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I've never really dipped my toe into vinyl. I've been a physical disk kind of person, but have always opted for CD. There's been a few reasons for this which I won't get in to, but now I'm looking at possibly, just maybe, looking at a turntable. Not immediately. Late this year would likely be the earliest. But I do want to start investigating the possibility.

 

I'm interested in what a decent "beginner" turtable would be. The Rega Planar 3 looks to get good write ups (although maybe not the cartridge?). Are there other options that I should consider at around (or cheaperthan!) the same price? If I was to go with the Rega, shoudl I be looking at a different cartridge, and if so which one?

 

it is going to be connected to a Yamaha A-S1000 amp's intergrated MM phono stage. If there are potential issues here as well, I'd love to know. I know a little, but not much, about turntable in general so am open to any and all suggestions!

 

(Also suggestions on how to quickly build a collection of vinyl when living in Melbourne)

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NO!!  Shoot that damn rabbit!  Do not follow it down the rabbit hole (or you will regret it).     Andy  

well this is the end result of the urge, for anyone that's interested! The turntable arrived today (and the vinyl only a couple  of days prior). Now looking forward to a weekend of listening enjoyment

Sorry,  I think we are getting to deep into it. The OP asked for a decent beginner table.   

Quite a few TT 2nd hand on Stereonet, Dual's and Thoren's were pretty simple and robust. When I used to buy albums I set a budget of 2 new albums a week (I got paid weekly), depending on what you like op shops and classifieds here for 2nd hand.  Occasionally you will find somebody selling their old collection at garage sales or on Gumtree and you can pick up some gems. 

Edited by Rosco8
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33 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

 

I've never really dipped my toe into vinyl. I've been a physical disk kind of person, but have always opted for CD. There's been a few reasons for this which I won't get in to, but now I'm looking at possibly, just maybe, looking at a turntable. Not immediately. Late this year would likely be the earliest. But I do want to start investigating the possibility.

 

 

NO!!  Shoot that damn rabbit!  Do not follow it down the rabbit hole (or you will regret it).  :lol:

 

Andy

 

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49 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

I'm interested in what a decent "beginner" turtable would be.

 

It is different things to different people.   My take on it, is that it is the minimum quality turntable that will not damage records and will produce a good hifi sound -  somewhere in the same ballpark as CDs and hires MP3s.

 

This is often best achieved by a basic manual turntable.  Pro-ject Elemental, Primary, and Essential lines, and Regas, starting with the Rega Planar 1.

 

Since you mention the Rega Planar 3, yes certainly OK.

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1 hour ago, Fangzie said:

I'm interested in what a decent "beginner" turtable would be.

what's your current digital setup? cos if you have a good digital setup a beginner turntable might be not as good 

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1 hour ago, mloutfie said:

what's your current digital setup? cos if you have a good digital setup a beginner turntable might be not as good 

 

Currently using a CD-S1000 as my cd player

 

2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

It is different things to different people

 

Yeah, I understand it's not universal as a term so I guess what I specifically am looking for is a turntable that is useable for a new-comer to vinyl - I understand there can be some with tricky suspension or finicky tone-arms. I'm trying to avoid these. I'm looking for a turntable that will be newbie friendly but won't provide underwhelming sound quality (like I suspect I might find on the budget options).

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18 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

. I'm looking for a turntable that will be newbie friendly but won't provide underwhelming sound quality (like I suspect I might find on the budget options).

 

This is a nice balance between ease of use and set up without breaking the bank.

https://klappav.com.au/collections/music-hall/products/mmf-3-3-turntable-black

 

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21 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

 

Currently using a CD-S1000 as my cd player

 

 

Yeah, I understand it's not universal as a term so I guess what I specifically am looking for is a turntable that is useable for a new-comer to vinyl - I understand there can be some with tricky suspension or finicky tone-arms. I'm trying to avoid these. I'm looking for a turntable that will be newbie friendly but won't provide underwhelming sound quality (like I suspect I might find on the budget options).

If you're coming from a $2000 SACD player expect a step down in detail retrieval to a $1000 deck but it might still give you a better or "different" experience still over CD

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5 hours ago, Fangzie said:

I've never really dipped my toe into vinyl. I've been a physical disk kind of person, but have always opted for CD. There's been a few reasons for this which I won't get in to, but now I'm looking at possibly, just maybe, looking at a turntable. Not immediately. Late this year would likely be the earliest. But I do want to start investigating the possibility.

 

Welcome to the vinyl world !

 

I started doing the same thing about 10 months ago and just loving it.

Dusted off my old record collection and bought a middle of the range new turn-table to go with my system. Have to say that, I am enjoying  vinyls (mostly the 70's and 80's pressing) a lot more than digitally recorded music.

 

Cheers.

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2 hours ago, Fangzie said:

I understand there can be some with tricky suspension or finicky tone-arms. I'm trying to avoid these. I'm looking for a turntable that will be newbie friendly but won't provide underwhelming sound quality (like I suspect I might find on the budget options).

All the ones being talked about willfit the bill.  Nothing finicky or tricky.  Just simple manual operation.  All will sound good as they come, and even improve with a cartridge or even maybe a stylus upgrade later if you desire.  You mentioned the Rega 3.  I think I would rate that as a step up from the basic beginner level.

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You can do a lot worse than sourcing a vintage Victor TT-Y5 from Japan. $800 for the table, $330 for a full recap and installation of quality RCA sockets and a banana plug for earth (I provided the sockets and banana plug) + a 240 to 110V step down transformer and you'd be doing very well to better it's performance ever. There are various tweaks like SDS IsoPlatMat, deadening the plinth etc that you can do to improve it still further.

 

I'm rapt with mine. Far better performance for the cost than it possible with new tables.

Edited by MattyW
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6 hours ago, andyr said:

 

NO!!  Shoot that damn rabbit!  Do not follow it down the rabbit hole (or you will regret it).  :lol:

 

Andy

 

Seconded. I'm already in too deep to dig myself out.

 

On a more serious note I think I can set some expectations on what to expect from a turntable connected to the same amp and out gear compared to digital.

 

Bass on the TT will be softer, less impactful. More thud than thump so to speak. You will also get well acquainted with a high noise floor from things such as surface noise and distortion.

 

Treble will start to match that from digital with cartridges roughly $200 and up.

 

Magic will happen in sound staging and positioning. There's more air, more precision, and a bit of that surreal floating feeling you get when you're drunk without being drunk.

 

MM carts are easy to handle. MC gets a bit technical with load matching from the phono.

 

Turntable setup isn't that difficult in my experience. Alignment needs a small flathead screwdriver, an alignment protractor (from the internet), a steady hand and a bit of fiddly back and forth. Tracking force with MM is fairly lenient. Some can do +/- 0.5g and still work as expected. Though I heard MC will be more finicky.

 

Some people say VTA isn't as important but I wouldn't get one without it. VTA makes a noticeable difference to the sound and TT without it will have to resort to changing slip mats to adjust VTA.

 

Slip mats make a real difference to sound. They're also overpriced for what they do. I have one.

 

As for actual recommendations, I don't like Rega in general. I like to change carts around so a removable headshell is a must for me. I'd go for the Drop + Audio Technica Carbon VTA for less than 1/2 the price. It's the 'entry' TT I'd want because it cuts the right corners while adding the right premium construction and features. Full metal base, VTA adjustment, true bypass for internal phono, straight carbon fiber arm, removable headshell and a known quality belt drive.

 

Records are expensive, large, and sometimes heavy. International shipping on records sometimes costs more than the record itself. Some of the records look darn pretty though.

 

I've got more to say but I hope the rabbit hole is clear enough for all to see.

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1 minute ago, gunxsword said:

Seconded. I'm already in too deep to dig myself out.

 

On a more serious note I think I can set some expectations on what to expect from a turntable connected to the same amp and out gear compared to digital.

 

Bass on the TT will be softer, less impactful. More thud than thump so to speak. You will also get well acquainted with a high noise floor from things such as surface noise and distortion.

 

Treble will start to match that from digital with cartridges roughly $200 and up.

 

Magic will happen in sound staging and positioning. There's more air, more precision, and a bit of that surreal floating feeling you get when you're drunk without being drunk.

 

MM carts are easy to handle. MC gets a bit technical with load matching from the phono.

 

Turntable setup isn't that difficult in my experience. Alignment needs a small flathead screwdriver, an alignment protractor (from the internet), a steady hand and a bit of fiddly back and forth. Tracking force with MM is fairly lenient. Some can do +/- 0.5g and still work as expected. Though I heard MC will be more finicky.

 

Some people say VTA isn't as important but I wouldn't get one without it. VTA makes a noticeable difference to the sound and TT without it will have to resort to changing slip mats to adjust VTA.

 

Slip mats make a real difference to sound. They're also overpriced for what they do. I have one.

 

As for actual recommendations, I don't like Rega in general. I like to change carts around so a removable headshell is a must for me. I'd go for the Drop + Audio Technica Carbon VTA for less than 1/2 the price. It's the 'entry' TT I'd want because it cuts the right corners while adding the right premium construction and features. Full metal base, VTA adjustment, true bypass for internal phono, straight carbon fiber arm, removable headshell and a known quality belt drive.

 

Records are expensive, large, and sometimes heavy. International shipping on records sometimes costs more than the record itself. Some of the records look darn pretty though.

 

I've got more to say but I hope the rabbit hole is clear enough for all to see.

 

Then there's low output moving iron.... The Grado Statement Master 1 is by far the best performing, most natural sounding cart I've ever heard. Not a fan of the high output versions as those don't strike me as natural at all. That said, LOMI carts simply do not work with step up transformers. You need quality active amplification such as the MC section of a phone stage or a MC head amp such as the Aksa Paris to get it to work correctly. Sadly the MC section of most phono stages leaves a bit to be desired so you're better of with a stand alone head amp with the phono stage. Correct loading is critical for the best with these carts.

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5 hours ago, Fangzie said:

 

Currently using a CD-S1000 as my cd player

 

 

Yeah, I understand it's not universal as a term so I guess what I specifically am looking for is a turntable that is useable for a new-comer to vinyl - I understand there can be some with tricky suspension or finicky tone-arms. I'm trying to avoid these. I'm looking for a turntable that will be newbie friendly but won't provide underwhelming sound quality (like I suspect I might find on the budget options).

 

It will be very easy for any decent turntable to beat this yammy.

 

The yammy's elder brothers: CD-S3000, CD-S2100, CD-S2000 were all found to have absolute polarity inverted on both RCA (and XLR if available) outputs. It is entirely possible that the S1000 was similarly wired. 

 

If that is the case, as long as the cartridge is correctly wired, you should  be able to hear a more weighty and tangible presence, clearer imaging outlines and greater dynamic impact from even entry-intermediate level turntables. 

 

And if i may, i would buy new, and go for something better than entry level straightaway. The Technics SL1210 is worth considering. I like how easy it is to adjust the VTA without having to lighten/tighten any locking screws, and the whole arm stem only moves when the big vta adjustment wheel is turned. The s-shape arm generally sounds more natural. I use it with a otofon 2m bronze and the sound is superb for the money. 

Edited by jeromelang
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A few things to watch out for in advance:

 

Always remember to switch off digital  components around the proximity when you are playing records. 

 

Although a clamp is always recommended to prevent record slippages, but do not use any metallic  stabilizer/weights. The clearaudio plastic clever little clamp is cheap and does its job very well without exerting unnecessary magnetic field interference onto the cartridge and wires. 

 

Grounding wire for your phone cables are directional. If you happen to get a detached single wire for grounding, remember to try it both ways for confirmation - more recessed, wider and taller soundstage is always the correct one.

 

Dun buy aussie pressings unless it is a release by an aussie artiste under the copyright of an aussie label.

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Thanks for all the info and suggestions! In regards to VTA, is there a reason some turntables don't include it?

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6 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

In regards to VTA, is there a reason some turntables don't include it?

 

In regards to allowing VTA adjustment - it's simply mfrs' (such as Rega's) cost-reduction measures that cause this essential feature to be skipped.

 

Andy

 

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1 hour ago, Fangzie said:

Thanks for all the info and suggestions! In regards to VTA, is there a reason some turntables don't include it?

 

 

It's VTA adjustment actually, that is not provided.  They have a fixed VTA.   In an effort to create a lower end or beginners turntable,  most manufacturers provide a fixed headshell arm with their chosen cartridge already mounted and setup.  Provided you don't alter something, like the mat thickness, then VTA will be correct.   In the same way, some even have fixed or preset anti-skate.

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Hey, OP

 

Did you see this review?  Seems like what you were asking for.

" I'm talking about a suspended subchassis and overly-complex tonearm arrangements that demand hours of pin-point aligning accuracy. If that's your thing, then more power to you – but this deck showed us that there was a larger audience out there who simply wanted to enjoy their LP records…"

https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/pro-ject-debut-carbon-evo-turntable-review

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20 hours ago, aussievintage said:

Hey, OP

 

Did you see this review?  Seems like what you were asking for.

" I'm talking about a suspended subchassis and overly-complex tonearm arrangements that demand hours of pin-point aligning accuracy. If that's your thing, then more power to you – but this deck showed us that there was a larger audience out there who simply wanted to enjoy their LP records…"

https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/pro-ject-debut-carbon-evo-turntable-review

 

I actually just saw it when I jumped on today, but thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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On 18/01/2021 at 10:05 AM, Fangzie said:

I've never really dipped my toe into vinyl. I've been a physical disk kind of person, but have always opted for CD. There's been a few reasons for this which I won't get in to, but now I'm looking at possibly, just maybe, looking at a turntable. Not immediately. Late this year would likely be the earliest. But I do want to start investigating the possibility.

 

I'm interested in what a decent "beginner" turtable would be. The Rega Planar 3 looks to get good write ups (although maybe not the cartridge?). Are there other options that I should consider at around (or cheaperthan!) the same price? If I was to go with the Rega, shoudl I be looking at a different cartridge, and if so which one?

 

it is going to be connected to a Yamaha A-S1000 amp's intergrated MM phono stage. If there are potential issues here as well, I'd love to know. I know a little, but not much, about turntable in general so am open to any and all suggestions!

 

(Also suggestions on how to quickly build a collection of vinyl when living in Melbourne)

I suggest you get uninterested quickly ?

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"Hello my name is Alice - welcome to the Rabbit Hole !!"

 

(OK my name not really Alice...............I may be lying about that part)

 

I was not sure if I would like vinyl or not - so I brought an Audio Technica LP120 at the time - not very expensive but reliable enough for a newbie & the reviews are good for that as a starter turntable. A lovely member from here set it up properly for me.

 

I used it for about 2.5 months to test the hobby out. I used that table to get used to the vinyl & using a turntable and found out I loved the hobby and then brought a Technics 1200GR as I was committed to the hobby.

 

I then was able to sell the ATLP120 on Gumtree to another person wanting to test the hobby out and only lost $100 on the purchase price. 

 

I did not jump in too expensive without being sure I would like the sound of vinyl first though because it is different - but now I prefer it over digital.

 

I did not want to make a big financial commitment to a turntable without being sure I would actually get the benefit of the outlay. 

 

That was just over 1 year ago ...............and many noodle meals since coz I spent so much on Records in 2020.

 

 

hqdefault.jpg

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I don't think you will go too far wrong with the entry level/step up models being recommended here. But before you jump in think about the records you want and how much you want to spend on them. It will likely be more, possibly a lot more, than the turntable itself.

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41 minutes ago, Monty said:

. But before you jump in think about the records you want and how much you want to spend on them. It will likely be more, possibly a lot more, than the turntable itself.

 

This really is something to consider and I know that many (most?) people have record collections which are vastly higher in cost than the turntable which spins them.

 

As an approximate, let us assume an average ( new and used) price for LPs at $35 each and a collection of 150 records. This amounts to $5200, which I venture to suggest  is far in excess of what many people spend on a TT and cart.

 

I am in no way saying it is not worth it, but just making a point that the hardware is often the least expensive part of playing and loving a good vinyl album collection.

 

Edited by rantan
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On 18/01/2021 at 9:35 AM, Fangzie said:

 

(Also suggestions on how to quickly build a collection of vinyl when living in Melbourne)

Gum tree and garage sales buy bulk lots for cheap.Keep the ones you want that are good condition then move on the rest.You will have a collection in no time.

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That is true the cost of the LPs will likely be more expensive than your Vinyl/Cart setup - but same can be said for CDs and CD players and DVDs and DVD players if you collect those. 

 

Gosh - even ink refill cartridges cost more than the printers !!

 

I would not let that put you off .................seriously,  grab the best entry level Turntable you can afford - get a couple of LPs and test the waters - you can always upgrade to a better turntable if you like the "sound" of what you are hearing. If you do not like it you can sell the turntable without too much of a financial loss.

 

Records are the most inconvenient thing ever - you gotta flip them over every 22 mins per side - you got to store them, re-sleeve them if that is your jam, put outer covers on to protect the jackets ............clean them ...............................they are work .......................and they can break your heart if you get a poor pressing or one arrives in the post with a scratch or scuff from the manufacturer ................................. but - the joy of hearing a lovely well mastered record is so rewarding and worth the inconvenience.

 

When I was on a different forum and asking the same question as you, people there were really mean to me and told me to forget about it and do not start  the hobby and it was not for me................but I knew I really wanted to see for myself and had been thinking about it for nearly a year.........................then someone told me to come here on SNA and it was such a help to me and encouraging .........................I am so glad for all the help I was given here (and still am) and the friends I have made along the way.

 

I say if you really want to try it, do it ...................................for all the negatives, the rewards are great if you love it.................and remember it is about the Music - 

 

I cannot wait to see you post in the Currently Spinning Vinyl Thread ?

 

 

Edited by April Snow
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1 hour ago, rantan said:

 

As an approximate, let us assume an average ( new and used) price for LPs at $35 each and a collection of 150 records. This amounts to $5200, which I venture to suggest  is far in excess of what many people spend on a TT and cart.

 

This is spot on. The rabbit hole is the record collection and not to mention the obsession of getting the best/better pressing kicks in 

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On 20/01/2021 at 1:16 PM, rantan said:

 

This really is something to consider and I know that many (most?) people have record collections which are vastly higher in cost than the turntable which spins them.

 

 

Absolutely. I think even my CD collection has cost me more over time than my spinner, and a lot of those disks were cheap. I'm not terribly stressed about this factor. I don't exactly get to spend huge amounts of time every week just listening to music, so a small but growing collection will be just fine for my needs at least initially.

 

On 20/01/2021 at 1:56 PM, April Snow said:

Records are the most inconvenient thing ever - you gotta flip them over every 22 mins per side - you got to store them, re-sleeve them if that is your jam, put outer covers on to protect the jackets ............clean them ...............................they are work .......................?

 

Strangely, this is what I'm looking forward to the most! The ritual of playing a record looks like it creates a far more involved experience, and in the age of everything being just a button click away, that actually sounds pretty enticing

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24 minutes ago, Fangzie said:

 

 

 

Strangely, this is what I'm looking forward to the most! The ritual of playing a record looks like it creates a far more involved experience, and in the age of everything being just a button click away, that actually sounds pretty enticing

That is what I love about Vinyl too (besides the sound) it is a tactile and engaging experience and I feel connected to it. The nice big artwork helps too.

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On 18/01/2021 at 10:41 AM, andyr said:

 

NO!!  Shoot that damn rabbit!  Do not follow it down the rabbit hole (or you will regret it).  :lol:

 

Andy

 

So true.  Heheh i too got prewarned before i embarked on this crusade.... 6 years ago..   and along with all the joys and heartaches it gave me...  Love it!!

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3 hours ago, Fangzie said:

Strangely, this is what I'm looking forward to the most! The ritual of playing a record looks like it creates a far more involved experience, and in the age of everything being just a button click away, that actually sounds pretty enticing

 

This for me is the 1 true reason why i keep spinning those records..  It forces you to appreciate each and every track on each side.  And that is the whole experience that i find very relaxing.  Just appreciate the medium in its warts and all for what its worth.   And if you get OCD on this, then thats when it gets expensive...

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On 18/01/2021 at 10:05 AM, Fangzie said:

I'm interested in what a decent "beginner" turtable would be. The Rega Planar 3 looks to get good write ups (although maybe not the cartridge?). Are there other options that I should consider at around (or cheaperthan!) the same price? If I was to go with the Rega, shoudl I be looking at a different cartridge, and if so which one?

(Also suggestions on how to quickly build a collection of vinyl when living in Melbourne)

The Rega and project tt's are usually where people start thier journey to dip thier feet in..  My first rig was an RP3 red, Ortofon bronze and a Nighthawke Phonostage.  In some way it was a good starting point and probably should have left it there..   6 mths later.. i bit on the MC wagon and there on is where i started pouring $$$$$$$$$$$ ....  2 TT's, 5 phonostages, 3 mc carts later, i calmed down and this is now my baseline...

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10 minutes ago, MrBurns84 said:

 

This for me is the 1 true reason why i keep spinning those records..  It forces you to appreciate each and every track on each side.  

 

i appreciate the digital convenience of skipping tracks or progressing through whatever combo takes your fancy regarding artists, genres, release, etc etc

however in most cases the artists are working towards releasing an album and this collection of songs are bound by the world as the artist experiences it at a given time and place (including who is/isn't there with them). we're asking the to express something and share their a window into their universe. this is embedded in each song in some way or another and its when elements of this resonates with your space-time journey that connection sparks. why wouldn't you want to tap into that in its full? otherwise its like only watching 3 scenes per movie or pulling together pages from several books and calling it a novel. you're literally only getting a fraction of the story and missing the full experience of what your artist has for you. 

 

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My advice to the OP is to just give it a go.  Purchase a TT either new or second hand that's already completely configured/set for  so you need not be concerned about things such as alignment, VTA, VTF, SRA etc.  To be honest this is where there is some debate and for a starter it gets overwhelming very quickly.  There's simply no need to understand these things to reap the joys of listening to vinyl on a preconfigured TT!

 

For simplicity please choose a Moving Magnet cartridge, so you don't have to think about cartridge loading (your phono stage may not even be able to handle the alternative Moving Coli type anyway). 

 

The only thing you need to do when you get home is just make sure the TT is level.

 

You can make progressive upgrades on things such as phono stages too in time if you feel the bug is biting.

 

Others are right - the bug can bite.  For the record I'm glad i've been bitten though :) - however buyer beware!!!!!!

 

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It's an addictive exercise.

My first decent TT was a Dual CS 501, the one with all the head shell problems.

Then I moved on to a Rega RP3. Of course I upgraded it.

That led me to a Linn Sondek LP12. There's not much original Linn left in it now.

Then onto Kuzma. Beautiful engineering, but not cheap!

Along the way I also picked up a Pink Triangle P Two, a Thorens TD 280 Mk.2and a Pioneer PL-51 DD turntable as well.

So beware, it is very much as case of "down the rabbit hole"!

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On 24/01/2021 at 5:24 PM, qik_shift said:

My advice to the OP is to just give it a go.  Purchase a TT either new or second hand that's already completely configured/set for  so you need not be concerned about things such as alignment, VTA, VTF, SRA etc.  To be honest this is where there is some debate and for a starter it gets overwhelming very quickly.

 

 

Well I've had a very kind SNA member make me an offer that was too good to pass up, so looks like I'm doing exactly this! Moving a little faster than I had initially planned, but that's certainly something I can live with.

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2 hours ago, Fangzie said:

 

Well I've had a very kind SNA member make me an offer that was too good to pass up, so looks like I'm doing exactly this! Moving a little faster than I had initially planned, but that's certainly something I can live with.

That's great news!  Welcome to the club :) 

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Hello! 

 

I started off with a Garrard 86sb which I picked up off GT for $150 To get me going. 

 

Honestly, work with your budget, anything that works steadily does the job to begin with. Then build from there. I still have my Garrard and my main one now is a RP6 with a black cart. 

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On 18/01/2021 at 10:05 AM, Fangzie said:

Also suggestions on how to quickly build a collection of vinyl when living in Melbourne


Umm... sell your body? Rob a bank? ?

 

It's a slippery slope my friend. In my experience, Melbourne isn't cheap when it comes to vinyl, but there was one place it Fitzroy that wasn't too bad. I'll try to figure out what it's called. I visited several in that area when I was there last, and most were too rich for my blood.

 

Also, it's probably been mentioned, but you'll want a dedicated phono stage to boost the signal. Generally, built-in phono stages on amps aren't good and your audio will be muffled.

 

P.S: I have a Rega planar 2 with stock cartridge and it's fine for a beginner. You can always upgrade cartridge and phono stages later, if you get stuck in the vortex ? I started with a $35 Behringer phono stage, which was better than any built-in phonos I had at my disposal.

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