Advice for starter turntable - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 04-01-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
clykins90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Hey guys.

I'm looking to get a turntable and some bookshelf speakers. I really like the idea of an older looking wood turntable...but sound is the priority. I'm looking at some Polk TSI200 speakers. Not 100% decided on the amp, I'm going to want to add a subwoofer eventually and use the bookshelves to listen to some CDs and other sources as well.

So really I'm wondering what good beginner turntables you guys can recommend and what amp/receiver? Not looking to spend more than $400-500 for the turntable and amp.
davethestalker likes this.
clykins90 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 04-01-2012, 12:57 PM
ap1
AVS Special Member
 
ap1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 19
If you insist on price under $500, your only option is used from Craigslist. You need to doubled price if you want o buy all new components.
ap1 is online now  
post #3 of 17 Old 04-01-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
clykins90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
So what should I be looking for?
clykins90 is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 04-01-2012, 01:57 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
I generally advise people to avoid buying their first system on the used market. You need to know not only what to look for, but how to evaluate it and how to get it into shape if necessary (which it often is with turntables). If you want a wood turntable, however, I suspect it's going to be your only option in your price range. All the advice that follows assumes you're buying new.

First, it's best to minimize your expenditure on amplification, because turntable and speakers matter much more in terms of sound quality. That means a stereo receiver, rather than a separate amp. I'd suggest a Sherwood RX-4109, which will run you $100 or so and includes a phono section to connect your turntable.

There are two ways to go on the turntable. There's the standard minimalist belt-drive unit, made by Rega, Pro-Ject, and Music Hall. All remarkably similar, so just find the best price. Don't expect to do much better than $400.

Alternatively, Audio-Technica makes a direct-drive unit, the AT-120, which goes for $200 or so. It's only weakness is a poor cartridge, but whoever you buy it from should be able to mount a better cartridge on it (for a fee, of course). You want a cartridge with an elliptical stylus and a maximum tracking force of no more than 2 grams. www.lpgear.com often sells the AT-120 as part of a package with a better cartridge.

Add: Here's the kind of package I mean.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 04-02-2012, 07:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Will2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 140
As usual, mcnarus offers excellent advice in this area.

I concur with respect to the Sherwood receiver with built in phono amp. A better bargain is hard to find.

I also concur in his recommendation of the entry-level belt driven TTs. I have the Pro-ject Debut III myself, with an upgraded cartridge, Speedbox, acrylic platter, and phonobox. They aren't necessary really to enjoy good sound, and their improvements are only incremental, except for the upgraded cartridge.

I also have the AT-LP120 mcnarus recommends as a direct drive alternative, again with a cartridge upgrade. I use a Shure M97xE, which can regularly be found for a substantial savings online and is easy to install. With a decent rubber mat ($15-20) and that cartridge, properly aligned and with the proper tracking force adjusted, it sounds very comparable to my Pro-ject. It's a much better bargain too. It's what I would start with, and it's easier to set up (you do need an alignment protractor, however, but one comes with the Shure cartridge if you order it, and I would recommend getting a $25 tracking force gauge).

Have fun.
Will2007 is online now  
post #6 of 17 Old 04-04-2012, 06:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
commsysman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,270
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 252
The Audio-Technica AT-PL60 turntable is under $80 from Amazon now; it comes with a cartridge and built-in phono preamp. That is a heck of a bargain!

They also have the Sony PX-LS250 for about the same price, but the Sony does not have a built-in phono stage.

For $399, you can get the Cambridge Audio 550A Integrated amplifier, which was $600 and would be a nice unit to build your system around.

When you get a little more money, you might want to consider the Music Hall 2.2 turntable, for around $400.

The Monitor Audio M2 is a very good pair of speakers for the price (around $300).





Quote:
Originally Posted by clykins90 View Post

Hey guys.

I'm looking to get a turntable and some bookshelf speakers. I really like the idea of an older looking wood turntable...but sound is the priority. I'm looking at some Polk TSI200 speakers. Not 100% decided on the amp, I'm going to want to add a subwoofer eventually and use the bookshelves to listen to some CDs and other sources as well.

So really I'm wondering what good beginner turntables you guys can recommend and what amp/receiver? Not looking to spend more than $400-500 for the turntable and amp.

commsysman is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 04-04-2012, 08:00 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
Quote:


The Audio-Technica AT-PL60 turntable is under $80 from Amazon now; it comes with a cartridge and built-in phono preamp. That is a heck of a bargain!

They also have the Sony PX-LS250 for about the same price, but the Sony does not have a built-in phono stage.

Both really poor turntables—bad cartridges with no ability to upgrade, requiring far too high a tracking force. If you don't want to keep your records very long, they'll do fine, I guess.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 04-04-2012, 03:47 PM
Member
 
leadliner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 12
pro-ject expressions
leadliner is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 04-04-2012, 05:16 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
Quote:


Not looking to spend more than $400-500 for the turntable and amp.

Quote:


pro-ject expressions

And what amp would you recommend for -$200?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 04-05-2012, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
clykins90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Thanks alot for the suggestions guys!

Whats the real difference from going with a direct drive turntable over a belt-driven one? What other good brands should I look into (aside from Audio Technics and pro-ject)?
clykins90 is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 04-05-2012, 06:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
Quote:
Whats the real difference from going with a direct drive turntable over a belt-driven one?

Holy wars have broken out over that question. DD advocates claim better speed accuracy. BD proponents claim lower noise. Almost nobody publishes a complete spec sheet anymore, and nobody evaluates them independently, either, so who can say?

From the user's standpoint, it's just two ways to solve a problem. Implemented properly, either works.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 04-05-2012, 09:04 AM
Member
 
pkoko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by clykins90 View Post

Whats the real difference from going with a direct drive turntable over a belt-driven one?

I will try to state the obvious differences between them...
Belt drive-- a motor moves pulley which in turn moves another pulley on the plater.. The main advantages are lower cost motors... Lighter weight... Lastly more accurate speed changes between 45/33. Because the motor speed is constant and belt is moved to different pulley like rega. The belt also shields the platter from motor vibrations. The main disadvantage--- belts tend to wear out and need to be replaced. Belts can slip and fall during shipments. The platter is generally not as well supported on direct drive units..

Direct drive-- the motor directly moves the plater. The main advantages are normally higher quality/stronger motors. Bigger more stable platters. Ability to DJ or scratch records. The cons are increased cost to replace motor. The vibrations from the motor can be transferred to the plater.

Summary
High end audiophile units are generally belt driven bc of the belt being another damper from vibrations. DJ units are direct drive as they are more durable.

Personally, unless I plan on moving a lot; or scratch records; I would not place the any emphasis on drive mode and focus on other features like tone arm/cartridge and of course platter/mat's ability to handle vibrations.
pkoko is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 04-05-2012, 09:30 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
Quote:


Summary
High end audiophile units are generally belt driven bc of the belt being another damper from vibrations.

Yeah, mebbe. The main reason almost all high-end units are belt drive is because belt drives are much cheaper and easier to make. Small companies can't afford the kind of precision machining required fro good drive drives. The exceptions are a few mega-expensive units with sales in the single digits.

Quote:


Personally, unless I plan on moving a lot; or scratch records; I would not place the any emphasis on drive mode

+1

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 04-08-2012, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
clykins90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Okay guys. So it seems to me like belt-driven turntables are going to be more expensive anyway, I don't plan on doing any dj-ing at all. Just listening to music. The ones I've seen recommended are all direct drive. Any suggestions for a belt driven turntable?
clykins90 is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 04-08-2012, 05:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,114
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 301
All the information you need is already in this thread.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 04-11-2012, 05:20 AM
Member
 
pkoko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If I were you; I would get audio technica LP-60 if I just want basic no frills turntable. If you want something nicer, then consider the denon turntable which retails for $300... I believe that this model has upgradable cartilage. Or get the project III or rega p1 for little more money.
pkoko is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 04-12-2012, 06:23 AM
ap1
AVS Special Member
 
ap1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkoko View Post

If I were you; I would get audio technica LP-60 if I just want basic no frills turntable. If you want something nicer, then consider the denon turntable which retails for $300... I believe that this model has upgradable cartilage. Or get the project III or rega p1 for little more money.

Bad advice. LP60 is a kids toy. It may look like TT, but is useless in real life.
ap1 is online now  
Reply CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off