Monday, 2 June 2008

Turntable Decisions

From not wanting to use vinyl, to wanting to switch to vinyl has been a quick and steep learning curve. Having read up on the Internet as much as I could fine relating to vinyl, it appears that there is a wide range of choices and opinions regarding turntables. The Project RMP5 and Rega P3 seems to be a consistent theme when discussion relates to starter turntables of a decent quality. Over the weekend, I visited a local audio shop and had a look at the RPM5. It looks to be a decent unit, and well made. However, the salespeople were unwilling to hook with the demo unit and play some music through it. Apparently they said that "it would sound different". Obviously. Not great service. The intention is to purchase a decent unit, with a decent resale or trade-in value so that if this vinyl experiement works out, it can be upgraded to a higher quality unit. Regarding the type of cartridge, it seems universally accepted that MC cartridges will offer a better quality sound, at the cost of a lower output signal (less than 1 mV). However, it also appears that they cost more and the stylus cannot be easily (if at all) replaced. Which then leads to the phono preamp. A transformer step up from MC to MM seems to be best way to ensure that both MC and MM cartridges can be accommodated. Therefore, the two distinct questions in the phono preamp is then: 1) Active or Passive RIAA equilisation; and 2) Tube, Solid-state or hybrid amplification stages. More comments to follow, but for me, it appears that a hybrid amplication using passive equalisation may be the direction I want to head in...

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