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Recommend me a record player?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Rush-2112, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City
    Hello TB :D

    I have a stack of old LPs I'd like to listen to. I've never owned a turntable...I'm in the hunt for a good decently priced one. Can you guys recommend me something under $100 as my first record player? Or maybe tell me which brands to steer clear of in my search?

    Thanks all :hyper:
  2. tkonbass

    tkonbass I'm just one of the out-of-focus guys. Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    That's the tough part but keep an eye on ebay for a used Technics SL-1950 or similar. I've had mine 35 years now. Its direct drive (vs belt) and it is still as rock solid as the day my parents gave it to me :D. I've seen them on there for around $100 from time to time. If you have to go new I would guess your choices for a quality TT at that price are pretty slim. Maybe someone else can chime in on that.

    Good Luck!
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
  4. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow Never Forget. Banned

    Dec 23, 2010
    Horten, Norway
    For under 100usd, go used. DO NOT buy some sort of Ion, Crosley, etc piece of crap, unless you want Your records to wear out prematurely. Look for a decent vintage table from a "big name brand" like Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood or similar.

    The guys on the Audiokarma forum know everything that needs to be known about vintage tt's, I'd recommend registering there and opening a thread! :bassist:
  5. Make sure you have a receiver with a phono section, or you will have to buy a phono amp.

  6. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Very important question. Most current/recent receivers do not have a "phono" input. "Aux" is not the same thing, and will sound like crap. If you don't have a "phono" input, you will need a "phono pre" in line before going into the "aux" input, which will increase your cost.

    For turntables, go used with a '70s or '80s Technics, Pioneer, Yamaha, or similar. Do your research, and shop carefully.

    A great resource for information on turntables can be found here...http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/index.php
  7. +1 on Audiokarma.

    In addition to the brands already mentioned, Rega and Project turntables are geared towards entry-level audio systems. Brand-new they'd be out of your budget, but if you can find a used one in your price range it might be a good bet.
  8. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
    Google crutchfield and there is a ton of good info
  9. +1 on AudioKarma site - more info than you could possibly want.

    Personally, I've had good experiences with Technics.

    My first was an SL7 (linear tracking) that I bought in 1984, paid $262.50. Still works like the day it was new. Cartridge - Ortofon TM14

    pros- compact size, auto arm functions, auto 33/45 detection
    cons- no pitch control

    My second was an SL 1200 Mk II that I bought new about 3 years ago, I paid around $ 400 for the deck and around $100 for the cartridge - Ortofon 2m Red

    pros- pitch control, legendary status - it's the "wheel of steel" that has served radio stations, dj's and audiophiles forever
    cons- no auto arm functions, all done manually
  10. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City

    Wanted to come back and thank everyone for the awesome suggestions. It's been 4 months, and after thorough research, I decided to pull the trigger on a 1980s Pioneer, model PL-S30. Since I don't have a receiver with a phono input, I listened to the advice on here and bought a Behringer Phono Preamp which I hooked up to my PC speakers. The sound is pretty awesome and I can finally listen to my vinyl collection! :hyper: The one problem is the stylus, which is a bit worn; so I may be replacing that. And I'm not sure how to balance the tonearm...so if anyone can offer any advice on that sorta thing I'd gladly appreciate it :)

    Here's some pics for those of you interested. Thanks again for the advice guys :bassist:







  11. Congrats!

    I noticed in your OP that you've never owned a turntable. Here is some sound advice:

    Get that thing off of your bed. Take a new photo. Delete the other photo and post the new one. What, do you want the denizens of TB to think you are an uncivilized ruiner of vinyl?


  12. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Ooh, red vinyl! I have Yeezus on clear vinyl.
  13. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow Never Forget. Banned

    Dec 23, 2010
    Horten, Norway
    I know, right!? OP, that's just wrong... :D
  14. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    The big circular counter-weight thingy at the opposite end of the tonearm is your adjustment. It will rotate to adjust the weight on the stylus. The first step is to set it for "zero". "Zero" means the tonearm - with the cartridge on it - is balanced on the fulcrum point and floating level. At this point, reset the number scale on the counterweight so it reads "0" in the balanced condition. Once calibrated to "zero", adjust the counterweight to the recommended setting for the cartridge (typically, 1.5-1.8). Also, set the anti-skate setting (little black dial on the tonearm base) to match the tonearm setting.

    Nice looking deck! :)
  15. "And I'm not sure how to balance the tonearm..."

    What you do is unplug it. Move the weights on the a$$ end of the tonearm all the way forward. Move the tonearm into the middle of the patter. Now move the weights back until the tonearm floats perfectly horizontal. Next set only the black counterweight to zero without actually moving the thing forward or backward. You just want it to say zero up top. Then turn the counterweight to somewhere between 1 and 2 and you should be good to go. When you get a new cartridge they should tell you the number of grams to set it, but it is usually between on and two.

    Also, not sure if yours is belt or direct drive, and you don't have a strobe, so if it is a belt drive then you should get a new one off ebay as a backup. Keep an ear out for any changes in speed. An old belt will kill your buzz but quick.

    When I was a kid in the late 70s and 80s I had crap tables. My entire record collection which is heavy in 80s disks is absolutely unplayable these days. Between being coated in hair spray and clove cigarette film, the needles on those old plastic BPC players destroyed the fidelity. But then again, how often can you spin a Flock of Seagulls album these days with your kids eyeballing you ready to bust your balls at the first chance. :smug:
  16. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
  17. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Maybe not Flock of Seagulls so much, but my 15yo daughter loves Fleetwood Mac "Rumors" and Supertramp "Breakfast in America" on vinyl. Then again, she's not the average teenager when it comes to this stuff. At her request, I put together a vintage vinyl rig for her room - Harman Kardon deck, Pioneer receiver, Klipsch speakers - and she spins something almost every night.

  18. Yeah, my kids spin the oldies too, just a different flavor. My oldest is a true blue Joy Division fan. My other boy, 8, heard Bittersweet Symphony and proceeded to kill it, spinning it over and over and over for weeks. It was 1997 all over again.

    I built up a 70s marantz receiver and turntable for the oldest. Great rig. Me, I run 70s Realistic stuff. It was my dad's rig and what I listened to as a kid before getting the craptastic 80s gear. It is how music is supposed to sound to me. A lot of that 70s Realistic gear is top notch. Just stay away from anything they made from about 82 onward.

    They both love AC/DC. Ugh.
  19. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City
    Gee, thanks man! It's sounding a whole lot better. :)

    Yes it's a belt drive. This was awesome advice, I think I calibrated it pretty well and I'm just loving the sound. Thanks a million!

    I def wanna look into this. Thanks!
  20. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City
    Nicee! Thanks dude, I got it for a deal off evil bay! I've always wanted this limited edition Hemispheres...it normally goes for about $50, guy had it on Buy It Now for $25 and I jumped :hyper: