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andreih8017's picture
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turntable advice
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Hi,

 

I need some advice on which turntable to buy:

 

My choices are: - Dual CS 505-3 Audiophile Concept

 - Kenwood KD 2055

 - Technics SL-23A

 

My current cartridge is an Ortofon 2M Blue, mounted on a shitty Numark TT1650 direct drive.

 

The setup is Marantz PM6010 OSE Ki signature + Wharfedale Diamond 10.4; (the speaker cable is supra 2.5, without by-wiring, and the interconnects are some Hama with gold platted inputs)

 

And one more question: what is good bass ? the one that you can "feel" or the one that is present, but not in a "in your face" way; my setup produces a bass from the second category and i really like it. On the other hand, a bunch of other hi-fi systems i listened to had a more boomy bass; i wonder if there is a problem with my speakers, or that's the way they are supposed to sound. I also must say that i don't have treble or bass controls on my amplifier.

 

Is by-wiring an option for improving the sound quality, or it's a marketing scam ? 

 

Thanks in advance for your valuable advice Smile

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RE: turntable advice

Your cartridge is way better than your current TT. However the 3 choices you have given are still lower end models in the scheme of things so that inbalance would remain, is the limited choice due to budge or other reasons. If it is budget then what have you actually got to spend?

Out of those 3 assuming all were in good nick I would probably go Kenwood, Dual, Technics. The Dual is a great TT, but the Blue cartridge may not suit the lightweight tonearm.

Your amp/speakers are both good. Try experimenting with speaker positioning for different results, you will get more 'boom' close to a rear wall if that's what you want.

Your cables are also fine assuming your connections are good (tight fit for interconnects, no oxydisation at the end of your speaker wires - if so just cut back to fresh cable). Personally I wouldn't bother with bi-wire, particularly as your amp doesn't have bi-wire terminals so you would need to split your cable. What I would do, however, is replace the supplied metal links between the terminals on your speakers with speaker cable 'jumpers' (you can make yourself easily from small amounts of your existing cable, although consider the best way to terminate all the ends - bananas, spades etc - so everything fits cleanly).

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RE: turntable advice

Boomy bass may sound good at first but it becomes tiring quickly and masks other frequencies removing detail, image etc. Solid base is less but so much more. Speaker poaitioning is first port of call and then room treatment. For little money great gains can be made.

Yamaha V2065. MS Mezzo 5.1 Panasonic 42. Sony BD. Garrard 86SB. WD Live TV. SkyHD.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/lounge-hc-signature-update-bass-traps

 

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RE: turntable advice

The budget is around 250 EUR (used equipment). The problem is that i didn't find something else in my hometown that was interesting, and i would like to hear the pickup before buying it. 

 

There is a new adition to the list, a Thorens TD 170 EV with integrated preamp. How about this one ?

 

Of course, there is always the possiblity of making a little extra effort and buy a new TT, like Rega RP1 or Project Debut 3, but i really don't know how would it be better...

 

Thanx,

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RE: turntable advice

Hmm, well the Thorens TD-170 is actually a re-badged Dual CS-435 under the skin, and the CS-435 was far below the CS-503 in quality so I would avoid it, and besides you don't need a seperate phono stage as at that level it is likely to be far worse than the one built into your Marantz amp.

I guess you could give the Dual 503 a go, see what cartridge it comes with is like (it may be fine, originally they were often fitted with the perfectly good Ortofon OM-10) and if your Blue cartridge isn't a good match for the arm you could sell that on seperately (particularly as it is worth more than your current TT!).

I know it is always nice to be able to see/hear before you buy, but could you not also consider the likes of ebay, that's where I got my current Thorens from and it was/is perfect (and only cost a bargain £33 including postage - although not including the tonearm & cartridge that I got seperately).

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RE: turntable advice

Thanx for the advice Smile

 

Regarding the match between the ultralight tonearm of the dual cs 503 and my ortofon 2m blue, i think it would be ok, mainly because the original ortofon cartridge provided woth the Dual had a compliance of 25 mN, while the Ortofon 2M Blue has a compliance of 20mN; additionally, the 2M blue is heavier than the original cartridge, so i think it's about the same.


How about the idea of buying a new TT, something like Rega RP1 or Project Debut 3 ?

 

As a last resort, i would give ebay a chance, especially if i find a bargain.

 

Thanx,

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RE: turntable advice

Well a head to head I would rather have the Dual 503 than either the RP-1 or Pro-ject myself, although it is a matter of taste. You would also need to be very careful about positioning with those two as they need a proper hifi shelf or spiked/isolated platform to work at their best. The classic suspended design of the 503 makes it far less fussy so far as positioning goes (I used to own one myself and in the early days before I could afford a proper hifi support rack I happily had it on a normal un-isolated sideboard without any problems at all).

As you have found, the value for money definately lays in buying second hand, and a good example of a Dual 503 (or better still a Thorens suspended design like a 150/160/166) should normally outperform new models from Rega and Pro-Ject at the same price level every time.

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RE: turntable advice
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RE: turntable advice

Hi,

Your latest selection holds the turntable I would pick.

Save your money and buy the French ERA (a Mark 6 version by the look of it), especially if it comes with the tonearm as shown (SME 3009).

If this turntable has been well maintained, and by the look of the ancilliaries used with it (Icon Audio phono preamp), I would hazard a guess and say it has. It will leave your other listed turntables standing!

I'm pretty sure your Ortofon would fit just nicely too. Smile

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: turntable advice

i would buy the ERA in a heratbeat if it wasn't so expensive...it is double the price of the Dual, is it really worth it ? If so, maybe i could skip a meal or two for the next month and buy it  :cheer:

 

Later edit: the seller accepted the price of 400 EUR for the ERA, without the included cartridge. How do you feel about the price, assuming it is well maintained ?

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RE: turntable advice

I don't know enough about the ERA to comment, but I think they were around in the mid-1970s and were always a small French brand. That being the case you would need to take into account that the price is possibly as much to do with rarity value for collectors as it is for sound. You would also need to consider how easy (or expensive) it would be to get replacement spare parts for that model.

That said, the Thorens you highlighted is also expensive, in that case because it has clearly been upgraded with a better plinth etc. However, it retains its original arm and these were seen by many as a weak(ish) point in terms of sound quality for Thorens decks at the time.

I would suggest therefore that unless you are in a big hurry you take your time with this - there are plenty of Thorens decks around and eventually one will come up with its original plinth that will be a lot cheaper than that one. The other advantage of a classic Thorens is that replacement parts (motors, platters, belts etc) for the most popular models are in good supply and not too expensive so you can be sure it will have a long working life.

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RE: turntable advice

andreih8017 wrote:

i would buy the ERA in a heratbeat if it wasn't so expensive...it is double the price of the Dual, is it really worth it ? If so, maybe i could skip a meal or two for the next month and buy it  :cheer:

 

Later edit: the seller accepted the price of 400 EUR for the ERA, without the included cartridge. How do you feel about the price, assuming it is well maintained ?

Although it is vintage it was very highly rated in it's day. The price is very good, I feel, and there is a reason it is twice the price of the Dual.

I believe that drive belts for it are easy enough to come by and it should be repairable by any competent engineeer, should it ever need it.

I was not aware it was listed with a cartridge but it is probably better you fit your own anyway. At least you know how it has been used.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: turntable advice

ok then, ERA it is Smile

 

Thanx guys, you've been really helpful

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RE: turntable advice

ok...i saw the ERA today

it looks great, but when playing, the platter has a bit of wobble (i can easily see the arm moving up and down). That can't be good, right ?

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RE: turntable advice

Aha! Presumably this was with an LP on the turntable. How much of an up and down? Any chance the LP was warped?

See if it does it with all LP's.

If it does then don't buy it.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: turntable advice

i tried it with 3 or 4 LPs, and it's the same. Even without an LP, i could see the platter wobble. I estimate the vertical movement at about 3-4 mm.

 

I also saw the Dual. The spinning was perfectly flat, with absolutely no vertical movement. I also find the cue and arm system to be very smooth comparing to the ERA. Is it a good idea to stick to the Dual ?

 

Thanx,

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