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Any experience with Pro-Ject Debut III?

 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 521
Registered: May-05
I know... Ive criticized others for asking this before, but I guess what goes around comes around...

I can't find a store in my area (15 minutes away from Manhattan) that have any affordable Turntables on display. The cheapest one I saw displayed was about $2500, without a tonearm or cartridge. One store has a Pro-Ject Debut III table, which I'm very interested in, but don't have it or anything similiar to it on the floor. I have to 'special order' it from their warehouse. It actually comes in under my initial budget, has a strong dealer recommendation, and has gotten a great good professional review. It is the only review I could find though, being that it's relatively new. The Debut II had similarly good reviews. If I don't like it the dealer will give me store credit, which is fine because I have a back up plan for the money if I need it return the tt.

Part of my question is what are people's thoughts on the TT's sound quality? Can I do better for the money or about $100 more? Sound quality is a very subjective thing. If I don't like it but it is a well made TT, I could always try their next model up, for about $200 more. I'd be in the same situation again though. What Hi-Fi gave the Debut III 5 stars, but I have to take that with a grain of salt, as I agree with them half of the time and completely disagree with them the other half of the time.

My main question about it is reliability. Has anyone had problems with Pro-Ject gear in general, or more specifically the Debut line? Or conversly, does anyone swear by their build quality? I would like to have the TT for a long time. I'm not the type that buys something and sells it a few months or even a few years later. I generally tend to keep stuff around for about 10-15 years, then end up giving it to a younger relative if it still works well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 522
Registered: May-05
Sorry - My current TT is a Technics SL-BD2 tt w/Grado Black cart, NAD P P-2 phono pre-amp, NAD C320BEE, and PSB Image T55 towers. My vinyl mainly consists of 60's-70's original pressing classic rock - Hendrix, Santana, Skynyrd, Steppin' Wolf, Eagles, Sabbath, etc.

Thanks
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1967
Registered: Feb-05
Stu did you buy the Pro-Ject? I am buying one to start getting back into vinyl after a 20 year break. May eventually move up but I must first decide if I even like the vinyl hassle.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 661
Registered: May-05
Art -

I bought the Debut III, then traded up during the 30 day period my dealer has for the 1 Xpression.

That wasn't because the Debut III was a bad table. It's a great table. When considering the upgrade, I didn't think I'd hear enough of a difference to justify the approx $175 price difference. If I didn't like the 1 Xpression, the dealer agreed to refund the total difference and give me the Debut III back.

Both tables are worth every penny of the price tag. I think they are the same table except the tone arm, platter, and cartridge. To me, the 1 Xpression was worth the upgrade by a long shot.

If you're worried about the vinyl hassle - so was I when I started - these tables take just about all of it away. The Debut has everything already adjusted for you. You simply have to connect it, plug it in, and play it. The 1 Xpression has a few more adjustments, but my dealer took care of those for me. It took him about 5 minutes to do. I could have done it myself, but I've never done it before and wanted to learn how from a person rather than a manual. The good thing about the adjustments is once they're done, they're done until you get a new cartridge.

The only other hassle I can think of was popping due to static electrictiy. I've had this problem - not too much, but enough to say so - with every table I've had. Since I bought a new mat, I haven't heard it at all. It is Herbie's Way Excellent Turntable Mat.

I don't think their is a more user friendly line out there than this. It combines the ease of use with my old Technics SL-BD2 with a great sound quality. My Technics sounds like a broken toy next to the Debut III, let alone the 1 Xpression.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 965
Registered: Sep-04
Blimey - that Technics must be total crap! I was about to write a note saying that you should go for the 1Xpression if you possibly could. It's not because of reliability. There had been problems with earlier Debuts which are resolved with the III so that's not it. The DebutIII is quite basic in its presentation however, and the 1Xpression improves dramatically on its performance. The platter with the Debut is pressed steel which I'm sure interferes with the cartridge (magnetic remember). The 1Xpression's platter is aluminium (good). The arm on the 1Xpression is a marvel at the price. I need to play with this in other decks sometime. It allows you to take advantage of better cartridges in the deck when the time comes.

The only other decks I would have recommended (and this would depend on availability and cost in your area) would have been the Goldring GR1.2 and NAD 533 both of which are basically Rega P2s.

Well done on your purchase. Good 'un there methinks.

regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 666
Registered: May-05
Thanks Frank. Or as most of you across the pond say... Cheers Mate.

The Debut III is a very good table in it's own right, but the 1 Xpression blows the doors off of it for $170 more.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1998
Registered: Feb-05
I just ordered a Debut 3. If I enjoy vinyl again I'll buy a better rig somewhere down the road. I listened to the Debut 3 the other day and it is quite an improvement over the previous version and also IMO better than the MH 2.1. I also had to buy another shelf for my Lovan Sovereign stand to put the table on, so I am tapped for awhile.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 668
Registered: May-05
Art - The Debut III is a great table. I honestly had no complaints what so ever with mine. Don't worry about the Vinyl hassle. It's not as bad as it seems, especially with a deck like the Debut III.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2000
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks Stu.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2041
Registered: Feb-05
Table should arrive this week and now I'm off to get some vinyl. I'm scared!!!!! :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 679
Registered: May-05
Scared that your CD player will accumulate a lot of dust? Mine has too.



Frank -

By accident I happened to find a dealer who has the Pro-Ject line displayed on the floor. I was visiting family back home and stopped into a local hi-fi shop whom I didn't know carried Pro-Ject. They just picked up the line within the last year. This was the first time I heard the Debut III and 1 Xpression side by side. The differences were even more than I thought. The Debut is still a great table and worth every penny, but the 1 Xpression does everything easier and better. The biggest difference I noticed was the noise floor. One of those things that you barely notice until it's been significantly reduced or gone.

Here's what really puzzled me - I noticed that surface noise was far lower on the 1 Xpression than the Debut. This is very counterintuitive to me. If one table and cart is more revealing, wouldn't it reveal more surface noise? I could see if the lower priced combo had less surface noise because it masked it. To me this would be like saying a better cd player would make poorly recorded cd's sound better rather than revealing all of it's flaws. I've always expected that a better component would reveal all of a poor recording's flaws.

The record I used - the store's copy to prove the point - was Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. They claimed to have found it the alley. It was somewhat warped and scratched. I've seen far worse lp's that were playable, but it was far from being in 'good' condition. On the Debut the surface noise was apparent. Not overbearing, but obvious. It still sounded vey good. In fact, it sounded better than the same cd in the same system. On the 1 Xpression, it was faintly there. The 1 Xpression not only sounded better and more detailed in every area, but somehow hid the surface noise. Any idea how? This has had me dumbfounded for the last 2 days.

I also heard the 1 Xpression with a Sumiko Blue Point Special cart on the same set up - Rotel 1062 and Paradigm towers - comparable to my PSB towers (I still like my NAD & PSB combo better though). Needless to say, I'm saving up my money for when I need a new cart. Have you tried this combo?

To sum things up, everything you've said has been right on. Thanks for your insight. My only regret in the whole thing was that I didn't buy from the dealer who had the tables set up. Had I known he had them when I was in the buying process, I would have made the trip and bought the 1 Xpression from him the first time. Not all is bad though, I'll be buying the cart from him when the time comes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6309
Registered: May-04


SP - When you auditioned the tables together, were both tables using the same cartridge?
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 688
Registered: May-05
Jan -
They weren't. The Debut and one of the 1 Xpressions were using the stock carts - Ortofon OM-5E and Sumiko Oyster respectively. The second 1 Xpression was using a Sumiko Blue Point Special.

In the tables with stock carts, some of the differences were obvioulsy due to the better cart in the 1 Xpression. The dealer pointed that out right off the bat and made sure that I was aware of that, which I was. Had they had the same cart, I still think the 1 Xpression would have beaten out the Debut and been worth the extra money. The 1 Xpression has a better bearing, platter, arm, and plinth. I thought they were the same plinth, but they aren't. The dealer pointed out the differences to me. With identicle carts, shouldn't these all combine to significantly reduce the noise fooor?

Also with a lower noise floor, why would the surface noise of the lp be less? I'd think that a more revealing tt wouldn't be able to discern what I want to hear from what I don't. Like I said earlier, all aspects of the sound were improved on while virtually getting rid of surface noise. I know it doesn't seem logical, but that is what me and the two salesmen heard. They didn't point it out to me, I asked them if that was what they were hearing. I should have asked their take on it. Do you think the surface noise would have came back with the other cart? It was also pretty much non-existant with the Blue Point Special cart, which was even more revealing and better sounding that the Oyster, let alone the Ortofon. Then again, at $400 for the Blue Point Special and $55 for the Oyster, the differences should be night and day.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 656
Registered: Feb-04
Mr. Pitt,

Without the benefit of hearing what you heard, the "surface noise" could very well be distortion that is reduced on the superior table. If the Xpression has a better bearing, platter, arm, and plinth, then it makes sense that less unwanted noise will be picked up by the cartridge and more of the music within the record grooves will be conveyed. The superior cartridge probably contributed to the reduction of the noise floor, but my guess is the table and tonearm made a bigger difference. As you go up the TT price rungs, the more elaborate the sound isolation design gets. I'm personally waiting for the first floating TT.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2055
Registered: Feb-05
"Scared that your CD player will accumulate a lot of dust? Mine has too."

No I have about 1500 titles on cd (I count all box sets etc as 1 title). No chance that the new cd player will collect dust. As you can tell by my cd colection my wife won't take too kindly to my collecting another format..lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6314
Registered: May-04


There have been and are several "floating turntables". Usually the air pump for these designs is noisy enough to need isolation in another room. Magnetic isolation is possible, but difficult and expensive in a turntable design.


In my experience there are generally two ways to reduce surface noise in a turntable other than cleaning the record itself. You first have to think about what creates the noise and then understand how the noise can be minimized.


Turntable induced surface noise is random motion, unrelated to the music, of the stylus and cantilever in relation to the magnet/coil systems which generate the signal. Or vice versa, random motion of the generator in relation to the stylus/cantilever if the tonearm is the culprit.

If the cartridge and stylus are different between two tables, the size and profile of the stylus can determine where it contacts the record groove. If the stylus can contact clean vinyl, the noise floor can be lowered simply by the fact the stylus is tracking a portion of the groove which has not been damaged by playing. Until you compare both tables with the same stylus, the real difference in the table's noise floor is still up for debate.


However, the random motion of the tables' bearing, platter resonance and tonearm will make a large difference in the amount of noise you perceive while playing the same LP between the two designs. With the better table and arm, the amount of random motion should be minimized by a more rigid structure with tighter tolerances. That allows the stylus to track just the groove and not the vibrations and resonances of the turntable or tonearm. Once the stylus/cartridge is allowed to do its job properly, the noise floor should drop considerably and the dynamics of the table should be more explosive. Ambience and "details" should become more easily articulated, both frequency extremes should be extended and bass should propel the music forward. All of this should fit better into the structure of the music. That's why you buy a better table in the first place.


 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 984
Registered: Sep-04
Art

You're welcome. As Jan says above, every aspect of turntable design contributes to noise in the system. Designers try to get around this by various means such as suspension of the subchassis, a high tolerance bearing, special materials (platters come in steel, aluminium, ceramic, acrylic, aerated polyvinyl, vinyl, chassis come in pressed steel, perspex, cast aluminium), quiet motors of both AC and DC persuasion. These may be mounted on the chassis or separately from the chassis. The motor usually drives a belt rather than being directly coupled to the platter. And the motor may have a choice of different power supplies which have a direct effect on the noise floor of the deck! It's quite bizarre. Given that the deck is huge in relation to the size of the stylus, any vibration caused by the deck is magnified massively by the cartridge. This is why the deck is the most important factor, followed by the arm and ultimately the cartridge.

Different cartridges will pick up different noise levels too. A stylus is a specially profiled diamond (usually), and there are several different types and shapes of these, such as elliptical, Gyger I, II and III and fine line. Surface noise is mostly exactly that - noise set at the surface of the record, not in the grooves. In a cross section, the grooves are valleys but the surface of the record is the peaks between the valleys. These peaks come into contact with a lot of things in the production process before they get to you, and they're quite fragile. Different stylus types sit higher or lower in the groove. All things being equal, the lower in the groove it sits, the less surface (peak) noise it will pick up. Also, the less it will wear the record since it is in the stronger portion of the groove.

Naturally, there's also the way the stylus is held in place by the cantilever and whether or not it's a MM or MC carridge which also has a direct effect on tracking and therefore noise.

So you have a combination of the stylus type sitting lower or higher in the groove allied to better manufacturing of the platter bearing, quiet motors and high tolerance arm bearing, etc. which lowers the noise floor.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 691
Registered: May-05
Frank - Did you confuse me and Art? Please don't insult Art like that. He diserves better...

Thanks everyone. What all of you said definately makes sense. I think you all basically said the same thing, just in different words. I'm no longer doumbfounded... Well at least not with this...

Art - Let me know how it goes with your Debut when it arrives.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2058
Registered: Feb-05
Will do Stu. Thanks for the mat info.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3799
Registered: Dec-03
Good luck, Art. No need to be scared! I think you will take to LP.

Like Stu; please let us know how it goes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2066
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks John.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2094
Registered: Feb-05
Vinyl rules!!!

Already trying to figure out how to get a Clearaudio table (though it will likely take years).

I haven't got it setup like it will be, but I had to listen to a record. I started with my wife's favorite record "It's a Beautiful Day". Even she was impressed! Trust me she was against a turntable more than any piece of audio gear I've purchased, now she wants to hear more.

Good start eh.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 992
Registered: Sep-04
Stu, Art, apologies to both for mixing you up...

My befuddled brain is off to enjoy the weekend.

Art - Clearaudio - pah! OK, probably better than Project but my choice would be Michell or Rega.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2095
Registered: Feb-05
Actually, just came back from Portland, next stop Rega.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2100
Registered: Feb-05
Bummer, couldn't afford the P3. Ordered the ProJect 1Xpression. Won't be using that awful Sumiko Oyster Cartridge though. Will use an inexpensive Grado for awhile.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3800
Registered: Dec-03
Great thread. Well done, Art. I must get my old P3 back. Plus my LPs.

I wonder if you found the thread Concerning turntables and LPs....
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2102
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks John, great reading. I wish I could have afforded the P3 for all that it means and for all of it's upgradeability. I am however assured that the 1Xpression is nearly (if not) it's equal in sound. I hope so.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3801
Registered: Dec-03
You're welcome, Art. I'll keep reading -- and with interest. I was surprised at the size of the range of ProJect turntables. There is surely a vinyl revival going on. Good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 719
Registered: May-05
Sorry I haven't followed the thread for a few days.

Art - It's great to see that you're enjoying vinyl. I hope I didn't influence upgraditis, unless of course it's a good thing. I've also heard that the 1Xpression is pretty much the P3's equal in sound. I do have a question though - Why don't you like the Sumiko Oyster? I've heard some people don't like it, but I've got very little experience with carts. The only ones I've heard on the 1Xpression are the Sumiko Oyster and Blue Point Special. That really not a fair comparison in any regard, seeing as how about $350 seperates the two. It's pretty difficult to find tt's on display in my neck of the woods, let alone A/B carts on identicle or similar tables. Have you heard other carts set up on the table?
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2124
Registered: Feb-05
2.3 gram tracking weight...yikes. Jim at Northwest Audio Labs is taking them off the table and replacing them with an $80 Grado. Not that the Grado is all that but it represents better sound than the Oyster and it won't damage your records. I also decided to buy a Nitty Gritty cleaning system (the least expensive manual one). BTW the Blue point special was too much for me right now. I'd rather put that money into a record cleaner. Thanks Stu for reminding me how much fun this is.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2136
Registered: Feb-05
"It's great to see that you're enjoying vinyl. I hope I didn't influence upgraditis, unless of course it's a good thing."

It's a good thing to everyone but my wife..lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2138
Registered: Feb-05
Picked up the Nitty Gritty today and ordered the ProJect speed box. Next stop is a Michell clamp. My 1Xpression is due in as early as this friday.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 997
Registered: Sep-04
Ease up Art. The clamp may do good things but also bad things. Get used to what you've got before making a snap decision to go with a clamp. Different decks respond differently to clamps. Some clamps overdo it too. The Michell clamp is a good item but no clamp works on all decks. I would get used to the deck before buying it.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6434
Registered: May-04


Frank's right on the clamp or any tweak for that matter. Get used to the sound you have in stock form before you begin tweaking it in any one direction.


We all go different directions with our tweaks; however, if you haven't established the support structure for the table to sit upon, all other tweaks will be minimized by the table being influenced by outside factors. Items such as a clamp or mat will only let the stylus do a better job of tracking the random movement of the feedback from the stylus tracking the groove.




 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 659
Registered: Feb-04
A record cleaning machine with a vacuum is a good "tweak" for any vinyl aficianado. Cleaning the vinyl provides substantial sonic benefits and prolongs the life of your stylus. Other worthwhile tweaks include an effective stylus cleaner, instruments for properly aligning the cartridge, and anti-static record sleeves.

I agree that other tweaks can wait as suggested by FA and JV.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2143
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks guys. I got the clamp advice from a couple of my oldest friends and total vinyl nuts. Jim Ott who owns Northwest Audio Labs (he doesn't sell the clamps) and his assistant Steve. I'm afraid I ordered it already but as you say I am done for a while. Now I'm ready to listen. BTW I ordered the anti static sleeves at the same time as the clamp. Thanks again for the advice, I probably should've waited before making changes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2147
Registered: Feb-05
Jim hadn't ordered the speed box yet so I had him put it on hold until I get a chance to listen to the stock table for awhile.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2183
Registered: Feb-05
Question: When I first turn the 1 Xpression it makes a bunch of racket. Sounds like the belt slipping, it also makes this sound when I turn it off. It does not make any sound during play.

Does yours make this sound Stu? Jan, does the belt sound like a resonable explanation? If so can I expect it to go away or should I ask the dealer about another belt? Lastly, am I all wet and it is likely something else?
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1021
Registered: Sep-04
Art,

I wouldn't be surprised if it was just the belt slipping while it got up to speed. You can 'help' the turntable get going by giving the platter a gentle whirl before starting up the deck.

If you take off the platter, does it still cause the racket? And if so can you see where it's happening?

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2186
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks for the reply Frank. With the Platter off it does not make the racket. It also has quite a hum and yes the ground is connected. Jim stated that this cartridge us unshielded, is that why? You have to turn it up a bit to hear the hum but it is quite noticeable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6540
Registered: May-04


Grados have traditionally had problems with some tables due to their "unshielded" status. How much it bothers any one person usually depends on the type of music someone listens to. I made the suggestion on one thread that aluminum sheet can be used for shielding the motor, however, I don't know that I would attempt this until the table is out of warranty. However, you can try a simple aluminum box placed around the motor to try lowering the amount of hum. For the most part, it should be the responsiblity of the dealer to warn the client of these interactions between cartridge and table. Particularly when the Grados are known to have problems with some decks.


As Frank suggested you can give the platter a bit of a spin when you first hit the power button. In favor of a clamp, the last twist on my VPI clamp is also the spin that gets everything moving as I hit the power button.


You might ask you dealer about cleaning the edge of the platter and the belt with some alchohol and then dropping the belt into a baggie of talcum powder. Often this works to give the belt a bit more grip while the motor is under torque. The problem is the torque. Most tables will have a motor designed to provide maximum torque to get the table to speed and then torque drops off dramtically once the table is running. Different manufacturers disagree about the value of this sort of design and some prefer a very low torque motor at all times.


Anyone remember the old Connosieur table with the kick start lever serving as the power on switch? Talk about low torque!





 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2187
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks a bunch Jan. I appreciate your prompt reply.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 739
Registered: May-05
Art -

I haven't heard the start up and turn off noises on my table. What Jan and Frank said make sense. If it is the belt slipping, will your dealer give you or let you try a new one? What does the dealer have to say about the noise?

As far as the humming from the Grado cart, from what I've read they are known for that. What you're saying doesn't sound unusual.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2188
Registered: Feb-05
Dealer says it sounds like belt friction. Steve said that his at home (a 3k Clearaudio) does the same thing. If it bothers me they would be glad to give me another belt but he said he didn't believe that would change anything. Jim said he thinks it will go away with more use.
 

Rantz
Unregistered guest
Art, do you lift or remove the cover when playing an album. I believe, in a post from the past, this helped with someone's humm problems. Also, a very solid/stable platform helps though I would assume you know these things.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2189
Registered: Feb-05
Switching cartridges due to hum with Grado. Choice that I can afford with the same dealer equals.

1) The stock Sumiko Oyster
2) Sumiko Pearl
3) Shure M97xe

Opinions and recommendations appreciated.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 741
Registered: May-05
I'd also like to hear some opinions. One of these days I'll be able to afford the $400 Blue Point Special. I guess I could make the wife work overtime...
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2192
Registered: Feb-05
Hum problem solved. Jim and Steve at Northwest Audio Labs talked me through it. The turntable was too close to the Hafler power amp. I put the turntable in front of the A/V cabinet on the floor and everything sounded better immediately. Now ofcourse I don't know where to put the table. The only option is inside the A/V cabinet where it will be difficult to load records. Oh well it'll sound damn good anyway. Thanks again everyone for your responses. Very much appreciated. To those (not you guys) folks who don't believe that a good dealer is worth their weight in gold let this be lesson.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 663
Registered: Feb-04
There's a lot of hype around the blue point special. I find the clearaudio aurum classic more musical than bps at half the cost. If you've actually listened to the bps and like the way it sounds compared to other cartridges, you should just ignore this post. But if you haven't listened to it and are relying on the hype, do yourself a favor - compare it to other carts including the clearaudio and the dynavector 10x5.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1025
Registered: Sep-04
Better than the BPS would be the Dynavector 10x5 in my view.

Art, if the deck is in a cabinet, you could remove the lid permanently.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6553
Registered: May-04


You could, but a cabinet is seldom, if ever, the best position for a turntable in terms of sound. Inside, or on top, you've placed the one item that respods to the tiniest amount of vibration on or inside a big, hollow resonant chamber. And, worse yet, if the cabinet is heavy, all the movement that finally makes its way to the platter/stylus interface has been slowed by the mass of the cabinet until it is significanetly out of phase with the signal at the stylus tip. Further more, the cabinet is unlikely to do anything to remove residual movement from the motor.


I have no idea what your space limitations are, Art, but for best performance from your new source, a dedicated support of some type is in order.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3804
Registered: Dec-03
Agreed. As regards dedicated support, Art, consider a wall-mounted shelf. Especially if you have suspended floor, which is liable to tranmit vibrations up through whatever structure the turntable is placed on.

As regards the turntable start-up noise, I heard a small and unobtrusive chafing noise from my belt-driven Planar 3 for the first few years.

My guess is that a new belt is elastic, and is stretched by the torque applied by the motor pulley as it pulls and accelerates the platter. The tension in the belt increases to a point where it is enough to unseat part of the belt from the platter pulley, and it snaps back a little towards the motor pulley. This happens a number of times, making a slight chattering sound, until the platter reaches speed, and the stretching no longer occurs because the belt is smoothly transmitting torque and the stretching force is gone.

I guess also that the noise goes away eventually as the belt becomes less elastic with age. I would think it comes back if you replace the belt with a new, more elastic one.

As regards lid open or closed, the thing to do is try it and see. On my system, with a wall-mounted shelf, the flimsy wall transmitted air-borne vibrations into the resonant cavity formed when the lid was down. These were amplified to give a sound that transmitted into the cavity, that made a sound - etc. etc. A classic case of feedback. There is a threshold on the amplifier volume control, above which the feedback really sets in and becomes intolerable.

Around or above that threshold, the acoustic feedback is instantly cut by opening the lid, contrary to the manufacturer's recommendation, but as suggested to me by Jan.

Hum is a different question and the transmission is electromagnetic, not acoustic.

I find modern electronics like TVs and CD players radiate strong electromagnetic fields, also radio frequency interference that is picked up by FM tuners. These only extend to a few feet, so moving the analogue turntable or tuner away from the source of the interference will usually do the trick. WiFi base stations are a great source of RF interference, as are cordless telephones.

Some of the appeal of digital sources, including radio, may be that they do not pick up the interference they generate themselves. Analogue sources were designed in the days when there was not a lot of RF interference around, and when there were, anyway, strict telecommunications regulations limiting the RF produced by domestic appliances.

BTW Super story in Dec HiFi News - UK the advertising standards authority has banned DAB radio manufacturers from describing the sound as "crystal clear" because it isn't. Apparently, even lawyers can hear that FM analogue is clearer.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2208
Registered: Feb-05
Good info from everyone and I thank you. I spent yesterday afternoon in Portland at Everyday Music looking through records and came away with a few. Not all in perfect shape (wish the Supertramp/Crime was better, but will suffice for now) but overall not bad for used and $3 each. Amazing how even an inexpensive rig like mine can out perform spendy CD players. What analog does that CD's don't is convey the emotion in the music. Makes me want to scrap the multi channel outfit for tubes. But alas not yet, I will listen to this for awhile then audition something (pre, power, integrated who knows) with tubes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2213
Registered: Feb-05
Another question. During playback of some records, the Mercury Living Presence Dorati/1812 Overture for example the sound gets very scratchy and distorted during complex passages. It sounded very good during quiet passages. There are a few records that sound like that, all of them classical and during the busiest passages. Why? Is it the limitation of the playback gear, record damage or what? Some records sound so good it's scary, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils "It'll Shine When it Shines" for example.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6581
Registered: May-04


If you're talking a used record, there could be lots of reasons, including permananet damage to the record groove. Audiophiles have these strange obsessions with things that often are not in their own best interest. Things like Telarc cannons that make the stylus track backwards and jump out of the groove, speakers with 0.5 Ohm impedance and cartridges that can track at 3/4 gram. Record companies have this obssession with money and profits. If the recording you own is not an original series Living Presence, the masters were run far too long and the pressings were of poor quality. If the recording is an original (unlikely if this a version purchased for $3), there is a good chance the previous owner(s) didn't always take care of their gear as well as possible. I sold doctor/lawyer type gear and they would come in with a stylus that was all but none existent because they just didn't want to part with the $37.50 for a new stylus. If the original owner tried tracking their cartridge too lightly, the heavily modulated grooves would be damaged.


An older record also could have been used to feed the dog. It could just be an accumulation of crud in the groove that will come out with a good, thorough cleaning.

If you only have this problem on certain records, I would look for reasons in the record itself and not the gear you presently own. But. most importantly, beware of reissues unless you know the quality of the pressing. Most often they were done from inferior masters and made just to push a few more dollars out of a popular again recording.


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 665
Registered: Feb-04
But if it's a consistent problem on several records it could be a hardware issue. Try playing a classical lp that you know to be clean and a good pressing (e.g., a Classic or Speakers Corner reissue). If you still get the same distortions during difficult passages, it could be any number of issues between the stylus and the speakers in the audio chain. Without hearing the nature and extent of the distortion it's hard to know what's causing it.

See if the distortions persist when you mount your new cartridge. If it does, try a more powerful amp. What kind of amp and phono preamp are you using? A phono system tends to be more demanding on an amp than a digital system, because it generally has a lower output and greater dynamics. An underpowered amp with insufficient headroom may result in distortion on difficult passages on an lp.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6584
Registered: May-04


Do get a stylus cleaner.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2217
Registered: Feb-05
Jan, what do you suggest for a stylus cleaner (on a budget)?

Two Cents, it is a problem only on certain records not on all or even most.

I have an NAD C162 pre with a phono section and my power amp is a Hafler 9505, power ain't a problem.

Thanks again for your responses. You guys are great.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6587
Registered: May-04


I don't even know what's available any longer. I still use a Discwasher SC-2 that's about 25 years old. I like the dense brush type such as the Discwasher. Little paint brush types don't do anything except spread the bristles apart when you run the stylus through them. I haven't tried the new "gooey" types, though I can't imagine they do a good job unless you are vigilant about using them after every disc. Linn used the produce a very fine emory board cleaner, and the alternative was the flint on a book of matches. You ran it along the profile of the stylus and hoped you didn't take the stylus tip off by a careless hiccup. I use one about once a month. They work very well if you are very careful. Overall, I'd suggest a dense brush type. I would think MusicDirect or Audio Advisor have a few to choose from.


 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2248
Registered: Feb-05
Stu, I'm auditioning the ProJect speed box. I'll let you know the final verdict soon. It definitely made an audible difference that I noticed right away. More on it later.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 755
Registered: May-05
That should be interesting. When looking into the set up, I thought it was strictly a convience item. The neither dealer (the one that I bought the tt from nor the one I should have brought from) mentioned anything about it. I dismissed it because I don't have any 45's or really plan on getting any. If you think it makes an honest and positive SQ improvement, I'll definitely give it an audition after the holidays. I'm finding out more and more that our tastes in equipment are very close, even though you're a Paradigm guy and I'm a PSB guy.

Another piece I'd like to audition, but am staying away from because I can't afford it is the Tube Box. If that would make a bigger difference than the Speed Box, it may become more of a possibility for me. Have you heard it? These NY dealers really need to get their act together in the TT department
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2249
Registered: Feb-05
I haven't heard the Tube Box but am more likely to get a tube hybrid pre amp to bring that advantage to all of my sources than to spend $550 on it just for the table.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/project/project.html

http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2004/project_1xpression.shtml

What you read here of the difference with the Speed Box vs without is absolutely accurate. It does seem to lose a little bass extension but I really think that is an illusion and what it is actually losing is sloppy bass. This is fun listening.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 758
Registered: May-05
Good call with the Phono Box. I don't know why I never thought of it that way. I'll give the Speed Box an audition after the holidays along with a couple of other things. Power amps, tube integrateds, yadda yadda yadda. Gotta love it.
 

Nelg
Unregistered guest
Hi Guys, reading through the thread and would like to share my set-up. I have the project debut III connected to the Musical Fidelity X-10v3 then to my yamaha rxv-1500. Sound coming the project was more detailed and the signal has been boosted as compared to directly connecting to the yammy.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2299
Registered: Feb-05
I would think that the MF would be improve the sound. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are enjoying that table.
 

New member
Username: Johnnyesox

Glasgow, Strathclyde Scotland

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-05
Hi,great wee decks the Pro-jects for the money,about £118 here in the U.K.Can recommend the Rega3,even the older models as a good 2nd hand buy,from e.bay or the like,always plenty of them for sale and a quote for the shipping ect,is usually easy to get....cheers,J.McM Glasgow
 

New member
Username: B_drury

ManchesterUnited Kingdom

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-06
I received my new Prioject Debut 3 deck this afternoon after ordering it over the web from Superfi.co.uk. I'm really pleased with the service and it has arrived in no time at all. Anyway, just wondered if anyone has struggled setting the deck up, in particular the anti-skate and weighting of the tone arm. The instructions included are terrible and don't even explain what these features are for. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY

Post Number: 831
Registered: May-05
No offense Ben, but this is why you should buy from a local dealer instead of the internet. My dealer set mine up and explained what he was doing when I got mine. I wouldn't really be able to explain it well on a forum. Is their a customer service number that you can call and have them talk you through it? Also, a local hi-fi shop may be able to set up your deck for a fee. If you don't know what you're doing, you could damage your records and/or cartridge.
 

New member
Username: Uncle_ants

NottinghamEngland

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-06
Hi Ben,

Did you get anywhere with the Pro-Ject setup? The instructions are terrible, but its actually quite straightforward.

Starting with the "weighting of the tonearm" or setting the tracking force. You need to screw the counterweight onto the stub on the end of the arm and adjust it so that the arm sort of floats in mid air.

Then holding the weight in place so that it doesn't move back or forward, turn the dial at the front of the counterweight until it reads zero. Check it still floating and re adjust if necessary.

Once you have it floating and the dial reading zero, twist the whole counterweight forward until the dial now reads 1.75g (half way between 15 and 20 on the dial). You now have the tracking force correctly set - assuming you have an Ortofon OM5e cartridge on the other end of course :-)

The anti skate is even more straightforward. hang the weight over the wire loop and slip the little noose over the pinty out thing on top of the back of the aerm bearing - it needs to loop over the middle slot.

Hope this helps

Tony
 

New member
Username: Uncle_ants

NottinghamEngland

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-06
Stu,

Not entirely sure I agree (but I wouldn't would I - I sell turntables online for a living :-) ). I'd certainly suggest that yiou be sure that when buying one online you try to ensure that you are happy the seller can provide good support.

Besides, if we all just got our dealer to set it up, we'd never learn how to do it ourselves :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2688
Registered: Feb-05
Different learning styles require different approaches. The online dealer is not in a position to meet the needs of the different styles. I have dealers who I can visit and who will come to my home to help resolve issues. I have a hard enough time with online dealers just finding one who is polite let alone informative. I'm sure you are different and I applaud that, but I will not be abandoning my favorite brick and mortar stores for the online dealer anytime in the near future.
 

New member
Username: Uncle_ants

NottinghamEngland

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-06
Dear Art,

That's certainly true to some extent. Explaining how to do technical things by phone or email, especially when you don't necessarily have a good idea what the client's skill (or confidence) levels are, requires certain skills.

Speaking for myself, spending the first ten years of my working life in IT support, gives me a reasonable degree of confidence that I can usually help (the skills required are not unrelated).

People should buy from whoever they feel comfortable with - just as not all bricks and mortar stores are the same neither are all online stores ... using IT as an example, anyone who has ever tried to get their computer problem sorted out by the man at the bricks and mortar PC World will know exactly what I mean (actually that might be bad example - you've probably a snowball in hell's chance with their online store too).

Its also worth bearing in mind that not everyone has a local hifi dealer whose speciality is vinyl - they are getting rarer and rarer, and were doing so long before the advent of the net.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

New York City, New York

Post Number: 877
Registered: May-05
Ants -

All on-line dealers aren't the same, just like all local shops aren't the same. Their are great on-line dealers and bad local dealers. TT's aren't the most accessible products out their, but most local shops do carry them and usually special order them. Vinyl isn't dead yet. Every hi-fi shop I've been to has at least one Vinyl guy. Ask about TT's and everyone in the store usually points to 'that guy.'

I wasn't saying to 'just have your dealer set in up.' I knew nothing about setting up a TT when I got my Debut III. My old table was an old Technics my father gave me. The only thing I needed to know how to do was change a P-Mount cart which consists of one screw and no alignment. It's all "Factory Set." When my dealer said he'd set everything up for me, I asked him if he could talk me through everything. We picked a slow day (Tuesday morning), and he went through everything with me - he took off the stock cart and showed me how to align it, anti-skate, etc. When I got the 1Xpression, I asked him if he could watch me set it up and correct anything I did wrong. I didn't take the cart off, but I checked it's alignment. The differences in set up were pointed out by the dealer.

I mean no offense by this what so ever, but an online dealer can't do this for you. To me it was worth paying full price for the table to get this type of service. Then again, I haven't seen either table (Debut or Xpression) online any cheaper than retail price. Even if I could have gotten it for $50 cheaper online, I wouldn't have.
 

New member
Username: Uncle_ants

NottinghamEngland

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-06
Dear Stu,

No offence taken, of course and you are right. That level of handholding is not really possible online, but approached sensitively once can almost get there. I just wanted to place an alternative viewpoint (partly thorough self interest I'll admit). I know for sure Vinyl isn't dead yet ... or I wouldn't have a living :-)

I guess I only wanted to point out that its not black and white. There is a perception, fostered by some parts of this industry that online=bad, high street=good - end of tale. To an extent this is colluded in by elements of the press (a large part of whose revenue comes from bricks and mortar dealers who don't have a clue how to do things online).

Its partly driven by the fact that in many areas online sellers really are just box shifters which enforces the perception, partly by ignorance and fear and partly by a desire by manufacturers to keep things (especially prices) as under control and frankly as cosy as they were before the bad old Internet raised its ugly head (have you ever noticed there are some manufacturers whose wares it is impossible to buy online? Ever wondered why?).
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

New York City, New York

Post Number: 881
Registered: May-05
Completely agreed. I've been to some horrible brick and mortar shops that I'll never step foot in again. My favorite one is the closest one to my house. I've been in twice. The main salesman (I think owner or partner) won't talk to you unless your spending an obscene amount of money on gear. The first time I went in I thought he was just having a bad day. The second time he was even worse. When I was comparing some "budget" integrated amps (NAD and Marantz), he said "What's the difference? Everything under $3K sounds the same. Pick the nicest looking one and be done with it." Great friendly service. I bet the after-sale service is even better.

Most online vendors do have a "box shifters" stigma attached (not all) for a reason. I have heard of your business several times and have heard good things about it. Like what I assume you are (I haven't bought anything from you), their are some very good online dealers. But it seems too often to be the exception rather than the norm. If it's a product I know, have no where local to get it, and the dealer is a verifyable authorized dealer, I have no problem buying online. If any of those conditions aren't met, that's another story.

Thanks for not taking this personal, their is way too much of that going on in this forum lately.
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