Which turntable for a beginner

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kapsopod
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Which turntable for a beginner

Post by kapsopod » 22 Aug 2019 16:04

Hi all. I am looking to get my first turntable and the initial setup I have in mind is a turntable with built in pre-amp and a set of powered speakers. By trying to research the basics on turntables online, I have seen beginners that are very enthusiastic about their turntable, but upon more research, more experienced users find quite a few things that are not quite right about these turntables. I am talking about the audio technica LP120 in particular but probably what I am describing happens with other brands/models too.

A thing I don't understand is that all the "good" turntables have a height adjustment for the arm, but I find many automatic turntables which don't come with such an adjustment. Isn't this something that is needed?

In any case, bearing in mind I am not after a cheap turntable just because it is my first one, would you have a specific turntable to suggest? I am guessing I am after a mid performance turntable which is reliable and does not lack in features. In the future I could build a better system by keeping the same turntable.

raphaelmabo
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by raphaelmabo » 22 Aug 2019 16:35

Cartridges differs in height, so if the arm lacks height adjustments this means that you won't get an ideal angle when you change between different cartridges and this can result in an overly bright or overly dull treble. But, height adjustment is more needed with exotic stylus profiles/shapes (Shibata, Fine line, MicroRidge...) than standard shapes such as conical or elliptical. A cartridge with a conical tip, like many entry level cartridges has, is less sensitive to different angles than the exotic profile in a much more expensive cartridge.

So for an entry level turntable, height adjustment may not be so important. I would advice against using an entry level turntable with an exotic or expensive cartridge. To get the best price performance, don't choose a cartridge that's more expensive than the turntable.

Now, you don't say your budget. :)
I have an "entry level high end" turntable - the Thorens TD203, I like it very much. It's a basic design with an advanced tonearm and electronic speed control, but no built in phono-pre and no automatics.

So if you want more features, the new Thorens 402DD may be a good one. It has semi automatics (auto stop at the end of record) and built-in phono-pre. I haven't had the chance of listening to it yet, it will be out in the shops this September. It's a brand new model. Price 799 euro. A turntable worth a closer look I believe.
https://www.thorens.com/en/thorens®-td-402-en.html

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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by rewfew » 22 Aug 2019 16:48

Don't know what resources you might have available where you live. If interested in used. Technics made a series of tables designated with SL-Q, that were direct drive, automatic and semi automatic which utilized a certain cartridge developed for use with such a table. Called p-mount. Which precluded the need for cartridge height adjustment, but still had anti skate adjustment and vtf adjustment. Very nice for beginners, and very nice performance as some here will attest to. These cartridges are still readily available and at varying price ranges with the stylus type. A possible reliable and trusted source for one of these table can be found at KABUSA https://www.kabusa.com. Look under record players. They may still have available one of these type tables and would be expertly gone over for reliability. Here you would have a perfectly fine platform to start your turntable experience that would be relevant into the future.

lenjack
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by lenjack » 22 Aug 2019 18:06

While arm height adjustment might be a nice feature, I don't think it is at all critical. You might have to spend more than you would like, to get something that has it.

kapsopod
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by kapsopod » 22 Aug 2019 18:28

I am based in the UK so I am guessing I can find most of the things.

To be honest I like turntables that in theory are not meant for the use I need which is to just play the records.

The ones that draw my attention are the reloop rp7000 mk2(this one has to go with speakers that have a built in preamp too) & rp8000mk2. Both are dj turntables. I am a bit confused and don't know if such a selection is justified. I don't even know if their sound quality is as good as some other turntables within their price tag.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by JoeE SP9 » 22 Aug 2019 20:20

If you want a TT that can directly drive powered speakers you need a TT with a built in phono preamp with an output labelled line out. Otherwise you'll need a stand alone phono preamp.

kapsopod
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by kapsopod » 22 Aug 2019 20:25

There are a few powered speakers that have a built in preamp too.

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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by JoeE SP9 » 22 Aug 2019 20:44

kapsopod wrote:
22 Aug 2019 20:25
There are a few powered speakers that have a built in preamp too.
None that I'm aware of have a built in phono preamp.

kapsopod
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by kapsopod » 23 Aug 2019 00:04

The ones i have in my mind are these:

1. Klipsch R-15PM
2. Roth VA4

Mr Pig
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by Mr Pig » 23 Aug 2019 09:03

If you buy a turntable that has a built in amplifier or phono stage you are compromising both quality and future options right off the bat.

Firstly, only entry level or very cheap turntables come with these options.

Secondly, the options cost money which is not spent being spent on the bits that make the turntable sound good. A simpler turntable usually sounds better.

When you want to upgrade you can't upgrade the turntable and amp separately. Also, if the amp goes faulty the whole turntable is unusable.

There are reasons why 'separates' became popular for proper hi-fi use and when you can pick up a decent integrated amp with a phono stage on Gumtree for very little money I really don't see the point of buying a rubbish turntable with an even more rubbish amplifier inside it.

kapsopod
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by kapsopod » 23 Aug 2019 09:57

Mr Pig wrote:
23 Aug 2019 09:03
If you buy a turntable that has a built in amplifier or phono stage you are compromising both quality and future options right off the bat.

Firstly, only entry level or very cheap turntables come with these options.

Secondly, the options cost money which is not spent being spent on the bits that make the turntable sound good. A simpler turntable usually sounds better.

When you want to upgrade you can't upgrade the turntable and amp separately. Also, if the amp goes faulty the whole turntable is unusable.

There are reasons why 'separates' became popular for proper hi-fi use and when you can pick up a decent integrated amp with a phono stage on Gumtree for very little money I really don't see the point of buying a rubbish turntable with an even more rubbish amplifier inside it.
You are right. I have now decided to go for an old used turntable. I am looking at a Technics SL-D303. Not sure if it is a good choice. It cannot be bad since I can find it for little money and it seems like a good starting point. Then if I like the hobby I could buy another turntable. Any opinions on this Technics turntable?

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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by raphaelmabo » 23 Aug 2019 10:56

kapsopod wrote:
23 Aug 2019 00:04
The ones i have in my mind are these:

1. Klipsch R-15PM
2. Roth VA4
I'm not familiar with them, but Triangle Elara LN-01 Active has built-in phono pre-amp and also bluetooth and optical connection. Oh dear, lots of choices. :)
https://www.triangle-fr.com/en/activeseries/ln01a

raphaelmabo
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by raphaelmabo » 23 Aug 2019 11:04

Mr Pig wrote:
23 Aug 2019 09:03
Firstly, only entry level or very cheap turntables come with theseoptions.
VPI (midmarket to high end turntables) has built-in phono pre... :) Their VPI Player has phono pre and also a headphone amplifier. This is not an entry level or cheap turntable. :) Cost around 1500 - 1800 euro.

Cambridge Alva DD has also built-in phono pre and bluetooth. At around 1300 euro.

But it is true that most turntables with built-in phono pre are entry level designs.

Mrs Ritchie Valens
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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 23 Aug 2019 15:35

I own an audiotechnica AT LP 120, and am very happy with it. I'm however, looking to get a Dual changer to play my 45's/ LP's on, as a portable isn't the best. for me, vinyl is about the music. Of course I want the best from a turntable, but I don't need to have it do some fancy stuff.

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Re: Which turntable for a beginner

Post by lenjack » 23 Aug 2019 16:19

Any Technics direct drive unit would be an excellent choice. That one would be perfect, but since it dates back to 1981, you need to know what condition it's in. Has it been cared for, serviced, working properly? If so, it will, even after all these years, outlast most of what is available today.

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