Advice for new vinyl gear

Hello members,

I've been visiting this site for about a year and I finally decide to make a post. I just bought a new home entertainment center that consists of an LG 44" LCD rear projection TV, a Pioneer Elite VSX-56TXi, Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi, Def Tech 7006TL, and Def Tech CLR 2300 speakers. I also have some Sonance 622TR speakers in the ceiling for surrounds. It's a real simple system right now and it is the best sounding stereo system I've ever owned. I have found myself listening to alot of music with this setup compared to my old entry level system that is now in the bedroom. The store that I bought all my new equipment from has a Music Hall MMF-5 at a very good price that I want to get. I've wanted to get back into vinyl for some time now but never had the equipment that would support a higher quality table like this. The receiver does have a phono stage. My plan is to get it within the next few weeks and add it to my new system. I've already bought a couple of records at some local shops. My questions are about record and equipment care and maintenance. What kind of stuff am I going to need right off the bat to get the most out of this setup? What do I need to clean the records? Brush? Static Gun? What do I need to get the table set up properly?
The MMF5 is a nice table for starting out in analog, or for adding analog to your HT system. It is very easy to set up, and is almost a "turnkey" package.
The phono section of your receiver should be adequate to match reasonably with the cartridge that comes with the MMF5.

I'd recommend a dedicated stand for the TT, which is lightweight and rigid, and relatively low to the floor, so it doesn't "sway" around.

It is a good idea to learn how to set up the cartridge alignment, so you can check to see if the factory has done it correctly before you play. I have heard of the Music Hall tables being a bit out of alignment from the factory. It would be good to check it, and also learn how to do it.
You can get all the stuff you need at

A mirrored alignment protractor($20), a vertical tracking force scale($20), a carbon fiber record brush(about $20), and a stylus cleaner would be a good start. A Zerostat gun is nice, especially in the winter when the air is dry and builds up static quickly.

As soon as you can, a good record cleaning machine would be a very good thing to have, since it will make your records sound much quieter because the dirt will be removed from them better than a brush can do.

Enjoy your music!
I'll just chime in that I started with a Music Hall, a MMF 7, and completely agree with Twl. These are good tables for the money and will serve you well. Watch out, though. You may get bitten by the analog bug!
Thanks for the advice guys. I've read about the VPI record cleaning machines. They seem to get good reviews and are within my price range. I believe the VPI 16.5 is at or around $500. I know there are probably better machines but I don't want to spend $2K on something like that right now. I only have 4 albums with me so the cost per album ratio is kinda high. I do, however, have several lps at my parents house that I will pick up at Thanksgiving. My Dad also has a huge lp collection. I may grab of few of the ones I liked the most as a kid. One of the main reasons I want to get back into vinyl is that it will give me and my son something to do together as he gets older. Kids today need to learn how to appreciate and take care of things. What better way to teach than with something as delicate as turntables and vinyl.
Are you a handy man? If so you can build RCM that will work every bit as good as a VPI and for a lot less money. It is pretty simple and it would be another great project to work on with your son.

Check out this page.
Galen Carol Audio has the best prices I've found of VPI cleaners. Much better than $500.
Hello again guys. I've had my new MMF-5 for a week now and I've listened to it for about 3 hours each night. I think it sounds great. I like the looks of the table in my system. It fits perfectly in our entertainment ceter. I have it on the base self near the floor. The DVD/CD player is next to it in the right side cabinet. I do most of my listening from the floor anyway. My collection is also growing. I bought 5 lps on Saturday at a local record dealer. He said if I ever want something that's not in his store to let him know because he has over 100,000 records at his house! Anyway, I just wanted to ask a few more questions like: How long does it take for the Goldring cartridge to break in? Also, How long does a cartridge last and how do you know when it needs replacing? Same for the stylus? Will the needle need replacing before the cart? If so where do you get replacements for the Goldring? I'm sure I'll have more questions later. Thanks for reading and for the help.
The stylus should last over 1000 hours of playing, or possibly much more, depending on how dirty the records are that you play. The cartridge should last for at least 2 or 3 stylus replacements.

It is easily replaced, and it should not worry you at this point, unless you break it accidentally. I'm sure that replacements are available from Music Hall, or you can order them online from various sources.

The Goldrings don't take a very long time to break in, and I'd think about 20 hours should be sufficient.

Happy to hear that you are enjoying a new part of the hobby.
Cartridges last a long time. As for break in, some people use special break in records that stroke the electrons in the tight direction, or other tone generators with a special connection through the cartridge. But the non-fetishists and the merely obsessive all the way to just plain lazy figure a couple dozen plays will do the trick. You know it needs replacing when either you start getting bored or you upgrade other things so that you can hear the difference. Needles [sic] are another matter. It depends on how much you drink while playing, or doing other set-up tasks. With modern tracking weights, a gram and a half or so, and with the cleaners for both needle and records, including something like Last preservative, you cut down the friction down so far that you can get well over a thousand hours. Again, set-up goes along way. You know if it is bad when Maria Callas sounds like Tom Waits. Probably a chip or other gross failure is making really god-awful noise. Otherwise they just kind of fuzz out from gentle wear. Brush your records and the needle between plays. And I don't know anything about specific replacements because I always look for an excuse to get the next hot little number. is bad when Maria Callas sounds like Tom Waits.
Indeed, particularly if she was the "replacement" you had in mind as your next "hot little number"!

Dougdeacon are you kidding? Maria was one crazy Greek chick. It would have been like dating Medea. But, I suppose, still better than Tom. But you notice he insists his work still has a vinyl issue, and they are good.