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Taking the next step

 

New member
Username: Thedeepcuts

Glenside, PA United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-04
Greetings all. I'm a pro recording engineer and sound designer by day... Aspiring vinyl junkie by night. I've been buying some really nice records lately (180gm remasters, and new albums) and I've been playing them on what is likely a very mediocre system. I bought a decent, entry-level setup... and I'm looking for guidance on taking the next step.

I have a Technics Direct Drive Table, model SL-Q200; using Ortofon P-Mount #14 Cartridges.

That is running into a Rotel RQ-970BX Preamp. From there, I actually bring it up to +4 line level with an ebtech line level shifter. It runs into my studio line mixer and into my powered monitors in the control room.

All told, I only spent $250 on vinyl setup, and I think I might be ready to invest at least twice that, if I am going to really see a significant change in quality of sound.

So... Any suggestions. I'm a big fan of buying used gear... obviously, I only use fresh needles, but I will buy anything else used.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4135
Registered: May-04


Nice to hear you only use fresh needles, R. Alex.

I'd look for a used Rega of any type. The older "S" arms (sourced from Japan and sold as Rega arms) are less desireable than any Rega table with the Rega arm (RB250/RB300). Any older Rega table can be brought up to current status by changing out parts.

I used to do pro sound and I don't remember an item referred to as a "line level shifter". That sounds like a fancy name for a gain cell with a pot attached. Tell me more, please.




 

New member
Username: Thedeepcuts

Glenside, PA United States

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-04
Ebtech Line Level Shifter:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/search/detail/base_pid/189100/sourceid=qIZcQ sp7OUj3AavlL0Zn/befree_site_id=0028042543

it is just a box, completely passive, that has 1/4" in/out jacks. They're used for pro music applications, to boost music instrument (keyboard) levels up to pro-line level. They take -10 unbalanced and spit out +4 balanced or visa versa

I'll look into the Rega Tables and arms this month and see what I can find. Thanks for the tip.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 627
Registered: Sep-04
I concur with the Rega vote. The P3 (formerly Planar 3) is the value for money item in the range, although they make better decks too. Steer clear of the s-shaped arms. Rega's own RB250 and RB300 arms are excellent.

On your side of the pond I would also look out for VPI turntables. You should be able to pick one up 2nd hand for sensible money.

Note that you almost definitely will lose features if you go for a decent deck. They are almost always completely manual decks, meaning you might be lucky and get a lift/lower device but that's it. It doesn't stop rotating at the end of the side and it doesn't automatically lift the arm either. There's usually no strobe affair on there and certainly no speed adjustment. You may get 33 and 45 options, but you may not (the Regas have a 33/45 option - you slip the belt from one cog to another!)

Have you considered the rest of the chain in the setup too? As you improve your deck, you have enough quality to start considering better cartridges. You're not looking to scratch so you can afford to have a more delicate cartridge that can't cope with going backwards and can track with lower forces than you're used to (usually below 2grams). Ortofon's 500 series is a set of 4 good basic moving magnet cartridges. Also Grado make excellent cartridges for the money. Above that you get into Moving Coil cartridges which have much lower output (10 times lower) so usually need a special low noise MC phono stage. They pull out more detail since they can track better than MM cartridges.

Regards & Good Luck,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4371
Registered: May-04


Back to the line level shifter; how does a completely passive device add 14dB of gain? Is it transformer based?
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