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Need TT recommendations..

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was ready to jump the gun on the pro-ject essential TT for a great price until I found out that it doesn't have a switch to change speeds (manual belt adjustment) and doesn't play 78s

pretty bummed, not sure what would be an adequate TT for around 250-300 that will have a switch and/or play 78s. I'd like to have the option of playing them if I find any that I hoping to get a good deal, the essential I found was going for around 250 on amazon. saw the music hall entry level model but have no use for USB and not a fan of the cartridge.

thoughts?
post #2 of 20
You could check out the Audio Technica LP-AT120. Does all three speeds and is within your price range. I'm not to crazy about the internal phono preamp but you can bypass it w/a better outboard phono for an extra $50-$75.
post #3 of 20
Do not forget that you need different cartridge for 78s. That is why most people have TWO TTs - one for 33/45 and one for 78.
post #4 of 20
The AT-120 would be my recommendation. It uses a headshell, so you can just have a 78 cartridge mounted in a second headshell, and swap them out whenever you need to. I'd also upgrade the stock cartridge to something less DJ-ish. lpgear.com often has an upgrade special on this table. All told, this is going to run you a bit above your budget, but you won't find a better set-up, given your needs, for anything like the price.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A View Post

You could check out the Audio Technica LP-AT120. Does all three speeds and is within your price range. I'm not to crazy about the internal phono preamp but you can bypass it w/a better outboard phono for an extra $50-$75.

someone on another thread said to pick up this preamp:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...o_cart_title_3

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

The AT-120 would be my recommendation. It uses a headshell, so you can just have a 78 cartridge mounted in a second headshell, and swap them out whenever you need to. I'd also upgrade the stock cartridge to something less DJ-ish. lpgear.com often has an upgrade special on this table. All told, this is going to run you a bit above your budget, but you won't find a better set-up, given your needs, for anything like the price.

I may buy that cartridge separately and still come out saving some $ if I buy on amazon
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi_driver View Post

I was ready to jump the gun on the pro-ject essential TT for a great price until I found out that it doesn't have a switch to change speeds (manual belt adjustment) and doesn't play 78s

pretty bummed, not sure what would be an adequate TT for around 250-300 that will have a switch and/or play 78s. I'd like to have the option of playing them if I find any that I hoping to get a good deal, the essential I found was going for around 250 on amazon. saw the music hall entry level model but have no use for USB and not a fan of the cartridge.

thoughts?

Actually you can use the Pro-Ject Speedbox II for electronic speed adjustment, and I believe Pro-Ject does have an optional 78rpm add-on for their turntables.

I use an RM 1.3, myself.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

Actually you can use the Pro-Ject Speedbox II for electronic speed adjustment, and I believe Pro-Ject does have an optional 78rpm add-on for their turntables.

I use an RM 1.3, myself.

I could, just don't want to spend another ~$150 on a speed box. If it was more intuitive to change the speed i'd do it. I'm a complete newb so i'm also afraid that i'd fvck it up too

the lp120 from audio technica is looking more plausible as of now, even tho i love the design of the essential
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
still torn between the pro-ject essential and the lp120. went to a pro hi-fi shop to check out a pro-ject in person, saw how easy it was to move the belt position from 33 to 45. not as concerned with playing 78s as I was before.

also considering the entry level music hall table and this tdk that looks really nice - http://www.amazon.com/TDK-Record-77000015378-Drive-Turntable/dp/B004I44F50/ref=sr_1_86?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1339057980&sr=1-86

thoughts?!
post #9 of 20
I'm a Pro-Ject guy, but any of those are a great choice. I will note that yeah the belt change thing is simple as can be. If you do go with a Music Hall table, upon setting it up, get a protractor and make SURE the cartridge that comes pre-installed is aligned correctly. I was just reading a thread by a guy on VE talking about his being off axis quite a bit and causing a lot of inner groove distortion until he corrected the misalignment. Just a little heads up. Not a bad idea to check ANY table in that regard though. Stuff happens in shipping.
Also, on the note of 78RPM records, be aware that you'd not only need a turntable with a 78RPM switch, or the right pulley to set the motor speed, but you also need a cartridge and headshell you can swap in that's designed for Shellac records and possibly even a separate tonearm for the job. You're really better off just setting up a separate table for 78s. They are a beast of a different color entirely.
Unless your tastes are those for media you can only find on old 78s, you're better off sticking to 33/45rpm vinyl.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

I'm a Pro-Ject guy, but any of those are a great choice. I will note that yeah the belt change thing is simple as can be. If you do go with a Music Hall table, upon setting it up, get a protractor and make SURE the cartridge that comes pre-installed is aligned correctly. I was just reading a thread by a guy on VE talking about his being off axis quite a bit and causing a lot of inner groove distortion until he corrected the misalignment. Just a little heads up. Not a bad idea to check ANY table in that regard though. Stuff happens in shipping.
Also, on the note of 78RPM records, be aware that you'd not only need a turntable with a 78RPM switch, or the right pulley to set the motor speed, but you also need a cartridge and headshell you can swap in that's designed for Shellac records and possibly even a separate tonearm for the job. You're really better off just setting up a separate table for 78s. They are a beast of a different color entirely.
Unless your tastes are those for media you can only find on old 78s, you're better off sticking to 33/45rpm vinyl.

I collect and listen to mostly anything that intrigues me, 78 or not. I think i'll just wait until I accumulate more records to warrant a whole separate table. At this point, I want something that will be solidly constructed that'll last a long time without disrepair (separate from regular upkeep) Also I'm not looking to spend any additional money on a cartridge upon purchase so whatever model would have the best one already packaged is the one I should probably go for. The AT and Music Hall both have USB which I have no use for at all, and I'd rather use a separate pre-amp rather than any built in.
post #11 of 20
In that case you're not looking at entry level tables, you're looking at around $5,000+ for the table at a minimum, and another $2000-3000 for a tonearm and $1000+ for the MC cartridge, plus $2500+ for the pre-amp. That's a whole different ball game when you start talking about "the best" of anything.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
I collect and listen to mostly anything that intrigues me, 78 or not. I think i'll just wait until I accumulate more records to warrant a whole separate table. At this point, I want something that will be solidly constructed that'll last a long time without disrepair (separate from regular upkeep) Also I'm not looking to spend any additional money on a cartridge upon purchase so whatever model would have the best one already packaged is the one I should probably go for. The AT and Music Hall both have USB which I have no use for at all, and I'd rather use a separate pre-amp rather than any built in.
I think you need to recognize that you can't have everything you want, at least not for anything approaching your budget. I'm sticking with my earlier recommendation—the AT-120, with upgraded cartridge and a separate headshell with a 78 cart mounted on it. A vendor like lpgear or Needle doctor should be able to do all this for you, though it'll come in somewhat closer to $400 than $300. But it's as close to what you're asking for as anything that exists. If that doesn't float you boat, you're going to have to decide what you're going to give up.

As for the built-in features, if you don't want to use them, you don't have to. It costs manufacturers next to nothing to include them, so don't fall into the trap of thinking they must have pinched pennies somewhere else. They didn't. They just made the business decision that a $199 turntable with USB will sell better than a $197 turntable without USB.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

In that case you're not looking at entry level tables, you're looking at around $5,000+ for the table at a minimum, and another $2000-3000 for a tonearm and $1000+ for the MC cartridge, plus $2500+ for the pre-amp. That's a whole different ball game when you start talking about "the best" of anything.

I should have clarified by saying "the best" of what I had to choose from - being the at-120, essential, or music hall; which of the three had the better cartridge. I'm far off from spending anything in that range......for now
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
I collect and listen to mostly anything that intrigues me, 78 or not. I think i'll just wait until I accumulate more records to warrant a whole separate table. At this point, I want something that will be solidly constructed that'll last a long time without disrepair (separate from regular upkeep) Also I'm not looking to spend any additional money on a cartridge upon purchase so whatever model would have the best one already packaged is the one I should probably go for. The AT and Music Hall both have USB which I have no use for at all, and I'd rather use a separate pre-amp rather than any built in.
I think you need to recognize that you can't have everything you want, at least not for anything approaching your budget. I'm sticking with my earlier recommendation—the AT-120, with upgraded cartridge and a separate headshell with a 78 cart mounted on it. A vendor like lpgear or Needle doctor should be able to do all this for you, though it'll come in somewhat closer to $400 than $300. But it's as close to what you're asking for as anything that exists. If that doesn't float you boat, you're going to have to decide what you're going to give up.
As for the built-in features, if you don't want to use them, you don't have to. It costs manufacturers next to nothing to include them, so don't fall into the trap of thinking they must have pinched pennies somewhere else. They didn't. They just made the business decision that a $199 turntable with USB will sell better than a $197 turntable without USB.

you're right I do have to make a sacrifice or two at some point, can't get too picky. appreciate the advice
post #14 of 20
Quote:
I should have clarified by saying "the best" of what I had to choose from - being the at-120, essential, or music hall; which of the three had the better cartridge.
Out of the box, definitely the Pro-Ject.

But for about the same price, you could get the AT-120 with an upgraded cartridge that'll be as good, with more of the functionality you said you were looking for (like switchable speeds, 78 capability).

Your choice.
post #15 of 20
Honestly, he's right. A better cartridge is well worth the cost. The first thing I did with my RM 1.3 was dump the Pearl cart and move to a Dynavector 10X5 and it was a night and day difference in performance. I also did a little DIY work and built a simple grounding base from ash plywood filled with lead shot and sand to add about a 50 pound base under the turntable to absorb any resonance from the audio system through the floor and subsequent AV rack the TT sits on. Now I'm working on building a phono stage from specs on diyaudioprojects. You can upgrade as you go.. it doesn't have to be an all in the box proposal, and often you'll be thankful you did build up the turntable as you have the money, to get what you wanted and not what you were willing to settle for.
post #16 of 20
Upgrading a cartridge is always a good move, but in the case of these starter turntables, it can be closer to a necessity. The AT and the Music Hall come with conical styli, which don't track the groove very well and require heavier tracking forces. So not the best thing for your records. Switching to even a basic elliptical cartridge that tracks at 2g or less will be a step up.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A View Post

You could check out the Audio Technica LP-AT120. Does all three speeds and is within your price range. I'm not to crazy about the internal phono preamp but you can bypass it w/a better outboard phono for an extra $50-$75.

this is a good unit but if you want that smooth look of the Pro-ject check out the AT-LP240.
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turntables/1dd57155b119cdad/
post #18 of 20
Why do you want to be able to play 78's? They are the 8-track tapes of records.

I would just worry about 33/45rpm.
post #19 of 20
seriously.. 78s require a special cartridge (and headshell for ease of swap), they need a TT that runs at 78RPM, and they're shellac and therefore super fragile, and not nearly as common.. Unless you have specific media that's only available on a 78, and you can get good quality 78 records of that specific media, it's really not worth the effort or expense.
post #20 of 20
It used to be the V15 has a big hooking stylus just for that. Belive it or not, I still have an old M3d somewhere I used. It is not the cartridge that s special, you need a big conical tip.
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