I could not believe it

I was happy owner of pretty decent rig (Supratek+Clayton monoblock+AA Capitole as cdp). One pretty Sunday morning I came across garage sale, guy have 20 years old Fisher turntable for sale (cheap looking extremely dirty unused for 10+ years).
I would not normaly buy it, but for $2 what the heck. I bought it for fun. It took 30 minutes of cleaning, and I connected it to phono stage of Supratek Chenin. I had some LP's at home.
To my surprise it worked. To even bigger surprise it worked so good.
I compared Dire straits and Madonna LP’s with exactly the some albums on CD.
I could not decided which I prefer (CD or LP). I really could not!
Remember we are talking about $8700 cpd and maybe in good condition $30 worth cheesy turntable. It keeps me wonder how much better would sound decent turntable ?
Classical music from Deccca, Deutsche Gramophone, Columbia Masterworks actually scared me. Resolution (there is not congestion I hear on every classic CD) smoothness really scared me. It cannot be so! I could not believe what I heard. Why for goodness sake we have ever embraced CD format, for convenience maybe, not for quality for sure?
generally sound from CD on Capitole have more body, much better bass, dynamics on some audiophile CD’s.
BMG and other normal CD are in comparison to LP’s simply unlistenable.
Classic on CD’s is especially congested and its resolution is not even close to what I heard from LP’s on cheesy Fisher turntable.
There is one but though:
a lot of surface noise especially on older LP’s.

So , analog gurus I'm rookie at the subject but believer now, please give me advice about some decent turntable which besides resolution and lack of congestion would give me even soother and even more detailed presentation, huge dynamics, wide soundstage. And would be quiet without this awful surface noise.

What Turntable would you recommend for up to $3000 used.
I read that pretty good ones are
Nottingham Space Deck w/ space arm
vpi scoutmaster with jmw-9 arm.
How does those two compare, maybe different recommendation.

I heard on CES $30.000 turntables and they have been awesome, but I have never though that actually cheap turntable could sound that good and actually stand a chance to high-end CDP and on classic beat it in spades.
Welcome to the club. Anyone who thinks that CD performance, or even SACD/DVDA performance, can come close to vinyl is just off their rocker. The more vinyl you listen to, the harder it is to listen to CD. I still listen to CD, but usually because I'm too tired to clean a record or I think I'll fall asleep and I don't want to leave my player spinning for hours in the inner groove (bad for cartridge life and TT motor). And therein lies the answer to why CD took over... convienence. No cleaning, no flipping sides, smaller package, no need to know how to maintain a turntable. etc. etc....

Both tables you've mentioned are fantastic. Rega and Linn also make great tables, as do Michell, Sota, and Avid. Funk Firm is a rising star and their new line is supposed to be very good.

I am a ScoutMaster owner, and IMHO it is the price-performance leader today.

PS - a record cleaning machine like the VPI 16.5 is a necessity for serious forays into analog. Budget for it.

The Nottingham and VPI are pretty hard to beat! I have the Nottingham myself, but pair either TT with a good cartrage and you're off to the races. Welcome to the club (Analog that is).
I can't believe it either, because my rega planar 3 / Goldring 1042 is about equal in sound to my $1000 CD setup, with neither being a clear winner.

I have found a good cleaning to be the most effective way to reduce surface noise, so if your LPs are very noisy you might want to factor a cleaning machine into your budget.
I really like my Nottingham Spacedeck. I really really love the on/off switch,(none), which is very easy to get used to. The new tone arm is a dream, very solid, clear and I think a bit more detailed. I paired mine with a Shelter 501 and have been very happy. I do also, however, listen to my CDP as there is a lot of new music that is not on vinyl and I like listening to the new stuff as well. I also would look into a record cleaning machine.
I have a Michell Orbe SE with a Wilson Benesch arm and Shelter 501 II cartridge. I also did a fixed-suspension mod on it.

The bass detail is unbelievable, better than any other source I've heard, and the layering and dynamics are very impressive. That said, my much less expensive CD sources sound quite good too. I find that each format has its own particular strengths and weaknesses.

In a perfect world, everyone would be using advanced reel-to-reel tape decks... But this world is far from perfect so choose your set of compromises and party on.
I had the same type experiance when I got back into analog this year.I bought a new VPI scout/JMW9/Grado Sonata cartridge.I used a cd that was out of the last cd's remastered by Jimmy Page,the box set that has one of every lp Zepplin did.It was easy to sync. the cd to to my $6,000.00 McIntosh MDA700/MCD751.I could tell no difference except a little better mids on the lp.There was less gain on the lp per the same volume setting but turning the preamps volume control solved that.I know the scout is a B grade TT,I bet a better TT would had made a huge diff,say one that cost as much as my cd setup.Lps are more of a hassle but worth it.Make sure you get a good record cleaner,they make a big improvement. Again welcome back to analog.
Yeah, I got my AA Capitole from a fellow who loved this Cd player but could not justify duplicating his entire vinyl collection for the ease of using CDs.

I don't want to bother with vinyl any more so I am happy with my Capitole. Still, I do 'hear' you.
Vinyl my ass.

My cousin says his Bose Wave Radio w/ CD player sounds like having an orchestra in his house. Sell all your vinyl and order your Bose today and find out what everyone's been raving about!
My mother in law, a life-long music lover (with more knowledge of the classical repertoire that I've seen anywhere) ordered (without my knowledge) the Bose Wave, used it for a week and sent it back because it was unlistenable. So I guess 'raving' has multiple meanings.
What's really cool is when you put $8700 into your vinyl front-end then compare that to an equal cost CDP. heh heh. I think it really comes down to a person's willingness to put up with vinyl's ideosyncracies and the additional work it takes. The trade-off is, for me any way, more fun and better sound.

I'll endorse Tfkaudio's comment to get a vacuum record cleaning machine.

As for TT and arm. Send a note to Chris Brady at Teres Audio - he has used models available occasionally - high value for the dollar. A Morch arm is a highly respectible and relatively inexpensive place to start. Another solid choice is SOTA - a STAR or Sapphire is a great starter table. SOTAs tend to work very well with SME arms.

Best of luck!

Good for you! I own a capitole and a decent table and vinyl kicks its ass.Marketing bullshit has caused all of us to "lose" 30yrs of advancements in analog.
Dear Sorlowski : Acoustic Signature Final Tool even or beats any single TT named here and the Mambo is a stellar one: www.acoustic-signature.com

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Dan: That's your cousin, but you? What is your own vinyl experience? wicth which latest analog rig? which are your music sound reproduction priorities and the kind of music you like?

Regards and enjoy the music.
Uh...that was supposed to be a joke. Sorry.
Anyone who thinks that CD performance, or even SACD/DVDA performance, can come close to vinyl is just off their rocker. The more vinyl you listen to, the harder it is to listen to CD.

Both formats have strengths and weaknesses. As the inherent weaknesses of each format are properly addressed analog and digital get closer to the same destination...music.

People say my LPs sound like CDs and the CDs like LPs. It can be done.

I can't believe it either, because my rega planar 3 / Goldring 1042 is about equal in sound to my $1000 CD setup, with neither being a clear winner.

Get a real TT and your analog will outperform the digital. Work on noise control and the digital will keep up. Get a high end MM cartridge with a short cantilever/great trackability and the TT will get closer to digital. Switch to a belt drive transport and analog will need catching up--and so on...

I joined the club a month ago and am quite happy. I am rapidly come to the realization that any decent vinyl rig has 5 parts: TT, arm, cart, phono stage, and RCM. Don't skip the last one. Check out the Vinyl Asylum over on AudioAsylum.com for more comments/opinions on tables, arms, carts, and combinations thereof. There is a strong tilt to discovering new ways to get great vinyl playback for not a lot of bucks there.
I was in the same boat until I heard Mike Lavingne LP system.
Surface noise.
Get a loricraft Lp cleaner, you really will not believe how much more music there is once you have goten rid of surface noise, period. Expensive but REALLY good.

Recommend tables.......Rega, Sota, Teres, new Galibier, VPI, Basis,.....
Check out the Vinyl Asylum over on AudioAsylum.com for more comments/opinions on tables, arms, carts, and combinations thereof. There is a strong tilt to discovering new ways to get great vinyl playback for not a lot of bucks there.

I'm not sure I agree with that. If Sorlowski had posted his experience over in Vinyl Asylum, there would have been a half dozen people trying to reason with him about how great digital is and how each format is sonically equal. That forum has become the haven for vintage/DIY/Budget equipment with little talk about high end tables, cartridges, tonearms or phono preamps.
Stick with the table you have.
When you spend $thousands on a TT, you will start 'worrying' about how it sounds.
With the $2 TT you now have, you can just enjoy the music!
I would get a midpriced new cart though, to save wear on your LPs. An Ortofon OM10 or a Shure 97me should do the trick for under $75.
Good luck!
Artemus, I agree that VA recently gets bogged down sometimes in debates about $200 carts and Technics 1200 TTs, and whether they are just before, just at, or just beyond the cruxpoint of diminishing returns; However, the archives hold a great deal of information from people who contributed their knowledge/opinions
I completely believe Sorlowski's experience, infact his Fisher Turntable is a perfect match to his current equipment, he was lucky to find such a good deal.

Just get a nice P-mount cartridge maybe a grado and you're set. IF you want something that looks better Basis makes a pretty table.

Why don't the bring the LP back? cause most of us are using a 2 channel system anyway?
I still havn't heard vinyl good enough to replace my digital but I will keep trying.I will admitt I thought my digital was good but when I had my player modded it was simply in another league. I just had the oppurtunity to AB a high end player 13-14K MSRP and was very disapointed in its performanc. So I can understand all the vinyl people liking and sticking with vinyl. I for one so far can not stand the noise and the hassles.......but thats me.

Funny how this thread turned into a vinyl versus digital debate when it started out it was simply someone giving their experiences......oh well so it goes.

My experience has been that if you stack a TT and a CD player of equal value, they will be close, but the vinyl will probably be better. Now add in the potential surface noise (sooner of later, the time spent over the Nitty Gritty, and getting up every 15 min to flop it over (sometimes I'm in the mood), the convenience of a CD is hard to ignore. It's all about music anyway. You like your garage sale TT? Keep it. I'm using a Sonographe I bought 18 years ago, and I love it.
Stick with the 20 years old Fisher turntable and sell to me your AA capitole for $2.
T Bone, You are right about the archives at VA. There still are a few very knowledgable posters there, but the amount of background noise there now makes it hard for me to trust a lot of what is said there anymore
It may be a good resource if Sorlowski wants to mod his Fisher table. But if someone has a $3000 budget for a table, there is hardly any regular posters at VA who has experience with that kind of TT.
Thank you for all the responses I was not expecting more then a few.
I heard Bose and I could not believe how bad it was. When it comes to record cleaner VPI 16.5 is interesting example $500 new nearly $400 used, does it have any sense to buy it used. They do keep value.

>If Sorlowski had posted his experience over in Vinyl Asylum, there would have been a half dozen people trying to reason with him about how great digital is and how each format is sonically equal.

It would be futile, I know what I heard. Of coures it was subjective to me only. I rechecked my impression a few times. I do not like it either. Plastic cheesy Fisher should not have stand a chance with build like a tank AA Cap . Heavy maintenance or inconvenience does not bather me as long it would sound better.. I already have Supratek (my convenience I had with MA A300 is long gone).
I thought that transistors have been step forward until I went to HE2001 and the best SS setups like ML and others was for me miles away from VAC, LAMM, Manley.
When it comes to cd vs lp maybe part of the reason is in software. I have noticed that AA Cap on typical CD sound like $300 cdp only on audiophile grade CD's it shines. Maybe LP have been recorder inherently better.
Have anybody actually compared Nottingham and Scoutmaster ?
I do not know if I could use recommended by Elizabeth Ortofon OM10 or a Shure 97me, description on Fisher says to use ST-66 D stylus.
You are very fortunate in that you are already ahead of the curve with the phono stage you have in your Chenin. With the variable loading and gain settings, you have a wide open market of cart choices. If you intend to keep your total budget at or under 3000.00, you might want to look around for a pre-owned VPI Scout/Scoutmaster/Dynavector combination. another possibility, but harder to find would be a pre-owned Acoustic Signature Final Tool. It seems like a lot of TT for the money. While I have no direct experience with the AS, I have used the VPI/Dynavector in my system and was very happy with it. The Shelter 501 cart mates very well with the Chenin's phono stage too. As a life-long vinyl listener, the VPI was my most recent TT until I decided to move to the "end-of-the-line" and purchase a Walker Proscenium Gold TT with the Magic Diamond cartridge. It along with the Chenin phono stage make the magic for me now.
Hi Sorlowski, Two years ago I wouldn't have given a turntable a second glance,not even a Walker Proscenium. I still owned a turntable from the first half decent system I bought in 1983. It was the Linn Sondek. The Linn and my L.P.s were packed away in the early 1990s and forgot about. I sure did like the convenience of playing a C.D. but never bought a player until 2001.It was the 55 pound Sony 777 Super Audio player....However, there was something missing, Hmm .A year or so later I had extensive modifications done to the 777. That mod brought the performance up afew levels....Two years ago it was time to buy a complete new system built around the modded Sony . The Audio store I was in had several rooms set up for different budgets. The room I choose had Cary, V.T.L. and Atma-Sphere. Meridian G8 player and Dynaudio speakers and this little V.P.I. Scout turntable??? I thought "what is this $1500. turntable with cartridge included doing with the likes of this other equiptment" I was left alone to listen as long as I wanted. Well, the Meridian G8 c.d. player sounded very good.... After a while I became curious about this little 1500 dollar turntable. One of the c.d.s I brought with me was Harry Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall.One of my all time favorite live recordings. The salesman poked his head in the room to see how things were going and I asked if they had a copy of Harry on vinyl,well yes they did. I sat and listened.... Now I know whats missing ....I ended up going back to the store acouple of more times to hear this little turntable again. The Scout Master just came on the market, I ordered one and sold my Sony 777 to someone that was very happy to get it.......Two years down the road I'm just starting to learn how good the phono section is in my Chenin along with my turntable and cartridge due to acoupe of inexpensive upgrades. The new V.P.I. Signature arm wired with Nordost Valhalla and a Nordost Frey interconnect going into the phono section of my pre... A profound change in performance...If Slipknot reads this ,I can picture him rolling his eyes saying OH YA. That Walker table he owns must represent vinyl at its finest. Its got to be spooky....
Change the tubes on your Audio Aero Capitole. I bet that is a big part of the problem. It makes a huge difference. Vinyl should be better but not that much better. The congestion sounds like the tubes are going bad. I went through that. Oh, still get a nice table but your CDP isn't bad (not great anymore) but new tubes will go a long way.

TW Acustic has a new table arm combo for $3000 which is an incredible deal. The German press loves his bigger table. If it is 1/2 as good as the bigger unit it will be a world above many of the other more colored sounding turntables.
Ander the influence of great number of positive reviewsfrom audioreview.com I have bought 2 year ago SONY 9000ES SACE player. I was very disappointed it could not much quality of my old Arcam APLHA6 I had at that time. AA Cap was step forward from Arcam 6 but that big like Sony was step backward from Arcam. By chance I bought this weekend RCA Gold Seal recording of Boston Pops, for some reason this particular LP have unbelievable resolution, something I had never heard from even Gold audiophile CD’s on my AA Cap. It s getting better and better.
I would be in seven heaven if not awful surface noise and limited dynamic. I’m sure more serious turntable like VPI or that German AS will take of that problem.
What tubes are you using in your Chenin ?
Change the tubes on your Audio Aero Capitole. I bet that is a big part of the problem.
How do I do that, as far as I know they are solder in to the board ?
What tubes would you recommend. Maybe would be possible to soldier sockets to AA so future tube replacement would easier ? Have anybody done that ?
I remember Supartek Chenin was pretty nice with stock tubes, but when I have replaced stock with GEC KT66 + Bendix 6106 + Sylvania 6sn7W (metal base chrome top) it become different preamp with exceptional resolution and charming mids. I might add I replaced them after reading thread abut Supartek on Audiogon.
Regards to you all.
keep in mind that before good fortune smiled on me re: the Walker, It Was the Scoutmaster/JMW9 Sig/Shelter 501 that had my toes a tappin'. I felt then and still do that the Scoutmaster with the JMW9 Sig tone arm is one of the best buys in high end audio. I'd still be happily using it had I not fallen in with Lloyd....

I am not recommending to "roll" tubes. They simply get old & begin to loose definition & sound murky. I retubed mine (now sold) many years ago to a great positive effect. A friend changed the tubes for me. It wasn't so difficult a job.

Based on your description it sounds like your tubes are old. Vinyl is better, but the Audio Aero is not a slouch. One of the most "analogue" sounding CD players.
Hi Sorlowski, Regarding what tubes I am using in my Chenin...Supplied stock tubes with the exception of a pair of early Telefunken PCC88 in the E88CC/6922 position.... The Sony SCD 777ES was a differant beast all together then the 9000ES. The 9000 in its day was a decent D.V.D. player....It looks like you are going to have bite the bullet and get yourself a good turntable. Did you know when you bought your Chenin, it came with an incredible good phono section. On top of this .There is an endless supply of fabulous used and re-issues of LEGENDARY must own music....Slipknot,Yes, I am just beginning to hear how good my Scoutmaster is.
It looks like you got yourself alot of good advice, and here is some more.
I would start with an old VPI TNT, this is what I did. Then slowly upgrade each part. Right off the bat you will have an excellent system that can be improved on monumentally. Harry has been offering better motors, bearings and platters!!
I bought mine here for $1300.00 and can't be happier.
My cartridge upgrade made my system even better when I least expected it. The sumiko blackbird for $400 used was a steal.
One of the biggest upgrades was the arm, that totally blew me away at how much it improved things!!
The ear834p phono preamp is another one of those components that give you alot for the money!
In case you're intersted I have posted on this topic.
Let me share one more experience with you.
During weekend I got hold of old Carver CT-17 preamp ($800 in 1990). It has phone stage so I replaced Supratek with Carver.
It got the some load 47kohm like Chenin.
1) LP playback on Supratek is much louder them CD Playback, with Carver it is opposite way Cd sounds much louder.
2) Even my wife says (she is not audiofile) that with Chenin old Fisher sound better (resolution and musical wise not dynamic wise). With Carver in line LP charm was gone, sound was pretty plain, uninvolving. CD sounded much, much better. If I head LP with Carver first I would never got interested in LP. What is interested with CD there was difference but not that big. With LP it was huge. So I not sure anymore if LP is that much better them CD or just Supratek makes it sound that much better. I invited some peoples from work they did hear alike that cheesy Fisher with Supratek sounded better them AA Cap with Supratek.
Those mp3 lovers have been shocked that LP is that good :)
Maybe AA Cap would sound much better with different preamp like LP lost his charm with Carver ?
I had a similar experience and I don't listen to CD and all other digital sources anymore. I have had Meridian, Cyrus, Naim, Audio Aero players but nothing gave me the pleasure of listening to my TT. It really makes me happy listening to music again.
My system: Origin Live Aurora Gold table with Origin Live Encounter tonearm, Shelter 501 cartridge, Whest Audio PS.20 phonostage, AVI S21 preamp, AVI S21 V2 poweramp, AVI Trio speakers.
I have compared Nottingham Spacedeck with Space arm and VPI TNT Jr with JMW 10.5 arm. I own both. The Spacedeck is more musical and "alive". Both have black backgrounds and low noise. If I were to choose one, it would be the Nottingham. But they are both excellent - Nottingham just "more excellent":):)
For $3K, you could get a used Spacedeck, Space arm and a new Shelter 501 II and have $600 left over for a record cleaner and LPs.
What has better sound - Turntable or CD. People. You cannot evaluate CD performance on a garbage CD player. I have an Ayre C5xe Universal that sometimes (not all the time) sounds better than vinyl. I have also a VPI Scoutmaster with Valhalla Wire and an Benz Ebony cartridge that sometimes (but not all the time) sounds better than the CD. It really depends on how the software was produced.