Maximizing My Turntable Experience - input reqeust

hey all,

i'm open to drinking the vinyl kool-aid and just purchased an entry-level audiophile Pro-ject Debut Carbon table that arrived last night.

My current setup:

Acram 135 DVD multi player
Oppo 105 BlueRay that i'm starting to load high res files onto to obsolete the Arcam.
Musical Fidelity A-5 Integrated Amp
B&W 804s

Im looking for that experience that digital cant provide. while there were moments of that during the initial listen, the majority wasnt there yet. the sound stage was not huge, but certain ambient room noises between the notes, and particularly acoustic guitar was awesome.

I havent completed the cartridge calibration yet so i'm hoping some good will come from that. Cartridge is Ortofon 2M Red.

the system exposed a very low hum that wasnt dependent on volume. i'm not quite sure what to expect from dropping a $400 player into a several thousand dollar system. fully aware of the weakest link theory.

any suggestions from your experiences?

The 2M Red is a very good cart and the TT you purchased is one of the better entry levels. The Red is not a superstar, but good. I started out one level below the Red (sticking my my big toe back in the vinyl arena)and upgraded to it. One of the beauties of vinyl is the ability to make a significant incremental upgrade by upgrading the cart. Ortofon makes other "colors" for a few more $.
All the advice you need to get you started is here.
The phonostage setup is important. I'm sure you've set it to MM cart, but you can make capacitance adjustments starting with 47pf, then trying 100pf or 300pf. Your unit will have some similar settings.

A lot of members have been posting about starting with a Pro-ject Debut Carbon as a first TT. To answer one of your questions, many have upgraded to the Ortofon 2M Blue or higher which is a substantial increase in SQ.
Some very good advice here.I must respectfully disagree with Effischer if he means that you need to wet clean a record before every play. A good cleaning before the first play then a good brush to keep the dust off before every play after should be good .
To clarify for Ray, I use a V8 ultrasonic on used records, LAST mold-release agent with a microfiber brush on new records and LAST cleaning solution with an old-school Discwasher brush for cleaning everything that hits my tables before the styli get near them. I brush the styli (always back-to-front of course) and use an agent on them before every play, too. That cleaning system has worked very successfully for me for over 30 years. Records I purchased new back then are still silent after even 100+ plays in some cases. My styli also remain clean and show even wear when examined annually under magnification.

Kevin, there are several threads on the merits or lack thereof of just about every kind of record cleaning regime imaginable here. You'll have to come to your own conclusions about methodology, but cleaning of some kind before every play is generally considered a must-do. Dust is especially evil.
I also have this TT, my initial foray into vinyl. There is great advice upthread of this comment, so I'll just reiterate that setup is absolutely essential and worth the time and effort to micro-adjust into the "zone".

I use the acrylic platter and highly recommend it. Especially if you are into complex and bass heavy music.

My associated gear is humble, but the experience you are looking for can be had with this TT. I had a friend over who is an EE and very much into the pro audio scene. We played Black Market by Weather Report and he refused to believe that there was no DSP or other trickery going on until he looked at the signal path himself. Just TT, phono stage, tube amp and speakers.