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12/20/14 at 02:37:09


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Turn Table questions (Read 496 times)
Digger
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Turn Table questions
03/08/14 at 02:06:09
 
Hi Guys,
     I know I'm in the right place to get good answers and some possible good suggestions. I absolutely no nothing about turn tables and have two different turn tables to ask questions about. I'll start out with my brother in laws situation first. He has a very low volume situation so were figuring he may need to add a preamp. The question I have is there another option he can try like a new cartridge is it possible to increase the out put by changing cartridges rather than doing a preamp? I do not know what brand he has my sister purchased it for him he said it was a half way decent turn table.
      My question is my father gave me an Akai AP-Q60 direct drive quartz turntable. I was wondering if there is a way to upgrade the IC's going from the turn table to my preamp or is this something I shouldn't be concerned about? They are direct wired into the unit this is a fairly large turn table. With all of the vinyl being spun on this site I figured I owe it to myself to give it a try on my tube set up to see what I have been missing. I haven't hooked it up yet to see what the condition of the needle and cartridge may be but am looking forward to giving it a try. I will probably need to get around 8' long interconnects to reach the turn table.

Thanks in advance for your advise!


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Lord Soth
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Re: Turn Table questions
Reply #1 - 03/08/14 at 12:48:06
 
Hi Digger,

I have a simple Technics Turntable setup and have some rudimentary knowledge in this area.

For your brother-in-law's case, the output from the turntable is too low.
Hence a turntable preamp, nowadays, is always required.
Normally, MM cartridges require less preamping than MC cartridges.

For your other question, audiophiles are usually more concerned about upgrading the internal Tonearm wiring than the external interconnects.
Any decent IC should suffice.
The usual rules about keeping ICs as short as possible also applies too.

There is a very steep learning curve for Turntables.

The following Turntable online forum might be of use to you.

http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/index.php

Good Luck! Smiley
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Lon
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Re: Turn Table questions
Reply #2 - 03/08/14 at 13:18:41
 
More than just because of low signal output, a phono preamp circuit is required because there is an EQ applied to the signal cut into the record grooves that needs to be reversed for playback. In the old days these were built into integrated amps and receivers, of varying quality, but these days a separate phono preamp is required. There are many available, from a 20 dollar to much much more expensive models.
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jsm71
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Re: Turn Table questions
Reply #3 - 03/08/14 at 14:59:02
 
Turntable cartridges all vary in the amount of output voltage they generate.  This is really all over the map and the amount of gain required will vary based on this, but a phono preamp is absolutely required.  Many preamps also include a phono stage as a convenience.  

Steve's ZP3 is a stand alone phono preamp and a very good one, but even that may not yield enough gain if the cartridge is classified as low output, often associated with moving coil designs.  Steve sells step up transformers in varying strengths to assist low output moving coil designs so that by the time the signal hits the ZP3 it can be handled effectively.  A moving magnet cartridge most often has enough output voltage so that the ZP3 alone will do its thing.  

Others talked about reverse equalization.  The recording industry uses the RIAA curve to encode signals on vinyl.  RIAA equalization is a specification for the recording and playback of phonograph records, established by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  I pasted that last sentence straight from Wikipedia.  Phono preamps deal with this.  

If you can find out the make and model of the cartridge in question everyone can jump in with more guideance.  Don't worry about messing with the IC on the Akai table.

For a beginner or someone on a budget there are many excellent moving magnet (MM) cartriges out there.  This often allows you to avoid getting a step up transformer (SUT).  Moving coil (MC) cartridges come in both high output and low output designs.  Most vinyl audiophiles avoid the high output moving coil (HOMC) designs as they feel they don't bring enough detail, but some of these can be run without the SUT.  LOMC carts are the realm of most vinyl junkies and they can cost into the thousands of dollars, and they will require a SUT along with the phono preamp.  

The good news today with tons of new tables hitting the market is that one can get a very usable table and cartridge combined for under $1k.  A phono preamp will also be needed of course.  My TT setup cost me about $1,500 total and it sounds great.  I do have a preamp with a built-in phono front end to drive it.  When I upgrade some day I will have to likely triple that investment to get a real noticable lift.  Vinyl is worth that investment howerver IMO.

I hope that helps and doesn't scare you off.
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Digger
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Re: Turn Table questions
Reply #4 - 03/08/14 at 23:16:28
 
  Hey Guys,
     Thanks for the information I will look into trying to find out the brand of turntable and cartridge in my brother in laws turn table for some more cross referencing. I was wondering about the IC's on the Akai and am glad I should proceed with what it has on it. I just feel I need to experience some vinyl running through this system its been since the early to mid 80's since playing any vinyl and not on a system remotely close to what I have today should be a good experience.

      Thanks again! I appreciate every ones input I know I'm not working with any high end turntable or anything but should be a fun experience to hear it again.

Keep on spinning them!




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