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To TGP audiophiles, turntable question

Jay C

Member
Messages
173
I recently got a bunch of vintage Jimi Hendrix records from my girl
for Christmas plus I have a neat stash of records from when I was a kid
and given to me from my Dad and Uncle, which I would love to play.

So I bought an old Thorens TD 160 and a Pyle preamp to connect to my
Harmon Kardon AV 635 receiver and ran it into my cd input.

I'm sure this is not an ideal setup but the output is like 1/2 of what I get
from my CDs, is this normal? If not what is the fix?

Thanks in advance for any input
 

Gretsch6136

Member
Messages
1,524
More information on Pyle pre-amp please.

It is completely normal for the phono pre-amp's line level signal to be lower than other line level components like a CD player. Especially if comparing to CDs mastered for loudness from the mid '90s onwards.

LP records cannot have much volume cut into them because of the physical restrictions of the format itself. 12" dance mixes are generally louder than albums and 7" singles because the grooves can be cut for more amplitude, but there is a physical limit beyond which a cartridge cannot track the groove.

Congrats on the Thorens TD160. They are a fine turntable. What cartridge does it have?
 

Gretsch6136

Member
Messages
1,524
You need a phono amp or a phono input on a receiver.
That's why I asked for more info on the Pyle pre-amp. I assume he is using a phono-stage built into this pre-amp. Can't see any other reason why it would be in the signal chain.
 

Jack Gilvey

Member
Messages
4,063
If he had no phono stage I'd imagine the output would be much less than 1/2 that of his CD source, with no bass.
 

Jay C

Member
Messages
173
The preamp is the Pyle Pro pp999 like this
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/647484-REG/Pyle_Pro_PP999_PP999_Phono_Preamplifier.html

The turntable has an Audio Technica AT90 cartridge and AR arm.
Thanks for the compliment Gretsch6136
I listened to Steely Dan at the shop where I bought the turntable on a very
simple economical old system and it sounded sweet.

I'm thinking there is going to be a big difference in sound quality, volume etc from record
to record as well.

Maybe these details will help.
 

dmagalhaes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,918
That 160 deserves better than a $20 dollar cartridge and a $15 phonostage. The only expectation for this level of gear is that it actually works.
 

Jay C

Member
Messages
173
That 160 deserves better than a $20 dollar cartridge and a $15 phonostage. The only expectation for this level of gear is that it actually works.
Yes, I am seeing this. I am happy with the turntable recommendation and purchase
but am realizing the accessories could be better.

Suggestions please?
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,164
You need to be able to meter the level re: 0 dB full scale.

If the phono preamp is not providing enough gain, you are not getting good level.

One way is to "normalize" the album after it is loaded in to a DAW. Do not normalize each track separately-normalize the entire album. The function will look at the overall level of the album and bring it up so it peaks at "0" at the loudest point.

If you have a good DAW program (maybe even GarageBand), you can set the normalize function to peak at -.2 dB which is a safer maximum level. O dB full scale may "clip" (cause distortion) cheap D/A converters.

If you are just listening to the records and not digitizing them, you need a phono preamp that provides enough gain to get up to a decent level.

It probably doesn't matter that much, just turn up the level on your receiver and don't worry about the level mismatch between the record and the CD. Play either at the volume you want.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,221
By the specs, 3.5 mv output cartridge, phono amp with 3 mv input sensitivity, 2 volt output, it should be perfect, as I think most CD players are around 2 volts output, unless you've got an especially hot one.

Nice turntable and I really like AT cartridges; they track great and are pretty natural sounding, although some will say sterile and analytical.

If you're inclined, there are some pretty interesting DIY phono pre's out there which might work better for you and not cost much.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,164
Another issue is the loudness wars mastering issue. The CD may have been mastered to be loud (lots of limiting). If you compare the record to the CD, the record may have better dynamic range.

The CD could be 6-10 dB "louder" than the record. 10 dB is perceived as twice as loud (you said 1/2 as loud, so there you go).

Like I said before, just turn up the volume of the record and enjoy the dynamic range lost on the CD.
 
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dmagalhaes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,918
Yes, I am seeing this. I am happy with the turntable recommendation and purchase
but am realizing the accessories could be better.

Suggestions please?
My minimum suggestions will make great music and should provide a massive improvement in performance over what you have now for not much dough. You can end this thread if you grab both of these. Since you are close by, I'll even offer to mount and align the cartridge for you.

Shure M97Xe
http://www.amazon.com/Shure-M97xE-H...F8&qid=1391799459&sr=8-1&keywords=shure+m97xe

Cambridge 551P
http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Aud...&qid=1391799557&sr=8-1&keywords=Cambridge+540

You should be able to pick up a Cambridge 540P off eBay for less than $100.00 if used isn't a problem.
 

Jay C

Member
Messages
173
You can end this thread if you grab both of these. Since you are close by, I'll even offer to mount and align the cartridge for you.
I'm going to check out your suggestions and probably grab them.

Thanks for the generous offer to set it up. I may take you up on that, and you won't have a long ride as
I'm right over the line in Warren.
 

Jack Keck

Member
Messages
349
I found an old Pioneer receiver from days of yore when LPs were king. I already had a second pair of speakers, so now I have two systems in my basement. If you go this route, you can run a cable from the tape output of the receiver to a tape input or cd input of your current AV receiver to play your records through your AV system. An old integrated amp with a phone input will work just as well. You just can't listen to the radio with it.

By the way, you took a good first step by getting a great turntable. That is the most important link in the chain for playing records. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
 

Gretsch6136

Member
Messages
1,524
My minimum suggestions will make great music and should provide a massive improvement in performance over what you have now for not much dough. You can end this thread if you grab both of these. Since you are close by, I'll even offer to mount and align the cartridge for you.

Shure M97Xe
http://www.amazon.com/Shure-M97xE-H...F8&qid=1391799459&sr=8-1&keywords=shure+m97xe

Cambridge 551P
http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Aud...&qid=1391799557&sr=8-1&keywords=Cambridge+540

You should be able to pick up a Cambridge 540P off eBay for less than $100.00 if used isn't a problem.
The above recomemndations are great products and will literally transform your listening experience.

The Thorens TT is built like a tank but needs its suspension set up properly. You want the platter to sit dead level and have a good controlled bounce, but not a wayward wobble. Its all in the adjustment of the supporting springs.

Cheers,

Mark
 






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