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Getting into records

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Bottypoo, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Bottypoo

    Bottypoo
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    Hi I'm someone who likes to listen to loads of different music and has a large collection of cds which is constantly being updated. However i have noticed many albums are cheaper on vinyl and also there is a trend to release not so well known singles on limited edition records rather than cds and i feel i am missing out on the vinyl experience in general. I have been reading your cd vs vinyl forum and was wondering how much I would have to pay to get a decent enough turntable, amp and speakers to get me started with records. I have read that a rega p2 is an ok turntable to start with but have no idea about amps etc. Any advice would be welcome
     
  2. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Thats a really wide subject. Like all HiFi, how much do you want to spend ?
    Vinyl replay systems are usually more expensive than CD, this has probably more to do with numbers sold than anything. Its more difficult to choose a good turntable because you have at least three possible choices for the replay system alone (turntable, arm, cartridge), before we even get into the phono stage. After that its the same amp/speaker combination question that haunts 95% of forum postings.

    I should point out that buying a vinyl spinner that costs a couple of hundred pounds is unlikely to compete with a CD player at the same price point.

    Im currently running a secondhand Roksan Xerxes (£350) an Origin Live arm (secondhand £500) and a Ortofon Jubilee cart (£500 from a German supplier). Thats £1350 worth of deck and this tramples all over my CD player. I feed it into a Naim set up with some floorstanding speakers and its outstanding.

    Remember that just because its vinyl doesnt mean its been well produced or well pressed, it can still be poor quality you have to be choosy.
     
  3. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    I think a £300 TT is the equivalent of a £1000 CD player. After £1000 they have differing presentation but sort of get on equal footing. So if you want the best option for less than £1000 get into vinyl. IMHO of course. Just to show the stunning options available in TTs hows about this £700 :

    http://www.justin-ellis.co.uk/mysql_images/aoracle1.JPG

    Actually if you want to start - Ive had good experiences with Project Debut Phonos @ £140, very nice starter TT. Then you progressively go through the TTs from there, its a fascinating journey I tells ya, good luck.
     
  4. Bottypoo

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    Ok thanks guys it all sounds very confusing! I'm really not looking for something to replace or rival my cd player i'd just like to be able to play records as i like a lot of old music which seems to be more expensive than usual on cd and less expensive on vinyl. Also having a large sleeve with the artwork on is a lot nicer than a little cd case. I worked out a very rough estimate aiming to buy most things second hand as there are some good music shops near me i've had a look in. I thought (all approximate): turntable £150, phono stage £50, amp £150, speakers ???? £100 maybe? The speakers i'm really not sure about. I don't really want floorstanding ones, just a pair of average sized speakers will suffice but there is a huge range of prices and i was wondering what sort of area i should go for to match up with the price/quality of the other bits. Thanks
     
  5. Londondecca

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    Do you have a current system and any objections to second hand equipment?
     
  6. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    I've got a project debut III deck (~£130), and it's really rather good. It's hard to compare the 2 formats (CD and vinyl) as they sound so different, but to my ears, both of my sources sound equally competent in playing back my music.

    Records aren't necessarily cheaper. From second hand shops perhaps, but new they can be very expensive. I must admit, for the cool factor, not much gets close to owning a record player and a large collection of records.
     
  7. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Interesting comment, maybe modern TT are a big improvement on older components. I sold my Oracle TT about a year ago, it was nice and relaxed TT, but IMO it was'nt really up there with a grands worth of CD player, infact it wasnt really up there with my CD player that was certainly less than a grand and five years old.

    Looking at your signature it does'nt appear that your happy with £140 worth of TT either !

    Its horses for courses, but if Bottypoo is'nt wanting to rival CD players its as good a starting point as any. However, like you, I dont think vinyl is cheaper, most CDs I pick up are around £6.00, factor in replacement cartridges and it must be a tad more expensive.
     
  8. Bottypoo

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    In reply to Londondecca no i don't have anything else other than your average sony hi fi which to me sounds just fine so i'm probably not used to super good quality speakers etc. I have no problems with second hand equipment as long as it works and isn't too scratched and was even considering ebay instead of local second hand music shops.

    The cool factor is definitely another consideration (see empire records).

    Cd prices wise however there are a couple of record shops selling mostly old/second hand records near where i live where 80s/90s records are pretty cheap say 5/6 quid but the only other place to buy music is hmv which has a monopoly over the local market after all the other music stores shut down and seems to chrage average 12 pounds a cd so maybe the cost varies from place to place. I must admit i haven't looked at the vinyls they do sell in hmv as that section is usually filled with what is now called "chavs" looking for the latest remix of some crappy dance song so it could well be that modern vinyl is quite expensive.

    Thanks for your advice i should be ok now. I'll look into these project debut TTs
     
  9. overkill

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    I would beg to differ. The old NAD 5120 was a blinding TT for less than a £100 notes! It stuffed any CD player up to £250! Now, if you said any Japanese TT up to £200 I would be with you all the way........... :D

    Both my new CD player and TT are (well) over £1000. The CD player isn't even close to the vinyl replay. Just my thoughts on it....

    Back to BP's question.......... I would have a scour on Ebay for a Rega Planer 3. Top TT and should come out, (with careful bidding) round about wher you want to be. Or have a look out for a (good nick) Linn Axis see here:- Axis TT , a Heybrook TT2 or the Manticore Mantra. If they are well looked after (and don't end on a weekend) they will all easily outdo a modern sub £200 TT, and should finish around £150.

    You can get cheap new vinyl, you just have to look in the right places. Many stores are only running the expensive (but excellent) 180 gram albums now. Ebay again is great for hunting down 2nd hand vinyl. Just watch those P&P prices!

    Too true! Sadly though, the rip off record companies still bang out the same albums on CD just as badly produced!! Or as in the orginal Led Zep CD's, such poor quality versions its a wonder it didn't kill the Led Zep collection stone dead! :mad:
     
  10. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I bought my TT,arm and Cart and Power amps from ebay. I did go and look at the amps at the time I picked them up as agreed with the seller (once your paying big money it pays to be careful).

    Cool factor :laugh: not once your paranoid about VTA's, tracking weights and arm boards that go 'sag' in the night you might change your mind......................right I'm off to check my stylus tip with an electron microscope. I may be some time :rolleyes:
     
  11. CJROSS

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    You'd be very surprised at what I paid for that TT Karkus. And you'd be very wrong assuming that I would not be happy with a £140 TT compared to what I have now. The sound I heard in my old amp (a Sony ES without the Moth phono) from a £140 Project Debut Phono positively stunned me. And honestly just to show how we all differ in this hobby, I would not get near that sound with a £300 CDP in a month of Sundays I dont reckon.

    But I should reiterate that I dont go in for Vinyl slaughtering CD, unless you go to stratospheric amounts for TTs (Decks-Arms-Carts-Stages) I think CD has better detail retrieval above £1000, but lacks the smooth fluid feel of vinyl. Purely a preference thing IME & IMHO. As is any quote here of CD being bettered by Vinyl or vice versa.

    ATB.
     
  12. karkus30

    karkus30
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    See, you always have to argue :hiya: :laugh:
     
  13. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hey Karkus before you check your VTA check this article out :

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_experiments_e.html

    A very refreshing article. IMHO.
     
  14. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I was indicating the new price of your TT, but you have not kept the Debut therefore it stands to reason that your new machine is better ?

    I was stunned by the sound of an old music centre through a pair of Wharfedale diamonds (I kid you not) instead of the supplied megga boxes, makes you think.


    Stratospheric ? Not so. But its really difficult to compare. The closest I have managed is with RATMs self titled album which I have on both formats both of which are well recorded.
    Independent listening tests confirm better detail retrieval from the vinyl coupled with the fluidity you describe. Jury's out on the bass, my feeling is that its a touch tighter and more powerful on CD.

    Switching to something like Laurie Andersons Big Science album, the vinyl totally destroys the poor quality CD, if you have never heard this album on vinyl you are missing out on something special (its all down to Bob Ludwig).

    I really struggle with Zeps albums on vinyl and the CDs are even worse until How The West Was Won turns this on its head in CD format. (Im sure Overkill will dispute this in the next post :D )

    In conclusion: when the vinyl is good then the TT wins everytime, when the CD is good then its not as clear cut, but IMO the TT still edges home by several noses even if it does perhaps lose out on the bass control.

    When the vinyl and the CDs are both bad we should hire a hitman :mad:
     
  15. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Oh no, Im horrified, someone else can do that experiment, Im off to get a life...here take my electron microscope, electronic stylus gauge, protractor, spirit level, carbon fibre brushes, keith monks record cleaner........
     
  16. Paul Williams

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    In all honesty you do need both formats - CD's are great for background music as I've never been able to afford a CD player to even approach a reasonably priced turntable.

    The usual process for moving toward vinyl replay would be to add a turntable and phono stage to your current system at low cost. If you like what you hear and can put up with the "Inconvenience" of the format and the associated factors then look further into it. I don't think there would be any benefit in going S/H at this point for a turntable - the project ones can be found for £99 and includes arn and cartridge & Cambridge have just released a phono stage for £40.

    Paul
     
  17. overkill

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    Agreed on the first point. The original Albums I have (the red and purple ones!) sound excellent. The re-issues not as good. However, compared to the awful CD's the re-issues are as good as most people are going to get, as the original pressings fetch top dollar now.

    Sorry to disappoint Kark, I think How the West was won is an excellent CD. :D Page really worked hard on those recordings. However, CD' s poor dynamics always restrain live recordings for me, which means the lack of HWWW on Vinyl is a real killer! :(

    I mean, have you heard Live and Dangerous on CD? Agghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Talk about a let down.........

    I like your comparisons Kark. Another good one is Julia Fordhams first album. I have the vinyl, the Wife has the CD. Both are A1 recordings/pressings. The vinyl has the edge in all areas. In the detail zone it's a clear head in front. However, it's not ahead by much in all areas, (the bass again) but enough to convince er' indoors (she's a CD fan!). :D
     
  18. bobbypunk

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  19. overkill

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    Agreed. I started with the humble 5120 to replace my crap old all-in-one Garrad unit. As the 2nd hand market is so live now, you can easily upgrade if you're happy with the sound and hanker for more/better - without going nuts. Any of the TT's I mentioned will blow a cheap Project away.

    If you get the bug, the road to vinyl nirvana can be addictive! It can get you that way...... just ask Karkus. :D
     
  20. Paul Williams

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  21. CJROSS

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    Certainly does Karkus, I don’t doubt what you heard above at all dude. Sometimes straying out of the boundaries/constraints of normal audiophiles is a very good IME. Ive also done the audiophile speakers onto old music system too, My experiences with the £140 Project Debut Phono (with inbuilt phono equaliser) showed me that. We all differ I reckon on what we find acceptable or hear from CD & Vinyl, to a large extent governed by our systems, room acoustics & musical preference, when as mentioned earlier you look at the options vinyl then offers for tweaking – from arms, carts, phono stages, pressing quality et al it gets even more individually orientated by the user, hence I always take a large pinch of salt anyone deriding either format TBH it does not happen in my system or my ears. The variations and complexities are immense but I could easily have one over the other ie a all CD system or all vinyl system . Anyway keeping on track here is a nice TT for a starter. Project RPM6 : £350

    http://www.moorgate.demon.co.uk/forsale.htm
     

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