or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports › Going to Vinyl looking at the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 - Few questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Going to Vinyl looking at the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 - Few questions

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

First off this is my first post here, so Hi everyone.

Coming from a total record newb, I hope I dont get flamed I did a search and read quite a bit on here and google which has lead me to lean towards purchasing the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 off amazon for $240.

I listen to about 90% rock music and after reading reviews on the turntable on Amazon some people have talked about getting the "Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge" and others about just getting a "lighter" stylus as the one that comes with this is quite agressive and more geared towards DJs. Although the cartridge it comes with is quite good?

I will be listening to some collectible LPs that I obviously dont want to damage with the wrong setup. But instead of just having them on my shelf I would love to listen to them. So I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction in regards to the stylus and cartridge.

Or if someone can recommend another unit, I would really like to keep it under $300 but if you think its really WORTH spending the extra money (Technics) thats not a problem. Im not going to be using this all day every day, probably a few times a week but hope to use it for life. The other thing to keep in mind I had to sell my entire home theatre system and switch to a Yamaha YSP-2200 and Im hoping to hook into that as it does actually sound pretty decent for music at low-mid volumes. But in the future when I move back into a house I will be getting a full home theatre again.

So far what im looking at getting are the following items:
- Audio-Technica AT-PL120 Professional Direct-Drive Turntable
- Shure SFG-2 Stylus Tracking Force Gauge (heard its a good idea to test)
- AudioQuest LP record clean brush (heard its nice)
- Audio Technica AT6012 Record Care Kit

Looking for some advice.

Thanks a bunch,
Matt
post #2 of 25
The 120 comes with a much better cartridge than it used to, so you needn't worry about excessive record wear. If you want to upgrade the cartridge anyway, you need to worry about proper installation/alignment. Its doable, but can be a little intimidating for a newbie. You might consider buying from a turntable specialist (Needle Doctor, LPGear, etc.), which will install the cart for you—but at a price, of course. A 120 with an M97 installed will run you over $400. Since you're just starting out, I'd stick with the stock cartridge.

As for the accessories, I'd skip the gauge and the Audioquest brush. You'll be able to balance the cartridge well enough, and the kit comes with its own brush.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Awesome thanks. The adjustment is what I was worried about so ill leave it as is. How do I tell if the stylus is comes with is the right one? I could always get a local guy to install the M97 as on amazon it's only about $75 don't mind paying that if its worth it.

I also found my dads old Yamaha P-06 and Dual 506. Are either any good? I could always get a new cartridge for them and a pro to install and tune it?
post #4 of 25
Quote:
How do I tell if the stylus is comes with is the right one?
You mean cartridge. (The stylus is just the needle; it fits in the cartridge.)

The one you want is the AT95. I haven't seen any new ones for sale in a while that didn't have it.
Quote:
I also found my dads old Yamaha P-06 and Dual 506. Are either any good?
They could be, depending on condition. You'd probably need to replace both belt and cartridge.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes sorry that's what I meant. But I did read that some people swapped the stylus for what ever reason.

The other units...They both appear to be in very good shape. But I'm doubting the fact if even I were to replace the belt and cartridge on one that it would be a good choice over the PL120?

Ps: I can find info on the dual (people seem to like them) but nothing on the Yamaha, did it go by another model number? it would of been bought in Canada.
Edited by matt94gt - 2/24/13 at 1:30am
post #6 of 25
The cost difference between changing the stylus vs the cart is only about $14. Usually changing a stylus is more beneficial when you purchase higher priced carts. In this case I would just go w/a new cart if that's what you need.smile.gif
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well for the new AT-PL120 I wouldnt worry about switching if after hearing mcnarus's comments above. But for the older players I would probably get a new cartrige, stylus and belt.

I also did fine a Technics SL-5200 locally, looks mint and the guy would probably let it go for about $50.00 so I have 3 choices as of right now...would love some more opinions.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt94gt View Post

Awesome thanks. The adjustment is what I was worried about so ill leave it as is. How do I tell if the stylus is comes with is the right one? I could always get a local guy to install the M97 as on amazon it's only about $75 don't mind paying that if its worth it.

I also found my dads old Yamaha P-06 and Dual 506. Are either any good? I could always get a new cartridge for them and a pro to install and tune it?

The Dual 506 looks pretty good - belt drive with a low speed motor.

http://dual-reference.com/tables/506.htm

Years 1979-80

Yamaha P506 is another pretty good mid-priced belt drive TT.

http://www.hifi-wiki.de/index.php/Yamaha_P-06

Years: 1984-1987
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks if you were to choose from one of those two (Dual vs Yamaha) which would you use?
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt94gt View Post

Thanks if you were to choose from one of those two (Dual vs Yamaha) which would you use?

I'd test them out. Given their age, their condition is highly questionable.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I'd test them out. Given their age, their condition is highly questionable.

The dual was my grandpas and I think was used about a dozen times tops, the yamaha my dads was rarely used as well. Maybe ill give them a shot, but I have no idea how to tell if they need a new belt, cartridge or really what Im looking for.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt94gt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I'd test them out. Given their age, their condition is highly questionable.

The dual was my grandpas and I think was used about a dozen times tops, the yamaha my dads was rarely used as well. Maybe ill give them a shot, but I have no idea how to tell if they need a new belt, cartridge or really what Im looking for.

The new belt purchase is pretty obvious. Bad belt gives you no platter rotation or lotsa slip. New belt may be available for under $20, you'll have to shop around because the company that made Dual TTs back then is regrettably long gone.

If you are an audiophile then the cartridge/stylus situation is more of the same. If the needle is bent or a sacrificial LP you test the TT with has audible distortion, then a new stylus assembly or Cartridge is in order. If you don't know what you are doing with cartridge mounting and arm setup, find someone who does.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Great thanks for the comments! Im just debating this AT purchase still, as I can get it shipped to my father who is in the states for another month, which basically save me $200 as its that much more up in Canada.
post #14 of 25
The Dual 506 is an awesome turntable, I have the Dual CS 606.

One caveat and it is extremely important. It comes with an ULM arm... Your choice of cartridge is limited basically to stock. If you want to add a different cartridge you need to find the adaptor part that shipped with it originally.. These are UNOBTAINABLE. I have one, but I got very lucky.

If you do manage to find one I can show you how to mod a counterweight for the end. I've got my TT hooked with an AT95e, sounds sweet. Apart from this issue those duals are solid as a rock, excellent TT.
post #15 of 25
You are in luck if you want to buy the part, there's one on ebay for $25

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-Turntable-Cartridge-Adapter-Dual-Part-262-186-/290771137494?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item43b34f73d6

But you need this if you wish to add different carts.

PM me if you need to know how to sort out a counterweight for the added weight, I used basically a PC thumbscrew and a large washer from home depot. the thread is perfect for the PC thumbscrew.
post #16 of 25
Oh, I would also stick with one of the TT you already have and put the money towards a great cartridge rather than buy a new turntable.

I don't know which is better out of the dual or yamaha, probably pretty equal, depends on condition. You may want to use the yamaha then you won't have to buy the adaptor for the dual.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input ill keep that in mind. Going to do some research on these two units I can't find a single thing about this Yamaha.

Also I found a guy with a few TTs for sale I know one is a Dual 1218 that's in mint shape for $80 not sure how this compares with the other dual but it has "eliptical diamond stylus and cartridge" that's in great condition. Any insight on this? Ill post an update this evening when I check out his other stuff.
post #18 of 25
most stylus (if not all) have diamond tips.. Two kinds of stylus, conical and eliptical, both have advantages and disadvantages, I wouldn't base anything on what this guys says ask him the brand and do the research. Two kinds of cartridge, moving magnetic vs moving coil (much more expensive).

I'm a bit of a noob with vinyl, only got into it about 6 months ago.

The dual 1218 is older, it's pretty nice looking, I've never heard it it may miss some of the features of later players like strobes etc.

I'd say if you have a chance to get an older turntable get a direct drive over a belt drive, some people say direct drives are noisier, but they're not at all (as long as it isn't a bottom of the barrel one) Mine is dead silent. It will take a lot less maintenance.

The folks over at audiokarma really know a hell of a lot about vinyl
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help everyone. Im now leaning back towards a new unit, after costs and all that I think its worth my while as I will need a phono pre-amp, cartridge, stylus, belt etc.

So I know the AT-PL120 is hard to beat but if there are any other suggestions feel free to shoot them my way. Thanks again!
post #20 of 25
You're probably going to want to upgrade both the cart and get a better phono pre-amp down the line if you get that TT, which by all accounts is one of the better TT's you can buy new nowadays...

Really I don't think you're going to save money getting it. Your budget option would probably be the Yamaha with separate phono preamp ($100) new cart (good one - $50 At95e, better one $100 AT120 etc)

Cartridge will include stylus. Belt will be $20 or so if it needs replacing.

I don't know about the internal phono stage on the AT turntable, but my guess is that it's not that great... I have a phono stage on my Denon 3803 and I'm thinking of getting a separate Tube phono preamp because I think it's the weakest link in the chain, my guess is the phono preamp on that TT is worse than on my Denon. I don't know that for sure you'll have to ask someone who knows about TTs and who has that TT what the quality is.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
I heard the cartridge that now comes on them
is much better then the one that used to come with it and that its just fine and doesn't need to be replaced, people seem quite impressed with it. The preamp I heard is alright but that can always be upgraded down the road.
post #22 of 25
Wel, it is Audio Technica... Not some Crosley ****.

Enjoy the TT!
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks. So can anyone reccomed a good cleaning kit and or brush? I mentioned a few in my initial post. Also what about a MAT to replace the felt one?

Thanks all for the help!
Edited by matt94gt - 2/27/13 at 10:12pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt94gt View Post

Thanks. So can anyone reccomed a good cleaning kit and or brush? I mentioned a few in my initial post. Also what about a MAT to replace the felt one?

Felt mats are good.

One of the best before-use record cleaners was the Discwasher which was a piece of velvet wrapped around a piece of foam with a wood handle.

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-RD-1006-Discwasher-Record-System/dp/B000KMZKTO

The best during-use cleaner was the Dust Bug

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Watts-Dust-Bug-Turntable-Record-cleaner-NEW-/140915022141?pt=US_Record_Player_Turntable_Parts&hash=item20cf30993d

Really badly messed up LPs get the mild soapy water treatment:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=186385

This article shows the use of all sorts of fancy tools, but it is the basic trip through the mild suds and rinse that does the most good.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Great thanks!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports › Going to Vinyl looking at the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 - Few questions