Where do I start?

Hello all,

This is my first post and I am a little hesitent, being that my equipment certainly doesn't measure up to what most of you probably have, but I am "in the process", so here goes.

I am an aging hippie type who grew up with vinyl, and would really love to get back into that world of having a closer connection with the music I love. Although those tastes have changes from, dare I say it, The Beach Boys to Karrin Allyson, I still love that sound, and even with my old ears, I know that vinyl appeals to me much more than digital, although like most, I will still carry digital in my library.

My system is a modest set of Parasound solid state seperates, B & W 602's, and a Rotel 950 cd player. I know it's not much, but it beats the hell out of department store junk.

My first goal is a good front end, and I am starting with a decent turntable, arm, and cartridge. I have been looking at the Basis 1400 and the Clearaudio Champion for starters. I dismissed Rega due to the countless posts on speed problems. I don't plan on accumulating all of the latest and greatest in trying to refine my sound to a point that gives diminished returns, but I do want a satisfying system that will last a while. I also do not want to get into the competition of who's system is best and which brand gives the best sound. The short version is that I am a very passive person who is not out to solicit or cause conflict. I am, though, asking for those of you, and that is many, who know a whole lot more about this than I do, for some suggestions. Thank you all in advance.

You will most likely get a wide range of suggestions, mine is, once you have the TT you want, I would buy the best speakers you can possibly afford and worry about the electronics later.

Wow! I think that's the nicest post I've ever read! Sorry, can't help you with turntable stuff, but good luck!
The Basis 1400 is a good table - if you have a good stand, it's probably a fair bit better than the arm that comes with it. If you don't have a good stand and/or a really solid floor (ie concrete or brick), you might want to look for something with a suspension, although that will be significantly more expensive.

Don't forget the phono stage - it can make a big difference. There are a number of good inexpensive ones out there, and my experience is that there isn't a good correlation between price and quality.
I bought a used Music Hall MMF-5 turnable about a year ago and I'm very pleased w/it. Has a nice cart. standard and offers very good isolation. Added a little Project (Sumiko) phono pre-amp and it works wonderful. I like the fact it is always powered up so it gives peak performance from the moment you spin your first record. The
"Latest/greatest" isn't necessary that much better than what's been around for 15-30yrs. It boils down to system matching and your listening room. Also, one's expectations. Good luck w/
your quest. Bill
Thank you all for your help and encouragement so far. I do have hardwood floors, but my rack is near a corner and seems stable. Also, there are no kids jumping around to upset things. I am hoping this will be enough to keep any given turntable stable. I am leaning toward the Basis 1400, althouth a local high end shop, which by the way has wonderfully helpful people, does carry the Nottingham. Something about that small motor, always running, makes me hesitate, but that might just be my ignorance too. Anyway, there is a Basis on Ebay with 25 hours on it, 250 tonearm, and clearaudio cartridge. They are asking $995 buy price, or I could enter the bidding and hope for a bit less. Finally, thanks again, and all suggestions are truly appreciated.


Beware the seemingly fabulous e-bay deal.

I think having the support and expertise of a friendly and helpful local shop should not be underestimated, especailly since this will be your first re-entry into vinyl playback. Different turntables produce different sound. Have you been able to listen to a basis? Do you like the sound of the Nottingham's you've listened to? Will the shop let you try out a turntable in your system and help you with setup?

And finally, don't forget about proper record cleaning. It's a worthwhile investment of time and money. There are a number of informative threads concerning this topic. If you haven't already, please check them out.

I got back into vinyl about four years ago*, and I've found to be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience.

* I bought a Rega Planar 3. If it runs fast, I haven't been able to detect it with my ears. Perhaps others have better ears and can sonically detect a table that's running 1% faster than it should. Note that the author of the recent Stereophile article who mentioned this problem, was only able to detect it with a strobe disk and then with perfect hindsight felt confident in corelating this fact with certain features of the table's sound.
Do not be afraid of Nottingham motors. Their tables are fantastic. I have a spacedeck and it makes music.