Getting into Vinyl...


Was wondering what you guys would recommend for a phono preamp for someone just getting into vinyl and not looking to make this a passion. I am just trying to work some vinyl into my system (VTL 5.5, Krell 2250, b&w 804s) to play with on occasion, not looking to spend alot of money.

The players I have been looking into are the Rega P1, just not sure on the phono pre amp side of things. I was considering a SS phono pre since I already have a Tube pre amp. Is this a good line of thinking?? I don't want to lose bass if possible, and i know having all tube can cause this.

I know nothing about vinyl, except it sounds great and looks fun, so any help is throroughly appreciated.
jc51373
You still need to answer these questions:

MM or MC? Budget? New or Used?
OK:
First thing, the TT is fine. Whatever cart comes with it is cool.
Then buy a small pre-preamp. Many are available new and used for $100 to $200. Any will do.
Then LPs.
You need a source of used LPs.
Big cities have em'
Estate sales sometimes have them.
Buying NEW LPs is not a good idea for starting out, unless you have favorites you must have and can only get them new.
Then, play around!!
Good luck.
(and don't worry about the details and all the crazy stuff vinyl-o-philes worry about (until you HAVE to have all that other high end stuff)
With the Rega P1, you may want to go with a MM cartridge. There are some nice used and cost effective phono-pre amps on Audigon. Search the classifieds and then search the unit you can afford in the forums for information, look on Vinyl Asylum as well. have fun.
Thanks everyone....Not sure what MM or MC is, I have an idea...Moving Magnet, or Moving Coil??? Either way, I have no idea why it is important-sorry. Whatever it is, I want to know, as I don't want to learn I missed some very important detail after I purchase a set up.

So SS or Tube phono pre?
It's time for you to start searching and reading the forums here. You will find ss and tube units in your price range. Try searching for something like "low budget phono stage" in the discussion forum.
I have been searching, and completely understand the concept. I am looking for a helpful individual to contribute and offer up some suggestions. I will continue to search, like I have been, in the meantime.
I'd suggest that you listen to Elizabeth. And that you pick up an inexpensive SS phono preamp. (The Rega P1, I'm pretty sure, comes with a mounted cartridge, so you'll be using what they give you. Which will be a moving magnet.) You'll find people here who will scare you off of vinyl. (Though I don't believe that's their intent.) They will tell you that you need doctors from Africa to look at your stylus and that you've got to stand on your head while you clean your records on a machine that has been blessed by a Zen master, and that when it is raining three states away you'd best not play your mono LPs or all of your hair will fall out. Stuff like that. They are probably right about at least some of what they say. But you can go down all of those road when you desire. I started with a decent little 'table and a decent little cartridge and less than a decent little phono preamp -- and I really really really began to enjoy listening to vinyl again. And now I've got a better 'table and a better cart' and a better phono pre, and I'm liking records more than ever. The point -- at least from here -- is that you shouldn't be scared. Records sound great and they are tons of fun. (I'be prolly bought 100 records in the past few months and maybe six CDs in that same time.) Remember that this is supposed to be fun. And about music. And then spin the black circle.
I think a SS pre amp is a fine choice. I would set a budget that works & search in that range. Analog is (for me) the most fun. There is so much you can do once you get an idea of what you are looking for. I would look at all the usual suspects in addition to the Rega's plus I would also look at a Rega 3 or up, you have a nice system & you will want a deck that will allow you to enjoy all your system has to offer. While I am sure the P1 is a fine sounding deck it may not give you all that your system is capable of. You also need to figure out whether you want to purchase new or used, used is a great value. I am on a Thorens kick at the moment but there are plenty of other choices.

I currently have a Cambridge Audio 640p pre-amp & while I am considering an upgrade it is only so I can hear what another model has to offer. I don't feel I am missing anything but as we all know in this hobby there are so many different aproaches & every brand sounds different.

Read all you can read, get an idea of what you want to spend & once you buy everything the real fun starts. Finding music is the real treasure of the hobby, I know I love the feeling of coming home with something I have been searching for & spending a quarter of what I would have spent if I bought a CD.

PS- MM is moving magnet & MC is moving coil, at this point worry about finding a MM, it will allow you more options with lower priced pre-amps. MM is usually high output allowing pre-amps with lower gain to drive the signal to a reasonable level while MC is usually low output & requires more gain or a step up to achive similar vollume levels.
Thanks Hodu, Fishwater, very informative, exactly what I needed to hear....A this point I think I am leaning towards the Black Cube with the larger power supply, I will start there and move ahead with the table, or vice versa. Seems like the phono is the more important piece, although we know better as philes. It's all a big chain....

Anyway, I don't know enough about Tables to buy yet and I want to know everything, and that gives time for something nice to pop up on A-gon for me. But the Black Cube sounds like the Phono stage for me, neutral and sounds good, perfect for my system.

Do you guys have any opinions on the MH 2.1? Alot like the P1? I like the Ferrari red. : ) But mainly I would like something I could potentially grow with, without breaking my wallet.
The black cube is a very nice SS unit. If you can solder and build your own the Bottlehead makes very good kits at a not to dear price.
I prefer the Rega's over the Music Halls - just my opinion (English vs Czech made). For a few more dollars you could get a nice used Rega P3. Not saying the P1 is not a good starter table. I ordered a Thorens TD185 and befreo I even took it out of the box I traded it fro a Rega P5.

As far as cleaning vinyl - look at the Orbtrac2. Does a good job without emptying your wallet.
"A[sic] this point I think I am leaning towards the Black Cube with the larger power supply, I will start there and move ahead with the table, or vice versa. Seems like the phono is the more important piece..."

How do you come to the conclusion that the phono stage is the more important piece? You haven't decided on a cart yet much less a table/arm combo.
Pawlowski...Get lost.
I purchased an Audio Mirror Pp1 remote controlled tube preamp. It has both MM and MC inputs and of course a linestage. You can adjust the impedance via switches inside the preamp. This preamp is about $900.00 new on Audiogon from time to time from the manufacturer. This way you will have no restrictions.
Thanks Stereo, much appreciated. I will take a look at that one as well.
Ooops. Guess I provided the "wrong" advice.
A this point I think I am leaning towards the Black Cube with the larger power supply, I will start there and move ahead with the table, or vice versa. Seems like the phono is the more important piece, although we know better as philes. It's all a big chain....

That depends who you ask, but Dejan Veselinovic, an European audio journalist opened my eyes to that perspective. I chose the Monolithic Sound w/ dual mono outboard power supply and it does bring a lot of detail for its price point. The power supply is an important component in keeping the noise floor down.

Buying used is a great way to buy and sell until one finds a keeper...

As for TT's, I'm a direct drive man.

***
I own a Lehmann Black Cube SE. It's a no-brainer at its used price. One of the great values in analog audio.

You can't go wrong with either a Rega or Music Hall. A vintage table like a Thorens TD160 or TD147 will hold its value.

You will get outstanding performance from a MM cartridge or a high output MC cartridge. At the entry level, anything else is a waste of money, IMO.

Even an entry level table will sound better than a CD...if you can ignore the surface noise, pops and clicks of vinyl.

IMO, FWIW, YMMV.
Thanks Tvad...I read so many positive things about the BC se it just seemed like the right avenue to travel. I think it is important to system match properly when adding something. Some of the pieces I was originally thinking about might be outclassed, so I decided to at least put a little more into the phono stage. Great advice here, thanks alot.
Even an entry level table will sound better than a CD

Not in my modded 1200 rig, and according to someone I trust, not even with a Walker Proscenium. The mastering quality is what determines whether a vinyl record or its CD version will sound better, not the format. That's happening with my beloved Fania salsa records, which are now being PROPERLY digitally remastered for the second time. To that effect I suggest a modified belt drive transport. Then vinyl and analog will start sounding close to each other.

With Psychic power and primal intensity,
03-07-07: Psychicanimal
Even an entry level table will sound better than a CD

Not in my modded 1200 rig, and according to someone I trust, not even with a Walker Proscenium.

Are you sure your read my statement correctly? You seem
to be arguing the opposite of what I wrote. A Walker Proscenium table does not sound better than a CD?

My comparison consisted of two selections that I own on both vinyl and CD. The CDs are re-masters. In both examples, the vinyl had more “life” and dimensionality than the CDs. My statement was somewhat hyperbolic, I will admit, and for that I apologize.

Nevertheless. My ears tell me that what I wrote is correct as it applies to my system. Your observations may vary in your system.

Here's mine:
Digital Sources:
Modwright Sony DVP 999ES Platinum Signature modification (Bybee AC and RCA filters, Upgraded clock) including tube rectified 9.0 power supply
Sony C77ES Changer

Analog Source:
Music Hall MMF-7 w/Goldring Eroica H

Preamplifier/Amplifier:
Lamm LL2 Deluxe with Mullard 6X4, 12AU7, and E88CC
Lehmann Black Cube SE Phono preamplifier
Moscode 401HR with stock RCA Black Plate 6CG7 and Mullard Blackburn 12AU7

Loudspeakers:
Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III HSE loudspeakers with Audiopoints brass spikes

Interconnects and Speaker Cable:
Purist Audio Aqueous Anniversary Contego RCA interconnects (CD>Pre) and Purist Audio Venustas interconnects (Pre>Amp)
Stereovox HDSE interconnects (phono preamp>Pre)
MAS Signature Hybrid speaker cable

Power Cords:
Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox plugged to dedicated analog 20a AC line with Porter Ports > Hydra 2 > Empirical Audio Grand Slam (amplifier)
Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox plugged to dedicated analog 20A AC line via Porter Port wall outlet >Hydra 2> Volex 17604(preamp)
DCCA Extreme Reference plugged to dedicated digital 20A AC line via Porter Port wall outlet > Hydra 2> Volex 17604 (Modwright Sony 999ES)
DCCA Extreme Reference plugged to dedicated digital 20A AC line via Porter Port wall outlet > Hydra 2> Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox (Modwright 9.0 power supply)

Isolation and Rack:
Neuance shelf for digital source
Neuance platform for turntable. Sorbothane discs under the Neuance
Symposium Rollerblocks II under preamp
Custom Sorbothane footers under Moscode, Modwright 9.0 power supply and Lehmann Black Cube power supply
Salamander Synergy audio cabinet w/perforated steel doors. Shelf supports padded with 1/8" sorbothane.


I agree with you about mastering. Mastering is everything. In fact, I own a Classic Records re-mastered DVD-A of Cannonball Adderly's "Somethin' Else" that blows the vinyl version out of the water. I own both.

My comment was specific to redbook CDs, and specifically the two I compared.
Tvad: Just curious. Is your vinyl pressing of "Somethin' Else" an original Blue Note, a solid blue label Blue Note early 70's reissue or the more recent Blue Note re-issue?
It's an early 70s re-issue. It was a gift when I was a kid. When I received it, I didn't care for it. I never listened to "Somethin' Else" until two years ago when I discovered it on DVD-A. Then, I remembered that I had it on vinyl. I was pumped. I did some research and discovered it was the re-issue. Oh well, it's still cool to have it on vinyl...