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Back to vinyl - help!

7 years ago (I think) I bought an Arcam AVR 200 and "upgraded" from vinyl.  Previously I had a Systemdek IIx 900 with a ??? arm and a Goldring? (I thought it was a Roksan Corus Black but it doesnt say that now I look at it...) cartridge playing through an Arcam delta 60 amp and some Cyrus speakers.  As the Arcam amp didnt have a phono stage I put all the old stuff in the spare bedroom as a 2nd system and never listened to it again!!  And really stopped listening to music altogether over time despite having a fine Arcam CD/DVD player and some handsome Q55 floorstanders - the televsion just took over......

 Well I was thinking what to do with the vinyl as I have just bought an Apple TV and digitised all the CDs (which sounds pretty good and is REALLY convenient).  Then I realised I could take the tape out from the old Delta 60 using it as the phono stage and bring the turntable back into the living room. WOW!!!!  Its definitely better than it ever was before - i guess because the phono stage is separate from the rest of the amplification the buzz has gone.  We have been listening and listening to MUSIC - really its great!  Very happy now - we have the ultimate convenient music system when we want it via the Apple TV and a turntable when we want to listen seriously.

So I feel very out of touch now - just amazed I lost touch with vinyl and how good it was when we came back to it. So questions -  is the Systemdek "good" by todays standards? Can I/should I upgrade the arm/cartridge?  How do I know whether the cartridge is near the end of its useful life?  Would I be better off bi-amping the AVR 200 on the front speakers for when we listen in stereo (which will also help the Apple TV)? Would a specialist phono stage be better?  I guess I would consider spending £1,500 - £2,000 for now to really make listening to vinyl even more special but dont really know where to start  - any advice would be appreciated - including anywhere that will help me listen and decide what will be a good upgrade into this system......

 Thanks.

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Re: Back to vinyl - help!

I've done the same thing recently, rediscovering the joys of my Rega Planar 2. I bought a NAD PP2 phono stage to take over the duties of the phono stage in my NAD 3020i (22 years old and still ticking over) and a new Bias 2 cartridge. The last 5 weeks have been nearly all vinyl and it's absolutely fantastic.

I'm considering going for a Brio 3 just to compare the phono stages.

My speakers are ancient Celestion 3's and could conceivably be replaced but they still sound as good as they did back in 1990. 

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Re: Back to vinyl - help!
David HW:So questions -  is the Systemdek "good" by todays standards? Can I/should I upgrade the arm/cartridge?  How do I know whether the cartridge is near the end of its useful life?



Systemdek IIx 900 is a great TT, and not that far removed from the Audio Note TT1 which is still on sale for a handsome amount.

Arm/Cart. Well, rather depends on what the arm is. Chances are it'll be either a Rega RB250 or a Linn LVX Basik Plus. Either are more than reasonable arms, and will happily support a £150 cartridge.

On that subject, I would always replace a stylus of that age, as the suspension in the replaceable stylus may well have hardened. You could go for a replacement stylus but it may well be worth considering a whole new cartridge for a similar price.

Anonymous
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Re: Back to vinyl - help!

 "Either are more than reasonable arms, and will happily support a £150 cartridge.

On that subject, I would always replace a stylus of that age, as the suspension in the replaceable stylus may well have hardened. You could go for a replacement stylus but it may well be worth considering a whole new cartridge for a similar price."

 

Thanks for the advise - I think it was the Rega arm.  So any thoughts on a cartridge to take a step up?  Would a moving coil design be too much of a step up for the rest? 

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