Sorry, I meant 300 mv I think above for the phono pre, not 3 volt...
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Okay, so I am looking at this option as it seems it may be a good solid system...
---Pick up an Ortofon 0M 20 super, But not sure if this will give great results on my table? any opinions?
---Find a better phono stage to drive it, tube or solid, with higher gain / Db output to help match closer to the dynamics of the Wadia CD player.
---Get a Good Record Cleaner with the right solution and rinse system to get the best off the vinyl in the first place.
I would still like to keep these costs relatively low, Also I have no Tools such as Stylus Pressure Gauge, Or alignment tools for the Turntable, Don't know what to do even to set it up, such as the arm weight, the antiskate and whatever else, I would need to take it in somewhere in the chicago area to have it set up right.
I want to keep the Analog rig as simple yet effective as possible... No Tweaky stuff like Clearaudio Speed regulators for the Motor, and Audioquest Gel mats, or even 200.00 Silver 22ga tone arm wire or anything like that. Just a solid good performance system. Although I would like a Table with external Motor and belt, that looks like it was built on Venus out of exotic stone, I think may not be necessary for my use. KISS, keep it simple stupid. Thanks again
Matrix, the AR in it's day was a great turntable, and as you note it can still be eminently satisfying. The new designs will give you much more of what I think you may be looking for, however, in terms of bass extension and impact, dynamics and resolution.
The VPI Scoutmaster is not just for classical or acoustic music. Depending on choice of cartridge, it can be a great turntable for rock as well because it plays what's in the grooves with minimal editorializing, be it acoustic or electronic, classical chamber music or rock. I don't own one, but I've listened to one extensively in the system of one of our local audio group members, and I highly recommend it. It just does so many things well.
As to cartridges, the Sumiko Blackbird, Dynavector 20XH and Denon 103 all work very well with the Scoutmaster. These are all high enough output cartridges to work well into a standard MM input phono stage. The Shelter 501 is another fine cartridge that works well with this TT/tonearm, but the output (0.4mv) is a shade low for a standard MM setup.
If you have the resources to do it, I'd recommend upgrading the TT, cartridge and phono stage together. If not, you will certainly be able to get more from your current TT with a better phono stage. I would not focus on a tube phono stage just to have ONE tube device in your system. You're likely to be better off with a very good solid state phono stage and an even better tube line stage. If you can find one, the conrad-johnson EF-1 phono stage is a fine solid state phono stage that can be even better with some upgrades. I'll let others chime in for alternative recommendations on phono stages in this price range.
Well if a table is the most effective than it is Rushton, I respect that, but would LIKE to not drop 2-3000.00 on upgrading the whole thing, but maybe in the end the only real way to step up a level as you stated. How much should the EF-1 Johnson go for used? sounds like a good place to start. Thanks it helps a lot.
_ I am definatly looking to not have to replace anything again after finding a very good solid setup, keep it and use is the goal, and I want to Set it and forget it kinda thing with the turntable, Not too much Screwing around everytime I want ot use it is the point. Most I ever really want to do is Replace a stylus every couple years at most if that makes sense.
I am searching and the Scoutmaster was just an example I threw out there, but I think a little to far up the Foodchain for my "Seriousness" level of the Vinyl playback, even though I have the money, I need good and solid, but maybe not so pricey... It will not get the use a new BMW or Mercedes would, so its a little rich for now. But a used table if it just simply betters the AR period for more money would make sense as to not have to put to much time in upgrading and Money wasted on the AR... Maybe a Linn or VPI VPI HW-19jr? and A good matched cartridge and Phono stage? Anything to get very close is all, I do not want something so extravagent with so little use and or need. Same with the phono stage, I guess I am looking to pull off maybe a full upgrade at 1500.00, with table and arm used for around 700, probably have to buy a good cartridge new still at 300, and the phono amp used around 400. Is it possible to get somewhere in there with Good stuff that will last Very long and give solid Frequency responce from top to bottom without missing much Musicallity of the Upper thousands in your guys systems? I have been looking and think I prefer to stay away from the more "generic" no offense, Rega, Music Hall type stuff at the lower prices. I just think the Linn, Vpi type stuff, maybe Sota looks a little better especially used value wise.
I feel your pain--you want satisfying vinyl playback while wanting to spend as little as possible. But what is "satisfying"? Only you can decide, and you can only decide after listening to a range of systems. If there's no local dealer carrying a range of vinyl playback systems, then it would be well worth the cost of a trip to the Big City to find one.
But maybe you live waaay out in the sticks (I used to live there). Here's my recommendations:
turntable: a good plug and play turntable is a Rega P25 (750 or so)
cartridge: lots of choices here, an interesting one might be a Denon 103 series cartridge. Haven't heard it personally, but it's supposed to be a killer cart (200 or so).
phono pre: i've had good luck with the monolithic psychicanimal mentioned (i don't think you'll need the expensive seperate power supply at this point). Other possibilities include used lehmann black cubes and musical surroundings phonomena (300-400).
Cleaning: you're smart to think about clean vinyl. If you're going to be cleaning 100's of lps, then a vpi or nitty gritty is the way to go. But if you're content to clean only a handful at a time, have the time and some spare elbow grease, then you can save money and get similar results (in my experience) doing it by hand using Disc Doctor products and procedures.
I think you should take the plunge. Who knows, the Wadia might start gathering dust. If you do bite the bullet, make sure to report back what you did and how you like it. I'm sure there are a lot of others out there in your current position who would benefit from you experience.
Good luck and have fun.
I use to own an AR Table a long while back,and I had many modifications performed on it by George Merrill of
Merrill Audio.I'm not sure if he still does the mod work on the Turntables anymore.You can try to find him on the web,and if he doesn't do it anymore maybe he can recommend someone.I had my platter replaced,motor replaced,subchassic
reworked,outer ring clamp installed.Plus I did additional mods to it myself to make it sound even better.
This Table has the potential to sound very nice indeed.With your 38 db gain in the phono stage you wouldn't get sufficient output even at 2.5Mv. which is a medium high output cartridge which some may classify as high output.
You would need a step up transformer to be able to use more a variety of cartridges.A High output Grado Wood with 5Mv output would work or the Prestidge Gold.But they tend to hum on the AR Table,and the motor would need additional shielding for it too probably work.
Thanks guys, I am going to get a Dynavector p75 phono pre this weekend at my local dealer, if its as good as everyone makes it out to be then It will stay and I will be happier with the current table... I have Ordered 3" Thick Solid Maple Butcher Block for around 80.00 to put under the table, and am going to order a set of spikes for the table to deal with some Bass and isolation issues, this should get me somewhere realistic, and besides then the phono stage is strong for whatever I throw at it, and I can always use a nice Solid Maple 3" thick shelf for something, So We will soon see what this will do without getting to crazy at first.
I think the next logical move is a fresh and decent cartridge of the newer types, maybe around 250-300 in cost, but that may or may not work out the greatest on the original AR arm, but at least if I do dump the whole table in a year for a better table arm combo I will be in the game with decent cartridge and very good phono stage. its all experimentation and logic for me right now.. but I do not really want to purchase a Notingham table or something and really not get the use out of it, and to many of these VPI - Notingham tables seem to be a little finicky with haveing to Hand start them, and swinging Gimble type Arms and things, and of course Just cost some outrageous amounts... If I do go into a newer table I think it will need to be like a SOTA with decent SME arm or something in the 1500.00 range if it comes down to it.