Questions about my new turntable - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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So I finally broke down and took the plunge into vinyl with an Audio-Technica AT-PL120 turntable. So far the results have been somewhat mixed. Certain albums have really been brought to life, like Band of Horses' "Everything All the Time" and Panda Bear's "Person Pitch", but for some reason the system isn't imaging properly. Instead of voices coming from the middle of the soundstage, they are right-heavy. Anyone know why that is? My first guess would be the cartirdge, but what the hell do I know?

Second, I'm thinking about upgrading the cartridge. Would it be worth it to buy a sub-$100 cartridge? Amazon has the Shure M97xE for $61.99 (with lots of positive reviews) but how much of a difference would it make? What about the Audio-Technica AT440MLa at $169.99?

Last, this turntable has a phono and line out. I'm using the phono because my Onkyo SR805 receiver has a phono stage. Unfortunately that means I have to turn the volume up to +0.0 dB to get a decent level of volume and I really can't crank it. Is there any disadvantage to going with the line out? Will I be able to lower the volume on the receiver and still get it to play loud?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by John M Miller View Post

So I finally broke down and took the plunge into vinyl with an Audio-Technica AT-PL120 turntable. So far the results have been somewhat mixed. Certain albums have really been brought to life, like Band of Horses' "Everything All the Time" and Panda Bear's "Person Pitch", but for some reason the system isn't imaging properly. Instead of voices coming from the middle of the soundstage, they are right-heavy. Anyone know why that is? My first guess would be the cartirdge, but what the hell do I know?

Second, I'm thinking about upgrading the cartridge. Would it be worth it to buy a sub-$100 cartridge? Amazon has the Shure M97xE for $61.99 (with lots of positive reviews) but how much of a difference would it make? What about the Audio-Technica AT440MLa at $169.99?

Last, this turntable has a phono and line out. I'm using the phono because my Onkyo SR805 receiver has a phono stage. Unfortunately that means I have to turn the volume up to +0.0 dB to get a decent level of volume and I really can't crank it. Is there any disadvantage to going with the line out? Will I be able to lower the volume on the receiver and still get it to play loud?

Thanks.

try the line out--may fix both the volume and r dominant issue but most likely the r/l balance is 1) that way on the recording--does it happen with other recordings--if so it may be the cartridge. option 2 is that the r/l balance is different than your other source components (which shouldnt be) and is probably the cartridge if all of the connections are solid and it is not going in and out.

that sure is vary well regarded--there are other great sub 200 options as well--musicdirect and acoustic sounds have a bunch--i like the high output goldrings myself. well hope this helps--for the time being you can set the channel; balance a little left heavy (to bring teh cneter image back to where it should be) to compensate if you are keeping that table and waiting for a new cartridge. id also recheck the audio setup and speaker position to make sure everything is where it should be with a reference cd.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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try the line out--may fix both the volume and r dominant issue but most likely the r/l balance is 1) that way on the recording--does it happen with other recordings--if so it may be the cartridge. option 2 is that the r/l balance is different than your other source components (which shouldnt be) and is probably the cartridge if all of the connections are solid and it is not going in and out.

that sure is vary well regarded--there are other great sub 200 options as well--musicdirect and acoustic sounds have a bunch--i like the high output goldrings myself. well hope this helps--for the time being you can set the channel; balance a little left heavy (to bring teh cneter image back to where it should be) to compensate if you are keeping that table and waiting for a new cartridge. id also recheck the audio setup and speaker position to make sure everything is where it should be with a reference cd.

Thanks for the reply, very helpful. Yes, it happens with all recordings. I have about 20 vinyls now and it does it with each one. The rest of the system is working perfectly wrt imaging so it's gotta be something in the turntable or the phono stage of the receiver. I'll try the line-out tonight. Hopefully that fixes it or maybe I'll just have to get a new cartridge.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 10:19 AM
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Just remember that if you use the line-out, you need to plug it into something other than the phono input. otherwise, you'll re-equalize twice, and get way too much bass.

As for the imaging problem, that could be the cartridge itself, but it could also be a cartridge alignment problem, or a mis-set anti-skate.

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

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 11:12 AM
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Just remember that if you use the line-out, you need to plug it into something other than the phono input. otherwise, you'll re-equalize twice, and get way too much bass.

You'll also overload the phono input circuitry, and get massive amounts of distortion, regardless of the volume setting.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-25-2009, 11:32 AM
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You can buy the AT440MLa for much cheaper than that if you go to lpgear.com. I bought mine for less than $100 from them a year ago.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-26-2009, 03:22 PM
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Tuning a cartridge is a lost art. VTA effects bass, skew, skate, weight all can be tuned to change the sound. Termination can really make changes. I was partial to Grace and Grado, but they are not in the $100 range. On the bottom end, AT and Ortophon seemed to be the leaders. Sure was solid. Not spectacular, just solid.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-03-2009, 04:15 PM
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Instead of voices coming from the middle of the soundstage, they are right-heavy.

Try adjusting the anti-skating.
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