Adventures In Audio

Turntable Tips - Buying, enjoying and upgrading your vinyl sound

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John Bull:  A brilliant, honest, ironic, and entertaining video!

I've been doing it all wrong. I was given a 1970s turntable years ago. I bought an amplifier and speakers to go with it. I replaced the original Goldring cartridge with an Ortofon one as I wanted a stylus for 78rpm records so I could play them too (on advice from the local hifi shop - which wasn't great advice seeing as my tonearm isn't height-adjustable and now the stylus hits the record at the wrong angle (which makes no discernable difference to the sound, and, oh... turns out 78 styluses for the Goldring cartridge were still available).

Then I added an expensive new CD player, and a cheap secondhand tuner and cassette deck. At this point, all the amplifier input connections were used so I couldn't expand the hifi, nor could I think of any other source to add (except 8-track, which is a format I'd rather not be able to listen to). Instead, I concentrated what time I spend on my hifi at all on listening to my records (etc) and finding out what music I liked best. It's been at least 10 years since I spent any money at all on my hifi itself.

I'll try to find something that dissatisfies me. Perhaps I should switch back to the original cartridge?

Jonathan Powell:  I enjoy using an inherited Technics separates system form the early 90s and am delighted with it. It was bought as the bees knees at the time. The only change I’ve ever made is a conical stylus instead of round. The reason? I’m 62! How good can my hearing be? I can only properly enjoy what I’ve got at the volumes that let me hear the detail properly when I’m the only person in the house.

pauldhoff:  I often said to my ex-friend and vinyl lover that they should make a CD player with lots of dials on the front that he could play with. Not that they did anything, but he would have something to play with.

John Bull replies to pauldhoff: I think the second knob from the left tweaks the frequency of certain high-pitched sounds that the human ear cannot perceive, but that affect how we perceive audible frequencies. The second knob from the right adjusts the volume of these frequencies. Perhaps I could help with the instruction manual? ;)

NSV:  I found out a while ago that 2nd DJ turntables are really good. Most vinyl DJs will start on a Numark or Stanton then move up to a 'real' Technics. There is not audio quality difference. The Technics 1200 just spins up faster.
You do have to change the stylus to something that doesn't prioritize hard use over audio quality. But thats simple.
I went with an Ortofon on a mid tier Stanton turntable. I really don't care about varispeed or beat matching, so anything farther up market in the DJ arena is useless to me.
One thing I have noticed is a lot of turntables taht are USB and line level only. Preamp is built in.
This might be good for someone in a small apartment? But I found them to all be toy like construction.

semperfi 1918:  Well i dont have alot for HiFi but i have scored several quality older systems for cheap. And newbies like one guy i met told him to ignore people tell him off. And its great to see him getting into it with the entry level table. Then tols him when he upgrades to figure what his budget is and what type of system he wants and how its set up for the room/ place he will have it in. Its so much more than just the system.

wrong IQ:  Exact to the tiny point. Currently I'm at the stage of Rega P1 + better cartridge and better preamp and amp. It took me 11 years :)))

JRo:  wow you were fun to watch ,for a sec I thought you were a certain former Beatle or wings perfomer but I will not mention it I am sure you get a lot of comments about this as I kept on watching I stayed and watched the vid you made a lot of sense just wanted to say I am not a fan of manual TT"s I have a pr0-ject debut 3 I love it but I get real relaxed when listening to records so I went back to automatic turntables found me a Dual 1009sk,and a 1237 then I found a garrard AT-60 and a mpk2 autoslim and 2 BSR's they work fine no problems with scratching also do not know if you know this or not the Rega Planar with the rega carbon cart is really a audiotechnica 3600L which averages about 20.00 $ or 24.00 $ from the last I saw I got one to replace the ceramic cart on my Garrard Autoslim cause the tone arm even though it was spring controled tracking I was able to rewire the 3600 it sounds even better a lot of people do not realize that they are using an entry level cart ,but it is a good cart ,on my dual turntables they both came with shure carts m91ed was impressed how they sounded the dual 1237 stylus on that one came with the stylus looking like it was never used and it sounded fantastic JRo

idontsmile666:  Ive been living with my rega p1 for around 6 years now and it is probably the best turntable I've owned, although the lack of a speed switch is annoying, after changing the cartridge to a higher end mm, it performs extremely well. Ive not come across anything for the price and i highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good long lasting deck for listening purposes. Easily upgradeable as ive changed the belt, platter and cartridge which has improved its performance by alot. If someone is thinking of getting a p1 I'd say change the resin platter to acrylic as it reduces the wobble to bearly anything and gets rid of the need for a mat.

JRo replies to idontsmile666: Yes you are correct the acrylic platter does a fantastic job I have the Pro-Ject debut 3 before the carbon tone arm came out my TT came with the heavy metal platter it was good but always worried about metal platter slipplng out of hand and scratching the TT when switching speeds I found one that came from a rega turntable the model I forgot what it was but the seller said that it was compatible to the pro-ject model I had and it did fit perfectly and improved the sound by a lot JRo

Tobias Rybing:  Excellent video. My mother gave me her old vinyl records and I played them on a simple Sony ps lx 310 bt. I liked the sound and it was very FUN listening to music. Then I fell into the hole of upgrading, and now it's not that fun anymore.

Mark Philpot:  The turntable can be an analog nightmare. There are so many ways to go, but I would never go with a close and play player as a start. Some vinyl is near unobtanium, so that is a no way option. There are are a variety of rabbit holes one can go into as you mentioned, but only those who are interested in taking care of the media and keeping the needle free of debris need bother with this option of analog. Failure to take care of your vinyl and the stylus has consequences you would rather not deal with. If you take care of your collection and the stylus, your enjoyment will be satisfied. Failure has it’s price also. Make no mistake, this is not for the lazy or the indifferent. You must be willing to invest your time as well as money when you venture into this abyss. Your efforts will be rewarded however, provided you are willing to keep the vinyl and stylus clean. Otherwise, why bother!

Ships Ahoy:  Idk Dave,
based on my experience, I think it takes about $1500-2500 on a record player, cartridge, and phono preamp combo before we hit the “I can get by with this” territory. It’s just that good record collections are expensive and should be somewhat preserved. That said, if it were me, I would possibly start with a Planar 3, the 2 factory upgrades, (motor and counterweight) and an Ortofon Bronze or something. A $600 record player is pushing it imho. The P3’s tonearm is a benefit over the others.

David O'Banion:  My method was to ADD a CD player to my system, not Replace anything with it.
While I prefer the sound of CDs, my system has and always will include phono capability.

andymouse123:  Awesome channel ! Hard to tell sometimes if your serious or taking the piss !...cheers.

Nate D.:  The slow-mo head bob is somewhat hypnotic. Makes me worried that you're trying to subliminally control me, into just listening to that awful digital music...are you?

Keith Holmes:  Got a Moth Alamo years ago, more recently added an isolation plinth from SRM Tech, upgraded the cartridge from the stock AT95E to a Nagaoka MP110. I'm currently very happy with the setup!

T S:  Yes --I dug mine out during covid-lots of fun setting it up properly ---.Like the sound. I have an old digital theatre system that I am still discovering! Not as advanced as you though with my understanding. Anticipating a new advancement/ revolution in technology to tweak too!

7189a:  Listening to digital masters mechanically engraved into plastic, makes as much sense as printing iphone photos on to Agfa Slide film to project them on the wall.
You cannot pay me enough to go back to the stone age, WOW FLUTTER NOISE and random ticks, (been there). T
he RIAA Phono preamp itself has S/N of 80db, the hiss is built in from the get go, before needle even touches the record, and fighting 60/50Hz hum, and clicks when the fridge does its thing. And bass feedback, gotta miss that one.

Frederick Tennant:  Wow I purchased my house for the price of a Linn Turntable lol

googlelito:  Rega Planar 1 are currently going for almost $600 US. 😒😒

George Anastasopoulos:  For the most part, I agree, thumbs up. However, from my listening experience, and logic, it is the phono cartridge, that very small magical box, that can make a big difference; and a definite improvement. I have two turntables in 2 audio only systems; a harman kardon T25 semi-automatic turntable, (of 1983) - belt drive - that's connected to my Sony DH520 Receiver (of 2012) of 85 Watts. I replaced the Audio Technica AT70 MM Cartridge with a new stylus. Then I lubricated the spindle bearing of the HK T25 Turntable with a special oil; a Sintered Bronze Safe Turntable Oil by Audio Vault. I've also put an MDF board of half inch thickness underneath the HK T25 turntable as it sits atop my wooden fiberboard stereo cabinet.

Then, I recently replaced the above MM cartridge from the harman kardon T25 with a Denon DL-80A Moving Coil together with a phono pre-amplifier (or phono amplifier as you British call it) that also has a Moving Coil setting. Therefore, to me I get the sound that I like, and prefer.

I also bought a used Rega Planar 3 plinth of early 1980s, and I had to hunt around for a used Linn Basik Plus Tonearm since the previous owner drilled a larger hole for the turntable post! I bought a platter mat, coloured red by Hudson Hi Fi. I installed a new Audio Technica AT95E MM cartridge; and I aligned it with a Linn Basik Tonearm, Cartridge Protractor. Then I aligned the AT95E MM Cartridge.

Then I bought, and installed a silicone drive belt, a new silicone motor, "Rega Planar 2 / 3 Turntable Motor Suspension Belt"; and is a "Silicone Upgrade". I later re-soldered a new capacitor, then a new resistor; and a bit later installed a, "SRM TECH TURNTABLE MOTOR THRUST BEARING". Then I bought a new Rega dust cover; does not fit so I've got to make a new one from five plates of plexiglass. I had to adjust the VTA, besides the top of motor pulley was touching the bottom of the glass platter. Besides I also bought, installed a, "SRM TECH PLATTER ISOLATING KIT FOR REGA TURNTABLES".

I also have to bend the used Linn Basik Plus Tonearm Stay (as I call it) to a more horizontal position, because the Tonearm cannot be lifted with the Cue Lever at the end of a record's play. I'm also going to add a, "SRM TECH MOTOR VIBRATION ABSORBER" around the motor, soon. And I also bought a Rega turntable manual, also from the Canadian ebay.🔉🎵🎶

Darrell Styner:  Ha, that was brutal and way too close to home. You really should have been in Monty Python. Love that dry British wit!

Rodney A:  Thank you for the nice video.
I recently purchased a Rega Planar 3 with Exact cartridge and Rega phono amp.
As a retired OAP this has given me some pleasure going around the charity shops looking for LPs and taking them home to clean on my VinylStyl Deep Grove machine. It is also a bit of exercise having to get up every 20 minute to turn over the record!

Jeff Ward:  Another great video, thank you. I know is going to sound bonkers but I miss my vinyl days not so much for the endless messing around with ("upgrading") the kit (which I'll happily admit I did more than a little of)... but for the experience of it. The experience of owning something of physical dimensions and colour that was stored on display. Of selecting a record, studying the sleeve, the artwork, the notes, the lyrics, getting the record out, cleaning it and mounting it on the turntable. It was an event. A ritual. An enjoyable experience, precursor to the main event. Like buying the tickets and having a drink in the bar before the concert. And after all that effort, one had to listen to the whole album to make sense of it all and appreciate it as the composer, artist or producer intended. That whole experience was decimated by CD then completely obliterated by MP3/WAV/streaming. There's no experience now, just super-clean audio and a track-skip button. A poor substitute in my mind (but not to my ears) But no, I've not gone back to vinyl as the albums are just too darned expensive!

semperfi 1918 replies to Jeff Ward: ​@JRowhy some are exspensive is supply and demand plus inflation while its what someone will pay for it. Ive paid quite a bit for a few records that are rare and harder to find. Others.... well 90% of the ones i find these days comes in bundles or the dollar bin.

semperfi 1918 replies to Jeff Ward: Depends what you mean by too exspensive. Sure ive got dofferent systems, and over 1k records. And i dont think ive spent too much. Alot yes but not too much.

JRo replies to Jeff Ward: Just wanted to say YES I AGREE I still listen to records DO NOT LIKE PAYING 20.00 dollars for a record that is still warped at times even though they are 180 grams thick I have albums thinner than these new ones that are flatter and not as sharp I even got a vinyl cut on my finger ,I could probably throw this at someone and cut their head off ,I love looking at album covers and reading them and all info they had never liked c d's they always seemed cold to me small cases and hardly any info and listening to mp3 you losing a lot of music content .I have tried buying used records so far I found several records that were demos ,when I worked in a record store in high school the record companies when ever a new album was made they would send us a copy or so called demo record of the full album but stamped demo we could not sell those in those days but finding them I have been lucky cause a lot of them were rarely played and were a lot in better condition and some I found really cheap thats what I found myself doing so I try not to buy new albums just trying to find the ones I never got a chance to get while in high school the most I will pay is 12.00 so far it has worked I do not see why they are so expensive its riddiculus ,IZ have added to my collection so far JRo

Rock And Roll:  This guy is probably fun at parties. 🙄

Audio Masterclass replies to Rock And Roll: @Rock And Roll Perhaps, but I prefer to avoid common vulgarity. DM

Rock And Roll replies to Rock And Roll: @Audio Masterclass You can make a lot of plug-in jokes.

Audio Masterclass replies to Rock And Roll: No, I'm absolutely no fun at all. DM

M. Karlos Baca:  Comedy gold 😂

The Mini Guy:  I just recently picked up a Fluance Rt82. Great price and awesome sound, if I ever need more I’ll upgrade it.

Audio Masterclass replies to The Mini Guy: $299, with very detailed information and technical specifications at https://www.fluance.com/rt82w-reference-high-fidelity-vinyl-turntable-natural-walnut DM

Trojan0304:  Pulled my old records out of closet. Hooked up old Pioneer 518, Technics 1600mk2 & Technics J33, music heaven reborn

Simon Heffernan:  Great video. I own 3 Lencos. I love doing all the upgrades. It's fun.

Bruce VAIR-TURNBULL:  While Rega tone arms are very good quality for their price point, their cartridges are sub-standard. I tried several (all poor) and settled on a Goldring 1042. This trounced the former.

Audio Masterclass replies to Bruce VAIR-TURNBULL: For comment readers, this will be the Goldring 1042 that is available for a street price around £325 GBP. Or if you just need a replacement stylus then £215. DM

Stylus Drop:  For those who like jazz there has never been a better time to invest in a good record playing system. We are currently in a golden age of audiophile vinyl jazz reissues such as the Blue Note Tone Poet series, mastered by arguably the worlds best mastering engineer (Kevin Gray) and cut via an all analogue process and pressed at one of the world's best record pressing plants (RTI in the USA). These reissues sound far better than CDs and in most cases they sound superior to the original 1950's or 1960's pressings (even if you can find a mint copy).

Charlie Messing replies to Stylus Drop: Yes! Just got the 1955 Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane Blue Note. Wow. Was likely a 10" LP - about 19 minutes a side.

CrueLoaf:  Thank you. Your presentations are always classy. 👍

Ian Fenn:  I started my vinyl journey by building my own. My aim was the building( with three tone arms for the design challenge). As for resonance problems Korf audio have suggested the resonance issues go back to decades old research that is less relevant with modern cartridges( specifically the stylus suspension material)

Audio Masterclass replies to Ian Fenn: Hm, I would collect opinions on this before going further, but traditionally it's always been the case that the arm is a mass supported by the cantilever which is a spring together making a resonant system. The resonant frequency must not be so high that the system is excited by bass in the audio, nor too low that it is excited by warps in the record. If there is modern technology that can sidestep all of that, then that would be interesting. DM

Lyle Francis Delp:  A good record cleaner also helps a lot. I've resurrected quite a few of my old classical LPs (I started collecting in 1972, at age 11), using my VPI vacuum LP cleaner. I play them on an Acoustic Research ES-1 player (purchased in 1986), and it sounds fine to me.

John Bull replies to Lyle Francis Delp: I have a load of bamboo kebab sticks glued together which, when placed over an LP, means I can get my Henry vacuum nozzle very close the the record without risking hitting it. The good thing is it cost me 50 pence to make. The bad news is I'm not certain it gets that much dust off my fairly clean records.

On what principle does your cleaner work? Does it have anything to agitate the dust or does it rely on airflow the same way my rather primitive device does?@Lyle Francis Delp

Lyle Francis Delp replies to Lyle Francis Delp: @James Carter Agreed. As said, my VPI cleaner has had great effect on my old vinyl. Prior to that purchase, I used a Discwasher and fluid. Best I could do at the time. My playback is an Acoustic Research ES-1 with the included tone arm, and a Shure cartridge.

James Carter replies to Lyle Francis Delp: Good record cleaning and lubrication is essential for making them sound their best. I learned some techniques about five years ago that have changed my mind about records, about which I used to think 'CDs are better but I still have records that sound ok', but after figuring out how to 'do better' with records, I've gotten sound out of some of them that absolutely blows my mind, overwhelming sound. It's been a game-changer, and I'm only using a 1982 Technics table with a Pickering cartridge.

Lyle Francis Delp replies to Lyle Francis Delp: @Audio Masterclass Brilliant reply!!! 🤣🤣🤣

Audio Masterclass replies to Lyle Francis Delp: @Lyle Francis Delp Cleanliness is next to godliness. DM

Mike Unsworth:  I bought an Oracle MK VII, SME V, Benz Micro Ebony and Nordost cables. Yup, at $30K it's grossly expensive, BUT, I also run a $30K CD player. The CD player is absolutely incredible, however, the turntable is simply sublime. Given a proper vacuum operated record cleaning and 220 gram records, there is simply more depth, more "air", more of nearly everything (and no surface noise either).

Charlie Messing replies to Mike Unsworth: sounds great - not sure it makes much difference to have 220 gram disk, but if it works better on your TT, than it does.

Stefan Zantes:  Buy a vinyl washing machine with inbuild fluid suction. Well cleaned vinyl sounds much better. Most of my friends can't tell CD or vinyl apart in respect to cleanliness of sound, when I play cleaned records on my Yamaha PF 800 with Vinylmaster System, it doesn't need more Investment😊.

Grumpy Git:  Something about vinyl that is captivating. Digital audio is so much better than it used to be and I'm happy streaming from Qobos most of the time. Question is - why am I likely to listen for longer periods to vinyl? It's a pain getting up to find and prepare the next record. I suggest it is the addition of distortion components that I like - just as the best SET valve ampliers have a higher 2nd harmonic content and all but the very best reel to reel decks add something. The owner of a hifi shop told me he knew when there was a demo of a vinyl system. All his salesmen were in the dem room. If buying vinyl players buy second hand - Pink Triangle PT1 around £300 and you're on the path to pleasure. Going to cost you though in the long run.

Roland Rodgers:  Ha ha ha ha Ha😊

Steve Price:  Pretty amusing vid. I've ended up with a 401 with a decent tone arm and selection of cartridges, old shure thing for tatty vinyl and better ones for the less trashed or occasional new records acquired at the local record emporium.
Probably never need to get anything more than the 401 , my ears are too knackered to make it worthwhile and having a selection of cartridges keeps it fresh, ... the previous planer 3 would do the same job but the 401 fell into my possession for 25 quid from a junk shop.... with a spare arm and mc cartridge... as my kids used to say
"Get jealous losers" 😂

Mikhail Kulkov:  No, thanks. Loose time of my life to get a bad turntable for to understand that it is bad, then sell it for buying a better one and so on... I think it's worth to buy a best vinyl setup that can and want to afford and listen to best quality of music even understanding nothing in it.

Audio Masterclass replies to Mikhail Kulkov: I don't disagree. When you have a system you like it's a pointless effort to try to go further. Time to sit back and enjoy. DM

Richard Singer:  You have convinced me. Digital all the way!

Kenneth Eis:  Tongue in cheek at its best. Bravo!

Carl Sitler:  I upgraded my record player. I bought a CD player in 1985.

James Carter replies to Carl Sitler: Yes, CDs are so much easier to deal with even when they sound worse. But, convenience isn't quality, and the best records are better than the best CDs.

Mathew Boyce:  Problem is once you've heard something higher end it is impossible to go back

ßøňël:  Instead of the Rigas, I would defenitely suggest buying a used high end model from the 80's and 90's. For the same price you'll get an incomparably better device in every way. Like quartz controlled, direct drive, with heavy platters, and usually a very sophisticated tonearm. My 2 cents...

James Carter replies to ßøňël: "Second hand" doesn't just mean 'thrift stores'. There are stores that specialize in used hi-fi gear and can help newbies, maybe not as many 'in real life' these days but there are some out there, and many more online. Getting a recently-serviced or tested used machine from a reputable dealer with a warranty is a great way to go which often costs much less than a comparable new machine.

Richard Singer replies to ßøňël: But risk the possibility of it being faulty, shabby or in need of periodic servicing. Second hand probably isn't the way to go for the beginner.

None of your Business:  When it comes to analog, it is sometimes difficult to tell your transition point between seriousness and irony.
This is one of those examples.

John Bull replies to None of your Business: I'll have to admit I was hoping for more DIY practical advice, like the squash-balls under the record deck, or filling speaker stands with sand, cartridge alinement et al. But taken tongue-in-cheek, I must say I enjoyed watching this. @James Carter

James Carter replies to None of your Business: It's always a bit disconcerting hearing anyone (especially someone as knowledgeable as him) try so hard to fuel 'format wars' with extremely-clickbaity video titles and a lot of non-practical information that cites the 'extreme' version of everything-- the worst this, the most-expensive that. I like this guy's videos but he resorts to a lot of the same snarky throwaway arguments that people use to laud themselves for having 'the newest' whatever. Bottom line to me is 'the average digital music online sounds worse than cassette tape, and lots of my records sound noticeably better by direct comparison to the official CD, let alone online'. I swear, it's crazy how many people blindly pit 'the worst aspects of records' in THEIR OWN experience, to 'the highest-quality digital music' that they've never even heard, instead of being honest about real-life average usage (which this guy often ignores) and what they're hearing.

Artur Hawk:  I like your English sense of humor!

Hoplita:  Excelent, Mr. McCartney...!

analogkid455:  I still have my B & O turntable from the 80s. I also have most of my record collection from then too.

Wolfgang Pointner:  The Linn LP12 is just an expensive Thorens 150, don't buy it.

Mario Krizan:  Very good information and advice David 👍👍👍 I didn't know the benefits of Rega capsules. What do you think of Ortofon's 2M and Audio Techniva's VM lines! Thanks in advance and greetings from Buenos Aires.

Rock And Roll:  "Pure perfect digital music" 😂

George Ogrady:  Dont see dj use them lol

Kevin Riley:  Wasn't it a Shure M95 rather than a V15 David ? Keep the videos coming by the way!

Not Insane:  I'm guessing that video was tongue-in-cheek. Very well done!

scsitransfer:  You forgot about including pre-amp in your upgrade chain, just another way you can go wrong too as it has to match your cart as well especially if upgrading from an MM to an MC cart.

Rock And Roll replies to scsitransfer: You didn't get the video. DM is not being serious.

whssy:  This English bloke who lives in Denmark had a good giggle at your pronunciation of "Ortofon". The correct pronunciation is more like "oar-toe-phone".

Audio Masterclass replies to whssy: I think my attempt at genuine pronunciation might be even more amusing. DM

NathanOakley1980:  Excellent advice ❤

Mark Moore:  I always listen to vinyl, but it's easy to fall into the upgrade path. That's ok if you have the money. I just find digital sources fatiguing after a while. I must have analogue ears.

Endre Nagy:  To me, vinyl is all smoke & mirrors.
Hi-res digital audio is the way!
At the studios, music is being recorded and saved into computers, not on tape!
Mixing & mastering, both, are digital processes.
So why downgrade all of that to vinyl?

James Carter replies to Endre Nagy: LMAO, you're so fucking clueless it's hard to believe. "Hi-res digital audio" outside of recording situations is mostly a myth that almost nobody ever actually listens to regardless of how much they PRETEND to (and let's be clear: CDs are fine but it's a stretch to call them 'hi-res' compared to 24-bit, and records are capable of exceeding CD limitations also), but every moron listening to bad mp3s acts like 'digital so much better' just because 'digital'. 'downgrade all of that to vinyl" huh? LOL, please stop making up dumb shit. "Mixing and mastering" blah blah blah. You sound like you're five years old.

erwin vb:  Well “pure perfect digital music” requires a DAC and unless you’re going to spend a lot of research and money on that subject it’s hard to compete with good analog material where either the whole process was analog or somewhere in the process a very high end DAC was used in the process. Streaming is great for music consumption and discovering new music, but consumption and active listening are different.

Simon Blandford:  One application where 2x db expansion really works well is in FM radio mics where the level and frequency response of the received signal is predictably good and the noise level is quite low to begin with.

Tara Lewis:  I love my LINN and tube electronics. But most of all my growing record collection.

Ian T:  Started with Planar 3 and now have the Planar 6, it is a good improvement on the 3 but does it justify almost twice the price, probably not but that is the upgrade path you choose I suppose, I have just added an Audiolab CDT 9000 CD Transport, that also sounds good through my Rega Elex 4 amplifier, was always just a vinyl guy, but it is nice to have both as some music you can only get on vinyl and some only on CDs.
Luckily I enjoy listening to the MUSIC and not the equipment like some folks, it's those folks I think that probably have the NEED to constantly upgrade and change components to get the holy grail of perfection, which never seems achievable to the audiophiles golden ears.

I am enjoying these videos though as the tongue in cheek style I have to say does amuse me somewhat lol.
As long as you enjoy your music, you have all you need.

Justin Parkman replies to Ian T: What transport did you have before the 9000

Dean:  When you said DJ decks. Put a Rega Arm on the Technics SL1200/10 and fit an MC cartridge 👌

Dean:  The issue with analogue gear is cheap sounds awful (borderline un-listenable) as opposed to cheap digital equipment which sounds half ok (bearable anyway)!

phwodehouse:  thank you for your sound advice. pun intended.

Dead Andburied:  Collarogram>Hacker Grenadier>JVC>Project Debut 3>Fluance RT85>Technics SL1200GR.

John Smith:  I bought a Keel in 2009 brand new for £1500, it makes an LP12 project sound into a room like CD......😂

John Smith:  I started off with a Rega Planar 3 in 1981 with R100 cartridge. It was £148 including VAT for the 3.

frogandspanner:  I still have my Conoisseur BD1 with Acos Lustre and Shure M75ED which, bought second hand from a friend, served well during my PhD years in the '70s. It runs using a pink rubber band kindly left on the ground by my postie. But for show, and the occasions when I dare listen to my early record collection, I use my Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference (yes - SME 3009, but a modern cartridge). It sits next to a Nagra III in my library. I am converting the BD1 so I can play dad's collection of 78s.

Most of my listening these days is from my file server.

Gogogeegee Aloupos:  And always remember, the real bottleneck is your ears. So invest in good quality earplugs.

Mark Hayman:  Another great interesting video, I miss my rega planner 2 with linn k9 cartridge, one day hope ti get a rega just using a pro-ject primary e at the moment. Regards mark

Robbie Perry:  Paul McCartney’s looking well!

Robbie Perry replies to Robbie Perry: @Abcde Ahhhhhh well done! I didn’t realise that😂

Abcde replies to Robbie Perry: @Robbie Perry It's funny that Eric played Paul in the Rutles video. Did a pretty good job too.

Robbie Perry replies to Robbie Perry: @Abcde very feasibly! 🤔 if Eric and Paul had a kid!

Abcde replies to Robbie Perry: You are thinking of Eric Idle.

Rock And Roll replies to Robbie Perry: An unaligned McCartney I'd say.

barryhall7:  👍🏻

Zeh Netto Oficial:  We are in the same track! Great video!

free的man:  I am a proud owner of a Riga P1 Plus. Great turntable, hours of vinyl enjoyment. If I want something better? Easy! I just use my Compact Disc player and play those magic silver discs.

ThewayICit:  What you do is you look at YouTube recommendations, most favour the Technics, some like here favour the Rega. Then you buy the Technics because you find the strobe light mesmerising, and it's fun to adjust the pitch of the music, and also you need a direct drive turntable for pretending you are a DJ.

Phillip Kelly:  Crap lol. I use tube monoblocks with a cheap dac and preamp and cd player. It gives the distortion and warmth back without any of the downsides.

Sly Foxx:  I use vinyl because that's what I have the music on!

Somebloke:  Hmmm. I bought a Rega Planar 2 in 1986 and some years ago I transferred all of the components over to a second hand Planar 3 plinth. It looks great but does it sound better than CD ? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Few records are perfect. My reference one would be Tideline By Darol Anger and Barbara Higbie on Windham Hill Records.

James Carter replies to Somebloke: That's the thing, records are CAPABLE of having higher-quality sound than the equivalent CD, if everything went well with the mastering and pressing and it goes on a good machine. I don't pretend 'they all sound great' because that's the standard line for people touting 'digital' as though it means 'magically perfect every time', but anybody who thinks 'the cd is always better' needs to hear my copy of the Phantom of the Paradise CD vs the vinyl. NO comparison, the vinyl has overwhelming, awesome, 99.9% clean sound compared to the disc. Is it because of mastering? Maybe, but that means 'digital' doesn't inherently fix bad sound and therefore isn't just instant perfection every time.

Audio Masterclass replies to Somebloke: Thanks for the tip on your reference record. I'll take a listen, but probably on Spotify. DM

Rob McCarthy:  As a now retired Electronics lecturer in an Australian TAFE college, audio and sound equipment was one of my specialties. I developed one of the first CD servicing courses back in the 80s. One day I had a group of students in our sound lab with a Linn Sondek turntable, a top end Ortofon cartridge, a 100Wx2 pro Meridian amp and monitor speakers. I played a mint vinyl (European) pressing of "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits. They were mighty impressed. I then connected a then brand new Philips CD player to the same setup and played a mint CD of the same record It was a 'DDD' recording. The young adult students nearly fainted when they heard the difference. Huge dynamic range, wide freq response, no noise. tighter bass, stereo imaging to die for etc. It was setup to do A-B testing between the 2 signal sources. Of course that CD was a Philips 'showpiece with optimum specs. I had a room full of converts. 😎

James Carter replies to Rob McCarthy: Yeah, they did a subpar job with the vinyl mastering so the CD would seem better by comparison (especially being like 20 minutes longer), so the companies could make CDs for cheaper than records and charge a shitload more for them. Record companies were very sneaky and deceptive about that when they realized they could squeeze more dough out of everybody. It's the age-old corporate policy of 'we made a new thing that's .5% better in some ways, but let's intentionally make the old product suck so people buy the new one'.

Rock And Roll replies to Rob McCarthy: It was a thing back then that everything branded as DDD were gold. Everyone strived for DDD, to get rid of the "noisy" analogue (A). But do you know what? Brothers in Arms is not entirely DDD.

Rod Salka replies to Rob McCarthy: do you know any good books or programs for electronics learning and repair? I watch videos but I'd like something in a structured format

Johnny Toobad:  I still have..and am still using my SME 3009 tonearm on a re-built Thornes 125 MkII. Also still have a Shure V15-V w/ oem styli. No need to replace.

Kobus Bender:  Die LINN is 'n kakhuis vol geld.!!!!

Jay Em:  I found Corn Shop in London from a hifi magazine. I faxed them and they sent me an Elys cartridge. It's grey, but not for 78's. It was great. A couple of years ago I got an Elys II (BLUE) and an Exact (YELLOW) for my Planar 3. ( Forgot to mention the Hz in Shizuoka is 50hz cycles. The Rega requires 60hz). Added tape to the pully to get it up to speed. The Rega cartridges have 3 holes. The one in the center assures perfect mounting.

Jay Em:  One day while shopping in Shizuoka I came across a Micro-Seki DXQ 1000. If was equipped with 2 tone arms. The rubber feet were squashed, but that didn't deter me. If was fun. Two tone arms and 2 different cartridges. On vacation in my home town I got a Rega Planar 3. The original 3. It was better than the M-Seki. I gave it away to one of the other Japanese Assistant Fire Chiefs. This was the guy who bought a Mercedes because I got one. Keeping up with the Yamadas.

Jay Em:  If I may. Try a good record cleaning machines such as a VPI 16.5. That vacuum sucks up all the grit and whatever else is in those grooves getting in the way. Thank you

James Carter replies to Jay Em: Even washing them under the kitchen sink with dish soap (or 'The Groovinator' discwash and distilled water) can be a huge help, though of course gotta be careful about the labels. One of these days I need to get one of those 'label-saver' things, but most major releases have laminated labels that aren't easily damaged by water, except 45s.

No Self:  I’ll admit up front that I generally consider CDs to sound superior to vinyl. That said, I’ll also admit that turntables and vinyl still have a strong appeal. They offer a fun upgrade path for audiophiles, and high quality setups can sound superb, occasionally even rivaling CD players. Then there is the nostalgia angle. When I was coming of age from the late ‘60s into the early ‘80s, the ultimate in sound quality could only be achieved with a high end turntable. That appeal remains in spite of the fact that I switched to an all-CD music collection years ago. And finally, regardless of one’s opinion on the sound of digital vs vinyl, a nice turntable is undoubtedly the coolest, most beautiful source component in the rack!

John Smith replies to No Self: @Charlie Messing Yes prior to January 1983 the CD format was generally unavailable with digital recordings & the accompanying digital recorders residing only in recording studios, at hifi shows & R&D departments. Good analogue replay was the only available source to the music lover via vinyl or tape.

Charlie Messing replies to No Self: @John Smith Yes, CDs are made much better now, and the results are great - at times as good as any vinyl - but as you know, it takes a small fortune to have truly clean sound - but it can sound the best. Some have ears, some have taste, and some have neither - but plenty of opinions. It also depends on the analogue source, or the digital source...

John Smith replies to No Self: Modern CD players can make CD sound like good analogue. A fine example is the mid priced Denon DCD900NE which once burned in and matched to a lean cable sounds beautifully textured with a full bass, dimensional too with a large soundstage. A record player offering this kind of performance will cost you much more.

Greg Fox:  What you really need is a Denon DP-57L Turntable, Simply for the really cool buttons. I’m at Saab guy, so I love buttons :)

Henry Cheng:  I agree with your assessment…. I have 2 Fluence, 1 linear tracking Technics and 1 Denon DP-7F. I set the over hangs on the two Fluence TTs and use AT-95E and Shure m97xE, not quiet as the Shure Type IV but both sounded great. The Technics definitely goes head t head with them even though it is a vintage. But the real surprise came in from the Denon DP-7F, which I have an Ortofon OM T4P cart with OM 20 stylus. I have built a TT platform to cut down resonance, no adjustment and fully automatic and I feed it in a small tube preamp. It sounded great and definitely bring a load of enjoyment on my work desk albeit it doesn’t have the classic TT look and style to it. It’s an ugly duckling that keep performing but it does look a bit more organic than the Technics and performs in the same league and above.

Chris Wood:  Made my way over 35 years or so through Audio Technica, Project, Thorens and finally last year to a Linn Klimax with a Kiseki Purple Heart. The journey was awesome.

Hans Jørgen Kristensen:  Rega 1 is a very good place to start the "vinyl journey", I have an older NAD C555 – similar to a Rega 2 and Rega 1 combination. What is missing compared to direct drive is easier switching between speeds. I have over time upgraded from Goldring Elektra to High Output Ortofon MC 1Turbo. Moreover, a counterweight with a tight screw. Turntablemat is updated from felt to acrylic plate mat. Some drops of oil onto the spindle.
The main reason was some experienced deep rumbling from the records before the music starts. It is important that there is no noise coming from the turntable, the tonearm should be with the least possible movement, only the needle in the pickup should move.
There are a few more changes on my turntable, the main adjustment point is to make sure the pickup sits JUST right, it's not enough with lines and level to stabilize. Find something in the sewing box or tool case that can be used for an accurate pickup adjustment. Once that's done, there's barely an audible difference between pure LPs and clean CDs on the stereo.
Easy to control if the amplifier har Source Direct - if clear sound in both channels, it's probably right.

kadaad:  Безумный путь прошлого, как верно о виниле! The crazy way of the past, how true about vinyl!

laika25:  Here's another suitable contender (to the popular REGA P1) --->
Fluance RT85

Dead Andburied replies to laika25: @anotherdamn6c The RT85N is excellent. I wanted to try a direct drive so got a Technics. Still running in their cartridges.

anotherdamn6c replies to laika25: @Dead Andburied Got one. Still not dissatisfied—am I doing this right?

Dead Andburied replies to laika25: Or RT85N

laika25:  "Near" hifi shop... mostly Amazon (not the forest, hehe)

Audio Masterclass replies to laika25: I used to live in a town that had an audiophile hi-fi shop in the high street. It isn't there now but the fish and chip shop still is. DM

laika25:  Another noted maker: Grado.

laika25:  Another setback (for me at least)... where to get/buy REAL (analogue) records, not digital copy-pastes onto plastic......

M Den replies to laika25: @laika25 No problem. You will not be disappointed with Acoustic Sounds, I would rate them higher then MOFI. The owner Chad Kassem is a renowned mastering engineer in the industry that has been in the business for many years, and to the best of my knowledge, Acostics is known for only doing remasters from the analog tapes. They have a big selection.

laika25 replies to laika25: @M Den Thanks. I'll look it up.

M Den replies to laika25: Acoustic Sounds is one of if not the leading supplier of audiophile recordings. It is owned by Chad Kassem.

James Carter replies to laika25: You have to do a little research sometimes, and it's not always easy to find out. I bought the vinyl record by Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie, and it sounded fine, but then after hearing the CD, it seemed like the record was just 'the CD on vinyl' and not a particularly good pressing. Then I got the Beck album 'Hyperspace' on vinyl and it sounds un-frigging-believable, I have never heard any noise on it except when putting the needle in the groove, it sounds overwhelming and fantastic, and there are slight differences in the mix letting me know this isn't the CD on vinyl.

Rock And Roll replies to laika25: Thrift stores.

laika25:  Replace that entry-level cartridge for a mightier 1 but fail at properly aligning it and oh oh Houston we have serious drawbacks.....

laika25:  Rega p1 + proper entry level phono amp, mind you....
But wait, I'm enjoying this video sooo much. Back later....

laika25:  ...and, yes, i have the REGA P1

laika25:  Here i am...... (i really -really REALLY-) want to some day really enjoy vinyl. So far it's just been a constant struggle (vs CD sea of tranquility n joy)

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Thursday April 20, 2023

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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