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To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

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To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Vitzman » 22 Jan 2018 17:02

Hi guys,

For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I've started reading about vinyls and turntables. I currently have a decent system that I play digital music with. My setup is KEF Ls50 (downsized from KEF R500), Marantz PM8004, Arcam Irdac, and I play music either directly from my computer via Tidal/hi res music or airplay using Tidal when I'm lazy.

To be frank, I've only listened to vinyl when I was a kid and I can't tell you how they really sound but like all music lovers, I'm interested in different mediums. My question is, how much is the setup going to cost to not disappoint my initial vinyl experience given that my current setup already produces a decent digital sound? My expectation isn't for vinyl to beat the digital sound, just something comparable. I understand that the medium itself isn't usually what sets the music reproduction apart. I understand that the original sound mastering and engineering is a lot more important so the experience will vary depending on the record. I listen to jazz, female vocals, instruments and soft rock.

I'm open to both vintage and modern turntables but I won't buy new. Would a vintage Thoren/Dual at $500-600 be decent? Would a modern Rega Planar 2/3 be sufficient? Or would I be expecting something north of $1000? The budget should include a decent cartridge, I've read that the turntable to cartridge ratio should be 3:1 or even 1:1 if it's a much older turntable.

I can't tell you exactly why I'm looking into vinyl, like anyone that's into hifi, the bug bites you once in a while.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby snfrosten » 22 Jan 2018 17:53

Analog requires a certain amount of dedication to get the best sound, not the lazy or easy way to listen to music. I personally only listen to vinyl, digital just never sounded quite right, especially with jazz and vocals. Does require storage space for records and a decent shelf for the table, I have three. You should be able to find a good table and cart for under 1K, Thorens would be a good choice. Many will not agree but vinyl does sound better, natural with better imaging, than digital.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Vitzman » 22 Jan 2018 18:02

Thanks for your reply. The ease of access to millions of songs on Tidal is making me "play" songs instead listening to music. I find myself switching songs all too quickly, many times before they are done playing. Which Thoren models should i keep a lookout for in the used market? What cartridge would be a good pair for it?
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby fscl » 22 Jan 2018 18:12

"That is the question,
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The bits and bytes of outrageous compression,
Or take arms against the sea of jitter,
And, by opposing, end them ? To listen, to read---
No more, --- and by a read to say we end
The heartache and the thousand questions
That liner notes and sleeves can answer
'tis consumerism
Devoutly to be wished ! To read, to listen
To listen perchance to drift into the pleasantries of music
Ay that's the rub
For that music is the sense we love
When we have shuffled off our mortal media
And give us pause there's the respect
That makes calamity of proper reproduction."

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well you asked, didn't you...... :-k :-k #-o

No need to go quite a$ deep into the depths of vinyl reproduction, if you are looking to experience the media and check out what it's all about and are looking for a new hassle free player, look into U-Turn Audio and their basic Orbit player.

A check on fleabay makes me think you can get into and out for a fairly reasonable experien$e if you decide vinyl is not for you.

Good luck and welcome to VE...... :)

Fred and full disclosure a U-Turn Audio Kickstarter backer
Music is Everything....Except Predictable....Music Discovery Starts Here.....WFUV Member
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Tinkaroo » 22 Jan 2018 18:18

You might want to consider a Fluance turntable which is distributed through a Canadian source since it is reasonably priced.

You will also need a preamp unless you have an amp or receiver with one built into it. Most of the older amps had them, but the newer AV types don't.

Decent speakers would also be a good idea too.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Vinylfreak86 » 22 Jan 2018 18:24

For me comparing listening a vinyl record on a turntable with listening a digital file is like having a girlfriend or just dreaming about it. No matter what source music pressed on a record is (analog or digital) or how good your digital player is, both vinyl and turntable will always be something special and will override all digital gear. But yes, you have better and worse pressings and you have better and worse turntables.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Vitzman » 22 Jan 2018 18:35

Everything I've read thus far is certainly making a good case for me to "taste" vinyl. The emotional attachment, the experience, laying the record...etc is definitely different. I wish someone i know have a turntable for me to try lol
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby themisto462 » 22 Jan 2018 18:42

Tinkaroo wrote:Decent speakers would also be a good idea too.


:-k

I think his KEF LS50 are more than decent... .
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Tinkaroo » 22 Jan 2018 18:50

themisto462 wrote:
Tinkaroo wrote:Decent speakers would also be a good idea too.


:-k

I think his KEF LS50 are more than decent... .


I didn't read that part, so that is good since it's one less thing to worry about.

One reason I suggested something new was because if you tried vinyl and for some reason didn't want to stick with it then it would be a lot easier to sell, plus you would have a warranty too.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby jdjohn » 22 Jan 2018 18:55

Now might be a good time to post this popular cartoon :lol:
VinylExpInconv.jpg

Vitzman wrote:My expectation isn't for vinyl to beat the digital sound, just something comparable.

It will be a pretty big commitment in order to get something comparable to digital. One or two good, clean records will cost the same as your monthly Tidal subscription. Rougher condition records can be had fairly cheaply, but minty copies of popular classic albums (clean enough to compare to digital) will average about $20USD each. There are exceptions (may get lucky at a thrift store, estate sale, etc.), but starting from scratch, building a record collection is a significant investment. Of course that is after buying all the equipment.

Don't get me wrong...I love my vinyl, but just setting expectations for you.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Vitzman » 22 Jan 2018 18:58

I'm curious, why do some modern turntables not list any specifications? As much as I'm open to any turntable, vintage or modern, are they worried about people comparing modern to vintage turntables and the price to quality ratio?

I looked at U Turn Audio as well, pretty cool, I'm going to have to do some research!
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby reynolds617 » 23 Jan 2018 20:36

Hi Vitzman:

I'll weigh in as someone who, until recently, was only listening to music on CD and digital (albeit mainly in my car if I'm honest). As others have indicated, vinyl is a commitment. A commitment in terms of time, space, and money. That said, I have found it to be well worth it.

I have those same speakers, and they sound fantastic with my turntable. I would say that between a turntable and a decent cartridge, you should budget between $1200-$2000 depending on your price tolerance. I dropped about $1400 for my Rega P3 and Hana cart. I don't feel I will need to upgrade anytime soon. Other thing to consider is a phono stage unless you have an integrated amp. I can't advise you there unfortunately unless you want to replace your amp with an integrated.

The price of new vinyl is a bit of a bummer, to be honest. I have a hard time stomaching some of the prices commanded by new records. That said, I invested in a VPI record cleaning machine, and it was one of the best decisions I've made. You can take used vinyl acquired for short money and DRASTICALLY improve the sound quality, removing all the dirt, dust and other gunk that reduces the sound quality and clogs up your stylus. It really makes a difference. Also, the ritual of record cleaning can be fun, even therapeutic I've found.

Vinyl has made me more thoughtful about listening to my music as well. Just sitting down and listening to an entire album as the artist intended it to be heard vs skipping here there and elsewhere - there's something to be said for that. Don't get me wrong: I love a good playlist as much as the next guy, but this is a different way to experience music.

Hope you decide to take the plunge.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby Solist » 24 Jan 2018 01:48

The thing that got me hooked to vinyl is that if you take a step back and think about it, it shouldn't work. At least not at this level of reproduction.

The things we did for music.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." - Nietzsche
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby tom6to1 » 24 Jan 2018 03:02

Vitzman wrote:I'm curious, why do some modern turntables not list any specifications? As much as I'm open to any turntable, vintage or modern, are they worried about people comparing modern to vintage turntables and the price to quality ratio?

I looked at U Turn Audio as well, pretty cool, I'm going to have to do some research!


Most don't bother with specs because the market doesn't have someone trying to "win" with specs. "Back in the day" (clearly I am turning into a codger) you had a million turntables sold a year, with comparisons made not just on appearance but on specs, and magazines and reviewers with well-equipped labs that would test the turntable and call out the manufacturer if they did not match the published specs. Frankly, most modern tables under $400 will not measure up in sound quality to a 30-40 year old model (but that is just my opinion - in the end you need to trust your ears for what is best for you).
If you want to get started in this hobby, you can try new and cheap (U-Turn Orbit, Fluance all have fans), or you could try used and inexpensive - any number of Technics basic direct-drive models (not an SL-1200) can be found for around $200. Spend $100 for an AT95 cartridge (or 2 or 3 times more for a better cartridge as you will be able to hear the difference) and decide if you like the vinyl sound. Finally, if what you like is rock or jazz, used albums in good shape can be tough to find. If you like classical, there is no shortage of used vinyl in near-perfect condition available for under $5.
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Re: To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Postby reynolds617 » 24 Jan 2018 03:49

Good point on used rock and jazz being tough to find used in good condition. Fans of those genres were pretty fast and loose when it came to taking care of their albums. The classical crowd were clearly more meticulous about it.
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