Some Basic Questions About Vinyl

harveymt

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Jul 17, 2008
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I'd like to get into vinyl. Have an image of sitting late at night sipping a malt listening to some lost treasure I've picked up at a boot sale.

Not looking to spend much at the minute. I've other things I want to upgrade first. I've looked through eBay and there's a fair few older TTs like Sansui, Technics etc for decent money. The Cambridge Audio 640P gets great reviews and they seem to be on eBay a lot too.

A couple of questions.

1. I've seen a lot of posts on other forums about different pressings of various albums with opinions wildly ranging on quality. How much of an issue is this? I'm not looking to go into vinyl in a big way with a super fancy player so will various pressings sound very different?

2. I had been looking at USB phono amps to put the vinyl on my pc but there's not much choice at the cheaper end of things. Is there much point in going for one or is it better to get a normal phono amp and then some form of ADC, something like this -

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UFO202.aspx

3. Am I right in thinking that USB is limited to 16/44 or something like it? How would you go about getting 24/96 copies etc?

4. Any other TTs I should be looking at? Thinking long term of a Rega P3, but something cheap and cheerful for now.

Cheers.
 

harveymt

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Jul 17, 2008
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I've seen a fair few older Rega P3 on eBay. Not sure exactly how old they are but they're not much more than I'd wanted to pay for other ones.

Is there much difference in the model over the years?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I'm not an expert on their history, but I think they run from oldet to newest:

Planar 3

P3

P3-24

RP3 (just released)

On ebay you have to be careful as the versions are often confused. Somewhere I've seen a list of how to decode the serial numbers, but can't find it right now. I expect the factory would confirm if asked nicely.

If you can run to an RP1 (£229 new) that is a great way to start, or a Pro-Ject Essential for £149 new. Secondhand, there are lots of Pro-Jects, and going further back, old Duals and Japanese decks from Trio, Pioneer and Sansui (but do your homework, as some were awful).

Cannot help much with your initial queries, though I wouldn't fret too much about different pressings. That's usually based on two things:-

a. the stampers (from which the LPs were pressed) wear out progressively, so the earliest are assumed to sound better.

b. re-released LPs were sometimes pressed on cheaper vinyl, with more noise and/or lower recording level, sometimes on a budget label.

Unless you plan on buying vintage LPs for £10 plus, then don't worry. Better to get good condition and maybe a professional clean.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Oddly enough have been researching the same thing myself.

It makes sense to buy a USB phono amp to begin, and both Pro-ject and NAD make one. The NAD PP3 comes in at about the £100 mark, has both MC and MM inputs, and, if it's like the PP2 which I had before jumping on the big Qantas jet is pretty damn good.

Audacity is the software to use, apparently.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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Hey mate. Welcome to the fold. I was just like you when I first looked at getting a TT. I thought it would be cool to just play a couple of records on a Sunday morning, whilst waking up with a coffee. 12 months, 2 TTs, 200 LPs and about £3000 later, that original plan has changed somewhat! Vinyl is pretty much all I listen to now! Be ready for it's charms to get right under your skin.

Anyway, to answer your questions:

1: If you are going to be buying mainly second hand records from pre 1990, you don't have to worry about the quality of the pressing as they were all pretty good. You just have to check the condition of the records themselves for scratches, etc. Modern stuff can be a little more hit and miss, but honestly, out of all of my vinyl i've only come across a couple that are a bit poo. It's not a big problem, I wouldn't give it much thought.

2: I haven't tried ripping vinyl to pc, but I thought there must be a cheaper option than what you were looking at. I did a little googling and found this thread. I haven't read it all, but I what I did read seemed to be leading to a easy cheap solution along the lines of a cable from the tape out of a standard amp to pc and some ripping software.

3: err, I dunno!

4: I went down the second hand route for my first TT, getting a Pro-Ject RPM4 for £150, and I was really happy with it til I got my head turned by Michell and their Gyrodec. If your budget is around the £250 - £300 mark then there are a few Pro-Ject and Rega TTs that would fit the bill for you, new. If you want to spend less and you're anywhere near Hastings then Steves HiFi always has good TTs in stock and most are between £100 - £200.

Right, I reckon that's enough from me! Have fun mate!
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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bretty said:
2: I haven't tried ripping vinyl to pc, but I thought there must be a cheaper option than what you were looking at. I did a little googling and found this thread. I haven't read it all, but I what I did read seemed to be leading to a easy cheap solution along the lines of a cable from the tape out of a standard amp to pc and some ripping software.
I once had a grand scheme to transfer all my LP's onto my PC, and burn CD-R's of them all for the car etc. I transferred quite a few but gave up after a bit when I got bored with the whole process, and now I just concentrate on playing and enjoying them.

However when I did transfer, all I did was run a cheap cable from Maplins from the Tape Out of my amp into my Line In on the PC soundcard and used the free Audacity software to record, edit and save the files. There's lots of tutorials on Youtube of how to use the various functions of Audacity, and the end results were pretty good to be honest. There is a function on Audacity to remove a lot of the hiss, pops and crackle from the recordings but I never used that as it just sucked all the life out of the recording and just copied warts and all.

By the way I was talking to Andrew at Doug Brady Hi-Fi yesterday and he's planted the seed of a Michell Gyrodec in my mind for the next leap forward for me :)

.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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DIB said:
I once had a grand scheme to transfer all my LP's onto my PC, and burn CD-R's of them all for the car etc. I transferred quite a few but gave up after a bit when I got bored with the whole process, and now I just concentrate on playing and enjoying them.

However when I did transfer, all I did was run a cheap cable from Maplins from the Tape Out of my amp into my Line In on the PC soundcard and used the free Audacity software to record, edit and save the files. There's lots of tutorials on Youtube of how to use the various functions of Audacity, and the end results were pretty good to be honest. There is a function on Audacity to remove a lot of the hiss, pops and crackle from the recordings but I never used that as it just sucked all the life out of the recording and just copied warts and all.

By the way I was talking to Andrew at Doug Brady Hi-Fi yesterday and he's planted the seed of a Michell Gyrodec in my mind for the next leap forward for me :)

.
Excellent. Thanks for chipping in, DIB. There you go then, OP, it is a doddle and no need to spend big money on a USB phono amp.

Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Except that using a USB phono out is much easier (already RIAA equalised), choice of sampling and overal better quality, at least from what I've read, but may be reporting back next week as have bought a USB phono stage.

Also, since the NAD is about the same price as the CA 640P, is of equal quality plus has the USB, there's no spending of big money on a phono amp at all.

And, of course, not all amps have tape outs these days, so perhaps it isn't quite a doddle...
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
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bretty said:
DIB said:
I once had a grand scheme to transfer all my LP's onto my PC, and burn CD-R's of them all for the car etc. I transferred quite a few but gave up after a bit when I got bored with the whole process, and now I just concentrate on playing and enjoying them.

However when I did transfer, all I did was run a cheap cable from Maplins from the Tape Out of my amp into my Line In on the PC soundcard and used the free Audacity software to record, edit and save the files. There's lots of tutorials on Youtube of how to use the various functions of Audacity, and the end results were pretty good to be honest. There is a function on Audacity to remove a lot of the hiss, pops and crackle from the recordings but I never used that as it just sucked all the life out of the recording and just copied warts and all.

By the way I was talking to Andrew at Doug Brady Hi-Fi yesterday and he's planted the seed of a Michell Gyrodec in my mind for the next leap forward for me :)

.
Excellent. Thanks for chipping in, DIB. There you go then, OP, it is a doddle and no need to spend big money on a USB phono amp.

Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
:wall:
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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bretty said:
Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
Well I'd originally spoke to them with the purpose of possibly trading in my Systemdek for a new RP3 in the future, but Andrew reckoned that would be a sideways move at best. Having fully serviced my deck and modified the RM250 arm a few months ago, he's familiar with my set up and reckoned that if I was serious about moving up to the next level then something like the Gyrodec would be a good place to look.

He wasn't dismissing the RP3, far from it. Indeed he said it was an excellent deck for the price, but offered no better performance than what I already enjoy.

I think a Gyrodek might be for sometime in the future, it's certainly whetted my appetite for sure.

.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
DIB said:
bretty said:
Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
Well I'd originally spoke to them with the purpose of possibly trading in my Systemdek for a new RP3 in the future, but Andrew reckoned that would be a sideways move at best. Having fully serviced my deck and modified the RM250 arm a few months ago, he's familiar with my set up and reckoned that if I was serious about moving up to the next level then something like the Gyrodec would be a good place to look.

He wasn't dismissing the RP3, far from it. Indeed he said it was an excellent deck for the price, but offered no better performance than what I already enjoy.

I think a Gyrodek might be for sometime in the future, it's certainly whetted my appetite for sure.

.
Try think of it as the last turntable you'll ever buy, I made the jump from Systemdek/ Roksan Tabriz to Gyrodec/ Tabriz then SME IV and the difference with each upgrade was not subtle. Until I heard the Gyrodec I wasn't aware that LP could sound so dramatic.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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Spectre said:
DIB said:
bretty said:
Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
Well I'd originally spoke to them with the purpose of possibly trading in my Systemdek for a new RP3 in the future, but Andrew reckoned that would be a sideways move at best. Having fully serviced my deck and modified the RM250 arm a few months ago, he's familiar with my set up and reckoned that if I was serious about moving up to the next level then something like the Gyrodec would be a good place to look.

He wasn't dismissing the RP3, far from it. Indeed he said it was an excellent deck for the price, but offered no better performance than what I already enjoy.

I think a Gyrodek might be for sometime in the future, it's certainly whetted my appetite for sure.

.
Try think of it as the last turntable you'll ever buy, I made the jump from Systemdek/ Roksan Tabriz to Gyrodec/ Tabriz then SME IV and the difference with each upgrade was not subtle. Until I heard the Gyrodec I wasn't aware that LP could sound so dramatic.
Hi Spectre.

Thanks for that. You've basically confirmed what Andrew said. Although I'm not looking at changing up in the near future, I think I'm going into Doug Brady's in a couple of weeks to have a listen to one.

One other thing. I'm thinking of moving my M-CR603 into the other room as the 2nd system if you like, and was considering investing in a new amp for the main listening room. In view of the fact that I have Epos M22i floorstanders (that I love) I was looking at possibly a Creek amp. Epos/Creek in the same stable, natural synergy etc. I notice you have the top of the range Creek Destiny 2. How do you find it? I've been looking at the next one down Evolution 5350, and wondered if you had any experience of this model. I notice also that you have an external phono stage. Did you not consider the optional on board phono stage for the Destiny 2.

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

.
 

blackholesun

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Sep 26, 2010
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harveymt said:
I'd like to get into vinyl. Have an image of sitting late at night sipping a malt listening to some lost treasure I've picked up at a boot sale.
If you are planning to go on a sentimental cruise and listen to car boot treasures, the first thing you need is a record cleaning machine, even if it's Knosti. I personally found it to make a huge difference with BOTH used and new records.

If you're on a budget, I'd recommend something similar to my own setup - a second-hand Rega Planar 3 with RB300 arm, new AT95e cart (or Denon DL110 if you decide to splash some more ££) and 640p. If you lurk other audio forums, you will find the Rega and 640p in classifieds at nice prices and usually in perfect nick.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
DIB said:
Spectre said:
DIB said:
bretty said:
Oh and YES, get a Gyro! They're so bloody good. Honestly, the jump up in quality from mid range TTs is massive. The improvements are all the way across the board of course, but what hits you first when you spin your first record on a Gyro is the bass. So strong, but textured and tight as a drum. And then of course, there are the looks of the thing


Is this something you think you could move on quickly, or maybe buy a partly broken one off ebay and then take 7 months to get it up and running like some other idiot?
Well I'd originally spoke to them with the purpose of possibly trading in my Systemdek for a new RP3 in the future, but Andrew reckoned that would be a sideways move at best. Having fully serviced my deck and modified the RM250 arm a few months ago, he's familiar with my set up and reckoned that if I was serious about moving up to the next level then something like the Gyrodec would be a good place to look.

He wasn't dismissing the RP3, far from it. Indeed he said it was an excellent deck for the price, but offered no better performance than what I already enjoy.

I think a Gyrodek might be for sometime in the future, it's certainly whetted my appetite for sure.

.
Try think of it as the last turntable you'll ever buy, I made the jump from Systemdek/ Roksan Tabriz to Gyrodec/ Tabriz then SME IV and the difference with each upgrade was not subtle. Until I heard the Gyrodec I wasn't aware that LP could sound so dramatic.
Hi Spectre.

Thanks for that. You've basically confirmed what Andrew said. Although I'm not looking at changing up in the near future, I think I'm going into Doug Brady's in a couple of weeks to have a listen to one.

One other thing. I'm thinking of moving my M-CR603 into the other room as the 2nd system if you like, and was considering investing in a new amp for the main listening room. In view of the fact that I have Epos M22i floorstanders (that I love) I was looking at possibly a Creek amp. Epos/Creek in the same stable, natural synergy etc. I notice you have the top of the range Creek Destiny 2. How do you find it? I've been looking at the next one down Evolution 5350, and wondered if you had any experience of this model. I notice also that you have an external phono stage. Did you not consider the optional on board phono stage for the Destiny 2.

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

.
I haven't heard the 5350 I'm afraid, coming from the same stable though I'd it expect it to be similar in sound. It's a very well balanced sound perhaps not as dynamic as some (Naim) but always detailed and fluid in its delivery of music. Where Creek amps trump a lot of other designs is the sound staging and the holographic depiction of real musicians inhabiting a three dimensional space in your listening room. This is one of my major priorities and in this respect I doubt I've heard better at this price point or considerably more. Other thing that strikes me about Creek are their lack of transistor nasties, there's little grain and no hardening of the sound when you crank up the volume, if anything it only gets more assured. It really depends though on what floats your boat.

I have ran my Epos ES12, a design which still has some Robin Marshall DNA and released before Mike Creek took over Epos. Supposedly they are both difficult to drive and match the results were simply very musical and highly revealing, it had me thinking the Creek had more than ample power to extract the best from them. Because you have more contemporary Epos I think the element of synergy would be a certainty, I'd have no worries.

I was looking at the option of the onboard Phono for my Destiny but none of the three boards available allow cartridge loading like the Black Cube does. I only auditioned the off board units and had a face off between the Project Tube Box SEII and the Black Cube and for me for me it was not even a fair fight. If the Lehmann is supposed to sound thin I really couldn't hear it in my system.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
156
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Spectre said:
I haven't heard the 5350 I'm afraid, coming from the same stable though I'd it expect it to be similar in sound. It's a very well balanced sound perhaps not as dynamic as some (Naim) but always detailed and fluid in its delivery of music. Where Creek amps trump a lot of other designs is the sound staging and the holographic depiction of real musicians inhabiting a three dimensional space in your listening room. This is one of my major priorities and in this respect I doubt I've heard better at this price point or considerably more. Other thing that strikes me about Creek are their lack of transistor nasties, there's little grain and no hardening of the sound when you crank up the volume, if anything it only gets more assured. It really depends though on what floats your boat.

I have ran my Epos ES12, a design which still has some Robin Marshall DNA and released before Mike Creek took over Epos. Supposedly they are both difficult to drive and match the results were simply very musical and highly revealing, it had me thinking the Creek had more than ample power to extract the best from them. Because you have more contemporary Epos I think the element of synergy would be a certainty, I'd have no worries.

I was looking at the option of the onboard Phono for my Destiny but none of the three boards available allow cartridge loading like the Black Cube does. I only auditioned the off board units and had a face off between the Project Tube Box SEII and the Black Cube and for me for me it was not even a fair fight. If the Lehmann is supposed to sound thin I really couldn't hear it in my system.
Nice one, thanks for that.

.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Can I just put in a good word for the Nottingham Analogue decks? They're not fashionabe, but sound pretty special, at least, to me. A bit more drive than some.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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altruistic.lemon said:
Can I just put in a good word for the Nottingham Analogue decks? They're not fashionabe, but sound pretty special, at least, to me. A bit more drive than some.
I've seen one of their turntables when I called at a clients house, and he had one of them in his front room. Absolutely built like a tank, weighed about 30-35 kgs if I remember rightly, and he swore by it. The metal platter must have been about 9-12" thick.

.
 

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