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Kevin Wilson

Record Player Advice?

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Kenny G vinyl or a Real Doll... one is definitely more expensive than the other.

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The more I read suggestions on other forums the more I would caution against thinking you need to upgrade too much stuff. I just finished setting up a little system in my living room and people on those audiophile forums would laugh at it and throw garbage at me. But I'm old enough to tell you that it sounds as good as anything anyone had in their living room back in the "good old vintage days."

I hate when people apologize for their equipment with "I'm no audiophile but it's good enough." I'm here to tell you that I'm no rube. I know a few bits about music and recording and the history of interpretation and all that. So if this is enough to impress me, it's all almost anyone will ever need.

 

To give you an idea of how easy it is to get a great sounding LP setup, I now have the following:

Turntable: Technics SL-B100 (solid old table by a good brand but a lower end model. Probably can find used for $30-40 instead of the $600-800 people want for higher-end Technics tables like the SL1200 that forum types insist you must have for a tolerable listening experience. It's probably about comparable to an Audio Technica LP-120 in terms of sound.)

Cartridge: AT 122EP. (Probably about $40 originally and probably comparable to the cartridge that comes with the LP-120.)

CD Player: NEC CD-500 (also solid brand but lower end model. Got this for $6 at a Salvation Army. Probably goes about $40-$100 used)

Phono Preamp: Project Phono Box ($75)

Amp: SMSL SA-98. This little guy is powerful as fuck! ($100)

Speakers: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. They sound amazing. ($130 new. These were $90 open box Amazon Warehouse).

At least in terms of sound quality listening to LPs/CDs, no one needs more than this! This is just to say don't feel bad about an "entry level" setup or go feeling like you're missing out on the real experience. "Entry level" today is pretty magnificent and a lot of the advice you find is being given by people who have gotten way obsessed with minutiae and chasing the next tiny sonic incremental high for $$$$$$$$$$$.

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That's another issue with me personally, and why I didn't even bother mentioning an amp or expensive quality speakers. I rent a basement apartment, and while it is quite roomy, I do have the landlord living over my head. So I can't really blare music anyway :) I figure if I get the basics now, once I get my own place I can upgrade as needed.

My records still haven't shipped. Grumble.

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My buddy just got Super Castlevania IV BTW

If you're living in a basement above the landlord... yeah, you don't need anything louder than a TV set haha

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That spam got steadily less coherent with each sentence. It actually started out seeming like a real post.

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MY XMAS PRESNET CAME ERALY BITCHEEEEZ!!!!

 

In the sense that I found a good deal on Ebay, said to my wife "Can I have access to the credit card again? I swear this time will be different." and she said "Don't fuck around with me, boy." And I said "Pllleeeeeeese it will be my whole Crhistmas!" and she said "Okay, but watch your goddamn step this time when was the alst time you even touched those DDP Yoga dvds idiot?" and I said "I use em! Youre just not around then!" and I picked them up and sneezed at the dust that fell off them and qiuetly put them down with a shamed expression and she shook her head sadly and said "Fine. Here."

 

So for less than the cost of an Audio Technica AT120 I got this 1977 Technics model made exclusively for "the European market" (like French chics and their weird Italian boyfriends and shit!) in great working order with a nice cartridge now proudly next to a very arrogant Roswell Grey.

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First up Earth Wind & Fire's "Raise" from 1981.

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I always start with Earth Wind & Fire's "Raise" from 1981.

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A new used book store just opened up down the street with a huge used record selection.  Of course, because me and the lady are weird, we bought an ELO album, the Babes in Toyland soundtrack and Snoopy vs Red Baron for like $10 total. 

Now I just need to, ya know, actually buy and setup a record player.  This thread has already been infinitely helpful.

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For the first time in my life, I own a belt driven turntable. And though my setting it up was hilariously frustrating, I got it up and running now. I'm happy, because my old turntable was a piece of shit.

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11 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

For the first time in my life, I own a belt driven turntable. And though my setting it up was hilariously frustrating, I got it up and running now. I'm happy, because my old turntable was a piece of shit.

What'd kind did you get?

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7 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Just a AT-LP60

Don't say "just a"! I swear to God those LP forums will drive you batty about what is and isn't a "good" machine.  An AT-LP60 or 120 are better players than 75% of what was sitting in people's living rooms during the "golden age" of the 60s-80s, which was usually one of these guys:

BSRturntable.jpg

 

Or the thing sitting on top of this Venture/Caldor/K-Mart rack:

 

5677893595_fb878f6ebb_b.jpg

 

 

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I meant "just" in the sense that I didn't go crazy and spend a lot of money.

I grew up with a stereo more or less like that (with a cabinet to hold records underneath it) in the living room. Hell, I hooked this turntable up to a tiny sixty dollar stereo.

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I have a technical question here. When I'm listening to vinyl, my receiver will only allow me to turn up the volume to 38. Anything above that, I get bass distortion from my speakers that forces me to turn down. Meanwhile, I can crank CDs to the roof with no problem. I'd think it's a problem with the speaker but the CD difference makes me think not. Anybody got any help with this? 

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3 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

I have a technical question here. When I'm listening to vinyl, my receiver will only allow me to turn up the volume to 38. Anything above that, I get bass distortion from my speakers that forces me to turn down. Meanwhile, I can crank CDs to the roof with no problem. I'd think it's a problem with the speaker but the CD difference makes me think not. Anybody got any help with this? 

1) What is the turntable plugged into? Preamp and then receiver? Or receiver with built in phono amp?

2) How close are the speakers to the Turntable? Sometimes vibrations from the speakers can cause issues with the cartridge picking them up and that would only show up at louder volumes. You could try moving the speakers further away to test this or try listening through headphones without the speakers to check.

 

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I'll have to check #1 at home, but I suspect its #2 because the speakers frame the whole system. Let you know, thanx

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Crazy lucky score today.  Stopped by the local thrift store and there was a weird pair of old homebrew speakers. What looks to be maybe a Fisher cabinet form the late 1960s, but the grills and back were all newer and a homemade crossover/Lpad.  Had no idea if they were any good but they were $20 and the woodworking was really nice and accurate and careful so I took a chance.

Get them home and can't get the grills off because there is no grill frame, just grill cloth glued down onto the from of the cabinet and I'd have to cut it off and probably scrape it away. Can't back the back off because not only is it screwed in but sealed with some kind of sealant and fit so tightly that if I try and pry it off I'll wreck the whole thing. So I have no idea what's in there.

So I just say fuck it and plug them in and they are absolutely amazing. They are now basically the best speakers I've ever owned and I may never know who made them or what the actual drivers are or anything.

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