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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 02:10 
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The TT I have is the subject table, part number is ITUT-201SVR. I got it years ago and it's been sitting in the closet because the needle broke.

Doing some reading about cartridge types and so-forth, I begin to wonder about analogue audio technology, something I haven't really done before. The cartridge in this thing is a ceramic cartridge, needing neither additional gain nor equalization of a preamplifier. The turntable is meant to play records just to trans-record them into a digital format so they can be burned to CDs or loaded onto Ipods. I'd like to use it as a listening source. I'd also like to create the need for a phono preamplifier so I can build one using tubes (I'm thinking E88CC)

To do this, I think I'll need to upgrade the cartridge to a moving magnet type. I have looked into the different types and come to the following conclusions...

Ceramic - cheap, high (line level) output, capable of damaging records.
Moving Magnet - reasonably-priced, low output, high impedance, needs phono preamp
Moving Coil - ridiculously expensive, low impedance, needs phono preamp, high quality

I'd like to get a moving magnet type. I am not certain that this will necessarily fit in the same spot as my current cartridge. I'm also not certain it will work with the same tone-arm because of weight/balance issues. I'm also not certain it will perform as expected due to the circuitry present within the turntable itself. It has a USB out and a cable with two RCA plugs for line output. I'm not certain that the thing doesn't have some kind of preamplification inherent to the system.

So, I throw myself on your mercy in hopes that I'll learn something.

Ed

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 07:49 
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Ed,
I wouldn't waste another dime on that table. If you're not needing the onboard USB then dump it and start over. There are many fine turntables out there new or used. If you are going to use the USB, then there are still quite a few, much better options, such as the Audio Technica's. But I would scrap that idea as well and just get a good table, and build or buy a phono preamp.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 09:16 
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Location: Chilliwack, BC
One of my business partners is a TT expert and I must agree with Blackdog.

If you need USB, best to take a good vintage table and either upgrade the arm/cartridge or both, then run it into a really good DAC. Jelco arms are good bang for the buck.

As for moving coils, have you heard of the DL-110? High output moving coil (no special pre needed), not too expensive as MC's go and sonics inbetween a sweet MM like a Grado and a MC, like a DL-103.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 10:13 
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Hi, IMO not worth the trouble. But... you might post your questions on vinylengine.com forum for turntables. Lots of good folks there. Depending on your budget there are many options. However beware of any new turntables regardless of brand and features that list for under about $250. Most are pretty pathetic and marginal performers. Avoid "DJ" turntables if you are serious about music. Some of the better ones like those from Numark and Stanton that run in the $400 range are fairly good. But for that price you can get a new "U Turn" and a preamp. True it is all manual, but from all accounts a good machine. Entry level Pro-jects (Debut III) and Regas are in the just sub $400 range and are good. Still as you can see the cost of new stuff is not inconsequential. If you are handy with tools and such.....there are many good used vintage turntables. Most require cleaning and lubrication. Dual brand ones are quite popular and durable. I have one that is a daily driver from 1975. I expect it to run for probably that much more. Like I said in the start check out the VE forums as they are a great resource. BTW I have four turntables right now (Dual, Sota, Pro-ject and Phillips)....it gets addicting so watch out.

Good listening
Bruce

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 11:01 
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Music Hall also has good entry-level tables. Somewhat better built than Rega for the same $.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 11:30 
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Hi again, Cartridges.....a real can of worms. Some inexpensive ones are pretty good while other more costly ones aren't. It all depends on your budget and the rest of the system. The mentioned DL-110 is pretty good, but has shot up in price to $300. IMO not worth that. I do have one that is 3 years old that cost then $139....a good deal then. Now for budget ones I would look at the Shure 97XE, AT 95E, Ortofon OM10. All are under $100 and solid performers. Top dogs....no for sure, but decent. Above that it gets fuzzy. I have an LPGear BIN215 (now $250) that is quite good...again not in with the top dogs....but an excellent performer at that price point. If you like the Grado sound (warm and sort of lush) and have a turntable with a shielded motor (Grados tend to pick up motor hum) then the Grado Gold (about $225) would be my pick. An AT F-7 is excellent (about $250) but needs a preamp with Low output moving coil (LOMC) ability (better yet step up transformers but they add big time to the cost). Next step up is a toughie as it depends on what you like to hear. My personal preference is for an AT 33PTG/II (about $500 and it is a LOMC). A really super cartridge. It is the best thing I have ever heard in my system. A Dynavector 10X5 (about $450) would be second choice and it has the advantage of not needing a LOMC preamp. It will work directly into a standard phono stage. There are lots of choices and all are a bit different. It is much like speakers....all are supposed to reproduce the sound accurately...and all sound different. I doubt that I would go above the $500 range for a cartridge as the law of diminishing returns comes in to play. As I mentioned in the earlier post, listening to vinyl can get costly very quickly. BTW Music Hall and Pro-ject are two sides of the same coin. They have equivalent but different looking models pretty much one for one. One TT that I do not have personal experience with that might do is the new Denon one that runs about $300 or so. Not up to the level of many vintage things or the high quality over $400 ones in the Numark, etc bunch. But not supposed to be all that bad either. It is aimed toward the non-dj user. If you want to boggle your mind check out the needle doctor site. Pretty decent folks to deal with and they have many product lines of cartridges, turntables and other gear. Prices are typical for the market. Another place is LPGear.

Good listening
Bruce

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 17:04 
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I've been doing some looking online. There's the ones by U-Turn, which seem to come in at $179-299, depending on how far the buyer wants to go. Depending on the website I look at, I see TTs (heh, heh) ranging in the $75-300 range to sites where the cheapest ones are about $400.

I'm not looking to put a prince's ransom into this. Spending $1000 on a turn table and another $250 on a premium cartridge is almost lunacy to me. I have to proceed to build a phono preamplifier and then use it to drive a power amplifier. I can pick up a power amplifier at the local thrift store if I don't already have one. Then I also need speakers. Not to say that I don't have any of these things, but the turntable is just one link in the chain and it doesn't make sense (to me) to spend on the turn table five times as much as I've spent on all of the other components put together.

Maybe I can't find something suitable in the lower end of the price range. It's possible that, unless I spend a good bit, I'm not going to get a turntable that's capable of playing records without causing excessive wear. To me, audio can sometimes feel like talking to tool snobs. I've asked for help on a particular technique and got told to sod off because my $20 carpenter's saw is garbage, and when I was ready to spend ~$500 on a hand-forged german-made saw, then I would be worthy of asking questions. Not to say that I feel that way now...it's just that some people feel that you can't truly enjoy something unless you dump loads and loads of cash into it.

Thank you all for your advice. I'm going to keep looking. The cartridge for my USB TT is $7.50 on Ebay. I may be able to adjust the tracking force on the current turn table so it will be less destructive to records.

Ed

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 22:36 
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Hi Ed, Sorry you feel that you were dumped on. You asked for opinions....I believe as such they differ significantly from factual requests and the responses may not always be what one wants to hear. In my responses I personally just wanted to give you some parameters on what you were getting into. It was not the intention to make you feel as you indicate. Vinyl reproduction is a very different animal from most everything else we do in audio as the mechanical aspects are at least as important as the electrical ones. There are few easy and fewer cheap solutions to getting decent sound from a LP. The process has come a long way from using cactus needles and straight steel pins.

Good listening
Bruce

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2015, 03:25 
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gofar99 wrote:
Hi Ed, Sorry you feel that you were dumped on. You asked for opinions....I believe as such they differ significantly from factual requests and the responses may not always be what one wants to hear.


I think I should clarify. I don't think that I'm being "dumped on" in this particular thread. In the manner of what you're saying, Ask Question > Get Answer. I got an answer and I am glad there are people here who are generous enough to help.

What I meant (it seems to me that I poorly worded my last response, thereby betraying my true perspective) is that sometimes it feels like people are more interested in the value of the gear than the quality of the sound. In the same way, I've had woodworkers tell me that I'm only going to get decent results with top-notch tools.

That's not happening here...I was drawing a parallel because sometimes that happens. I'm also open to the idea that I really could require a high-cost turntable to avoid destroying the records. I'm not one of the 0.01-percenters so I'd be satisfied with a decent, affordable system. I have a home-built tube stereo but I could probably be satisfied with a TDA2030 amplifier. The general tone I gather from this group is that experimentation is king and all types of audio enthusiasts are welcome.

That being said, I think I'm going to do some more research. I don't know whether I'm going to do anything with the USB table yet. Again, I want to thank everybody who's given me opinions thusfar.

Ed

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