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Getting started with vinyl

Discussion in 'audio' started by Stubby, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Stubby

    Stubby Zen Master

    All, I am planning to buy my first vinyl deck for more than 20 years. I still have some vinyl from my youth and would love to be able to give them a spin again.

    I was going to take a gamble with a used deck from a fellow pfm member, but my plans have been delayed by an unforeseen financial setback. This gives me some thinking time..

    Budget for deck, arm, cart and phono stage is approx £1000. What should I be auditioning?

    Thanks,
    Stuart
     
  2. steveledzep

    steveledzep pfm Member

    I'd recommend auditioning stuff in the £2,000+ bracket and then search it out used to fit your budget. What will the partnering equipment be ?
     
  3. Stubby

    Stubby Zen Master

    I have a Sonos / Naim system: Sonos, nDac, 555PS, 252, 150x, Epos ES11's. I used to have a CDS3 and I still miss the analogue feel that that CD player used to have..

    Willing to experiment within my budget, if I don't get on with it then I can always sell it all on again and put it down to experience!
     
  4. The Far North

    The Far North pfm Member

    It kind of depends where you are and whether you have a local dealer who is interested in vinyl. Pro-ject do a range of decks from a couple of hundred upwards, and they'll generally have a package with the cartridge included. Rega are the other main player at the price point you're talking about and again they have a range to choose from. The phonostage will almost certainly be separate and you don't want to leave yourself short for this, but maybe £100 upwards will get you something although preferably at least double that.
     
  5. Hook

    Hook Blackbeard's former bo'sun.

    Given the quality of your digital source, not to mention the rest of your setup, I think you will need upwards of £2500 to put together a setup that is equally engaging.

    Am thinking of a used Well Tempered Amadeus, a DV p75 phono stage and 20x2 cart. Beyond this setup, an RCM is also mandatory IMO.

    Vinyl is an expensive hobby, but I think hunting for new records is a lot of fun, and the reward can be some very unique listening experiences. I hope you give it a go!

    Good luck!

    Hook
     
  6. Warren Day

    Warren Day pfm Member

    Naim and Linn have gone reasonably hand-in-hand for a long time.

    For your budget, look for a good used LP12 with some Naim bits on it (Aro arm etc.)
     
  7. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

    A second hand Lin LP12 with and Ittok arm (beware it could be shot and need service ect so there could be extra cost)
    A second hand Mitchel Sycro SE or better still an Orb with RB300 / 250 or techno arm
    A Technics 1210 could fit a Rega arm or Jelco, Beware of x DJ decks which could be well shot but there are plenty of private user examples out there and these are easy to use and no set up problems like the suspended decks
    A second hand Garrard 401 with a rega RB300 or Jelco arm. this is what I use:)
    the garrard cost me 400 quid and the 12" jelco cost 500 I made a plinth with 20 quids worth of plywood
    I also have a rega planner 3 which is damn good for the price really
    I also have an LP12 / OL250 which is very nice but is not as good as the 401 IMO
    I also have the Tec 1210 standard arm and its as good if not better than the Rega P3

    Alan
     
  8. muzzer

    muzzer Numb Nut

    Vinyl is not all its cracked up to be, in my experience you have to spend a lot of money to better or equal a decent cdp or dac these days.
    Look to go the 2nd hand route to make the most of your funds.
    I would also try a dedicated cd transport with your dac.
     
  9. Stubby

    Stubby Zen Master

    [QUOTE I think you will need upwards of £2500 to put together a setup that is equally engaging.][/QUOTE]

    Hook, many thanks for responding, but I was afraid of getting this response! It might be just my mind playing tricks with me, but I remember having an old Dual all-in-one deck and speakers (I think it was Dual) in my teenage years that didn't cost a fortune but still had that analogue feel that I lost when I moved on to CD. At that time, and with my old set up, CD gave more me detail and this gave the impression of more music.

    I don't want to spend more than my budget at this stage; I am just planning to dip my toe. If I get that magic back then the suggestions that you have made, and those of Warren too (as I don't think an LP12 with Naim bits will be in budget either) will be useful as a next step.

    At this stage I am happy to lose detail to get that analogue feel back. Will I be able to achieve this within my budget?

    As The Far North has said, in terms of new kit I feel I am probably looking at Rega and a Stageline N. I wondered if there was a used gem of a setup at around this price point, or any other new kit that I should be considering?

    Thanks,
    Stuart
     
  10. Stubby

    Stubby Zen Master

    Thanks for the last replies, food for thought here. I missed these as I was composing my last reply!

    Thanks all, keep the thoughts coming. It is a big help!
     
  11. halvis

    halvis pfm Member

    A Gyrodec would be my recommendation. You could probably get a nice spec one with your budget and they are capable of taking a wide variety of arms and carts.

    Easy to setup, easy on the eye and great engineering.
     
  12. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    If you sold your 555ps you could get an amazing vinyl front end. The system seems curiously imblanced with a £4.5 psu for the dac, and a preamp much higher up the chain than the power amp.
     
  13. Stubby

    Stubby Zen Master

    I have definitely gone source first, but I love my ES11's and the 150x drives them just fine. I'd have to spend a lot more on amp/speakers to better this current combination significantly.
     
  14. Andy1912

    Andy1912 pfm Member

    This would be my inclination. I had a gyro se until relatively recently and it followed me through various (naim-based) amp upgrades. The quality of the rest of your system is the thing that jumped out for me when reading your post - and others too have commented on that (so there is a danger that the toe-dipping is disappointing, relatively speaking). A gyro is a very able deck and it is what is - if you want something more then you can sell and buy something different (I accept that there is an orbe upgrade path but it is not in the same league as the potential LP12 upgrade path so generally people simply move the gyrodec on and buy something else rather than upgrading). Could easily be the case that a used gyro + decent arm + cart could be bought together for a very reasonable sum (well under £1000) and still leave sufficient funds for a decent phonostage such as the P75 or perhaps a stageline (given you are system is naim anyway).

    I probably bought my gyro 3-5 years ago having not had a TT for 20 years or so. I started off revisiting my 70-100 LPs of my youth too and then quickly strated buying more. I rarely play CDs these days. Personally (like Hook) I find looking about charity shops; record shops, and online sites for used and new vinyl great fun. Certainly new vinyl is expensive but decent second hand LPs can be had for a few pounds. Obviously, a vinyl-based front end is not as user-friendly as CD or hard-drive based hi fi but I like the fact that I am pretty much forced to listen to whole LPs rather than flitting from one track by one artist to another track by a different artist (which is probably what I would do).

    ATB

    Andy
     
  15. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I don't agree, I think it's everything it's cracked up to be.

    A friend was over yesterday and we spent much of the afternoon playing records. Once the deck was warmed up it was easy to play track after track at high-volume without feeling fatigued. The longer you listen the more you forget about the system and get drawn into the music. When I say loud by the way, the amp was too hot to touch and shut down twice.

    I've never heard a CD player that does that. Even the good ones still have that inorganic feel to them that does not encourage prolonged high-volume listening.

    A reckon a good £1'000 turntable would beat just about any CD player. It won't be as quiet, maybe not give you as much information, but it should be more fluid and musical.
     
  16. banjoman

    banjoman pfm Member

    I am with Mr Pig on this.
    I had always been digital only and loved it till I bought my first TT on a budget out of curiousity - a Linn Axis with Basik Plus arm, following Mr Pig's advice.
    Was absolutely blown away. Have upgrades since to used Avid and Oracle TTs and the sound gets better and better.
    I still listen to digital lossless file on my SBT and Sonos more often than vinyl, but every time I put on a record, the difference in sound quality absolutely amazes me. It's so much more natural with incredible bass and...yes...detail.
    Setting up and maintaining a TT and vinyl is a pain in the butt, but well worth it - and this is coming from someone who used to be severely sceptical of analogue
     
  17. Michael P

    Michael P pfm Member

    I was in the same boat a while back, bought an LP12/Akito/K9/Stageline. I almost immediately started thinking of upgrade paths etc., worrying about having it "fettled", all of which led me to just buying an ex-demo Gyro SE/Tecnoarm/Ortofon Black instead. As someone said earlier it is a great piece of kit - looks, build and performance-wise. I'd recommend buying an MC phono stage and cartridge though, as there is a lot more choice. You may also want to think about a valve phono to give maximum "analog" contrast with your digital source (something I've been considering doing).
     
  18. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Nothing in the world of audio will give more pleasure and benefit per £ than the vinyl is it.

    Get a deck that goes round and a needle that isn't broken, and down to the records shops for the source material and off you go there.

    DS
     
  19. Hook

    Hook Blackbeard's former bo'sun.

    Hook, many thanks for responding, but I was afraid of getting this response! It might be just my mind playing tricks with me, but I remember having an old Dual all-in-one deck and speakers (I think it was Dual) in my teenage years that didn't cost a fortune but still had that analogue feel that I lost when I moved on to CD. At that time, and with my old set up, CD gave more me detail and this gave the impression of more music.

    I don't want to spend more than my budget at this stage; I am just planning to dip my toe. If I get that magic back then the suggestions that you have made, and those of Warren too (as I don't think an LP12 with Naim bits will be in budget either) will be useful as a next step.

    At this stage I am happy to lose detail to get that analogue feel back. Will I be able to achieve this within my budget?

    As The Far North has said, in terms of new kit I feel I am probably looking at Rega and a Stageline N. I wondered if there was a used gem of a setup at around this price point, or any other new kit that I should be considering?

    Thanks,
    Stuart[/QUOTE]

    Hi Stuart -

    With expectations reasonably set, the answer to your question is yes!

    Rega RP3 (or P3-24), Exact 2 cart and Naim Stageline N should come in on budget. It is a fast, fun MM setup that for many, is all they will ever need to enjoy vinyl. Power the Stageline from your preamp's AUX2, and you should get a pretty good idea of whether a return to vinyl is going to work for you in the long run.

    Rega takes all the variables out of setting up, so this should let you start enjoying your records an hour or two after the boxes arrive!

    ATB.

    Hook

    PS - If you get a good deal on a used P3-24, it should leave enough budget for Rega's TT-PSU and/or an entry-level RCM!
     
  20. positive_energy

    positive_energy pfm Member

    Well Tempered Amadeus, either new or second hand.

    Whatever you do dont get an LP12, not only is it not as good, you will spend the next decade upgrading it.

    But to be honest even a Rega P3-24 will be a nice upgrade from your Naim Dac.
     

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