Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.
In other words - don't blame the turntable for your inability to set it up correctly. Surely you knew about the learning curve regarding vinyl. The 'plug and play' mentality is what landed us in the age of the cd and the ipod. Read up, and try again in a year or two. Good luck.
what do you think you need to configure on it? Setting up turntables is pretty easy unless you're a total klutz. Based on the picture it appears the only adjustments are on the tone arm (VTA) and cartridge alignment which are really easy to do on my Clearaudio tonearm. I suspect the "contact your dealer" statement is there because their lawyers said it had to be. Indeed - if you read past that statement the manual goes on to explain how to set up all of the parameters, though you may need to study other sources to help you understand what you're doing.
what exactly are you struggling with on the set up.... I'm very experienced with set up, and documented my own struggles with a Performance SE / Verify combination (see link address below)... but will tell you that the struggle is absolutely worth the effort and it can be accomplished with a little patience.
Pdjmwj; you might want to have your local retailer have a look at the turntable to make sure it's working properly. Just a quick look will find the most likely problems. That way you're not trying to set up a turntable that cannot be set up because it's damaged in some way. It shouldn't cost much more than a half hour labor charge.
If you're not sure how the Concept works you can ask the dealer if they would also give you some basic advice on setup and then give it a try yourself. As mentioned in the previous posts, vinyl isn't necessarily simple but neither is it complicated if you stick to the basics.
You could also investigate if there are local audiophiles who would help you set up the TT rather than pursuing dealers. Alternatively, dealers will often set up the TT if you acquire a cartridge from them.
What exactly are you complaining about?
Don't rush out and resell your Concept. It's not as difficult as one may think in setting up and verifying a turntable set up. Don't be afraid of stepping into the vinyl world, you may very well enjoy it.
Once you get the Concept set up or verified to be in proper st up you needn't bother with that stuff anymore. Unless you like to in future try out other cartridges.
A local dealer who may do vinyl will likely help you out if you are afraid to set things up. If you feel he does a good job and maybe has not asked for a fee shoot him a few dollars for his time to make you feel better.
Vinyl playback is not just a simple drop and load as a CD or boot up an online set up but boy oh boy if you catch the vinyl bug you may really love the adventure.
Don't sweat it all ok? It's worth the initial bother to get a very nice vinyl rig going and a Clearaudio Concept is a sweet rig for the money.
I think that if you invested in Michael Fremer's turntable setup DVD (Michael is the analog columnist and reviewer for Stereophile magazine), you would find that turntable setup is well within most peoples capabilities. After all, any turntable that you purchase will have to be set up.
The Clearaudio is a fine turntable. Spend a few more $ for the DVD and invest a few hours on a Saturday setting it up while you watch the DVD and you will have great sound and the satisfaction of a job well done. Happy listening.
I agree with Viridian regarding the Fremer DVD - - I found it very useful, and reassuring, when I was confronted with setting up a new TT several years back.
Thanks for all the responses. Knew I would get blasted and also offered advice here. Greatly appreciated. I should also have defined myself better.
I've been into vinyl since 1974 and own over 600 albums. I dropped off vinyl when CD's came out but started getting back into it a couple of years ago with my old TT's I own 4 already, all from the 70's / 80's. Two Denon 47F's and a Phillips 212 which broke last year and was my favorite.
I also purchase a Pro-Ject III from BestBuy and had no trouble setting any of them up. Sold the Pro-Ject as it was no better than my older TT's. I also have never needed professional help before.
Given this, my concern with the Concept is that there is no instructions on how to properly setup anti-skate or anything on this TT. I know it is on the bottom of the TT and have found it. It is very difficult to get right and I've been working on it off and on the last 24 hours.
I'm close but I know it is still not right. I will add also that this TT sounds way better than any TT I have ever owned and will keep plugging away.
My outburst is focused on the manual and it's references to have a dealer do this setup. I've NEVER EVER seen such a statement and consider this a cop out or as someone else mentioned a legal move to protect the makers butt.
The table is marketed as a beginners TT. My thrashing post was focused on that marketing hype and wanted those who jumped on a used Concept with this in mind to be careful.
Its not rocket science man-get a guide to setting p TTs and a few tools.
Well, the manual is here:
and I can appreciate it when you say, "Given this, my concern with the Concept is that there is no instructions on how to properly setup anti-skate or anything on this TT.", but I respectfully disagree with you. Tracking force and VTA/SRA adjustments are covered. As far as where the anti-skate is adjusted, it is inside a giant red rectangle in the instructions.
And yes, they say to have a dealer adjust it, but when you purchase a lifestyle product like the Concept it is geared for the broader market that is not into the nuts and bolts of turntable setup, you get these kinds of instructions.
There is more than enough here to do a proper setup.
You might also have a look at this thread to see if any anti-skate is appropriate for your setup. Many don't use bias compensation at all:
" If you need to do any adjustments "contact your local dealer".
I'm sure my local dealer would love me to bring in a used Concept when he has several new for sale."
Why assume this. Call him and ask him what he would charge. Or would you be wanting him to do this for free?
Appreciate your very helpful note Viridian. I should have read the instructions inside that red box.
During a cartridge purchase, I first saw this deck at my dealer and discussed buying new from them. My comment on showing up with a used one was directed at their displeasure in my not buying new from them. Yes, they will set this table up for $185 plus tax.
Clearaudio sent me detailed instructions on how to setup this deck up myself. I have all the instructions needed to get the anti-skate up and working which I have done.
I'd like Viridian to tell me how much to turn the anti-skate dial and how he would know what the setting was before he turned it. I forgot, the instructions in that "red box" were so detailed.
Pdjmwj -- the standard arm is (a sort of) unipivot and you can choose to skip on anti-skating adjustment, which is fiddly. I set one up for a friend a few days ago -- he is using an expensive Lyra and the a-skating was set by ear & test record; not very scientific! We set the TT at the edge of the table to have easy access under the arm.
With all due respect, you have a very decent TT there and, as you note, you have plenty of TT experience. You don;t need the dealers' expensive input!
185.00 is a lot better than 95.00 per hr min of 4 hr for a Linn Sondek LP12. Take your time and set it up yourself, or at least try it first. I rebuilt 2 Linns and saved a lot of money that way. Just be careful with the cart while installing it. You'll love vinal. Good luck.
Pdjmwj I always set bias by ear, starting at the manufacturers recommended setting. In your case, that would be the pre-set amount. Often, I find that the recommended amount is too much, and in many cases end up with no bias compensation at all.
But I set VTF the same way, starting at the recommended setting and then listening for the best sound quality.
I agree with you all and take it on the chin. I have things all setup and it was worth the time. I did just as recommended, trial and error. I've swapped out several cartridges for practice and messing around. Feel pretty good about dialing this in now.
One thing to be very careful with is to not turn the anti-skate more than a couple of turns. Even that is too much and could bind the wires. Wish there was a way to know what dead center is as a reference point but there is no way to determine this that I can find.
I've gone overboard since getting this TT. I now own a new Conrad Johnson ET-3 preamp and Jolida JD-9 phono preamp with mods. Combination is working for me and I love the sound after everything is warmed up.