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post #1 of 18 Old 05-18-2015, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for my first Turntable

Hello all.

I am really into music from the 60's and 70's and thought it would be awesome and fun to start collecting classic vinyl and listening to it. Honestly I have been reading a lot online about the collecting aspects but getting a bit confused on which turntable to get. I would like to plug it into my current home theater which is a Pioneer Elite receiver.

I would prefer to keep it under $500.00 is that's possible???

Any suggestions,ideas or direction would be greatly appreciate as always.

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-18-2015, 06:54 PM
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$450 = Project Debut Carbon DC with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

$420 = Denon DP300F Automatic Single Play with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge


http://www.needledoctor.com/Denon-DP...2&category=348

$400 = TEAC TN-300 Cherry -


http://www.crutchfield.com/p_063TN30....html?tp=48766

$450 = Music Hall MMF2.2
-

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Absolutely NOTHING below this turntable -

$300 = Audio Technica LP-120 USB
-

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Te...2&category=358

Though I think I can find that Audio Technica for about $250 if is of interest. Decent arm, decent direct drive motor, and only a fair case - lots of plastic. Though for the low price certainly about the best you can get for that small amount of money. It should have a built in Phono Pre-Amp, though you can by-pass it, and it has USB output so you can record vinyl to your computer.

The Project Debut Carbon DC is a highly rated turntable with a really top notch cartridge. It likely tops most of the lists of suggested entry level turntables.

The Denon DF300 has a nice tone arm, the same 2M Red cartridge, and it has the Auto-Play feature, which is actually very handy. Push one button and the motor starts, the Arm moves to the record, plays to the end, and then the Tone Arm come back to rest and the motor shuts off.

The Music Hall is a decent turntable and it does have a nice cartridge, but probably not the equal of the 2M Red.

The TEAC is new, and judging from the looks I would expect nothing less than a fine turntable for the money. It probably has a decent cartridge, but it takes a lot to beat the highly rated Ortofon 2M Red.

Many of these come in other finishes and colors, if you are interested.

Others may disagree but that is probably the top of the list for under $500 Turntables.

There are some DJ Turntables which make the grade but you need to make sure you get a long "S" Tone Arm and a HiFi Cartridge, NOT a DJ cartridge and NOT a short straight tone arm. The operative word being a SHORT tone arm. There are plenty of fine straight long tonearms out there.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Te...=2&category=44

http://www.needledoctor.com/Stanton-...2&category=354

It might be possible to find better prices on any of these. I just used the first place I found them so you could see the Turntable and get a general idea of the prices.

There is also one model better Project Debut Carbon called the Esprit DC ($599), unclear whether it comes with a cartridge or not. But there are some improvements like the acrylic Platter -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

That should be enough to get you started.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-18-2015, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
$450 = Project Debut Carbon DC with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

$420 = Denon DP300F Automatic Single Play with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge


http://www.needledoctor.com/Denon-DP...2&category=348

$400 = TEAC TN-300 Cherry -


http://www.crutchfield.com/p_063TN30....html?tp=48766

$450 = Music Hall MMF2.2
-

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Absolutely NOTHING below this turntable -

$300 = Audio Technica LP-120 USB
-

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Te...2&category=358

Though I think I can find that Audio Technica for about $250 if is of interest. Decent arm, decent direct drive motor, and only a fair case - lots of plastic. Though for the low price certainly about the best you can get for that small amount of money. It should have a built in Phono Pre-Amp, though you can by-pass it, and it has USB output so you can record vinyl to your computer.

The Project Debut Carbon DC is a highly rated turntable with a really top notch cartridge. It likely tops most of the lists of suggested entry level turntables.

The Denon DF300 has a nice tone arm, the same 2M Red cartridge, and it has the Auto-Play feature, which is actually very handy. Push one button and the motor starts, the Arm moves to the record, plays to the end, and then the Tone Arm come back to rest and the motor shuts off.

The Music Hall is a decent turntable and it does have a nice cartridge, but probably not the equal of the 2M Red.

The TEAC is new, and judging from the looks I would expect nothing less than a fine turntable for the money. It probably has a decent cartridge, but it takes a lot to beat the highly rated Ortofon 2M Red.

Many of these come in other finishes and colors, if you are interested.

Others may disagree but that is probably the top of the list for under $500 Turntables.

There are some DJ Turntables which make the grade but you need to make sure you get a long "S" Tone Arm and a HiFi Cartridge, NOT a DJ cartridge and NOT a short straight tone arm. The operative word being a SHORT tone arm. There are plenty of fine straight long tonearms out there.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Te...=2&category=44

http://www.needledoctor.com/Stanton-...2&category=354

It might be possible to find better prices on any of these. I just used the first place I found them so you could see the Turntable and get a general idea of the prices.

There is also one model better Project Debut Carbon called the Esprit DC ($599), unclear whether it comes with a cartridge or not. But there are some improvements like the acrylic Platter -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

That should be enough to get you started.

Steve/bluewizard
Whoa thanks for the info!
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-18-2015, 07:04 PM
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You might find some additional value in reading Post #23 in this thread -

Vinyl is a deep, dark, scary rabbit hole...

Especially near the bottom were I relate the cost of the turntable to the number of albums you might potentially own.


Steve/bluewizard
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-19-2015, 06:13 AM
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The Rega RP1 is a great entry level table. $445.

http://www.amazon.com/Rega-RP1-Turnt.../dp/B004B3GELG

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post #6 of 18 Old 05-19-2015, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertaint View Post
The Rega RP1 is a great entry level table. $445.

http://www.amazon.com/Rega-RP1-Turnt.../dp/B004B3GELG

Right, I should have included that turntable in my list. REGA are always highly rated. Though generally REGA RP1 comes without a cartridge, and by the time you add one, you are over budget.

HOWEVER, the Amazon link Rega RP1 DOES come with a Rega Carbon Cartridge, and at that price, certainly deserves to be on the list.

The Rega Carbon Cartridge is not very high end, but should still be a quality cartridge. ($65)

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-Car...2&category=379

The Ortofon 2M Red and the entire 2M series are all highly rated ($100) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-...2&category=378

But ...yes... the Rega RP1 definitely deserves to be on the list of contenders.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-19-2015, 02:29 PM
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Don't forget at least $100 for a phono preamp.
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-19-2015, 06:11 PM
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Pre-owned, non-DJ'd Technics SL1200.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-20-2015, 05:46 PM
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Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver (~$250). Or some other turn table with a USB connection
Plan to spend the rest of the money on:
A) Vintage LPs
B) Software to record vintage LPs
That $500 won’t last long.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-20-2015, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookshelf View Post
Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver (~$250). Or some other turn table with a USB connection
Plan to spend the rest of the money on:
A) Vintage LPs
B) Software to record vintage LPs
That $500 won’t last long.
Better to not bother with a built-in A-D converter and USB output at that price. The sound card in most computers is better and it takes away from the turntable, itself. Also, Audacity is free, last time I checked and it's a good way to record/edit and remove clicks/pops.
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-21-2015, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
Better to not bother with a built-in A-D converter and USB output at that price. The sound card in most computers is better and it takes away from the turntable, itself. Also, Audacity is free, last time I checked and it's a good way to record/edit and remove clicks/pops.
Your probably right. Re-reading his requirements- he wants to plug it into his home theater system. (Not record albums). In which case he can skip the usb.
The turn table l & a good cartridge will bump up against his price ceiling.
Assuming he already has plenty of classic LPs.
(or a separate credit card for new one)
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-21-2015, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
Audacity.
Yep- its very good at most things (especially considering it free). For pops & hisses- Not so good.
I used it to clean up an old 78 Jazz recording.
That was a slow and painful process.

If you have a mac I recommend trying Audio Hijack pro.
I got it as part of a bundle and just keep upgrading.
The new version with its modules is fantastic.
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-21-2015, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bookshelf View Post
Yep- its very good at most things (especially considering it free). For pops & hisses- Not so good.
I used it to clean up an old 78 Jazz recording.
That was a slow and painful process.

If you have a mac I recommend trying Audio Hijack pro.
I got it as part of a bundle and just keep upgrading.
The new version with its modules is fantastic.
I use Windows-based. I haven't done much with Audacity in a long time and spending a long time on removing clicks/pops would be torture, for me. I never liked making compilation tapes, either. I can live with an occasional click but if it's constant, I prefer to replace. Unless I'm in a small space and/or using headphones/ear buds, I don't hear much noise from my vinyl, anyway. Fortunately. Before I aligned my Denon 103d cartridge, and it really needed alignment, the noise was pretty bad.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-21-2015, 08:58 AM
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I don't do a lot of digitizing, but I use Vinyl Studio, available for PC or Mac. A bit of a learning curve, but not too bad. But does a great job with as little or as much cleanup (surface noise, pops and clicks) as you want and has a lot of recording options, including track splitting for albums and automatic title lookup.

http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk/
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-21-2015, 09:17 AM
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True, for some-

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net...67&oe=55F8C7CF
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-22-2015, 06:50 AM
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I say buy used. any of my used tt's will wipe the floor off the new stuff for less$. For example, my mint pioneer pl41, with stock cart was only $130. I got a kenwood 5070 (the one with the corian base) for $199, spent another $280 on an AT 09CII cart for it and the total price was still under $500 and will kick butt over anything new.
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-22-2015, 01:17 PM
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I would also recommend that if you are seriously thinking about getting into vinyl for the long term haul, then consider investing in a decent separate phono stage. You can have a good turntable with a nice cartridge, but if you don't have a decent preamp, then you will miss out on the analog fidelity that vinyl can provide. I HIGHLY recommend that you don't plug your turntable into the phono input of your pioneer receiver!!! Also stay away from any turntable that has an analog to digital converter (such as those with USB) and preamps that are powered by an ac adapter.

There are many options for a turntable for under $500 - of which this is what I would do for a budget system:
Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge: $75
Technics Headshell: $20
Parasound Zphono preamp: $200
Used good condition and heavy turntable that takes a standard head shell (from ebay or craigslist): $200
And if you have any extra money left over: record cleaning brush (must have), better turntable mat, and a record clamp :-)

Everytime I listen to my system that consists of a used Technics 1200, Denon 103R cartridge, and Jolida JD9 preamp with many upgrades, first thing that goes through my mind... digital audio has a VERY LONG way to go. If you do it correctly, you will really appreciate it and have a ball going through piles of vinyl at used stores.
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-31-2015, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I am still trying to decide which to get
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