16 Replies to “Dunno How It Sounds”

  1. Most turntables $350+, especially from a nominally Japanesse maker, will sound great as long as you don’t skimp on the cartridge. But expensive isn’t always better. There are some fussy “audiophile” British belt-drive turntables that supposedly have terrible speed stability, although the sound quality itself is probably good.

  2. I’m not sure I understand the appeal of a fully manual turntable. I guess it’s akin to driving a manual transmission car. I just made my third and final attempt to set up a Project Debut III that someone handed off to me. I’m not sure if the stylus is damaged or not straight or something, but I can’t get it to move across the record.

    1. What’s happening exactly? Is the stylus not landing in the groove?

      Manual turntables became an audiophile fetish in the 70’s. Like all audiophile fetishes, it’s based on a combination of aesthetics and nonsense. The thinking was that with a manual, you would be spending your money on things enhancing sound, like a heavier plinth and platter for belt drives, or a better motor for direct drives, rather than on “unnecessary” things like automation. Fair enough, but it was also just a bias towards simplicity in general. I heard a salesman say that automation “creates extra noise,” which is silly, because the automated parts would be idle while a record’s playing. Anyway, there were plenty of great automatic turntables and lousy manual ones, so it was really a non issue unless you were deluded enough to think you needed a far better table than anyone needs for home use. I just bought Renfield Jr. an automatic turntable for a starter. It sounds pretty damn good for $150 ($120 Prime Day Sale!) and the automatic function is nice to have. I wonder if they even make top quality automatics anymore…

  3. Glad I never developed a taste for the hifi. Apparently Maxell XLII 90 high bias cassettes were not a gateway drug.

    But I’m very much here for Fat Elvis buying a conversion kit that turns a VW bug into a serviceable manual turntable. Be sure to ask for turbo.

  4. I ended up grabbing a AT-LP120XBT USB, which is….manual! It had all the features I wanted, so I wasn’t going to worry about that, though I do miss the simplicity of the stop and start button. I was going to order the Reloop, but the combination of comparable reviews, a couple hundred bucks, and being able to pick it up in a store immediately (where I could also return it) won me over.

    It sounds great. Totally happy so far.

    Ren, the Pro-Ject would either sit in the same groove, or skip incessantly. I suspect there were issues with the needle / cartridge, but I didn’t like it’s little counterweight anti-skate device, and it’s a little beat up anyway.

    1. I almost bought the same one; it was between that and the Reloop. I got an unexpected bonus, so I splurged. Same factory, so probably same motor. They’ll still be spinning after we’ve spinned off into the great beyond.

      If the problem was the stylus, it’s a good thing it was an obvious malfunction. A bad one can tear up your records. Whenever I have to adjust or change out anything, I test with a record I care nothing about. Usually this one: LD
      Lenny was clearly a badass; the record…not so much.

    2. I’m just getting the itch to upgrade my decent-but-lower-end AT-LP60 and shitty PC speakers, so thanks for the rec.

      Are you doing the wireless speakers with this turntable? If so, which ones?

      1. I’m wired, but am about to change out speakers. I’m in a small space, so will do some shelf speakers on stands. I sort of feel like playing records through a tube amp, I should stay wired.

        1. Gotcha. I’m leaning towards Bluetooth and shelf speakers.

          Also, do I need a pre-amp with this TT? If so, which do you recommend?

          1. Those come with a switchable pre-amp that’s ok. It’s probably the same one that’s in mine. I bypass mine and use this. You might be fine with the internal one. I have insane speakers that throw any weak links straight in your face. Sound was a little muddier with the internal one. Also, I’m wired, and difference might not be apparent via Bluetooth.

  5. I grew up with great stuff in the house, so I like great sound. In a reasonable world I might be called an audiophile, but audiophiles have careened so far into superstition, status-seeking, and confirmation bias that I’m happy not to qualify.

  6. To belabor this thread, I hooked up a pre-amp I had and wowza. My wife was out of the house last night and I stayed up until 3am listening to records.

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