New to vinyl again


Hi everyone, I am going to give vinyl a try again for the first time since probably the early 90's. I have recently purchased a Thorens TD124 that is going to take a little bit of time to get it rebuilt a bit and ready (make a new plinth, new armboard, clean, lube, and replace the usual rubber goodies), and I will also need a tonearm. I am wondering what anyone would suggest in terms of an arm and cartridge. I have been considering picking up a SME 3009 series II arm, and will probably go with a MM cartridge. I am thinking maybe about $600 for both, but could be persuaded to go a bit higher. My music tastes have changed since long ago and moved to jazz, folk, vocals, and smaller ensembles. I will probably be primarily buying favorite LPs in 180 gm format if available. The associated equipment consists of: Maggie 3.6R, Conrad Johnson LS17 preamp, and Bryston 4BSST amp. I am also looking for suggestions for a phono preamp. Thanks for looking.
mnmark
You also need to buy a good record cleaning machine if you intend to get anything remotely close to the best out of those groves.
i also have maggie 3.6r's and listen exclusively to vinyl on a vpi superscoutmaster. you will be a very happy camper as the maggies and vinyl are a very special combo when treated right with other components. enjoy!
I use a Pro-ject Tube Box SE as the phono preamp for my Pro-ject RM feeding a Conrad Johnson CA200 control amp. Before I got the CJ it was a great match for my old Bryston B1. It works great with my high output MC Sumiko Blackbird. It's very transparent and smooth.

Dave
Yes, Czbbcl is correct, purchase a good record cleaning system. That is super important for listening to LPs.
Nitty Gritty and VPI both make them, and while you are at it, purchase some new sleeves to so you are not sliding that freshly cleaned record back into a dirty old sleeve.

best

John
I vote for forgetting the RCM. I use the Disc Doctor manual system with fantastic results.

For new records I play them first before cleaning. I sweep first with a carbon fiber brush to assure there are no large chunks that might scratch, then I clean with a micro fiber cloth to really get into the grooves and finally use the ZeroStat to remove the static that the process adds. Then I play the record. One of my latest, the Analogue Productions 180 gram, 45 rpm version of Hugh Mesekala's "Hope" is silent as an SACD. So I will not clean that. Most new LPs do not require wet cleaning, in my experience.

For used records and my own older LPs that need it (only about 10%), I use the Disc Doctor system, carefully following the directions. It works like a charm.

Try DD first, before you drop a bundle on a RCM. If you're not happy with DD, then consider a machine.

Let your ears be the guide.

Dave
How about this question... has anyone who bought an RCM after hand washing regretted their decision? All I hear is guys who didn't voting against something they've never tried. I would think not trying something instead of trying something is a self fulfilling prophecy.
02-13-08: Headsnappin said:
"How about this question... has anyone who bought an RCM after hand washing regretted their decision? All I hear is guys who didn't voting against something they've never tried. I would think not trying something instead of trying something is a self fulfilling prophecy."

You're jumping to conclusions. Thankfully I've never owned a RCM; however, I have paid a shop a per-reocrd fee to clean some records with a VPI. My Disc Doctor manual system did a better job.

The beauty of manual labor is that you can focus your efforts where they're needed the most. For a general cleaning I suppose that a RCM could do as well; however, when there a fingerprints or a concentrated dirty spot, you can really focus on that with a manual system. I easily vary the strength of the cleaning solution by having two bottles ready. Rinse with copious amounts of distilled water, while using a rinsing-only brush and you end up with a great result.

The keys, IMHO, are using properly designed brushes and a cleaning solution designed specifically to work with record vinyl.

I see nothing wrong with properly operated RCMs, but I don't think that it's an essential component as some seem to imply. Anyone that wants one or enjoys having one should use it wisely.

Let your ears tell you the answers.

Dave
Hey Dave, fair enough, I stand corrected.