Can a cheap turntable damage records (MY 1ST POST!)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dennis1077, Jan 5, 2010.

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  1. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well, I finally bought the turntable. I went with the Pro-Ject Debut iii and have had it hooked up for a few days now. I certainly didn't notice any major differences in the sound quality from my Pioneer but you can certainly TELL it's "better." The tonearm seems so light in comparison to the Pioneer.

    I'm eternally second guessing whether I have the tonearm set up correctly. I had a major goof at first and the tonearm was pressing down WAY too hard on my records. I THINK it's set up correctly now but one record in particular has me wondering about the accuracy of my set up.

    The record is a very cool first edition of Black Sabbath Volume 4. True, it's older than me, but it doesn't seem to be visually warped in any way. When I went to play it, the needle started jumping all over the place. I quickly took the record off the turntable and I haven't had a problem with any other records. Not sure if it's the result of an improper set-up or just a bad record.
     
  2. hukkfinn

    hukkfinn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Delaware
    To answer the original question,
    No but a cheap stylus could. Also any turntable/stylus can harm records if set up incorrectly.
    Hukk
     
  3. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    Hope you enjoy it! Your turntable should have instructions for setting up the correct tracking force, and it should be fairly easy to do. RTFM is the rule. (Read The Finely-written Manual).
     
  4. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ha! This manual is certainly not "finely-written." I have found it to be eternally confusing and quite misleading! You Tube has proven to be my savior as it provided an excellent video on the set-up. I would have been lost without it!
     
  5. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    If it is just Vol. 4, maybe that lp is damaged. I know I abused my copy of all my Black Sabbath favorites (Paranoid, Masters of Reality, Vol. 4) back in the day, wearing out the grooves playing it with a cheap, BSR changer.
     
  6. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perhaps. It certainly is old but LOOKS like it's in great shape. A shame, as it's age made it very cool. It was a relic from a time in music I missed completely and wish I could have been there. I'll search another copy down but 1st editions are so damn cool!
     
  7. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Just because it looks clean and free of scratches doesn't mean it doesn't have wear. This is one of the frustrating things about vinyl. Sometimes a copy that looks a little worn or even scratched plays fine, while a clean looking lp doesn't.
     
  8. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

  9. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Absolutely. I brought a turntable home from Goodwill a couple years that "looked fine" but totally destroyed the first record I played.
     
  10. Jay F

    Jay F New Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I haven't had any problems with mine as far as skipping is concerned. The worst aspect has been surface noise on some records, and that's the records, not the TT. Moreover, I can tell on non-noisy records, of which I have quite a few now, compared to the way my last cart/table combo played them, that the table is set up very well. I get no inner groove distortion at all on any records.

    Where did you buy the turntable, and did they help you with setting up the counterweight and anti-skate? I found that bit of direction a little confusing in the setup booklet. I called needle doctor, and the guy walked me through it and, as I said, it sounds just right to me now.
     
  11. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Not to be a snob, but you should save your money for something better. You can find used Paradigms or PSBs (random examples of affordable good quality speakers--there are many others of course) on Audiogon that won't cost a whole lot more than those Sonys, but will sound a whole lot better (and likely help reveal the sonic differences between your 2 turntables that you apparently aren't hearing).
     
  12. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That's funny you mentioned surface noise. I noticed that surface noice seems more prominant, which I attribute to the needle getting deeper into the grooves. I'm going to buy the "Spin Clean" record washer as soon as it comes off backorder. I know most people would suggest a vacume type cleaner but I'm simply not in a financial position to buy one.

    Somewhere in this thread, someone provided a link to a You Tube video where an online distributor did an amazing job at demonstrating proper set up. Thank God for that video. I would have been lost without it.
     
  13. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    LOL. No, be a snob. The reason I posted this here was I value your opinions than anyone these Amazon reviews. Is there a website you recomend where I could buy speakers from?
     
  14. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Oops. Just realized you DID give me the website.
     
  15. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    When it comes to speakers, think quality, not quantity, and get away from Sony. There are way better options out there, whether you decide on bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. Take your time, audition some speakers at B & M retailers, even search locally on Craigslist. Here is just a couple of examples I just looked up on Philly Craigslist, price ranging from $70 to $400. Of course, you may be able to negotiate even better deals if you show up with cash.

    Here is one option, a pair of vintage Polk Monitor 10. Just make sure the drivers are in perfect condition. http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/ele/1609266769.html

    Wharfedale http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/ele/1599175001.html

    Focal/JM Labs (this looks promising) http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/ele/1593432449.html

    PSB (Price looks right and these should smoke your Sonys) http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/ele/1591796933.html

    Paradigm http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/ele/1615079057.html
     
  16. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Damn, Craig's List is banned on the network at work. I'm going to have to wait until I get home to look at these.
     
  17. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    And you can also start to plan your upgrade in amplification.
     
  18. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Meaning my reciever?
     
  19. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Yes.
     
  20. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Man, this getting to be really expensive. For now, I'll have to settle for a pair of modest speakers.
     
  21. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

  22. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
  23. mrt2

    mrt2 Active Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    It does look promising, but I don't feel comfortable buying speakers without hearing them. Speakers, even if otherwise comparable pricewise, still vary a lot.
     
  24. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's a very small, very cramped room in a boarding house (the joys of being a poor Graduate student!).
     
  25. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You also have better ears than me. I'm sure you can hear different colors in different speakers. I can't hear that.

    Hell, until a few months ago, the nicest set-up I had was an all in one system from Wal-Mart that cost $80.
     
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