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Old 26th November 2012, 08:49   #76
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Default Re: Which turntable do you own?

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Can you please share information of the Technics turntable model you own?
It is an SL-1200. This table has become the object of derision by turntable enthusiasts because it became so popular with DJs (from radio stations to rap studios and dance clubs) that it is believed to only be good for that kind of use. BUt it was in fact created by Matsushita has a high end high fidelity turntable, and as was typical of the japanese in those days, Matsushita decided to bring the weight of the best engineering and design techniques to what had until then been a cottage industry.

I quote from an turntable enthusiast:

Quote:
The direct-drive principle has often been met with disdain and contempt from the audiophool quarter. This was probably and rightfully fueled by the tens of nasty cheap turntables Japan Inc made in the eigthies. But the other, less correct, cornerstone of this disdain was the notion that a quartz-locked DD would always be hunting for the correct speed, as opposed to the much safer and cleaner belt drive. The champions of this theory then blissfully ignored a number of belt-drive basics, namely that 1) a motor with an elastic belt driving an inert platter constitutes an underdamped mass-spring system, and thus resonates and 2) that the more sophisticated belt drive motor control units out there are remarkably similar to the 'hunting' controllers of good DDs and thus suffer the same 'faults'. But as usual, self-deception works wonders in this business and in the western hemisphere the direct-drive was effectively banned from the audiotype's world, in firm favour of a solution that entailed cheap motors on cheap plinths driving cheap platters on cheap bearings with cheap rubber belts.



The actual reason for the massive adoption of belt drive, of course, is that it allowed low-key cottage-industry types to enter the turntable market without investing in the research and tooling required to make a really good direct drive: had any of the presently-established European and American high-end turntable manufacturers tried to design a top-end DD model in the late seventies or early eighties they would have gone belly up in no time through lack of funding. No, they settled for belt drive, and flaunted it with the aid of the local audio press.
I tend to regard that with a good table, 99% of the sound quality is determined by the cartridge and its set up, because the table itself should do only two things: spin the record as stably as possible, and minimize the transmission of external vibrations to the record surface. That I think the SL1200 does as well as just about anything else that I would consider buying due to my expectations of engineering and value. I may buy a different table because I like its style, but not because I think it sounds leagues better. The tone arm can make a bigger difference because it needs to work with the cartridge as a system, and while I am quite satisfied with the SL1200's arm, I do think about upgrading it at some stage.

The SL1200 unit I have is in fact a no-story one. A friend of mine was a manager at a college radio station for decades, and told me that the studio had an old unused SL1200 that had been bought as a standby unit but never used after being tested, and now that the station had moved away from LPs, it would never be used so I could have it. I bought it for $300 including the awesome foam padded luggage case that the studio had for transporting it. The dust cover however had been left sitting around unprotected in a corner of the studio for years and so is not in good shape. but it does its job so I am not troubled.

I had wanted to buy a Rega or a Pro-ject or a clear audio, but I was never satisfied that the level of engineering and components was better than cottage industry.

Quote:
What instruments are these?
An alignment protractor, an overhang gauge, and a weighing scale.

This is essential reading for turntable enthusiasts:
http://www.audiophilia.com/features/cartridge_setup.htm


Quote:
I have yet to notice any degradation in the sound after repeated playback.
Thats because its gradual and too soft to notice the change. If you buy two copies of a record, listen to one normally and not at all to the other and after, say, 50 playings, listen to both side by side, you'll hear a very very clear degradation.

Last edited by Harbir : 26th November 2012 at 08:56.
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Old 26th November 2012, 11:10   #77
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Default Re: Which turntable do you own?

Wow! petrol heads as vinyl enthusiasts!

I have Throens 125 Mk II and Rega RP-1 with some 50 vinyls. Using it with my Marantz PM 6003 and Wharfedales 9.5. I will post the pics soon.

reignofchaos : thats a wonderful set up you have. Congrats.

R2D2 : Well said about vinyls but one must not forget that CDs follow closely vinyls in sound quality and stands between vinyls and digital music.
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Old 26th November 2012, 12:09   #78
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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Which turntable do you own? I am referring to the audio turntable.
Feels great to see a thread on turntables! Brings back old memories!

We currently have a JVC QL-F4 fully automatic, direct drive turntable. It has 2 speeds : 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. It has an option to select the record size so that you don't have to manually position the arm.

The auto-repeat offers options to replay the record from 1 to 6 plays at the twist of a rotary control, with the 'R' setting offering infinite replays.

The auto-lead feature raises the arm, moves it over the edge of the record and gently lowers it to the lead-in groove to start playing.

The auto-return sets the arm automatically to its rest when a play is completed, then shuts the power off. You can manually lift the arm and place it at the desired position. The turn table powers on automatically when you lift the arm.

This turntable is connected to the good ol' Cosmic Lab 3000 MK-II Amp (manufactured in Aamchi Mumbai!!) which drives speakers custom made by my father.

(The turntable is currently is packed safely and kept away from the eyes of my naughty 2 year old son. Just can't risk keeping the turntable in use with this little devil around!)

The rest of our setup consists of a Sonodyne 12-band equaliser and a BIC 2-speed cassette deck.

My father (now retired) being the business of audio / video repairing and servicing for the last 40+ years gave me the opportunity to see amazing gadgets of the past like valve radios, gramophones, old amps, 8mm projectors, 8-track cartridges, walk mans, headsets with build in radios, VCRs, VCPs, etc.etc.

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.

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Old 26th November 2012, 12:20   #79
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

I Have a Linn Sondek LP12 and a Music Hall MMF 2.2LE. Waiting for my Clearaudio Concept.
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Old 26th November 2012, 12:52   #80
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

Yes, 16 rpm was an option in the Garrard changer, but we never got to own a record of that rpm.

Another issue with the Garrard changer was that when a stationary record drops down on a rotating turntable that already had a record on it, both records were susceptible to getting scratched. But we almost never had that issue. We also did not have the issue of the turntable moving slower owing to overload.

As a kid, my dad advised me not to play my favourite number on an LP record repeatedly, and instead encouraged me to play the entire collection on that side. Otherwise he said the record might get uneven. I am not sure if that was correct, but followed his advice most of the time.
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Old 26th November 2012, 13:09   #81
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Default Re: Which turntable do you own?

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Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
R2D2 : Well said about vinyls but one must not forget that CDs follow closely vinyls in sound quality and stands between vinyls and digital music.
Absolutely! The SACD does come very close to 'natural' and some labels like GRP are known to make very natural sounding albums. The big difference IMO is made by the DAC and I prefer either Burr-Brown or Wolfson in my CD player/transport or amps.

Sadly most of the stuff I listen to (soft rock, jazz, some pop) is not available on LP at least here in India. I was SO tempted to buy a Thorens turntable last year but held myself back. I have a few LPs left over from a collection that spans a period of about 30 years when my Dad started buying LPs/EPs in the 60s right up to the early 90s.

The hassles of finding parts for my the old late '70s Technics, convenience of CDs and long lasting nature (my oldest CD is 23 years old now with naturally no wear and tear issues) made me shift to digital in the early 2000s. Of course I listen to high bit rate MP3s but prefer FLACs.
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Old 26th November 2012, 14:31   #82
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

I never owned a turntable. I normally listen to CDs. I am hearing people saying Turntable sounds better than CD due to Analog medium is better than Digital medium. But I don't see anyone going back to Audio cassettes though it stores music in analog format. Does anyone know why Audio cassettes are not so popular compared to audio records?
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Old 26th November 2012, 17:51   #83
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

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I never owned a turntable. I normally listen to CDs. I am hearing people saying Turntable sounds better than CD due to Analog medium is better than Digital medium. But I don't see anyone going back to Audio cassettes though it stores music in analog format. Does anyone know why Audio cassettes are not so popular compared to audio records?
Audio cassettes were capable of extraordinarily high performance. However getting the best out of them required extremely expensive decks, recording on the most expensive tapes. Pre-recorded tapes could never match the fidelity of a decent turntable set up because the high speed recording and low quality tape medium that went with mass production meant that if you wanted the best quality sound of a recording, you bought an LP or a CD.

While an old LP in good condition on a good turntable rig will still sound spectacular, cassettes will not because the pre-recorded ones were never any good, and self recorded cassettes have long since been either worn out. After all, you only made tape mixes of music you already had, to listen to them.

Today it is impossible to find adequately good quality blank tapes. and there seems little point in having them. THis is because the enthusiasm was for tape medium, not the cassette tape whose only advantage was making tape convenient. The proper tape medium was the reel to reel deck. Because the tape was broad and thick and tape movement speeds could be very high for high fidelity work, the quantity of magnetic material used per second of sound was much much higher than cassette tape, so the sound quality was absolutely phenomenal.

THese were in fact the highest level of analog audio sound. In recording studios, it was these that were used to create masters. THen they would sell reels of the music to tape enthusiasts, and make LP copies for the mainstream vinyl market. By definition, there would be information lost in the translation from the magnetic to mechanical medium, so LPs could NEVER sound as good as the original tape.

When you see CDs that say AAD or ADD, you know that the original recording was done on analog reel tapes.

There are still lots of enthusiasts of Reel to Reel decks. I myself have a collection of about 250 pre recorded and mixed reels.

The problem again is that the magnetic media loses magnetization over time so the tapes degrade with time. Use accelerates the degradation because the head gets magnetize and slurs the information in the tape that passes over it. you can keep the head demagnitized but you can't eliminate the effect and you can't do anything about the physical wear and tear.

And you can't buy new blanks anymore.

WIth degraded media, and no blanks or new pre-recordeds available, its a far smaller market than the revival of the LP.

As to digital vs analog sound, Audio is the province of tall tales, furiously held convictions, myths, legends, religion, where few people find the reason and balanced judgement to not become fanatical about some point of view or the other. Suffice to say that from my point of view, LP can sound very enjoyable. It can often sound enjoyable because of its imperfections. Maybe while the purist calls for the perfectly flat requency response, in the absence of perfect recording and reproduction acoustics, flat frequency response doesn't help because your results still don't match the recording, and some imperfect response may sound better. Or maybe not. It may be that by reducing the number of components in your audio chain that have imperfect frequency response, you can reduce your variables to just the speakers, and then choose and set them up for best results by matching them to the acoustics of your listening space.

THe point is, there are no perfect answers in hifi audio, and lots and lots of bullshit that people swallow up. There are some nuggets of truth, many things are subjective, and lots and lots of vaporware.

THe point is, Analog can sound exceptionally good, enough to bring out the best in really supreme quality speakers. It can also sound very bad, and very often does because analog, much more than digital, requires very high grade and very expensive equipment. That leads many audiophiles into a fairy land that borders on utter stupidity.

The rational audiophile realizes that analog can sound very good, but does not have a monopoly on the best possible sound.

THe most powerful truth device in audio is the double blind test. It is also the test that nobody who is committed to some exclusive truth will go near. Its very cumbersome to conduct, but is the only proof of real rather than imagined aural characteristics. Say you are doing a comparison of CD and Vinyl. A double blind test would involve a set up where the output levels of both media in actual in-room sound levels are perfectly matched, they are synchronized perfectly in time, and the tester can switch between the two instantly, without delay (human brain's memory for sound quality is extremely short term). THe double blind aspect is that neither the tester nor the listeners know which A and which is B.

Any claims made about sound quality of anything, but most particularly about contentious points, made without the support about double blind testing should be regarded merely as somebody's opinion, likely an unsubstantiated one.

i said some analog sound extremely good indeed. It does to me. But a friend of mine has a very sensitive ear. He can hear flutter induced distortion very clearly. He can hear the flutter on even the most expensive turntables and he can never not hear the warbling character of the sound of LPs. He loves digital audio. I couldn't hear what he was talking about until he found out I had a certain piano sonata recorded from CD to TDK MA-XG tape on a Nakamichi LX-5 tape deck. I had done A/B comparisons with the CD and had found the copy nigh on perfect. After a long time of doing this, I started to hear differences but couldn't tell which was better. More experiment and I had realized the tape had more high frequency distortion of the instruments. It was so close that without repeat A/B comparisons straining to hear the difference, I wouldn't have known it. Then he came along and told me to listen for microtonality in the high frequency piano notes. and sure enough, there was this shimmery warble to the sound that wasn't there in the CD. It was caused by microscopic high frequency variations in the tape's speed both in recording and playback. He heard it clearly. I didn't.

And this too is a crutch used by the proponents of the wildest ideas. "Oh I can hear it so clearly, you are just not accustomed to the sort of critical listening that comes naturally to me.

Like everything in high end audio, this is not just often true, it also often wrongly but unshakably believed by those who say it.

Lesson, in practical terms, it comes down to the quality of the sound engineers. good engineers will make digital sound awesome. bad ones will make digital sound terrible. LPs can sound extraordinarily wonderful, with extremely lovable sound characteristics, often due to imprecise reproduction, that make them very lovable. but they can and often do sound absolutely ghastly.

SO to repeat, there are no certain answers. there is good sound and bad sound. there are many ways to bad sound and more than one ways to good sound. you can take one or many ways to good sound, and enjoy the music. Just be wary of all the nuts in audiophilia who go around preaching one true religion.
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Old 26th November 2012, 18:34   #84
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

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As to digital vs analog sound, Audio is the province of tall tales, furiously held convictions, myths, legends, religion, where few people find the reason and balanced judgement to not become fanatical about some point of view or the other.
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SO to repeat, there are no certain answers. there is good sound and bad sound. there are many ways to bad sound and more than one ways to good sound. you can take one or many ways to good sound, and enjoy the music. Just be wary of all the nuts in audiophile who go around preaching one true religion.
Thanks for the detailed answer to my question. I had to frame my question very carefully as I had seen wars on other forums on such topic. Unfortunately, I never could get answer on these audiophile sites. There are people in camp A and camp B, but no balanced view. So far this is the best answer I ever got.

Your points make absolute sense. That also explains why some of my CDs sound good and some terrible on same sound system.

As I said, I never owned a Turntable or not even had serious listening session on one. I grew up with cassette player - National Panasonic two-in-one which was not even stereo, and then BPL '1000W PMPO Hi-fi' cassette player/recorder system. Probably this is the reason, that I never listened to any good system earlier, I felt CD player are so superior.

I will now find a friend who owns a good turntable to experience it.
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Old 26th November 2012, 19:03   #85
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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
SO to repeat, there are no certain answers. there is good sound and bad sound. there are many ways to bad sound and more than one ways to good sound. you can take one or many ways to good sound, and enjoy the music. Just be wary of all the nuts in audiophilia who go around preaching one true religion.
Harbir, pretty much sums up the entire "Old is gold" argument without any logical and objective data to back it up. I love listening to classic rock and have a good collection of digital music. I was aware of the LP and analog turntables but never knew a thing about how good/bad they can sound until I came across a small store selling vinyls here in the UK in my small town weekend market. He had a handsome collection of Floyd and Zeppelin vinyls and I was keen to check if they sounded any good. He hooked on an old Garrard TT for me to a set of phono amps and speakers and to tell you in one word, they sounded awful!! I am not put of by that for the reasons you mentioned, the setup, the environment in which you listen to it and the equipment all contribute to this. Looking at the TT and the vinyls and listening to the setup I came back convinced that it takes a good deal of effort and trained ears to get the best out of them, not to mention some serious cash as well.

As far as buying and putting the whole setup together, the DIY itch in me will draw me into this pretty soon. I have started saving for an old SL1200, I can see some floating in UK for around 300. I won't be disappointed if it sounds a little worse than my digital recordings, I will be happy to put together the setup and go through the experience of "feeling" the music.
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Old 26th November 2012, 20:04   #86
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

Forgot to post pictures of my first turntable, a Rega RP1.
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Old 26th November 2012, 20:39   #87
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Default Re: Which turntable do you own?

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I had wanted to buy a Rega or a Pro-ject or a clear audio, but I was never satisfied that the level of engineering and components was better than cottage industry.
Are you saying this based on hands on experiences with these turntables? If you were to ask me, I won't say that they are all cottage industry grade materials used. The entry level Rega, Pro-Ject's are not fancy products by any means. However; having spent a considerable amount of time with my stock Rega, it is an outstanding product. I prefer my Rega over a plastic turntable made by Denon today and which costs about the same.

During the many months that were leading up to my first turntable purchase, I had seen and experienced a few turntables. Some were financially accessible and some were not. If you were to ask me about a Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 Genie, this table surely looks and feels cheap. My Rega RP1 looks and feels cheap too but not when I play it. If the RP1 did not catch your fancy, you might want to look at their RP6 which is a work of art and at a price that is accessible. I won't call this a cottage industry grade product. Far from it. Then there is the other end of the spectrum by Scheu Analog. I have heard the Premier and it is just brilliant. The best table I have heard to date. Not something I would want to own though as it needs care even when not operational.

Like I had mentioned earlier. You have turntables today that are built just to get your records going and then there are many that can extract every single bit of information out of the groove. You pick what you like based on how serious you take this format of music.
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Old 26th November 2012, 21:26   #88
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You won't find me putting down any reputed brand unless I had good justifiable reason to do so.

As a mechanical engineer and an audio buff, I have pottered around inside mechanical audio gear and around vintage audio service shops, and I have been particularly impressed with what I have seen as industrial grade precision design and manufacture in products from certain manufacturers (Teac and sony open reel decks are so exquisite, they give me wet dreams).

Based on what I have seen, it is my reasonable guess that if you took 100 random examples of the SL1200 and as many of a similar table from a smaller scale manufacturer without the muscle of Matsushita, and played 10,000 LPs on each of them over years, at the end of it, I would expect more SL1200s to be running to design spec than its rival.

It doesn't mean that others don't make great products. I just find the technics combination of battle ship grade construction and very high precision engineering to be hell of a turn on.

I was merely sharing my preferences, not stating any rule that ought to influence anybody else's choice.

I'd be one of those who I say preach some one true religion, and pretty damned stupid to boot, if I stood here and declare unequivocally that Rega doesn't make really excellent turntables, and that the Technics is the right answer to the needs of those choosing Regas.

I do have my prejudices (like I think no less than 60% of any two channel system's budget should go into speakers), but preaching that technics is a superior product to the Rega is not one of them.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 16:33   #89
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Question Re: All about Turntables!

Hello Team-BHPians!

Can anyone share details about which USB turntable would be a good choice to convert LPs to MP3s. I am asking this query on behalf of a friend who wants to convert his LP collection to MP3. Flipkart does have some of these with prices ranging from 10K to 37K but wanted to check if anyone here has used USB turntables for LP to MP3 conversion.

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 18:38   #90
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Default Re: All about Turntables!

My dad has a Gerrard Radiogram which his grandfather bought from the UK. Its those Vinyl+ Radio thing combined with speakers.

The front bezel where you have the tuner knobs and switches for the radio reads"Hi-Fi"!

As far as I remember the records came in 3 sizes and were played at different speeds, this record player had a 16record automatic changer and speed selecter.

As a kid, I used to keep staring at the records while they spun round and round. Its a pitty I dont have a picture of it, as it is in my home in calcutta. But it looked somewhat like this.

The only difference being that in the picture below, the center does not have the radio console,whereas the one we have has the tuner knobs and the buttons to change the channels with that shining golden "Hi-Fi". When you open the top-center, you get access to the changer!
On the sides just below the speakers, there were small drawers built in, to keep the records safe!!
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