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    Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

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    Peter W.

    Posts : 1036
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:11 am

    RANT WARNING  RANT WARNING

    First, some math:  

    Assume an elliptical stylus tracking at two (2) grams.
    Assume a typical stylus size, and assume it is not worn excessively.
    With a 33.33 rpm record, starting at 12" and finishing at 5", with the lead-in and lead-out grooves, the average diameter will be ~9".

    3.14159 x 9 = 28.27 = the number of inches in circumference.
    28.27 x 33.33 = 942.38 = the number of inches per minute the stylus will cover. Which is 78.53 feet per minute. Which is about 0.9 mph. Which is 1.44 kph.

    The bearing area of the stylus is approximately 0.0008 square mm, times two as it bears on both sides of the groove.

    2/0.0016 = 1,250 grams per square mm.
    That is 2.7575 pounds per square mm.
    That is 1779 pounds per square inch.

    So, you have a bit of the hardest natural substance known to man traveling at just under a mile per hour pushing down at nearly 1800 psi onto a bit of plastic, whilst being slammed side-to-side up to 20,000 times per second, or more.

    There will be some stress on the plastic.
    There will be friction developed.
    There will be heat developed.
    None of which matter much to the stylus.
    But very much matter to the bit of plastic.

    Upshot of the math: DO NOT play any record (that you care about) more than once in 24 hours. If you do, you risk pretty much slicing off the peaks of the groove. The 24 hours is arbitrary. 12 hours is likely enough. There are two issues: The first is that one does not wish to "anneal" the vinyl - so let the local heat dissipate slowly. This takes maybe an hour or so. But, one also does not wish to overcome the 'memory' in the plastic and permanently distort the grooves. This takes a bit longer. How much? Be safe.

    Your "Favorite Record" will be toast at the second playing - if you are using it for audition purposes.

    Now: I have kept and very much appreciated a Rabco SL8E. I was working as a machinist at the time, and had access to watchmakers' machine tools. Which allowed me to do some basic modifications. Transport noise was largely solved with the correct lubricants. Giving me an adequate arm that did take good care of the vinyl and sounded quite nice. That was in 1976. In 1978, I acquired a Rabco ST8 which I maintained for 30 years and is now in the hands of my son-in-law. And the SL8E departed to another life. I later acquired a Revox B795 which I substantially restored and is my front-line TT. I have also rebuilt a Rabco ST7 which is my back-up TT. Both, all-in, cost me substantially less than $500 each. Both perform flawlessly. Would I wish them on anyone else, especially someone unskilled? Right now, sure. But as I stated they are fussy and a PITA to maintain. One is 'committed' to such devices, not merely 'involved' with such.  

    Point being that if you want a new TT, that is fine - but keep in mind the limitations of the system. You are to protect the vinyl, then reach for the best sound you can find while doing so. You could go here:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/245727224/mag-lev-audio-the-first-levitating-turntable  

    Or, you could go here:

    https://www.deepdiscount.com/goog/4250019108969?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuafdBRDmARIsAPpBmVU5Z3kJ1yWHZDfCIoKHzJ_vFi5xZ9s3IymdI7BnfEu_XPucxIdz7NYaAmSGEALw_wcB    

    Or here:

    https://www.sound-smith.com/tonearms/souther-linear    

    Or here:

    https://uturnaudio.com/products/orbit-basic-turntable?variant=33393451914&gclid=Cj0KCQjwuafdBRDmARIsAPpBmVXXGJRhu8PqqQ09FO5xDnEGhPsqi5pRNqdOKO0IaJW-yOr54km4cgAaAoKzEALw_wcB  

    And every one of those options will protect the vinyl and give you a decent shot at decent sound. Were linear arms off the table for me, I would be right with the Uturn.

    Lastly, Auditioning turntables is a fool's game. Once you are past the most basic quality-control and functional standards, how it is set up in your listening area will have more to do with how well it sounds than anything else. How well it matches with the cartridge, how well the cartridge matches with the phono pre-amp (capacitance-matching) and such will be driving the results. In 2018, the advances in materials, bearing design, and such make what would be a $2,500 TT in 1976 a $175 TT today. Not to suggest you 'cheap-out', but that you view all your options, and pick a combination of devices that will meet your needs now and for the foreseeable future.

    Tom

    Posts : 185
    Join date : 2011-04-04

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Tom on Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:04 pm

    So what your saying is we should pick up the arm instead of dragging it back over the grooves when we want the replay the same track over again and again and again?

    Cool
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    Peter W.

    Posts : 1036
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:14 pm

    Tom wrote:So what your saying is we should pick up the arm instead of dragging it back over the grooves when we want the replay the same track over again and again and again?

    Cool

    Nah... just get a TT with a reversible motor!
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2035
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:49 pm

    Peter W. wrote:
    Tom wrote:So what your saying is we should pick up the arm instead of dragging it back over the grooves when we want the replay the same track over again and again and again?

    Cool

    Nah... just get a TT with a reversible motor!

    My first Rega came with a reversible motor. Literally ran backwards. Needless to say I was quite impressed with British QC after that. Replaced it with a VPI but the neighbours complained about the rumble it generated.

    I thought boutique cables were the ultimate unobtainium scam, but am beginning to think that title belongs to the high-end TT makers.
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    solderblob

    Posts : 46
    Join date : 2018-05-20
    Location : Placerville, California

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by solderblob on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:14 pm

    Peter W. wrote:
    Upshot of the math: DO NOT play any record (that you care about) more than once in 24 hours. If you do, you risk pretty much slicing off the peaks of the groove. The 24 hours is arbitrary. 12 hours is likely enough. There are two issues: The first is that one does not wish to "anneal" the vinyl - so let the local heat dissipate slowly. This takes maybe an hour or so. But, one also does not wish to overcome the 'memory' in the plastic and permanently distort the grooves. This takes a bit longer. How much? Be safe.

    I knew there was a reason to buy more records.  We need a minimum of two or three of the ones we like so we can let 'em rest between plays!

    dave
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    bennytehcat

    Posts : 10
    Join date : 2018-08-28
    Location : Philadelphia, PA

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by bennytehcat on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:59 pm

    Pillo69 wrote:I would also opt for a turntable vintage in Europe opted for Thorens TD124, TD125, TD160, Lenco L75, L78 or Garrard 301, 401 mainly. The replacement of the tonearm is required, an SME 3009, 3012 or a Jelco may be suitable.

    I'm a big fan of the TD160. These can be found on Craigslist and eBay relatively easily. Try to find one that isn't all decked out and you'll be somewhere in the $2-300 ballpark. I grabbed mine with no cover, and a junk AT cartridge for right around $250. Cover's are easy to make from acrylic sheet, but what fun is that? So, my cover is 1/4" polycarbonate that has a light sanding for a frosted appearance bonded with a solvent adhesive and attached to the factory posts. Gave the platter a dull polish on the outer rim, checked the oil, belt, rebalanced with a dial indicator and mg scale. Better than new...cause now it can take a bird shot blast and keep playing.
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    Pillo69

    Posts : 158
    Join date : 2012-04-11
    Location : Granada (España)

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Pillo69 on Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:42 pm

    I use a Lenco L75 reformed by my completely.
    Buy it scrapped for 25 euros.
    I did a DM plinth to avoid resonances, I separated the engine from the chassis, insulate the arm of revolutions of the engine with teflon, and various other things more.
    I placed two tonearm, a ROK high mass for cartridges that use needles of low compliance, and a Rega RB300 (also reformed) from low-medium mass for high compliance cartridges.
    In the tonearm ROK use cartridge such as Denon DL103, Shure M3D, Shure M7D,..., for stereo, and GE-RPX, GE-VRII, Goldring 500, PE-7000, Shure M5D, Elac MST2, and some ceramic as the Sonotone 1 p for monophonic disks and 78 rpm.
    In the tonearm Rega use such as the Shure V15-IV and the Stanton 681EEE cartridge.
    In the following video you can see the reform effected in the Lenco L75.


    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Dogstar on Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:54 pm

    Not sure where you are but I have three turntables and I really only need two. One for a MM cartridge and one for a MC. If you are in the Chicago area I can offer a Thorens TD-160 that was professionally refurbished and includes a new plinth custom made for the TD-160. Because of the plinth shape the dust cover I had made covers the entire turntable and plinth.

    Tom

    Posts : 185
    Join date : 2011-04-04

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Tom on Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:58 am

    Nah... just get a TT with a reversible motor! wrote:

    I love this place. Razz
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2035
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Another TT resource

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:21 pm

    Blue, et al.,
    In addition to Dave at Vinyl Nirvana, there is also Kevin at KAB Electro Acoustics (https://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/) Another phone call that won't be a time-waster, and he doesn't charge. Kevin's an expert in the Technics platters, particularly the 1200s, SOME of which are three-speeds. Also does restorations on same and has a slew of other off-the-wall turntable and hi-fi esoteric enhancements, and a line on Ortofon carts. Good guy to trade with.
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    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 246
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:34 pm

    Has anyone used one of these?

    https://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/

    (KAB MSX-1 Mono/Stereo switch down at the bottom of the page)

    I do play alot of mono vinyl (VTA ST 70, Sp 14, PH 14).

    Any opinions?

    Thanks.
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2035
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:17 pm

    Dave_in_Va wrote:Has anyone used one of these?

    https://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/

    (KAB MSX-1 Mono/Stereo switch down at the bottom of the page)

    I do play alot of mono vinyl (VTA ST 70, Sp 14, PH 14).

    Any opinions?

    Thanks.

    Nope, but I did use his rumble filter (RF-1) to great effect with the VPI, which otherwise (with no EQ) shook the paint off the neighbours' walls. Builds nice stuff.
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    aguaazul

    Posts : 101
    Join date : 2012-07-08
    Age : 58
    Location : Livermore, CA

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by aguaazul on Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:04 pm

    Update:Turntable, after taking a few times with Kevin @ KAB, learning what to look out for, I am the proud owner of a Technics SL1200MK5. Bought from the original owner who picked it up in 2010. Although the serial number points to it being built in 2006. It's on it's way to Kevin to get some upgrades & updates.
    I did not get it with a headshell & cartridge, that's OK as I will be getting these from KAB anyway.

    Phono Pre: Yesterday we took delivery of a PH16X with a wood chassis built by Roy, the finish matches perfectly with the wood Dynaco case the tuners are in.
    Kevin told me to just try to listen the the 78's as is. Then see if I need to fix any problem.

    There is a guy in Australia who sells PCB's for a SS Phono Preamp using 2 op-amps. It's easily customizable to run the 78's.
    I ordered his power supply, phono & subsonic rumble filter boards to have in case I need to bang out an easy fix for the 78RPM frequencies.

    Multi Standard 78 RPM and RIAA Phono Equaliser

    Thanks for helping me get to here, the offers & such. This thread was great tool getting me down the proper path.

    Cheers,

    Aguaazul


    Last edited by aguaazul on Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spellin' man... spellin')
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    deepee99

    Posts : 2035
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:49 pm

    aguaazul wrote:Update:Turntable, after taking a few times with Kevin @ KAB, learning what to look out for, I am the proud owner of a Technics SL1200MK5. Bought from the original owner who picked it up in 2010. Although the serial number points to it being built in 2006. It's on it's way to Kevin to get some upgrades & updates.
    I did not get it with a headshell & cartridge, that's OK as I will be getting these from KAB anyway.

    Phono Pre: Yesterday we took delivery of a PH16X with a wood chassis built by Roy, the finish matches perfectly with the wood Dynaco case the tuners are in.
    Kevin told me to just try to listen the the 78's as is. Then see if I need to fix any problem.

    There is a guy in Australia who sells PCB's for a SS Phono Preamp using 2 op-amps. It's easily customizable to run the 78's.
    I ordered his power supply, phono & subsonic rumble filter boards to have in case I need to bang out an easy fix for the 78RPM frequencies.

    Multi Standard 78 RPM and RIAA Phono Equaliser

    Thanks for helping me get to here, the offers & such. This thread was great tool getting me down the proper path.

    Cheers,

    Aguaazul

    Aguaazul, glad you've struck up a professional relationship with Kevin at KAB. He's a genuine and helpful resource, generous with his time, and able to reduce all that there hoop-la to some common sense. The PH-16 certainly won't disappoint, either, with the right tubes. Great hit on the SL-1200, BTW; 2010 was their last production year, IIRC. I waffled for quite some time between that and the Thorens.


    Last edited by deepee99 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Always get the Q and the G mixed up in sans sarif type.)

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    Re: Playing LPs – Where to start with upgrades. Turntable or Phono Pre

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