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Thinking of Purchasing a Turntable; Any and All Advice Welcome!

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rhd1953

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LOL. Yah I don't listen very well. However I do really appreciate everyones advice on this forum. Especially members like you, Dave, and a few others that have been around for a long time and have given me solid advice over the years. It's funny that I don't always listen until later when what was stated in the past, comes to fruition. LOL Like I know Dave and JonFo harped on me in multiple posts in my members thread over the years to add acoustic panels to my room. I tried a few and made some but didn't really give it a huge effort. Boy was that wrong of me. LOL Now that I have 20+ panels in this room; WOW! Not only is the music that much more amazing but the clarity in vocals in music and movies is astonishing. If I had only followed the advice sooner.

So I played Otis Blue - A Change Gonna Come for my wife on Wednesday before the Panels came in and were installed. Had her come in yesterday and listen to the same track again after all panels were in. She was like its so much smoother; like his voice is so gentle and easy to listen to now. I didn't realize how bright and harsh it was before. I mean to me it was great already. Never would I have thought the panels would change so much in the soundstage.

As for the ART9 cartridge, I reached out to the vendor again yesterday and he said it should be here by July. I'm really excited to go back and listen to my collection again with the ART9. I've also been thinking about getting a third Cart at an even better level then the ART9. My vendor said I should research the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze. What do you guys think will sound really good with the Decade? And thinking about a second tonearm. That way it's a simple swap of arms and a turn of the VTA for each Cart if needed.

And again thanks guys for all of the support and advice over the years. I vow to do better at listening and following more advice from you all in the future.
 

rhd1953

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Have you checked for used record stores in your area? Long ago in a far away place (Tempe, AZ ZIA records) I bought pristine import pressings and 12" singles, mostly for less than $5. Out of country college students dumping their records...they recorded them to cassette. You could find a great used record store nearby too.

I see someone asked about your floor and recomended a lower stand. I've always had my turntable on a lead balloon stand on concrete floor...also more than 6 feet from the speakers (MR CLS2s). What's your floor...how solid is it.

Are you thinking of recording your records yet (playlist recordings)?
 

Lightloopy

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I agree with giving Soundsmith consideration. I purchased the Carmen in the spring and it was a significant upgrade. I was surprised how quiet it was when starting a record compared to my previous cartridge. Also check out the website-a lot of interesting information. Good luck.
 

JLasher22443

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If you're considering the $2500 price range of the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, you should put the Sound Smith "The Voice" or the Zephyr MIMC Star on your list. In addition to being musical, Sound-Smith will rebuild your cartridges down the line for about $450 (in the case of "The Voice"), and you'll essentially get a cartridge restored to a new condition. I started with Aida, moved up the line to "The Voice" and also got the low-output Zephyr MIMC Star. I am quite happy with the Sound-Smith cartridges.


Swapping tonearm is not that "simple". You've only had your turntable less than 2 months and you're already thinking about...tone-arms? Now, that's a serious case of GAS if I've ever seen one. Take your time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your system before embarking on trying to address the short-comings.
Sorry wasn't very clear about the Tonearm. I saw a Live Stream from VPI where Matt took one tonearm and swapped it for the exact same model just with a different cart. So basically just order the same arm that came with the prime and put the ART9 on one arm and the New Zephyr on the other. Saves time on changing carts. I thought it was a great idea. LOL I'll look into the Sound Smith's thanks.
 

Spike

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I saw a Live Stream from VPI where Matt took one tonearm and swapped it for the exact same model just with a different cart.
Unless you're extremely careful as to not touch the counter-weight settings (which I don't see how), you're bound to fudge with the counter-weight to ensure that it's set correctly when installed on the turntable. And I have not mentioned that the cartridges may have different specs where you'll need to play around with the dip switches underneath the Decade to match with the cartridge's requirements. Analogue is a bit more involved than the plug-and-pray world of digital.
 

JLasher22443

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Unless you're extremely careful as to not touch the counter-weight settings (which I don't see how), you're bound to fudge with the counter-weight to ensure that it's set correctly when installed on the turntable. And I have not mentioned that the cartridges may have different specs where you'll need to play around with the dip switches underneath the Decade to match with the cartridge's requirements. Analogue is a bit more involved than the plug-and-pray world of digital.
So how do the turntables with two arms work? Do they have separate Carts and Phonostages for each? I like the idea of having a Cheap Cart for my used records I have a lot of rather then a $1k + cartridge playing them. Just a thought. I'm not going out and buying another arm anytime soon. LOL I have other items on my list of things to add to my room. For now. LOL
 

Spike

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So how do the turntables with two arms work?
Well, they have both arms mounted on the turntable at the same time.
vpi_classic4.jpg


And they have a phono-stage with multiple inputs as well as front-knob controls to select various settings.
manley steelhead.png
 

JLasher22443

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So I got the replacement ART9 in yesterday. Got it installed and redid all of the settings on the TT. Not sure if I have something wrong or its just how the Cart sounds. Had to turn the volume up a good bit to really make it sing. Any suggestions? The Ortofon was just louder and brighter if that makes sense. The new ART sounds great but I had to turn the volume up like 20 levels which is why I think I have something set wrong on the Decade.



 

jnorris

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You are aware that the ART9 is a moving coil and requires some form of step-up or pre-pre-amp. Is there any gain adjustment on your phono preamp?
 

JLasher22443

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You are aware that the ART9 is a moving coil and requires some form of step-up or pre-pre-amp. Is there any gain adjustment on your phono preamp?
I'm using the Lehmann Audio Decade which I'm guessing does not have enough power for this Cart?
 

Spike

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Looking over the specs of Ortofon vs ART-9, I don't see much difference in the output voltage. The ART9 should give you roughly the same output volume as the Ortofon. The only thing I can think of is the load impedance setting on the Lehman Decade. For the ART9, you should have the dip switches set to "100 ohms" setting (page 44 of your Lehman Decade user manual). If it is already at "100 ohms", you might want to try "1k ohms" setting.

1596821660099.png


DescriptionsOrtofon Cadenza BronzeAudio Technica ART-9
Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec.0.4mV0.5mV
Channel balance at 1kHz< 1dB< 0.5dB
Channel separation at 1kHz> 24dB> 30dB
Frequency range at -3dB20-55kHz15-50kHz
Internal impedance, DC resistance5 Ohm12 Ohm
Recommended load impedance50-200 Ohmmin 100 Ohm
 
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Spike

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I'm using the Lehmann Audio Decade which I'm guessing does not have enough power for this Cart?
The Lehman Decade has more than enough gain for the ART-9.

The new ART sounds great but I had to turn the volume up like 20 levels which is why I think I have something set wrong on the Decade.
The impedance setting will not account for the "20 levels" of volume. It sounds like you might have accidentally bumped the "high gain" or "MC" switch. Please check those switches to make sure they are set properly.

1596824855859.png

1596824897682.png
 

JLasher22443

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Thanks Spike. Yah I tried both the 100 ohms and 1k ohms settings. The Ortofon was on the 100 ohms already when I made the swap. Also all of the switches were up and and On for the Quintet Red. The issue I had with the Decade is it was not giving enough gain or output. No matter what settings I put I was still having to turn the volume level up on the BHK a crap ton. Which if I'm not mistaking adds distortion?

Here are the updated Cart details. I updated your graph. My broken AT-ART9 was replaced with the newer AT-ART9XA.

1596905141904.png


So I've fixed the issue by getting rid of the Lehmann Audio Decade. Went to my local HiFi shop and traded in the Decade for the Gold Note PH-10. Wow what a difference it has made already. I've had one full day of it in my system and have listened to 6 albums already ranging from Daft Punk and Tame Impala to Bill Evans and Holy Cole Trio. Some I listened to twice to try out the 6 EQ Curves. The one album that instantly changed in volume was my standard I use for reference which is the John Coltrane - Blue Train 45 rpm album. The volume level was turned down from 75 with the Decade to 60 on the PH-10. Both phonos were showing up at around 85 DB with my Extech 407736 SPL Meter in the listening area. I've got the Load set to 100ohm and the Gain set to +3db which is providing 68d/b of Gain for MC from what I gather in the Manual. And I'm so happy I can do all of the changes with a knob and display instead of turning the Decade over and changing dip switches.



 

Spike

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Congratulations on the Gold Note PH10 which solved your volume mismatch problem. The drop from 0.5mV to 0.2mV explains the volume difference between the Ortofon vs the ART9XA. But something is still a mystery to me with regards to the Decade vs Gold Note. Assuming the Decade is working properly, it should have given you 66db gain which is close to the Gold Note's 68db gain. As a reference point, I am using Aidas Purpleheart cartridge (0.28mV output) with my Manley Chinook set at 60db gain with no problems. In your case, there should not be a huge volume difference between the Decade and Gold Note the way you described. The only thing which could explain it is the 'high gain' switch is not working on the Decade and you're left to make up for the 10db difference by turning up the volume. This is the only logical explanation left on the table for your scenario. Again, congrats and enjoy your needle drops in analogue land!
 
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