Good value turntable - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-16-2012, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been considering finally buying my first turntable for a while, it's just now time to take the leap (Christmas gift to myself biggrin.gif). I'm looking for an entry level unit for any where from 100-350$ as I won't use it all the time, more on occasion. Thoughts? Thanks all!

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-16-2012, 08:01 PM
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Audio-Technica LP120. Runs $200 and change. Rock solid speed accuracy that you can't approach for twice the price. Comes with a quite decent AT95E cartridge. All you could ask for in your price range.

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post #3 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Audio-Technica LP120. Runs $200 and change. Rock solid speed accuracy that you can't approach for twice the price. Comes with a quite decent AT95E cartridge. All you could ask for in your price range.

AT LP120 is a good choice. Also, check out the Denon DP-300F for around $300. Fully automatic (i.e., the arm resets automatically at the end of the record). Automatic operation is disfavored by the purists, but it's very convenient for the casual listener. Both have limited upgrade potential, but you can get both sounding nicer with a cartridge upgrade down the road.

If you're looking for an excuse to go further down the rabbit hole with upgrades later on, Project makes great entry level TTs with much more robust upgrade paths. Project Essential, Debut III and Debut Carbon run from $300-400, and can all be upgraded into very nice low-end audiophile rigs (especially the Debut III and Carbon).

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post #4 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Audio-Technica LP120. Runs $200 and change. Rock solid speed accuracy that you can't approach for twice the price. Comes with a quite decent AT95E cartridge. All you could ask for in your price range.

Thanks for all the help to you both! Another quick question, anyone have any suggestions for what a good record would be to warm up the speakers and test the TT/AVR?

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post #5 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 01:40 PM
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good record would be to warm up the speakers and test the TT/AVR?

I don't know why you want to "warm" up your speakers.
As for testing - there are several test records out there. "Brothers in arms" is quite good as an LP.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 01:55 PM
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Another quick question, anyone have any suggestions for what a good record would be to warm up the speakers
Speakers don't need to warm up.
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test the TT/AVR
Test how? Just put on an album you like and listen.

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post #7 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 02:34 PM
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Test how? Just put on an album you like and listen.

Seems you haven't worked with TT's for a while.

Set up of antiskating: the best record I found is one coauthored by Flloyd Toole. It does not use a trackless vinyl section, it uses a test tone. When the distortion of the signal is dead center between the speakers, the anti skating setting is correct.

Phase test, to check your cartridge's wiring polarity.

Test-signal left/right, to check for correct spatial reproduction

Test signals (music) to check if your tracking force keeps the stylus in the groove. Again, Flloyd Tooles records checks to +12dB signal.

Test signal (sinus) to see how far up and down the spectrum your cartridge reproduces.

For anything else (VTA, azimuth, lateral tracking angle) you need a protractor. Easily downloaded

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml

also a site excellent for any info on most TT's.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 03:01 PM
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Seems you haven't worked with TT's for a while.
No, you and I are interpreting his question differently.

When he asks about "testing the TT/AVR," I took that to mean, what's a good record to audition them with. You seemed to as well, with your Brothers in Arms suggestion.

The turntables that have been recommended (and just about any in his price range) come fully set up, other than balancing the tonearm, and you don't need a test record for that. It wouldn't hurt to double-check the alignment with a protractor, but my admittedly casual observation suggests this will only very rarely uncover a problem.
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the best record I found is one coauthored by Flloyd Toole
You're dating yourself. That baby's about 30 years old. Is it still available?

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post #9 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess I should've said "auditioning" rather than test. I was merely wondering what record, in your folks opinion, is a nice demonstration of how the vinyl,TT,AVR, speakers all will sound in harmony. And @mcnarus, I know speakers don't need to "warm up" it's simply a term I use occasionally in reference to testing my speakers. I use it for music, BD's, SA-CD's etc. My apologies.

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post #10 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 04:13 PM
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I interpreted it both ways. That why my reference to a test record in my reply.

I am surely dating myself, but the test record in question I found on ebay in very good condition just a few years ago.
I have several others (including the Shure "audio obstacle course", one by Allied Radio, another by Yorkshire Records.
The "Audio System Test Record" was produced by the editors of SOUND Canada, i.e. Alan Lofft, with the recording engineers Floyd Toole and Wieslaw Woszczyk, and mixed at the McGill University Recording studios...those were the days.

The sound samples are really spectacular, and I tested several systems with this record, from a Shure 500 Ultra, several Ortofons, Shure V15VXMR, Denon DL110 and 160,Stanton 6.., Goldring 1042 etc. I finally stuck with the Denon DL103. The most neutral and flat when viewed with a RTA and pink noise.
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 04:23 PM
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I am partial to the used stuff. So no advice from me on new TT's.
The Transcriptor in my avatar is just a show piece. Too sensitive to feedback when playing loud.

My favourite I use most often is the Technics SL 10 - for convenience and also SQ of the system. No difference to the much higher priced to follow. For transcription to HDD I use a Thorens TD 125 with a MG1 air bearing arm and the Denon DL103. I have another TD 125 with an SME III arm, but this is used only when the mood strikes me.
From my own experience I can also recommend the TD 145, the Dual 1249. Both at reasonable used prices at the bay.
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 04:33 PM
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And @mcnarus, I know speakers don't need to "warm up" it's simply a term I use occasionally in reference to testing my speakers.
Fair enough. Unfortunately, one can't assume that on an audio forum. frown.gif

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post #13 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 04:49 PM
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what about this turntable? http://www.hideflifestyle.com/music-hall-mmf-2-1le-ferrari-red-edition.html
I heard that it is a good beginner turntable. I also hear that Rega is good. do you like audio technica better? I am looking for a turntable also.
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-17-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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what about this turntable? http://www.hideflifestyle.com/music-hall-mmf-2-1le-ferrari-red-edition.html
I heard that it is a good beginner turntable. I also hear that Rega is good. do you like audio technica better? I am looking for a turntable also.

$499 is well out of my price range. I'll upgrade my AVR before I spend $499 on a turntable, I'm looking in the $100-$300 range, mainly because it'll be an occasional use. Not an every day thing, nor am I looking for audiophile-grade stuff at this point. Like I said, my next big step for my audio equipment will be a new AVR, which for me is long over due.

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post #15 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 09:27 AM
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whatever brand that you get hooz let me know how you like it. I don't know what brand to get. 500 is kind of out of my price range also, but I read that rega and music hall is good. I don't know what's good that is cheaper. I like the name of audio technica. it sounds cool. A friend on here told me about a site called needledoctor They had cheap turntables, but also ones up to 25,000. I did not know that they made turntables that sold for 25,000. That is a lot of money. I bet that it sounds really good though.
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post #16 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

$499 is well out of my price range. I'll upgrade my AVR before I spend $499 on a turntable, I'm looking in the $100-$300 range, mainly because it'll be an occasional use. Not an every day thing, nor am I looking for audiophile-grade stuff at this point. Like I said, my next big step for my audio equipment will be a new AVR, which for me is long over due.

Sounds like the AT LP120 is the way to go.

One more option in the sub-300 range is the Music Hall USB-1, which has a built-in preamp and USB output if you're interested in making digital copies of your albums.

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post #17 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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One more option in the sub-300 range is the Music Hall USB-1, which has a built-in preamp and USB output if you're interested in making digital copies of your albums.
Not a bad choice, by any means, but the LP120 comes with a better cartridge and better speed stability.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 03:44 PM
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Not a bad choice, by any means, but the LP120 comes with a better cartridge and better speed stability.

Fair enough. Makes sense given that the cost of the USB preamp takes away from other components.

Keep your eye on this kickstarter campaign for the Orbit turntable, too. It's pitched a Project/Musichall-style bare bones TT in the $150 price space. Would be very cool if they can pull it off and put out a decent sounding player at that price point.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/uturnaudio/the-orbit-turntable-0

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post #19 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 06:53 PM
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Makes sense given that the cost of the USB preamp takes away from other components.
The cost is trivial, and the LP120 has a preamp and USB connection as well.

The real difference is that Audio-Technica is a much bigger company with much greater economies of scale. It can do direct drive. Music Hall cannot.

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