Turntable advice

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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  2. Thundervikings

    Thundervikings Rando

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    I really appreciate the suggestions. It makes sense to stick with the same cart that is working. The 540ML stylus should work as the in-production replacement (and cheaper than the NOS 440mla stuff left). I may order a 540ml cart and compare the newer stylus between the two, as it can work with either one and I'm curious to see how they compare. Restoring vintage cart and hoping that it will work sounds like more than I want to take on right now.
     
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  3. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    What about the regular TC-750 are you looking to improve? What is your budget? I’m assuming you’re not interested in going to SOLA HD PS route for your TC-750?
     
  4. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    I've been thinking about horsing around with the TC-750 just for fun. Based on @atomicbob's analysis of a similar unit from Zerozone, I got curious about this aliexpress LPS [link]. If I do go down that road, I would probably just spring for this LPS. The combined cost of the TC-750 + LPS is still less than the cost of that Cambridge. It also looks less weird than the SolaHD, and you don't have to worry about exposed electrical contacts if you have kids or pets. Based on @purr1n's comments, it seems like you really need to make a big step up to get an across-the-board upgrade from the TC-750 (with MM carts). In my eyes, that would mean something like an RSA Nighthawk or the new kilobuck iFi iPhono. Personally, I don't think it makes sense to sink more into your preamp than your table, so that route really only makes sense if you have a premium turntable (>$1k). And for cheap phono preamps, I don't know of any better options than Mani and TC-750. This Emotiva looks sort of interesting in the budget category: [XPS-1 link].
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  5. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Actually I'm quite happy with the TC-750. I'm currently running it with the upgraded 1.5 amp walwart PS that they sell for it.

    So, I guess I'm just curious if there is anything better in the budget category (under $200). I'm also considering getting the LPS for the TC-750; I'm just not convinced it will make that much of a dif.
     
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  6. Pogo

    Pogo Friend

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    To answer your earlier question of me No, I've never heard the CA Alva Solo. No desire to either, I put a lot of hours and money chasing lower cost phono pres some time ago. Those units (Nad, Hagerman, Creek, Rega etc) were all good but not worth the extra coin over the TC750 with an upgraded power supply. I still have my 750 from the late 90's, it gets regular usage in my 2nd rig (H/K T40 with Ortophon OM20 Super).
    My 750 is powered by a 12v battery (size U1,AGM) that was leftover from a boat rewire.....SMPS? LPS? What the hell are those, this setup yields unlimited current supply with no power line noise. An undeniable improvement over the power supply that came with the 750, although back then they only offered the wimpy .5A PS. I can't tell you if direct DC will be a huge improvement over your 1.5A but if you've a spare battery and a bit of wire handy it might be worth a try.
     
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  7. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Thanks for your input and ideas @Gaspasser, @Pogo, @monacelli, much appreciated.

    The TC-750 sure seems to get a lot of love, so maybe I'm in a good place. If something interesting comes along I am still interested in options, but for now I think I'll be content with the TC-750. Maybe it's time to optimize the PS...

    Just for the record, I'm fairly impressed with this Fluance RT85 TT. Setup was easy and sounds amazing.
     
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  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Stylus inspection for very cheap

    To properly check the condition of your stylus, you really want magnification of 100x or greater. The problem with cheap USB microscopes that claim to go up to 1000x is that usually they have a 40x or 50x optical lens and rely on digital zooming to get higher, and most of the affordable ones are pretty low resolution at 2MP. Digital zooming is not your friend here, because you're looking for small wear pits on the sides of the stylus near the very tip and the pixelation can mask them.

    What's ideal is an old-school or antique microscope with objective/ocular combinations that get you 2 or 3 choices between 100x and 200x, or a continuous zoom in that range. You can find these pretty cheap; currently there are some near me for between $25 & $50 CAD. Look for something that has enough focusing/stage-height adjustment that the objective and stage can be gotten far enough apart that if you want to check an MC, can accommodate the whole cartridge and headshell (at least an inch).

    For something cheap and effective that doesn't require scouring Craigslist or hitting the estate sales, this 100x to 250x illuminated one available for $US18 worked well for me:

    https://www.amazon.com/Carson-Microscope-Smartphone-Digiscoping-MP-250/dp/B015MS8O48

    Resting it on a book of a height appropriate to the cart steadies everthing, and it has a clip for fastening your phone to the eyepiece if you want to try taking photos:

    [​IMG]

    The light comes from the back of the unit (left of the lens in this photo) so it's good to move the cartridge into different positions to check reflections from different directions. The headshell's cueing arm can get in the way, but with a bit of care you can get around this using a corner of the book.

    Whether using one of these or a traditional microscope, BE VERY CAREFUL not to drive the objective down onto the stylus when focusing. Maybe some of you will remember the bollocking you got for breaking slides in biology classes by doing exactly that.

    Some examples of the sorts of wear you're (not) looking for are shown in this informative review of stylus wear, and in the Shure manual for dealers (PDF) that's referred to and linked from the same page.*

    My DL-110's diamond is in good shape :)

    *The legends on the photos in the web article indicate 10x & 20x magnification. I think they're out by a factor of 10. The Shure microscope has a 100-200x range and the manual shows photos at 200x.
     
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  9. S.D.M.F.

    S.D.M.F. Rando

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    I just ordered the Pro-Ject VC-E record cleaner... is it decent and worth $500? I could cancel the order.

    Thanks
     
  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...akycleanvinyl-com-mk-iii-record-cleaner.4689/

    Currently there's a 15% discount on the $US125 price if you enter "I just washed them" at checkout; and you'll also get some Ilfotol wetting agent.

    If you don't already have one, you'll also need a shop-vac to hook up to it - but those are cheap and useful for other things too.
     
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  11. bigant

    bigant Rando

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    I have been using one for over a year now. No complaints, got about 400 lp’s I had in storage for over 10 years, covered in mould, cat hair ,sticky fingerprints and nicotine. After a clean I’m still sometimes surprised by the reduction in crackles. No experience with other devices. Velvet lips seem to be lasting well, I have got a couple of replacement sets juts in case. I get paranoid about a bit of grit getting stuck between them and a record so check them obsessively.
     
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  12. The Life

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    I am looking to run multiple belts on my VPI Classic. Does anyone know a source for getting those belts at a lower price than what VPI charges? $30 each seems too steep.
     
  13. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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  14. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    @ogodei Steve, I use an external PSU/voltage stabilizer/speed control/whatever you want to call it with my Garrard 401, and I'd say it makes a positive difference. This looks to be an older version of the VPI SDS (?), and I think a lot of people find that a useful upgrade? I'm slightly guessing here, as I don't run a VPI table, but for the price.... I'm sure you know all of this already, but hopefully this helps.

    The Garrard idler drive is way different than the VPI belt, but I'd think the belt would actually benefit more from a speed control?
     
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  15. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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    Apparently the VPI PLC (this one) was replaced by the SDS, both of which have a turntable motor speed controller and an AC line isolator. The SDS was replaced by ADS, which has a linear power supply, a 'power regenerator' and a motor speed controller. Forum scuttlebutt sez SDS good, ADS bad.

    I already have clean power so I'm looking for the speed control, as you said. Question I guess is if their's a better, more modern speed control that works with the Classic 4. Looks like SOTA has an Eclipse system, just not sure if it works with this VPI.
     
  16. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    I *think* one of the Phoenix Engineering units (Roadrunner?) might work with some VPI motors.
     
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  17. Cakecake

    Cakecake Guest

  18. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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    Yes.

    Looks like the used power line conditioner would work but the Sota Eclipse package might be a more complete solution.

    I really shouldnt bother with either right now, Ive just been eyeing having more than one belt on the classic.
     
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  19. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    Ah, the SOTA package includes a Road Runner.
     
  20. The Life

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    The Sota Eclipse package, as is, would require you to change the motor of your Classic to the BLDC motor. A more straightforward solution would be just the Eagle and Roadrunner combo. Bill at Phoenix Engineering has been known to still build these on request (and for the same price as when the company was still up and running).
     
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