Looking to get a basic stereo setup for vinyl.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Braunzo, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    Normally I would not care to hop on this bandwagon but I have a bunch of vinyl that I can't listen to and it seems like there are some good budget options on the market since the resurgence of vinyl's popularity.

    I'm not looking for stupidly ridiculous audiophile stuff. I was looking at the U-Turn tables. Then I got to reading about needing an additional preamp. So that upped the price from $179.99 up another $80 for the external or $40 for internal preamp. Then when it comes to receivers, I have absolutely no clue. Apparently if I had a receiver with a dedicated phono-in I wouldn't need to worry about the preamp.

    Any suggestions on this stuff?
     
  2. jawajt

    jawajt Member

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    There are a couple of ways you can go.
    One thing to note on newer turntables. If a turntable has a USB port, it automatically has a built in preamp. So those would work with any receiver, even ones that don't have a dedicated phono preamp. Music Hall makes a very nice, reasonably priced turntable that has USB capabilities. If you already have a receiver you like, you can grab a turntable like that.
    Another way you could go, is vintage. When I got back into a vinyl setup two years ago, I decided to go vintage. Many of the turntables and stereo receivers from the 70s and 80s were really well built. Particularly Marantz, Pioneer, Technics, and Harman Kardon. If you search around the Internet or even some local ads, you can find some really nice vintage pieces for pretty cheap. Even if you find something that needs a little work, it could still save you a lot of money. From what I understand, the vintage stuff is a lot easier to repair/refurbish than the newer equipment. There are many Internet forums that can help you find the good vintage pieces.
    If you were to buy something new, I'd suggest a stereo receiver with a built in phono preamp. That way your options for turntables are more open. Something like this:

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8160/Onkyo-TX-8160.html?tp=47041

    Then you could use the U-Turn(which are very nice for the price), the Music Hall I mentioned, one of the Pro-Ject turntables, or some of the entry level Rega turntables. Those are all well-respected turntables that are in the under $400 range. Just try and avoid the Crosley turntables you may see in a lot of stores. Those are pretty junky.

    Hope some of this info is helpful to you. Although record buying seems like the cool, "hip" thing to do right now, there's very legitimate reasons to get back into it. With the right setup, it sounds fantastic. But for me, I more enjoy the "process" of listening to a record. The fact that you have to be more conscious of what you're listening to because you have to physically put the record on the platter, and flip it over, etc... I think it makes it a more enjoyable experience. Plus, most records now have an included digital download. So you can still listen to it on an MP3 player or phone, if you like. But there's nothing like listening to a nice, clean record and looking at the cover and liner notes.
     
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  3. MoPho

    MoPho Pho Shizzle

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    I've got an old Proton integrated amp I've been hauling around with me for when I get back into vinyl. ^ Old school stereo gear is where it's at. My Denon 7.1 AV receiver not so much.
     
  4. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    Lots of threads about this. As said above, if you buy vintage gear it will have a phono preamp built in. I haven't had great experiences with consumer grade standalone phono preamps (sub $100) or tables with built in USB. So that being said, I'd go vintage, but stick to mainstream American or Japanese stuff. The trick is, a receiver from the '70s may need some maintenance and even a re-cap. I don't know where in central IL you are, but I'm sure if you make it up to Chicago (or down to say St Louis) there's plenty of folks selling refurbed vintage gear. You can often find hobbyists on Craigslist that buy, refurb and flip stuff just because they're nerds for it (kinda like us ;) )...
     
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  5. Coldacre

    Coldacre Member

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    treat it as you would like you do buying guitar gear. you could go out and spend $150 on a cheap guitar, but are you gonna be happy with it in 12 months time? will it's performance make you wanna play it, or will you wish you'd bought better gear in the first place?

    for good vinyl playback you need 3 things:

    a turntable
    a cartridge
    a phono stage

    I'm assuming you already have a receiver & speakers.

    Turntable: I'd look at either a second hand Japanese style direct drive table, like a Technics 1200. or a brand new belt driven table by Rega or Pro-ject.

    Cartridge: don't skimp on a good cartridge. you want a microline or fine line stylus that will retrieve all of the musical information and track well. a cheapie conical stylus will give you the dreaded inner groove distortion.
    look at Ortofon or Audio Technica moving magnet carts.

    Phono Stage: the Cambridge Audio 651p is a good entry level dedicated phono stage. stay away from cheap tube driven ones, they don't perform as well as the solid state ones at that price point.
     
  6. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    I just went through this. Get a Marantz receiver from the 70s. You can find nice ones from $175-$300 and up. Depending on how much power. The 2200 series is highly regarded. Warm and easy on the ears.

    I got a 2222B at a Pawn Shop recently for $175. Sounds great.

    The best part about Vinyl is the selection is all classics. Pick up an old Kansas or Chicago lp for $6 and there is a wealth of great music hidden on those.
     
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  7. AD1982

    AD1982 Member

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    You can go wrong with a cherry vintage Pioneer SX series or Marantz units from the 70s. I miss my Pioneer SX-535 dearly.
     
  8. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Vinyl is a fun hobby. I'd suggest going to a hifi shop that carries a range of turntables and listen.
     
  9. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    I actually do not have a a receiver, either. I have some old speakers that were gifted to me from my boss at work and they sound awesome. So I'm looking for a receiver and a turntable. From what I'm reading and doing research on, it's looking like my best bet is going to wind up doing the U-Turn table (not a lot of vintage stuff around here, and if it pops up, it's in dire need of repair) and scouring the pawn shops for receivers. There's a Marantz locally for about $150 that is in reported great working order. Think I might spring on that once I get back in town.
     
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  10. BPSUL

    BPSUL Member

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    Im a hi-fi junkie and have a decent amount of gear. That being said, if you are going with the UTurn table and the Orbit preamp, and if you value simplicity, you can run those into a pair of powered speakers. Would I do this? No, because I have receivers and speakers galore. If I had nothing would I consider this? Oh yea. You would have literally just a the table, a small preamp, and a pair of speakers. Get good ones.

    Or, go the vintage route.

    Vintage speakers definitely. Most will need a refoam. Its SUPER easy. Changing pickups in a guitar is way harder than refoaming woofers. Then either buy a new receiver (you can get good yamaha or similar for 300-500 dollars) or buy vintage just beware that vintage may need recaps and similar to sound their best so. If you buy used, buy from someone who is into the hobby and has serviced their equipment.
     
  11. BPSUL

    BPSUL Member

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    Additionally, Last year I scored a sweet Technics turntable (SL 23 maybe?) It is a very, very nice model, and is in very good condition.

    Earlier this year I scored a brand new uturn, the upgraded model with the acrylic plater, and it sounds heads and shoulders better than the technics. It's no contest really. Im sure internet opinion would be that the technics is better - but it simply isnt. Oh yea, and the uturn is new so wont need servicing any time soon and it's such a simple design not much can break. Im a big fan of the uturns.
     
  12. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    I already have some speakers. I was just going to grab a receiver with the Phono in so I don't have to worry about the preamp aspect of it.
     
  13. BPSUL

    BPSUL Member

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    I see. I will say that, if you buy an external preamp, it will give you the flexibility to move the turntable to any receiver, including moderns ones that typically forgo the phono stage.

    The DJ Art Pre is something like 45 bucks and is probably as good or better than the phone preamp on normal, run of the mill receivers. Just tossing that out there. Ultimately I think the separate pre is a money saver over the long haul.
     
  14. hubberjub

    hubberjub Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm just popping in to say that I bought a U-Turn Orbit Plus last year, and I couldn't be happier. It's well built, and very simple.
     
  15. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    I have a very simple and cheap setup that i'm happy with and it was very cheap. I have an old technics direct drive turntable, a homemade PAiA phono pre that i built as a kit years ago, running into a 2.1 set of kilpsch powered computer speakers. all in i'm probably around $200 or so. I've never felt the need to get anything different.
     
  16. S. F. Sorrow

    S. F. Sorrow Member

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    Wow. Haven't seen a place like that in over 30 years and I'm a vinylholic. Where is this utopia of the past you speaketh?
     
  17. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    This is where I got my Rega, Audio Element in Pasadena: http://www.audio-element.com/turntables-1222.html
     
    S. F. Sorrow likes this.

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