JVC L-A31 Set up

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hoffmana3
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JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 22 Nov 2019 20:38

Please excuse my ignorance, however I have just started to dabble in the whole vinyl relm of things (recently recieving a bunch of old records from my grandfather that has passed) and recently acquired a JVC L-A31. I know I need a pre-amp and such to actually hear the music. I am just having trouble finding any resources on what works best with this turntable. So any suggestions on what to buy for a pre amp, amp and speakers would be wonderful- I am starting from sratch here and only have the turntable. I am also not trying to break the bank.

amagasakii
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by amagasakii » 23 Nov 2019 09:54

Hey hoffmana3,

Welcome! Far as I can tell you have a nice, mid-range, well-made, '80s turntable there. I figure I'm a bit older than you as my grandfather passed about 15 years ago, so instead I have a nice, mid-range, well-made, '70s turntable. ;-)

Do you just want to hook the thing up and listen to your albums? Or are you interested in fiddling around with finding exactly the right components that work with your setup?

I can't help you with the latter, but I can give you advice if you just want to get going. I'm not an audiophile, I just like vinyl and vintage audio.

hoffmana3
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 23 Nov 2019 15:38

thanks for the response! at this point I'd love to just get the thing going and be able to listen to my albums. then later once ive learned a little more and have time and space to tinker I will probably invest in the "proper" set up.

musicmn
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by musicmn » 24 Nov 2019 01:00

Hi, one of the easiest ways to start listing to your turntable is by getting a external phono pre amp/phono stage and a set of powered speakers. From what I have read here over the years this is how a lot of people are listening to records these days. As far as what to buy you will have to do some research on that. I use vintage equipment I have bought and restored over the years so anything new is kind of out of my experience. What I can tell you is that recently a nephew of mine was interested playing records. I gave him a very nice middle of the road Sanyo turntable I had sitting around. Then I went on my local craigslist and after sifting through all the junk I was able to find a very decent mid 1990's two channel Sony am/fm receiver with a built in phono stage for $20.00. People have a hard time selling these type of receivers because they are old and don't have HDMI inputs. That's why I was able to get it so cheap. I then found a decent set of pioneer book shelf speakers again for $20.00 for the pair. After some cleaning I set everything up and it sounded very good not great but for a beginner set up it fit the bill. I like using two channel equipment more the surround sound receivers. To me two channel equipment just make records sound better. And a nice sound system that you can play records on just make people want to listen to records more. So my advice if you have a craiglist or something similar in your area check that out for equipment. It could be they way to get something decent for a good price. I hope this helps.

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 24 Nov 2019 01:51

Welcome hoffmana3! That is a nice turntable, and JVC doesn't get the credit they deserve. At the peak of the vinyl development in the 80s, it is safe to say they were in the top 5 of the numerous Japanese manufacturers. I have three JVC turntables myself, and enjoy them all. As already suggested, and partly based on your passion for a vinyl experience, it is probably wise to investigate the used market first. Once the bug hits, many people are on an unending mission to try the next "best thing", leaving a trail of now redundant equipment that can suit your purposes perfectly. For little cost, you can be up and enjoying your records. Do some reading and get some opinions and reviews, then buy what appeals to you. Having the TT already, even with changing the stylus possibly, you can easily be in operation for right around $100, depending on local market availability and prices. Take it slow and easy, and let your system and preferences in music evolve. And always feel free to ask for advice here...it is a great site! Again, welcome, and grandfather had good taste! =D> :wink:

amagasakii
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by amagasakii » 24 Nov 2019 08:39

Echoing what musicmn said, your easiest solution is a stand-alone preamp and some powered speakers. If you want to get started really inexpensively, the ubiquitous Pyle preamp will do the trick, though I thought it sounded a little harsh when I heard it.

I like vintage equipment, but usually it needs a cleaning, if not repair. Of my 4 receivers, all 4 have required some sort of repair (transistors in one, speaker relay in another, etc.). Not saying to avoid, just something to keep in mind. There's only one vintage electronics store locally, and they charge a fortune, so all of my stuff comes from thrift stores or Craigslist.

Sony makes a cheap stereo receiver (STR-DH190) with a phono stage if you wanted to go brand new.

If I were just starting out I would definitely go with a separate preamp and some powered speakers.

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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 25 Nov 2019 14:12

Thank you all so much for the help- I started looking on craigslist for a phono preamp, i found 3 that are priced much better than the rest. thoughts on these? I'm not sure of brands so if something is garbage please let me know!

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/ele/d/ ... 52830.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/ele/d/ ... 93441.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/ele/d/ ... 88003.html

hoffmana3
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 25 Nov 2019 15:09


chgc
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by chgc » 25 Nov 2019 16:01

In my opinion, you should go for a cheaper preamp and better speakers. As amagasakii said, you can get an adequate new preamp for under $20 (although I am sure many here would disagree). Decent powered computer speakers can be had for under $100.

hoffmana3
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 25 Nov 2019 16:24

thanks chgc!

is this enough for a preamp?
https://smile.amazon.com/Pyle-Phono-Tur ... 871&sr=8-8

hoffmana3
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by hoffmana3 » 25 Nov 2019 16:33


Vanni
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by Vanni » 25 Nov 2019 16:35

Steer well clear of those Sony speakers. As far as vintage speakers go, the size of the speaker cabinet means a lot and is generally a big clue of what to expect, and those Sony speakers are just way too small.

In your case, I think I would go for a decent but inexpensive vintage receiver or integrated amp, and a pair of good speakers. Some particular brands are sought after by audiophiles and will command high prices but there are many other models out there that aren't and do not go for big money. It's true that a vintage amp will need some cleaning or repairs, but you're looking at local sellers so you should be able to see for yourself that all functions work as they're supposed to, and a little Deoxit here and there will be all that's needed for the moment. Insist on a demo every single time you go and look at something.

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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by Vanni » 25 Nov 2019 16:48

The problem with that Pyle preamp (aka phono stage) is that they're meant to work with AV amplifiers that do not have a phono stage/ or to hook up with powered speakers. So the Pyle, or any other similar pre amp, will not work with those nice Sansui speakers.

edit - the Sansuis will be a good match for something like this - https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/ele/d/ ... 98735.html

or this -https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/ele/d/ ... 67521.html

But I'm sure you'll find cheaper used amps and speakers if you're not in a hurry.
Last edited by Vanni on 25 Nov 2019 16:54, edited 1 time in total.

chgc
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by chgc » 25 Nov 2019 16:53

I don’t have experience with that preamp, but my guess is that it’s listenable. And if it isn’t, well, Amazon.

I don’t think those speakers are powered— they don’t have a power chord you plug into the wall. It might be hard to find powered speakers from that era. If you want to use speakers without a built in amp, you would need to get a receiver or similar device to amplify the line level input from the preamp.

amagasakii
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Re: JVC L-A31 Set up

Post by amagasakii » 25 Nov 2019 20:07

As others have said, you need three components: phono pre-amp, amplifier, and speakers. There's two suggestions in play in this thread:
  1. Separate preamp, speakers with built-in amplifier
  2. Amplifier with built-in preamp, separate speakers
I still say the biggest decision you need to make is whether you want to deal with used and/or vintage equipment, or if you want to start out with new stuff (with warranty, return policy, etc.) I have more than one vintage receiver so when one of them inevitably goes "fzzzt" or "pop" or "crrrrrackle", I can swap them around, and then I have something new to tinker with for a month. That's my thing; might not be yours. :)

The Harman Kardon preamp is pretty (I have an HK 350i receiver and like the industrial design of that era) but probably overkill for your current needs. It's also 30-odd years old, so you can't be sure how reliable it is. The Little Bear seems hit-and-miss. 3.3/5 on Amazon. The Tonar has a few decent reviews on turntableneedles.com.

Here's my quick-and-easy recommendation:

Pyle PP999 $15
Edifier 1280T $100

or

Pyle PP999 $15
Edifier R980T $70

This gets you going for cheap, and everything should just work right out of the box. Then you can take your time picking out vintage amps and speakers when you want to upgrade.

As Vanni said, stay away from the Sony speakers! Those are thrift store $2 specials that came with some cheap all-in-one system back in the mid '70s. :!:
Last edited by amagasakii on 25 Nov 2019 20:19, edited 1 time in total.

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