Looking for hifi audio help... plunge into vinyl

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,537
Turntable has a built in pre-amp, and I've set it to the right setting to connect to my mini-amp (not a receiver). I doubt that's the issue, but who knows.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,537
New records came today. They sound much better but there’s still a faint crackle/static there. I can’t tell if it’s just the norm for vinyl (which I know isn’t perfect sound) or if something isn’t right. The fact that it varies by record makes me think it’s just normal and due to dust/dirt but I’m second guessing everything at this point.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
25,283
right here
I know nothing about nothing but if you played a bunch of old/dirty/whatever records is it worth trying a new needle?
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,537
I know nothing about nothing but if you played a bunch of old/dirty/whatever records is it worth trying a new needle?
Well it’s a brand new cartridge and needle, and I’ve only played 3-4 hours of music on it total so I’m hoping that wasn’t the root cause.
 

nomarshaus

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Thinking of getting a turntable and speakers for the fam for xmas, have several vinyl records, and more from my dad's old collection for him to send over. Any advice? not a huge audiophile, but i like good music. also have 3 kids - 10, 7 and 5, so super expensive it's out the picture for a while. but i'd like a good solid turntable, receiver and wired speakers. Maybe $1000 budget? Thoughts?
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
16,927
Thinking of getting a turntable and speakers for the fam for xmas, have several vinyl records, and more from my dad's old collection for him to send over. Any advice? not a huge audiophile, but i like good music. also have 3 kids - 10, 7 and 5, so super expensive it's out the picture for a while. but i'd like a good solid turntable, receiver and wired speakers. Maybe $1000 budget? Thoughts?
Size of room? Any newer technology you want hooked up? Appetite for going used via local marketplace?
 

nomarshaus

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Size of room? Any newer technology you want hooked up? Appetite for going used via local marketplace?
About 25x20 with 9 foot ceilings. I think it would be stand alone at this point. Sure, used would be fine with me.
 
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Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
16,927
How are the acoustics in the room? Echoey? Boxey?

I'm asking this stuff because my low budget recommendation usually involves an entry-level pro-ject turntable ($200), some decent bookshelf speakers ($400), a used powered sub ($100), and an underrated 90's receiver like a Nakamichi AV-2.

Beauty of that is that there is no waste. You are not over-invested anywhere, and you can upgrade as you see fit.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,537
About 25x20 with 9 foot ceilings. I think it would be stand alone at this point. Sure, used would be fine with me.
Also I went through this about 1.5 years ago. I got a medium range turntable, a pre amp and some bookshelf speakers. It was a perfect setup for what I wanted and probably cost me less than $500 total. I can send over the exact details of what I ordered if you want.

If you get active/powered speakers you won’t need the pre-amp.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,905
The price tag was shocking and beyond that it’s remarkable that it weighs 176 pounds. The power supply is 58 pounds by itself. The tungsten alloy counterbalance is another factor. Tungsten alloys have high density. I never would have guessed that a 21”x16” record player could cost or weigh so much.
 

FullaPoloni

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
143
South Shore, MA
The price tag was shocking and beyond that it’s remarkable that it weighs 176 pounds. The power supply is 58 pounds by itself. The tungsten alloy counterbalance is another factor. Tungsten alloys have high density. I never would have guessed that a 21”x16” record player could cost or weigh so much.
I'd imagine that anyone buying one of those would grab a couple of these cartridges https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/84470/Koetsu-Rhodonite_Cartridge_with_Diamond_Cantilever_Upgrade-Low_Output_Cartridges

The marginal at best upgrade in sound quality can't possibly be worth these kinds of investments
 

nomarshaus

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Also I went through this about 1.5 years ago. I got a medium range turntable, a pre amp and some bookshelf speakers. It was a perfect setup for what I wanted and probably cost me less than $500 total. I can send over the exact details of what I ordered if you want.

If you get active/powered speakers you won’t need the pre-amp.
That sounds perfect, I'd appreciate the specs!
 

cgori

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2004
3,069
SF, CA
For whatever it's worth, that K2020 is an integrated amp, not a pre-amp. (i.e. it has both pre-amp functions like volume/source select and amplification)

A plain pre-amp has no amplification, just source-select/volume control (plus maybe a phono stage), and needs to be paired with a separate amp. Mostly making the distinction so you can cross-shop for other integrated amps if you want (something like the NAD C316BEE V2 is a classic integrated amp, but it's ~$450).

It's also important to note that the turntable TFP mentioned seems to have an integrated phono stage (sometimes called a phono pre-amp). Other turntables you investigate might not, and then you need a phono stage in your integrated amp (or a discrete phono stage, i.e. a separate box to convert the turntable levels to line level).

Example: U-Turn Orbit Turntable $179 without the phono stage, or $249 with the phono stage built-in

I would have recommended an integrated amp for this kind of setup anyway.

Put another way, you have 5 things you need to make this work:

turntable <-> phono stage <-> preamp <-> amplifier <-> speakers

-the turntable can potentially include the phono stage inside.
-an integrated amplifier is usually phono stage + preamp + amplifier
-the speakers can be powered, meaning they would include the amplifier (and sometimes the volume control function of the preamp too)
 
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TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,537
Sorry - probably used the wrong terminology. I needed that because my speakers were passive and had no power source, but my turntable had integrated phono you’re right.

I learned about this all when buying everything and apparently have forgotten everything I learned.
 

cgori

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2004
3,069
SF, CA
Sorry - probably used the wrong terminology. I needed that because my speakers were passive and had no power source, but my turntable had integrated phono you’re right.

I learned about this all when buying everything and apparently have forgotten everything I learned.
No worries, glad you like your setup (I've heard those K2020 are really nice bang for the buck) - just making things clear for Nomarshaus.
 

Coachster

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2009
7,303
New Hampshire
Resurrecting this thread.

During the pandemic, my wife looked into the closet in my office and saw the 9 cartons of LP's I had been carting around since before I had met her, and said, 'get rid of them if you don't use them...' My response: 'No f'ing way'.

Like several of you who had written on this thread, when I was in college I worked at stereo shops, and at one time had a pretty cool system. (Looking at the price for my old components on eBay is really depressing now...)

Anyway, I decided I needed to play those LP's, so I had to build the best system I could find of vintage stuff, that wouldn't cost more than say, $500 total.

I've succeeded way beyond what I thought I could find. (In case anybody is interested- Nakamichi SR4A, Rectilinear III highboys, AR turntable.) Now, getting here was really fun, as I've bought stuff, traded stuff and sold stuff. It's become a little bit of an addiction.

Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
 

cgori

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2004
3,069
SF, CA
Resurrecting this thread.

During the pandemic, my wife looked into the closet in my office and saw the 9 cartons of LP's I had been carting around since before I had met her, and said, 'get rid of them if you don't use them...' My response: 'No f'ing way'.

Like several of you who had written on this thread, when I was in college I worked at stereo shops, and at one time had a pretty cool system. (Looking at the price for my old components on eBay is really depressing now...)

Anyway, I decided I needed to play those LP's, so I had to build the best system I could find of vintage stuff, that wouldn't cost more than say, $500 total.

I've succeeded way beyond what I thought I could find. (In case anybody is interested- Nakamichi SR4A, Rectilinear III highboys, AR turntable.) Now, getting here was really fun, as I've bought stuff, traded stuff and sold stuff. It's become a little bit of an addiction.

Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
Cool.

I mean, post a picture of the crossover but I can kind of picture it already. You have around a half dozen through-hole caps to replace I would guess. Not impossible by any means, if you are a semi-steady hand at soldering and can source the proper replacements. Just don't overheat/scorch the printed circuit board when desoldering the old caps. Make sure you have rosin-core solder or some flux on hand.
 

StupendousMan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,453
Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
Hello, and welcome to the wonderfully nostalgic world of vintage audio. I'm just a dabbler, but I've been making minor repairs for a few years now. This sounds like a pretty good project for you to gain some experience.

First, let me recommend that you check out audiokarma.org, which is the SoSH of the audio world (in my opinion). People there will be happy to listen to your questions and give you solid advice. You can find threads on AR2Ax crossovers on the fora -- for example, this example of a thread on AR2Ax crossovers. I'll post a schematic from that thread here, but WATCH OUT -- it contains a mistake. The positions of the two capacitors is reversed: the 6 uF goes to the midrange driver, and the 4 uF goes to the tweeter. You should check your actual hardware carefully before taking any action.


If this layout is (at least mostly) accurate, the job seems reasonable: there are just two capacitors which you might replace, and both should be easy to find in any good electronics store/site. In most of the (small number of) speakers I've examined, the wiring is all out in the open; some of the components may be glued to a piece of wood for stability, but others are simply hanging by thin wire leads. If that's the case, you can simply snip the wires close to the ends of the old capacitors to remove them, and then solder the new ones to the ends of those old wires.

Some pieces of advice:

- open things up and take lots of pictures. Write down notes on what you see. Then stop; don't
do anything for at least a day while you think, and look again, and again

- if you have a decent camera, use it instead of the one on your smartphone to take
pictures. It's easier to focus on just the right portion of a complex
field of view with a real camera

- after you've taken some pictures, post one or two, plus your plans, to the DIY
category on the audiokarma forum. Wait a day for reactions from the
experts there. Oh, and you could post the same info here, of course :)

- when you decide to go to work, again, write down what you are doing before each step.
This, and the pictures, can be very useful when you are trying to connect
everything back up again

Sounds like fun! Please let us know how it goes.
 

Coachster

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2009
7,303
New Hampshire
StupendousMan, thanks so much for this.

Funny thing, I’m already a member at Audiokarma. I’ve read their advice carefully as I was buying each piece of my current system, and they’ve been right every time.

I’ll do as you say, take pictures, take my time, and post a couple photos here.

Stay tuned.