Question for the audiophiles

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
My wife has asked for a record player for Christmas, as the turntable on our old stereo broke years ago and we never replaced it. I'd like to get her a decent standalone turntable with speakers. I don't want to spend the cost of a Fuji GFX camera, but I don't want to get her a cheap mass market turntable, either. Does "Made in America" matter any more, or "Made in Japan" or Germany or Sweden, or . . . ? Any suggestions?
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
at my record shop, I suggest that if the max budget for the turntable alone is under $300.....the only two choices for a NEW turntable are the ones debated about it here..... U-Turn Orbit Plus VS. Audio Technica AT-LP120 turntable?

If the budget can be stretched upwards a bit, one can get a better turntable made by Pro-Ject.....they are all good......each step up the price ladder will get you better results

If that $250-$300 is more than you want to spend, you should NOT buy a cheaper new turntable.....you should buy a vintage turntable. We regularly have and sell 70s and 80s turntables for $75 - $200. You should be able to find similar stock by you.....either at a local record store....or a used gear shop.....or on your local Craigslist.

Feel free to send me a link to any you are considering and I can give you an opinion.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
at my record shop, I suggest that if the max budget for the turntable alone is under $300.....the only two choices for a NEW turntable are the ones debated about it here..... U-Turn Orbit Plus VS. Audio Technica AT-LP120 turntable?

If the budget can be stretched upwards a bit, one can get a better turntable made by Pro-Ject.....they are all good......each step up the price ladder will get you better results

If that $250-$300 is more than you want to spend, you should NOT buy a cheaper new turntable.....you should buy a vintage turntable. We regularly have and sell 70s and 80s turntables for $75 - $200. You should be able to find similar stock by you.....either at a local record store....or a used gear shop.....or on your local Craigslist.

Feel free to send me a link to any you are considering and I can give you an opinion.
Luke, I was thinking of getting her the AT-LP120X. I'll need some speakers, too. What do you think of the speakers recommended by Amazon in the package? https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Techni...ive-Hi-Fidelity-Anti-Skate/dp/B07N3S4X3P?th=1
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
As a former audiophile (ie someone who used to dabble in this stuff, but hasn't recently) I can tell you that the combination of a turntable with analogue line level outputs and a set of powered speakers with line level aux inputs makes life very easy from a connection point of view. No phono pre-amp required, no amplifier required - just plug the turntable into the speakers and off you go. The USB digital output on the turntable is potentially a handy feature, as is the bluetooth connectivity for the speakers.

Are you likely to connect any other analogue sources into the system in the future? That might swing things towards a regular turntable / amp / passive speakers arrangement.

-R
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
Luke, I was thinking of getting her the AT-LP120X. I'll need some speakers, too. What do you think of the speakers recommended by Amazon in the package? https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Techni...ive-Hi-Fidelity-Anti-Skate/dp/B07N3S4X3P?th=1
I haven't heard them, but they get good reviews. I think they are likely a good price to performance buy. And if she loves listening to records, you can get her an upgrade for next Christmas (if she even sees the need for one)
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Tony, given your wood working skills. Have you considered getting the drivers and building speakers? Parts Express has selection for building speakers.

No, haven't thought of that, but I'm concerned I wouldn't be able to have them ready in time.
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
These days I wish I hadn't sold my Thorens.
As a former audiophile (ie someone who used to dabble in this stuff, but hasn't recently) I can tell you that the combination of a turntable with analogue line level outputs and a set of powered speakers with line level aux inputs makes life very easy from a connection point of view. No phono pre-amp required, no amplifier required - just plug the turntable into the speakers and off you go. The USB digital output on the turntable is potentially a handy feature, as is the bluetooth connectivity for the speakers.

Are you likely to connect any other analogue sources into the system in the future? That might swing things towards a regular turntable / amp / passive speakers arrangement.

-R
It I were looking today I would definitely look for options like this so you have connection options. I have a nice set of powered speaked with a little sub in my office as that's were I spent a lot of time when I was shooting professionally.
 

wee-pics

Hall of Famer
Location
Germany
Real Name
Walter
My first Thorens (TD 160) has been running for 27 years. The second one (TD 2001) has reached 20 years now. Are there better arguments? Of course it's just the player and no amp and speakers. What I want to say with this: keep your hands off cheap stuff.
The only thing you'd get hold of is a turntable that rumbles, has speed irregularities and a bad sound with distortions because of the cheap pickup. Look for a high quality refurbished one if you don't want to spend too much ... it needn't have 20-something years on it's back.
 

akuiper

Regular
On a sidenote, Tony, you could make speakers shaped like string instruments. I bet you could sell them.
There are so-called open baffle systems, that sometimes get the look of a string instrument. It basically os a piece of wood with speakers. I had one 40cmx80 high; I liked the direct sound but alas my wife ordered it OUT. Too large. I though I could get away with the WAF 😂. Making it is easy > just two holes to be cut, attaching cables and a simple frequency deider of two-4 parts. They come as kits. The special speaker units do not really need a 'plank' - they are stiff enough to even be just alone, I had a 16 inch speaker that worked well. Having just the shape of a bass guitar around it works. Your friends will be baffled.
Oke, it does need know-how.

There is a company who offers cello's (real ones) and puts a loudspeaker in it. 4sale at amazon . . .
 

ph.

New Member
Real Name
Paul
Made in the US: in the distant past I found the Acoustics Resdearch turtables free from rumble , wow & flutter. They need the occasional oil drop at the base of the spindle plus occasionally a new dfive belt much like their British sucessor, the Linn Sondek . The weakest link in the sound chains as always will be the electro-mechanical devices (pickup & speakers (or headphones). were US companies making decent stuff, but at present I assume most is imported from cheaper sources-

The Danish company Ortofon still makes decent "needle microphones" but like all pickups will need a preamp to boost the signal and a RIIA filter to compensate for the tricks needed to create the record. so that it is ready to be listened to. Any TT with a line-signal out must have this inside. The ones with USB out have an additional analog to digital converter which may or may not be the stropongest or weakest link in the chain onwards.

If you can handle a saw, glue and woodscrews chances are that you can build a decent closed box Loudspeaker large enough not to require much power from your amplifier and still give decent bass without the box resonating (I must admit that when I built my bass cabinets, I used a double-wall, sand filled construction to avoid resonances.

Tricks like having small diameter, long voicecoil, speakers with high mass & compensating the 6dB/octave bass rolloff with filters will require more power and may create strange distortions. Easily driven bass reflex (boxes with a hole) that superimpose the free air resonance of the speaker on the resonance of speaker mounted in the box+ hole need less power, but much more care in calculating, damping and measuring, not to speak of the parasitic tones (added flexing) of lighweight and soft speaker cones which makes the choice of speaker elements a difficult task while internal "crossover " filters to distribute current to voice coils according to the frequency the element handles best can be another point where detrimental savings are made.

All something which need a bit of time and scepticism in the face of glib ads with zero scientific backing-. A particularly bad example is set by a claim of say 1oow from a power amp but not divulging whether it is measured on a random full audible spectrum signal or just on one frequency, and whether it is a continuous signal (watts RMS) or a short pulse-

p.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
Many years ago I was in a department store, idly browsing in the section for TVs and audio equipment. Just along from me a sales assistant had engaged a potential customer and was pointing out the finer points of an amplifier, I suppose.

"This one is 40 Watts RMS," said the sales assistant.

"What does RMS mean?" asked the customer.

"Real Music Sound," came the reply. I had to leave.

-R
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
My first Thorens (TD 160) has been running for 27 years. The second one (TD 2001) has reached 20 years now. Are there better arguments? Of course it's just the player and no amp and speakers. What I want to say with this: keep your hands off cheap stuff.
The only thing you'd get hold of is a turntable that rumbles, has speed irregularities and a bad sound with distortions because of the cheap pickup. Look for a high quality refurbished one if you don't want to spend too much ... it needn't have 20-something years on it's back.
Mine was something like the TD2001 but I can't remember the model. But a quick search says that one came out in 1989 and I bought the one I had 1986.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
I ended up getting my wife a AT-LP140XP. The 120 was out of stock across the country, with the earliest availability expected to be January 8. I didn't want to get her a used one, and the AT-60 was available but did not have very good reviews. Now we just need to find a spot where it will be out of reach from grandchildren who don't listen and seem to make it their mission in life to see how far they can push boundaries. Not trying to sound mean, but that's a reality.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
As well as keeping everything out of the way of little hands, do what you can to isolate the turntable from floor vibrations. If you have to stand the turntable on a cupboard or shelving unit which stands on the floor (and wooden, bouncy floors are the worst) you can buy isolating platforms to go under the turntable, which will help a bit. The same applies to shelves attached to a wall - if the wall is prone to vibration you can either buy a purpose-made isolating shelf, or use a regular shelf and stand the turntable on an isolating platform again. You're aiming at a strong and rigid support, not subject to vibration when your grandchildren (or you) bounce around nearby.

Edit: I just read up on the AT-LP140XP, and I now know that it's marketed as a "professional DJ turntable", which suggests that it's tolerant of vibrations and people jumping up and down nearby. But I'd still think about a firm support.

-R
 
Last edited:

Latest threads

Top Bottom