More phono questions...rlw,paul etc.

madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
edited October 2002 in 2 Channel Audio
I started a new thread to pull together some ideas on tonearm, cartridge and accessory selections.

Given the GyroDec with the Orbe platter I need to settle on an arm and cartridge.

I'm thinking the Origin Live Rega RB-250 with structual and wiring mods would be a good choice. Does it match the table quality? With all these mods the price is a hefty $600. I can't afford the SME 309 series 300 and this looks to me like the next step down?

Also,
I am still unsure of the cartridge compliance vs arm mass vs MC/MM. I think the RB250 is a medium mass? What would be a good cartridge? Still the Audio Technica OC9? (I'll have to look at that cart # again).

Thanks!
madmax
Vinyl, the final frontier...

Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
Post edited by madmax on
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Comments

  • Paul ConnorPaul Connor Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Madmax,


    In what I have read the RB-250 is used with many high end turntables, so I would assume you are looking in the right place. You might want to write the manufacturer and ask them for best compatability. If the 250 is a step down for your turntable, you can always upgrade later and the Rega tonearm will sell quickly on e-bay.

    rlw is probably a more informed source in this matter. If you do decide to go with the Rega RB-250, their cartridges are a good choice. Each one is made for a specific tonearm, but if I remember right, they are all interchangable. I am extemely happy with the setup I have, but with that said, understand that I have not demoed many other turntables or cartridges other than what I have owned. There are no analog dealers in this part of the state and I depend on mail order and the internet for much of my information.

    Here are a few more sites to look at:


    http://www.amusicdirect.com/products/categories.asp

    http://turntable.www4.50megs.com/links.htm

    http://www.turntablebasics.com/index.html

    Here is one for sale now:

    http://cgi.aol.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1386659881


    Paul
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited October 2002
    I really don't think you can go wrong with a Rega tonearm, as Paul said, they are widely used in GOOD tables.

    I'm going to be in the $500~ range for a new man-cave table early 2003, and Rega appears to my best option.

    You guys are talking out of my league here, but I've heard nothing but good things about Rega, esp the tonearms.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    The Rega would be a great choice for a first arm in your system, IMO. You're probably going to be limited to a MM cartridge anyhow (b/c of output and phono stage); there are many medium and high compliance MM carts which will work well with the Rega.

    The only way you'll be limiting yourself are in setup and upgrading to a "super" cart someday down the road. Setup will take a bit longer with the Rega arm - but be patient, you'll get it just fine. You will have to upgrade your arm in order for it to work effectively with a super cart - the Rega will not mate well with it.

    But these are great, well-thought compromises you're making with your first analog system!

    The Shure V15 is a high compliance cart; this was always the big thing with Shure. Grado's tend to be medium compliance. There are some high-compliance MC carts, but typically MC carts are low compliance. I *think* vDH still makes high compliance MC's. But all the current rave products are low compliance - the Dynavectors, the Lyras, etc.

    The Audio Technica OC-9 would be a good choice in terms of compliance. It's a medium-compliance cart, would mechanically mate well. But it only has .4mV output - didn't you mention pulling a pre with phono stage out of the closet? Just make sure that the phono stage in question will work with that low output.

    Make sense?
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Just to be straight here, I will do whatever I need to to set up a first rate system. Is the OC-9 what I want? What do I really want is the real question. Yea, I understand I can't afford a $1000 cart and a $1500 arm but if I need xtra parts or whatever for a MC or MM system then so be it. I really hate discarding old stuff to make the next step. This is where I'm confused because overall I find it is best to head where I want to begin with rather than to **** around with the upgrade path. Lets say for fun that I want to get to the next level, what are the choices? I guess I'm not sure of all the options. Where am I headed? What is my end goal? If I have to wait awhile that is OK.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    That's a tough question, madmax.

    One one hand, you could start with a high quality MM cart. Why? Well, some folks - doesn't seem to be the majority, but perhaps we only hear from a very vocal minority - prefer the sound of MM to MC. You can pick up something like the Shure V15mxR for abou $300, use it with your existing pre: then you'll know what it sounds like. Who knows, you might be one of the folks who love the sound of that cartridge. I used a couple of the early versions of the Shure for years, and enjoyed the hell out of 'em. I had friends who used Stantons and we enjoyed the hell out of those.

    You'll never be able to recoup your money on a cart, IMO. You're buying new, if you decide you don't like analog, you're going to sell for 25% of new and take a beating on that item. Why risk it?

    Maybe 6-12 months from now, you buy a better phono stage that can handle MM and MC.

    Remember, a year or two from now, your cartridge will need a new needle. Instead of doing that, you can make your move to a MC cart.

    I don't see that you're throwing anything away by taking this path. In fact, with the money you save by using the phono stage you have, you can buy some vinyl. ANd a good record cleaner.

    Take the other hand, now. Everybody who writes reviews talks about the magic of MC carts; about the extended highs, the detail, the tight bass, the soundstage/imaging. If you want to follow in those footsteps, you definitely have bought a table/arm that can: you can pop $300-500 for a phono stage, get maybe the OC-9...and you know what?

    The weak link in your analog rig will still be the cart and phono stage. It's a vicious circle intended to drive you crazy.

    I know a guy with your table. Same upgrades (platter, motor, PS). He runs an SME-V arm ($3500.00); a Herron Phono Stage ($5,000.00); and I don't know what his current cartridge is. The table you're buying will work well with that level gear...

    That's why I honestly think you should start with the budget-saving course now. If you buy a $300.00 phono stage, I think you'll be cheating yourself, and you'll want to dump that as soon as you can - which if I hear you right is something you don't want to do.

    Just my .02, of course.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    I hear you. Those are some good points! I think I agree with the compromises you are talking about. The whole picture was not very clear to me and I was starting to get frustrated with all the choices. I'll probably go with a MM cartridge for now and go on from there.
    Thanks for the insite!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • hoosier21hoosier21 Posts: 4,406
    edited October 2002
    You wanted a big cool factor TT
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Ah...lemme guess: the Kuzma Stabi Reference? I might have the exact model wrong.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Yea,
    I almost got that one but it didn't come in black. Heh heh heh.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Well,
    I did a little shopping today. I bought a used (probably not the best idea) Goldring G1042 for $185. The seller said "very little use, low hours".
    http://www.needledoctor.com/showitem.cfm?catnum=2&itemnum=297
    The list was $375 but I found it for as low as $325 new. It is close in sound qualities to the Audio Note IQ2 which is what Manley (my amp manufacturer) uses to show off their tube systems so I can see a possible sound match lurking there. I read the reviews and made a choice. I hope it was a reasonable one. I'm looking at a SME ver IV arm as well. No way I can afford a V.
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?anlgtnrm&1038812686&class&3&4&
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Woof?
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Oh yea,
    I long to be listening to vinyl this evening. After a long hard two weeks of research I need a break. It certainly will be pleasant to see that big platter turning with all the sweet sounds moving carefully through each tube and out through the speakers. Maybe I will be at the recording studio, maybe a club or who knows, maybe even sitting in front of the band at my own house!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001
    Woof?

    Woof.

    As in drooling, panting, beast.

    The SME-IV is a great arm!

    I'll write some thoughts on record cleaning when I get a break from work. Might have to wait until this weekend.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001
    Oh yea,
    I long to be listening to vinyl this evening
    madmax

    I know what you mean; I'm right there with you. We just moved in June, and I'm still getting the house together. I got my 2 channel rig running, but the room it's in doesn't have enough juice, so I've got big black extension cords running through the kitchen...I finally got an electrician to come out next week (at a reasonable rate) and put in a sub-panel and run 4 circuits to the great room for the gear.

    But the way the room is designed, I had to make a decision that was hard: where to put the outlets.

    The room also is very prone to vibration. I ended up putting my rack on a BenchMate Table Stand (designed for electron microscopes), and that helped a lot, but not enough...so I decided to kill two birds...I took one corner of the room, it had a woodburner sitting on a hearth. That hearth is 2" thick sandstone on cinder block...the woodburner is now in the garage, the system is torn apart, and is going to be moved to that hearth. All circuits will be run to that area.

    Of course, this mean a 180 degree "flip" of the room. I got the speakers, one amp, and the couch moved tonight to verify that I'd at least be no worse off. Now comes dialing in the speaker position with the laser level, and then spiking them.

    Then the rack and Benchmate have to get moved. The BenchMate weighs 210lbs, and is amazingly fragile, so that should be a real ball buster.

    And, I noticed that my table was distorting on inner grooves (the latest Garbage LP is cut at a real high level, and is a great test for inner groove distortion,btw). So either my cart is finally ready to be replaced, or I need to review setup.

    But by 10/15, I should definitely be stylin': I'll even have enough juice to run both amps!
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    New place, a whole new set of problems! Just one thought I've been having: So you want an isolated base for the turntable? What I've been thinking about (assuming it is a problem) is mounting to the basement solid concrete wall a pair of rectangular posts, cutting small holes in the livingroom flooring for these posts to stick through and mounting a pod on top of them for the turntable to sit on. No matter how much the floor or wall shakes the table will be completely stable. Sounds weird but really very easy to do. BTW, I know what you are using for speakers and turntable but what for amplification, cartridge and preamp? Good luck on the move!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    I like the idea of cutting a hole in the floor and getting to a good foundation. The room I'm in sticks out over a hill, and is anchored with 8x8 piers - so all that's under me is clay and rock.

    If I had a basement under me - and I may end up pouring a pad just for this - I think that I'd be tempted to build my own solid structure/platform up to floor level. Then, on top of that, I'd place a Zoethecus rack.

    I think you have a great idea with your basement wall mount. The only recommendation I'd make would be use maple for posts coming up. Then, you might consider placing a Neuance shelf on top of those - see the link. I've talked with Ken Lyon, who is Neuance, and he's an incredibly dedicated and thorough guy who's forgotten more than I'll ever know about structural issues.

    I'm running a Krell FPB300c right now for all power; when I get enough juice I'll add my FPB200c in to biamp - the Prodigies really love some juice.

    I use a Lyra Helikon Cart -> Pass X-Ono Phono Stage -> Balanced Audio Technology VK-50SE preamp. I also have the BAT VK-D5SE CD player, 1 rev down from current (still has HDCD, the current rev drops that).

    The X-Ono is powered by a Balanced Power Technology "JR". No other power conditioning (yet); once I get AC straightened out, I'll be adding BPT units to power everything.

    All housed in a Zoethecus rack, which is placed on top of the BenchMate VibraPlane.

    Cabling/Power is primarily TG-Audio and Audience.

    I'm a dealer for TG Audio, Audience, Balanced Power Technology, and a few others, BTW. So I guess that makes me one of the evil rip-off artists of the world, proceed with caution.





    Neuance Shelves
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by rlw

    I'm a dealer for TG Audio, Audience, Balanced Power Technology, and a few others, BTW. So I guess that makes me one of the evil rip-off artists of the world, proceed with caution.


    Neuance Shelves

    I wouldn't say that! Besides, out of all the equipment I have the only equipment I have ever bought new was a Sony ES CD player I got back in 1987, a laser disc I mail ordered in 1990 and a couple of Bello audio stands from last year. Everything else has been from personal trades, Ebay, Audiogon, Polk site etc or constructed by me or a friend. Strange thing, I have never received a component that wasn't a good value in 9/10 condition at approximatly 50% off list price. I have been very lucky with this so far.

    Feel free though to throw out any of those names if something in particular really seems to fit the situation.

    After thinking about it the maple posts really make a lot of sense. Those steel posts would ring unless you sand filled them or something. Having a crawl space under the room would be great! I would cut a large panel out of the flooring (assuming you didn't have to mess with the floor joists too much) and create a shelf out of concrete to sit the whole mess on. That would be cool. A thick block of marble on top would look really classy!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    A little more shopping today. I now have the arm and a few LP's on order. Wont be long now. I ordered two LP's which I have and like on CD for direct comparison. Now if all the sellers do their part and nothing gets damaged in shipment and everything is as described etc...
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Excellent news on the arm, and great to hear you're already buying vinyl!

    Keep in mind that the masters used for LP v. CD are often quite different...

    My bad news is that the hearth vibrates as much as the rest of the stinkin' floor...so I don't have the vibration problem solved. Oh, and the room is 10' above ground, so there's not exactly just a crawlspace height to gap...
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    You could always sit marble on some bicycle tire tubes. I used to use Clark Synthesis bass transducers on the main beam under my livingroom which has caused a lot of experimentation concerning vibration not to mention sqeaky floors which I now have because of them!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Lets talk record cleaning. Nitty Gritty 1.5, 1.5FI, 2.5FI, VPI??? Other machines? Technique? Drying? ???
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Not to offend you, but marble rings like a bell and tubes provide no isolation in the horizontal plane, and uncontrolled isolation in the vertical. In short, such a combination doesn't isolate very well at all.


    Check out:


    Good article


    Kinetic Systems


    Right now, the only problem I have are footfalls - that extremely low frequency (got to be getting down to 1-2hz), high amplitude that is very difficult to block without a lot of mass. It's amazing how much the VibraPlane cleaned up the sound, even on digital.


    I'm thinking about doing a layer of sorbothane:


    Sorbothane


    of sufficient thickness (I dunno - 4"?), covered with thick Corian on top of the hearth. My only concern then becomes interaction of suspension mechanisms between the VibraPlane and the Sorbothane.

    Ultimately, I think that pouring a pad, and building a separate cinder-block foundation up through the floor, and filling that foundation with concrete, will have to be done. But ****, that's a lot of work.

    Another option I'm going to try soon [this weekend]: suspending the table from an overhead beam: a ceiling mount! This is quite popular with Japanese analog-freaks living in densely populated areas.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    I never get offended by the truth. That sure did calm down my CD player with the transducers going but maybe the ringing was causing trouble elswhere.

    I don't think I would like it haning from the ceiling. Why would that be better than mounting a shelf on the wall?

    I will have to read the articles a little later after work but thanks for sending the links!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001
    I never get offended by the truth. That sure did calm down my CD player with the transducers going but maybe the ringing was causing trouble elswhere.

    I don't think I would like it haning from the ceiling. Why would that be better than mounting a shelf on the wall?

    I will have to read the articles a little later after work but thanks for sending the links!

    madmax

    Cool, I'm pretty good about learning too. I'm after one thing: the best sound I can get...I believe the marble/tube combo can calm down some CD players in some situations.

    I started experimenting with vibration control using VibraPods, Granite, and DynaMat. Oh, and some DIY roller bearings. Then tried Seismic Sinks. Then maple with Walker Valid Points. Different types of wood. Different racks. It was amazing how much each could change the sound. Including (laugh all you want) hanging speaker cables and IC's from the ceiling with monofilament.

    Why hang stuff from the ceiling? B/c of all the surfaces in a typical listening room, the ceiling vibrates the least. Plus, hanging the table from kevlar means that even if the ceiling does move, there's not much of an effective lever to the TT to make it move.

    Plus, when you learn slowly by ear like me, it's nice to have an alternative to try that costs little $. I basically might lose a couple of hours and a few bucks.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by rlw


    (laugh all you want) hanging speaker cables and IC's from the ceiling with monofilament.


    Never heard that one before:lol:

    A notable finding while using the transducers to shake the floor: No matter how violently you shake a floor none of the vibration transfers to the walls. None at all. I found this to be strange. Of course subs that move air do.

    I used to think vibration dampening and room treatments were pretty much black magic but my thinking on the subject changed dramaticly after playing with it. I can see now that the room and vibration of components is probably more important than the components you pick. I wish sometimes I could convey that to friends but if they are not thinking in that direction they just say uh-huh and get that far away look in their eyes. I guess when it hits you then you know. Seems so obvious now.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • STUFFMDSTUFFMD Posts: 381
    edited October 2002
    Hey Guys thanks for all the great links, I just got a load of my old vinyl from mom and am getting ready to get out the old Bang and Olfsen, needed a carbon fiber brush and a new MMC, wasn't sure I was going to be able to find what I needed..sure enough it's all there......Thanks again..
    Peace StuffMD
    P.S. Mom had my copy of the OMR of Power and the Majesty....I can't believe you can't find that anywhere, even online, I was curious what it would be worth.
    Your system is only as good as your weakest component...!

    OnkyoTX-DS 797
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    Center: Cs400i /Biwired
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    Bang & Olfsen RX Turntable
    Psw 350 Front/Psw 202 rear
    Kimber Cable 4TC Mains HF
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    Kimber Interconnects
    Monster XP Everywhere else
    PS2/Gamecube
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    This LP stuff has something to it, I think. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001


    I used to think vibration dampening and room treatments were pretty much black magic but my thinking on the subject changed dramaticly after playing with it. I can see now that the room and vibration of components is probably more important than the components you pick. I wish sometimes I could convey that to friends but if they are not thinking in that direction they just say uh-huh and get that far away look in their eyes. I guess when it hits you then you know. Seems so obvious now.
    madmax

    I know that far-away look quite well, believe it or not.

    I have 4 EchoBuster Corners mounted. Last night, for the heck of it, I removed the front right one. The soundstage immediately collapsed in upon itself. Put it back, the soundstage is back.

    Since I rotated everything 180 degrees, I also decided to take down 1 ASC half-round that was now on the front wall, in between the speakers but a little to the right. I really didn't expect this, but a hardness in the high-mids immediately disappeared.

    The system still sounds a little bit "edgy". I haven't moved the VibraPlane yet - but I'm willing to bet that once I do, the edginess will be completely gone.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by STUFFMD
    Hey Guys thanks for all the great links, I just got a load of my old vinyl from mom and am getting ready to get out the old Bang and Olfsen, needed a carbon fiber brush and a new MMC, wasn't sure I was going to be able to find what I needed..sure enough it's all there......Thanks again..
    Peace StuffMD
    P.S. Mom had my copy of the OMR of Power and the Majesty....I can't believe you can't find that anywhere, even online, I was curious what it would be worth.


    You're quite welcome. Keep us posted on how it all works out for you.


    This copy is selling for $50
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