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  #1  
Old 03-09-2016, 04:43 PM
cu4life7 cu4life7 is offline
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Default Thinking about Vinyl - Audiophile Advice Needed

I love music, as most of you do, more than just about anything. Something that I got from my father growing up. He played organ (a 80's yamaha of some sort), and always had music going during dinner time. He had a record player, and a small collection of Vinyl, but he had bridged to cassettes and cd's as the technologies progressed. I specifically remember him making mix tapes for his car and we would sit for hours in front of his pioneer receiver and double tape deck crafting playlists. Occasionally he would break out the Vinyl collection and we would spin a few records. Good times.

He passed in 2014 from a brain tumor, and I am searching for that connection that we had through music. It occurred to me that physical medium of his music has value to me, and my mom will be mailing me his collection in the next few weeks. It isn't much, maybe 30 records. Eagles, beatles, etc.

Being 32 years old myself, I am a latecomer to vinyl and don't know too much about it. Unfortunately, when my dad found out how fast is cancer was growing after his initial surgery he purged a lot of stuff from his house that my mom wouldn't use and that included his turntable.

All that backstory to say that I want to get into Vinyl to both play my dad's old records and keep that connection to his music, as well as to buy some music that I love in a physical format that may have value to my kids down the line. There isn't any emotional connection to my itunes account, or my burned cds, or even the cd's in sleeves, and there is definitely not any connection to my Apple Music streaming service. I use those formats because of the scale of music I can discover for the cost as I have 3 kids under the age of 5 right now. But I would like to get Vinyl of the albums that I truly love. Set apart from the computer.

Money being the primary limiting factor (as usual), I am looking at the following setup. This will be at my work for now and will double as ipad (plugged in or bluetooth) as well as turntable.

Rega rp1 Turntable - $425 or The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon ($449)
Phono pre-amp (not sure which) probably Behringer PP400 ($25)
Audioengine A2+ powered speakers $250

I am looking for simple, easy to setup and use, and decent mid level quality. I don't plan on getting to crazy with this (famous last words), but what do you guys think of this setup?

Anything else I would need?

If I understand this correctly, I don't need a receiver with powered speakers right?

Any disadvantage to powered speakers?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice. I am wandering through this journey of internalizing the loss of my Dad and how I can hold onto his memory. Unfortunately, I couldn't take his organ or his sound system. But I am excited for re-discovering his record collection.
-Jake
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:49 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Rega is a good choice. I would get either an integrated amp or separate pre-and power amp and look at unpowered speakers. The power amps in speakers is not going to be as good as separates and you can then upgrade components as will. Will also make it easier to add CD or other sources to the system.

You didn't mention the cartridge you plan to use and it is a key part of the chain. Don't scrimp there.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:29 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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+1 on the above...
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:31 PM
robj144 robj144 is offline
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Instead of the powered speakers, you might look into this for going retro:

http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

I heard the combo sounds pretty sweet. Plus, you get to buy and swap tubes which is pretty cheap and fun. I have a tube preamp going into two amps to biamp my speakers. I spent about $500 or so on my whole setup though. It sounds incredibly good.... I play FLAC files on mine, no vinyl. With a phono amp, I bet it this setup sounds really good with a tube preamp.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:25 PM
bkharmony bkharmony is offline
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Double post.

Last edited by bkharmony; 03-09-2016 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:29 PM
bkharmony bkharmony is offline
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I don't mean this to come off as flippant, but vinyl is highly over-rated by "the kids these days." I say this as someone who grew up with it in the 70s and 80s, and still have at least 1,000 records that are great at collecting dust and weighing me down.

Unless your father collected audiophile-quality vinyl, you don't need all that stuff. I'm constantly baffled by "the kids'" fascination with pre-amps and processors and whatnot. I've used the same system for 25 years, which is very close to the system my father had when I was a kid. A mid-tier Technics turntable plugged in (via RCA) to an Onkyo receiver/amp, which the speakers plug into. In today's prices, you can hook that up for under $300.

That's all you need. You can go with as many boutique pieces as you like, but they won't fix old vinyl. And even if the vinyl is pristine, you might be shocked to find out it's really not that different than a decent CD. The "benefits" of audiophile vinyl are not apparent until you've invested upwards of $10K into a system to play your untouched records, and another $10K into a dedicated listening room.

tl;dr I understand and respect your desire to connect with your father through vinyl. But don't get wrapped up in the technical stuff, just plug in whatever and enjoy the music. That’s an “authentic experience,” and how we did it “back in the day.”
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:05 PM
RayCJ RayCJ is offline
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Back in the day, the hot rigs consisted of a Gerrard turntable, a Pioneer or Marantz amp and speakers of your choice -JBLs if you could afford them. Jensen Triax car speakers inside a wooden box worked for me for a good long while.

I don't think Gerrard still makes turntables but, Audio Technica and lots of other companies still do. The cheapest new product today is probably better than anything we had back then.

While I respect your desires and reasons to go retro, in your shoes, I'd go with a minimal approach. Be apprised that vinyl was a pain in the butt. Repeated playing eventually wears the record out. The slightest smudge, fingerprint or dust accumulation makes audible noises and distortions. A slight scratch makes clicking/popping noises. It wasn't uncommon at all to re-buy an album due to damage or wearing it out. Manually lifting the tone-arm when you were drunk as a skunk put a quick end to many albums.

Vinyl was all we had and at considerable expense, we got pushed through the era of 8-tracks and cassettes. CD's came out in the early 80's and as soon as they became affordable, most folks recognized their versatility and jumped on the bandwagon. It's the longest run of an on-going format that's pretty decent and remains viable.

Ray
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:09 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCJ View Post
Back in the day, the hot rigs consisted of a Gerrard turntable, a Pioneer or Marantz amp and speakers of your choice -JBLs if you could afford them.

I don't think Gerrard still makes turntables but, Audio Technica and lots of other companies still do. The cheapest new product today is probably better than anything we had back then.

While I respect your desires and reasons to go retro, in your shoes, I'd go with a minimal approach. Be apprised that vinyl was a pain in the butt. Repeated playing eventually wears the record out. The slightest smudge, fingerprint or dust accumulation makes audible noises and distortions. A slight scratch makes clicking/popping noises. It wasn't uncommon at all to re-buy an album due to damage or wearing it out. Manually lifting the tone-arm when you were drunk as a skunk put a quick end to many albums.

Vinyl was all we had and at considerable expense, we got pushed through the era of 8-tracks and cassettes. CD's came out in the early 80's and as soon as they became affordable, most folks recognized their versatility and jumped on the bandwagon. It's the longest run of an on-going format that's pretty decent and remains viable.

Ray
I recall it was more Linn Sondek, Mark Levinson, and Magnepan. Couldn't afford them but that was what we were shooting for.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:14 PM
RayCJ RayCJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
I recall it was more Linn Sondek, Mark Levinson, and Magnepan. Couldn't afford them but that was what we were shooting for.
Oh yeah, and don't forget McIntoch Amps. This and the brands you mentioned were ultra-high-end stuff in the day. Way out of my price range at the time.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:21 PM
Borderdon Borderdon is offline
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I still have and use a very satisfying vinyl playback system which co-exists
with cd's (lots !) and streaming audio.
A Rega tt, while maybe not "high end" enough for the blue bloods, is an excellent balance between budget and performance. You will be amazed at how even non "audiophile" records will sound wonderful, particularly if the Rega is equipped with one if their own very competent tone arms, like the RB 300.
Good Luck on your adventure.
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