Would like to get into vinyl...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Knavery, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Hey all,
    I'd like to get into collecting vinyl. I know it's making a strong comeback and I've never been one that likes just buying stuff digitally. I'm actually a person that enjoys the entire experience of buying music.

    With that in mind, could a few of you offer suggestions on what the best turntable and speaker setup would be for relatively low cost? Or perhaps offer a few suggestions in each price range? I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I was hoping you needed help getting into a vinyl suit... ;)

    Do you have an amp or anything now? Your best bet for budget spending is going to pawn shops or garage sales and finding some old gear. Most audio manufacturers still produce some kind of turntable, they are just gear toward audiophiles. The only low-cost turntables these days are POS ones sold at Wal-Mart to convert LPs to MP3s.
  3. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    ^ That looks like an interesting read, but I'd like to get into records not because of the sound, but because of the entire experience. I always loved collecting CDs and looking at the liner notes etc. I never really understood audiophiles that said records sounded better than CDs. Personally, I've never been able to tell the difference. :)

    Oh! How do you quote someone with the new format? It's been a year now and I still can't figure it out.

    To answer the poster above, no I don't have an amp or receiver or anything. I remember my dad put a lot of money into his home stereo system. He had Infinity speakers, another 3k in his receiver, turntable, cassette deck, CD player, and whatever else he had. It was a monstrosity. I'm not looking for anything close to that.

    If it's going to be that expensive, I'll just skip it.
  4. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    For speakers, you don't need anything special. You can spend as little or as much as you like. The amp will need to be a separate power amp and preamp, or an integrated amp (power and preamp combined). Either way, it will need to have a magnetic phono input (not ceramic).

    If you are mechanically inclined, the old idler wheel driven turntables can often be reconditioned like new. The old Dual's for example, used synchronous motors that were easily disassembled, cleaned, and oiled. The idler wheel often became glazed, and is easily reconditioned with light sanding. Aside from that, it's just cleaning drive surfaces with alcohol, and lubricating the mechanism. An older belt driven turntable will likely need a new belt; check that a belt is available first before buying.

    A new cartridge and stylus might also be an expense, but it shouldn't be unusual to find a turntable with something decent already installed.

  5. Funk$tar

    Funk$tar Guest

    Jun 8, 2013
    Just look for some on Ebay, they have lots of beautiful new and used ones!
    I just got into vinyl when I was like 14 so it's been 4 years and I've been using the same record player! It's not old school (I plan on buying an older one in the future) but it's perfect because it's cheap and definitely meant for people just getting into collecting and playing records!
    It's an Ion Audio LP USB Conversion Turtable that I mainly bought so I could record some rare records onto my iPod, it's a great buy!
  6. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    I went to Best Buy to look around. I noticed they had a "Home Theater System in a Box". It got decent reviews, but it's pretty entry level. It comes with a receiver that I can use for the turntable. I was also looking on Amazon and thought about picking something up like this:


    I looks like you can hook it right up to your home computer. I'd be fine with that to start. Does anyone have experience with that?
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    HTIB systems generally do not work with gear outside of the box. I do not recommend them to anyone, ever.

    Minneapolis is a big city, isn't it? Go pawn shopping, trust me. You will find much better gear for much less, just make sure it works before you leave the store. You just need an amp, a turntable and some speakers.
  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Sorry, but I have to disagree on that one. Speakers make the system, without a doubt. Get some good (name-brand) 3-way speakers - that is a must.
    LiquidMidnight and Stewie26 like this.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    That experience includes rumble and pops.
    GeneralElectric likes this.
  10. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Go to some forums like Audio Karma for used gear info...TONS of info there.

    If you are just into music in general go to the Steve Hoffman forum....probably the best music only forum that is loaded with vinyl & CD lovers.

    See if any of your local vinyl shops have some used gear.....I'm lucky, I have at least a dozen turntables from the 70's & 80's, most from thrift stores, pawn shops & garage sales......but I do see stuff on craigslist and in vinyl music stores for reasonable.

    A decent 70's turntable and good cartridge along with at least a 20 watt receiver and a decent pair of very efficient speakers will get you started.

    If you go 50 watts then a less efficient speaker will suffice.

    Of course if you listen in a small room & lower to mid volumes you can easily get by with less power....say 20 to 30 watts.

    Remember you can ALWAYS add a powered subwoofer to that low powered receiver too.

    Low powered receivers are MUCH more common and are less expensive and easier to maintain....let alone much cheaper to buy.

    Good luck....its a great hobby that I've enjoyed since I was a kid in the late 60's!
  11. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Thanks for all the helpful replies. I'll do some checking around and visit a couple records stores. We have a few up hear that are really killer and I'm sure they may have some stuff. I'll also check Craigslist, thrift stores, and eBay as some have suggested.
  12. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Also be very careful as many cheaper record players will damage records. The best budget record player I've found is the uturnaudio model. It starts at 180$. Starting to collect vinyl isn't a cheap hobby but it is rewarding.

    You'll still need a decent pair of speakers and a receiver/power amp. I would suggest buying a quality turn table that you'll have for a long time and hooking it up to your bass amp until you have the money to invest in the rest of the set up.

    Also for what it's worth, you can but a slightly out of date onkyo receiver for about $100 on craigslist. Not only do they support surround sound, many of them have multiple hdmi ports, support internet radio, Bluetooth, etc. While this may put you over budget, it's a worthwhile investment because it should be plenty to get you started on vinyl as well as a foundation for a good home theater system. My suggestion is to piece it out as you can afford it and wait until deals pop up. I assembled a very nice two zone stereo system that has all the goodies for well under a thousand dollars. I have kanton speakers, an onkyo receiver, uturn record player, CD, DVD, blue ray capability, and I can stream media from my home server to play on any of the connected speakers or screens.

    You can get older AV equipment for cheap. I started on a Kenwood receiver and a crest power amp I bought for $20 out of a friend's trunk. Since high school I've always had a decent stereo and now I'm a young man in my early 20s, thankful that I've always been able to provide a scientifically calculated excess of alcohol and bumping tunes.
  13. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011

    Yes, by "not needing anything special", I meant special for playing records.

    But speakers are also a highly personal choice, and Knavery said this:

    "To answer the poster above, no I don't have an amp or receiver or anything. I remember my dad put a lot of money into his home stereo system. He had Infinity speakers, another 3k in his receiver, turntable, cassette deck, CD player, and whatever else he had. It was a monstrosity. I'm not looking for anything close to that.

    If it's going to be that expensive, I'll just skip it."

    And then you also have the initial and ongoing expense of the records.

    Knavery -

    If you are going to use a USB turntable, and have a decent sound card, you might get started with headphones.

    MonetBass likes this.
  14. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I'd advise against a cheaper turn table as they tend to damage and destroy records. Even my old SONY which I bought for about $125 new destroyed a bunch of records. The only thing I would put through the cheaper tables are $1 used records.

    Check out the uturn audio unit I mentioned. With an rca to stereo 1/4" you can plug it through a recording interface or through your amplifier. I'd save your cash until you can get deals on the rest of what you'd need.
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