Absolute newbie question ??

Ok, I am brand new to the whole analog, vinyl hobby. I am not sure if I ever will be but I wanted to own a record player, so I bought one since I own many records. I have never heard how a record should sound in analog reference system. My system is very good and it plays CDs beautifully. However, records sound like they are missing bass and most of the mids. Is this how they were recorded? Do I need a new needle? new turntable? new preamp?

BTW, what I bought was: Pioneer PL-1100 and Rotel RQ-970. I didn't want to spend a lot of money since I didn't know if I am going to stick with it.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance,
start with a good cartridge. what kind are you using on your pioneer?
Are you using the phono input on your preamp? If so don't. Otherwise check the loading of the phono stage and the VTA if possibl;e.
I am using Rotel RQ-970 phono preamp. I shouldn't use it?

Also, what is a good and inexpensive cartridge I should try? I am not sure what brand I have atm.

It sounds to me that you may be tracking too light. Get a stylus wgt scale and check to see that you are tracking within the recommended guide lines for your cartridge. Also the anti-skate need to be accurate if there is one. Make sure also that if you are using the phono inputs, that you are indeed using the correct one for your cartridge (MM in MM input, MC in MC input, etc.)
I think the Rotel is fine. Make sure it is plugged into a line level input (CD, AUX, Tape) on your preamp or integrated, don't use the phono stage into the phono input on the preamp if it has one. The Rotel switch should be on MM. I'm assuming you bought a used table. If so then you have to assume that the cartridge is worn out. If you don't have a local dealer who sells phono cartridges I would contact http://www.needledoctor.com/ and see what they recommend. You can get a good entry level cartridge for $40 or less.
Everything is connected correctly. I will try a different cartridge I guess. I am not ready to give up. How close to a CD quility can you get on these things anyway?
How close to a CD quility can you get on these things anyway?

A mid level phono system properly setup will smoke a high end CD player.
That's what I thought. What does properly setup means? :) Can I get some education on this subject?

One more thing... Which one of these should I try?


what I am thinking...
Hey Moganes, Welcome! You came to the right place. Watch out; advise is free...you pay for the rest.
Can you give an example of a mid level system?
LOL, I know that much. :P
Once you order a new cartridge, I suggest you start studying this link. Once you get your cartridge, you will be ready to mount and setup your first cartridge.


Before you order your new cartridge, have you cleaned the stylus (diamond tip) on your old cartridge? If it looks like it is growing a dust bunny, that could be the cause of it's terrible sound.
What I am saying is make sure you don't have the phono preamp plugged into a phono input on your preamp or receiver.
1. Grado has a number of good inexpensive cart's

2. A new DVD is out on phono setup... will get the details later...don't have it with me now. Other options include the geodisk, wallytools, etc.
If your table uses a p mount cartridge there probably aren't many adjustments you can make, they are designed to be plug and play and typically the only adjustemnt is the tracking force.
I will try tracking and a new cartridge. Thanks for informative responces.
another important issue, make sure you spin the right lps. Some records are just bad recording!