Another HTG admin jumps into analog!

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  • Kevin P
    Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 10808

    Another HTG admin jumps into analog!

    Following in the footsteps of Doug (Lex), I got a new toy today. Denon DP-300F with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. I got it from Turntable Lab. The bundle also includes a cork mat that you see on the platter and a carbon fiber cleaning brush.

    It's funny, 30 years ago I got my first CD player. I never had a turntable until now, I went from cassettes to CDs in the 80s. Now, 30 years later, I've gone full circle.

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    I have it hooked up to my "cubicle tubicle" setup right now, in my upstairs office. The only vinyl I had handy to test it out was a 1969 Christmas box I bought on eBay last December. I played a couple tracks and it sounds fine, though the records are old and need a good cleaning.

    Then later tonight I hit up the record store in the local mall. I was hoping for some used vinyl but they didn't have much, so I picked up a couple new discs. I couldn't believe how expensive they are now. CDs are a bargain by comparison. I wanted some "classic" stuff, since I'm familiar with it and the nostalgia factor of putting on a record with old favorites on it.

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    I haven't played them yet, maybe tomorrow. The store didn't have any record cleaning stuff in stock, so I had to order some on Amazon, so I won't be able to clean the records until then, except with the carbon fiber brush. Maybe I'll get some distilled water and microfiber cloths and just do it in the sink.
    Last edited by theSven; 13 August 2023, 13:11 Sunday. Reason: Update image style
  • madmac
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2010
    • 3122

    #2
    Nice lookin' turntable Kevin !
    Dan Madden :T

    Comment

    • wkhanna
      Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2006
      • 5673

      #3
      the Ortofon Red is a good cart.

      you are going to have a grand time!

      do get one of these for cleaning, please.
      spin clean link and link

      i have been thru a ton of brushes..
      my favorites are the AudioQuest Carbon (or one like it) or the Hunt, which is pricier but worth it imho.
      _


      Bill

      Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
      ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

      FinleyAudio

      Comment

      • wkhanna
        Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
        • Jan 2006
        • 5673

        #4
        here in pgh, Barnes & Noble along with Half Price Books are good places to find reasonably priced vinyl.
        _


        Bill

        Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
        ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

        FinleyAudio

        Comment

        • wkhanna
          Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
          • Jan 2006
          • 5673

          #5
          go to the Turntable & Vinyl section at this link at Vinyl Asylum for all kinds of reliable info
          _


          Bill

          Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
          ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

          FinleyAudio

          Comment

          • Alaric
            Ultra Senior Member
            • Jan 2006
            • 4143

            #6
            We're making progress , Bill. Soon , the whole (audio) world will be vinyl!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

            Oh , did I say that out loud? Oops , my bad.

            That is a nice cartridge! Welcome aboard , Kevin!
            Lee

            Marantz PM7200-RIP
            Marantz PM-KI Pearl
            Schiit Modi 3
            Marantz CD5005
            Paradigm Studio 60 v.3

            Comment

            • Lex
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Apr 2001
              • 27461

              #7
              I tell you what, after putting on my Miles Davis "Round About Midnight" CD I bought new, and have stored carefully on my media rack for years, and now it won't play for sh.t! I am just about ready to say Analog only baby! Well, except for the CDs I have, and copies I tote around to play in my vehicle I used to make copies of my music a lot, but anymore, I haven't burned a CD in forever. But I listen to XM radio in the car for now, and at the office. I may drop one of those, not the office, the car. No longer than I am in the car, I can play a nice Miles or Nora CD on the way to work and be about as happy. happier sometimes, I hate when they get on these morning HORN kicks where they are playing brass trying to wake up the world. I want soft, and ease into my morning!!! LOL.

              A lot of the Miles is replicated across CDs though, so I probably won't miss much on the Round About abscence, the first song is on Blue Miles, lol. I just played Blue Miles to check my player, I was hoping my Rega Jupiter wasn't crapping out on me. That's a fine CD player for medium high end. Not another word in Analog about it though, lol.
              Doug
              "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

              Comment

              • Kevin P
                Member
                • Aug 2000
                • 10808

                #8
                I haven't posted a review of the two discs I bought last night and listened to while I worked today yet, so here goes.

                The first is a 180 gram edition of The Eagles Greatest Hits, their first one from 1976 or so. This album sounded great on my tube headphone amp and Beyerdynamic cans. Smooth sound, good dynamics. I don't have any Eagles CDs but I have some in my iTunes library so "one of these nights" (lol) I'll do a comparison. For some reason this disc had a lot of static electricity, to the point where the cork mat clung to the record when I went to flip it over. This also caused some popping during quiet passages. Hopefully when my Spin Clean arrives that problem will go away.

                The second is Michael Jackson's Thriller, 25th anniversary. I know the songs on this album like the back of my hand, I've heard them so many times on the radio and whatnot. I have this album in iTunes as well, and although I don't have the CD, I do have an Essential Michael Jackson CD that has some of the songs, so I could do a comparison to that. Anywho, this disc isn't as good as the Eagles one. There was a lot of sibilance, especially noticeable during "Billie Jean." I double-checked my tracking pressure (1.8 grams as recommended for the Ortofon Red) and even nudged it about .1 gram either way to see if it made a difference. It didn't. It may just be the pressing. I did some googling and others have said the same thing about some of the newer pressings of Thriller. It may have some "loudness wars" mixing/mastering going on that caused it. The digital version I have on iTunes doesn't have the same problem. It could be a characteristic of the Ortofon Red as well, though I didn't notice it on the Eagles' album. I need to acquire (and listen to) some more albums to make a determination if this is just that album or something else.

                So far I'm impressed. Does it sound great? Yes. Better than digital? Not sure yet. My tubicle system warms up digital audio nicely. I may have to do my comparisons on the HT system.

                Comment

                • wkhanna
                  Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jan 2006
                  • 5673

                  #9
                  you have made some significant points, here, Kevin.

                  there are variations in pressings, even from the same production run.
                  then there are variations from one release to another.
                  re-engineering & re-mastering should never be assumed to be better sounding.
                  this is true in digital, also.

                  for LP's, labels like Mo-Fi (Mobile Fidelity) Analog Productions, Chesky, Sheffield Lab Recording are some of the ones to look for, especially used.
                  _


                  Bill

                  Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
                  ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

                  FinleyAudio

                  Comment

                  • wkhanna
                    Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
                    • Jan 2006
                    • 5673

                    #10
                    actually, do not EVER pass an opportunity to pick up any Sheffield LP.
                    of particular significance, (to me, anyways) are the Harry James sessions.
                    These were recorded DTD (direct to disc) & represent the absolute best engineering practices that can be implemented for analog recording.

                    my most favorite being "The King James Version", used for referencing everything & anything.
                    I actually own 3 copies of this LP.


                    The King James Version Sheffield Lab 1976

                    Comin' From A Good Place Sheffield Lab 1977

                    Still Harry After All These Years Sheffield Lab 1979
                    _


                    Bill

                    Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
                    ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

                    FinleyAudio

                    Comment

                    • wkhanna
                      Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
                      • Jan 2006
                      • 5673

                      #11
                      good article on sytlus geometry by Peter Ledermann, founder of Soundsmith.

                      LINK his 'how to' page, too
                      _


                      Bill

                      Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
                      ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

                      FinleyAudio

                      Comment

                      • Alaric
                        Ultra Senior Member
                        • Jan 2006
                        • 4143

                        #12
                        you have made some significant points, here, Kevin.

                        there are variations in pressings, even from the same production run.
                        then there are variations from one release to another.
                        re-engineering & re-mastering should never be assumed to be better sounding.
                        this is true in digital, also.

                        for LP's, labels like Mo-Fi (Mobile Fidelity) Analog Productions, Chesky, Sheffield Lab Recording are some of the ones to look for, especially used.
                        This ^ cannot be emphasized enough. In the digital realm I like to throw out Led Zeppelin's remasters , by Jimmy Page no less! They make my teeth hurt , but they are revered , mostly by folks who haven't heard an old MoFi half speed master on a decent table. I've had good luck with Japanese pressings overall. They seem to take the process more seriously. A 180g Japanese pressing of Nirvana's Nevermind is amazingly good. If you can find Robert Plant and Alison Kraus' Raising Sand on vinyl snatch it up. T-Bone Burnett's production was very good , and the albums seem to have been made by people who care.
                        Lee

                        Marantz PM7200-RIP
                        Marantz PM-KI Pearl
                        Schiit Modi 3
                        Marantz CD5005
                        Paradigm Studio 60 v.3

                        Comment

                        • Lex
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Apr 2001
                          • 27461

                          #13
                          I think I saw Plant and Kraus today, I assume it's the right album, they have only done one right? I may have to go back and grab it.
                          Doug
                          "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                          Comment

                          • Alaric
                            Ultra Senior Member
                            • Jan 2006
                            • 4143

                            #14
                            I really like that album. I think you will , too.
                            Lee

                            Marantz PM7200-RIP
                            Marantz PM-KI Pearl
                            Schiit Modi 3
                            Marantz CD5005
                            Paradigm Studio 60 v.3

                            Comment

                            • Lex
                              Moderator Emeritus
                              • Apr 2001
                              • 27461

                              #15
                              I listened to them online the other day, it was pretty good stuff.
                              Doug
                              "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                              Comment

                              • Kevin P
                                Member
                                • Aug 2000
                                • 10808

                                #16
                                I made a trip into Rock Hill to check out The Newsstand Records and Books. It's a great shop that stocks quite a few LPs. Not only that, but they have vinyl playing in the store on some nice gear, including what looked like a ProJect turntable, and Martin Logan speakers. I had a chat with the guy at the register and told him that I have a pair of SL3s I love a lot.

                                As for LPs, I came home with these:

                                A couple all time favorites. GYBR is an album I've re-bought in more formats than any other. I've had it on cassette, original CD, remastered CD, hybrid SACD, and now vinyl.

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                                Yes, now I have DSOTM too. And some Fleetwood Mac to reminisce when my oldest sister would play her records back at home.

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                                And some Norah Jones. I've had this one on CD forever but haven't played it in years.

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                                I got my Spin Clean yesterday, so I spent some time cleaning all my LPs. I'm spinning Grand Illusion now on the HT system and it sounds fine, no crackles or pops. Guess the Spin Clean works well.
                                Last edited by theSven; 13 August 2023, 13:12 Sunday. Reason: Update image style

                                Comment

                                • Lex
                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                  • Apr 2001
                                  • 27461

                                  #17
                                  Wow~! You went hog wild. no arguments from me on the Diamond Nora Jones. It had some static You'll have to let me know how your copy is. Styx, I burned out on. but hey get what you want. :-)
                                  Doug
                                  "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                                  Comment

                                  • wkhanna
                                    Grumpy Old Super Moderator Emeritus
                                    • Jan 2006
                                    • 5673

                                    #18
                                    My NRD finds from Eide's in pgh:


                                    these were NRD releases

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                                    these were from the regular bins that were discounted 30% for NRD

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                                    Last edited by theSven; 13 August 2023, 13:10 Sunday. Reason: Update image location
                                    _


                                    Bill

                                    Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
                                    ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

                                    FinleyAudio

                                    Comment

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