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Topic: Planning a vinyl setup (Read 3390 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Eldo
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Planning a vinyl setup
Hi! I am planning on making the dive into vinyl with special interest in vinyl -> digital conversion. I'm pretty new to the hi-fi audio scene, and have been doing most of my learning by reading old threads on the subject here.

Anyway, I am planning on spending somewhere around $400-$500ish on a setup, here is what I have planned.

(Used) Technics SL1200-MK2 turntable
Audio Technica AT440MLa cartridge
Project Phonobox or NAD-PP1 preamp
M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard

1) Preamp
I'm open to suggestions on the preamp. I ebayed a little bit and didn't any of the two preamps I listed, and I didn't see them on audiogon. I remember some people saying that $30 is too cheap for a preamp but $60 would be fine, I found the Project preamp new for $120, but there weren't many places selling it online from what I saw, although I haven't done an exhaustive search. So my question here is, would it be worth it to get something like the project preamp for $120, or are there some decent $60ish ones you could recommend. If the project preamp would survive a full equipment upgrade that could happen years down the line I'd be fine with it, but I was under the impression that there were some preamps in the $300ish range that would be better match with more expensive equipment.

2) Mixer
I've read that I might need a mixer between the preamp and the soundcard, I am guessing this is something I can try without first and just snag later if I do need it? How obvious will it be, is there an easy way to tell once I get things set up?

3) Output
So I've read M-Audio 2496 card is really top notch and I am really looking forward to the upgrade, I've been using the crappy onboard sound :\ Right now I have Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Speakers, I'm planning on upgrading within 6 months or so, but for now how should I connect the Klipsch to the soundcard? The Audiophile 2496 has just two RCA output connections, so can I just get a RCA stereo -> single 3.5mm converter? or would I need something between them?

4) Anything else
I'm mostly concerned with getting the hardware within the next month or so then I'll start researching the digitalization stuff, I've bookmarked several nice guides and some software. I'd love for any other comments on my planned setup.

Thanks for reading
Andrew

  • AndyH-ha
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Planning a vinyl setup
Reply #1
If the soundcard input (phono preamp to soundcard) is not clipping, you don’t need a mixer. You might feel better about some LP transfers if you can amplify the signal being fed to the soundcard, but you probably will not be able to identify an analogue amplified vs unamplified recording once both are normalized to the same level -- unless the mixer is poor enough to add significant noise and/or distortion.

I’m assuming the speakers you have are "active" and thus require no separate amplifier. In that case, you only need a cable that makes the connection between their plug and those on the soundcard.

The Technique TT has an excellent reputation. Quite a few come onto the used market from time to time. They are quite sturdy and last a long time but DJs sometime unload their totally worn out equipment. You need a way to verify that what you buy still has decent specs.

  • Axon
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  • Members (Donating)
Planning a vinyl setup
Reply #2
I have the 1200+440ML combo and it's great. I'm upgrading to an OC9, but largely for reasons that are not directly related to sound quality.

The 440 happens to be a particularly poor match for the 1200's tonearm, though - resonance is at 7hz. But it shouldn't result in anything particularly audible.

You'll want to inspect the platter for evenness and make sure there isn't any play in the tonearm, etc. But the 1200 really does have a sterling reputation for reliability.

  • Eldo
  • [*]
Planning a vinyl setup
Reply #3
Thanks for the replies. As of right now it looks like I am getting the turntable from a turntable repair person who does this type of thing as a hobby, but came recommended from the owner of the local vinyl shop. He just got a pair of technics 1200s that were previously used for DJing, but it sounds like he knows what he is doing and will be able to do any required repairs to them if necessary.

Just looking some feedback on the phono preamp choice and I think I should be set.

Thanks again

  • botface
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Planning a vinyl setup
Reply #4
Thanks for the replies. As of right now it looks like I am getting the turntable from a turntable repair person who does this type of thing as a hobby, but came recommended from the owner of the local vinyl shop. He just got a pair of technics 1200s that were previously used for DJing, but it sounds like he knows what he is doing and will be able to do any required repairs to them if necessary.

Just looking some feedback on the phono preamp choice and I think I should be set.

Thanks again

IMO the Project phono box is superior the NAD. It is sometimes criticised for having low output but that may benefit you as I don't think the M-Audio card has "+4db/-10db" switching and is easily run into clipping by typical domestic hi-fi gear. The Project's lowish output would probably obviate the need for a mixer to control the input levels. Do also have a look at Graham Slee's phono stages. He does several and I think his cheapest is only a little bit more expensive than the Project - I can't remember the model number though