How can one turntable sound better than another?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dennis1077, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    San Diego, CA

    Well, at least he did an equipment profile video.
  2. Acapella48

    Acapella48 Forum Resident

    Elk Grove, CA.
    Daddy Dom and vinylscuz like this.
  3. A Grain of Sand

    A Grain of Sand Well-Known Member

    Riverside, CA
    Magnetic cartridge > Ceramic cartridge.
  4. vinylscuz

    vinylscuz Well-Known Member

    Port Charlotte, FL
    Materials make a difference. I just told part of this story, on another thread, for a different reason. I bought an entry level turntable with a stock platter. I then upgraded to an acrylic platter. Resonance and low level rumble completely went away and the table went dead quiet except for music. From hearing my cousin's two Regas and my Pro Ject, motor isolation, plinth rigidity, platter, and bearing all make a difference.
    George Blair and trd like this.
  5. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    yes, that's one thing i don't like it from Rega / Project ... they sell TTs in the same price tag as other brands (like Technics or Mofi) but you then have "upgrade kits" ... so, what i bought originally? a digital speed controller as "upgrade" when the other brands sell it included at the same price?
    luckybaer and csgreene like this.
  6. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    First off, what @George Blair said. His experience mirrors my own. I was writing a story about the AT-120 and switched the AT95E cart from the AT to a Clearaudio Concept. Everything felt more solid and coherent with the Clearaudio, and instruments seemed bigger. I assumed all of that had to do with the Concept letting the AT cartridge track without interruption.
    George Blair likes this.
  7. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    Went from a Music Hall MMF-7.1 $1400 Turntable to a Perpetunia Ebner PE4040 retail $4k. Same cart, phono amp , and phono cables at the time, Denon DLS1, Icon Audio Ps1 MKII and Wireworld Platnium Eclipse 7 phono cables. Instant difference and tremendous, huge upgrade in sound…wasn’t even close. Why? Better everything design wise.
    luckybaer, GyroSE, 4-2-7 and 6 others like this.
  8. Rich C

    Rich C Forum Resident

    Northbrook, IL
    I completely agree that $1500 is a great range for getting the benefits of technologies developed in more expensive models in a given line.

    Of course a cartridge in the 75 to 100% of the price of the turntable can help out quite a bit along with proper geometry.

    The idea that signals traveling about unimpeded is all that you need is beyond ridiculous.
  9. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I've got 4 or 5 of those... no shinola.
    Bill Hart likes this.
  10. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well written. I'm learning so much from this thread.
    hi_watt and George Blair like this.
  11. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I agree, and also recognize that the tonearm typically comes along with the turntable.
  12. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This is precisely what drove me away from the Rega Planar 3. If I'm dropping over a grand on a turntable, the concept that I need to purchase several upgrades for it to perform optimally bothers me.
    luckybaer, Big Blue and csgreene like this.
  13. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    United States
    The quality of the turntable is the main reason a table sounds better than another. The cart adds flavor, sure, and all together is synergy.
    GyroSE and hi_watt like this.
  14. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    That's non-sense though. It's spread by the sour grapes crowd. Think about it without that misinformation about "optimal performance" for a moment. One thing is clear from life experiences and from scientific observation, and that is that nothing is "perfect". So optimal is a place that we might randomly assign according to budget or aesthetics, or whatever subjective view we take at the time.

    There cannot be one "perfect" machine. All engineered products are designed with compromises. What you get with any product is a its performance at its price point. yeah, you could add additional components or swap out parts. Or yeah, you could take that same money and buy the next level product. In short, you don't "need" to do anything.

    What I like chiefly about certain audio products is how they sound. Functionality and longevity is important too. I actually used a Rega Planar 3 turntable for 20 years without any "upgrade" to it. I did buy better cartridges and phono stages along the way. The old Planar 3 lived up to that challenge, and the latest ones are even better.
    Randoms, sturgus, popol_vuh and 3 others like this.
  15. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Cartridge choice is huge in relation to sound. Once you have at least a decently quiet table anyway. True that a really horrible "record player" type table can present a daunting road block.
  16. fretter

    fretter Forum Resident

    I definitely miss the speed adjust feature on my turntable. Adjusting the speed would make some of my albums sound better to my ears.
    dlokazip likes this.
  17. dial

    dial Well-Known Member

    Well the hifi world is really very far from science which is based on work presented to expert committees. An engineer or a physicist will work double blind and list measurements related or not to the listening sessions. Remember a vinyl is not perfect as a CD, it wears out very quickly even with a Lyra Olympos or a Zyx Universe on a SAT (don't miss the argument of the firm concerning their product which would go so far as to be precise to the billionth of a mm). Also sound memory is not able to retain all sound characteristics precisely.
  18. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Yup. It's why I wouldn't go near either brand.
  19. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Cloverdale, CA
    Suspended decks is the best when it comes to isolation. We switch back and forth between 3 and a great arm on a mediocre deck is a waste...

    Until you hear a nice piece over a length of time is hard to gest the gist of what anyone says.
    C.Ludwig likes this.
  20. Daddy Dom

    Daddy Dom Lodger

    New Zealand
    Let's take a V8 and put it in a $500 town car.
    Now let's put the identical motor in a $5,000 sports car.

    Just forget about tyres, chassis, brakes, transmission.
    Are they both going to drive and handle the same around a track?

    That guy sounds an idiot to me.
    Danilo likes this.
  21. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Just as some people have better eyesight than others, some have better hearing and are able to detect subtle variations in pitch, resonance, decay, and distortion. Some just have money to burn.
    formu_la and trd like this.
  22. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    And then they get older and their hearing goes to shyte. Loss of high frequency hearing, tinnitus, etc. Like the old saying, "Youth is wasted on the young."
  23. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Ontario Canada
    Guessing you haven't listened to either brand?
    popol_vuh likes this.
  24. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Of course, I have. :rolleyes:
  25. vinylscuz

    vinylscuz Well-Known Member

    Port Charlotte, FL
    I agree. It's hard to understand why turntable companies that have six or eight slots have upgrades for them also. My excuse was, I got the turntable really cheap and I was curious what resonance was. I understood resonance from the bell of a clarinet but couldn't see what it could be in an electro mechanical device played through my stereo. I'm tickled I was curious. I'm glad I was curious about phono amps too.

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