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Need help on determining what to do with my new turntable.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I was just rewarded with theTechnics SL-1210MK5 turntable for Christmas from my girlfriend *cue the awwws*.

She didn't really realize that turntable was waaaaay too nice for my current set-up, so I'm going to be needing to do some upgrades, and I was wondering if you guys could help me out.

I currently have the Onkyo HT-SR800 Home Theater System. It's decent for my movie needs, but it's kinda lacking when it comes to playing music.

So here's my situation. If I want to hook the turntable up to the receiver I will need a pre-amp, considering my receiver is lacking phono inputs. I have not researched pre-amps whatsoever, so I do not know what is a good one, or even if they are worth getting. Also, like I said I don't really like how music sounds through the front speakers that came with the HTS, so I would be needing to upgrade to some nice, floorstanding speakers.

Should I just get a stereo receiver with a phono input, two floorstanding speakers, and a new subwoofer (Is a sub even needed with a turntable)?

Or...

Should I use my new turntable with my current set-up, get a pre-amp, and two new front floorstanding speakers?

I'm a college student, so if I'm going to be needing a lot of new components I'd prefer to keep it below $600. These were the items I was looking at, but I would greatly prefer to go a pre-amp route to save money.

Onkyo TX-8555 Stereo Receiver

Polk Audio Monitor 60 Floorstanding Speaker

Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer

Thanks everyone in advance. Turntables, phono inputs, and pre-amps are completely new topics for me to explore, so please pardon any ignorance.
post #2 of 9
You can get a functional phono preamp for as little as $50 (www.phonopreamps.com). That'd be fine for connecting to your HTiB system.

If you want to go beyond that, there's a lot of options for a $600 system (given that you already have a source component). The Onkyo receiver is nice; you could even save a little scratch by settling for the 50-watt version. Those Polks look like a nice deal, but you should shop around and listen to a few other brands first. I like Paradigm and PSB, for starters.

Subwoofer? It's a matter of taste, but for a good vinyl system I'd rather put my limited money into two good speakers.
post #3 of 9
I've heard the SR8000 set up and I really recommend focusing on 2 speakers and not a new receiver.

Bookshelves: something new like AV123 or KEFs, or used Usher S 520, NHT Twos, or paradigm,

I agree that the sub should be your lowest priority unless you listen to a lot of house, rap, etc.

Speakers and phono amp would be a good start. agree phonopreamps.com is a great place.

Did your GF include the cartridge for the TT? If not you need one. bang for buck: Audio Technica AT440ML

enjoy your 1210! I have one too.
post #4 of 9
Cambridge Audio 540P phono pre-amp $99.00 shipped

And since you already have a sub....

Athena Technology LS-500 floorstanding speakers $300.00/pair shipped

Whatever is leftover in your budget....apply toward gift for your girlfriend.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I had a spare Grado Black that I threw in my new Technics.

After reading the replies, I suppose I will just go with getting a pre-amp and some new speakers.

I just want to make sure I'm getting a good pre-amp, guys. Ematcion, is the one you linked that much better than this one? I'm more than happy to spend the extra money if you think it's worth it!

Also, I've never heard of Athena Technology before. Are they a well respected brand amongst the community?

[edit]

I was just thinking...is the Grado Black not a good cartridge? If you guys think I need a different one, feel free to suggest something else.
post #6 of 9
Quote:


I just want to make sure I'm getting a good pre-amp, guys. Ematcion, is the one you linked that much better than this one?

I'm not he, but I'd say that while it has a lot more audiophile cred, it's at best only marginally better. A real step up would be a Parasound Zphono, which goes for $150. I'd upgrade the cartridge first.

Quote:


I was just thinking...is the Grado Black not a good cartridge?

It's a good entry-level cartridge. Your turntable deserves better, however. The AT440 or the Shure M97 are popular picks.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I think I'm gonna go with the Shure M97 and the Parasound Zphono. Both sound like excellent choices. Anyone disagree?

Thanks mcnarus.

[edit]

I found an open box Zphono for only $100 on Audio Advisor. I should probably just go with that.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bioshacker View Post

Also, I've never heard of Athena Technology before. Are they a well respected brand amongst the community?

Athena Technology was one of the brands owned by Canada's API, parent company to Mirage and Energy speakers. API was purchased by Klipsch last year and Klipsch has discontinued the brand....therefore the bargain prices on these speakers. There's a thread in the "Speakers" forum on Athena. They are highly regarded as providing excellent bang-for-the-buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bioshacker View Post

I found an open box Zphono for only $100 on Audio Advisor. I should probably just go with that.

Yes, you should.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
You've been a life saver...well...at least a money saver. I greatly appreciate it. I even managed to convince the girlfriend to buy the Zphono and Shure M97. Merry Christmas to me for sure!

Now I just gotta figure out what to do about the speakers. I suppose I could go with those Athena Technology ones, or is there anything else in that price range I might should look at?
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