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Getting Into Vinyl!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have a really cheap USB turntable and as my collection grows, I am looking to upgrade the player! Now, I do not have a huge budget but I did some research and I was wondering what you guys think of these two models?

Audio Technica AT-LP60 
Pioneer PL-990

Another questions what is the difference (besides USB and direct drive) between LP 60 and the Audio-Technica AT-LP120? 

Is there any other player I should look for? 

What about used? I know that can be iffy, but my dad has a nice older Sony one that works well and if I could find one in good shape I would not mind something like that as well. 

Thanks a lot!

post #2 of 12
Quote:
I have a really cheap USB turntable and as my collection grows, I am looking to upgrade the player! Now, I do not have a huge budget but I did some research and I was wondering what you guys think of these two models?

Audio Technica AT-LP60
Pioneer PL-990
Neither would offer much if any improvement over what you have now. Save your money.
Quote:
Another questions what is the difference (besides USB and direct drive) between LP 60 and the Audio-Technica AT-LP120?
The key difference is that the 120 comes with a much better cartridge. It will both sound better and cause less wear on your records. Also, you can upgrade the cartridge, which you can't do on either of the tables you listed. The 120 is my top recommendation for a starter budget table.
Quote:
What about used?
Used is great if you know what to look for. No offense, but your questions suggest you might not. Also, while a used table might be working OK, it may require a new cartridge, which takes a bit of know-how to replace.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Na I understand! So the Technica AT-LP120 is a pretty good player?

post #4 of 12
Well, "pretty good" is in the eye of the beholder. It's a respectable table, and a worthy upgrade from what you have now.
post #5 of 12
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

. . . . . . The 120 is my top recommendation for a starter budget table.
Used is great if you know what to look for. . . .

A question regarding your recommendation, is there real tangible benefit to the height adjust-ability of the 120 tonearm ?

Would you classify the 120 tonearm as a medium compliance tonearm, with fluid damping?

I currently have an old Panasonic SL-D2 TT (with a Grado Blue cartridge) that does not have height adjustments for the tonearm.

My SL-D2 tonearm is also a medium compliance tonearm with fluid damping, correct?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceD View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

. . . . . . The 120 is my top recommendation for a starter budget table.
Used is great if you know what to look for. . . .

A question regarding your recommendation, is there real tangible benefit to the height adjust-ability of the 120 tonearm ?

A tone arm with height adjustment can be adjusted more optimally for cartridges whose height varies. The tone arm needs to be level to get optimal Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA). Proper VTA is required for lowest possible distortion.

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/vinyl-lp/37-technology/73-vertical-tracking-angle.html

"High levels of distortion are produced on stereo recordings from errors of what is known as Vertical Tracking Angle in a cartridge..."
Quote:
Would you classify the 120 tonearm as a medium compliance tonearm, with fluid damping?

I don't think that the 120 tonearm has fluid damping. Tone arms don't have compliance, Cartridges have compliance. I think you may mean medium mass, which the SL120 arm is.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
A question regarding your recommendation, is there real tangible benefit to the height adjust-ability of the 120 tonearm ?
Yes, although a lot of low-end and even entry-level high-end turntables ignore this feature.
Quote:
Would you classify the 120 tonearm as a medium compliance tonearm, with fluid damping?
As Arny says, it's probably medium-mass, although AT doesn't specify tonearm effective mass. (One of my minor beefs about AT is its somewhat skimpy spec sheets—though that's hardly unique among turntable manufacturers.)

It certainly isn't fluid damped. That's a feature I suspect you only see on much better tables.
Quote:
My SL-D2 tonearm is also a medium compliance tonearm with fluid damping, correct?
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that unit. Do a search on vinylengine.com.
post #9 of 12
I am not aware of any of the consumer-level Technics tables that have fluid damping. Even the SL1200 does not, although you can get it as a after-market accessory.
They do have fluid damped cueing, which maybe what is misleading.
post #10 of 12
Certainly shows I'm not well versed on turntable terminology.

Correct, no fluid damped arms (just hydraulic cueing), I didn't understand that.

Also, the Panasonic tonearm at 12g (user manual) is likely labeled a medium mass tonearm, correct ?
I don't know if the Grado Blue cartiridge is a low compliance or high compliance cartridge.

With a medium mass tonearm, is there a preference for a low compliance or high compliance cartridge ?

Guess I'll use a test record to test the Panasonic/Grado compatibility.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Also, the Panasonic tonearm at 12g (user manual) is likely labeled a medium mass tonearm, correct ?
I don't know if the Grado Blue cartiridge is a low compliance or high compliance cartridge.

With a medium mass tonearm, is there a preference for a low compliance or high compliance cartridge ?
Not sure what's considered low, medium or high anymore. True low-mass arms are rare these days, as are high-compliance carts, so serious mismatches are infrequent.

In your case:

Tonearm effective mass (TEM) = 12g
Cartridge weight (CW) = 5.5g
Cartridge compliance (CC) = 20cu

Resonant frequency = 1000/(6.28*sqrt((TEM+CW)*CC) = 8.5 Hz

That should be high enough to avoid any problems.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post


. . . .

Resonant frequency = 1000/(6.28*sqrt((TEM+CW)*CC) = 8.5 Hz

That should be high enough to avoid any problems.

Thanks, great info !! Especially the calculation algorithm.
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