Novice - Vinyl Intro

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by scrowe, Nov 13, 2017.

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  1. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Hi all.

    I'm surrounded by vinyl everywhere in the local shops it seems, so I wanted to dip my toe in. My equipment is usually mid-to-high range, so spending £300 seems reasonable, will be connecting to my Yamaha RX-A3050 Amp which has dedicated phono input.

    Reading through reviews on here I had almost decided on the Pioneer PLX-500. Always loved the Pio brand, and the review herein says that at this level you can upgrade quite a bit on the Carriage/Needle and get more bang for buck, if that is my toe-dip turns into wading. But as someone who has always paid for quality interconnects the fitted/moulded RCA cables bother me, and lack of ground connection (not that I know what the value of such a thing is, but my Amp supports it). Not sure if I want/need the Digital Ripping, but the thought of buying an album and not adding it to my portable player as well bothers me slightly if I didn't have the feature, though I'm sure there would be other methods of recording the audio out.

    However, local shops were OOS in black (eta 2 weeks), though I did see a display model, and it will look fantastic ontop my AV unit, with bonus of the top/cover as well, and weight/build-quality seemed really good. So my impulse purchase today has died, and I've had more time to read reviews, and as no deals are around, may as well wait for Black Friday.

    Another option is the Sony PS-HX500. This caught my eye because it launched as a £500 piece of kit and can be had for half that today, so are you getting a better overall turntable? The review herein highlights the high-res audio ripping, but still not a dealmaker for me. This has proper phono outputs and ground, albeit the review says the carriage/needle are generic, and doesn't say how upgradeable in the future. It doesn't look that nice, albeit it does have a lid apparently, and overall it does seem to address my concerns over the interconnects of the Pioneer.

    The other option that seems to ht the price-point is the Pro-Ject Essentials III-A. Without the inbuilt phono stage which I don't need the review suggests it has lots of dedicated-to-purpose engineering, and provides a quality carriage/needle which really adds to the performance. The review gives it a best-buy at under £300, seems to have everything included for best perfromance/qiuality, including lid, but no digital output, albeit website suggest such models can be had.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Can't comment on the Pioneer or Sony and digital ripping features aren't something I've ever looked into so I have no real opinion on that front. If looking at buying a Project then you may want to look at what a Debut Carbon sells at as I'm pretty sure you can get one new within budget. Project seem to be forever updating their models but I think, although don't quote me on this, the Debut Carbon models are a step up from the Essential range. Worth looking into at least and while you're at it, see what Rega are offering within your budget. I think most people would agree that you won't go far wrong with either brand at this price point so might be worth looking to see who's offering the best discounts.
     
  3. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Seriously considering the Project Carbon Espirit now. Budget busting, but for what you get might be worth it.
     
  4. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    See previous posts and discussion by myself and others... However if you are determined to enjoy an obsolete technology go ahead.
    A point about earthing.. the signal from a pickup is only a couple of millivolts at peak intensity, and is best handled as a true differential signal all the way up to power amplifier level, when it can handle being single ended... . The 4 leads from the pickup should be in shielded cable, but only one connection made to the shield either at the record player or at the preamp, and nowhere else.
    The amount of magnetic field at 50 Hz due to mains wiring is so large nowadays that it can easily swamp the microvolts of signal . An earth loop is very easy to inadvertently create and inject large amounts of hum into the signal. Once in it cannot be removed.. notch filters being one of the few ways.. .
     
  5. droidlike

    droidlike
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    I wanted to share with you all that
    Douglas Self has just released a new book

    Electronics for Vinyl

    https://books.google.it/books?id=xf0wDw ... &q&f=false

    and in the preface, at the end almost,
    just before the list of the new material,
    he writes:

    ============================

    You may be surprised to find that
    there is not a great deal in this book about
    balanced phono preamplifiers.

    This is because a magnetic cartridge is a floating winding
    —it does not have a centre-tap or a ground reference
    until you connect it to an amplifier.

    There also should be no unwanted currents flowing in the ground conductor
    unless something is miswired.

    A balanced input therefore
    gains you nothing
    —a view that was substantiated in long discussions on the DIYaudio forum—
    and loses you some signal-to-noise ratio
    because of the extra electronics required for balancing.

    =======================





    now, for the

    balanced vs unbalanced pre-amp turntable

    I've done a search on google

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=balanced+vs+unbala ... +turntable

    and in the first entry, the stereophile discussion, on the last post is:

    =================

    haroon
    May 14, 2008 - 9:03pm
    Re: Balanced Turntable Interconnects

    Hi:

    Victor Khomenko, principal and designer of Balanced Audio Technology, (BAT) wrote about this subject at,

    etc
    etc
    etc
    ==================

    tha last link on that post points to a page that says



    ----------------------------------
    https://www.audioasylum.com/messages/ge ... stanbly-so

    Understanbly so
    216.158.42.31

    Posted by Victor Khomenko on January 5, 2001 at 05:19:58

    In Reply to: i'm confused...please explain. posted by mikel on January 4, 2001 at 22:02:21:

    ***i am confused by your explaination below regarding "differential" phono stages. i have an aesthetix io phono stage which i run with "balanced" phono cable and interconnects. your statement below says that a 6db gain in noise performance is derived from a single-ended input; am i missing something? my understanding is that a "balanced/differential" input would yeild a 6db gain in noise reduction.

    A typical confusion. Often people say that balanced line has twice the signal, sort of implying that there is an inherent 6dB S/N advantage, but this is simply not so. S/N has to do with with the max signal, and the noise level of the input circuit. So yes, if you CAN boost your signal, then you DO gain S/N, but his doesn't apply here, because the cartridge comes with fixed output - it is whatever it is designed to produce, say - .2mV full scale. No matter how you connect it, you still get that .2mV max signal.

    Given that the source voltage is fixed, you now need to reduce the circuit noise in order to improve your S/N - that's the only way. Unless you are willing to buy a new cart that gives you perhaps 1mV output.

    Now, let's pretend we have a single tube, a dual triode, allocated for the first stage duty. Now you have the design decision to make.

    First, you can configure it as a differential amplifier, a long tailed pair, for instance.

    What happens in that case, is that each triode has the internal input noise source that is now connected in series with each input. You have two uncorrelated noise sources in series with your .2mV, and they add up so there is 3dB more noise than there would be in case of a SINGLE triode.

    Another possibility, as long as you have the same dual triode to play with, is to connect the two triodes in parallel. Now you only have a single noise source in series with your signal, plus this noise source is now reduced by 3dB - that's how two uncorrelated noise sources add up if connected in paralles.

    Net result: two triodes connected in parallel will produce 6dB less noise than the same tube conected as a differential input stage. Provided, again, that your source amplitude is fixed and can not be increased.

    Of course, this is just one design consideration, there are many others, so your final answer might be different, but noise-wise this is how it works.

    --------------------


    again

    at the almost 10 years old version 5
    Douglas Self's book

    http://files.books.elebda3.net/elebda3.net-gh-238.pdf

    the latest version 6 is almost double the size of the version 5,
    I do have both personally
    but the latest version 6 is not available for free on internet sorry [​IMG]

    Douglas Self is the world's audio guru
    recognized by the audio industry

    all his books are used as the reference guides for the audio industry worldwide

    his design concepts like class xd, crossover displacement,
    are used in the Cambridge power amps like 851w
    and there is a complete explanation of class xd in that exact pdf book, too.

    in that book in pdf
    the first chapter talks about psycho-acoustics
    and later on
    he writes a word or two on balanced versus unbalanced connections too


    hth

    have fun !
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  6. Member 769353

    Member 769353
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    I'd consider the Audio Technica AT-LP5. Apart from being a great deck for the money, the detachable headshell gives you the option of being able to use different cartridges - just buy another headshell and they can be swapped over in seconds. This is useful if you ever buy mono albums (most albums recorded in mono will sound better in mono than their remixed stereo counterparts), as well as using more than one cartridge - maybe you might use an older cartridge for worn records you've bought second hand, and a newer one for playing brand new records. Just an example.

    The Elipson range are also an excellent alternative too, with three models between £350 and £550.
     
  7. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Looks nice and on face value, like an up to date version of my xpression iii which is a fair few years old now but I think retailed around the same price back then. If spending only a couple of hundred new or buying a used bargain I would be happy to buy unheard but If I were you and spending this kind of money, I think I would want to go and do some in store comparisons at least before making a final decision.
     
  8. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Hi, so picked up the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Espirit in Piano Black from local indy store Vinyl-Revolution today. Was able to negotiate £50 of vinyl included in the price, which helped convince me. It's not plain-sailing, followed instructions on the arm/balance setup, but had skipping and the arm drifted back to right when levered down onto record. But bigger problem was the constant hum and crackle, definitely an issue with the ground, as touching cable connections affected the hum. After not a great experience phoning the manufacturer UK support, told entire support team in a meeting and support not available until tomorrow. Luckily phoned the store, and as I am only round the corner the store owner and salesman offered to pop round and brought replacement audio cable and power. Replacing the audio cable solved the problem, and they also set the arm up better, albeit not obeying the instructions, but I guess this is part of the analogue game. Anyway pretty great service, which is why it's always good to deal with local independents instead of online merchants if you can get the right deal. Will need a few days to better evaluate what I think overall of the vinyl experience.
     
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  9. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Thank you a
    Thank you again fo
    Th
     
  10. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Multiple glitches.. I tried responding yesterday on a ship ... but lets see if this works any better.. thanks again for the new material from D. Self.. always extremely enjoyable to read. .. articulate, learned what's not to like?...
    The facts speak for themselves.. He makes the arguement that the signal captured accross the two ends of the pickup coil is the pristine signal.and does neither need nor object to either end being tied to ground or left floating. Totally agree. But he recognises that injection of interference is a case of mis wiring. And so it is , but he is being slightly dismissive... Any physical separation between the two coil leads and any earth ground return, will provide an opportunity for a hum loop. The difference mode helps suppress this.
    The other article , arguing that single ended mode introduces less Johnson and shot noise than the diff amp stage, is also correct...and provided these are the dominant noise sources. If one is trying to amplify transducer signals,from low impedance sources and one has full control of the environment, then with plenty of magnetic shielding, it's fine.
    It comes down at one level to what one considers as noise. My working definition is that the wanted pure signal is pure signal, and and all additional voltage fluctuations which manages to get onto the signal path are noise. Irrespective of what produces it. Giving a signal to noise ratio. Self defines things differently and would place those sources as interference
    Of course the problems of noise, signal to noise ratio and injected interference is not confined to vinyl record players, it occurs with microphones , guitar pickups, EEG and ECG problems , even magnetic tape machines and acoustical imaging.. sonar, and ultrasound.
    But my supposition is that the dominant noise sources are not the fundamental limits of the physics but more mundane sources ... be it vinyl noise.. the random grittyness of the physical material, for which there is no cure. Or magnetically coupled interference of any type and diff amps have potential to reduce this by 60db..
    All of which lead to my other contention that vinyl records are an obsolete technology, since one already has the optimum signal noise ratio, at the mixing desk, before the vinyl is mastered, and everything afterwards degrades the S\N ratio.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  11. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Ok I am sold on the benefits of vinyl, and why it is rebounding. The first thing that has become clear, and knowledge I had but had never really practically associated it here, was that CDs are compressed, but vinyl is more-or-less lossless. This is backed up by my listening to-date. I am not the keenest music fan, more home cinema, but I have a few hundred CDs and all have been ripped lossless to WMA and FLAC. When I play back the digital files they sound great, but I have to play them quite loud to get where I can hear the highlights of the music. Immediately, I could hear vinyl at a lower output, but could hear the richer lowlights and highlights, and I know it's a cliche , but warmer and more musical. And then when you give it some volume, musically they soar. Needless to say I am quite surprised at this, it's somewhat revolutionary to me, that naturally always thought it's digital so it must be better, because 1s and 0s don't lie.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I am not going to revert to buying the next modern compilation or artist release on vinyl. You will always revert here to just playing your favourite handful of tracks, and digital is perfect for this. But for playing an album comprising an older artists body of work, greatest hits from the vinyl era, old soul, and certainly musical soundtracks, which I want to collect more of, it will be a conscious choice to go vinyl.
     
  12. Pikeyp

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    Welcome to the addiction ...
     

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