too slow and mushy with that turntable. For the same price or less you can get an SME or origin live arm that will be a better match to the slightly warm nature of the Spacedeck.

    I ended up going for an arm that is made down in your neck of the woods...the Wand tonearm. My dealer likes to pair the Nottingham deck with the Wand so I got to hear the combo a number of times. I think it is a well built, relatively cheap, easy to use arm that sounds great with the Spacedeck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  13. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Thanks Stapsy, that's helpful advice. Do you have to push start the platter on the Spacedeck?
     
  14. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    Yep. That is actually one of my favorite parts. I weirdly really enjoy starting and stopping the platter with my hand.
     
  15. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Facebook Friend

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    I have a Rega P3, one of the older versions with the white belt upgrade and a machined aluminum subplatter. I got it with a Sumiko Blue Point, and I really enjoyed the combo until I accidentally bent the cantilever beyond repair (ironically trying to put the plastic guard on). I have a Shure M97Xe on there now, which I like, but I feel like the P3 deserves better. I have the cartridge for an Ortofon 2M Bronze, I got used at a good price near the end of its life for a previous lesser turntable, but the needle eventually went bad and I couldn't afford to replace it at the time. I can always sell the cartridge, and use that to fund something else. It did alright, but I'm hoping to get some feedback. I prefer a sound with excellent dynamics (macro > micro), realism, and speed/transient response that maintains coherence when the music gets messy. As to the realism note, I tend to prefer a midrange that is somewhat solid and weighty. I have been eyeing the Denon DL103, but I'm curious if a fresh 2M Bronze would blow it out of the water (given that I only need to pay for the needle, not the cartridge). I have also considered just saving a little more to get the 2M Black. Thoughts? I am looking at a budget of ~$300. My preamp is a Bugle 2 which I'm happy with for now, I will eventually upgrade to an Elekit.
     
  16. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Another option you could consider is upgrading your M97xE with the [Jico SAS microline stylus]. Fremer was a fan of this combo, for what it's worth (I have not heard it personally). There is a ton of info on various boards about the JICO SAS + M97xE pairing too.
     
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  17. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    @ohshitgorillas - is your preamp switchable MM/MC or is it one of the earlier, fixed-output ones? If the latter, the output might influence your choice: the Sumiko is a high-output MC which will run fine on the MM setting of your Hagerman, whereas the Denon you're considering is low.

    Have you thought about getting the Sumiko a new cantilever & tip from e.g. Soundsmith?
     
  18. eternaldrake

    eternaldrake Rando

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    I know that there are other threads with a decent bit of discussion on this already, but I wanted to get some quick feedback:

    I'm debating between a like-new Rega Planar 2 (rb220 arm) from a local shop for 500 (550 after tax) or pick up a Uturn custom w/ ortofon red/acrylic/cue lever for ~380 after shipping. Aesthetically they are pretty much a tie (both white which is what I want), and I might be able to trade in some of my vintage stuff I need to get rid of anyways towards the RP2.

    I know the general consensus seems to be the lower end Regas aren't the most consistent and that the uturn is the better value, just curious if anyone thinks an ok price on a used rp2 might change that equation. Then again the RP2 seems like sort of a pointless stepping stone between the RP1 and RP3, so maybe not.
     
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  19. L'Orfeo

    L'Orfeo MoatsArt the Second

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    @eternaldrake

    The "like" is for having Hiromi as an avatar. I'd say she rocks. It would probably be more appropriate to say that she jazzes.
     
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  20. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Facebook Friend

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    I have done some reading and I've seen more than a few people mention that while the Jico SAS stylus is good for detail and clarity, it tends to have a somewhat hollow or off-sounding midrange. That is a total non-starter for me even if this effect is subtle. Accurate, realistic midrange instrument/vocal tonality is one of the most critical aspects for me, having an even slightly recessed or hollowed out midrange sounds gross to me.

    @Biodegraded: I have a fixed output Bugle 2 but I also got it DIY, I'm comfortable swapping out a few resistors to change the gain so this is no big deal. As for the Sumiko, my table came with the original Blue Point, not the No. 2. I'm not sure if the newer needles will be compatible, or if the cartridge is the same, or etc. Besides that, when it worked it was good, destroys the Shure M97Xe, but wasn't so good that I want another.
     
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