Where to start? New to Analog

Can someone recommend a decent introductory (used or new) phonostage and an older used turntable or something introductory level.

I could probably sneak my parents old one away ;) but I doubt it is up to snuff.

I was thinking a QED Discsaver from UHF Mag for around $150 CDN would be a good start. Since my NADC350 Integrated lacks a phono stage.

Any brand recommendations or advice on where to start for an older turntable?

I'm a University student, small budget, basically looking to experiment for as little as possible till I can leap to something worthwhile.

All thoughts recommendations, articles or pages that can provide me some more detailed background information from a beginner's prospective would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
For a beginner, a used $30 Dual turntable with end of LP lift is good. The Ortofon Super OM20 is great at $115 as a cartridge.
You may want a real audiophile turntable, but I would wait on that 'till you have a record collection and some money.
LPs: second hand stores for the basics.. $0.25 to $1.00 each. For the few must have LPs that are rare, many specialty web stores and of course ebay.
(A better cartridge on a cheap table is better than an midprice table with a cheap cartridge)
Plenty of $100 phono pre pre's used on this site. almost any are ok.
Pre amps Nad PP1 or Project Phono Box have the best price quality ratio IMO to start with the hobby.

And used Thorens TD 150 or TD 160 (or 165/ 166/ 145/ 146/ 147) are very pleasant starter- TT's. Give many posibilities for mods and tweaks
What do your parents have? It may be better than you think.
Listen to David (4yanx).
David, that's eminently sensible.

Did I miss your 30th birthday? :)
I'll probably pickup the NAD PP2 as I can get it for around $150CDN locally.

Still waiting on finding out what exactly the old turntable is, turns out my sister snarfed it from the parents ;) - So i'll try to steal it back lol

A local retailer offered me a Dual 506 for $200CDN - any thoughts on this TT?

I'll let everyone know once I find out what my parent's is,

Thanks for the advice :)
The Dual 506 was a fine little budget turntable--decades ago, when it was new. I have a friend who owns one, and it still runs fine. But $200CDN? You gotta be kidding me.

'Tables are mechanical devices, and mechanical devices wear out. Doesn't mean old ones won't work, but you takes your chances, which is why you shouldn't pay top dollar for them. You just don't know when you'll need to buy another.
Ya I thought it was overpriced as I could get into an entry level Project for around $350cdn or so and a basic music hall for around the same.

The family turntable is a "BSR Macdonald" atleast that's all my sister, in another city or I would go look, can find on it to identify it. Anyone familiar with this product?
This BSR is really socks. The Dual should be much cheaper. Listen to the Thorens hobbyists. They know about TT's.

Or look for a nice Dual 505 MkII. Or a Technics 1700 or 1200 or a Technics tangential like SL- J1 This is a later product.
The BSR is a bit of a dog- no offense intended. You can get a good used Technics 1200 and cartridge for around $150 to $200, but be sure a DJ didn't get his hands on it first. Some of the Thorens are great, but be careful of which model as some of them have arms that are lacking.

Agree on the BSR. It was worth asking, time to move on.
Thanks for the advice all - Jimbo3 I'm not offended just glad that I know now :) I'll keep looking around town thanks :)

There have always been tons of decent vintage TT's on Ebay offered by Candian sellers. I assume that many of these were acquired (for resale) from the local thrifts.

If you are not in a hurry try cruising the local thrifts in the event that you get lucky.

As far as phono preamps go there is a vintage (70's) Radio Shack/Realistic MM preamp (42-2101) that is worth seeking out (they typically sell for $5-$20 on Ebay). Problem is finding one in decent operating condition (good caps w/o hum). When in good shape it easily matches the sound quality of current/popular $100-$150 phono preamps when paired with a high output MM cartridge.

There was also a 42-2101a version, but I am not familar with it (it may or may not be the same).

A local phile said that the unit's all discrete design reminded him of Jon Curl's early work (Curl is a well known circuit designer).

Anyway, this is the route I would take if on a meager budget (a little patience/diligence can sometimes offer the best bang for the buck).