Can I match or beat my digital, and at what cost?


Hi folks,

I had a friend bring over an old Kenwood TT ( KD1033 ) and a phone preamp, JEC it looks like. Well it sounds pretty good and has me interested in trying a vinyl setup now.
The frequency extremes and the layering aren't there that I am used to.

Say for 1k total budget..how close can I get to my current digital? I will likely buy new from my local dealer. They have Rega so I was thinking of starting with a p1.

Current system is
Audio Reserach REF2 MK2
Proceed HPA 2
Musical Fidelity A308 CR
Martin Logan Ascent
all transparent Ultra MM IC and Speaker cable.

Thanks for any advice.
no_money
Well, it will cost some money.....

Bob


Should more budget go to the table or the pre?

I am totally new to analog so yea..... My thought would be a majority of the budget, 7-800 would go to the table and 200 for a cheap pre to be upgraded later.
I agree with Bob. Your budget isn't big enough to do vinyl right. I tried 3 times and never could get what I wanted without having to spend $3k or more. Once you factor in phono stage, record cleaning system, vinyl collection, fragility of cartridges, and the cost of a good TT and arm, my Audio Aero CD player was the obvious winner. So I sold the TTs and bought CDs instead. Been super happy even after hearing my neighbor's $12,000 vinyl rig many times.

Arthur
I don't think you can even get close for $1000 new. Used you can get close but you have to up your allowance a bit. I think that at $1,500 used prices you can have a fine phono system (complete). Less than that, they become more disposable/plastic.

Bob
They have Rega so I was thinking of starting with a p1.
The P1 doesn't really bring much to the party. Everything is noticeably compromised and it doesn't upgrade gracefully. The P2 isn't much better, but the Rega P3-24 (which is just inside your budget) starts strong and offers ways to upgrade as your ears demand over time--outboard power supply, upgrade the platter, upgrade the tonearm. Another alternative: If you shop online and google for the best deal you can score a Technics SL1200 mkII for about $350, or the M5G version (better tonearm wire) for under $500.

If you go with a P3-24 you'll definitely hear a different presentation than digital. The P3-24 has good 3-D imaging right out of the box and a relaxed presentation that eludes most CD players until you get into the stratospheric price range. Even then, you're still making do with a 16-bit dynamic range (64K increments of amplitude).

To keep it under $1K NEW, I'd go with a Technics SL1210 M5G, Foculpods to replace the feet ($25), a Herbie's mat ($72) and record damper ($22), and Ortofon 2M Blue ($199) or Audio Technica AT150MLX ($299) cartridge.

OR

The Rega P3-24 with Ortofon 2M Red ($99) or Blue ($199) cartridge to stay just within budget or a tiny bit over. The 2Ms are a good match with the P3-24.
picked up a P-1 and NAD pre for now. I can bring the table back for full credit for up to 4 months. Hopefully by then I can go for the P3-24. So far the p1 sounds pretty darned good.

Thanks for all the input.
and.... upgraded to the P3-24.

Much closer to what I was hoping to hear.
Welcome to vinyl!
My advice going forward: All due respect to local retail dealers, I found that the folks on this forum provide me with very experienced advice without the inevitable dealer ulterior motivation of upselling me only the shop's limited products. I say this after many years and many dollars of high price/mediocre performance mainly due to mismatched components, local retail shop influence, and my own stubborness. If I had better followed the suggestions, hints, and gentle nudges in the right direction from this forum (as well as audio asylum), I would have saved quite a bit of time and money.
05-06-09: No_money
and.... upgraded to the P3-24.
Good show! Save yourself the hassle later and enjoy
more music better sooner.

Cartridge?
Cartridge is the Elyes 2.
Ok so I tried posting another thread to update what I ended up with but that was "denied" for some reason??? Odd..... So I will bring this one back up.

I ended up with:

Rega P-3 24 , to be upgraded to p5 this weekend
Rega exact 2 cart.
Rega TT PSU
Clearaudio Basic plus phono

I also found a local shop that has a fairly decent selection of LPs. Lots of new
and used to select from.

Haven't turned the cd player on in a while :)
Wow going from a p1 to a p5 is quite a jump! How bout marantz-clearaudio table w~800 usd cart for 1500?
my dealer stocks Clearaudio and Nottingham as well. I am really lusting for one of the Clearaudio Ambient solo tables but at 4k that will have to wait.
A used Nottingham Spacedeck sounds nice for the price.