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Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Richard Gray, the man behind Richard Gray's Power Company (Google it) has a little hole in the wall place on Jefferson Highway a few blocks away from Oschner hospital in Metairie. It is called National TV Repair--it is a real dive, but don't let that fool you...he used to repair the Greatful Dead's McIntosh gear when they came to town (they were always putting their gear through hell and it often needed repair every few cities).

He is sort of semi retired, but if you leave him a message on his answering machine, he will eventually return your call. He is , by far, the best.

There is also a place in the Elmwood business park in Harahan that repairs vintage gear too, and a guy in Luling that did some work on some Sony ES amps for me.

Let me know if you want any of the contact info for them.

As far as BR---I dunno.

NOLA>>>BR



Chadaristic
Alabama Fan
Member since Jan 2011
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re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

Marco Esquandolas


My fiance and I started collecting vinyl a little over a year ago. We are finally up over 100 vinyl now in our collection. Our first turntable we purchased was at Best Buy, because we didn't really know what we were looking for and how immersed we would be with it, we bought a Sony PS-LX300USB. It was cheap and we liked the idea of getting a Sony turntable to match the receiver and CD changer we already had. Now I am looking to upgrade turntables a little bit for better overall quality. I think I want my budget to be $500 or less. Can't afford the McIntosh stuff yet.

My current system is:

Sony PS-LX300USB - turntable
Sony STR-DH130 - receiver
Sony CDP-CE500 - CD changer
Bose 301's (2)


I found out that Sony is releasing a new turntable sometime this Spring, the Sony PS-HX500. So I asked my friend that has been in the A/V business for 20+ years about it. He saw it at CES in Vegas just a couple of weeks ago and recommended that I look outside of Sony and think about some other brands. Two that he mentioned are Onkyo CP-1050 and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. What do you know about these companies and/or turntables? Or is there any other manufacturers you would recommend over these?


logjamming
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2014
6193 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Shark,

I have my U-Turn Orbit Plus on order. My current receiver is an older Sony. Nothing special, but it will have to do until I upgrade (currently looking at some Denon and Yamaha HT receivers).

In the meantime I need a pre-amp, and was recommended this on Crutchfield:

LINK

What do you run your Orbit through?

Does anyone else had any experience with this brand or line of preamps? Also, if I were to upgrade the receiver, would j be better served bypassing the built in phono pre-amp and using an external?

I saw in Marco's recent post that separate components are more desirable, but I also imagine that a higher end receiver would perform better than lower end separate components.


Sorry for the manifesto. Thanks in advance.


SUB
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2009
12322 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

I saw in Marco's recent post that separate components are more desirable, but I also imagine that a higher end receiver would perform better than lower end separate components.



It's hard to compare separates of one brand vs receivers of another, but yes, in general, a much higher end receiver would perform better than low end separate components. It gets more difficult to say which is better when the difference in quality between brands is less.


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Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

Chadaristic


The U-Turn and Project are both good. Spend $350-400 on the table and the other $100 on a granite slab and iso-pucks to go under the slab. It will make a HUGE difference killing vibrations. It will also add another level of beauty to the table.

Look back in this thread for more explanation--I have stated this upgrade/tweak ad nauseum...




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Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

logjamming



Going up the chain in receivers just adds more crap into the already cluster inside the box--for the most part.

If you really want to do it right, start out with an amp and a pre amp. Mid line stuff like Rotel, Cambridge, Creek, and the like are built to a different standard.

I will probably write a long post tonight on this...




UMRealist
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2013
33179 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

I have my U-Turn Orbit Plus on order.
How long ago did you order yours? I ordered mine two weeks ago and it still hasn't shipped. I get no real answer when I email them and ask.


logjamming
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2014
6193 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
I ordered mine on Monday. No word yet but I will update if I hear something.


logjamming
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2014
6193 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

If you really want to do it right, start out with an amp and a pre amp. Mid line stuff like Rotel, Cambridge, Creek, and the like are built to a different standard. I will probably write a long post tonight on this...



Thanks for the recommendations.

I looked into Rotel and Creek, but they're a little out of my price range right now Fresh out of grad school with a luxury car note-worth of student loan debt and just moved to NOLA.

Some of the lower end Cambridge looked reasonable. I'll definitely check them out. Only looking to spend $100-200 right now, even though I know I'll be looking to upgrade down the line.


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UMRealist
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2013
33179 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
I'm assuming it's just a post christmas snag.


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Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
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AUDIO 101---Volume 2...Not All Watts Are Creates Equal...





So now you are looking for a receiver/power amp to drive your speakers. How much power do you need? How does wattage translate into sound and loudness?

An amplifier has a direct relationship with the speakers it is connected to. It is a two way electrical highway, so to speak, between the two, and the two directly affect each other.


Power in an amplifier's output is expressed in wattage, or watts per channel (WPC). The amplifier's design and circuit topology have a ton to do with how an amp sounds and how it uses it available power.

The real muscle of an amplifier is it transformer, or power supply as it is sometimes called. In many of the mass market receivers, the internal case is so stuffed with boards and decoding chipsets for all the latest Dolby, DTS, Bluetooth, wifi, display panels, and all the other bling that gets people's attention, they leave very little room for a hefty transformer.

THE TRANSFORMER IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF ANY AMPLIFIER!!!

If you have ever been around high end audio and picked up a piece of gear, you will notice just how heavy it is. Half of the weight of a solid powerful amplifier is the power supply--it is what feeds the power stages.

I will say that there is very, very little difference in a 60 WPC and a 120 WPC "Best Buy" receiver because inside the case, they both use the same power supply (not all, but most). It is a marketing ploy. Now, if the power supply is double the size, there may be a difference.

Power ratings and WPC became all the buzz in the '70's because back in this time, speakers were very inefficient and amplifiers just did not have the power we see commonly today. In 1972, a 100 watt amp was a beast!...and expensive. Speakers with an 88dB rating were considered very efficient. It is this reason that many audio manufacturers touted their new models WPC ratings so frequently--very powerful amps were rare and expensive and it took every last bit of power from them to drive the inefficient speakers of the day to consistent high volumes without distorting.

Today, this is not the case, however. I like to parallel it to horsepower in cars. Back in the '70's and '80's, a general family sedan (not a Hemi Cuda guys!), was lucky to get 100HP under the hood. Every last HP was important and made a difference. That is why your dads always asked about HP in a car.
Today, a Toyota Camry is pushing 300HP!--My point is that autos have become more efficient and better built and all accelerate pretty darn well--But the old guys still love to ask about the HP!! --I am not talking about muscle cars and kit cars--just general purpose. Today, in a general utility car, HP talk is not that important to most buyers--they are more attracted to features, not motors.

Same with modern audio. Advancements in amp design make it easy and fairly inexpensive to get 100-200 WPC. BUT, keep in mind, that these WPC ratings can be manipulated to "look good" on a spec sheet.

Most "Best Buy" brands are marketed for the mass public that doesn't understand how this stuff works. They just see that Amp #1 is 80 WPC and Amp #2 is 120 WPC...so Amp #2 must be better and play louder--which is totally false.

An amplifier's spec data is determined from its time spent on the test bench. This is where an electrical "load" is placed on the speaker output terminals to determine power ratings. But, this can be done in different ways, and unless you know what you are reading, it may be deceiving.

Think of it like this...remember when the auto manufacturers used to give MPG ratings in the '80's?...they would drive the car downhill on a windy day with a 90 lb. driver and tires inflated to 50psi. to get unrealistic high numbers--no one back in the day ever got the MPG stated on the sticker (this was finally cracked down on though).

Well, mass market amp/receivers are speced the same way--under perfect, ideal conditions. The WPC spec is attained for an amp that can hold that # for a brief second. Then they can say "look! See here! we did it!"...what they don't like to boast is the high distortion levels and massive heat that built up doing this!

A well built amp will be able to hold those power ratings over the entire audioband (20-20,000Hz) for a sustained duration with very low distortion levels. These amps will have large transformers, and many heat sinks (the metal "fins" on the outside of an amp that dissipate the heat)--and do so without breaking a sweat and without distortion.

A Corolla and a Corvette will both go 100 MPH--one does it with ease, and can do it for hundreds of miles and has even more power to give, the other...you get my point.

When you get into higher end equipment, the power ratings tend to be realistic numbers. A well built 60 WPC amplifier from the likes of NAD, Rotel, Cambridge Audio, Emotiva, etc., will produce 60 watts of power output for hours on end driving a difficult speaker load with very little harmonic and inter modulation distortion.

Now, a 60 WPC Best Buy mass market amp?? No way...there is just not enough cost built in for nicer parts in these to achieve these results. Also, more is spent on "bells and whistles" which the average buyer is looking for, not transformers, heat sinks, silver wiring, thicker boards, etc.


So now---How much power do you need?

The answer to this is " What speakers will they be driving?" As I stated earlier, it is a two way street between the two. The speaker presents a "load" to the amp. How efficient a speaker is or is not, will ultimately determine how much power you will need (and how loud you listen and how big a room to fill with sound how far away you sit--to a lesser degree).

All speaker spec sheets will have an efficiency rating, expressed in dB...around 81 dB on the low end and 102 dB on the high end. Panels (Magneplanar) ribbons, and electrostatic speakers (Martin Logan) tend to be on the lower end of the scale, while single driver (a single full range speaker--like Zu Audio) and horns (think Klipsch here) tend to be on the upper end of the scale. A conventional cone speaker tends to sit right in the middle of the scale.

What does this mean? It means that the speakers on the low end of the scale will need a more powerful amp to achieve the same level output as a speaker in the middle of the scale being driven with an average power amp, and the speakers at the top of the scale will need a less powerful amp to do the same.

What does efficiency mean? What is that dB number?

This means that if you play a 1 kHz sine wave using exactly one watt of power from the amp and place a microphone 1 meter away from the speaker, it will produce ##dB of sound--it is an SPL (sound pressure level) reading. It is usually stated in this manner (ex: 91 dB @1W, 1m). This means the sound will be 91 decibels if you put your ear exactly one meter from the speaker.

A speaker that is less efficient may only put out 85dB of sound with one watt of power one meter away.






............................SEE BELOW FOR PART 2...




This post was edited on 1/22 at 8:33 pm


Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
.
.
......................................................................................AUDIO 101........................................................................................


[i]Volume 2.............POWER--Not All Watts Are Created Equal




CONTINUED....PART 2




HERE IS WHERE UNDERSTANDING POWER BECOMES IMPORTANT...



In a nutshell, every meter farther away from the speaker you move, you lose 3 dB of SPL. so that 91 dB example speaker above will now only produce 88dB @2m and 85dB @3m and 82dB @4m and 79dB @5m...and so on. The farther back you go, the lower the sound level.

Now, every 3dB increase in SPL requires a DOUBLING of amplifier power. So, in the above example again, you are now sitting 5m away and only hear 79dB of sound. To get back to 91dB the power needs to double FOUR times!!...to 2 watts to get back to 82dB, to 4 watts to get to 85db, to 8 watts to get to 88dB, and 16 watts to get back to the original volume level of 91dB.

So to hear the same volume level you heard at 3 feet away now at 15 feet away, you need 16x the power!! From 1 watt to 16 watts.

So, Marco, what does this mean in the real world, you ask?...well, lets do some math!!

Let's say you like to rock some Iron Maiden when the SO leaves the house. You may hit sustained levels of 103dB or higher doing this. Now, if your speakers are 91dB efficient, and you sit 12 feet away, your speakers will have an effective 82 dB SPL. To get them to 103dB at 12 feet away where you are sitting, you will need to have that 1 watt double every 3dB increase from 81 dB all the way to 103dB, you will have to double the power 7 times!

So, mathmatically, sitting 12 feet away and listening at 103dB, this is the power you would need...

82dB...1 watt sustained needed
85dB...2 watts
88dB...4 watts
91dB...8 watts
94dB...16 watts
97dB...32 watts
100dB...64 watts
103dB..128 watts needed to sustain that Volume level

And that is just the AVERAGE power output--not counting the dynamic peaks that music constantly demands every second!

...And if that original speaker was only 88dB efficient instead of 91dB efficient, that 128 watts needed would now increase to 256 watts needed!...and move back 3 more feet to 15 feet away, and that amp will need to output 512 watts sustained!!

You guys now see why Uncle Marco has 1000 watts of McIntosh power??

Hopefully this will give a little insight into the relationship among speaker efficiency, power amplifier wattage, listening volume levels, and sitting distance from the speakers.


I really hope I did not bore the hell out of you guys




Next up...Volume 3--"The Pre Amplifier... What does it do?"
This post was edited on 1/22 at 11:51 am


TheFolker
Kentucky Fan
Member since Aug 2011
4400 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Your posts are going to be extremely helpful to me as I start to upgrade my system piece by piece.


Chadaristic
Alabama Fan
Member since Jan 2011
21923 posts
 Online 

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Picked this up at a local record store yesterday on my lunch break:


Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91Juc2w0-CL._SX355_.jpg




And just ordered this online. Limited translucent red vinyl pressing (200 copies).

Image: http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server600/87999/products/149/images/298/John_Moreland_Throes__88802.1368204678.1280.1280.jpg?c=2


TheOcean
Florida State Fan
#honeyfriedchicken
Member since Aug 2004
39398 posts
 Online 

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Marco, how hard is it to get a nice older 2.1 system for cheap? I'm talking like an old school 70s/80s set up. And what's the best way for me to upgrade my current turntable parts without breaking the bank? I've got a project debut carbon DC.



Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
Get a slab of granie cut to fit under the tabe...say 20"x16" from the leftover pile at the local granite yard. Get IsoPods footers to go unde the slab---see them at MusicDirect. They are about $6 each. This entire upgrade will beat any other tweak and will cost under $100.



Marco Esquandolas
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2013
9900 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
What is your budget for the system?

You need speakers too?

Can you use an Integrated Amp or do you need AM/FM tuner as well (receiver)?


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TheOcean
Florida State Fan
#honeyfriedchicken
Member since Aug 2004
39398 posts
 Online 

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
I'll look into that. Sounds like an easy upgrade.

I've already got a nice 5.1 system hooked up, but I'd like to have a separate area for the turntable with a nice stand and an old school 2.1 system.

I would need speakers and a receiver. Budget = as cheap as possible. No idea on the last question
This post was edited on 1/22 at 10:25 am


JumpingTheShark
USA Fan
Dallas
Member since Nov 2012
17136 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
That is a very underrated Ryan Adams album. Dirty Rain, Ashes & Fire, and Lucky Now are my favorite tracks from it. Love versions of Dirty Rain are awesome.


SUB
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2009
12322 posts

re: Audiophile/Vinyl Thread - Post Pics, Advice, Questions, Setups, etc.
quote:

Budget = as cheap as possible. No idea on the last question


My first receiver that I fell in love with a Yamaha CR-640. It is very under-rated IMO and if you can find one, they aren't too pricey. Ebay shows they've been selling for $75-125.

Image: http://img.usaudiomart.com/uploads/large/628505-yamaha_cr640_amfm_stereo_receiver_pdf_of_owners_manual_pdf_of_schematics_more.jpg


Yamaha has also put out some new throw-back integrated amps that I've heard great things about. The AS-700 is about $500.
Image: http://crev.vo.llnwd.net/o42/audioreview/images/products/medium450/product_435596_50358.jpg


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