I would recommend, at the low end of the price spectrum, a Rega P1. It comes pre-mounted with a good Ortofon cartridge and is a very solid performer. At the high end of your price range, the VPI Scout is a true high-end product. An excellent turntable.
You may, however, need to put money aside for a phono pre-amp as well, because your current system may not have a phono input (HT receivers rarely have a phono section). Phono pre-amps can be had for as little as 50 bucks, and can go into the thousands of dollars on the high side.
You will also need to put aside some money for record cleaning accessories (from $25 for an Allsop Orbitrac manual system, to $500 for a VPI 16.5 if you decide to get real serious about vinyl).
Good luck, and welcome back!
If you don't already have a record collection I would not bother. It's getting harder to find good used vinyl and new vinyl is very expensive.
There are a number of good turntable in the price range you mentioned. Remember that you will need a turntable, tonearm, and cartridge, as well as a phono stage either in your preamp or as a standalone. The phono stage should be matched for the type of cartridge you have, either moving-magnet (higher voltage output) or moving-coil (lower voltage output). I would suggest turntable models from Rega, Pro-Ject, Music Hall, or perhaps Thorens. Some of these come as a package of table, arm, and cartridge. You will want to set the table up correctly, which many dealers can do, or you can buy setup kits. Another high recommendation is a record cleaner, which will make your records sound better, protect them, and best of all, allow you to revive used records. This can save a lot of money over trying to find them new and make it easier to find titles you want. You can buy used records on ebay and audiogon, as well as other internet sellers like Records by Mail, Elusive Disc, Earthwave Records, and others.
The only way I would start lp again would be if someone in my area say an old person just wanted to get rid of a good collection at a fair price, than and only than would I start lp playing. But to start hoofing it all over again searching and locating and paying the price for new vinyl well just "forgettaboutit"
As the previous posters have noted, there is a variety of good turntables available at modest cost. I would disagree with the respondents who suggest it is too late or difficult to buy used vinyl. If you live in or near a major city, used vinyl stores can usually be found. I always check used vinyl in locations where I travel and usually find one location worth a side trip. There is always e-bay and Audiogon as well. I probably have purchased several hundred LPs (out of a total of 6000) during the last 2 years. It's out there.
i agree with taters....a vinyl collection is fun, but so is collecting cd's, and in all honesty, its an 'appreciation for music' that we all hope our kids have...the format or media is nothing but a sign of the times (or their times)........by the time he's a teen, he will marvel at dad and mom's ancient cd collection..cars and girls will then trump everything anyway.
I'll be one of the lone dissenters here and say go for it. I had about 40 decent records from my few years prior to the advent of CD, (had much more than 40 but those were the only ones I'd still want to listen to). I wanted to get back into vinyl. Some said don't, some said try a cheap tt. I ended up doing neither.
I went out bought a VPI Scout, (actually my wife gave it to me as a Christmas gift), with an inexpensive Rega cart. I used the phono stage from an old receiver I had kicking around. Over the next 6 months I upgraded the cart/phono to a Dynavector Karat and Dynavector P-75. Truth be told I could have stopped there but I'm an upgrade junkie and have kept changing things. The point is that for me I've been very happy with my setup from the Karat/P-75 on, (heck even with the rega cart it was OK).
Anway, I've purchased many new and used records since then and grown my collection to about 400 lp's. The above posters are right, new vinyl's not cheap but for some of the music I like there is quite a bit of good new vinyl and it's not that much more than CD. Also, now many smaller record companies are including free mp3 downloads which is great for portability.
Anyway, a long winded way of providing an alternate opinion. I like looking around for vinyl, don't mind paying a premium for an obvious niche product and like the extra involvement about using/maintaining a tt. Most important, it sounds great.
I would say buy the following
Scout - 1100 (ad here on A-gone)
Dynavector P-75 (seen for about 400 used on A-gone but nothing currently listed)
Dynavector 20XL or Karat 17D2 or 17D3, (450 to 695)
Total arond 2100 plus cables.
Just my 2 cents and best of luck
Buy used. Read the forums and decide which table is for you. I would get an entry level zyx cartidge. My nephew has the "Bloom". It is an excellent little cartridge. Definately go moving coil. I've heard mm cartridges that were over $1000.00, they were nicer than cd but the zyx bloom was much nicer.
I get a kick out of people who look at vinyl shopping as work. THIS IS A HOBBY. I enjoy the s**t out of vinyl hunting. BTW - Don't be suprised when you find yourself listening to the turntable alot more than you listen to the cd player. Put it this way - Once I got a turntable and heard the difference - My cd player was sold.
The Rega P3 turntable is a really nice place to start and they have just upgraded it, as well. If you get into the whole vinyl thing and want to upgrade, you will get most of your money out of it. A fine cartridge match is the Dynavector DV10X5, which matches the table well. A marvelous phono preamp to go with this rig is the Jolida. Costs new will be around $800.00 turntable, $380.00 phono cartridge, $340.00 phono preamp. A really nice system that will allow you to enjoy a lot of recorded music that will not ever make it to CD for around $1500.00 new, certainly less if used.
I agree, the P3 is a great table. I actually only have the P2 right now and couldn't be happier. I'm using a Clearaudio cartridge and an inexpensive project phono amp. I love my vinyl in a way that I could never love a CD or mp3. Vinyl hunting is one of my favourite hobbies.
Needless to say, I say go for it!
Go for it! I just bought a turntable at the beginning of March, and acquired at least 200 albums in the next 2 months for probably $300 or maybe less. Even most of the vinyl I've fished out of the dollar bins and thrift shops have been very clean sounding. I do a pretty picky visual inspection before paying, though.
I bought a Technics SL 1210 M5G and alternate between Ortofon OM 10 and Shure M97xE cartridges mounted on their own headshells so switching is easy. I play it into an Amber Model 17 preamp that has both MM and MC inputs. It cost me a whopping $130 at a pawn shop.
I *really* like the Technics DD tables. They're very rugged, built to ridiculousy close tolerances (1/2 a micron, anyone?), speed is dead-nuts accurate, they're *very* quiet, and the controls are intuitive and silky smooth. You can elevate the clarity and soundstage significantly by placing the turntable on a thick maple or butcher block cutting board slab with shock absorbing footers under the slab, such as Vibrapods or Mapleshade Isoblocks.
There is a Townshend on here for $1200. The arm cost at least that if not more when it was new. These tables truly have bass and are dynamic. IMHO ... " Ain't nobody gettin' my Townshend!"
I recommend you start with one of the modest belt drive tables that are advertise alot on Agon complete with arm and cartridge. The Michell gyro with arm and cartridge will cost between 1&2 grand. Many others in this price range. As for collections. Many antique store have tons of old albums of almost any genre. My daughter and I spent 4 hours on fathers day in Memphis and found 50 albums for less than 100 dollars. This store had over 5000 albums scattered around it. Many for 99 cents! Lots of good music for anyone to get back into vinyl. Go for it!
the whole vinyl scene has been very appealing to me.looking for used vinyl,hearing about useful tweaks,ect.i had virtually no lp's at the beginning but for the most part have been getting lots of want i really want.i say jump in.lots of help available here.
Don't listen to the haters!
I consistently go to record shops and come out with a pile of records. With one or two rare LPs in the mix the cost still averages out to about $10.00 per LP. That's cheaper than CD. If you go to thrift stores the average cost per LP will be even lower.
50 cent LPs have also introduced me to music that I otherwise wouldn't have ever listened to if I had to buy it on CD. I say go for it if you think you'll like hunting for used LPs.
I searched the web for used LP stores in my area. Found one about half hour away. The average price is 2.99! most are 1.99. Over the last 2 weeks I have purchased around 100 albums, all excellent condition. Maybe do a search first and see if you have such a place in your area. For instance- original Joni Mitchell "Blue" for 1.99. Had a few crackles and pops but her voice came through it all. Steely Dan "Aja" and "Gaucho", both 2.99, play quiet and awesome. I paid $600 for my MMF-7 used here on Agon and am loving getting back into vinyl. Highly recommend you do the same and you don't need to spend a fortune on your "first" rig.
I'm in the camp of go for it...........Remember if you shop smart and buy used your $2000 budget could get you close to $4000 retail worth of equipment! IMO I would intend on your entire budget listed as this gives you many choices and you not need to settle for all entery level gear! Have Fun!
I have to second, (or maybe 16th), the sentiment here. You will find vinyl if you go looking for it...
I got my hair cut last week. The barber was selling some old vinyl that a customer had brought in. I bought a bunch of mint records for $1 a record.
Vinyl will play better than digital at pretty much any price range. If you buy a $500 analog rig and a $500 digital rig, analog will win. If you go overboard and buy a $10,000 analog rig as well as a $10,000 digital rig, analog will win by a HUGE margin. As your system gets better, the differences become more apparent.
There's only enjoyment here. Get in.
"Don't listen to the haters" No one is hating. Were just saying that if you don't have a collection already there is no point in bothering with vinyl. As far as buying used vinyl goes it's very hit or miss. I have bought 30 used records in the past 2 months and only 5 are worth listening to. Luckily the store where I bought them from issued me a credit. Now if money isn't a problem and you can afford new issues from Analogue productions, Speakers corner and Pure pleasure records then I would say go for it. Just remember these high quality records run a minimum 25.00 and can go up to 100.00.
what city do you live in or near
some places have lots of vinyl
go for it!
I bought a $3k setup
and now have a $17k setup
and I'm back in the magic of music
something the cd can't quite deliver
For some people, like Jjmali mentioned, hunting for vinyl is half of the hobby. It's the thrill of finding something great, or even just the prospect of finding something great. And when you do, the payoff means getting to listen to some of your favorite music, which is a real kick!
For others, like Taters, hunting for vinyl is a hassle. There's a lot of effort involved with inspection and seeking good used sources, and even then you will end up with some records that will sound like they were played with a dull thumbtack attached to a stick.
So it really depends on how you approach the hobby. Personally, I'm in the "thrill of the hunt" camp, and really enjoy the feeling of coming across a mint copy of something I was looking for (or something I didn't know I was looking for), even if I end up buying 75% duds to get there. I know that if I absolutely NEED a vinyl copy of something, I can afford to pay $20-$60 here and there as a special treat, but you will be very surprised at what kind of gems you'll uncover in used bins.
I'm with JohnnyB53 on the Technics SL-1200 turntable. You will find that the main opposition you will run into on this forum regarding the Technics turntable is that it is Direct Drive as opposed to Belt Drive, but you can do a search in the forums to find both sides of that argument thoroughly expounded upon. But if you do decided to pursue this route, I would also recommend finding the website of KAB USA and investing in some of their upgrades for the SL-1200 (or just buy a pre-upgraded table from them). This will put a turntable on your rack for under $700 and leave PLENTY of money left over for a cartridge (I say get the best Dynavector your budget allows) and vinyl hunting money.
As a personal aside and necessary disclosure, I started with a Linn turntable at the recommendation of posters who said that a belt drive was my only option as a budding audiophile, and since I've made the switch to the Technics SL-1200 I am playing a lot more records. I'm just one set of ears though, so if you get a chance to do some of your own comparisons then I would highly, highly recommend it.
It's always more fun to TRY something than to NOT TRY something, and the resell value on audio equipment is very decent so if you can afford to try it, then go for it!
Good luck with whatever you decide,
If you clean your used LPs properly, most will sound great. Don't underestimate the value of a good cleaning regimen.
There are also many new rock LPs released that sell for $12-15. Many now also include codes for digital downloads, so I can enjoy LPs at home, and take the songs via Ipod on the road. The bigger record labels are also starting to get back in. Things are trending the right direction.
Even if you don't have any LPs now, I think it's well worth it to get into vinyl! Cheers,
I don't get you guys...
It may not be for everyone but Skcalrey obviously wants in, so why discourage? I second (or seventeenth) Tfkaudio.
Starting vinyl from scratch is usually not a good idea. Take this from someone who's got 3x more records than CDs and loves to play records. However, I started buying LPs back in 1977.
Most times is better to donate the money to the poor.
Here's the bottom line for me. I would rather call Nate at Acoustic Sounds and order the highest quality vinyl on the planet than spend 8 hours looking for used vinyl and maybe finding 2 to 3 records that are listenable. In the 8 hours someone is out treasure hunting for used records I'd rather earn the money to buy the best available and enjoy it.
Taters; you obviously have more spare money than spare time. We're all not that fortunate.
I think that the point that is missed here is that a large part of our recorded musical heritage has not, and will probably never be, remastered onto CD, or any other digital media. Failure to have access to LP replay is to cut oneself off from an awful lot of music. Then again, there are many audiophiles, in my experience, with $12,000.00 systems and a dozen Patricia Barber CDs to play on them; variety of musical experience may be somewhat overrated in our world.
Here's the bottom line for me. I would rather call Nate at Acoustic Sounds and order the highest quality vinyl on the planet than spend 8 hours looking for used vinyl and maybe finding 2 to 3 records that are listenable.
I think that comes down to how complete your vinyl collection is already, and whether you have more time or more money.
At the beginning of March I had a new turntable and about 15 LPs left over from the '70s. For the first 2-3 months I was hitting the used record shops and thrift shops once or twice weekly, and usually coming away with armloads of LPs. Even at that, the most I ever spent in one outing was $82 for about 22 LPs, and ALL of them were eminently playable and filled some gap in the types of music I was looking for.
Then I started hitting thrift shops and picking up stuff for 50 cents to a buck tops. My yield dropped to perhaps 70%, but at that price, who cares? Again, after a one-hour visit I'd come away with 15-25 LPs that cost me $7-12.
I've supplemented this with about 20 LPs from eBay to get recordings that meant a lot to me from the '60s and '70s. And all except one have been in near new-to-mint condition.
Now that I have 200+ albums, I'm getting pickier. I no longer hit thrift shops and come away with armloads. In fact, the last time I went to a used record shop, I collected an armload from the dollar bin and then put most of them back in favor of a near-perfect early pressing of the Beatles' White album for $18.99. When I got home and cued it up, you'd swear a 707 was landing in my living room when "Back in the USSR" started up.
The other thing that can affect your outlook is how good your local LP shops are. Where I live, I have already visited AT LEAST eight different used LP shops and four thrift shops. The used LP shops all have their own personalities and philosophies. One had really crummy, overpriced records. Another has lots of $1 records in great condition and many many more for $4-$8. That's where I got the White album cheaper than I've ever seen it anywhere, and where I'm going back to get Sgt. Peppers and Abbey Road at $9.99 ea. Then there's another store where--although their prices are on the high side--all the records are near perfect and the records are organized and catalogued as completely as Tower Records was at its peak. If they have what you're looking for, you'll find it in 5 minutes.
Taters, I don't know where you live but I have bought 500+ used albums over the past year and only a handfull, maybe 5 to 6 are in bad shape.
Plus, several music stores around me are stocking more and more new and used albums. I'm like Jjmali, I rarely listen to Cd's anymore because on my system there is no comparison.....which is a shame because I have so many CD.
I don't agree with Taters' either, but we can at least respect his perspective. For him, searching for vinyl isn't worth it. He did a quick cost/benefit, and the cost of his time and effort did not equal the benefit of finding a record that he can buy elsewhere for more.
I'm on the opposite side of this cost/benefit line, so going out and picking up some used records is very much worth my time and effort, as it sounds like it's worth the time of most of the posters on this forum as well. I love it, and I find it cost-effective, but it's not for everyone.
Be thankful: it's the Taters out there that make one less person searching for the same albums you are!
"Be thankul, it's the Taters out there that make one less person searching for the same albums you are"
You should also be thankful that people like myself support Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct and Elusive Disc. Otherwise there would be no new vinyl out there to buy!
Go for it, you will enjoy it. Lots of great LPs still out there if you want to dig for them.
Skclarey, I'm kind of doing the same thing now. It is easy to get discouraged by some of the answers here on this thread, I know, but to me trying something different is fun. So whoever supports the idea here, thanks!!!!
I'm still trying to figure out which table to get, but in the mean time I've bought few good records already.
I ordered a Technics SL-1200Mk2 in black, but it is backordered, so I am still trying to figure out to wait for SL or should I go for another table. Don't know yet.
For me buying used LPs would be OK. I live in NYC and here we have a lot of garage sales, Chelsea and Columbis ave flea markets, etc. I think it would be fun to hunt for some good used vinyl once in a while during this summer.
Never know what you can find there.
If Techincs that I ordered does not become available in the next week or so, I am thinking to cancel the SL1200 and try buying a good used table that is easy to re-sell if for some reason I decide vinyl isn't for me.
If you buy used, you can get out easy with minimal $ loss.
hopefully the kid will grow up wanting to play an insrument and not a stereo.
I have to chime in on the thrill of the hunt which for whatever reason is definitely gratifying for me. I live in a small midwestern town and I still run into numerous oportunities that seem to come my way unsolicited. That moment when you find a known gem or when you discover an unknown one are magic. Even when they don't turn out to be so pristine and aren't exactly musical Mona Lisas it can be very fun especially when you've picked them up for 50 cents at a yard sale. After twenty some years of actively collecting my enthusiasm for wading through endless boxes of disorganized dreck has definitely slowed but it hasn't stopped completely yet. Have a blast and don't look back.
i can see tater's point of view.i don't always have access to used record stores where i live so i am glad those internet stores are around.i can easily spend a couple of hours looking through the bins of the brick and mortars when i get to one.