How can one turntable sound better than another?

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

  1. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Availability is an issue as well. Retailers are listing these as "ship date unknown."
    BrentB likes this.
  2. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    This sounds like my ex-wife, so hold that 'keeper' thought.

    I used to dem equipment many years ago and always advised that the customer brought a friend along, as in my experience if you're under stress from potentially spending £2,000 the other person is more likely to hear even big differences.

    My ex was the cause of me spending £4,000 rather than £2K, on a turntable and whilst that was the biggest difference we always came away with something 'better'
  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    Since you're very new at this and I don't know if you already have a table this would be my suggestion.

    For starters, there is always something better, there is always a desire to upgrade. At some point we all should be able to find what works for us and is enough, good enough for us.

    Buy a older used table on the second hand market, something that is known and in demand.
    Something like spending $500- $1200 on it, you can then look for cartridges in a price point of $400-$800. This is plenty for a beginner, far far more than most start really learning with.

    Learn all aspects of setting up a table, all about record care and over coming obstacles in playback and system setup. Learn how to shop for good records and what make a record good, learn to listen, learn to hear the differences in different same titles by comparing them. Learn what sound qualities you like and how to get that with your system, table cartridge and phono staging.

    Once you'v got a very good grasp on setting up tables, systems and what is a quality record, then set your sights higher.

    The used in demand older table will sell for about the same price you paid, there isn't a loss in doing this. The cartridge or cartridges you started to use might be what you like and could be kept and still used on a new/different table.

    What makes a good table and vinyl frontend is us learning what is good in the first place. We can't do that without hands on and working with records and system components. Clicking a mouse and having some $2000 table setup with a cartridge land on our porch teaches nothing. Many older tables in the price point I stated above with a good cartridge as said above can be a far better table than something new in the $2000 price point.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021 at 9:17 AM
    dennis1077 likes this.
  4. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I bought myself a Project Debut iii about 10 years ago. Besides some ultra-cheap $99 record player prior, the Project has been my only turntable.

    Much of what your saying makes sense. Still, buying used intimidates me.

    I wonder if jumping from a beginner table straight to an expensive unit is doing myself a disservice.
    dmcnelly likes this.
  5. dmcnelly

    dmcnelly Grammy Award Loser

    Checking out the rest of your system, I don't think you're doing yourself a disservice at all. If vinyl is your main squeeze, you should get yourself an upgraded table.
    dennis1077 likes this.
  6. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Victoria, B.C.
    A ten year old working Debut III has got to be some sort of milestone.

    When your state of shock wears off, you'll be wondering why you put up with the Debut III for so long.:winkgrin:

    luckybaer likes this.
  7. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    You'll probably get over it, unless it really clashes with your decor.
    Manhar Patel likes this.
  8. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Forget the resonance (which may well be a problem).
    The bigger problem is that a stiff stylus will not wiggle enough on a light tonearm because it will simply wiggle the arm instead of wiggling the stylus.
    You need a lot of mass on the headshell and at the rear of the arm to balance a lot of mass.
    A lot of mass and the stylus will move with vigor and make BASS!.

    I tried running the Denon (which is just as stiff as your cartridge) WITHOUT adding a lot of mass to my Technics.
    Guess what?
    No BASS!

    The good news is your tonearm headshell has the option of screwing +4gr headshell weights onto the headshell.
    I used two of them super glued together for 8gr plus headshell.
    I used an 11 gr headshell.
    I used BRASS mounting bolts for weight (2 grams extra weight---yay!).
    Then I went to Home Depot and got a screw that would thread up the rear of the arm tube which on my table seemed to have some kind of threads up in there.
    I drilled out some coins )or use washers if you like) and screwed enough weight on to balance the extra heavy headshell.

    All in all I probably increased the mass from the teens up into the high 20s which is ideal.
    I get terrific bass and wonderful tone.
    My resonance is great too.

    Go ahead and try it without any mods first---but I'm guessing a trip to Home Depot is in your future.
    And don't sweat it---you will get this done right and get wonderful sound and a lot better tone than the boys that don't know what they are doing with the OC9.
    Sterling1 likes this.
  9. Davey

    Davey NP: Maarja Nuut ~ Hinged

    SF Bay Area, USA
    The AT-OC9XML isn't stiff, the compliance is around 25cu, so opposite your 103, you don't want to load it down with too much mass or it will get sloppy sounding.
    Sterling1 likes this.
  10. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    I don't own one.

    I mistakenly thought Sterling1 was having a problem with a too stiff LOMC. WRONG!
    Apparently Audio Technica has made the AT-OC9XML a lot more compliant than I expected.

    Surely some one else on here is running an AT-OC9XML and can chime in on real world experience with resonance figures.
    I shall now shut up and return to my regularly scheduled performance...
    C.Ludwig likes this.

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