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Old 19th July 2006, 02:49 AM   #1
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Default Getting into LP... for real!

After buying a T4P Grado Prestige Black (To use on Technics SL-B200) and being completely disappointed, I'd like to get some suggestions on how I could be able to listen to LPs that don't sound like a RadioShack cassette recorder.

Problems:
When I walk (Even on my toes), the tonearm jumps.
When I press a button on my amp, it jumps again.
When someone else walks up in the stairway, it jumps.
When the washing machine works, the sound is going left-right... (The whole house is shaking actually)
There's no bass and treble + I need to crank up the volume on my old hk670 receiver.

The turntable is sitting on my old drawer chest (Not cheap IKEA but real wood -> pretty solid) next to my amp. I decided I'd build a stereo rack or wall-mount TT shelf. Will they be able to solve my problems? Any suggestions? (I don't really want to have to solidify the whole house...)

Then there's the tone/volume problems. I wonder if it's the phono amp, cart or the TT that has a problem here. All I know is that the Grado has problem with the tonearm. The end of the LPs have lots of distortion because it's not an S-shaped arm and the angle is getting too big for the cart...
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Old 19th July 2006, 02:54 AM   #2
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get a decent turntable with a decent arm and a decent cartridge mounted on a decent wallshelf - my lp's sound in most instances a helluvalot better than the cd.

Decent TT - anything by thorens
Decent arm - any old sme in good repair
Decent cartridge - anything by denon that begins with the letters DL..
Decent wallshelf - build your own.
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Old 19th July 2006, 03:11 AM   #3
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Pricey tho

(ebay #220007506527)
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Old 19th July 2006, 03:34 AM   #4
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Yes, maybe...or rather not. You can buy - sometimes - a dilapidated sme ( I did so for 100$, sme 2 imp.)) and get the missing parts - mine came to about 200 when finished.
Or look at CAM - they have several thorenses on offer.
I like the sme 2 bets (non imp. version)
I will try a sme III if I get one at a decent price - below 300.

The thorens start being good without hype with the td 125 - the 124 is overpriced. The other good and not so expensive ones - td 145, 150, 160.

I have a love affair with the TD 125. Two and counting....

The problem with duals - I had a few over the years - noisy bearing, motor etc.
The TD 125 even beats the pants of a transcriptors hydraulik - I own one and therefore know.

My experience with technics - tried the sl 1800 - too noisy, too much rumble when used to a thorens.

Do not know much about the newer decks - goldrings complete offer is not bad, complete with cartidge and arm.

Would stay away from rega arms - nfg, had the rb 300 completely modified - still got beaten by the old sme when it came to following the groove...surface noise...

Goldring 1042 - not bad, imho better than the shure V15VxMR - which I had....and a shure ultra 500, that sounded better then the
V15...
but - if you can afford it - DL 103, or maybe DL 160, if you're afraid of the expense of a MC phono pre

Those are my recommendations based on my experiences.
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Old 19th July 2006, 02:29 PM   #5
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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That's not only pricey, it's way too much in my opinion. The small Thorens decks are great, but they were designed as "budget" decks and are quite common.

I second just about everything audio-kraut wrote. The exception is the SME3009 III. Stay away from it. The cheaper Goldring 1022 is just about as good as the 1042.

Get a Thorens TD-150 (my favorite) or 160 with Thorens arm. Sells for about US$100. Here's one for sale in the US. Don't get fooled by the ugly tonearm. It's at least as good as a stock Rega RB250. The Regas don't work with the small Thorens decks anyway. The deck, cart and headamp have much greater influence on the sound than the tonearm.

Later you can upgrade to an SME3009/II or R. I think the Decca International (not the cheapo "London Int'l) is superior. Another great suitable tonearm is the Grace 717. All of them can handle the low-compliant Denon DL-103.
This headamp is perfect match.

The thing with the Thorens TD-150 is that you have a first-rate foundation and can later upgrade as you see fit.
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Old 19th July 2006, 03:21 PM   #6
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This one?

No customs to cross also.

http://cgi.ebay.com/THORENS-TD166MKI...QQcmdZViewItem

Nothing about tonearm. Looked at the User's Manual, it's stock.
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Old 19th July 2006, 04:07 PM   #7
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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I would hold out for a 160 or 150. Remember, they are quite common. The 166 is a cheaper version of the 160. The 160 has an all-metal platter.

Edit: They aren't that common on your side of the pond. But you could keep an eye out for the Goldring Lenco L 75 and L 78 as well. They are at least equals to the Thorens.
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Old 19th July 2006, 04:30 PM   #8
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Thorens TD TTs are hard to find in Canada, and Goldring Lenco showed up one result...

Getting an SME tonearm alone costs about $300 on eBay also.

Any other places with lower prices?
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Old 19th July 2006, 06:04 PM   #9
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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You won't find a cheap SME3009. It's quite possibly the most common vintage tonearm. But it's the one everybody knows. What's worse is that it gets even more expensive should you use the Denon DL-103. The SME3009 is simply too light. (Same problem with Rega. Not so with the Grace 714.) You need a heavier headshell. An Orsonic headshell brings around US$150! (You might just as well get a used Ortofon SPU!) So you talk a total of about $600-700!!

That wasn't intended to scare you off, but to illustrate what it costs. If that is what you want, the by far cheapest alternative is to find a deck with tonearm of choice. With some luck, you might find a deck and SME tonearm for $400. And there are other carts than the Denon DL-103.

Lots of people will say that the Thorens begs for an SME. But then you should ask yourself, would you buy a Wadia CD player?

A Thorens in Ontario.

Some sites for ideas

http://www.analogue-classics.com/index.html

http://www.theanalogdept.com

And my favorite small deck Thorens
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Old 19th July 2006, 07:58 PM   #10
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So the first eBay auction I found maybe isn't that pricey.

For the same price I wonder if it would be possible to DIY something better (Turntable only, maybe not the tonearm)

I bought some giant Sony R2R motors for $3 at my surplus store two months ago. They run very smooth. Then I need a platter, bearing, etc.

Quote:
But then you should ask yourself, would you buy a Wadia CD player?
No, but I have a TDA1541A project waiting.
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