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Topic: Advise about upgrading my sound system (Read 7890 times) previous topic - next topic
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Advise about upgrading my sound system

Hey guys, last Christmas my dad gave me a turntable so I can enjoy the sound of vinyl. I really like of the sound of it and I think it's time for a little upgrade.
The thing is, this is not my area and I don't know what should be replaced in order to archive a better sound...

So, I'm asking the good ppl at hydrogen what's the next logical to enjoy my music even better 

I have the following equipment:

Pro-Ject Debut II (the link is to Debut III)

Pro-Ject Phono Box MM

Marantz SR 5300

Jamo E850

Don't know what brand the cables are but they look very professional 

Oh, and I'm kinda on a budget here, so no high end speakers please, I'm hoping replacing the cartridge or something 

Thanks!

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #1
Hey guys, last Christmas my dad gave me a turntable so I can enjoy the sound of vinyl. I really like of the sound of it and I think it's time for a little upgrade.
The thing is, this is not my area and I don't know what should be replaced in order to archive a better sound...

So, I'm asking the good ppl at hydrogen what's the next logical to enjoy my music even better 

I have the following equipment:

Pro-Ject Debut II (the link is to Debut III)

Pro-Ject Phono Box MM

Marantz SR 5300

Jamo E850

Don't know what brand the cables are but they look very professional 

Oh, and I'm kinda on a budget here, so no high end speakers please, I'm hoping replacing the cartridge or something


Besides having money burning a hole in your pocket, what don't you like about your current situation?

Generally speaking, your best buy in upgrades is either acoustical or a transducer. The later means mics, cartridges, and speakers.

If you're serious about vinyl, a good test record for checking your setup and its adjustment out with might be a good investment.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #2
Besides having money burning a hole in your pocket, what don't you like about your current situation?

Generally speaking, your best buy in upgrades is either acoustical or a transducer. The later means mics, cartridges, and speakers.

If you're serious about vinyl, a good test record for checking your setup and its adjustment out with might be a good investment.


Thanks for your reply.

The main issue is that the records sounds much better in higher volume. I was looking for a more clear sound too. And I think I could have some boost to the mids too...my AV receiver only has bass and treble control...

A test record is a particular type of record or can be any record?
I have Axis: Bold as Love and I think it's the best sounding record I own.

Thanks!

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #3
A test record is a particular type of record or can be any record?
I have Axis: Bold as Love and I think it's the best sounding record I own.


A test disk is specifically for testing.  A test CD might have, for instance, tracks with voice saying "This is the left Channel, the Right Channel, the Center",  various straight and warble tones to test frequency response, A track to test for reversed phase between the 2 channels, tones with various amounts of even and odd harmonic distortion.

I don't know about a test record... maybe something more  for testing cartridge alignment or anti-skate.


Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #4
The main issue is that the records sounds much better in higher volume. I was looking for a more clear sound too. And I think I could have some boost to the mids too...my AV receiver only has bass and treble control...

Are you saying that you find that some of your LPs sound harsh when they have loud passages on them?

Quote
A test record is a particular type of record or can be any record?


A test record is a LP with special tracks on it for doing more technical tests on LP playback equipment. One of the classics is the HiFi News Test LP:

Hi Fi News test LP

One can use test LPs like this to help isolate problems with LP playback systems.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #5
Are you saying that you find that some of your LPs sound harsh when they have loud passages on them?

No, I'm saying that I like the sound of my records when I listen to them at a higher volume.

Quote
A test record is a LP with special tracks on it for doing more technical tests on LP playback equipment. One of the classics is the HiFi News Test LP:

Hi Fi News test LP

One can use test LPs like this to help isolate problems with LP playback systems.


That's expensive 

Thing is, I don't think I have a problem with my sound system, I just wan't make a little upgrade...you know one step closer to archive perfection   

Thanks!

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #6
Quote
The main issue is that the records sounds much better in higher volume. I was looking for a more clear sound too. And I think I could have some boost to the mids too...my AV receiver only has bass and treble control...
I'm not sure what would make it sound "more clear"...  You can effectively boost the mids by reducing the bass & treble and then adjusting-up the volume.  Otherwise, you might want to get a graphic equalizer[/b][/u].  Most equalizers are 2-channel stereo and you typically connect it to your tape-monitor loop on your receiver.  Or you can connect it between your phono preamp and your receiver.

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Thing is, I don't think I have a problem with my sound system, I just wan't make a little upgrade...you know one step closer to archive perfection.
  If there are no problems or weak points, it's hard to improve.  If you want to make a "change", an equalizer can make big changes.  With analog, you can spend lots of money trying to get closer to perfection.  But, no matter how much you spend, it's still analog and you are still going to have more noise, distortion (and probably  more frequency response variation) than you get with a low-cost CD player.   

Otherwise, as Arnold mentioned, a different cartridge might make a difference, and all speakers sound different.   

You can plug a CD player (or computer) into your system and compare the digital sound to the turntable.  If all (or most) of the records sound "dull" compared to the digital sources, an new cartridge might help, except if all of your records are ~30 years old...  In the "vinyl days", the recordings often were lacking in high-frequencies, and you're not going to fix that with a better cartridge.  (Your treble control or an equlizer is a better fix for poor recordings.)  Some audiophiles love the "sound" of vinyl, but technically it doesn't compare to digital.  So, use CDs as your reference on the "input" side.

If the frequency-balance of the turntable seems close to digital, you should probably consider different/better speakers to improve the analog and digital sound.    (I never recommend any particular speakers...  Go to the store and listen!)

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #7
Hey guys, last Christmas my dad gave me a turntable so I can enjoy the sound of vinyl. I really like of the sound of it and I think it's time for a little upgrade.
The thing is, this is not my area and I don't know what should be replaced in order to archive a better sound...

So, I'm asking the good ppl at hydrogen what's the next logical to enjoy my music even better 

I have the following equipment:

Pro-Ject Debut II (the link is to Debut III)

Pro-Ject Phono Box MM

Marantz SR 5300

Jamo E850

Don't know what brand the cables are but they look very professional 

Oh, and I'm kinda on a budget here, so no high end speakers please, I'm hoping replacing the cartridge or something 

Thanks!

Vinyl goes with tubes.
And place close attention to the details.  Most people do not have the physical set up of their systems close to being optimized. It is somewhat understandable as they must accommodate living space or the fact that other people live there too, etc.  Pull the speakers out from the wall. Buy a cheap laser level. Literally aim the speakers at your ears, the so called nearphone set up. You might need to elevate the speakers. Put cheap sound absorption material on the wall between the speakers and at reflection points on side walls. And on the floor between you and speakers. You want direct sound. Make sure you have a solid base for turntable. Perhaps build a cheap sandbox. Put said sand in a sack. I wholeheartedly concur with having a good cartridge. Experiment with tracking angle. Grado makes some very inexpensive carts that rep good value. There is very good hookup wire that is not expensive. All of this is just a start. You can season to taste. Your system sound only has to please you.
Go to the AudioAsylum and read. All of this will cost next to nothing.  Whatever you do will enhance your digital sound.
Vinyl is meant to be used with tubes, mota, and listened to in the dark. The right setup and the right disc will throw a three dimensional sound field  that must be heard to be believed. It can get down right spooky.  Most people just don't have any idea.
Warning: it can become addictive. There will be no going back. Life as you knew it will be over. When you find yourself listening to Albert King at 2:30 in the morning, or making quarter inch speaker adjustments......well....you were warned.

http://www.bottlehead.com/

All the above IMO and YMMV.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #8

Quote
A test record is a LP with special tracks on it for doing more technical tests on LP playback equipment. One of the classics is the HiFi News Test LP:

Hi Fi News test LP

One can use test LPs like this to help isolate problems with LP playback systems.



That's expensive 

Thing is, I don't think I have a problem with my sound system, I just want make a little upgrade...you know one step closer to archive perfection   


Once you achieve a fairly minimal level of performance, further upgrades are more likely to take gobs of time and money.

One of the uses for a test record is optimizing the mechanical alignment of your cartridge. I think that someone else already pointed out that cleaning up the mechanical installation often gives significant audible benefits.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #9
Quote
Vinyl is meant to be used with tubes,
What does that mean????    Except, they are both outdated technology. 

OK... I know some audiophiles prefer vinyl & tubes, but if a tube amp sounds "better" than a good solid state amp it's because the listener prefers tube distortion.  IMO, A good amplifier should simply amplify without adding any sound character of its own.  By these standards, a good tube amp will sound identical to a good solid-state amp.    And by these standards, the main difference is that a good tube amp is far more expensive to build than an equivalent solid state amp...  In fact, a lousy tube amp is more expensive to build than a good solid state amp. 

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #10
The right setup and the right disc will throw a three dimensional sound field  that must be heard to be believed. It can get down right spooky.
...as determined through a double-blind test, I assume!

Most people just don't have any idea.
...especially if you're talking about a forum that is chocked-full of subjective audiophile woo.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #11
Vinyl goes with tubes.


Revisionist history.

SS audio gear was introduced starting in 1960, and was mainstream within 10 years. The first CD player was introduced in 1983 and was mainstream within 5 years.  Depending on how you count, there were anywhere from 13 to 23 years where SS and the LP  were used together as a rule. Since those were the last years of the LP as mainstream, they were no doubt more defining of how the technologies were used.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #12
Vinyl goes with tubes.


Revisionist history.

SS audio gear was introduced starting in 1960, and was mainstream within 10 years. The first CD player was introduced in 1983 and was mainstream within 5 years.  Depending on how you count, there were anywhere from 13 to 23 years where SS and the LP  were used together as a rule. Since those were the last years of the LP as mainstream, they were no doubt more defining of how the technologies were used.


greynol, I care not one whit for double blind testing.  I don't need it as I listen to live music and that is my reference.  There is nothing subjective about listening to a singer or acoustic jazz quartet and then taking that aural memory home with you,
DVDDoug is wrong, with all due respect. I build my own amps and preamps for cheap. I use "six nines copper" wire and Russian paper-in-oil caps purchased off Ebay.  If you want to buy ready made sand amps that is your choice. 
I haven't used an equalizer, or any tone controls, since the early eighties.  It can all be done through other means.  Bass isn't right then move your speakers, equalizers just intro more switches.  I want straight wire with gain. Little more.

I "see" Ella's three dimensional image standing in front of Tommy Flanagan at his piano. She is in the room.  I "see" the upright bass over on my right.  And the timbre is close to the timbre of the bass heard live. On Dexter Gordon's "Live at the Village Vanguard" I "see" the waitress making change at that table over to the right.  I am transported to the Village Vanguard on that night in the sixties. 

http://www.trans-fi.com/

all above IMO YMMV

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #13
greynol, I care not one whit for double blind testing.  I don't need it as I listen to live music and that is my reference.
we are not talking about ABXing live vs "Memorex".  We are talking about the differences between tubes & solid state.    Blind testing is simply science.    It would be truly amazing if you can tell the difference between your six nines copper and regular speaker cables in a blind test!  (I asssume these are speaker cables.)  It's not so impressive that you can hear the difference in a sighted test... 

Quote
DVDDoug is wrong, with all due respect.
I don't even know what you are disagreeing about...

Quote
I want straight wire with gain. Little more.
Good!  You don't need tubes for that. 

Quote
I "see" Ella's three dimensional image standing in front of Tommy Flanagan at his piano. She is in the room.  I "see" the upright bass over on my right.  And the timbre is close to the timbre of the bass heard live. On Dexter Gordon's "Live at the Village Vanguard" I "see" the waitress making change at that table over to the right.  I am transported to the Village Vanguard on that night in the sixties.
I don't doubt your ability to visualize...  Especially with the aid of "mota, and listened to in the dark". 


Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #14
I care not one whit for double blind testing.

Yet you think it's OK for you to post your subjective drivel?  I think you're in the wrong forum, completely, dude.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #15
So, are tubes and 6-nines OFC more significant in the playback system than in the recording?

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #16
Quote
Who are you to tell me I am in the wrong place?
greynol is a moderator and he's telling you that you are in the wrong place because it's against the rules to make unsubstantiated claims of audio quality.  See Tos #8[/u][/b].



 


Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #17
Quote
Who are you to tell me I am in the wrong place?
greynol is a moderator and he's telling you that you are in the wrong place because it's against the rules to make unsubstantiated claims of audio quality.  See Tos #8[/u][/b].


I apologize.  I thought that my use of the abbreviation IMO (In My Opinion) and YMMV (Your Milage May Vary) indicated that I was only stating what I hear.  But, I understand now.  I will leave. I'm more the poet than scientist.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #18
IMO and YMMV do not absolve you from TOS #8.

I was only stating what I hear.
...or more likely what your brain has steered you into hearing.  JJ Johnston (known in this forum as Woodinville) explains it quite well on this video; it's the very first presentation.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #19
I thought that my use of the abbreviation IMO (In My Opinion) and YMMV (Your Milage May Vary) indicated that I was only stating what I hear.  But, I understand now.  I will leave. I'm more the poet than scientist.


That's just it. Unless your listening evaluations are blind, you are *not* stating what you hear. You are stating what you perceive, which confuses things by including your life's history, including all of your prejudices and things that you have learned, whether true or false. 

This may seem like negative, alarmist talk, but we have learned that our prejudices can profoundly affect our perceptions, especially relating to sound quality. In this case "we" is the entire mainstream scientific community.

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #20
I care not one whit for double blind testing.


The good news is that such flawed thinking can be cured.

But, the cure requires having an open mind and being willing to learn.

Quote
I don't need it as I listen to live music and that is my reference.


I listen to about 8 hours of live music a week, and when it comes to comparing the sound quality of audio gear, the live music I listen to is not the best reference for judging sound quality.

The idea that one's memories of live music is either necessary or sufficient for judging the sound quality of audio gear is a well-debunked myth.

Quote
There is nothing subjective about listening to a singer or acoustic jazz quartet and then taking that aural memory home with you,


Actually, the process is almost entirely subjective. Here's a well-known widely-accepted book that will explain your error here in great detail, but is not too technical: "This Is Your Brain On Music".

Link to Amazon's order page for the book

If you can read and understand this book, then the error of your thinking should become clear to you.

Quote
DVDDoug is wrong, with all due respect.


So are you, but your errors seem to be far more devastating to your life as a thinking person.

Quote
I build my own amps and preamps for cheap.


That is itself wrong, because it is now impossible to build good or excellent audio gear for less than it costs to buy, fully assembled and tested.

Quote
I use "six nines copper" wire and Russian paper-in-oil caps purchased off eBay.


Both of which are totally unnecessary for the best possible quality sound reproduction. Sounds to me like you've been drinking the bad Kool Aid.

Quote
If you want to buy ready made sand amps that is your choice.


Ironic that people use the word "sand" as a prideful pejorative to denigrate excellent technology, when the tubed equipment they arrogantly and mistakenly favor have far more sand in them. 

Quote
I haven't used an equalizer, or any tone controls, since the early eighties.


You surely have used equalizers and just lately, only  by means of proxies.  BTW, you sound like a person who enjoys listening to vinyl. Do you know what a "RIAA equalizer" is?  Do you own one? So you use it?

Quote
It can all be done through other means.


Not at all. 

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Bass isn't right then move your speakers, equalizers just intro more switches.  I want straight wire with gain. Little more.


Try to move your speaker far enough to provide the benefits of a RIAA equalizer some day. Just try it! ;-)

Ever hear of the the concept of the right tool for the given purpose? 




Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #21
The main issue is that the records sounds much better in higher volume. I was looking for a more clear sound too. And I think I could have some boost to the mids too...my AV receiver only has bass and treble control...


Such a long shot that I ask you not to take this as an insult, but: Your receiver does have a dedicated "Phono" input?
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Advise about upgrading my sound system

Reply #22
The main issue is that the records sounds much better in higher volume. I was looking for a more clear sound too. And I think I could have some boost to the mids too...my AV receiver only has bass and treble control...


Such a long shot that I ask you not to take this as an insult, but: Your receiver does have a dedicated "Phono" input?



It doesn't, I had to buy Pro-Ject Phono Box MM and plug it to the CD input.

 
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