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MangledLeg

New home for turntable - cable and dampening suggestions?

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Hi all - I feel like a long-term lurker and not much of a poster! Hoping I could tap into your advice.

 

I’m putting the finishing touches on some new furniture in the lounge which means my turntable’s in a new cabinet (not a bad thing, it’s easier to access now!).

 

As part of the shift my current cable’s too short and I’m conscious of excess length. My setup’s as follows:

 

Turntable: Pro-Ject 1 Xpression III Carbon, stock arm with Ortofon Red

Amp: Yamaha RX-A2020, connected to the amp’s phono input

Current cable: The bundled 1m-ish long Pro-Ject cable (RCA + gnd cable, connected via RCA jacks and ground post on the back of the turntable)

New cable distance: 2.5m

 

Pro-Ject’s higher end interconnect on the Australian website (which I had my eye on anyway to start improving my setup bit by bit) is around 1.3m I believe, and this won’t be long enough. As the turntable is simply passing the cartridge’s output unamplified I don’t know what kind of length I can run to maintain (and hopefully improve) sound quality.

 

I figure I have 2 options:

 

1, get a decent quality 2.5m cable to suit and hope it’ll be okay

 

2, get a phono preamp, keep the current cable (or upgrade the interconnect at the same time!) and run fresh RCAs to the line-in on my RX-A2020.

 

While I like the idea of option 2, my concern is budget as I’m unsure how much I should be spending to get a solid improvement over the phono input on the AVR (which while not spectacular is still quite good from what I understand).

 

The only other question was dampening - the turntable came with spikes which I’ve kept fitted, should I also look at dampening for the spikes while I’m at it?

 

If anyone could offer some advice on my options or recommend anything I’d really appreciate it!

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7 minutes ago, MangledLeg said:

The only other question was dampening - the turntable came with spikes which I’ve kept fitted, should I also look at dampening for the spikes while I’m at it?

 

I keep seeing arguments about it, and still question whether spikes provide isolation or not.

 

For damping, has anyone tried the humble jaycar stuff

 

https://www.jaycar.com.au/combination-butyl-foam-super-sound-deadener/p/AX3689

https://www.jaycar.com.au/heavy-duty-sound-barrier-damping-material-improved/p/AX3680

https://www.jaycar.com.au/butyl-based-sound-deadening-material/p/AX3687

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Re cables, suggest @Bill125812 for decent good value cables. He can make you up a cable to your specs.

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@aussievintage: Interesting to hear! Mucking around with dampening kind of hit my brain at the last minute, will be interesting to see what others may say.

 

@lenticularis: Thanks for the tip - any thoughts if 2.5m would be too long to between the unamplified phono out to my amp?

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Posted (edited)

From phono stage out to amp is fine, it is from turntable to phono amp where length might be critical as longer means more capacitance.

 

Edit: Yes in you situation too long.

If I have it correct you are going from TT to the phono stage of the Yamaha amp? If running an MM cart this would be too long likely and too much capacitance.

 

Unless the cable has very low capacitance.

Edited by muon*

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Posted (edited)

The Ortofon 2M Red needs a load capacitance between  -  150-300 pF, where in that range depends what you prefer and the balance of the system as a whole.

 

Capacitance is a total of the capacitance of 'tone arm wires' + 'phono interconnects' + any 'load capacitor' on the input of the amps phono stage.

 

Edit: you need to look for a phono cable with a very low capacitance specification, if the amp's phono stage has a load of 200pf? you would need a cable of around 80pf, so check what the Yamaha amp's capacitance load of the phono stage is, if you can, if you are lucky it might be lower than 200pf and you could get away with a cable of higher capacitance.

Edited by muon*

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Thanks @muon*! That’s what I was afraid of and appreciate your technical points there.

 

Sounds like a phono pre is on the cards - I noticed a Vincent PHO-8 is in the classifieds at a nice price, does anyone have suggestions how this would compare to the phono stage in my RX-A2020?

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1 minute ago, MangledLeg said:

Thanks @muon*! That’s what I was afraid of and appreciate your technical points there.

 

Sounds like a phono pre is on the cards - I noticed a Vincent PHO-8 is in the classifieds at a nice price, does anyone have suggestions how this would compare to the phono stage in my RX-A2020?

If you can find a phono cable with a capacitance of 80pf odd, you could be OK, it all depends on the capacitance load built into the Yamaha's stage.

But then maybe a decent separate stage could sound better than the Yamaha's.

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

I keep seeing arguments about it, and still question whether spikes provide isolation or not.

 

For damping, has anyone tried the humble jaycar stuff

 

https://www.jaycar.com.au/combination-butyl-foam-super-sound-deadener/p/AX3689

https://www.jaycar.com.au/heavy-duty-sound-barrier-damping-material-improved/p/AX3680

https://www.jaycar.com.au/butyl-based-sound-deadening-material/p/AX3687

This looks similar to Dynamat and other deadening adhesive materials (eg. used to stop resonance on car panels).  This can be used to deaden plinths, platters (be careful of maintaining balance), electronics cases, etc.  It's good for electronics cases (eg. cd players) and glass shelves, etc.  It can help plinths, platters, etc, BUT too much will suck the life from the music/turntable.  At least it can be removed.  Application is important, give the surface a cleaning wipe with alcohol, and when it's applied apply burnishing pressure (it's only as effective as the adhesion to the surface). 

 

Spikes are one effective approach to manage turntable support.  The spikes don't need dampening.  There are other approaches - using mass (eg. stone shelf), vibration pads, squash balls, innter tyre tubes, etc,  all of which can be effective.  It all depends on the combination of the problem you are trying to solve, the room, the turntable, what it's sitting on, etc.  Experimentation is the way to find out what works best for you. 

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@muon*: Yeah, I reckon a separate stage will be the best solution here, just need to work out what my budget can accomodate. If $300 matches the amp then I’d need to jump higher, maybe $500-$600 second hand would be where I could push.

 

@audiofeline: Given the turntable’s fitted with spikes I’ll see how everything sounds once I have it up and running and then look into options. There’s also consideration of cartridge and platter as well in addition to phono pre and interconnects I guess!!!

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Try placing the Whites anti-vibration blocks from bunnings under the spikes, might add some vibration control, only 4 or 5 bucks to try.

 

Or place them under the bamboo board if the spikes sit on such.

 

Yeah, a 2M Blue or something similar would be a nice step up from the Red, a Blue stylus can be fitted in place of the Red's.

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35 minutes ago, muon* said:

Try placing the Whites anti-vibration blocks from bunnings under the spikes, might add some vibration control, only 4 or 5 bucks to try.

I keep a stack of them on hand as I am often moving turntables around and experimenting with how they are supported.

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I think there would be a lot of folk here who would recommend the Vincent pho-8 over the internal revenue pre-amp. Gives flexibility for both cables and any future cartridge changes.

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@muon* and @aussievintage: Those Whites blocks are dead cheap as you say! Always like a run to Bunnings, shame there’s no snags at the moment! I’m assuming these are the ones you’re talking about?

 

@Juzbear: Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely have to think about picking one up.

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29 minutes ago, MangledLeg said:

@muon* and @aussievintage: Those Whites blocks are dead cheap as you say! Always like a run to Bunnings, shame there’s no snags at the moment! I’m assuming these are the ones you’re talking about?

 

@Juzbear: Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely have to think about picking one up.

Yes, those are likely more suitable if you have the spikes directly into them as they are quite dense, but if you are placing them under a board/platform these might work better, they can be cut down in size if need be.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/whites-on-site-100-x-12-5mm-rubber-anti-vibration-mat-4-pack_p3961547

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @muon*, will look into that as well :)

 

For the preamp I’m looking at the Vincent PHO-8 but was also considering a Cambridge Duo - anyone happy to recommend one way or the other?

 

Edit: Or Rega Fono MM MK3?

Edited by MangledLeg

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There is a Vincent Pho-8 in the classifieds now...

 

 

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Yeah, that’s what prompted me to add it to the list :) Selby as the Rega Fono MM MK3 for under $500 though so am thinking on that as well!

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+1 for the Vincent, it is a very good sounding piece of kit especially at that price.

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Thanks @Batty - I’ve just sent the seller a message to give it a new home :)

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Also wanted to say thanks to @lenticularis for recommending getting in touch with Bill, have put in a request for a 3m cable to run between the preamp and the AVR :)

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Happy to help. 😁

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Just wanted to chime in to say thanks to everyone for your help again - I finally got around to finishing setting everything up and it’s working really nicely. The Vincent PHO-8 sits perfectly on the half-width shelf above the turntable and I’ve been able to run the cables neatly down the corner of the cabinet and then run behind to the AVR and power board out of sight. Added some cabinet lighting while I was add it too since I had the drill out so it looks a bit wanky, but I’m happy with the setup.

 

My initial impression was that there was a slight improvement, but I then went back and recalibrated the turntable, popped it on the isolation disks that Pro-Ject supplied with it and put the headphones on (how I tend to listen at night these days since loud music will wake up my [very patient] wife and son). After this I could definitely feel the new setup is a nice step up from relying purely on the phono input on the AVR. Definitely more lively and warm (subjective as that is!), synths and rhythm guitars definitely improved though not quite night and day. It must have been good because I ended up spinning a bunch of 45s that sit on the same shelf as the preamp for a lot longer than I thought I would!

 

I feel it’s an excellent outcome for me as it’s let me find a new home for the turntable that’s easier to use, is definitely a step up from the phono input and has been fun to start dipping my toes into preamps :)

 

It has gotten me thinking a bit more broadly for the setup in the lounge though, such as incorporating an integrated stereo amp with HT bypass to try and get the best of both worlds, or encouraging me to think a bit more broadly when it comes time to retire the RX-A2020 (which, tbh, is only because it doesn’t support 4K60/HDCP2.2/HDMI2.0, only 4K30 over HDMI1.4, and I have 4K sources). Would be interesting to see if there’s any capacity for separates at that stage, unsure if that’s likely though!!

 

I’ve attached an image of it spinning a recent find - Monta & Brothers’ early Japanese 80s synthpop/new wave-ish track Desire which I keep putting on when kicking off a listening session! Vincent’s in the top-right, it’s a very classy looking unit!

4873A0F8-6749-485F-9118-74C65E8B5DB8.jpeg

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