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Alexander Hawkins

Entry-level turntables

20 posts in this topic

We need to revive the discussion in this forum!

I'm looking to add a turntable to my hifi (which at present comprises only amp, cd, and speakers). Not having that much cash to dispose of, however, and only having a relatively entry-level system (NAD c320BEE amp; NAD c521i cd-player; KEF Concerto 1 speakers) I wonder if anyone could suggest anything that might be suitable?

Thanks in advance!

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Not knowing what the budget is, you'll be hard-pressed to find a new table with more bang for the buck than the Musichall MMF-7, which comes with a $400 Goldring cartridge. I've seen these for $750 or so on Audiogon, but even for $899 this is a heck of a setup for the money! Another option is to go for a good used turntable-I see decent Technics for less than $300 fairly often. Either way you'll be able to enter the wonderful world of vinyl.

:P

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I made the move from my $10 Kenwood to the Sumiko Pro-Ject with the Sumiko Oyster cartridge for $299. Wow. This thing is built well, too.

The Model 1.2

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The current NEW quality budget turntable is the Pro-ject Debut ($180 including cartridge)

But below $200 you get most for your money by finding a used Thorens TD160/165/166 or TD145/146/147 ($100) and add a new cartridge ($100). Those 20-25 year old but very competitive turntables are a delight to watch and to work with. They are at least in the same league as a new Pro-ject 1.2 or the cheapest Rega ($400).

In the US they may be a little harder to find, but in Europe there are a few every day on Ebay.de.

With other vintage turntables finding replacement parts is often diffcult, not with a Thorens

http://www.theanalogdept.com/

Edited by Claude

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The Linn Axis can be a good second-hand buy. Particularly if you can find one with the Akito arm, as supplied on LP12s ....

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Thanks for these suggestions. I guess I'll have to do a bit more research to find out more about what I want, but really thought that I was missing out on too many great listens by not having a turntable!

Edited by Red

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One of the things you need to be aware of is that you will need to buy a phono-amp for your system, and that will cost about $100. My rig is close to yours, (NAD 320BEE, NAD 341i cdp, Dynaudio Audience 52 speakers) and I bought a MMF 2.1 that is a very good entry level turntable. Mine cost $300, but if you can afford a 5.1 or 7.1, get one because that are supposed to be great. I'm in the process of saving my money for the 7.1 since I like my present turntable so much.

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A turntable is still a necessity, if one wants to hear the fine LPs that might not ever be released on CD.

I think that NAD's little inexpensive phono stage module sounds quite nice. I've heard it several times, most recently with a NAD C370 integrated amp., a Music Hall turntable (with a Shure cartridge, I think), and Vandersteen 2Ce speakers.

I happily used a B&O RX2 turntable for 15 years (with a now-old NAD integrated amp. that had a built-in phono preamp). With its low-mass arm and line-contact cartridge, it could track almost any record with ease, warps and all, and it had a full and lively sound.

I now only play CDs (and CDRs of my not [yet?]-reissued-on-CD LPs). I occasionally miss the extra depth that vinyl could sometimes impart, but I don't miss the extra maintenance, the groove noises, and the inevitable wear and added percussion (pops and clicks) that were also part of the LP experience.

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To add my two cents, if you don't want to shell out quite as much as the MMF-7, you may want to go for the MMF-5. It retails with a different Goldring cartridge for less than $500. I have it and am quite pleased. The guy who writes "Analog Corner" for Stereophile magazine called it a gateway drug to the world of analog. Since I've bought it, I find that I will go weeks without putting a cd into my cd player. The old mono Blue Notes sound fantastic through it.

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the Music Halls are good tables. Try and get one from Audiogon.com. Bound to save a lot of money. I would also look into the best cart's for the table you are getting.

Lots of Rega tables at Audiogon as well.

No way in hell would I buy a brand new table. Pick one up from someone who is upgrading. Or sometimes you'll see one for sale because the owner just couldn't get into vinyl.

Treat your records right and they will always play nice and quiet. Some things will have 0 surface noise, some very light surface noise others may have more if there are some bad scracthes or it may be in the pressing. The majority will sound very nice. A good setup will do wonders. Different tonearms and cartridges will perform better than others. I don't know how many times my wife has walked into the room only to be shocked that I was listening to a record. On my mom's last visit here, we listened to records for a few days and after the first session she commented that she had forgotten how great vinyl sounds. And she can name those standards!

Also, where do you live? Finding a good used vinyl source is key.

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I was wondering if this might be a decent cheap turntable.

1.jpg

http://www.vestax.com/products/bdt2500.htm

It's a Vestax BDT2500. It has the phono-amp built in which would be perfect for me since my pre-amp does not have phono. Plus I want to do vinyl to CDR rips and I could probably just hook this baby straight up to the soundcard.

Any thoughts?

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Haven't heard of that one before. Interesting.

There are a lot of people who swear that Radio Shack's $50 or so(rechargeable batteries knock the price up) phono preamp does a great job. It's affectionately called the Little Rat and has been the subject of much discussion at Audio Asylum's Vinyl Asylum.

Edited by shrugs

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I don't know this Pioneer turntable. It may have a heavy arm, for which the choice of cartridges is more limited than with light arms (Dual, Thorens).

Thorens and Dual also have the advantage of much better replacement parts availability.

As a general rule, you must be prepared to change the cartridge of second hand vintage turntables. Even if it has barely been used, a cartridge suffers from being 10 or more years old. No need to search for replacement needles, as those usually cost almost as much as a new cartridge.

Cartridges start at $30. Better spend $50 or more and get a good one.

Edited by Claude

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Good thread for me, since my only turntable is an old shelf unit. Both cassette decks and the radio are broken, but the turntable still works! :eye::alien::rfr

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Well, I'm going to give it a shot. I don't have to pay for shipping since the guy lives near where I'll be visiting in a few weeks. Can't complain much for $41 bucks....

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Recently hooked up a JVC Receiver and a Technics 5-disc changer. A turntable and a stand-alone burner are next!

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I agree with Claude: at least in Europe a good old Thorens IS the way to go.

I had a long and happy relationship with a TD 166 with a Sumiko Blue Point before my today's Linn.

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I fully agree with Claude: the Pro-Ject Debut IS the new TT and, at least in Europe, a good old Thorens IS the used TT.

I had a long and happy relationship with a TD 166 with a Sumiko Blue Point before my today's Linn.

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