Hi folks! I'm very interested on getting into analog but I don't know how much money would have to be the minimum to spend in a TT to worthily surpass my $1000 cd player, a Musical Fidelity A3CD. Any suggestion or thought? Thanx in advance!
Jorge,believe me, IF you have good enough pre & amp & speakers,a used setup of 7or8hundred will KILL that cd player. Not that yours is a poor cd player, TTs are just that good dollar for dollar.
I have to disagree with George's price point. There is a point where turntables become better than cdps, but i personally like the sound of a decent cdp, like the a3cd, over an $800 TT rig. I would place the price up around $2k for the TT, arm, cart and phono. That's just my opinion, and ya' might want to take in to consideration that i grew up with cds.
I don't know who said this, but the quote was: "Getting good digital sound is as easy as turning hamburger back into steak".
Another option would be sacd but be warned i find even the best cd recordings to sound weak after sacd and dts sounds about unlistenable.
i'm sidin' w/avguygeorge on this one - isle even go so far as to say a brand-gnu $7-800 winyl-rig will out-do *any* brand-gnu $1k digital-rig. of course, that's yust my opinion, & ya mite wanna take into consideration that i grew up w/winyl... ;~)
I had a $500 used turntable that in many ways out performed my $6500 dac and transport. I think all things considered a cd player is better. But in terms of smoothness, realism, and warth, perhaps the three most important sonic charteristics, the cheapest of turntables will out perform the most expensive cd players. If you spend 700 dollars on a turntable it will be hard for you to listen to your cd player again.
Hi Jorge,
I was born and lived with Viny for a while. Until CDs came in with the promise of "perfect sound for ever"....Will That is not True and 99% of the public have been sold on the idea of CDs. Why? To make money. These companies need new formats and new gadgets to keep as buying and buying so that the economy will continue to grow and so that they continue to profit. 90% of the gadgets out there are useless. They" are manipulating us like sheep and we don't even know it. If any moron tells you that CDs are better don't believe it. CDs are by definationa an anomaly: It's not posible to get smooth sine and cosine curves from a bunch of "0" and "1". You are forced to exprapolate and this where the music suffer and why it sounds etched out, edgy, rough, mechanical, and with monotaneous tone. This process also affects transparency and the 3D locations of the musicians in the soundstage. All of this leaves one with a muddy soundstage with different instrument sounds coming from all directions. I did not realize this difference until I went back to analog about 6 months ago. I have a Sony DVP S7700 DVD player, with Tara Labs Air Digital cable hooked to a Bel Canto DAC 1 which is hooked via Analysis Plus Silver Oval-In to a Proceed AVP A/V preamp( this unit does have a passive mode), finally using Cardas Golden Cross Interconnects, we get to the amplifier (BelCanto Evo 200.2), then using bi-wired Cardas Golden Cross cables we arrive at Canton Ergo RC-L speaker ( Floor standing speakers which are good speakers for the money)So, I bought a Rega Planar 2 with Clear Audio Aurum Beta "S" cartridge and believe it or not I just used a cheap phono stage that's installed in my Pioneer Elite reciever. The sound ?...Ummm...Open, Smmoth as silk, no edge, no etchiness, no feeling that you need to turn down the volume, trumpets and violins sound natural and not that uneasy sound that makes you either leave the room or turn down the volume. It sounds real, natural, buttery smooth and ahhhhhhhhhh, It's GOT SOUL BABY!! My Table cost me about $540 new with tax and the cartridge cost me $485. I also bought a VPI 16.5 record cleaning machine ($425 new).By Contrast the Bel Canto was $1353 w/ tax, The Tara Labs Digital Cable was $295 without tax, the Sony DVP S7700 was $850 with tax and the Proceed AVP was $4870 after tax. The Pioneer elite was $650 (2 years ago). So total cost for the digital gear was $7,368. And the total cost for the analog gear was $2,100. There fore my doigital gear ,which you gotta admit is pretty great stuff, cost me 3.5 times more than my analog gear (350% more!). But I listen to my analog gear more than 755 of the time. If I am lasy and don't want to get up frequently to change records then I will put in a CD, but I don't sit down to enjoy it! My gear changed very quickly when i relized the superior sound of analog. I immediately upgraded to a Rega Plana 25 but kept the Clear Audio cartridge. So if you want a brand new Plana 2 at 20% off the usual price, you know what to do. Sorry, had to plug in my pitch.
I challenge anyone with a high end digital set up to go with a relatively inexpensive analog set up and compare for themselve.
Jorge: As you can see, this is really a matter of taste. Some people like the sound of vinyl, others prefer the greater (technical) accuracy of CD. So saying that $X on a TT equals $Y on a CD player is meaningless. The value all depends on your personal preferences. I'd advise you to listen an decide for yourself. To Kasboot: You meant interpolation, not extrapolation, and you're dead wrong anyway. D/A conversion does not require interpolation.
Suggest you start real cheap with the analog just in case you don't want the hassles of it.
I have a second system in my flat where I work during the week and it carries a Philips 867 semi-automatic with a AT 440 cartridge, AT feet and a ton of Dynamat plastered on it. With a sorbothane mat, it sounds very hi-fi at a mere investment of under $200. That particular tt, top of the line was the 877, was a sleeper.
Similarly you can find others, like modified ARs, which had for years before getting into top shelf stuff.
Starting from scratch, you have to read up on vinyl, get various accessories like record cleaning fluid, cleaning brushes, LAST for the cartridge, at least, etc. etc.
and make sure the setup is correct.
All this becomes an increased tension point if you just go out and lay out $1,000. I would play around with good belt TTs, like AR, Thorens etc. etc. older SME arms, or Rega, Premier etc. etc. and a decent magnetic or moving iron cartridge. My AT 440 costs a mere $40 from a post. Of course I tweaked it a bit with Dynamat and Mortite, but that's easy. Another example on the Internet is a brand new top of the line Sonus cartridge (MM) for $123!
With $300-500 invested and a good chance of getting most of that back on a resale if you don't go through with vinyl, you will be doing it more like a hobby. If you follow through, eventually you will come across high-end gear that might sound better. And, through listening, be able to judge if you want to get into esoteric and high-priced moving coil cartridges.
Many of us oldtimers have climbed the Holy Grail mountain of vinyl because we started out when phono was the highest fi of them all.
In my opinion, analog still sounds best. And that includes a good NAK deck over DAT.
Well, I could go on, but the bottom line is to get your feet wet first.
And, we haven't even begaun talking about buying records.
best of luck
Ok guys,here is what I base my opinion on.All I got is a VPIjr,A Rega 300 arm,A Glider.(around 2grand new) Now I have seen this setup used, here, for 800.I'm not tring to say the classifieds are full of this combo.I did have mine "tricked" out.You loose the lame tone arm wire/din-a three piece affair w/ plastic connectors.Now one piece Cardas/straight back to the cartridge,into a cardas termination bloc,xlo3.1 phono cable.Ok,you get the tt pieces first do the other stuff later;I did...Wanna hear what digital it KILLS? Theta Data3,Gen 5a(mine and nearly 10 grand new)I got many duplicates cd/vinyl A buddy brought over his mo fiGold cd DSOM,was sure it would eat my vinyl mo fi version. should have seen his face.
Elgordo... you fat! ;-) I agree with the hamburger/steak analogy.

I also concur that less expensive analog rig will blow the doors off 1 grand CD players. As an extreme example, I've heard older, modestly priced & tweaked, tt's that KILL CD front ends at the $1,000 price point and more. Case in point: heard a friend's Thorens TD160 Super, AQ PT5 arm, Blue Point, AQ Big Feet all the way around, AQ Sorbathene platter mat, Mod Squad cable adapter. You can buy a tt like this for way less than $500 today and still stomp the donkey snot out of $1,000+ CD players. And this is the budget, low end of the spectrum. Spend a little more and get exponentially better sound than CD.

That said, I am between tt's for the time being and, as much as I am an analog man, I've adapted to CD's and have to say that I enjoy the convenience factor. There are lots of albums that I don't like to listen to from beginning to end and, frankly, CD's are a whole lot easier. Yeah, if I did this with a tt I would be able to crack walnuts on my ass from the jumping up and down -- as much as the wife would like that, I'm pretty content pushing the button with one hand and trying not to spill the Sierra Nevada with the other.

Now, THAT SAID, once I finish sorting out (and paying for) my new subs, cables and IC's I will be jumping on a sweet deal for a VPI TNT with JMW arm. Like Muddy Waters said: "I'm Ready..."!