Good Vinyl Turntables?

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Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby DLovas » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:51 pm

I've been inspired to start listening to records, rather than digital media... Also - I'd love to start sampling some records for fun.

My question to you guys is - are you aware of any good, cheap turntables?

I was looking at the Stanton T55USB, however $$200 is a bit pricey... Keep in mind however that I would like to keep the recording capabilities.

I am open to suggestions - thanks!
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:33 pm

The bad news is that a good turntable will cost you more than your $200 budget. There are many inexpensive turntables that will do the job for you but I wouldn't call them good :?

If you want a USB output for sampling, Numark sells a few models with USB under both the Numark and Ion brands. I picked up one for sampling duties at Best Buy for $100.

Image

Despite the cool looks it's no Technics 1200...everything is plastic. But it works.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby DLovas » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:48 pm

Thanks for reply

hm... Based on what you've told me... hows this.

I just sold this digital turntable set I had on ebay for around $800

- Thing is, the reason I was hoping for something cheap, was so that later on, when I had a surplus of funds, I would be able to afford one of these.

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-7300-music ... table.aspx
Image

Do you think I should take a good $600 from what I've just acquired and place it towards getting a Technics SL-1200MK5 or SL-1210MK5?

Image

I'd really like it if it did come equipped with a USB however, I'm not sure if most of these higher end models do...
either that, or if there is some other method i can use to sample the audio output from these things i don't know of... if someone could inform me lol

correct me if I am mistaken. thanks for the help.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:23 am

For sampling, highest audio quality often is not a concern so a $100 Numark is a good choice for studio ripping from LPs.

For serious listening, the Technics 1200 isn't a great choice although for DJing it is the gold standard.

I'll warn you as a longtime record collector with thousands of LPs that the hype about vinyl sound is based on high-end rigs. Unless you're blowing $1000+ on a table, cartridge and phono preamp you'll get better sound from CDs minus the snap, crackle and pop not to mention dealing with off-center pressings, warping and other goodies. Like it or not, CD audio (even cheap CD audio) trumps cheap analog audio every time.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby DLovas » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:34 am

meatballfulton wrote:For sampling, highest audio quality often is not a concern so a $100 Numark is a good choice for studio ripping from LPs.

For serious listening, the Technics 1200 isn't a great choice although for DJing it is the gold standard.

I'll warn you as a longtime record collector with thousands of LPs that the hype about vinyl sound is based on high-end rigs. Unless you're blowing $1000+ on a table, cartridge and phono preamp you'll get better sound from CDs minus the snap, crackle and pop not to mention dealing with off-center pressings, warping and other goodies. Like it or not, CD audio (even cheap CD audio) trumps cheap analog audio every time.


good to know! thanks for the advice - I'll take it into consideration

just one last question.. Say if i could get the technics in full working condition for $400. If i were mainly going to be using them for listening and sampling - would it be worth it to get those over a $100 alternative?

thanks - If you guys are at all knowledgable about monitors, it'd also help me greatly if you could give me your opinions on this other thread i've started. viewtopic.php?f=12&t=66582
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby ninja6485 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:52 am

I have that $100 numark turntable: It's good, but It's belt driven. I use it to archive vinyls I want whole digital files of by recording the output into an h4n. For sampling, I highly recommend a direct drive turntable. Why? Because you can more accurately manipulate the vinyl, scratch, match tempos, etc. I have a pair of gemini tt02's that work well. You can even spin the platter manually and it makes sound, which the numark one doesn't do. To really work with vinyl creatively at some point you have to get comfortable touching the vinyl,stopping the platter, and basically just doing a bunch of stuff that would give hi fi vinyl appreciaters a heart attack. (I would never do to my copy of alien protein what I do to my cheap jazz and world records for instance.) Also, in this case quality means something different: your going for vinyl characteristics, not hi fi clarity, etc. I usually go right into a sampler for instance, and sometimes want crappier vinyls. A good mark for the numark however, is that you don't need to buy an amp or ground the signal: it has a gain control and phono/ line switch.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby garranimal » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:18 am

I've got a Stanton T.50X belt-drive and it's good for sampling. Couple of other cost things to think about:
- must. have. good. cartridge! I went for a nice Shure, good audio range, very nice.
- and not forgetting a good phono pre-amp, or direct box. Some break-out audio interfaces have this built-in.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby DLovas » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:21 pm

garranimal wrote:I've got a Stanton T.50X belt-drive and it's good for sampling. Couple of other cost things to think about:
- must. have. good. cartridge! I went for a nice Shure, good audio range, very nice.
- and not forgetting a good phono pre-amp, or direct box. Some break-out audio interfaces have this built-in.


I have no clue we are haha - right now I'm leaning towards the Stanton T.92 which retails for around 299 do
I still need those peripherals with that? My friend has a Stanton T.55 and I don't believe he has any of what you mentioned. Once again - I could be dead wrong.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby nogginj » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:18 am

check it:
a tech 1200 is a good all around table. it sounds good, it last long, you will pay for it.

it is a classic turntable in the sense that you NEED a phono preamp. do not confuse this with regular old preamp as a phono preamp also applies a very specific eq curve to compensate for the one that is applied when cutting a record.

most older turntables need a preamp - a dj mixer has preamps built in, so that's an option.

some newer turntable have preamps built in. usb tables for instance, do. usually these have a switch to flip between line and phono - so you can still plug it in like a regular table.
the t.92 is usb so no you dont need a preamp. you can always upgrade the needle cartridge later on those.

there are a bojillion things to consider and complicate the process of getting a table, so i suggest just picking a price range and going with it. or just 'letting one come to you' (family members often have attics).

personally, i would recommend going used and checking thrift stores / garage sales / craigslist - find a nice quality table and the either a phono preamp or an integrated amplifier with a phono input - for way less money you can often get much more quality than even a new 'cheap' model like those stantons/numarks/ions. just gotta check the needles on these or plan on replacing.
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby DLovas » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:27 am

nogginj wrote:check it:
a tech 1200 is a good all around table. it sounds good, it last long, you will pay for it.

it is a classic turntable in the sense that you NEED a phono preamp. do not confuse this with regular old preamp as a phono preamp also applies a very specific eq curve to compensate for the one that is applied when cutting a record.

most older turntables need a preamp - a dj mixer has preamps built in, so that's an option.

some newer turntable have preamps built in. usb tables for instance, do. usually these have a switch to flip between line and phono - so you can still plug it in like a regular table.
the t.92 is usb so no you dont need a preamp. you can always upgrade the needle cartridge later on those.

there are a bojillion things to consider and complicate the process of getting a table, so i suggest just picking a price range and going with it. or just 'letting one come to you' (family members often have attics).

personally, i would recommend going used and checking thrift stores / garage sales / craigslist - find a nice quality table and the either a phono preamp or an integrated amplifier with a phono input - for way less money you can often get much more quality than even a new 'cheap' model like those stantons/numarks/ions. just gotta check the needles on these or plan on replacing.


Thanks man
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby Don T » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:14 am

Well, just how good do you want your turntable listening recording to be? I have yet to hear a dj-type turntable that even comes close to being acceptable.

That Music Hall turntable, however, is a good choice. Find a good Ortofon cartridge/stylus combination for it, NOT one of the Ortofon DJ cartridges. Trust me, there is a HUGE difference.

As others have said, you'll need a good phono preamp. I suggest getting a little stand-alone unit made by either NAD or Pro Ject.

No, this is not what some people consider cheap. However, I have some friends that wouldn't bat an eye at dropping over $22,000 for a VPI turntable, and that price doesn't even include a tone arm!

Someone mentioned used and/or vintage, this is a good idea to save money. Look for these if possible: Anything by Thorens, Bang & Olufsen (only the ones with the linear tracking tonearms, and make sure they have a good cartridge/stylus before buying, a good replacement runs North of $300. Also, they are simply gorgeous!), Dual (only the older direct drive ones.), Pioneer made a few good direct-drive turntables also. Notice the "direct drive" theme here, I worked doing repairs in a couple high-end audio shops before, trust me, you don't want to have to go hunting for some obscure, long out-of-production belt.

Also, don't skimp on the cables, get good shielded ones, but don't fall into the audiophile megabuck cable trap! :o

These are just my opinions of course
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby ninja6485 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:39 am

the t.92 seems like a good choice to me: you've got the curved arm so you don't have to put excessive wear on your vinyls, but if you decide to get into scratching and what not and you want some of the advantages of a straight armed turn table you can always adjust the cartrage, provided you get one with the screws. i have a cheaper one like that, and a really nice pointy ortofon one. I like them both for different things: when i want to scan through "digs," match segments to a tempo for sampling, or doing other "turntableist things," i throw on a crappier needle so as not to add excessive wear to a decent needle. That's sort of the whole thing with vinyl that probably got annoying in the 70's and 80's: everything is about wear.

Don T wrote:Find a good Ortofon cartridge/stylus combination for it, NOT one of the Ortofon DJ cartridges. Trust me, there is a HUGE difference.
the main difference is the shape of the needle and the bass response afaik. the dj cartridge is circilar shaped (as apposed to the eliptical shaped norman cartridge) and provides a bass boost (Bass response being a weak point as far as vinyls are concerned). you would want to use a dj cartridge for, djing obviously, but also if you want to use the vinyl for any drum sounds that would benefit from having that characteristic (breakbeats for instance). You would not want a dj cartraige to appreciate a nice beetles or pink flloyd record or the like in conjunction with a high fi system.

Ideally, you would want two separate configurations: one for listening, and one for turntablism, sampling, going through "digs," etc. In reality that can be some mega coin, which is why i personally think the t.92 is a good compromise. you can step back and enjoy good stuff on it, but you can also beat it up a little (pun totally intended) :D

have you thought about getting a pair of them btw? i found it very hard to resist after getting into vinyl... and being into trance! i can't say i don't idolize some of work of those famous dutch dj's arround the turn of the millenium. and if i remember correctly, your an armin van buuren fan, right? ;)
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Re: Good Vinyl Turntables?

Postby Voodoo Ray » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:53 am

I'd go used. You can get a better deal that way on high and mid range tables.
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