Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • Turntable & speaker advice
  • Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    So at Christmas myself and my fiancee had a chat about how we were listening to music and with Spotify we listen to playlists and skip songs we should listen to.
    So as an experiment we got a cheap turntable and started buying one vinyl each on paydays.
    We chose an album we’ve always fancied but never really listened to and it’s really changed the way we listen to music at home and were finding so much joy in listening to full albums.
    So my question is, how much should we spend on upgrading our cheap turntable?
    What do we need?
    We live in a small house so compact speakers too.
    Thanks in advance.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    How long is a piece of string?

    You mean replace, presumably, what is your budget?

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    I like records for the reasons you say, it’s nice to sit down and actually listen to albums right through.

    I’ve recently bought a Rega P1 which I’m happy with. It’s not really adjustable which means it’s so simple to set up and get working.

    I joined the Rega Facebook page just out of curiosity, it’s a whole other world of upgrades and a bottomless pit of spending. A road I’m not going down!

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    To be honest as cheap as possible but if we have to spend a bit we can save up pretty easily.

    I assume second hand is the way to go?

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    Cheers Phil. I’ll have a look at those now.
    We’re saving for a nice house so eventually we will probably spend big but want something that will be good for a good few years.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    It’s like asking “I have a bike, how much should I spend upgrading it”?

    Without knowing what you have and what you can spend, it’s tough to say a thing.

    It might be that £100 would be worthwhile, who knows? Have you separate speakers/amp?

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    Haven’t got separate speakers or amp. Got a mega cheap thing with all built in just to dip the toe.
    I’d say budget would be £200-£300 but could go higher if we saved up.

    Premier Icon Gunz
    Full Member

    I’ve got an RP1 which I think sells for about £240 these days. I’m very happy with it and at that price point it generally comes out top in reviews (linked below). I’d say it’s about as low as you want to go if you intend making vinyl the centre of your ‘quality’ listening time. If £2-300 is your budget for a complete set up, I’d wait and save a bit to avoid re-buying it all again not far down the road (if you can wait 8 months, I’m upgrading to a RP3 and will be selling my RP1).

    https://www.whathifi.com/rega/rp1/review

    Premier Icon RustySpanner
    Full Member

    Have a word with this lot:

    Home

    They are genuinely excellent and carry a nice selection of fully refurbed secondhand stock.
    They’ll sort you out.

    Premier Icon derek_starship
    Free Member

    I’d recommend:
    Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT turntable
    Pioneer A-10AE Integrated Amplifier
    Wharfedale Diamond 210 bookshelf speakers

    £380ish the lot. New. Shop around

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Yeh sh at that price, will require homework tho.

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    If it’s just to be better than an 80s-style midi hifi box, then you could do a lot worse than:

    Cambridge Audio A1 amp – around £30 on eBay/gumtree/etc.
    Bookshelf speakers – Mordaunt Short/Wharfedale/Kef/etc. can all be had 2nd hand for ~£50
    The rest on a decent turntable, that AT-LP60 looks a good shout.

    Will sound loads better than what you currently have for less than £200 (unless you figure in another £3000/m for directional frictionless speaker cable…) and the 2nd hand stuff can be resold at $0 loss when it comes time to upgrade.

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    Superb. Looking into all of this now.

    Premier Icon darthpunk
    Free Member

    Cambridge Audio A1 amp

    I have one, make sure it has a phono pre-amp or factor that in. I don’t have one on mine but it was before I knew I wanted a turntable and bought a beringer one until I finally get round to a new amp (that was 20 years ago, so anytime soon really)

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    Looking on eBay I could get the ATLP60, Cambridge amp and mordaunt short speakers for about £130!

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    Rega on here are like a Gaggia coffee machine on here, I’ve got 3 retro turntables the cheapest with a brand new Rega cartridge a Rotel sounds pretty good if the vinyl is good quality and the album has to be good too

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    make sure it has a phono pre-amp

    Good spot. I just have mine connected to a MusicCast WXAD-01 for bedroom listening, never considered the pre-amp requirement. Still, around £30 for a cheapish Rega mini so not breaking the bank or if jree is feeling technical… https://hackaday.io/project/1885/logs

    Premier Icon jree
    Free Member

    I’m not technical!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I’d be upgrading it with a CD player. All the same joys of listening to an actual album only without it sounding like you’re frying chips whilst next door’s doing the hoovering.

    I get that people like vinyl for the ‘experience’ of it, records are a Nice Thing. But in terms of audio quality they’ve always been gash unless you’re prepared to spend thousands.

    Performing the Chinese Tea Ceremony isn’t gonna make your mug of PG taste better. (-:

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    Haven’t got separate speakers or amp. Got a mega cheap thing with all built in just to dip the toe.

    In that case you’ll need an amp to go with the turntable and speakers. Oh and slimline salad dressing.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    An older NAD amp can be had reasonably cheaply on eBay – a 302 or a 3020i will have phono preamp.
    Speakers – tons of second hand choice; Kef Coda 7 or 8, Mordaunt Shorts – perhaps MS10s and also loads of choice from Mission, Wharefdale, Tannoy, TDL….

    On the turntable front, Rega always seemed the go-to choice. NAD sold a turntable for a while that was basically a rebadged Rega, I think.

    Premier Icon mrmoofo
    Full Member

    Started to go down the Rega route – but bought a 2nd hand Technics SL1200 – which is just brilliant!
    Played through a Roxsan amp and B&W P1s …

    Have a Project Essential – and then never sounded as good as the Technics …

    Premier Icon StuF
    Full Member

    If you’re short of space, if you can find a turntable with optical output, you could do worse than ruark MR2 speakers. They’ve got a built in amp and Bluetooth so you can play Spotify through them and connect the turntable straight to the speakers

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    Rotel RA820 or RA840 are excellent amps, they pretty much set the benchmark for quality budget amps, with nothing but the essential inputs, and a hefty transformer to drive them. They have a phono stage, plus inputs for tape, cd and tuner, IIRC, plus instead of a balance control the volume knob is split concentric, so you just turn one half of it to balance the sound. I worked Saturdays in a HiFi shop, and sold lots of them, this was in the early 80’s. A Rega P1 with a decent cartridge like an Audio-Technica would be a great combo, with some KEF, B&W, Monitor Audio or Mordant-Short bookshelf speakers.
    One little tip, if you’re putting the speakers onto small wall mounts or literally onto a bookshelf, put some fairly large blobs of blutak under the corners, it’ll stop any vibration or rattling and tighten up the sound.

    Premier Icon RichPenny
    Free Member

    “I get that people like vinyl for the ‘experience’ of it, records are a Nice Thing. But in terms of audio quality they’ve always been gash unless you’re prepared to spend thousands.”

    Disagree strongly, decent budget TT can sound really good. Would not disagree that a CD player would measure better in a lab, but I don’t listen to measurements.

    For that budget, I’d have a look at Gumtree rather than Ebay. Ebay definitely seems a sellers market at the moment. Rega, Project and Dual are 3 budget deck manufacturers worth a look at. Rega likely to retain the most value – you can see 25 year old P2 and P3’s going for over £200 still. Amp and speakers there’s a lot more choice at that level and a bargain will come up.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Full Member

    I’d be upgrading it with a CD player. All the same joys of listening to an actual album only without it sounding like you’re frying chips whilst next door’s doing the hoovering.

    You’ve clearly only ever listened to poor quality records

    Premier Icon mrmoofo
    Full Member

    My hearing isn’t great – but CD sounds better than vinyl. ESP a lot of the cheap 80s stuff i own.
    But compressed digital can also sound flat ….

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    If you’ve got a good hi-fi shop nearby I’d go along and have a test of some things. May give you an idea of how much you think you should spend. I’ve done it a couple of times. When buying the speakers I went in with a pair in mind but the difference between them and the ones we bought was marked. Ours is probably what most would call a budget system, Project Debut, Marantz PM 4000 amp and some Kef (Cresta I think) speakers and a Technics cd player I just managed to fix. One day I hope to be able to get some really good kit but I’ve never listened to really high end stuff and this gives me real pleasure.

    Premier Icon derek_starship
    Free Member

    Go CD. Cheaper, easier to store and higher consistency of quality.
    Onkyo C7030 is incredible for the money.

    Premier Icon homerun
    Free Member

    Another recommendation for the Rotel RA820. I pulled my old one out of the attic to get a system sorted for the daughter.

    A Revolver Rebel turntable I have sounds better through it than with the Marantz mcr603 I’ve got now.
    But the Project debut DC sounds better through the Marantz than the Rotel 🤔. The Rotel also has a built in phono stage 👍
    Still plenty out there. This ones on ebay as an example.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/183834992792

    Premier Icon brads
    Free Member

    Project debut carbon through an Onkya A9010 an Acoustic energy ae1 speakers.

    Cheap as chips and great sound as well as looking smart as cats.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Full Member

    Join the good folk on the Audioshite Facebook group. There’ll be plenty of people there to point you to a quality bargain or two.

    Good for bouncing eBay finds off too, they’ll soon let you know if it is shit (bad) or shite (good).

    Premier Icon stevied
    Free Member

    Q Acoustics speakers are worth a look. Very happy with mine and Richer Sounds do various price-points:
    https://www.richersounds.com/search/?q=q+acoustics

    Premier Icon failedengineer
    Full Member

    I started to use my old Dual CS-505 again a while ago. It has an A&R cartridge and it sounds pretty good to my old ears. It’s playing through a Cambridge Audio A1 Amp with a Rega phono stage. Speakers are KEF Crestas on decent stands. I’ve also got a NAD CD player. Comparing LPs and CDs is difficult though, because the quality varies so much. I find some of my really old albums (almost 50 uears old!) sound better than some newer cds. Maybe not as detailed, but certainly ‘richer’.

    Premier Icon aphex_2k
    Free Member

    Could you onot just, listen to a whole album on Spotify?

    Premier Icon kula72
    Free Member

    I have the AT-LP5 and rate the sound out of it (marantz avr, AKG612’s and q3020i’s). But I do fancy a nice vintage deck and receiver.

    Some albums have to be played on Vinyl. Stone Roses for example, sounds terrible on CD release. I switch between streaming and vinyl. Both sound good but there are differences from album to album.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    You’ve clearly only ever listened to poor quality records

    Nah. Can’t get any better than brand new records and we had plenty of those back in the day. My dad and I used to collect vinyl when I were a lad and played it on his decent setup – a proper B&O before Philips bought them and shoved a load of average Philips componentry into them. Sounded the mutts nuts back then….then he came home with his first CD player and a copy of Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. Within the first few seconds I knew the vinyl collection was going in the loft. never looked back since and the turntable saw little use from then. Sure you can spend many thousands of pounds and get a turntable setup to sound as good as a few hundred quid CD setup….but why?

    but having said that I understand the whole ritual of the vinyl thing. The experience is more than the final sound quality, so crack on I’d say…whatever floats your boat. Some people like their old skinny steel tubed brazed lug bikes instead of modern bikes. Heck some people are still driving manual gearboxes in their cars!! Us humans are fickle creatures.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    You’ve clearly only ever listened to poor quality records

    How do you know what’s a good quality record? Answer – you don’t. You can, however, be fairly certain that most recent pressings will at least be on a decent weight vinyl; there’s still no guarantee that the stereo master has been made with vinyl in mind, or that the engineer mastering the stampers for pressing the vinyl is any good! Those processes are crucial to getting a good result, but still open to the same issues I posted about earlier, except that if stereo masters used for vinyl were created for CD, the opposite to back in the 80’s, then records could suffer a lot of jumping and other problems.
    Vinyl is a compressed media, just like MP3’s are, it’s just a different media, only vinyl is an actual material, and subject to issues like scratching, warping, poor mastering, dust getting into the grooves, etc; those issues are exacerbated when buying vintage vinyl, especially if it was made in the 80’s! Vinyl back then was rubbish, absolutely crap! The oil crisis meant pressings were much, much thinner, I’ve had albums so thin and flexy I could bend them until the opposite sides touched, not only that, unsold records were sent back and recycled, by just grinding them up and melting them down. Which would be fine, except that the paper label in the middle was ground down as well, so tiny fragments of paper appeared in new albums! I had an album once which popped and jumped all the way through, and when I looked at the disk closely, I could see tiny white specks in the grooves, bits of paper from labels. I bought Peter Gabriel’s fourth album ‘Security’, and had it replaced five times, because the pressings were so noisy they were unlistenable, literally like frying bacon in the background. That was one of the very first CD’s to be released, and I bought a copy and taped it in the shop, using the CD as a demo until I bought my first player, a Denon. I still have both of those items, BTW. Before anyone asks, I was playing vinyl on a Logic DM101 turntable, with a Zeta tonearm, and an AudioTechnica moving-coil cartridge, all-in, approximately £2500 of player, and that was in 1982! I think have enough experience from twelve years of buying vinyl, 1970 to 1982, to know what good vinyl is, and what isn’t, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest that with the current fad for vinyl there’s a push to getting anything out on the shelves, without much regard for the quality, because there are many buying it who never play it, they listen to the free download instead. My mate Nick recently had his Linn Basik sorted out, and he’s been buying vinyl copies of stuff he’s got on CD, because there was never a vinyl release, and he’s had significant issues with some pressings he’s received, like warping.
    Accept the fact that there are some on here who’ve got a lot more experience of vinyl and it’s sonic deficiencies than you have.
    Oh, and go and read the book I posted a link to, it goes into lots of background on the whole recording process, far more than can be covered here.

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