New MidFi Setup $2K Turntable Budget Suggestions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Tubby, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    1200mk7 and 1500C seem to be mostly the same build quality, really they are just different feature sets. All Technics turntables are now made in Malaysia.

    GR is still likely more solid and less prone to “what if?” thoughts going forward (though, as a GR owner, I totally “what if?” after a G on occasion…). My approach with this stuff, generally, is that unless the price difference will actually create a hardship of some kind, I’m less likely to regret going for the highest model I can afford in a product line.

    However, you may very well be happy with a 1500C, especially if the feature set is more like what you’d prefer.
     
    Boltman92124 likes this.
  2. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Right. The only downside of the MK7. I don't think it will bug me when I get one hopefully sooner than later. I want a silver one too.
     
  3. Tubby

    Tubby Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD
    Why is the 1500C more than the MK7? Is it just the built in preamp and cartridge?
     
  4. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Or the GAE! That is a pretty turntable. I think it's not available anymore
    Yup. And auto lift at the end of the LP side. Different animal. Better choice for plug and play.
     
  5. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    I'm sure you'll love it. And I prefer the silver on that also.
    Perhaps look for a rubber mat?
    And hopefully the alignment tool is included. If not, they're < $10 on Amazon.
     
    Boltman92124 likes this.
  6. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.

    Plus the auto lift at the end of the LP.
     
  7. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Yeah I've already got plenty of mats including the Technics rubber. Technics jigs, protractors and carts mounted on headshells galore! Gotta patio project from my wife gets priority right now..hopefully by XMas!
     
    Slick Willie likes this.
  8. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I wouldn't sell the phono stage short. I'd get an AT-VM95ML, Darlington Labs MM-6, and a Technics with what's left.
     
  9. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    what controls the volume?
     
  10. Tubby

    Tubby Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD
    There are controls on the top of the primary speaker, there's a remote control, and then mostly the Kef Connect app. There's nothing that controls the output volume of the phonostage into the Kef though.
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  11. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    We’re used techincs tt’s ruled out?
     
  12. Tubby

    Tubby Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD
    I haven't really considered used as I'm not knowledgeable enough to spot issues or to dig deep through preferred versions. Also, warranties are cool.
     
    JackG likes this.
  13. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I love my 2008 SL-1200 MkII since I raised and cared for it, I know where it's been. Too many what-if's with used 1200s for me.
     
  14. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    Yes I went through all of that, in my case I wanted full auto which is tough to find in new TT's. I went with this guy, and am super happy. He does a great job, might be worth perusing his wares.

    Items for sale by turntabletom | eBay
     
  15. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    I specifically avoided the used 1200's, but there are other technics which are likely less abused by DJ's out there.
     
    JackG likes this.
  16. Tubby

    Tubby Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD
    I found a site that says they have an SL-1210GR in stock. Checking to see if they can offer me a package deal on a cart and preamp. These things seem to be rare as hen's teeth in the US right now.
     
  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    is the output of a phono stage enough to get the most out of the KEF's internal amp?
    i'm thinking an actial line stage with phono might be the best way to improve your sound.
     
  18. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Shop slow and shop used/open box etc.

    M~
     
    Oscillation likes this.
  19. Davey

    Davey NP: Maarja Nuut ~ Hinged (LP direct from Maarja)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Might make more sense to do the A/D conversion on your own instead of using the KEF built-in convertor, and then send that to the speaker at the target resolution, I think they work at 96K/24 with a wireless connection. But who knows, you'd have to experiment for best results, I doubt the KEF is really optimized for analog inputs since there is just one 3.5mm jack now, and they don't provide any specifications for it. Presumably the input sensitivity is setup for a normal phono preamp output, since that is mainly what they advertise it is there for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  20. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    BTW, your original option of a Rega P6 would also be excellent. It's a P3 with all the mods people eventually add to it. Superb tonearm used on many higher end turntables. Rega's work well with Rega carts and the Exact cart brings the price to your budget of $2k without a phono pre-amp. Maybe add the Cambridge Phono pre for $200 and that's your budget there.
    That's what I was thinking too. Maybe a solid under $1k integrated with phono and the rest on the TT.
     
    avanti1960 and Rick58 like this.
  21. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Not to argue, but in my experience anyway, 24/96 conversion is transparent ... Why would the KEF NOT be 'optimized for analog inputs'? or have enough gain when used with the 1500C internal preamp? I don't know of course, but thinking the 1500C internal preamp should put out a 'line level' suitable for a common/standard line input on a preamp, which the KEF 3.5mm jack seems to be.

    "the KEF built-in converter" ...? is it 24/96? or some lower res? For this, seems like 16/44.1 should be sufficient ... if it's 24 bit, so much the better (or just reduces/eliminates concern for fidelity).

    PS/Edit: "All sources are resampled to either 24-bit/96kHz PCM" or higher ... seems more than sufficient.

    "Analog Input: The LS50 Wireless II also features an analog stereo minijack (3.5mm) audio input. This is a line-level input (not a Phono input). If you want to connect a turntable, you'll need an external phono preamplifier (sold separately) or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp." The 1500C has an apparently pretty decent built in phono preamp ...

    PPS: Not that a Rega or whatever could be as good or better ... but the 1500C seems like a pretty good all in one solution.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  22. Davey

    Davey NP: Maarja Nuut ~ Hinged (LP direct from Maarja)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Must be different levels of transparency, because my experience digitizing vinyl at 24/96 is clearly not transparent. Hopefully the KEF does a better job than my relatively inexpensive gear.

    The KEF only provides one unspecified analog auxiliary input, and a multitude of digital inputs, that is all I meant, it is clearly (in my view) designed as a digital input speaker, so likely not optimized for analog. But note my comment was in response to avanti suggesting a line stage may be a good addition.
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  23. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Point taken ... my 'experience' is just with intermediate 24/96 ADA conversions using a KRK ERGO in a previous system, not digitizing vinyl per se. I didn't hear anything amiss when using the ERGO in bypass mode or out of circuit ... but now I have higher end gear so maybe I would. (Edit: actually the only difference is the preamp, so I probably/possibly still wouldn't.)

    I don't know that digitizing vinyl to 24/96 or higher would be totally absolutely transparent if your gear is highly resolving, which it seems to be. But not having to go thru the extra 'hassle' to play records might be worth it much of the time, which I assume is why folks do this (and saving wear on records/stylus).

    There's always going to be an upgrade path! So depending on the OP's needs/desires there are certainly several first steps than can be taken.
     
  24. Tubby

    Tubby Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD
    I've used my Sony turntable and cheap preamp into the 3.5mm jack on the back of the Kef with no level issues. What it does do though is expose just how bad my current setup sounds. It works the same way my old setup with the Sonos Play 5 did. It sounded fine back then, ignorance is bliss and all that, but now it's garbage comparatively speaking. I have a masters pressing of Steely Dan's Aja that I was comparing to the Tidal MQA stream. The vinyl was pretty much unlistenable. The bass was boomy mush, the cymbals were hash, and the sibilance on the vocals was painful.
     
  25. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    Aja was written to be played through a vintage technics, dual, or pioneer turntable :)
     

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