So I started to mess around with vinyl

mikejz84mikejz84 Posts: 158
edited April 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
Hey all,

I recently started to look into LPs seeing if what everyone said was true--I am only in college afterall and did'nt grow up with the stuff. I picked up a Pioneer PL-540 PLL DD Turntable (Really well built, and heavy) which came with a Stanton DLE cartridge. To this I added a Phono Preamp that I got off of ebay (TC-750) Which seems to do a fair job.

Sounds good, and everyone that listens can't seem to tell it from CD. However, I made the mistake of A/Bing with albums that I have in both Vinyl and CD. Long story short--CD wins, LPs seem to have a level of 'haze' compared it CDs. I know that I have a budget system (I spent less then $40 for the TT and Cart) and I really have no interst in spending big bucks for MFSL records. So does anyone have any good (and cheap) ways to get a little more sound out of my setup?
Post edited by mikejz84 on
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Comments

  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited April 2004
    A new stylus may help tremendously.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • mikejz84mikejz84 Posts: 158
    edited April 2004
    It did come with a replacement styles, however the current ones seems to still be in good shape.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited April 2004
    I understand, but there good, better, and way out-of-reach stylus' that can make a very big difference in the sound quality.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited April 2004
    without growing up with Lp's your not used to the scratchy contact sound.Lp's do offer a warmer tone.It's a pleasing to whom is used to the sound.

    LP isn't really worth getting into today if your into newer music.the format is very cool and I personal love it myself but in my opnion not worth the sonic benifits.If you could still buy records then yeah I would own one myself.If your into older music then yeah man go for it and buy the best you can afford.I replaced all my LP's of the past with cd's and I'm happy with that.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mikejz84mikejz84 Posts: 158
    edited April 2004
    There is a store down here that sells used LPs. They have tons in 'ok' condition for $1/each and really good condition ones for $3-6.
  • fireshoesfireshoes Posts: 3,212
    edited April 2004
    Originally posted by mantis
    If you could still buy records then yeah I would own one myself.

    Time to go shopping, Dan. They still make a lot of stuff on vinyl.
  • amulfordamulford Posts: 5,198
    edited April 2004
    I still have a ton of vinyl. Some I aquired and some was "passed on" to me from my older siblings.

    I really loved alot of those albums, but I have pretty much put them up in storage. They're just to fragile to me. Not to mention the fact that NOW my rig causes them to skip, it's just not worth the risk IMO.

    I have no plans to get rid of them, but I don't use them much anymore. Alot them have been replaced with CD's.

    Just my .02
    I smell ****, burning ****, glowing cherry red spanked ****.

    RT1
  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,294
    edited April 2004
    yea last time i checked they still made vinyl too....

    i never noticed a difference though, cept for the pops and cracks on the vinyl
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited April 2004
    I think Dan makes a good point about the sound you're used to hearing having an impact. LP's can sound duller than CD's, especially older redbooks that were pressed with the RIAA EQ still mastered in...

    mike,
    Could do many things to tweek your phono playback, e.g., cartridge and/or styus, phono pre (What make is yours? Sony?), cables, etc., but I'd recommend you work on two things first: your TT's arm set up and cleanliness of your vinyl.

    Set up wise you will have tracking force and anti-skate to dial in, and maybe Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA).
    Force is likely in the 1.5 to 2.0 gram range...
    Anti-skate should start out equal to your force setting and be tweeked from there.
    If you have VTA adjustment capability, we can discuss that later.

    Cleaning wise, you can start off in the sink with tap water, a drop of dishwashing detergent and a soft rag, followed by a rinse and dry with a soft lint-free cloth. Always wash/ wipe radially with the grooves.

    Have fun...

    amulford,
    The skipping you mention could be mistracking related.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • amulfordamulford Posts: 5,198
    edited April 2004
    Tour,

    Nah, it's BASS related. I've tried to isolate it the best I could, but when I really wanna kick it up, I start a skipping;)
    I smell ****, burning ****, glowing cherry red spanked ****.

    RT1
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited April 2004
    amulford,
    I recently took the piece of 1 1/2" thick granite that was under my sub and used it under my TT. No problems with the needle dancing around at all. Check your local marble and granite yards for scrap pieces that are a little bigger that your TT. I also used some small rubber pads under the granite. The same type that come with most Polk bookshelf speakers.

    FWIW, my scrap piece cost me $10.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    A few of my thoughts, none of them are proven except maybe the first one and the last one.

    1: Mantis, you are full of it when it comes to LPs. :D

    2: A cheap CD player should sound better than a cheap turntable.

    3: You need a good cleaning system to make your LP's sound their best.

    4: Much improvement can be made by placing the TT on a good solid surface.

    5: The better the table and arm the less noise you can hear. On the best equipment you don't notice scratches unless they are really bad.

    6: A well set up turntable with all the above taken seriously can beat a CD player hands down in all aspects.

    madmax

    Oh yea,
    Mantis, I just got the latest Santana LP. Shaman. It is awesome!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,294
    edited April 2004
    but which is cheaper? a well set up turntable? or a well setup CD player? and which will last longer? an LP or CD?

    im a CD guy, i doubt ill ever convert to LPs
  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited April 2004
    Originally posted by Airplay355
    im a CD guy, i doubt ill ever convert to LPs
    I've been tempted in the past to go LP, but only to get the true club dance feel of the DJ actually spinnin the music......talk about ART at it's finest level!!!!!
    .
    comment comment comment comment. bitchy.
    .
    meterdq8.gif
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    Originally posted by Airplay355
    but which is cheaper? a well set up turntable? or a well setup CD player? and which will last longer? an LP or CD?

    im a CD guy, i doubt ill ever convert to LPs

    In my opinion... (sorry but I only have a few price points to compare which may skew the other performance/price comparisons)

    $325 TT with no setup considerations sucks compared to a $100 CD player.

    $4000 poorly setup TT equals $1200 CD player.

    $4000 TT with a small amount of setup attention is slightly better than a $3500 CD setup.

    $5000 TT with a really good setup absolutely smokes a $3500 CD setup. To the point of NOT wanting to ever hear the CD setup again.

    I think there is probably a good under $1000 TT with great setup which could equal a $3500 CD setup but I jumped from junk to mid level TT with no experience in between. Tour may be able to fill in some of the gap here??

    Another note is that TT's are very sensitive to all setup parameters. Possibly you could get better performance from a $500 table than from a $3500 CD setup if you get everything right? I'm just not sure.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited April 2004
    max,
    Can't wade in full bore here as I've only heard a couple "high end" CDP's and only one with a tube stage. Goal of most of these seems to be to mellow out the CD sound. I think that says something right there...

    Interesting that as you move up the vinyl food chain the goal in general is to sharpen the sound.

    I know there are used TT's/ arms that can be paired with new cartridges for a total in the $500 to $1000 range that will yield some excellent tunes. Add another $400 or so for a quality, used record cleaning machine. Of course today you often have to also buy a phono pre as well... that's another $150. So for $1000 to $1500 I think you can build a vinyl system that is around optimum for price/ performance.

    Would I ever spend more? Given the chance, probably. But I don't think I need to...

    I do think that the price performance optimum for CDP's is lower...

    What was the question???

    amulford,
    We should be able to fix your TT - bass issue...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    One more thing for me to point out. I HATED LP's while growing up in the 70's and 80's. I had a common higher end Pioneer table with a VR something cartridge. Pop, tick, wshhhh, tick, tick, crack, pop.... When CD's came out I thought they were better in every way. The thing is that a modern day high quality table, arm and cartridge is a totally different animal. It is an awesome experience.

    I read a lot about tubes, high quality CD players and TT's before I actually got to experience them. Most of what I read gave me opinions which were not true. Right now when I use my turntable or CD I go through 15 tubes before I get to the speakers. The sound is not mellow or laid back, it is as sharp as a tack (to use Tours words). I think what happens is that as you move up the food chain you loose a bunch of equipment produced garbage which comes out of the tweeters as an edgy piercing sound. After you hear music without this "garbage" you can hear it for what it is. I can now listen to my previous equipment and point out the garbage noises which are now clear as day.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • amulfordamulford Posts: 5,198
    edited April 2004
    1 1/2 inches with some rubber? OK. I have to set something up to put it on... A new wood project!!!

    How about a decent cartridge? I don't have a very high end TT, just a Technics DD SL-1300. It's still in really good shape. Any suggestions?
    I smell ****, burning ****, glowing cherry red spanked ****.

    RT1
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    What do you have now and how much would you spend? In any case I would do everything else first that is cheap. Level the table too. You can use one of those cheap little bubble levels. You need something light weight which will not cause the table to be unlevel just because the level is sitting on it. Level it with an old lp sitting in place as well.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • amulfordamulford Posts: 5,198
    edited April 2004
    a stanton 681 EEE.
    I smell ****, burning ****, glowing cherry red spanked ****.

    RT1
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited April 2004
    My question is where are you buying new LP's?

    I haven't seen LP's sold anywhere around here in years.Hell I don't see anyCassettes or 8 tracks....where man where?

    When I used to work at Soundex,we sold very high end 12 to 16k turntables then you still needed a needle.they where out of hand as well.I thought the sound qualilty was awesome.Sweat and warm.the high end tables sounded real as I could honestly say.
    Like I said my only problem with Lp's is software,If I knew there where LP's still being made and sold here somewhere in the USA then I may still have on or better put going out the door to get back into it.

    I don't care what format is used,it it sounds good I say go with it.

    Now steer me in the right direction Madmax.....

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    Where to buy vinyl?

    Insound.Com lists about 2400 new vinyl releases, and they certainly don't cover all genres. Interestingly, according to their most recent newsletter, LP production is up 21% this year compared to last, and 10" production for 2004 already exceeds 2002 and 2003 combined.

    I'm willing to bet that there's more new vinyl released in 2004 than DVD-A and SACD combined. I've written to the RIAA asking for numbers, but of course they're not going to give a consumer an answer.

    RedTrumpet.Com, AcousticSounds.Com...there's many, many places to buy vinyl.

    In my area, quite a few of the independent music stores carry new releases on vinyl.

    I wish I had more money to spend on vinyl, there's so much great stuff being released at the same time you can still find used stuff that hasn't and will never be released digitally.
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • fireshoesfireshoes Posts: 3,212
    edited April 2004
    circuitcity.com has vinyl. They don't have a good way to view it though. If you are looking for a particular artist, find the cd and it may say 'Other formats available..." Sometimes it is just cassette, but often times it's vinyl.

    Tower records also sells vinyl. You can perform a search there for just vinyl and also break it down by genre, new releases, etc. I also buy at a local record shop. They mostly have used, but do a have new release section and can place special orders too.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited April 2004
    Don't give up on used LP's either folks. I just picked up a Sonny Rollins album in near perfect condition for a whopping $4.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited April 2004
    Used LPs is the main reason I started getting back into vinyl. It's not just the cost. There's soooo much stuff out there that hasn't (and probably never will be) transferred to CD that makes a TT (even a cheap $99 AudioTechnica, belt driven, w/built in phono pre) a necessity for any true music lover.

    For a buck I picked up a "Promo-Not intended for Sale" Bootsy Collins album in pretty good shape. Sure it has some pops and such, but so what. Without the pops I'd be without the music.

    BTW - I just snagged a Thorens TD-165 from a thrift store. At first I thought it didn't have a platter, but found it under the TT in the packing styrofoam. Best $10.63 I ever spent. Now I've just gotta find somewhere that sells the anti-skate weights. Does anybody know?
    Make it Funky! :)
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited April 2004
    Try WWW.NeedleDoctor.com They've got all kinds of TT "Stuff."
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited April 2004
    Thanks. I've heard that from a local guru too. I've looked, but can't find what I'm looking for. I need to call.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    My favorite place is Acoustic sounds when it comes to premium lp's. Once you are on their email list they email you every time a new release is in the works and then again when it's actually available. Usually a list of maybe 25 every few days of which I find something new and modern evey month or so. Certainly not the quantity or selection of CD but semi-adequate. A little expensive, usually $20 to $45 but then again an SACD or DVDA is what, $20 to $30? Sure, you can point out the $150 classic re-make which is in short supply but that is not the norm.

    I've found that for older stuff if you buy VG+ to NM off of ebay they are very clean LP's. I think my average price is maybe $3 per lp shipped. (because I often look for multiple auctions or small lots).

    Certainly you are not going to hear a new song on the radio and go to Walmart or BestBuy and pick it up on LP. Not yet anyway. LP's are certainly starting on an upward curve these days.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • gshismegshisme Posts: 1,038
    edited April 2004
    Tour2ma, you mentioned a "used record cleaning machine". Where can I find these things. The local h-fi shop salesman gave me a blank stare when I inquired about one a while back. Thanks.

    Greg

    EDIT: DUH!! found one here WWW.NeedleDoctor.com. Thanks Frank. Maybe next time I'll read the whole thread before posting.
    suds, suds and more suds!
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited April 2004
    No problem... I own a Nitty Gritty and I believe that max owns a VPI...

    max,
    Yup, I've found a few very good used Lp sellers on the bay, as well as a few not so good. All comes down whether they use an established rating standard, e.g., Goldmine, and how objective they are.

    Maybe we should start a thread on ebay vinyl resellers.

    gidrah,
    Do you mean anti-skate weights as on an SME 3009 tone arm? If yes, then you have the steal of the century there and I do have a source for them.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
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