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Okehdownsouth

Looks good but plays crap

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On my soap box about this and before anyone claims that I own I hifi shop. I don't

I have been collecting soul records for over 45 years and in the last 10 years it seems that there are a lot of sellers out there, particularly on eBay who claim not to own a turntable or if they do it's obviously a pile of crap. I have bought loads of records that look great but play crap and having over the past 10-15 years visited most of the UK's top record dealers and some of the DJ's I think I know why. Most of these dealers have their own collections and some are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and more. BUT why do they insist on playing them on the cheapest crapest turntables with worn out stylus's and cartridges fitted to badly set up tone arms that are quite literally destroying their records. The UK has some of the best hifi manufacturers in the world but these people will not spend more than £200 on a complete hifi system and some spend a lot less!

I have seen so many shagged out Numark and ION turntables it beggars belief! These things are thrown together in sweatshops in China and are so badly set up and aligned that just one play of your £5000 or more holy grail could render it unplayable on a decent deck. Last week I opened a mailer containing a record that has been on my wants list for years. One look and I got that warm feeling inside that you get when the seller has understated the condition, sadly 20 seconds on my turntable revealed that the left channel was full of a loud and constant hiss whilst the right was perfect.  An obvious sign of having been played on a crap set up as the seller claims that it plays great, maybe in one ear?, it is going back and my search for a playable copy continues

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I've had mint, never been out of the sleeve records that have been unplayable. Just bad pressings.

The worst one that I can think of was a mint styrene issue of the Temptations - I want a love I can see. The groove was so lightly stamped that the stylus wouldn't sit in it.

Edited by grouse

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A really valid point. Most USA dealers and store owners do not have a decent deck to sample records. Styrene records suffer terribly when played on an old deck without a variable tracking weight installed. The big problem though is any records played on typical 60's portables would have suffered from stylus wear and tear plus stacking of the records on the spindle. Even some M- unplayed 45's were pressed on poor quality vinyl so there is no guarantee you will be buying a perfect recording. And just to trap the unwary, some of the discs we chase exist in small numbers because the press run was trashed when it was found to be off-centre, mislabelled, wrong B side etc. It's a minefield but there are plenty of unharmed records out there and enough dealers providing sound-bites to help buyers make their choice.

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(Most USA dealers and store owners do not have a decent deck to sample records.)

How very very very very true. From portables to set ups where you are waiting for the valve!!!! to warm up.

Not forgetting the American record fair staple of the Big Bird player.

Tricky

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I have a Michell Syncro that I bought on Ebay for £250.00 5 years ago, it was in mint condition but 25-30 years old so I took it to Michell Engineering who replaced the bearing and springs and a few other bits and fitted a Techo Arm with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge which is awesome. The whole lot cost me less than the value of any one of 50 or more of my most valuable records so why would I want to trash them?

I fully appreciate that a lot of the records that we buy were not great to start with and bad pressing are far too common but if you have got valuable records why trash them because you are too mean to buy a decent turntable and get it set up correctly? 

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If you want to buy British (which IMHO you should) then you can't beat Rega but Pro-Ject ( Czech) are also very good and any good hifi dealer will set it up for you and show you how to keep it all aligned, or if you buy second hand just look on Youtube there are loads of geeks who have made clips showing how to set up a turntable and tone arm. Just takes a little bit of time but it is worth the trouble.

By the time I paid Michell for the new parts and tone arm mine had cost me £600, I stuck with the old cartridge because it still had some life and sounded better anyway with the new arm and then a year later I spent another £380 on Dynavector which is awesome! so you don't need to do it all at the same time. 

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Just been working in a house in GT Yarmouth and the owner has given me a Dynatron record player with speakers and 4 vintage lp boxes.

Was bought in 1972 and still has all paperwork and in full working order.Looks the biz!Cant wait to try it out.

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Just been working in a house in GT Yarmouth and the owner has given me a Dynatron record player with speakers and 4 vintage lp boxes.

Was bought in 1972 and still has all paperwork and in full working order.Looks the biz!Cant wait to try it out.

Nice. It would be good to see a few pics of that Chris.

 

Peter

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You own a hi fi shop.

:wicked:

:lol:

Oh no I don't !

I own a metal stockholding company and I do supply some of the UK hifi manufacturers with aluminium plate and extrusions and I have visited their factories and have seen how hard they work to make great gear. :thumbup:

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Oh no I don't !

I own a metal stockholding company and I do supply some of the UK hifi manufacturers with aluminium plate and extrusions and I have visited their factories and have seen how hard they work to make great gear. :thumbup:

Any idea how to stop feedback in one of my speakers?

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ok I admit to fnowing f 'all about turntables, i honestly thought Stanton & Numark were ok makes [they start from about 350 GBP here in Australia.

Why British? I would have thought German but would like to know as iI don't want to trash my precious vinyl either but then again shipping aturntables to other side of World, how would they fare.

Thanks for post, KC

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ok I admit to fnowing f 'all about turntables, i honestly thought Stanton & Numark were ok makes [they start from about 350 GBP here in Australia.

Why British? I would have thought German but would like to know as iI don't want to trash my precious vinyl either but then again shipping aturntables to other side of World, how would they fare.

Thanks for post, KC

Yep, lots of sense here. My turntable is a Thorens, once a German company but now Swiss owned. That said, there are lots of new turntables popping up, one of the hi-fi mags this week featuring four in the £200-300 range. With Technics making a comeback, the future of vinyl seems assured.

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Floor.

You say one speaker, is it the one nearest the deck ? try raising the speaker off the floor to see if it's feedback coming through the floor and transmitting to the turntable.  :thumbsup:

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Yep, lots of sense here. My turntable is a Thorens, once a German company but now Swiss owned. That said, there are lots of new turntables popping up, one of the hi-fi mags this week featuring four in the £200-300 range. With Technics making a comeback, the future of vinyl seems assured.

Thanks Frankie, I will look into it.

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Frankie

You don't have to buy British that was just my suggestion to others here in the UK. British hifi manufacturers are the best in the world but you can buy decent equipment anywhere. Rega, Michell and Pro-ject sell all over the world you don't have to spend a fortune just visit a few hifi shops most of the bloke who work in them are very helpful because they are all hifi nuts and can help you

Just one piece of advice if you buy mail order try to get the dealer to install the cartridge because for a novice to get it right is not easy. The first time I tried it took me most of a weekend and I walked away from it at least twice because I was getting so frustrated because it is so fiddly. You will still need to check that the alignment and load is correct before you use it but that is quite simple but you need to buy a few tools. It is worth the time a trouble because I have thousands of 40-50 year old records that look and play like the day they were pressed.

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For sure, there are plenty of excellent British made decks. Since going down the separates hi-if route, I've had two Garrard decks and they were fine. The current Thorens is a brilliant piece of equipment and I chose it because the cartridge and stylus unit was detachable. Not only is it easy to set up, but most importantly, the stylus can be cleaned and checked as so much grunge comes off records that have been cleaned. I keep track of every record played so the stylus can be replaced ahead of the recommended number of hours played. I would prefer to stick with Thorens in the future if I have to upgrade as the other features are brilliant ie automatic cut out, independent suspension, low maintenance, easy to operate and superb sound reproduction.

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Don't want stop you guys discussing turntables. But just one little hint: It's weight/angle/quality of needle/stylus/tone arm that may cause damage to your beloved records. Not the turntable. I got a a 130 Euro turntable in my record room equipped with a Ortofon Red 2 cartridge, correct angle and correct weight set. Perfect.

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Buy a VPI classic like I have. last table you'll ever buy. Get a speedbox to go from 45 to 33 1/3 and listen to what a real record should sound like.

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