Are all turntables alike?

Discussion in 'Two Channel Hi-Fi Equipment' started by Asere, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
    Thread Starter

    Apr 14, 2017
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    Recently I have been thinking in investing in one but I don't know if they are all he same or not. Do some play much better then others and are some more quieter? How about DAC's? Do you just use the receivers DAC or a players analog inputs like the Oppo 103D that I own? My father has an old Aiwa brand turntable. I was wondering if I will be able to use his and will it sound as good as the more current ones? Do you guys have any purchase suggestions like brand/model?
    As a child I remember my father playing vinyl records but I grew up listening to CD's but here recently I have been thinking of investing in a turntable since I have some classic vinyl records at home.
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Staff Member

    May 21, 2017
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    Corpus Christi, TX
    I still remember the first time I heard a CD on headphones. The music fading into inky blackness (dead silence), instead of surface noise and clicks and pops, was a revelation. Having “been there, done that” I honestly don’t get the resurgence of vinyl.

    I don’t know much about current offerings, but I don’t think I’d trust the ADC (it would be converting analog to digital, not the reverse) of a cheap turntable. The only reason for ADC’ing would be to convert the record to a digital format. For playing through an audio system for your dining and listening pleasure, ADC isn’t necessary.

    The two main types of turntables, until late in the game, were direct drive or belt drive. Near the end of the format life, linear-tracking tables were introduced, which IMO was in general a superior design. You can find info on direct drive vs. belt drive tables here, but I feel that belt-drive offers the advantage for lower-priced units. The belt isolates the platter from the motor, which can mean lower background noise (limited of course by the record itself). And if I recall, belt drive also better isolates the platter (and thus the record) from soundwaves in the room, especially if you play the system loud. Feedback in such circumstances was a real issue, especially if the ’table was near a speaker.

    The next big factor is the quality of the cartridge. I originally had a budget Technics ’table that cost about $125, with a $40 Audio Technica cartridge. Several years later I upgraded to a top-of-the-line Shure V15 Type V MR cartridge that list-priced for double what the turntable cost, and it was an audible improvement.


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