#1 Edited by skipper00 (57 posts) -

Hey duders, not long ago a family member passed away. While we where clearing out the house we came across a pretty big collection of vinyls. Since no one else wanted them I thought why the hell not and took them. The idea of buying a record player and starting a collection has been in my head for a while however I have literally no clue about them. I have looked about online and its all pretty intimidating. So I thought I would come here for advice.

I am looking to buy a fairly decent record player, my budget is about £150-£200 (not sure what that would be in dollars). What would this get me? Are there any brands to avoid? I am not looking to go full scale audiophile but just a decent set up. Also I have seen mention of needing an amp but as I am clueless I don't really know if I need one. I have fairly decent speakers so they shouldn't be a problem. Any info would be much appreciated.

:D

#2 Posted by crithon (3076 posts) -

sigh, I lost a lot of good albums from a move I did. Never have them laying down flat, always side ways. Plastic milk crates are probably the best cheapest little storage cases to have until you upgrade to wooden shelves. But yeah, the whole setting up the needle and relaxing while reading the album lyrics is an excellent experence.

#3 Edited by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

Boston - Boston is a must own record. PERIOD! That's all I could add to this conversation.

#4 Edited by Flacracker (1596 posts) -
@nightriff said:

Boston - Boston is a must own record. PERIOD! That's all I could add to this conversation.

Yep. This is actually the first thing I bought for my collection. The back side is great but you don't even have to flip that bitch, just keep it up.

#5 Posted by kcin (124 posts) -

I can't speak to the turntable advice, but you will need an amp, and I just picked up a Lepai T-amp because of the positively overwhelming advice of audiophile forums everywhere suggesting that it is the best way to go when starting out with a small setup. I use a Lepai 2.1, model number LP-168HA, that I got from Amazon for $25. T-amps are very popular for those who know about them because they sound extremely good, are very small, and are therefore very versatile. For instance, I use a 3.5mm to RCA cable to connect to my computer, then two strands of speaker wire to connect the amp to the speakers. All you do is turn it on and turn the volume up or down, nothing to futz with. Although I got the 2.1 model, I would step down to the 2-channel model if you don't have a subwoofer, and even if you do, if your sub has passthrough for speakers (run speaker wire from amp to the sub, run speaker wire out from sub to the speakers), go for the 2-channel model as well. The amp is clean-sounding, quite powerful (I never turn it all the way up, that would be insane considering the levels I get at the volume I set it to), and there is no idle hiss or whine at all. It's utterly silent - something I learned is quite important when my Corsair computer speakers started to whine very quietly when on, which is utterly maddening (hence the switch to T-amp and speakers).

So in conclusion, you can cross the amp part of the equation off your list for about $20 by getting a Lepai amp and go from there.

http://www.amazon.com/LP-2020A-Lepai-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier/dp/B0049P6OTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1391490861&sr=1-1&keywords=lepai+t-amp

#6 Posted by dgtlty (153 posts) -

I took the plunge myself last year and after a bit of research ordered the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable and a Dayton T-amp (very small and simple if you plan on using it solely for your turntable). Been very happy with both but combined this may be beyond your budget.

#7 Edited by ch3burashka (5009 posts) -

Step 1) Get help.

Step 2) Journey?

#8 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

#9 Edited by EVO (3864 posts) -

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

Huh? What do you mean by new?

#10 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

@evo said:

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

Huh? What do you mean by new?

Anything released or re-released in the last 20 years or so. There are some bands release new albums on vinyl and you can find new vinyls of old albums, but it's all from a digital source and possibly from a "re-mastered" CD.

I hate re-mastered CDs and I don't understand why they do them in the first place other than to get people to think it is a better quality. That's just BS when they increase the volume globally and/or change the remix the volume of specific instruments.

#11 Edited by DEFE (229 posts) -

I'm afraid I don't know much about record players, but it may be worth it to ask older family members or other loved ones if they have any players that are sitting around collecting dust. I started collecting records a couple years ago, and older family members and family friends have been happy to dump their record collections on me, and I even got 2 nice record players that weren't being used. Getting them hooked up to speakers can be hit and miss. I have one record player that hooks straight into speakers, but that's the only one I've ever seen that does that. My other record player, along with those used by my friends, use an amp as a middle man. Good luck!

#12 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

The simplest advise: clean those old records. It doesn't matter how good your setup is if you're constantly pulling dust all over your vinyl.

(probably unwanted advise... it's spelled "advice"!)

#13 Posted by damnitsted (52 posts) -

If your looking for a player that has decent sound for a decent price, this Numark player is a good start. My local record shop uses this model as a "listen before you buy" player. Has a tiny built in speaker, more for reference, and has a normal 3.5mm headphone jack. If you want to expand from there, stick with Numark, they make good turntables. As for a pre amp, any old stereo receiver will work as long as it has a "phono" input on the back, as that is the pre amp input or you can pick up an inexpensive pre amp on amazon.

Hope this helps.

#14 Posted by kcin (124 posts) -

@tycobb said:

@evo said:

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

Huh? What do you mean by new?

Anything released or re-released in the last 20 years or so. There are some bands release new albums on vinyl and you can find new vinyls of old albums, but it's all from a digital source and possibly from a "re-mastered" CD.

I hate re-mastered CDs and I don't understand why they do them in the first place other than to get people to think it is a better quality. That's just BS when they increase the volume globally and/or change the remix the volume of specific instruments.

"All" is not correct, but it is true that nearly all recordings within the last 20 years have been from a digital source. Musicians who are conscious of the recording to pressing process will sometimes take steps to ensure the vinyl is valuable as an audio experience unto itself by recording and mastering entirely in analogue. My Bloody Valentine's latest release, MBV, is an excellent example.

http://www.mybloodyvalentine.org/BundleDetail.aspx?rid=139

#15 Posted by Ben_H (3309 posts) -

@evo said:

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

Huh? What do you mean by new?

A lot of people say that new records sound different than old versions of the same record because the tracks are being converted from a digital format. The purpose of listening to vinyl is that you are getting a truly analog sound.

As for vinyl, I buy all my albums used. Most of them are from back in the day. My copy of Weather Report's "Heavy Weather" is a very early pressing from the late 70s. My CCR triple album is from the early 80s.

I also just got into buying vinyl. I got some stuff from my Grandma's house and my uncle, but the rest I either got from this online used shop based out of Ontario, or locally since there is an absolutely amazing local mom & pop vinyl shop that has literally thousands of used albums just sitting in milk crates that you can get for super cheap.

Also, used is substantially cheaper. New records are so expensive. A new copy of Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" is like $30-40 new on Amazon or at most stores, I got it for $5 in perfect condition. Most of my stuff I bought was between $5 and $10. Off $100, I walked out with 12 albums, including lots of staple "stuff to own on record" albums like CCR, Alan Parsons Project, Electric Light Orchestra's "Out Of The Blue" (gotta love Mr. Blue Sky), Dire Straits' debut (for "Sultans of Swing" obviously, though the whole album is good. I own it on CD already), Phil Collins' "No Jacket Required", Asia's self titled album (gotta love the cover art. I basically bought it for that and "Only Time Will Tell").

#16 Edited by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

@ben_h: Does that online shop ship to the US? Can post the link for it? I am curious to see how much certain albums go for that I can never find when I happen to be near a store that sells old vinyl.

#17 Posted by EVO (3864 posts) -

@tycobb said:

@evo said:

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

Huh? What do you mean by new?

Anything released or re-released in the last 20 years or so. There are some bands release new albums on vinyl and you can find new vinyls of old albums, but it's all from a digital source and possibly from a "re-mastered" CD.

I hate re-mastered CDs and I don't understand why they do them in the first place other than to get people to think it is a better quality. That's just BS when they increase the volume globally and/or change the remix the volume of specific instruments.

I doubt anyone but audiophiles could tell the difference.

Personally, I buy records mostly for the artwork. I'm sitting on dozens of records that have never been opened and a 1200 that has never been used.

My advice for record collecting: check Discogs before you buy. That is if you care about getting original pressings or limited editions.

#18 Posted by Ben_H (3309 posts) -

@tycobb said:

@ben_h: Does that online shop ship to the US? Can post the link for it? I am curious to see how much certain albums go for that I can never find when I happen to be near a store that sells old vinyl.

Only CDs and cassettes unfortunately. They don't ship vinyl internationally.

#19 Posted by Disembodio (21 posts) -

Some of my favorite records I just found going to goofy yard sales or just dingy used book and record stores. Some of my favorite albums I already owned that I preferred on vinyl would be Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane over the Sea (yeah I know hip choice) and Beatles - Revolver (obvious choice).

As for silly stuff I weirdly bought a lot of Chipmunks records with an ex girlfriend, I let her keep those records.

#20 Posted by laserguy (438 posts) -

you should get some Kiss and Skynyrd. Cant go wrong.

#21 Posted by SSully (4125 posts) -

@tycobb said:

If you are seriously interested in getting vinyl and listening to them for sound, do not buy new records unless you just want them as a novelty. Make sure the vinyl you buy is original as it will have the correct sound. Anything new will be from a digital source which defeats the entire purpose.

That's not really true. Even though they come from a digital source, they still are higher quality then MP3's you would get from burning a CD or buying from a digital store. Sure there are some productions that will half ass the Vinyl release, but there are still plenty of Artists putting out their new shit on Vinyl and doing it right. Daft Punk, The Roots, and John Frusciante are some examples just to name a few.

#22 Edited by CornBREDX (4795 posts) -

It's not actually that complicated. Get a decent turn table and some speakers you can plug into it (or some have head phone jacks)

These days most record players are intended for DJs so you'll probably end up buying a used one- unless you don't care. Wanna make sure the needle is working (I don't know how easy they are to replace anymore, it's probably easy enough if I had to guess- it used to be) and nothing is broken on the connectors.

Stereophiles or whatever crazy sound nerds are called can get really crazy about the stuff they say when it comes to sound, so if you don't wanna go that deep don't worry about it.

Much like certain movies, there are some records that just aren't correctly duplicated when listened to on CD. The way it sounds on the record is part of what makes it so unique. It's hard to explain and sound cheesy, but it's true.

When I was a kid, once, I found a reel to reel and some very old reel to reel tapes. It even had an original recording of The War of the Worlds radio broadcast. It was the most amazing thing I found as a kid. Man, I wish I still had that.

I wish I could collect reel to reel tapes- but talk about virtually impossible. Unless you meet an old person that still has some stashed away somewhere, you'll never find that stuff anymore.

#23 Posted by HatKing (5815 posts) -

Everybody is going to throw numbers at you when you start getting into the deep end of this stuff. Somewhere between talking about how a song was recorded and if the record was a reprint, people like that tend to lose sight of why they're listening to the albums in the first place.

My best advice? Go to your local record store, pick out an album or two that you like, then go home and listen to it without checking in with the internet first. Enjoy the music for your own reasons.

My record collection is fairly modest, but consists of only albums that I love or were handed down to me. My collection isn't on display to impress my friends. I don't play them during parties. It's a very personal collection, and I guarantee it means more to me than somebody who buys albums based on when/how they were recorded.

#24 Posted by diz (909 posts) -

@skipper00:

Good 2nd hand turntables in your price range include:

Rega Planar 2

Dual 505

(Jim Dunlop) Systemdek

Revolver

Thorens TD 150 or 166, or 160

Pioneer PL12D

There are some of each on eBay UK. The Rega probably sounds the best but is most sensitive to vibration, so needs solid placement or wall mounting. Thorens are also great. The Pioneer is an old cheap favourite and the Dual 505 was the default budget turntable in the 1980s and 1990s. Decks with Linn Basik or Rega RB250 (or RB300) tonearms are worth looking out for.

I would avoid USB type turntables and also DJ decks like the Technics SL, since they are not designed with sound quality as the main priority. Good design features in turntables include belt drive (for isolation between the motor and platter), heavy platter (for constant speed due to momentum), fixed headshells, and suspension.

You would need an amplifier with a phono (or record deck) input on it for these turntables. Alternatively you can get a phono preamp that would connect between the deck and a conventional CD or AUX input in an amplifier.

The reason phono preamps (phono stages) in amplification are needed is due to something called RIAA equalisation that gets applied during the record pressing process. This equalisation increases high frequencies and reduces lower frequencies to reduce the amount of wiggling a stylus has to do in the grooves of a record. The inverse of this equalisation gets applied in the RIAA stage of the amplifier, or in an RIAA preamp. Such RIAA stages also boost the voltages from the tiny ones generated from a tiny stylus moving in a tiny groove to the near 0.775V levels given out by CDs, tuners and other auxiliary sources.

#25 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

@diz: My dad has the Planar 2. I don't have a lot to compare it to but it's been serving him pretty well for 15 years or something. It's starting to get a bit clapped out now though, needs a bit of a push for the motor to really turn it. I don't know if that's the motor wearing out, or just that the belt has stretched (again) though.