Need help with first TT -- New, Vintage -- Confused

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mawst95, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    I posted this in a different forum, so sorry for cross-posting. But I figured this site has a different user base and I wanted a second opinion...

    Looking to buy my first TT. Want to play my dad's old motown records.

    No preamp, will buy based on deck. Budget for TT and cartridge is no more than $1200. I like to tinker a bit but I don't want too much fuss.

    I'm looking at an open box TT15S ($1150) music hall ikura ($799), or maybe a used/open box MMF 7.1. I also saw a Scout Jr. for $1100...

    Im also interested in a vintage VPI HW19 here: V.P.I. MK 3 PLATTER UPGRADE | Turntables | Marshallton, Delaware 19808 | Audiogon

    And there was a RP6 on audiogon that interested me: https://www.audiogon.com/listings/t...0-analog-735cfd70-7658-4f85-b467-bbe57a26143f

    But I would need to have the Rega shipped. The VPI I could pick up.

    My head is spinning. The vintage VPI intrigues me but I have no idea what I'm doing. I read that the heavier platter requires additional tweaks. I don't know what to ask the seller. Demo'ing is not super feasible. I read that the Denon DL-301MK2 would be good on the VPI HW19.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    Bumping this--about to pull the trigger on the HW19...
     
  3. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I found your msg on the other board but I am not regged there. I think that is overkill for playing "my dad's old Motowns" unless they are pristine mint original Motown LPs.
    But, overkill is not bad. Still, even with that TT, for old Motown 45s you probably should have a conical stylus tracking at a higher VTF than a top grade cart will.

    For starter manual cleaning, get the AT 6011 brush and the AT 6012 Record Care Kit. I can say that if you don't have these, just get them, they are a fine start and you can add more expensive cleaning equipment if needed or wanted. There are other sellers, of course.

    https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT6011-Anti-Static-Record-Brush/dp/B01GE1ZOPY

    https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT6012-Solution-Storage-Adhesive/dp/B0009IGAPW
     
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  4. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    Awesome. Thanks for the links.

    Yes, total overkill. I almost pulled the trigger on a VPI classic I last night! I then thought, wait how I'd get from a Uturn Orbit (splurging on the OME5) to a $2000 table with a bunch of features I don't understand.

    But here's the thing: A wise man once said, "Why spend $1 on 90% happiness when you can spend 20X more and boost that to 90.7% happiness." The name of that wise man? You guessed it, Mawst95.

    The other consideration is this. I wanted to get into vinyl and I didn't think my mom still had my dad's records. He and I were close and he died suddenly in January. I found out she DOES have them. That made this whole endeavor go from a bit of a lark (lark = $500) to something important to me--a way to connect with my dad's memory. Plus I like to shop.

    Would the Blue Point Evo III that was recommended to me in the other forum fit your criteria or should I start with something else first? Assume these are NOT pristine records.
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    (I'm sorry about your dad, and I think I understand. I have my mother's small record collection.)

    The Blue Point is a fine cart, well regarded (I have not heard it), and a good fit for the quality of your turntable. It's intended for pristine pressings and high end audiophile use. But it's not a good fit to play "well-loved" old Motowns. It won't play them well - too noisy - and those records won't treat that fine stylus well. And, its stylus is not user-replaceable as far as I know.

    I would say you need something more rugged for those Motowns, and something with an easily replaceable stylus. Frankly, something cheaper. That's what the classic Motowns were made to played with and I'm sure your dad's were. But you can get nearly the best of what was made at the time, which still holds up today.

    In an older thread here I once recommended a Pickering AT-2/ATE-3 as "old American iron perfect for old Motowns" and I still think that. Those were designed around 1968. Virtually the same design was continued up to a few years ago as the Stanton 500 and variants of it with different added letters, for the type of styli it was shipped with. That cart survived through the dead vinyl years as a Stanton DJ cart, a tough and rugged cart with an appropriate tough DJ stylus. Several types of styli, from low end and tough to very high end, were interchangeable with these models. Stanton and Pickering were the same company and the carts were virtually identical. You would not need the toughest of DJ styli. No new styli for these are manufactured by Stanton. There are aftermarket styli which I think would be OK, but they're not real Stanton/Pickering styli. This cart is still an archivist's favorite for the variety of styli that were once available because it was a standard. LP Gear lists many aftermarket styli for the Stanton 500 - and all that they list for the 500 will fit any Stanton 500 or Pickering AT-2/ATE-3. Few, if any, other standard carts ever had such an easily available variety of stylus types and sizes. (ATE-3 came with an elliptical stylus, same cart.)

    A few places may still have new Stanton 500 models of various types. And there are used working Stanton 500 models around.

    What counts is having a .7 mil conical/spherical stylus, and you could try a .6 conical/spherical too. Either might sound better on particular used discs. On the Stanton the stylus just slides in and out. Conical/spherical is recommended for the 45s. Elliptical could be better sounding for the LPs, but a spherical still could sound better on a well-played LP.

    There are other high end carts in the class of that Blue Point that have interchangeable styli, including spherical/conical the types that will be best for the old Motowns. But I can't make any recommendation because I don't know enough about those for this use.

    So I would say get your Blue Point for pristine mint and new LPs, and for the Motowns, find a Stanton 500 with or without a stylus, and get these three styli from LP gear

    .7 spherical (this one is an original Stanton)
    Stanton stylus for Stanton 500AL II cartridge

    .6 spherical
    LP Gear stylus for Stanton 500-II cartridge

    One or the other above will sound better on each Motown 45 - you won't know which until you try.

    .3 x .7 elliptical (for the Motown LPs ONLY, and the above sphericals still could sound better on the old Motown LPs)
    LP Gear stylus for Stanton 500EE MKII cartridge

    Don't be fooled by those prices! Those are fairly high quality styli, designed for the Stanton 500, and just what the Motowns were made for. They will track at 2.5 grams, or 2 to 3.5 grams.

    Used Stanton 500 models are easily available on ebay, around $60-100 with or without used stylus. Any specific model number, they are virtually the same cart. If they're guaranteed to be good and working, that's fine. (If you call LP Gear, they will probably have a good used one to sell too.) These carts are bulletproof. But put the new styli on them. You can't trust used styli. I am virtually certain the Motowns will sound better this way than with the Blue Point. And your Blue Point will thank you because it wouldn't want to play used well loved records.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  6. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    I just won a Stanton 500 mkII cartridge for $25 on ebay. Seems like that should work with one or more of the stylii you suggested above...
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Good deal. Yes it will. I would get all three, but if you are starting with just one get the .7 spherical for the old Motowns.
     
  8. resonated

    resonated Active Member

    If that Stanton doesn't work for you, pick up a Shure M35X. A killer conical cartridge, and to reinforce what's been said in the other posts, conical is absolutely the way to go for your purposes.
    Although there's more of an element of risk involved, I think a vintage table would be the best bet at your pricepoint to fully communicate the warm, transitorized character of the great Motown albums. Consider a vintage Sondek or Thorens TD-150/160, and work down from there. You never know, a $100 Dual off eBay could be enough to put you in analog heaven.
     
  9. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    You don't sound confused, rather that you know what you are about. Sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing. It's all quality, don't agonise, buy, enjoy the music.
    I don't have a recommendation, but as a Brit I like Rega's and Michell's, which are made over here. So simply to say that you may find some sweet deals on the RP6 now it has just been replaced by the new Planar 6, with dealers looking to shift stock. I've played Motown and soul on my (once new now) old Planar 3 for 35 years now. I think the warm sound works both ways, particularly on the 60s singles era cuts. You've got a very nice inheritance.
     
  10. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can tell you that a Denon 301 mkII sounds good on a Mudic Hall MMF-7, I have it, but as others have pointed out it's not the choice for 45's where it could cause damage if the records are styrene, not vinyl. For older LPs it's a fine cartridge.

    I'm sure you could find a nice vintage table for a whole lot less than yiur budget though. I just lucked into a gorgeous 35 year old Kenwood KD700D direct drive manual with auto lift and stop for $300 in great condition on Craig's List last weekend. Put on the 301mkII and it's sounding mighty fine.

    There are always great cartridge offers here on the Forum classifieds to consider, turntables as well. Right now there's a VPI Traveler for $800 (no Csrt), and a fab U-Turn Orbit Plus package deal for $450 shipped. This includes the Pluto preamp and a nice cartridge upgrade.
     
  11. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
  12. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    Oh and I purchased a used VPI HW19 MK4 with the thick acrylic platter from the scoutmaster and PT-9 tonearm. I also have the Hana EL cartridge. Sounds AMAZING (on new records)

    A forum user from another site is building me a preamp.
     
  13. mawst95

    mawst95 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    DC
    Ah and one other thing. I bought a Record Doctor V from Amazon (used-very good) and it arrived with the poorly constructed case destroyed. Amazon refunded me and told me to keep it. So I spent all last night with glue and caulk and rebuilt it and sealed it. I looks like Frankenstein's (Record Cleaning) Monster but it actually works. By "works" I mean it turns on and pulls a vacuum. Part of me is tempted to put the motor and innards into a new box. But seriously, this thing may work, but it's built out of what looks like 1/4" cardboard.
     
  14. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    That's fine. They could look almost identical. I mark them using a Sharpie fine point. ".6" ".7" ".3x.7" or whatever your codes would be, with a piece of white label if you get one in black plastic. For super security, cover those markings with a bit of clear tape so the markings don't rub off over time. (Or get three carts and three headshells and mark those!) Everything seems good and is probably going to sound great, or as good as possible.
    If you want to be really um, detailed, you can get removable white labels and put a tiny cut piece on each 45 noting which stylus the particular 45 sounds best with, preferably in the groove leadout area and not on the label, if there's room.
     
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