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Old 12-01-2023, 07:19 PM
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Default Turntable setups for my teenager

I do not belong to any audiophile boards so I thought I would try you folks. My 15 year old teenage son is really wanting a turntable for Christmas.

I have not messed with vinyl in decades, In my research it seems the old days of running it through a Macintosh receiver and out to wired speakers the size of a Volkswagen are long gone. It looks like some turntables come with integrated pre-amps and Bluetooth out to a set of small studio monitor type speakers. Is it as simple as that? How is the volume adjusted/sound shaped? If I add a pre-amp does it need to be Bluetooth enabled?

Any suggestions will be appreciated. I am pretty lost here.
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Old 12-01-2023, 08:11 PM
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I had a couple of Sonos Five speakers here for a few days. There's
a turntable that works with them. They aren't bluetooth, they work
on your wifi. They are pretty "hi-fi" and not cheap...

-Mike
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:11 PM
PeterM PeterM is offline
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Go here
Musicdirect.com

Look over the offerings. Some is pretty pricey of course!
Bluetooth is not particularly "audiophile grade"...so how serious is he about this? How many $$$ to spend is of course always part of the equation. And geez, have looked at used vinyl prices lately?

Best of luck!
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Old 12-02-2023, 03:46 AM
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I don't know if you can access this as it's from the New York Times and you may encounter their paywall if you don't subscribe, but it gives a good overview of a range of options/attributes all under $600. I'm sure there are millions of YouTube vids on the subject as well!
https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/r...est-turntable/
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Old 12-02-2023, 07:50 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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I bought a nice Technics turntable at a recycling facility where I had gone to offload a bunch of old computers. I suppose not every teenager will appreciate getting something 2nd hand as a gift but those Technics are what DJs have been using since well before yours was born so maybe that'll help change things.

A new tip or entire cartridge would make a nice supplementary gift. And a phono preamp, of course.

Does he already have the amp and speakers he'd need or will those have to be bought too?

Doesn't necessarily have to be dedicated hifi equipment; there are phono preamps with builtin USB converters you could hook to a computer equipped with a decent USB DAC and a set of ditto monitors (I've read good things about Edifier in that domain).


BTW, at that age I loved going to a local store that sold "old" equipment, and I would have loved it even more if someone took me there to let (and help) me pick a few items to set up my own first system!
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Old 12-02-2023, 10:51 AM
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Check out "Project" turntables.

European company .

One thing: many of the newer turntables now are not even semiautomatic like the ones from the 70s.

Look for one that is semiautomatic.A teenage won't want to fuss with the manual operation .

Here's one that OK https://www.turntablelab.com/product...lack?aff=56069
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Old 12-02-2023, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargabor View Post
Check out "Project" turntables.
A teenager will probably consider those whipped-up air, fancy minimalist expensive boxes that don't do much. My mom got herself talking into buying one of those when her TT died, evidently equipped with an expensive Grado element (which *is* nice). The table just has an On/Off switched (hidden somewhere under the front ledge) and a lift. Really fully manual otherwise and nothing to help set up needle force or tracking weight, let alone regulate the speed. And of course 33tpm only.

My Technics OTOH even has a mechanical repeat function. And the aforementioned Grado element to spare the even nicer vintage Stanton that came with it

EDIT:
This would be a safe bet too (and it appears to have line-level output, so a built-in preamp):
https://hifi.dual.de/en/products/automatic/cs-329/
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Last edited by RJVB; 12-02-2023 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 12-02-2023, 01:25 PM
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I think you have to determine whether or not you are going "Old School" with your approach...

Buying a used turntable/receiver and speakers is not only doable, it can be done without spending your life savings... may take some effort, but there's always "The Thrill of the Hunt" to be considered!

Older belt-drive turntables are normally VERY serviceable... getting a new belt put on and getting the thing dialed in is not that difficult, especially for a tech who knows what he's doing. Find someone in your area who's really good at old hi-fi gear.

There was a time, in the 70's and 80's, when "direct drive" turntables were all the rage - but it turned out that unless they are REALLY good high-end turntables, the noise produced by the direct drive function can be very problematic. A good old AR turntable - with ZERO bells and whistles, belt drive, totally manual - is still sought after and highly regarded, even after 50+ years! They sold new for around $100 and can be had for ~$200-$300. There are newer companies that make bare-bones turntables that are very good, and they aren't that expensive.

If your son wants to get into vinyl, in my opinion it would be best to have him learn all the in's and out's of that modality, rather than just turn him loose with whatever...

If you are buying the gear, then you need to decide which way you're gonna go...
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Old 12-02-2023, 01:39 PM
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I speak from recent and extensive experience in cautioning w/respect to buying used audio equipment. It's not that you can't get great components - I have a hifi system comprising largely such - but it is increasingly difficult to find anyone to work on old equipment if/when something goes awry. I had a bad experience with a turntable, purchased from a used audio equip store, on which the old cables went south soon after the 90 day warranty expired and it wasn't worth the $$ to fix them for that particular table. Here in Portland (OR) we have two reputable audio repair options. At the time I had equipment to service one of the two was not taking in new equipment because their backlog was so extensive. The other place said, upfront, that their wait time was a minimum of 10 weeks and the actual time ended up being much longer. I believe they are the primary service option for most of the northwest. The work was great, and my equipment was gone for a very long time. The proprietors of both shops said it is very, and increasingly, difficult to find competent repair techs for old equipment in this day and age.
YMMV!
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Old 12-02-2023, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
If your son wants to get into vinyl, in my opinion it would be best to have him learn all the in's and out's of that modality, rather than just turn him loose with whatever...
Or giving him a pure manual, 60+ year old machine is the best way to stop him from pouring all his pocketmoney in expensive, fancy vinyls! IMHO a turntable should at least have auto-return with auto-off (and a lift of course), purely from a respect of the vinyl and tip point of view.

Of course this changes a bit if he already plans to digitise every album he gets and mostly listen to those copies.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:20 AM
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Unless you're deliberately looking for equipment that is really high-end and/or hi-fi, something to consider for a teenager in today's world is one of those all-in-one vintage/retro looking turntables. These are neat little (relatively speaking) boxes that look like a REALLY old school console. But they cram a whole lot of tech inside them. We went this route probably a decade ago when our then-college age daughter showed an interest in vinyl records.

We picked one up in one of those Big Lots box stores for like $60. It was pretty simple, it played records, CDs and I think even had an FM radio. We then bought a bunch of records of great music from our era and gave them to her for Christmas. She absolutely LOVED it and still uses it to this day. It actually sounded pretty good out of the stock speakers. There are no shortage of used vinyl record places up here so each year we go and buy her a few more. It's a great way to introduce your kids to great old music.

A quick search of Amazon using the terms 'Retro' or 'Vintage' record player shows a whole bunch to choose from of all styles. Today's models are even more packed with tech. This one here (which is similar to the one we bought) plays vinyl records, cassettes, CD's, and streams music via Bluetooth. All for right around a $100 (on sale right now). Direct link:

Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Speakers - 3-Speed Turntable, CD & Cassette Player, FM Radio | Wireless Music Streaming | Mahogany
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