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blakey72

Goldilocks zone. Where does the magic begin and end?

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So I've got a long term plan for the future. I might have mentioned it on some other threads, I plan on getting a system that is end game or 'a keeper'. Not saying some of the gear I already have isn't keeper because it is,just a whole system that I won't change. I will however improve perhaps, especially the vinyl section. Speakers will stay, amp will stay, cd transport/player will stay. 

 

Now I'm currently looking at turntables. From all the reading I've done I kinda think there is a 'Goldilocks zone'. A position on the turntable chain where the magic begins and at the other end, a position where improvements just don't outweigh the cost. My current main vinyl setup isn't really impressing me greatly. The Project RPM5.1 was a decent starter but I feel I need to step up. I have two trains of thought with this. Get something like a Rega P8, maybe the position where the magic starts and make some minor improvements and be happy.  OR get something like a Linn LP12 and have the flexibility to improve to where gains just don't make enough sense to pour more money in. 

 

So I've kind of put two ideas/questions into one thread. One asking where do you roughly think the magic begins and ends (if it does) and do you think it's a good idea to have something you can keep pouring money into or would it be better to just get something good that you can maybe be happy with without never ending mods/upgrades? Is a $50k deck going to sound vastly ($46k) better than a $4k deck? Not that my budget will be $50k, more like $7-$8k max. I don't think I'd bother bringing carts into the question. 

 

Blake.

Edited by blakey72

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I personally think the magic starts at about $4k and ends at about $10k

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But vinyl consists of:

  • TT
  • arm
  • cart
  • phono cable, and
  • phono stage.

 

And 'TT' can often be broken down into:

  • the deck, and
  • the motor/motor speed controller.

 

Because of all these different components, I don't hold your view that my vinyl system should be static - or only have minor upgrades.  As I see it - any one of the above components can be improved significantly from what you might have - whether you've spent $4K ... or $10K!  :)  IOW - it's a journey !  (Which can be never-ending!  :lol: )

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr

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Maybe I'm just thinking deck and arm rather than vinyl system. I realize the pre and cart can make decent changes in sound. I might be focusing too much on one thing.

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@blakey72, when i saw the title starting with Goldilocks, i instantly thought, sitting in someone elses hifi chair. On a serious note i typed into google " linn sondek lp12 vs rega rp8 " , many interesting and varied opinions on both decks, I owned an LP12 for over 35 yrs with some upgrades over that time until the last rebuild which saw many changes to the point that i didn't like the sound of it, stopped using it and sold it.

I now have an old rega planar 2 which i have modified and love it, do i miss the LP12, no ,i listen to lots of LP's now, different cartridge, amp, speakers, as @andyr said, "it's a journey", we may tread the same path but always see(hear) things differently, or we would all have the same systems

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8 hours ago, blakey72 said:

I personally think the magic starts at about $4k and ends at about $10k

I've heard systems around the 2K mark that have blown my socks off so to speak.....some around Six figures that have had me scratching my head wondering what all the fuss is about....

Using your euphemism of "magic starts" ...well for me its when I'm thinking "f43k yeah" whilst listening.....irrespective of price ...tech...manufacture...gender..etc...

 

If the SQ is "grabbing me"...I'm in..

Like you though I've assembled a few end game items including my TT's which I have spent some considerable coin on but you know what....5 yeras later they still gab me ....so much so I have no intention of upgrading my vintage amps which have cost me 10% of the TT's

YMMV so i'd suggest going out and demoing stuff both BELOW and above your budget...you might be surprised.......and I didn't even mention synergy once....:P

 

Have fun 

Tase.

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I like a more in your face sound. I've heard a Hi End Linn (25k odd) with a Koetsu Rosewood Sig and it sounded fat and slow. First time I heard a Rega 8, I thought Wow.

If I'm playing vinyl, I want it to catch my attention and keep me there. Might only be one LP. Like what was said above, you need to hunt around and listen. Tooooo many alternatives these days I feel. Somebody had an SP10 mark 3 for sale with a custom plinth. Not only should that sound good, but it looked bloody good as well.

I feel looks are important.

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Damn. I'm trying to get off this hunt/journey train and it seems like unless you take up another hobby, there's no easy way off until you find. 

 

First thing I'm going to do is get my room acoustics as 'right' as I can. Then I'm not fighting so much against room sound.

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The "magic starts" when I sit back, and the music takes me on an emotional experience, and the hardware vanishes despite my interest in it.  I have experienced this in high-end systems and mid-level systems (obviously, with the higher-end systems sounding better), and I have not experienced it in many other high-end systems. 

 

The "magic" is generally correlated with price, but not always.  It's also dependent on your personal preferences in reproduction, your other equipment, and the room.  My advice is to think of your turntable as a long-term investment, and buy the best you can afford that gives you the magic. 

 

And as noted above, the magic will depend on the arm/cart combo.  Get this wrong and a superb tt will sound lousy, get it right and you will be excited.

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10 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

My advice is to think of your turntable as a long-term investment, and buy the best you can afford that gives you the magic. 

That's the thing I'm probably getting at. What is 'the best'  as far as just deck (not arm or cart) is concerned. What is a good start with room for improvement at about $6-$7k? 

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34 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

What is 'the best'  as far as just deck (not arm or cart) is concerned. 

You will get many different opinions on that. I like the big, bold sound of idlers because I think that's closest to how live bands sound. Others will say that belt-drives do delicacy and detail better. Others again will say it's all about speed consistency and that because of this, direct-drive is the only way to go. I think you need to listen to as many variants as you can and see what floats your boat. Other people's opinions are just that. 

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4 hours ago, blakey72 said:

Damn. I'm trying to get off this hunt/journey train and it seems like unless you take up another hobby, there's no easy way off until you find. 

 

First thing I'm going to do is get my room acoustics as 'right' as I can. Then I'm not fighting so much against room sound.

I have one, and love it, but if you want to get off the hunt/journey train, the LP12 is not the way to do it!

 

You can do a lot worse than buying a Rega that comes in at you price point, optimise the cartridge and phono amp (which, so long as the underlying TT is good, make a big impact on the sound), and stop looking. There is a lot out there from Kuzma, VPI, and the like, but it seems to me that you need to spend close to  $10000 to really get beyond the Regas and get into high mass tables. Then when you have done that, the little voice at the back of your consciousness will be telling you that you need to upgrade from whatever cartridge you have to Lyra, phasmation, or whatever else it out there in cartridge land.

Edited by Juzbear

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There is no inherent need to keep upgrading a Linn--whatever model you have will be good. Whether it will be better than the competition is mostly subjective.

 

I have an old, no longer used Linn that I upgraded a bit and it sounds fine. The newer model that has gone a lot further up the upgrade path (remote power, suspension, ...) just sounds better to me.

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There are as many opinions as there are turntables for sale, but before you do anything it is worth giving some serious thought to what cart and phono stage you have or are intending to use.

IMO these are often overlooked when people go into higher priced TTs and the results can be underwhelming. If your budget was $7-8K for example, I would say that $1K for a cart would be the bare minimum and ditto for a phono stage. These two aspects will make at least as much, if not more, difference ( improvement ) to the overall result, as a premium TT would do

 

IF I were spending $8K this is what I would buy:

 

https://clefhifi.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=36&products_id=4366

 

Then I would add this: ( or similar ) according to taste.

https://krispyaudio.com.au/products/benz-micro-glider-cartridge.html

 

The above is my dream set up toward which I am (gradually ) working.

 

 

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3 hours ago, rantan said:

IF I were spending $8K this is what I would buy:

 

https://clefhifi.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=36&products_id=4366

 

Then I would add this: ( or similar ) according to taste.

https://krispyaudio.com.au/products/benz-micro-glider-cartridge.html

 

The above is my dream set up toward which I am (gradually ) working.

 

Why the Luxman over say the Rega P8 or P10? 

 

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Why the Luxman over the Rega ?

Because it is built to last a lifetime and the engineering ,build quality and sound is second to none at anywhere near the price. The Rega looks and feels cheap by comparison. Check out both and see/hear/feel the difference.

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1 minute ago, rantan said:

Why the Luxman over the Rega ?

Because it is built to last a lifetime and the engineering ,build quality and sound is second to none at anywhere near the price. The Rega looks and feels cheap by comparison. Check out both and see/hear/feel the difference.

Sold me haha. I think I'll spend a few days in Melbourne when I get closer to making a choice. Do the rounds of stores so I can get a feel for different brands. What are you running at the moment rantan?

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7 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

Sold me haha. I think I'll spend a few days in Melbourne when I get closer to making a choice. Do the rounds of stores so I can get a feel for different brands. What are you running at the moment rantan?

Good idea.

 

I have a fairly simple system at the moment consisting of a vintage Pioneer PL 50 with Garrot p77i cart,which ( the cart ) will be upgraded within a few months. I also run an original Rega Saturn CD which has just been refurbished with a new laser assembly and a general service. Next step is a new MC cart and a streamer.

Edited by rantan

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You could do a lot worse than this TT for the new asking price of just $3k.

 

 

Edited by TerryO

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On 02/11/2019 at 7:39 AM, Wimbo said:

I like a more in your face sound. I've heard a Hi End Linn (25k odd) with a Koetsu Rosewood Sig and it sounded fat and slow.

....Pop over to my place sometime.....I think you'll like it...:P

 

Tase.

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13 minutes ago, Tasebass said:

....Pop over to my place sometime.....I think you'll like it...:P

 

Tase.

I bet. I loved my LP12 also and it was a mid 80's Valhalla with an Ittok  😎

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