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

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Lurch

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What loading do you have your cart on? As whilst 100 Ohms is the norm used for fixed load mc phonos & works with most carts, with the 12 Ohm internal impedence of the cart its only giving 8.5x internal impedence. Whereas the general, rule of thumb is 10-12x internal impedence. Personally I would be inclined to try loading in the 120-470 range, this will let the cart of the leash from an electrical, perspective, opening up the sound by allowing the cantalever to react faster, the higher the load the quicker it can react. I know it seems counter intuitive but the lower the loading the more the coils at the rear of the cantiler are physically damped reducing the speed at which it can react to the micro movements within the groove.
(Appologies if this has already been covered but only read page 1&2 then jumped to the end.)
 

Spike

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What are the differences between your Soundsmith Zephyr and Voice cartridge soundwise ?
Going from Zephyr MIMC Star to Voice, the vocal midrange has more "body". Bass is a bit more controlled and a bit more shimmer in the highs. The noticeable change is the midrange where the presentation seems to have more front-to-back depth.

is adding a cartridge that costs as much as the table or phono stage smart? Or is it like putting diamonds on a Casio watch?
In my opinion, the cartridge is where the diamond meets the groove! In this ultra-low voltage environment, the suspension, stylus profile, and the internal design are critical to the overall analogue performance. "Garbage in, garbage out" so-to-speak. If the extraction of information from the groove is compromised (for whatever reason), the rest of the signal chain just amplifies the compromised signal. We can try to reduce contaminating the signal with vibration control, better tone-arm, better cables, etc... but it all starts with the cartridge.

I've tested the 508 along with my wife and we can definitely tell a major improvement in record noise drop
The Boulder phono has been consistently praised for its low noise floor so this is to be expected (as it should be for the $5k price tag).

Do I have the settings on the Gold Note incorrect possibly for my cartridge?
You should check with your dealer with regards to the Gold Note & ART9XA settings.
 

JLasher22443

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So I checked with my Gold Note dealer and they said that they would recommend upgrading the cart to the HANA-Umami Red. They have paired it with my Gold Note and it sounded amazing according to them. As for settings they haven't messed with the ART9XA Cart. So I'm going to have to do some research and make changes on my own.

However I am really enjoying this Boulder 508. Makes me want to try other phono preamps to see if it gets even better. This hobby is so bad. LOL
 

Spike

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they would recommend upgrading the cart to the HANA-Umami Red
You are aware that the Hana Umami Red is in the $4k range, right? In my opinion, the $3k-$5k range is the sweet spot for phono cartridges. There is a noticeable difference going from the sub $2k range into this $3k-$5k range. Beyond $5k, the improvement is incremental and I cannot justify for the extra cash outlay. But that's just me.

Makes me want to try other phono preamps to see if it gets even better
Amongst the phono preamps at the Boulder's caliber are: Pass XP17, Sutherland DUO, Aesthetix Rhea, to name a few. If you're really adventurous, you can also put the Manley Steelhead on your list.

This hobby is so bad. LOL
I did warn you about this Analogue slippery slope last year, didn't I? You started out with $3k budget for analogue set-up, and now you're talking about a $4k cartridge AND a $5k phono stage just to see if it gets even better. LOL
 

Lurch

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Yep this analogue lark is dangerous, and leads to lots of expensive fun. I bought a Manticore Mantra compete with RB250 or £329new in 1987, I lived th his tt + amp and speakers qehappily until 2016 when I got back into the hobby following an inheritence. I decided I deserved a modest upgrade after 30 yrs, but my tt was good enough, yet here I am 3 tts latter with a £17k tt/arm/cart, combo. I also after going through 5 phonostages bought one that started life in the UK diy community that walked all over my £8.4k Tron Seven Ultimate. In 5 years I've come a very long way from the intended modest upgrade.
 

JLasher22443

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You are aware that the Hana Umami Red is in the $4k range, right? In my opinion, the $3k-$5k range is the sweet spot for phono cartridges. There is a noticeable difference going from the sub $2k range into this $3k-$5k range. Beyond $5k, the improvement is incremental and I cannot justify for the extra cash outlay. But that's just me.
Yes I am and you are the second person to say that about the price range. I'm trying to figure out the best Cart to go with for the Boulder 508 in that Price Range. Any suggestions?

Amongst the phono preamps at the Boulder's caliber are: Pass XP17, Sutherland DUO, Aesthetix Rhea, to name a few. If you're really adventurous, you can also put the Manley Steelhead on your list.
I thought about the Manley Steelhead.

I did warn you about this Analogue slippery slope last year, didn't I? You started out with $3k budget for analogue set-up, and now you're talking about a $4k cartridge AND a $5k phono stage just to see if it gets even better. LOL
LOL Yes you and Dave both warned me about getting into Vinyl. LOL

I'm also thinking about upgrading the table. I'm tired of the rubber band belt and it squeaking every time I start a record. I should have went with the Technic's like you guys said. Oh well it was a learning experience. But now I think I want a bush button start with speed control. Something I can press 33 or 45 and it goes. LOL
 

Spike

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Cartridges in the $3k-$5k price point: Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua (~$3.5k), Dynavector XV-1S ($5.5k), SoundSmith The Voice ($3k), SoundSmith Sussurro ($5k), the SoundSmith Paua ($4k) is also excellent, and of course the above mentioned Hana Umami Red. There are many others, but these are the ones I am somewhat familiar with.

Going back to read the previous thread, I noticed your +3db setting on the Gold Note phono. That could explain the higher noise floor you've encountered when compared against the Boulder. If may be a worthwhile experiment to try the Gold Note with 0db and/or -3db to see whether the noise floor drops. I understand that you may have to turn up the volume to get to the 'normal' listening level to make up for the lower phono gain. The rationale is that when you turn up the gain to +3db, you're also raising the noise floor. This experiment will help to isolate whether the culprit is with the MC gain stage, or whether the noise is a result of the entire Gold Note phono. From past (limited) experience, most of the time, the noise floor is the result of the high gain implementation of MC phono stage.

One direction which I was also considering is to replace the active MC gain circuit with a Step-Up-Transformer (SUT). The ones I looked in to are Bob's Device, and one from Hashimoto. Given the passive nature of transformers, there is no noise to be introduced into the MM gain circuit. Something to consider...

The belt vs direct-drive turntable is another issue worthy of another thread!
 

JLasher22443

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Cartridges in the $3k-$5k price point: Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua (~$3.5k), Dynavector XV-1S ($5.5k), SoundSmith The Voice ($3k), SoundSmith Sussurro ($5k), the SoundSmith Paua ($4k) is also excellent, and of course the above mentioned Hana Umami Red. There are many others, but these are the ones I am somewhat familiar with.

Going back to read the previous thread, I noticed your +3db setting on the Gold Note phono. That could explain the higher noise floor you've encountered when compared against the Boulder. If may be a worthwhile experiment to try the Gold Note with 0db and/or -3db to see whether the noise floor drops. I understand that you may have to turn up the volume to get to the 'normal' listening level to make up for the lower phono gain. The rationale is that when you turn up the gain to +3db, you're also raising the noise floor. This experiment will help to isolate whether the culprit is with the MC gain stage, or whether the noise is a result of the entire Gold Note phono. From past (limited) experience, most of the time, the noise floor is the result of the high gain implementation of MC phono stage.

One direction which I was also considering is to replace the active MC gain circuit with a Step-Up-Transformer (SUT). The ones I looked in to are Bob's Device, and one from Hashimoto. Given the passive nature of transformers, there is no noise to be introduced into the MM gain circuit. Something to consider...
Thanks for the info. I'll give that a try with the gain at 0db. Should I also keep the Load Option at 100Ω or move it? It has a total of 9 different load options 10Ω, 22Ω, 47Ω, 100Ω, 220Ω, 470Ω, 1000Ω, 22KΩ, 47KΩ.


The belt vs direct-drive turntable is another issue worthy of another thread!
LOL. Yah I have a feeling I'm going to end up dropping some coin on a better table. I've already started researching VPI HW-40, Technics SL-1000R, Acoustic Signature Typhoon Neo, SME Model 15, and the The Clearaudio Innovation Wood. Out of those models what are your thoughts? And yes, it's a huge jump from the VPI Prime in price.
 

Spike

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Should I also keep the Load Option at 100Ω or move it?
I would just keep it at 100Ω to start. Changing only 1 variable at a time. For experimentation, I'd probably experiment with 470Ω or 1000Ω just to see how it affects the sound. Remember the purpose of this experiment is to see whether the noise floor drops, giving you a "blacker" background.
With regards to clicks and pops, you can solve that with:
  1. Wet cleaning your records with a (vacuum) cleaning machine.
  2. Changing to a better cartridge.

Out of those models what are your thoughts?
No idea as they are well beyond my league! I am sure they are all good in order to justify their lofty price tag. The most expensive table I'd consider if I were to splurge is the Technics 1200G or a Luxman PD-171A.
 

FruitloopSR

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I have a brand new Technics 1200g for sale Only used once was going in my 2nd setup but had to cancel Bought from Overture Audio Also have a Elac Alchemy PPA-2Phono preamp Fully adjustable As New Just fired up to make sure it operated fine Nice pre Bought from music direct
If interested email me @FruitloopSR@aol.com
Thankx, Mike
 

Lurch

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If you've got the money available then go for a Brinkmann Bardo/Oasis or Taurus (Direct Drive) and either their 10.5" or 12.1" arm, you'll never need to upgraded your tt ever again.
I currently run a Bardo with a 12" Origin Live Enterprise Mk4 and Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum.
Not only does it look stunning (to my eyes) it sounds it aswell.
IMG_20210914_150613.jpg

IMG_20210914_150624.jpg
 
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kevineolson

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dont spend too much and take design into the equation. Rega planar whichever then a high end cartridge. i’ve a dd technics 1200mk2 w/ tandberg components and ML motion bookshelf and ML 8’ downward firing sub now discontinued. i’ve a Shure cartridge mm was around $550 and simple elliptical diamond needle running $100. you’re definitely at a higher price point BUT planar 3 while spreading the wealth to things like furniture room design (esp w/ MLs) is sometimes lost on one’s ability to buy though lacking imagination to really be active in sound enjoyment is rule over exception even here… my setup will grow and i inherit excellent higher end items at times but nothing too shock most on thread. that’s what i can offer. dont lose your true needs and creativity b/c buying it will not suffice. heart or in ears.
 

Steelhead

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A technics 1200g at a good price would be an excellent and rewarding vinyl experience in my humble opinion.

I own two tables, a JVC and a SOTA Cosmos and have listened to many vinyl setups over the decades. Technics is rock solid.

Good luck
 

Nuri58

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ClearAudio Concept is another nice option imho. Budget still allows opt for the Ovation. I was convinced when I heard it so it was sold right away (or I was).
 

Steelhead

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Steelhead: What is a good price for 1200g Only 7 mos. new
as new, used once.
Mike
Glad Twitch answered as I would not know
beware internet posters as my experience with the 1200 was in the 70's. I never owned one but honestly I have listened to easily over a dozen in different systems as they were extremely popular in the barracks we lived in and no American Television so audio listening was a daily occurence.
They had a great reputation back then and I honestly don't see how you could go wrong owning one
Happy Spinning
 

twich54

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Thankx, Never sell 4 that. I ts brand new Put up against my VPI Prime sig dont know if i should of spent for vpi, Its a tank
Mike
you said it's 7 months old and only used once, therefore it's not new. I have priced NIB from dealers local to me, $33-3400, so if you can get more than $2700 that would be excellent !
 

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