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Would like to upgrade my TT setup - entry level

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  • Lex
    replied
    I have been tempted by an advertiser through our G ads here, an Orbit for just over 400, use my external tubes I like the Walnut one. Comes with cartridge and cover. I love my fancy 2 piece table, but sometimes, it's a bit of a pain, lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerileous
    replied
    I just made an offer for an A12. At the end of the day the built in DAC and connectivity options won me over. Thanks for all of the help!

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerileous
    replied
    Thank you Bill and Lee for all of your help. The good news is I don't need to be in any kind of rush. Seems the further I go down the rabbit hole.... There is a really good deal on an A12 missing bluetooth dongle right now that is tempting me. What HiFi had a lackluster review of it, however and indicated that they preferred the Marantz 6005 which is comparable in price, or even the less expensive A10. The features of a receiver are absolutely a draw, especially the DAC, easily switching numerous inputs, and remote control. I have a chromecast audio which includes an 3.5mm Toslink jack, which in theory would sound pretty good over the DAC. Built in phono is definitely a plus, however the rolls is affordable enough that it doesn't make/break any setup.

    On the other hand, I'm still captivated by the tubes. After getting a taste I can't get away from the idea. There is the MP-301. It seems to come from the same factory as other Chinese amps, but was designed by someone in Canada and uses good caps etc. I'm also tempted by a kit like the Bottlehead S.E.X., but I have to post on their forums because I'm not sure that my speakers are sensitive enough to use in my bedroom (roughly 12' by 15') with the 2 WPC of that amp. For a little more power there are the Elekit 8200 kits. I know there's probably a ton of stuff in this price range to consider. I'm shying away from the less expensive kits, as it seems that then to get good sound most of the components must be upgraded. On one hand the kit sounds like a nice project, but I also know I'll be really busy this summer, so having something that is already assembled is a plus, unless I want to put things off until the Fall. I'm not super clear if these amps are "integrated" or would benefit from a pre-amp as well.

    I also have this idea that if I use a tube amp at some point I should get a tube phono, just so I can say that I have a "pure analog" experience. However I'm not really sure if there is a point or purpose to that, or if it's just an idea in my head. Notably except for one of the less expensive kits, (K12G on tube depot - for which a built in phono stage can be added for about the cost of a Rolls), most tube phono stages seem to cost as much as the power amplifiers.

    Edit: Well I just realized that the A12 and RA12 are different amps. The RA12 being older and about 20% less expensive. Beyond that I'm having trouble finding differences, other than that they moved the BT onboard.

    Edit2: So far the only differences I've found are the built in aptX bluetooth on the A12 vs the dongle on the RA12 and a higher damping factor (220 on the A12 and 180 on the RA12), aside from some seemingly minor differences in signal to noise, input sensitivity and freq. response. I haven't found any qualitative comparisons. Thoughts on if that would make it significantly better?
    Last edited by Zerileous; 18 May 2019, 18:37 Saturday.

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  • Alaric
    replied
    Bill is one of the curmudgeons I was hoping would pop in this thread. Sharp as a tack and a genuinely good guy. I, for one, appreciate his contributions here, especially knowing how full his plate outside the 'Guide is. :T

    Leave a comment:


  • wkhanna
    replied
    Originally posted by Zerileous View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion wkhanna. What makes the Rotel A12 a great amp? Will the difference be apparent with my speakers? Sometimes I recognize that the price to play can be more than the budget, but in the long run paying that price results in the desired experience and cutting corners doesn't. I get the impression that this my provide 4 figure sound at a much lower price, if so then it is appealing.

    It seems like the 120W would allow it to grow into bigger/better speakers as well, which isn't a bad thing. And the built in DAC is interesting as well, giving it other potential to grow with me. I can see where it would be a sound investment (apologies for the pun).

    I have the impression that I could obtain a similar quality of sound with less wattage with a smaller amp at a lower price, so on the other hand I'm wondering if I'm paying for power that I don't need. In searching around I also came across this: http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/...&product_id=54. Any thoughts on something like that?
    tube rolling is a great hobby & lots of fun.
    if that is your thing, then go for it.....:T

    afa speakers, a general rule of thumb is to stay with the higher efficiency rated ones you can, when using tube amps....

    Leave a comment:


  • Alaric
    replied
    The basics:
    Better amp
    Need better speakers
    better speakers
    My source is shit!
    Better source
    Hmmmm, better amp will bring out the detail my amp misses-better amp!
    DAMNIT! Now I need better speakers
    Rinse, repeat.

    The secret is to strike that balance that maxes your budget while letting you enjoy the music. If it becomes about the gear and not the music you went too far. My signature gear hasn't changed since I joined here, and I still love the sound. :T

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerileous
    replied
    Originally posted by wkhanna View Post
    i know it is over-budget....

    but i recommend......

    used Rotel integrated amp & the U-turn TT.....
    Thanks for the suggestion wkhanna. What makes the Rotel A12 a great amp? Will the difference be apparent with my speakers? Sometimes I recognize that the price to play can be more than the budget, but in the long run paying that price results in the desired experience and cutting corners doesn't. I get the impression that this my provide 4 figure sound at a much lower price, if so then it is appealing.

    It seems like the 120W would allow it to grow into bigger/better speakers as well, which isn't a bad thing. And the built in DAC is interesting as well, giving it other potential to grow with me. I can see where it would be a sound investment (apologies for the pun).

    I have the impression that I could obtain a similar quality of sound with less wattage with a smaller amp at a lower price, so on the other hand I'm wondering if I'm paying for power that I don't need. In searching around I also came across this: http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/...&product_id=54. Any thoughts on something like that?

    Leave a comment:


  • wkhanna
    replied
    i know it is over-budget....

    but i recommend......

    used Rotel integrated amp & the U-turn TT.....

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerileous
    replied
    I'll have to check that out. I wonder if my first priority should be to replace the TT or the amp, or do them both at once. The previous amp colored the sound hugely, it probably didn't matter much what TT went though it (to some extent). Maybe the class T would perform better if it was fed better input. Just speculating.

    I'm thinking I'll pass on the LP60, as the cartridge interchangeable. It can have a lot of flashy features like USB and BT, but I can pass on those for the sake of quality. The Orbit is a compelling value. You can add the Ortofon OM 5E cartridge for an extra $35 as well. The major downside to that one is the lack of auto-return. It's one feature I'm not sure I can do without, as I am likely to fall asleep while listening at some point. I also have to wonder how well various upgrades will scale with the intended speakers.

    Edit: There is a Technics SL-D202 on that site calling my name. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Zerileous; 11 May 2019, 17:51 Saturday.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alaric
    replied
    I found the Bellari (Rolls) VP 129 to be a very nice little tube phono pre. The Pr0-Ject is also a very nice unit.

    Audiogon is a good place to browse for used gear, You can sometimes find some nice gear at good prices. I got my Music Hall mmf-5SE there for $600 still in the unopened box ($900 retail).
    Audiogon provides a marketplace for people to buy, sell, trade, or discuss high-end audio. Audiogon is a community for hifi enthusiasts and audiophiles.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerileous
    started a topic Would like to upgrade my TT setup - entry level

    Would like to upgrade my TT setup - entry level

    Here is what I have (please don't judge):
    TT: Ion Profile Pro - integrated pre
    Amp: Orb Mini T - this is a very small class-t amp, 20 watts per channel
    Speakers: Pure Acoustics Dreambox (specs) 8ohm, 80W RMS, 3" drivers.

    I'm really not satisfied with this setup. It sounds very thin to me. I don't expect an amazing soundstage from 3" bookshelf speakers, but I would like something with some emotion to it. Budget is $500 flexible (meaning I don't mind going over a bit, but please don't suggest $1500 worth of stuff).

    I don't understand all the specs and how they relate. I initially had this TT with this kit. A small 3.5W tube amp. The speakers that came with it are the dreambox. The amp appears to be an appj PA1501A modified with an extra tube. I really liked how the set sounded. While I knew things could be better, I greatly enjoyed listening to it. Then the amp died and I got the orb, and my vinyl no longer sounded enjoyable. Maybe I could have fixed it, but it got thrown out. Sure I could get another, but maybe I can do a little better. And hopefully have something that doesn't die after a year. Also a little more power would be nice.

    I would like to keep the speakers, I think they are adequate for my bedroom and I think they are fairly high quality. I would probably choose a decent receiver with a phono pre built in, except I don't need that much to power these and I wonder if I can put together something that sounds better. Here is what I'm looking at right now:

    TT:

    U-Turn Orbit Basic Turntable - $179
    or
    Audio Technica AP LP60 $99

    My impression is that the U-Turn is higher quality, however stripped of some features to punch above its weight, price wise. Leaning that way.

    Pre:

    DJPREII $49
    or
    Rolls VP29 $49
    or
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MM $65

    Amplification - here is where I need the most help. I'd like to find something appropriate to the speakers and the room. I have a couple ideas, but they care closer to a shot in the dark.
    Elekit TU-H82 Hybrid Tube Amp Kit $299 @ TubeDepot
    or
    A kit like this - hard to choose between them as wattage isn't listed

    Any suggestions appreciated
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