thinking of trying vinyl

hello all, Ive been thinking about getting into records and turntables for awhile now, and after finding a really cool record store with all these old jazz albums cheap, im thinking about making the jump. But I do have some holdups. I have a very economy minded system that consists of b&w 602 s2 bookshelf speakers-a 90's rotel 30 watt integrated with phono,and a sony sacd player. Thats it, so i dont think my system would do a brand new pro-ject table much justice. But I also dont want to buy an old piece of junk. Any suggestions on a turntable that would "fit" with what i have? Also is the sound going to make me cringe since im using low ball equipment? Just trying to figure out if its worth the journey.
I would recommend to try out Music Hall MMF 5 to start out, it also comes with a cartridge. You can get a used one on Audiogon. Later on you will find yourself upgrading your equipment.
I would recommend to stick with the silver discs. If you already owned a decent collection of vinyl a turntable makes sense, otherwise it is a poor allocation of funds that could be spent on a better integrated amp.

On another thread, user knownothing, asks how much to get analog to equal or beat his cd player. He has not answered the question but he has already upgraded from Rega P1 to P3 and is ready to jump to a P5 so I wouldn't expect nirvana on the cheap end of the analog food chain

I just acquired an older belt drive table with pivoted arm to compare to my direct drive linear tracker. At this point, it is a sideways step at best until I get a better cartridge. Neither one is even close to my cd play back.
A used MMF5 is not a bad idea by any means, and if you decide the whole process is not for you, then selling it will get you almost all of your money back.

Personally, I would take the opposite tack from Almandog. I find 'old pieces of junk' to be excellent places to start. Many old Japanese DD TTs can be found in garage sales and thrift stores for almost nothing (if you have such places in your area). I'd do a tour of the local stores, write down the names of what they have, do some research (check Vintage Knob website for a fair bit of info, and there are other sites, and the archives of the Vinyl Asylum on are always helpful to dig through), and plunk your $25 down for the one you want (make sure it works first). Buy a cartridge, print out a protractor from the Vinyl Engine website, and do some research on how to align your cartridge (there are various websites out there (Walker, the FAQ on AudioAsylum, the archives on Audiogon, others)), and start spinning garage sale records (wash them first). A good used MM cart will do wonders.

The weak point in your chain at that point m-i-g-h-t turn out to be your phono stage. Some older integrateds/recievers had quite decent phono stages in them, but I do not know if your Rotel (or any Rotel) is one of them. Others may have an opinion. I think phono stage quality is crucial. If I had $500 to start a TT system with to see whether I wanted to play with vinyl, knowing what I know now, I'd lurk around the thrifts, garage sales, and craigslist for a great old TT (have to do your research though) for $50, buy a good quality used MM cart for <$100 off Audiogon, and then spend $250 on a used phono stage, then the remaining $50-100 on used ICs to go from phono to integrated (or roll your own).
I agree with Almandog, try the Music hall. You should be able see if you want to get further into analog or not with little money at risk.

Rhljazz, Also makes a good point, if your system as a hole is not up to the task then you may not like the sound of vinyl for the wrong reasons. Vinyl is more demanding on a system than CD's are IMHO.

Just wanted to ask.
How any CD players have you purchased to get to where you are now? If you did spend the same on a TT as you have your CD players/Dac your vinyl would rival you CD's IMHO.
Sony x series psx 50~60~65~70 jvc ql series technics sl linear series
Sold my 500 usd mdf table have sound that surpasses 1k cdp rotel is known for good phonos u should be fine be patient tons of great deals
thanks for all the input fellas, lots to ponder! as I said before economy is crucial as I have less then 300 in my entire system as it is, so a 300$ experiment would raise the wifes eyebrows a bit to high for comfort! I dont know why but it is very alluring, the idea of listening to 50's and 60's jazz on a record player just seems like it would be awesome! But if it sounds like poo compared to the cd version because of the equipment, I might just sell the whole system and get a tube headphone amp to plug my grados into! lol ive been know to be an idiot at times!
I recently switched to vinyl a few months ago - after a 25 year absence. I got back into the game with a midlevel Rega P3-24. If you can afford one it's a great little table that can give you a very nice taste of what vinyl can sound like. Be warned though that soon after I added the Rega I fell in love with the warmer and less fatiguing vinyl sound and began a major system upgrade that has ultimately cost me about $20K. And then there's all the time I spend on-line and around town hunting down LP's. The stuff is addicting. It reminds me of the first time I went from Solid State Amps to SET's. It's like getting a new pair of ears. Good luck
Forget the turntable, vinyl is such a hassle. So---where is this used record store?
Just wanted to ask.
How any CD players have you purchased to get to where you are now? If you did spend the same on a TT as you have your CD players/Dac your vinyl would rival you CD's IMHO.
Hevac1 (System | Threads | Answers)

The Linn Karik/Numeric I purchased new in 1993 for around 5700.00 and it is still working but outclassed. The best sounding digital, and what I use daily, Sony ES77 (bought used for 325.00) as a transport and VAC 22.1 DAC (bought used for 900.00) which absolutely kills the Linn in every parameter. So, I don't have a lot invested in my current digital.

OTH, if I had a 7000.00 analog rig maybe I would find that superior to my digital. Most of what I listen to is on cd and I have a hard time spending a lot of money on equipment to listen to my records. I am experimenting so don't hold me to this statement. I am an audiophile after all.
Try a Technics 1200 or something like it. They are tried and true machines. Mounted with a good, cost affective cartridge like the Denon DL-160 you can keep the cost below five bills. I tried a Pro-ject Debut III and hated the thing. I missed my 1970's poineer auto lift off TT. So I bought a Technics 1700 for $60.00 and mounted a Denon DL-160 on it. For a little over $200.00 I am a happy camper. I have found the phono stage pre is where big money need to be spent. A good phono stage was the key for me.

Good luck
People's reasons for doing vinyl are different. If you want it to beat your CD player for $300 all in, that may be tough (though not impossible). With a $50 thriftshop table, a $150 cart, a few dollars in vibrapods or spikes (depending on what else is under your table) and a good protractor, you can get good sound (assuming your phono stage is up to snuff). But I would not know if it would 'beat' your CD player. People's tastes are different.

Rhljazz' point about sticking to the silver discs is one which has credence, but for a different reason. I think the MONETARY COST is actually a limited input if you buy used. Far more important is the cost of time and effort. It takes time to find a TT, to learn to set it up, to look for vinyl, to clean the records when dirty, and then, if you end up not appreciating it, it takes time to get rid of the stuff.

For me, the lower monetary cost was one reason I went to vinyl. I can find any number of old records in fine condition which are 25cts to a few dollars. If I wanted to buy those on silver discs, it would cost me several dollars per disc used and $10-20/disc new. In order to listen to 1000 classical albums from the past over the next few years - albums I had never heard before - it would cost me $5,000-15,000 in silver discs + no dollars for my CDP... or... it would cost me $1,000-3,000 in vinyl, a few hundred dollars for a record cleaning machine, and then something for a vinyl setup. At the end of it, I could resell the vinyl and the setup or I could sell the extra 1000 compact discs. The CDs cost me more upfront, and the CDs will lose more on my investment than I will lose selling the records and vinyl back out. To me, for that reason, vinyl is the low cost solution.

If you want to keep your experiment well below $300, I'd suggest the garage sale or thrift store TT route. Phasecorrect has mentioned the families of tables I would look for. There are a bunch of them out there and they punch above their weight (cost, not lbs).
In my opinion, cheap CD player usually beats cheap turntable. But if you move up to $5k+, that will be different story. The most expensive table often times beats the most expensive CD player. So for $300, it is okay to try out vinyl, but don't have high hope. T_Bone is right. It is very inexpensive to get used vinyls and start your collection. Once you have a decent collection, that may be the time to invest in analog.