Vinyl, should I take the plunge?


I've assembled my dream system over the last 10 years, a nice mark levinson system with b&w n802 speakers. I've been contemplating the next step, vinyl, sacd, dvd audio. I've heard good vinyl and know how good it is, but have lingering questions...

1) What are some web sites that sell vinyl. I'd really like to see what I can buy. New releases? My old classics? I need to really see what's available and what peoples opinions are for the future. I tend to classic rock, jazz, blues, classical, and some new age music.

2) I have a 15 month old and am planning at least one more. Am I nuts for even considering vinyl (wife speaking)? I haven't had many problems so far, but my little guy just started walking a month ago. Have others successfully raised kids w/o major repairs to their vinyl or dream audio system? Or do I just need to accept that some bad things are bound to happen and start saving :( ?

I'm not convinced sacd/dvd audio are all that they are cracked up to be. Both from software that is available (limited) and the fact that so much of the software available is a crap shoot depending on how it was mixed/sampled. Comments for those w/ sacd?

Thanks in advance...

JJ
jjurich
Looove my SACD player.
Vinyl is a huge commitment and for some there is no substitute. My biggest problem with vinyl is getting the very latest pop and rock releases. A percentage of these are great and available as CD only.

Only you know what type of music makes you happy and a search should help you decide if there's enough to build a collection.

Most of us that are vinyl junkies have digital as well. For myself, I went cheap on digital and expensive on turntable because my library is almost 100% LP.

Vinyl links:

http://www.towerrecords.com/music/default.aspx

http://www.towerrecords.com/music/default.aspx

http://www.musicselection.com/vinyl.htm

http://www.redtrumpet.com/search/advanced.php?sid=1150818472

http://userpages.chorus.net/ajthejj/

http://www.gemm.com/

http://www.amusicdirect.com/

http://www.duffelbag.com/

http://www.bopshop.com/

http://www.platterpus.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.main

http://www.recordsbymail.com/home.php

http://www.diversevinyl.com/htm/home.php

http://www.vinyl.com/

http://www.4ad.com/

http://music.listings.ebay.com/Records_W0QQfromZR4QQsacategoryZ306QQsocmdZListingItemList

http://store.acousticsounds.com/

http://www.vinylrecords.co.uk/

http://www.simplyvinyl.com/

These are personal links are from Internet Exploder saved favorites.

Try Google search "LP records" and "Vinyl records." Probably get another hundred hits.

Dont forget your favorite site :^).

http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?softvnyl
For people who are already in, it makes sense to tread water. In your situation, I wouldn't "take the plunge". The money and effort needed is better expended elsewhere.
Here we go again...go vinyl! It doesn't have to be a difficult experience, get yourself a 'table that is good at Prat, forget about ultimate detail, get yourself a good carbon-fibre brush, haunt the used stores, Salvation Army outlets and garage sales, spend little money and have fun. Afterwards having spent only a little, see if you're hooked. Then see if it warrants a "huge commitment". A friend of mine raised his kids with a Maplenoll in the house, and lost one cartridge to his cat. It happens, even from ham-fistedness (I once knocked off the stylus to my Fidelity Research MC, a classic, I cried for three days). He also has SACD, and we never listen to it, being distinctly unimpressed (his vinyl rig has "magic", his SACD player, a Sony 9000 or some number like that, quite high up the ladder, is pedestrian). So, start slow, concentrate on Prat (to start at least), buy cheap (to start), have fun, and be philosophical about disasters. Like AlbertPorter, I have a CD/Sacd player, a cheap one, which I keep strictly to buy releases not available on vinyl. I don't mind listening to it, but for real musical experineces, I listen to my analog rigs. Personally, I find flea markets and garage sales fun, as you also interact with all sorts of people, and end up with a serious collection of lamps!
Great list Albert, thanks. Getting into vinyl is a really personal decision; it's a lot more work, especially the cleaning. But i have never had so much fun with CDs, and I enjoy listening more than i have in the past...

And there there is a lot more stuff on new vinyl than you probably think...
I have to concur with the last poster. Starting from scratch and with kids around (unless you have a dedicated room with a lock)you will need to expend a good amount of money and time to make it work for you. Only you can decide, but I would give SACD a good listen before dismissing it. The results you get with any format depends more on the individual recording than on the format itself; great sounds can be gotten with any of them.
I like the fact that I can go to my local music store and buy used vinyl for $3 each. I have bought many great albums this way. Just my 2 cents..
Getting into Vinyl isn't that expensive, unless you want it to be. You obviously don't mind spending some $$$ on audio, but you could start out into vinyl with a used Thorens or Rega or a Well Tempered (a bit more but you may never need to upgrade), with an arm and decent cartridge for $500-1000. Lots of choices in phono preamps - that's where you may crack the $1000 mark, but you don't have to. I would also recommend getting one of the disk cleaning products (I like Disk Doctor).

Records are a joy, but they can be obsessive (what can't?). They can also bring you back to the joy of the music as opposed to the acquisition of equipment. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Enjoy,
Bob
Definitely go vinyl.
I have pretty decent playback for CD, SACD, and vinyl.
Though listening to CD and SACD is satisfying, it doesn't hold a candle to vinyl.
CD is definitely more convenient, but doesn't offer the wonderfully natural sound of vinyl.
You don't have to spend a lot to have analog playback that will better your digital. An entry level Rega turntable, or even an old Thorens in decent shape (both used), with an inexpensive Grado cartridge, will tell you whether you want to go higher. Good luck with it.
(Thanks for all the sites, Albert.)
--Neil
My 5 kids have provided a wide range of responses to my turntables, from mild curiosity to more rigorous physical "investigation." After an expensive stylus was catastrophically removed by one of them at age two, I started covering the dustcover with antique cloths and large chamber pots with ferns. These were a nuisance to remove when playing a record, but deterred the kids from seeing what else would break on that contraption.

Your wife has a valid concern, especially regarding costs. I completely agree with the poster that said vinyl only has to be expensive if you want it to be. You can get something amazingly good for relatively cheap ($300-1000 depending on your luck). BUT...

The problem is that when your El Cheapo rig sounds so good for little, it starts you thinking how much even better it might sound if you upgraded this or that aspect of the vinyl playback chain. While upgrade fever is a core part of the audiogeek hobby in general, it is worst with vinyl, because vinyl is such a multi-headed beast. With sacd or dvd-a, you're only going to be able to upgrade the transport or the processor. With vinyl, you will eventually find yourself in a conversation with your wife that goes something like this:
You: Loving wife, I need to upgrade my $1000 analog set-up to get better sound.
Wife: That's nice, dear. What will it cost?
You: $700 for a USED power supply and speed regulator.
Wife: And then your records will sound great?
You: Er, no. I'll need a better tonearm -- but it's only $900.
Wife: Well, okay. But then it'll all sound okay to you?
You: Heck, no. I'll have to have a new cartridge, won't I? And if I get this one for $900, everyone on the internet says it sounds as good as cartridges costing $2000!
Wife: But then it will be perfect, won't it?
You: Well, almost. There's this phono stage that's supposed to make a night-&-day difference...
Wife: I don't want to even know how much. Surely that's the last bit?
You: Well, those are all just tweaks. I still haven't upgraded the actual turntable, you know the part that spins the records? It's got a motor, a platter, a sub-chassis, a...

And this conversation is just getting started. Wait until her face lights up as you explain to her either A) the great value of spending hundreds of dollars on a machine just to clean & dry your records properly, or B) how much FUN it is to go through arcane manual cleaning rituals.

You also have to ask yourself if you really want all that other great FUN that some people crow about, like scrounging around for decent records that you don't already have. Personally, I kind of like it, although it is tedious, because you see the same old stuff over and over. But for most people with young families, it's simply not a practical use of time, even if you LOVE the sound. Another FUN aspect I like is finally finding an LP that you've been hunting for, and getting it home and playing it, but the sound is NOT staggering. Then you do some research and determine that the particular pressing you found indeed sucks -- you really need to find the one pressed in Holland from May-July 1974 if you want it to sound any good at all. The other nine different pressings of that recording are no good. Silly you. Best to hide that record now before your wife comes in and notices that it doesn't even sound as good as the cd version you already had.
Of course as you rightly point out, this is really no worse than the crap-shoot of finding decent SACD's. But at least you don't have to endlesssly cruise the thrift shops and loser garage sales to find SACD's.

Bottom line: You CAN enjoy vinyl on a limited budget even with kids in the house, but be pragmatic about it. You'll have to make some physical adjustments to protect your fragile turntable, you'll be opening yourself up to a multi-lane upgrade-fever freeway, and much of what others find FUN about vinyl may be a major drag to you (and your family). Like Dirty Harry says, "A man's got to know his limitations."
-Brett
I just got back into vinyl 10 months ago.
I live in an area with a LOT of used vinyl. I have aquired about 7,000 LPs. 1,000 Jazz... 4,000 classical ... and 2,000 rock.
Vinyl average prices from 350 for free... a few thousand for @ $0.18 or $0.22 Most of the Jazz about $5 to $8
My phono is a AR PH-1 for $400.
another Forte 44 with phono for $333
A dual Golden 1 CS7000 $375. and a Denon 59-L $250.
A Shure V-15 used for $150
and a Ortofon OM-20 new for $115
I have enough vinyl to survive.....
I am happy.
My comments to someone. as others try it with a used TT that is a classic Rega P3 etc. Also if you live in an area with a LOT of vinyl, it is way easier to collect, than just searching on eBay or Audiogon or the other expensive sites to buy LPs. Some folks disparage searching through the thrifts etc, but it is fun!!! (to me, and many others)
If that is not your thing... $5 to $15 gets most LPs... (cept' the $$100 to $300 Blue Notes etc)
If you ENJOY it, who cares what others say!!
If it turns out to be a hassle... sell the stuff, and still at least you gave it a try.
I agree with Elizabeth. You can always sell it if you don't like it. I for one would never consider vinyl SACD is simply to good and in many cases better than vinyl (my opinion)and much more convenient. In order to get the kind of performance SACD offers you need to purchase the 180-250g virgin vinyl at about $50 a pop minimum. Good luck and have fun!

Chuck
I love vinyl and CD's for their musical values. If I had to make your decision today it would be based on what music was available (in volume) to warrant the format. There are tons of records about, but frankly there are few that I want to hear any longer in great condition.But if you are new to classical music, for example, there are lots of great records of the standard rep. which will give you exposure to music you have not experienced, at little expense. If your interested in jazz - forget about it, these records are scarce and expensive (I'll never sell mine!) and the reissues on CD's are not that bad. I'm sure there are a lot of R&R and Blues, but while I don't know about others, I played the hell out of mine, and they are not worth much now - except for memories.

But you get the point by now - If you can put up with the format requirements of set up and maintenance of your system, and the negative aspects of using LP's and their sound, and the records you want to hear are available, GO FOR IT!

P.S. I will agree with anyone who sez that SACD and DVD are formats with limited, if any, long range potential for success, despite their (potential) sonic advantage. I'm not going there myself.
If you are buying used vinyl you will absolutely positively need a wet record cleaning device (VPI, Nitty Gritty) that has a vacuum pickup tube...the only civilized way to clean. No doubt about it, cleaning and vinyl prep is a pain in the ass! And don't forget that you will be jumping up every 20 minutes or so, to flip sides, clean the second side with a carbon fiber brush, compressed air, zero-stat, and check the stylus for dust. And still, you will never, EVER, get the silent black background that digital will give you. However, if you can put up with the inconvenience of vinyl, the MUCH lower S/N ratio and channel separation vs. redbook CD, then you will be rewarded with a much more "musical" presentation than is possible with CD's.

Hi-rez digital audio can be considered as the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players"! As stated, the software is a crap-shoot, with some titles being nothing more than a remastering of a 16 bit digital redbook master tape! SACD is a very limited niche market, although I would image that classical listeners are in ecstasy now being able to listen to a complete performance generated in true hi-rez from an analog master, rather than 4 sides on vinyl. Multi-channel SACD is nothing more than a gimmick, bought by people who are audio fanatics demanding the latest technology and possessing copious amounts of disposable income, or the status conscience buying "braggin' rights". Universal players or DVD-A would appear to be the way to go, due to the flexibility of source material vs. SACD. Watch for "re-issue" hi-rez digital titles to start hitting the market in a year or two, correcting some of the crappy sounding titles (especially SACD) and as an additional marketing ploy.
Fatparrot...You may like vinyl for whatever reason, but the notion that signal-to-noise and separation is better than digital is flat out wrong. Very wrong.

There is no straightforward way to calculate signal to noise of vinyl, but a few minutes of listening makes it clear that the analog signal, whatever its virtues, is accompanied by noise. Some LPs more than others, but it is always there. Some people (like you) can "listen through" the noise. That is a talent I never perfected.

The standard LP mastering process blends stereo signals below about 150 Hz, to avoid inherent tracking problems with vertically modulated grooves. Also, many people find a rumble filter to be necessary, and the best of these blend (rather than attenuate) LF signals. Above this LF range, I suggest that you review the separation specs of phono pickups. 25-35 dB is about as good as it gets. Actually, this is not a big problem. After all, the sound from two loudspeakers is not well separated. For that you need headphones.

It's interesting that people who reject DVD-A and SACD say that there are no discs that are any good. How would you know? You were correct once, but good discs are coming fast now.
JJ, you better have some good reasons to go into vinyl--especially with your current rig. For vinyl to even start approaching digital in the noise department, the noise floor must be taken to *uncanny* low levels. This is neither easy--nor cheap--to do. Vinyl is a real pain to deal with. That's one of the reasons why I have a modded Technics 1200. I want a deck that will be user friendly and high performance at the same time.

There's got to be some real music that you want to listen to on the analog format. Although I have three times as many LPs vs CDs, it was the high prices of old salsa albums in eBay what made me plunge into digital big time. Why pay $20-$45 for used LPs that are readily available on CD? Ridiculous! I got a hold of a used belt drive transport and sent it to Dan Wright for modification. Should be back in a few weeks...
I have over 100 SACD's and they all sound great. I have used an SACD review site to help make my purchases and that has obviously helped me steer my way to the better sounding SACD's, but in no time at all, I have build a pretty good collection of great sounding SACD's and it is growing. I listen to SACD's for days in a row. When I switch to a CD, the air goes out of the presentation.
There is no way in the world I would go back to the clicks and pops of vinyl.
A vinyl LP sounds good the first time you take it out of the package, clean it,
and play it. After that, you are obsessively/compulsively fighting the battle of dust, scratches, and degradation. As Eldartford said, some people can listen
"through" LP noise, but I find that it kills my enjoyment. I also have theory that some people simply have an emotional attachment to the sound of vinyl.
It is the sound with which they grew up and have a lot of positive associations. Since vinyl-heads tend to be rather vociferous in the declarations of superiority, they sometimes talk others who didn't grow up with vinyl into a sort of "contact high." That's just a theory. Hopefully, it will be taken as such and others can respond. There needs to be *some* counterpoint to the vinyl-head attack on digital. So, there you have it.
Rsbeck sez: "Since vinyl-heads tend to be rather vociferous in the declarations of superiority..."

I will submit that such a notion is, without question, a two-sided coin.
Vinyl is much more fun.....The hunt & search at garage sales & estate sales is wonderful. I finally solved the noise problem after much advice & don't think it's a problem. I have bought only 3 or 4 new albums in the last 3 years and just buy select used when I can. All my equipment is "quality used" bought here on Audiogon from vinyl enthusiasts who really care about their products and helping newbies. Finding & playing 30 or forty year old vinyl that sounds perfect is such a treat. The best jazz seems to be on vinyl (and Blues) and I usually start my day with an album (this morning it was Dave Brubeck that I bought for $8, no noise no pops-really smooth on my Rega P3.) I play CD's but the warmth and feel is not the same. Analogue is where it's at...each vinyl record has a story and a history (look at those labels-covers) . CD/SACD seem sterile and antiseptic. Vinyl seems to carry the life and energy of the original performer & the performance plus the interesting history of used vinyl...who originally bought it ? Where? How did it fall in my hands? I'm going dowtown right now and see what's new in my local antique store that gets vinyl on consignment. (that's where I got the Brubeck)
I agree............

with 4yanx. David, correct again, BUT, both sides make noise. Our side just sounds better!!

JJ, try it, on the "inexpensive" side. Whatever you get, if you don't like it, sell. You won't take too much loss if you buy right.

And, I also agree with Dla405j. Vinyl IS more fun IMHO. Sure, I wanted to get into "high end" vinyl to replace an old TT as the rest of my system grew. And, I'm kinda there, almost.

Of course, I've now got some substantial (for me) change AND TIME involved in my rig.

BUT, I wouldn't trade it for no stinkin' silver discs period. They are only for vehicular travel and constant noise at a party.

You have high quality equipment now, and my OPINION is that vinyl will bring out the best of it. You can get lp's anywhere. Your son may learn to gently drop the stylus before he can read. Then you might even let your wife play it (I don't, just threw it out there!).
Eldartford, you're correct! I misspoke in my post. I meant to say that CD's are quieter and have better channel separation than vinyl. Thanks for picking up.on that!
Here's an article regarding children around hi-fi gear that might be interesting for you:

http://www.generubinaudio.com/articls.html#parenting

That aside, don't be afraid to try vinyl out, but as others are saying, to be aware of the time commitment--vinyl isn't as convenient as CD/SA/DVD/Whatsits, not by a long shot...but vinyl can be a very rewarding way to play back music as long as you accept the extra duty it requires.

IMO, with dilligent shopping you can find great equipment at low cost, and as far as vinyl, I have little trouble finding new LPs right in the middle of hell--OOPS I mean Wisconsin. ;) In fact, a vast majority of my collection is new vinyl, though I do have some old "used vinyl joint" ones. I bring extra money any time I travel to a major city for those "great finds" in record shops, and otherwise, I've built a good collection on what's available locally, and have only ordered a few LPs through the internet. I do disagree with whomever said a good 180-200g costs over $50--I have several excellent sounding 180gs that were well under $30, and 200g for under 50. Some of my favorite LPs cost less than $10! It doesn't have to be expensive if you don't want.
Thanks to all who took the time to respond. It will take me a while to get through Albert's great set of URL's for finding vinyl.

It is encouraging to know that others have navigated hifi with children.

Brett44, you don't know my wife. I can't have the upgrade conversation w/ my wife any more. I'd need Johnny Cochran in my corner to try and win that debate. I think the angle I'm going to try this time is that I'll sell off all of the old systems gathering dust for this new purchase (what ever it turns out to be. Any one need a crappy rotel cd player and a decent adcom processor :)?

Bob's comments about enjoying the music and not pursueing the collection of equipment is particularly fitting. He must know my wife!

Dirtyragamuffin- I live in Iowa, so I am familiar with "hell" and not being able to readily find software or hardware from dealers easily. I have to trek to Des Moines or Chic., which are hours away and that isn't happening much since my little guy came along.

BTW, I do have a really good collection of vinyl available. My dad who is 100% Czech must have 200+ 45's and records (he has a totally crap system though as he can't hear squat any more and refuses to use his hearing aids). To bad they are all polka!!! The tuba and the singing just get to me after a while. Maybe I'm not drinking enough beer when I'm down there.

Thanks again for the responces.

JJ
To do vinyl you need to have that tweaker mentality, because when it's 4 am and the bass isn't right on your Pink Floyd record you need to know what to chage. VTA, VTF, or anti-skate? You get the picture, many variables with this one! I assume a LOT less with digital, I mean all you do is plop the silver disc in the tray and pick up the remote. As for kids I agree with ALbertporter, but if YOU are'nt there yet just elevate your table on the wall(about chest height no more unknown kid inspections). I think if you give vinyl a try you will either "get" what the vinyl heads "get" or you'll go back to counting 0 & 1's.
Albert -- that was a great story -- really enjoyed that. Congratulations on a job well done and thanks for sharing your experience.
That is a great article (re:)
http://www.generubinaudio.com/articls.html#parenting

I was unaware of it before this evening but agree with every word !

My son was allowed to handle EVERYTHING in the house, including knives, my stereo, even my fragile Hasselblad camera equipment . He has always been curious and I helped him explore everything in my world so he could be independent.

Today is his 18th birthday. Today is also the day we received a letter from University of Texas offering him a scholarship. He wants to major in Computer Science and Nano Robotics. The scholarship is the result of his extraordinarily high SAT score.

I firmly believe that kids are capable of much more than we give them credit for. I taught my son about electric drills, hand tools, saws, even how to shoot my two 1911 Colts and my Glock, this by the time he was 9 years old. Two years ago he graduated from a training school for both shotgun (skeet) and AR 15 long range shooting.

The result? He actually watches for other kids, warning them about the dangers of electricity and firearms. A person cannot be cautious unless they are informed and to be informed one must be trained and experienced.

All too often adults avoid the difficult tasks. It's simpler to make rules that restrict or expect others to take responsibility.

A perfect example, four years ago he and a group of kids were visiting another students home after a football game. About an hour after they arrived I got a phone call to come pick them up. Kids from another school showed up at the party with drugs and they wanted no part of it. My son and his friends didn't want to get anyone in trouble, they just wanted to remove themselves from what they believed was wrong, so they called me to come get them.

It's nice to see some kids take responsibility for things that can ruin their lives and made decisions that don't require (our) intervention.

Stereo should be the least of kids responsibilities. If you're patient, it's simply not a big deal. I have video of my son playing LP's on my Versa Dynamics with Benz Ruby, grinning ear to ear at the music he was making. He was so young he could barely reach the que bar.

We listened together then. We listen together now. I love him and proud I took the time it required to make him responsible. That little bit of extra effort repays you a thousand times later on in life.

Kids are precious and irreplaceable, the stereo isn't.
Albert,

With all the noise that passes for conversation these days, of which I probably contribute more than my share, your post stands out as a model of how a forum can best be used. Thank you.
JJ, this was a very interesting topic. It’s nearly 10 month from your original posting. Did you ever take a dive into analogue after all? How was the experience? I am in the same boat with the coming second baby. Would you mind sharing your road to vinyl? Or regrets?

Albert, I concur with your teaching. Kids are more capable if they were taught right and respected.
I wouldn't seriously consider vinyl unless you are process oriented, and enjoy the process as I do. Folks that just want to hear the music with the least amount of effort or thought are not going to derive the best of what vinyl has to offer.
First you need to properly clean LP's even the majority of new ones to remove whatever dust and mold release residuum they carry, and thereafter use a carbon fiber brush before each side to remove whatever dust and abrasives have accumulated, and the stylus needs regular cleaning as well.
If you fail to accomplish the cleaning end of things you are just going to be continuously attriting your collection as you play them and are going to be treated to an ever increasing racket.
You'll also need to learn to mount a cartridge properly which is quite easy, but you'll need to rather precisely
set the overhang and alignment, which can be a little tedious the first couple of times but is easily accomplished with a $20 turntable basics mirror or Geodisc.
As far as the kid's go the answer is a wall rack for your table, which is beneficial to most tables anyway as isolation. A wall rack is a cheap and simple DIY or about $125.
The benefits of analog are tremendous for the music lover who is committed to doing it properly, if you either buy or assemble a simple DIY RCM (which I prefer) and learn to
clean LP's properly (anything but difficult, particularly if you use one of the superb commercial solutions available RRL (Record Research Labs) Audio Intelligent or disc Doctor. You'll find that you can source Thrift store, garage sale and resale shop LP's for a pittance and restore them to a quiet backround and all of the dynamics and detail they started out with as long as you pass on the ones with obvious groove damage (greyish looking grooves) scratches etc. cleaning cannot repair actual damage, however truly filthy LP's are easily brought back to life with a wet clean/vacuuming and replacing the old sleeves a poly lined or rice paper sleeve. In the last year I've put together an incredible collection for a small fraction of the cost of CD's SACD's DVD-A's and with the exceptions of some of the better SACD's etc. you'll throw rocks at the CD versions of a given recording once you've heard the LP version, particularly a great many of the new "Remastered versions which are not only compressed
and lifeless but increasingly saddled with codgy copy protection schemes many of which not only preclude play on your computer but are clearly audible.
Mutex,

I did take the plunge. I got a technics SL-DD33 table for free from a friend. Hadn't been used for 10 years I'd guess. Plugged it into an old denon receiver and put up some used LP's and liked what I heard. Had some jazz with good strings and percussion and it rocked. Better then cd's even on this crap analog system. I upgraded my phone preamp to graham slee mk gold unit and the quality of my vinyl rig went up orders of magnitude.

My little guy is two years old now and just kill my #37 transport. He can reach it and did well for the last year just hitting play. He got more comforitable and harder to watch and I think must have pushed hard on the drawer and got it screwed up some how (sigh).

He can't reach the turntable cause it's up on the top of the eq rack.

I need cables and badly need a record cleaner. Eventually, I'll upgrade the table but kids put a major crimp on the old hifi budget for now. People complain about saving for college. Well I've got news for you... Damn day care is more expensive. I'll be happy when I can get to paying for college and have some spending money from what I'll be saving from day care :) (yes I know by the time he's in college inflation will have made my argument mute...)

Back to chasing my 2 year old. More as time allows...

JJ
Woops! now you've gone and done it! gotten your first vinyl rig and started the whole upgrade process. Well you can't say nobody warned you.
Shhh, not so loud. My wife might hear you... I don't think she's noticed the new vinyl preamp. That mk gold unit is tiny. That was a small part of the reason I chose that one. Well, that and the cost and the favorable reviews... Let's see, cartridges and arms are small. Easy to sneak by. Only problem is that darned record cleaner. That ones going to be a little harder to get by her.

What's the big deal, not like I'm blowing my hard earned cash on cocaine or any thing...

My addiction is (hifi) is costlier...

JJ
Jjurich, this may be off topic, but I couldn't help but notice your incident with the 2 year old and your transport. I also have a 2 year son, as well as a 6 month old, and my saving grace was investing in an audio rack with a door, which I subsequently baby-proofed.
SZdatch. Turns out there is like 30 days left on my warranty. So hopefully, it will be covered. The audio rack w/ a door is a great idea.

I may connect up an el-cheapo dvd player to the system and turn the #37 side wise or some thing. Though I suppose the IR remote will be a problem w/ that. That way he can still put his baby music cd's in. You know, I'm amazed at the fidelity of some of these cd's. The bass line in itsy bitsy spider really rocks through N802's...

Dratt. Not sure what to do. I want to encourage him in my hobby, but damnit, not if he's going to kill my cd's and transport.
I wouldn't seriously consider vinyl unless you are process oriented, and enjoy the process as I do. Folks that just want to hear the music with the least amount of effort or thought are not going to derive the best of what vinyl has to offer.
First you need to properly clean LP's even the majority of new ones to remove whatever dust and mold release residuum they carry, and thereafter use a carbon fiber brush before each side to remove whatever dust and abrasives have accumulated, and the stylus needs regular cleaning as well.
If you fail to accomplish the cleaning end of things you are just going to be continuously attriting your collection as you play them and are going to be treated to an ever increasing racket.
You'll also need to learn to mount a cartridge properly which is quite easy, but you'll need to rather precisely
set the overhang and alignment, which can be a little tedious the first couple of times but is easily accomplished with a $20 turntable basics mirror or Geodisc.
As far as the kid's go the answer is a wall rack for your table, which is beneficial to most tables anyway as isolation. A wall rack is a cheap and simple DIY or about $125.
The benefits of analog are tremendous for the music lover who is committed to doing it properly, if you either buy or assemble a simple DIY RCM (which I prefer) and learn to
clean LP's properly (anything but difficult, particularly if you use one of the superb commercial solutions available RRL (Record Research Labs) Audio Intelligent or disc Doctor. You'll find that you can source Thrift store, garage sale and resale shop LP's for a pittance and restore them to a quiet backround and all of the dynamics and detail they started out with as long as you pass on the ones with obvious groove damage (greyish looking grooves) scratches etc. cleaning cannot repair actual damage, however truly filthy LP's are easily brought back to life with a wet clean/vacuuming and replacing the old sleeves a poly lined or rice paper sleeve. In the last year I've put together an incredible collection for a small fraction of the cost of CD's SACD's DVD-A's and with the exceptions of some of the better SACD's etc. you'll throw rocks at the CD versions of a given recording once you've heard the LP version, particularly a great many of the new "Remastered versions which are not only compressed
and lifeless but increasingly saddled with codgy copy protection schemes many of which not only preclude play on your computer but are clearly audible.