Well like many people recently, I have gotten myself into the world of vinyl. I did plenty of research before plunging and I am very happy I did so.
As a beginner, I have some questions and I'm sure I could get the best answer here.
The first question I have is in regards to my turntable. I own a Luxman PD-264 that I managed to find in excellent shape. It came with its original box, warranty card, overhang guide, manual.. everything. One thing I am disappointed to find out about it is the cartridge. It has a working cartridge, a Sumiko Pearl which I understand is quite good in its price range, however the original was an Audio Technica AT160ML. I understand this cartridge to be of something quite special - MSRP was $400 when it was sold new, and is also the last of the Beryllium Gold Plated MM cartridges. Anyway, being such a gem I wanted to know, is it worthwhile getting this repaired somehow? My current understanding is that when a cartridge dies there isn't much you can do about it. However, this one is such an awesome piece I thought maybe it's worthwhile to get fixed considering the seller included it for free.
The next question I have is about buying vinyl. What to really watch out for? I read an article about vinyl that says you should have the shop let you listen to the record before you buy it, but unfortunately the shop I go to does not allow this (they actually do not have a vinyl player set-up). So any pointers for what to watch out for, and perhaps any tips on how to clean up some dirty vinyl might be nice. I do have a cleaning kit I put together, which is the following:
I use a spray bottle that includes: distilled water, isopropyl alcohol (25%) and then I add some drops of a rinsing agent. Basically I spray down the side, use a soft bristled paint pad to get into the grooves and then wipe it off using a microfiber towel. The one thing I'm not sure of is how long to let these puppies dry for before putting them away, because I know oxidization is a bad thing with records. Or do I not have to worry about this if they only need say, an hour, to dry?
Finally, the last thing I am curious about is tuning the tone-arm of my Luxman. I understand the weight and anti-skate adjustment but it also as a stylus-height adjustment which I'm not sure how to set-up and use. Any tips here would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for any and all help. I'll get some pictures up of the gear when I have a chance.