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dtmark's picture
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Turntable recommendations - quality problems

Hello

Back in the day I started out with an Ariston Q-Deck turntable. This then got upgraded with a Goldring cartridge. Then I was gifted a Thorens turntable with an expensive arm and cartridge and it sounded phenomenal.

Then vinyl began to die and I moved away from Hi-Fi.

I have a stack of vinyl and decided to resurrect my system. We don't live near a Hi-Fi store so I looked at reviews and ordered a Pro-Ject Essential II from Amazon.

After setting it all up, I thought, properly, I watched puzzled as the stylus simply skated across the vinyl. After checking and re-checking everything I checked the last possible thing - the stylus. No diamond perhaps. When putting it back on I felt the cartridge shift slightly to the right. Skating problem solved. For a few records, then back again. Basically, the cartridge was loose.

That went back to Amazon for a refund. This weekend, took a trip out to Southampton - store there doesn't sell those, but came home with a Rega 1 instead.

This has a loud buzzing humming noise. It has no earth connector. Have never had this with vinyl before. From what I read, this is a common design flaw and sometimes manufacturing fault. So that's going to have to go back as well.

I'm a bit fatigued with this now. I didn't have a budget in mind as such, but thought this level of spend would be adequate to at least get something that works.

Am I spending too little? Do I need to go to around £500, if so, fine, but what should I be looking at... not something made by Rega or Project - and yet, those are the ones that receive rave reviews. Have I just been terribly unlucky and I should try the Pro-Ject Debut one (will involve a long drive, ideally I want to hear it working before I take it home this time..)

Thanks,

Mark

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Mark 

Mark 

The RP1 has the earth built into the phono cable and should deifantely not hum!

I would take it back to the dealer and ask them to test in there demo room.

The RP1 will get you going but personally I would go for an RP3 as it has a better arm and will take a better cartridge too as well being able to add the TT PSU at a later date.

 

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

dtmark's picture
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The humming noise is very

The humming noise is very audible. From what I've read, this can be due to a fault in the earthing circuit in the tonearm. It is quite a common problem by the looks of it. Moving the turntable away from the amplifier and/or phono stage achieves nothing. The phono stage is silent without the deck plugged in, so it's not that. Waggling the phono cables leaving the deck slightly makes the noise louder or softer but it never goes away.

How can a supposedly high-end turntable manufacturer turn out such rubbish, and how can it feature in Best Buy listings - beyond me. I can forgive the misaligment of the cartridge on the Project II one, but this is dreadful.

I've listened to a couple of tracks on it, humming notwithstanding, and frankly, it sounds bad. Even the Project II with the misaligned cartridge - in the couple of tracks I was able to play - managed to bring vinyl to life, this Rega just sounds ... well, like a CD player, frankly. There is no stereo imagery or sense of separation. I know I'm not hearing it at it's best... but I wonder if I have been spoiled in the past.

I know a lot of this is down to the cartridge and stylus and the Project II is said to come with a rather good cartridge for the money.

The Thorens - just dug it out of the cupboard - is ancient. It has an SME tonearm and a Goldring GX1052 cartridge which I no doubt put on it, it's the same as the one I had on my old Q-Deck.

I think it's probably beyond redemption (hasn't been used for 15+ years), but similar decks seem to be in the 1k+ price range. I suppose it might be salvageable. It doesn't work at all.

I suspect I really need to find a turntable specialist and take along some vinyl to listen to. I'll get this one couriered back to the shop (40 minute drive) for a refund and look around. Third time lucky Wink

Anyone know of any turntable specialists in Hampshire/Surrey? That said, the place where I bought this, had some top end turntables - so there's potential there.

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Isolating the problem

I'd suggest systematically removing the leads connecting various elements of your hi-fi.

Start by disconnecting all leads except those from TT to amp and amp to speakers. Now try it. Does it still hum? If so, there probably is a fault either in the TT or in the amp's phono stage. You could try disconnecting the TT from the amp and see if there's still a hum when the amp is set to phono and the volume turned up. If the hum's still there, it's probably the amp which needs attention; if not, it's probably the TT.

If there is no hum when only the TT, amp and speakers are connected, try reconnecting the other leads one by one. This way you will hopefully be able to isolate which element in your system it is which is causing the hum.

I suggest this because I have exactly the same issue, and even called the shop (probably the same one you bought your TT from) after my new system had been installed to report it. It turned out, on investigation, to be caused by the HDMI lead from set-top box to TV projector (I use my hifi for TV sound), and only when my next-door neighbour (we share a wall) has a particular piece of equipment switched on. I guess the wiring in the shared wall is interacting in some way. The hum is there on the other inputs, but it hardly noticeable because line-in inputs are at a much higher level than phono input. Now I just disconnect this HDMI lead whenever I want to listen to music.

It may be a bit of a long-shot, but hopefully systematically disconnecting and reconnecting individual leads will enable you to work out which piece of equipment the faults lies with.

Rega RP3 / Elys 2 || Rega Brio-R || Rega Apollo-R
Monitor Audio RX6 Silver || Chord Cobra 3 interconnects || Chord Sarsen cable

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turntable specialists

I would advise giving Dominic from North West Analogue a call. He is not near to you but he can work wonders with vintage turntables as my refurbished Lenco GL75 can testifiy.

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agree

Although you don't state which Thorens it is I would strongly suggest you return the Rega for a refund (you should not be expected to hunt around disconnecting cables etc., it should not do this).

Find a good specialist, as suggested, by entrails, and get the Thorens serviced then add new cartridge like a Nagaoka.

Sorted

 

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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Al ears wrote:I would

Al ears wrote:
I would strongly suggest you return the Rega for a refund (you should not be expected to hunt around disconnecting cables etc., it should not do this).

In the scenario I described, it's the electrics in the wall interfering with a cable connected to the amp which is causing the hum - nothing to do with the turntable. The hum is more noticeable when playing records because the output of the TT is so much lower than line in and therefore needs to be amplified a lot more, amplifying the hum a lot more in the process. This has been the case with two entirely different hi-fi set-ups in this house, so not a fault with any item in the hi-fi. As I said it's a long-shot that the OP has the same situation, but in my view it's worth disconnecting leads to find out what's going on before returning anything.

Rega RP3 / Elys 2 || Rega Brio-R || Rega Apollo-R
Monitor Audio RX6 Silver || Chord Cobra 3 interconnects || Chord Sarsen cable

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Not trying to teach granny,

Not trying to teach granny, etc., but I assume that the TT earth is connected to the post on the phono amp? Apologies if you've already done this.

If relocating the TT doesn't help, have you tried using an extension lead from another socket? Although if there's not been a problem until now, it would seem to be TT related. Presumably there's no earthing leakage in the phono amp?

Good luck, hums are annoying.

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Rega

GeoffreyW wrote:

Not trying to teach granny, etc., but I assume that the TT earth is connected to the post on the phono amp? Apologies if you've already done this.

If relocating the TT doesn't help, have you tried using an extension lead from another socket? Although if there's not been a problem until now, it would seem to be TT related. Presumably there's no earthing leakage in the phono amp?

Good luck, hums are annoying.

Rega's do not have an earth lead, see post further up.

AmigaNut

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tv?

i dunno whether or not you have the tv on when listening to music, but i found if i had my plasma on,(watching sport or something) i would get a lot of hum from the tt. turn the telly off and the hum was gone.

 

Rotel RP3000, Arcam DV79, Rega Apollo, Leema Pulse, Focal Chorus 826v.

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Dtmark, what model Thorens is

Dtmark, what model Thorens is it?

It might just need a new belt plus get all the old oil and any grunge out of the main bearing, then put new oil in. Plus oil to the motor bearings or at worst a new motor. Plus a new cartridge or new cartridge tip.

Turntables really are simple devices. They are just as easy to work on as a bicycle.

Why waste money on a not so good sounding Rega or Pro-Ject when you already have a fine sounding Thorens waiting to be put back into use?

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Inclined to agree

Inclined to agree with those who infer you may have an earth loop.  Starting with only your Rega and amp plugged in, you nay find the problem solved. If not, I agree to get a refund and consider resurrecting your old machine. 

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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