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Current Best Entry Level Turntable?


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14 hours ago, Gerry_AU said:

May I ask why you sold the turntable?

Time to upgrade . . . . . hires is a good, balanced combination but no real upgrade path without messy mods to bypass onboard pre-amp (which doesn't naturally expose the cartridge directly)

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Stupid hobby... I upsold myself and have ordered a new Project Debut Carbon Evo in satin white. Adjustable feet, electronic speed control, adjustable tone arm should I wish to upgrade cartridge, no do

The OP has ordered a Project.....two days ago. He's happy.....😊

Haha, at least I will be once it arrives!

@NordustOK, I didn't realise ProJect had been around that long. I had a quick look around and the Debut III looks basically the same as the one I am getting. If you are happy with it and it does what you want, no point in spending more. As you say the technology would have changed now, but the look is the same.

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1 hour ago, Gerry_AU said:

Oh, fair enough. I think the HiRes will do me now

Please don't take my comment the wrong way.  It is  a very good turntable that I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I am sure you will.  It is why I spending more time listening to vinyl and have gone the 4x cost upgrade to separates! 

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8 hours ago, gibbo9000 said:

Please don't take my comment the wrong way.  It is  a very good turntable that I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I am sure you will.  It is why I spending more time listening to vinyl and have gone the 4x cost upgrade to separates! 

No offense taken, @gibbo9000 - didn't even enter my mind. I'm glad you are listening to your vinyl more! No, all I meant was for me it will be a good upgrade from my Audio-Technica. I am an avid MiniDisc enthusiast, so I spend a fair bit of time tinkering with them. One of the things I will be looking at is using the S/PDIF output from the turntable to record directly to my MD recorder :)

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10 hours ago, Nordust said:

The only thing I don’t like about my debut lll is the small platter. Now they use a full size platter so no problems there.

Oh, right - I didn't notice the small platter, the first IIIs I looked for seemed to have the normal platter, but then I noticed one that had the smaller platter so they have obviously come out with a few different versions of the III.

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On 19/09/2020 at 9:43 PM, Old Man Rubber said:

Audio Technica LP120X USB.  Easy to source and easy to sell when you are done.  Also a pretty fine bit of gear for the money.  The belt drive turntables are cheaper but the 120 is hands down better.

I did some research prior to buying and this came up trumps.
It's basically a Technics under a new banner but still technics under the hood

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On 19/09/2020 at 10:32 PM, Igotmearecord said:

I tend to agree with this but, if you prefer belt drive, the Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN offers belt drive with the same AT-VM95E cartridge fitted and can be had for a similar price ( no I don't have any affiliation with these guys) - 

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lpw40wn-manual-belt-drive-turntable-walnut.html

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lp120xusb-direct-drive-turntable-configurable.html

 

It is worth keeping an eye on JB HiFi for one of their promotions - 30% off - as they have both of these listed although the LP120 is in silver finish and Selby seem to have the black finish. They seem to run it a few times each year and there is a good chance one will come up soon, perhaps during October if they run their Rocktober promotion this year.

 

As Old Man Rubber said, these are easy to sell f you decide to upgrade or if vinyl is not your thing, and even easier to come close to breaking even if you can get them during a promotion.

I asked for discount when buying mine and got $100 off at the desk

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On 20/09/2020 at 11:03 AM, Gerry_AU said:

I have the original AT-LP120-USB which, according to Audio Technica, is a "Professional" USB and Analog Turntable System. This was not cheap at the time I bought it - I have had it for at least a couple of years now. This 'table is factory fitted with the AT95E cartridge/ATN95E stylus, which I have not changed and I have been quite happy with the sound reproduction.

 

I am using the 'table in conjunction with my Yamaha RX-V685 Receiver, which has a Phono input (MM compatible), and I have connected the 'table to it and set its Pre-Amp selector switch to Phono.

 

However, I have always had to really pump up the volume on the receiver to get a reasonable volume output when playing my vinyl. I'm not sure why this is the case, and I was hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction with this?? As far as I am aware, I have all the connections/settings correct.

 

Also, the hydraulically damped "cueing lever" does not work any more and I have noticed that during a quiet passage on a recording, I can hear motor noise. Given this is a Direct-Drive turntable, I am wondering if anyone else has noticed the motor noise?

 

Cheers,
Gerry

You need to add new liquid to the reservoir. I did and have not had an issue since

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9 minutes ago, Peter-E said:

I did some research prior to buying and this came up trumps.
It's basically a Technics under a new banner but still technics under the hood

I didn't think it is made by Technics.  I think it's made by AT to resemble a Technics table, but I doubt the quality is as good.

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2 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I didn't think it is made by Technics.  I think it's made by AT to resemble a Technics table, but I doubt the quality is as good.

Maybe they're both made by Hanpin?

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42 minutes ago, Peter-E said:

You need to add new liquid to the reservoir. I did and have not had an issue since

Hi @Peter-E, Thanks for the reply - I assume one has to pull the 'table to bits to add the new liquid? What is the new liquid and where can I get some?

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

I didn't think it is made by Technics.  I think it's made by AT to resemble a Technics table, but I doubt the quality is as good.

No what ever I read I can not find now.
I may have been confused by the name of the founder of Audio Technica, Hideo Matsushita as the company behind Panasonic who own Technics

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34 minutes ago, Gerry_AU said:

Hi @Peter-E, Thanks for the reply - I assume one has to pull the 'table to bits to add the new liquid? What is the new liquid and where can I get some?

No it's a pretty simple fix. Just a couple of screws on top from memory to remove the damper arm. 

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So the project arrived today, and brought with it very mixed feelings. It looks amazing, fit and finish is 10/10. I did notice a knock on the box, and am hoping it’s not the source of my issues. I set it up excitedly following the instructions and have a couple of issues.

 

Firstly, it sounds terrible. My wife even commented how bad it is; she is not into music and hasn’t noticed any change I’ve previously made, including speakers. It sounds as though someone has disconnected the tweeters, in so much as very dull. I also notice the woofers are moving a lot, to the point where I’m worried it’s going to damage the speakers. If I move back to my digital setup, the cone snaps back into uniform movement and everything sounds ‘normal’.


Secondly, I have hum at moderate to loud volumes. I can’t get past 10 o’clock without the hum appearing. I’ve cleaned all connectors on the amp with deoxit, and it does not appear with the amp on but not playing a record. Could it be a function of volume and vibration?

 

Setup is an Exposure 2010S2 with MM card, Focal 706. Sitting on a tv cabinet on a wooden floor in a high set house. Have already noted that footfall is an issue which worries me that vibration could be the cause of the hum. But I can’t explain the poor sound. Do turntables need break in? And can that make such a difference?

 

Cheers,

 Andrew 

 

35C899B7-B91E-448E-850A-A5C3DB19A1C8.jpeg

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16 minutes ago, Nordost said:

What lps are they? A lot of lps are of poor quality.

The new pressing of Powderfinger odyssey number 5, Atreyu In Our Wake, and the 180g 45rpm of Ed Sheeran collaborations.

 

I’ll have a crack at isolating cables tomorrow morning. The earth cable is being used, and I’ve cleaned the earth points with deoxit as well.

 

Kids are home so I’ve put it all aside for now, will revisit tomorrow morning!

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1 hour ago, Ruffter said:

Firstly, it sounds terrible. My wife even commented how bad it is; she is not into music and hasn’t noticed any change I’ve previously made, including speakers. It sounds as though someone has disconnected the tweeters, in so much as very dull. I also notice the woofers are moving a lot, to the point where I’m worried it’s going to damage the speakers. If I move back to my digital setup, the cone snaps back into uniform movement and everything sounds ‘normal’.


Secondly, I have hum at moderate to loud volumes. I can’t get past 10 o’clock without the hum appearing. I’ve cleaned all connectors on the amp with deoxit, and it does not appear with the amp on but not playing a record. Could it be a function of volume and vibration?

Hi @Ruffter,

 

Your turntable does not have an inbuilt phono stage (pre-amp), so I am assuming you are connecting it to MM card you mentioned you have in your amplifier.

 

I assume this card acts as a Phono Input. This is most likely your issue - I had the same issue with my ProJect Hi-Res, bypassing the pre-amp on the turntable and connecting directly to my Yamaha Phono Input.

 

This required turning up the amp to a ridiculous level - +10dB or so to get any volume out of the Phono Input on the amp - at this level there is a lot of hum and other noise. My normal (comfortable) volume level for other (line) sources is usually -22dB!

 

I got around my issue by using the pre-amp on the turntable and connecting the output to a line input (Aux) on my amp, this was perfect, plenty of volume and no hum at -22dB.

 

Note that I am guessing this may be your issue. Have you tried changing the RCA lead to something other than the one that came with the ProJect? You may need to invest in an external Phono Stage so you can bring the Phono Output from the turntable up to line level.

 

Hope you get it sorted, as it is very disappointing when things don't work as you would expect them to.

 

Regards,
Gerry

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So I seem to have fixed one issue, sort of. The hum is noticeably less if I move my left speaker out, as it was previously sitting right beside the turntable. I can still induce hum if I want, but now at higher volumes. Of note there is no hum with the turntable on and the arm in the rest, at any volume, which makes me think it is not a ground or noise problem.

 

I haven't made any headway on the bigger issue, which is the poor sound quality. Everything continues to be muffled. It maybe sounds a tiny bit clearer at high volume, but remains significantly worse then my digital setup. Given the box shows signs of rough handling, should I be looking at cartridge alignment and such? I was hoping for plug and play haha.

 

I've attached a photo cutting out as much of the floor as possible, it's school holidays and my lounge room looks like downtown Baghdad...

20201001_000057874_iOS (2).jpg

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I'm no expert so take this with a grain of salt, but a quick search reveals this quote, "Exposure 2010S2 review. As exciting and flamboyant as it is, the 2010S2 has too many caveats when it comes to dynamics and cohesiveness."

 

It is from What Hifi though, which gets routinely lambasted, but perhaps the phono card is no good? I doubt it'd be that as ime, having had a few budget turntables in the past and getting my first decent one this year (Rega P2) some of the most notable things that elevated it from those budget TTs were lack of hum and it was louder and more dynamic. And that was with a $40 Phono stage, so I doubt that's your issue. I have recently upgraded to a Vincent Pho 800 and there hasn't been a noticeable improvement.

 

Perhaps your cartridge isn't great?

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Just googled your deck and if it came with the Ortofon Red like it says online, then I doubt that's your issue as I've only read good things about it.

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18 hours ago, Ruffter said:

Firstly, it sounds terrible. My wife even commented how bad it is; she is not into music and hasn’t noticed any change I’ve previously made, including speakers. It sounds as though someone has disconnected the tweeters, in so much as very dull. I also notice the woofers are moving a lot, to the point where I’m worried it’s going to damage the speakers. If I move back to my digital setup, the cone snaps back into uniform movement and everything sounds ‘normal’.


Secondly, I have hum at moderate to loud volumes. I can’t get past 10 o’clock without the hum appearing. I’ve cleaned all connectors on the amp with deoxit, and it does not appear with the amp on but not playing a record. Could it be a function of volume and vibration?

The issue as you have described it sounds well beyond simply a tight / new cartridge - sounds like something is wrong.  So need to do whatever diagnostics you can on the components in the sound chain:

  • Is the MM Phone card in the amp fine using a different turntable or cartridge?  Can you borrow a different phono pre-amp to bypass the card in the amp and go straight line input?
  • Any physical signs of damage to the arm, cartridge wiring etc?
  • Basics of cartridge set-up OK - stykus force and antiskating as far as you can tell; stylus OK?  And alignment if you can check?

 

16 hours ago, Gerry_AU said:

I had the same issue with my ProJect Hi-Res, bypassing the pre-amp on the turntable and connecting directly to my Yamaha Phono Input.

Just a note on the Hires from my testing.  Unless they have changed the design it does not actually expose the raw cartridge out.  The push button switch on the pre-amp purely switches input to the pre-amp / A2D between phono and line in.  I checked that electronically on mine as it seemed strange - and thought about modifying the wiring so I could get at the cartridge out signal.  But the pre-amp is pretty good so used that as you are until I did a significant upgrade.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

I need a bit of help as I have made some advances over the weekend with my problem. A friend came around with his MM turntable with inbuilt phono stage to test my amp. With his turntable through my phono stage the same poor sound happened. I then tried his turntable with inbuilt phono stage through my line level, and it sounded good.

 

Now knowing the issue was with my amp, I cracked the lid for the first time to discover that I actually have an MC card installed in my Exposure 2010S2. I bought this unit second hand years ago and for some reason have thought this whole time it was an MM phono card. I've emailed audiofix, the Australian distributor for Exposure, who can sell me an MM card for $249 + delivery. What are peoples thoughts on what I should do for a phono stage? Outlay would have to be around that $250-$300 mark, maybe a smidge more.

 

Option 1) Pay the $249 + postage, and then have MM and MC cards for the exposure going forwards.

or

Option 2) Buy a separate phono stage around or below the similar price. I am thinking one of Project's offerings (Interdyn have offered a refurbished phono box E for $100), or a Schiit Mani, and maybe make a few dollars if possible selling the exposures MC card.

 

I have to add that Interdyn, the importer for the Project turntable, have been excellent with after sales service and assistance!

 

Thanks in advance,

Andrew

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5 hours ago, Ruffter said:

I then tried his turntable with inbuilt phono stage through my line level, and it sounded good.

I have the Yamaha RX-V685 which has a Phono Input, but if I connect my ProJect TT to it this way, I have to turn up the volume on the Yamaha extremely high to get anything like decent volume, and doing this induces hum and noise.

I use the inbuilt phono stage in the TT to my amp via one of the analog audio inputs, and it sounds great, as you have found testing with your friend's TT, so I am leaving it that way.

Unfortunately, you don't have that option, but you may find that the card for your Exposure will cost about the same as an external one. Good luck with it, and keep us informed!

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5 hours ago, Ruffter said:

Hi everyone,

I need a bit of help as I have made some advances over the weekend with my problem. A friend came around with his MM turntable with inbuilt phono stage to test my amp. With his turntable through my phono stage the same poor sound happened. I then tried his turntable with inbuilt phono stage through my line level, and it sounded good.

 

Now knowing the issue was with my amp, I cracked the lid for the first time to discover that I actually have an MC card installed in my Exposure 2010S2. I bought this unit second hand years ago and for some reason have thought this whole time it was an MM phono card. I've emailed audiofix, the Australian distributor for Exposure, who can sell me an MM card for $249 + delivery. What are peoples thoughts on what I should do for a phono stage? Outlay would have to be around that $250-$300 mark, maybe a smidge more.

 

Option 1) Pay the $249 + postage, and then have MM and MC cards for the exposure going forwards.

or

Option 2) Buy a separate phono stage around or below the similar price. I am thinking one of Project's offerings (Interdyn have offered a refurbished phono box E for $100), or a Schiit Mani, and maybe make a few dollars if possible selling the exposures MC card.

 

I have to add that Interdyn, the importer for the Project turntable, have been excellent with after sales service and assistance!

 

Thanks in advance,

Andrew

If your intention is to keep the Exposure amp for some time get the internal card, it will typically be better value as your not paying for a case or power supply, Exposure cards have a good rep.

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Cheers for the input chaps. I think this amp will be a keeper, but you never know! So I've decided to go a separate phono stage and have just ordered a Schiit Mani. Many good reviews around (and a few bad too), but will give it a crack and see. Plus it will match my black Modi 3, my Schiit-boxes are multiplying...

 

I've already completely blown the original budget on this turntable business haha, at this rate I'll have to give up beer to fund it! Here's hoping for a good result from the Debut Carbon Evo -> Schiit Mani -> Exposure 2010S2 -> Focal 706.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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8 hours ago, Ruffter said:

I've already completely blown the original budget on this turntable business haha, at this rate I'll have to give up beer to fund it! Here's hoping for a good result from the Debut Carbon Evo -> Schiit Mani -> Exposure 2010S2 -> Focal 706.

Great to hear you have sorted the problem, and I am sure the outcome will be worth it . . . . even if you have to give up beer temporarily.  Onwards and upwards until the next upgrade urge!

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