Worth going into vinyl?

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,

I'm thinking about getting a little turntable, mainly because I find a number of albums I want are unavailable or rare on CD (I listen to some fairly old music). Also, the prices of secondhand LPs seem quite reasonable and I don't mind the odd scratch or surface noise. Having said that, my knowledge on the subject is quite slight so I would appreciate some info.

First of all, is it worth buying a half-decent cartridge to start off with? I was thinking of the Shure M97 or something similar. I'm going to go secondhand so reliability is an issue, not too sure about which model. I tried to get hold of my Grandad's old Thorens 160 but it went to a jumble sale (!) My local Hifi dealer recommended the Technics SL-10 and I found one of these on Ebay. There are a few Beograms about, maybe that's worth a shot? Apart from all that I'm open to suggestions..

Thanks,
Simon
 
Last edited:

Mr Pig

Novice Member
If you want to get as good a turntable as you can as cheaply as possible it's probably best to look at really simple ones.

The Japanese made some great turntables but they were expensive and most are still sought after. The cheaper Jap decks are mostly not very good.

There are lots of British decks that were both very simple and good sounding. Anything by Rega, Revolver, Systemdek. Older Thorns, Ariston, Lenco, the choice is vast.

Did you have a budget in mind?
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Did you have a budget in mind?

I was thinking less than £200 to start off with, maybe a bit more.. I liked the look of the Technics and I think it comes with a good cartridge, not sure if it's one of those cheaper decks you refer to. Also wondered why automatic turntables aren't that popular, is it a question of taste?
 

simon ess

Well-known Member
Hi
I can't give advice as such, being newly re-converted to vinyl myself, but you might be interested in my recent experience.

I like to buy used but, knowing nothing about TTs, I decided to go for a Project Debut 3.

Nice TT, does the job very well.

Then I decided to buy an old, cheap, suspended deck Linn type thing, to learn about TTs. Bought a Thorens T150. Excellent condition but with some old cartridge or other.

Set the arm height and tracking weight, and fired it up.

Blew the Project out of the water.

Have now recieved a few bits to service it: Sure V15 cartridge, new belt and some spindle oil.
That's my job tomorrow.

I reckon the Project was a mistake.
 

nwgarratt

Member
I rate the Shure M97 very highly. I use it with a Technics SL1210 and also a SL1700 mk1.

The V15 mk 3 cartridge is even better but is more money.

Project turntables are good and if I bought one, I would try the Project Genie 3 at around £200. it reminds me of the Project RPM9 that my dad had which was a lot more.

I have been into vinyl since I was 15 and couldn't be without it now. It is still a lot of fun.
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Thanks all, I suppose what I'm saying is I don't want to go wading into these waters unprepared. I do like the idea of an automatic, if not purely for the convenience. Then again, I understand what Pig is saying about simplicity and the likes of the Technics go completely against that design philosophy. It's really not an easy decision to make..

I have been into vinyl since I was 15 and couldn't be without it now. It is still a lot of fun.

There are so many LPs of albums I've yet to listen to so that alone makes up part of the cost - stuff like Steve Winwood's debut that I'll never find on CD for love or money.
 
Last edited:

nwgarratt

Member
The Technics SL1700 is semi auto which means it is manual to put the record on but it automatically lift the arm at the end. My second hand one was in pristine condition and was just £30.
 

Attachments

  • 1700mk1.gif
    1700mk1.gif
    126.3 KB · Views: 167

steveledzep

Active Member
There are lots of British decks that were both very simple and good sounding. Anything by Rega, Revolver, Systemdek. Older Thorns, Ariston, Lenco, the choice is vast.

This is the way I would go too. I think you have to decide whether you seek sound quality (as above), or convenience of operation from an automatic. The latter will generally deliver lower SQ because of compromises and expense incurred to achieve automation.

Not heard of early Beograms being re-badged Regas. Might be wrong, but doubt it. I'd give B&O a wide berth, stunning looks and design, but not putting SQ as a priority.

My advice would be to go for the best SQ TT you can achieve. If you settle for a compromise the magic of vinyl that entices you presently may disappoint !
 

nwgarratt

Member
There is no guarantee those decks would give better SQ. I have heard Lenco, Systemdek and Thorens and they were no better than the Technics using the same amp, cartridge, speakers etc. There are many other factors that count to SQ.

This is my Dad's Lenco playing a 50 year old record. It was recorded on a Kodak Zi8 video camera.

 

Mr Pig

Novice Member
If you've got a couple of hundred to spend my standard recommendation is a used Rega Planer3 with RB300 arm (the black, straight one).

Rega really nailed it with this product. It offered fantastic sound quality for the money, ultra simple and reliable design and there are loads of them around. It even looks great. It was so good they sold it with a lifetime guarantee! These days they sell for around £150-£180. It's a good a deck as most people will ever need and better than anything new at the price.

rega_planar3_zonder_mat.jpg


An older, higher quality deck like the Thorns TD150 or Ariston RD11 would be potentially better sounding than the Rega but almost certainly more work. I'm not sure I'd recommend that route for a novice. Basically, you want something that's simple, reliable and makes all your records sound great. That's the Rega.

Another to keep an eye out for is a Systemdek with an RB300 on it. Little bit better than the Rega3, looks a bit more grown up. (This one's got a Systemdek arm on it, which is pretty poor)

systiix_glassplatter.jpg


Most automatic decks are poor. If you think about it, all of the auto-play mechanism parts cost money and contribute nothing to the sound so if two deck cost the same, the manual one has had more spent on the bits that matter. The people who cared about sound quality tended not to make auto decks and the folk who made auto decks tended not to care too much about sound. A generalisation but forget auto decks.
 
Last edited:

steveledzep

Active Member
Perhaps you'd like to enlighten me as to what those other SQ factors are ? There are many, I know, just wondered whether you could tell me what they are ? A YouTube video is hardly demonstrative of sound quality ! I am trying to guide the OP to making a good decision when entering the world of vinyl. It is a minefield and Mr P has given good advice which I am reinforcing. Don't want to put him off vinyl do we ? A £30 Technics might just do that !

Mr P's post wasn't there when i started typing this, a bit out of sync now !
 
Last edited:

nwgarratt

Member
A YouTube video is hardly demonstrative of sound quality !!

Never said it was. It was just to show what a smashing Lenco (which Mr P mentioned and you agreed with) looked like in operation.

As I said, amps are all different and so are speakers etc. No point in a fancy deck if the rest is below par. I agree to what Mr P has said but giving an opinion from the other side. It is all about balance to what someone can afford and it is easy to get great sound from vinyl without spending silly amount of money or get carried away.

Anyway, I have said all I want to.
 
Last edited:

steveledzep

Active Member
No point in a fancy deck if the rest is below par.

Totally agree ! However, a below par TT will manifest itself throughout the system. Therefore, buy the best TT budget will allow and it will come through the other components showing its best. All of this is from an era when investment in the source was considered of paramount importance. I consider it still applies where analogue source is involved. A little different emphasis today with most sources being digital, but I'm a bit of a dinosaur ! Mr P's suggestions would fall inside the budget of £200, so silly money or getting carried away isn't being suggested !
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Sorry, I deleted the message about the Beograms - I heard that at least one of them was a Rega underneath.. you've given me plenty to think about, and thanks for the pics/video, much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

a8ch

Novice Member
Just to endorse others here, having bought & used a Project D3 for several years I really enjoyed it's honest and no nonsense sound and convenience whilst in my possesion. For the price new it is an excellent buy and a good start.

However there are so many superb TT's from the `golden era (80's)' on the used market, I have no doubt at today's prices those mentioned would be over a £1000 new. Something else to bear in mind.
 

smiorgan

Novice Member
I was given a Project 1.2 and it's great. But if I were buying new or had a choice of s/h I'd look at Rega for working out of the box.

One day I might get my grandpa's Lenco up and running, but that's definitely not working out of the box, and I have other priorities at the moment.

I have a couple of new vinyl albums and they're a bit of a waste of money, but s/h vinyl can be a real bargain.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Technics SL1700 is semi auto which means it is manual to put the record on but it automatically lift the arm at the end. My second hand one was in pristine condition and was just £30.

Just curious, arm lift at the end or arm lift and return to rest?

Steve/bluewizard
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Just curious, arm lift at the end or arm lift and return to rest?

According to what I've read, the semi-automatic turntable returns the arm and shuts off the platter at the end of operation.

Well, the SL-10 sold for £147 in the end but there are more Technics decks I'd like to look at. Thorens and Bang & Olufsen are a bit too expensive but Rega seem to be within budget. I'm wondering whether to buy a cartridge at this point or wait until later in the new year when more cash is available - not looking to spend big bucks but would like something good.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung TV Launch & QN95A Neo QLED Review, plus Film & TV news & Reviews
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom