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Skiman's picture
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Turntable relationship to phono stage

Hi all,

I recently purchased a vintage Dual 505-2 turntable and have spent a couple of months tweaking as follows;

Completely serviced, lubricated and adjusted all moving parts as per service manual.

Fitted new drive and pitch control belts.

Fitted and aligned new AT95e and/or Ortofon OM 10 cartridge/stylus units (prefer the AT).

Replaced the earth cable and RCA cables with better quality unit.

Fitted wooden plinth and nice condition tinted dust cover from 505-3.

Fitted heavier and more asthetically pleasing 505-3 platter and slip mat.

Fabricated a sturdy wall shelf (very securely fitted into wall studs) with a rubber footed granite chopping board between deck and shelf.

All of the above has cost me a total of £110.00.

Through the phono stage of my Denon PMA - 355UK into biwired Tannoy Mercury V4 I have created a very pleasing sound to my ears although the vocals can seem a little recessed. I have mostly 60's, 70's and 80's vinyl which I am wet cleaning then vacuuming (Knosti Anti-Stat) and listen to a wide genre of styles but very little jazz or classical.

 

Now the point of my post is that I have recently come into a little money and am considering purchasing a turntable up to a maximum of £1000.00 (including arm and MM cartridge). The suspects under consideration are various Project decks at this price range, Michell Techno, Inspire Apollo, Rega RP6, Clearaudio Concept and Edwards TT2. There is a dealer fairly close who has all in stock (presumably for demo as well) apart from the Apollo (which is my current favourite) and the Clearaudio. 

The question is - will my phono/speaker set up be suitable for this level of source or should I be looking at the £500.00 mark for a better match. I would like to avoid having to buy separate phono stages/MC transformers etc. The speakers cannot be changed as they form part of the home cinema system. There is a phono stage on the AVR-3312 but it sounds inferior to me. The PMA-355UK is used as a power amp (from pre-outs on AVR-3312) to power only the left and right front speakers no matter the source and is run in direct mode.

Thanks for reading this missive and,as usual, thanks in anticipation of your comments and advice.

Regards

 

Stefan

Al ears's picture
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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Sounds like you have 'done the business' on that Dual, well done.

I am a tad confused when you say you play it throught the phono stage of the Denon PMA and then later say you use the Denon as a power amp.

I'd keep the Dual and simply upgrade the cartridge.

If, however, you feel the need for a new deck, there is no reason your system cannot take a source as you indicate. (Ultimately you may find there is not a great deal off difference between a £550 and a £1000 system)

Get the best you can afford without skimping on the cartridge.

 

 

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

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

Skiman's picture
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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Hi Al ears,

Thanks for your comments. Sorry for the confusion regarding the amps use - what I have is the AVR pre -outs for the FL and FR speakers going into the PMA and the bi-wired out to the Tannoys (A+B Speakers engaged) - should this be described as using the PMA as a power amp?

Do you think that the Dual would equivalent to a £300.00 deck today as it's hard to compare a semi automatic, speed switch equipped and fully suspended turntable with anything on the market at present. The component  quality, design and general build of the Dual is certainly excellent and smacks of Teutonic over-engineering as everything is perfect under the deck with no corrosion or wear after approx. 30 years.

Would you have any thoughts re a decent MM cartridge to investigate? I have heard very good things regarding the OM30/40 stylii (can be fitted into existing OM10 body at  £149/£200 respectively) and I have my eye on a Nagoaka MP11 Boron (used) - any thoughts on these bearing in mind that the ULM fitted only weighs 8.5gms?

I am off to the USA very soon so was wondering if cartrdges are better value out there - if I can find any physical shops in Soutern Florida.

Thanks for your reply

Regards

Stefan

Al ears's picture
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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

It is, as you say a very good piece of German over-engineering and no I doubt anything for £300 will come anywhere close to touching it.

The Nagaoka would be a very good cartridge but always be cautious of buying second-hand (at least you can stlii get replacement stylii for it at about £50). Personally I do not like the cheaper Ortofons.

Certainly keep an eye out in the States as their sales taxes tend to be somewhat cheaper than our VAT (although I do believe it varies from state to state).

A quick Google should list any shops in the area to which you are headed. Enjoy!

PS: A lot of the 'newer' Duals came fitted with the Audio Technica  AT-15SA cartridge but I don't know if this is any longer available.

 

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

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

Skiman's picture
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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Thanks for the comments.

Regards

Stefan

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

stevebrock wrote:

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

 

I've not heard enough different carts to really comment, but my new MP-110 is still on, sounding good. I've not bothered swapping back yet, life's too short and all that.

 

.

Creek/ProJect/SBT/Epos

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

DIB wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

 

I've not heard enough different carts to really comment, but my new MP-110 is still on, sounding good. I've not bothered swapping back yet, life's too short and all that.

 

.

Hi DIB

Prefer the Nagaoka to the 2M Blue? 

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Jim-W wrote:

DIB wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

 

I've not heard enough different carts to really comment, but my new MP-110 is still on, sounding good. I've not bothered swapping back yet, life's too short and all that.

 

.

Hi DIB

Prefer the Nagaoka to the 2M Blue? 

I prefer the Nagaoka MP200 to the Dyn 10x5

 

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Jim-W wrote:

DIB wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

 

I've not heard enough different carts to really comment, but my new MP-110 is still on, sounding good. I've not bothered swapping back yet, life's too short and all that.

 

.

Hi DIB

Prefer the Nagaoka to the 2M Blue? 

 

I think both are really excellent Jim, but after about a month of the MP-110 now, I think I'll swap back to the 2M Blue soon to see how it compares. When I first switched over I was expecting more of a difference in all honesty, not "better" just different. I remember when I switched from a Rega Bias to a 2M Blue last year and the uplift in performance was immense. 

 

For the money though I don't think you can go wrong with the MP-110 which is half the price of a 2M Blue.

 

Swapping carts is such a faff though isn't it? Not my idea of fun really.

 

.

Creek/ProJect/SBT/Epos

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

Could you tell me where you got the pitch control belt? I have a Dual 1249 (inherited from my mother) in storage that has a broken pitch control belt and I would like to get it running again. If only to test it against our modern Pro-Ject.

Yamaha R-S500, Infinity Overture 1, Cambridge Audio DACMagic, Sony KDL 40HX750, Humax iHDR 5200c, Sony BDP-S590, Pro-Ject 1Xpression III Comfort, Sony MDS-JE 520, Apple Airport Express, Apple Mac Mini (2013), Atacama Eris Eco 5.0

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

iMark wrote:
Could you tell me where you got the pitch control belt?

 

Turntableneedles.com.

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RE: Turntable relationship to phono stage

DIB wrote:

Jim-W wrote:

DIB wrote:

stevebrock wrote:

You can get a new Nagaoka MP110 for bout £90 maybe cheaper - the best cart under £100 IMO

 

I've not heard enough different carts to really comment, but my new MP-110 is still on, sounding good. I've not bothered swapping back yet, life's too short and all that.

 

.

Hi DIB

Prefer the Nagaoka to the 2M Blue? 

 

I think both are really excellent Jim, but after about a month of the MP-110 now, I think I'll swap back to the 2M Blue soon to see how it compares. When I first switched over I was expecting more of a difference in all honesty, not "better" just different. I remember when I switched from a Rega Bias to a 2M Blue last year and the uplift in performance was immense. 

 

For the money though I don't think you can go wrong with the MP-110 which is half the price of a 2M Blue.

 

Swapping carts is such a faff though isn't it? Not my idea of fun really.

 

.

Hi DIB

I like Nagaoka and Audio Technica but I've also got a 2M Blue which I think is a nicely balanced and detailed cart. Not a fan of the 2M Red though, it's far too sharp and brittle. I think i'll try an MP-110 next ...let me know if you come to any more conclusions re Mp110 v 2M Blue: don't worry if you find it hard to hear a difference because I can hardly make one cart out from another. My ears must be less than golden! 

Changing carts is a nightmare and I've got about 45 years experience but my heart is in my mouth until the screws are tightened. I've knackered the wiring on quite a few tonearms in my time. It's great when it all goes smoothly though. I will never change carts on a Rega deck again-that is beyond a nightmare-far too delicate and glued junctions. 

I'm a big Groundhogs fan too by the way; My faves are 'Thank Christ', 'Split' and 'Blues Obituary.' 

Thanks for your posts. 

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