going back to vinyl - advice please!

Having just watched the excellent 'When Albums Ruled the World' documentary on BBCiPlayer, I have a hankering to get hold of a record deck and start to re build a vinyl collection.

I have had a little mooch on ebay and am aware that vinyl LPs can be bought really cheaply, as can record decks, but I am not knowledgeable enough to know what to look for in the latter - the only make I recall is Garrard, which my dad had one of, and I know itr was a quality item..

What makes should I be looking for? Should I try to get a deck, amp and speakers, or a music centre?

I have very little money and so am wanting to do this on the cheap via ebay. Sound quality is important, but i do not want or need to spend a fortune for the latest equipment, hence looking at ebay for old stuff people are clearing out!

Its a bit of a nostalgia trip, so if I decide its not for me, I don't want to have wasted too much cash!

Any advice gratefully recieved. Thanks.

Olias
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Replies

  • You could try asking for advice in an Independent record store if you have one close by. They usually sell vinyl and will be willing to give you free advice.
  • Make sure needles are easily available and reasonably priced for any machine you get.
  • oliasolias Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Bump for any more advice? Thanks

    Olias
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Forumite
    For vinyl records, buying on Ebay is not cost-effective because of the cost of postage. Most charity shops have a vast selection, and you can sometimes get good music on Freecycle. The main problem is not so much getting hold of records as finding room to keep them all!

    You should definitely buy your equipment as "separates" rather than a music centre. Get loudspeakers (exactly the same as you would use for CDs or music from any other source) and an amplifier (again a decent amplifier will work for CDs, DVD sound and so forth, but ensure that it has a special input marked 'phono' for records or else you will need to buy a separate sound-stage as well). I suggest that before paying for one of these, you go and listen to it in the home of whoever is selling it: if there is something wrong then the problem should be obvious when you try to use it. Small advertisements in the local paper are likely to offer better value for money than Ebay.

    For a record player, try to buy from an enthusiast or a knowledgeable dealer. There are some possible problems (eg with the bearing) that you might not notice when listening to it a few times, so a bit of back-up could be important. People who care about music and hi-fi generally behave decently to fellow-enthusiasts. Don't buy too cheaply, or you will get something that ruins your records! The most basic deck worth considering is probably the Dual CS-505, equivalent to the Rega Planar 2. If you can possibly afford it, go one step up to something like the Rega Planar 3.
  • almillaralmillar Forumite
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    All advice above is good. Some of the people on the show were sitting beside some very nice record decks. Do it properly - go separate!
    Maybe you've already got some of the kit available? Do you have a sound system of some sort? if you've got a stereo phono INPUT (red and white plugs) you can plug a record deck into it. It'll likely have those red and white plugs. The output will be very quiet though, so unless you have an INPUT specifically for record players (a separates amp, though some new ones, especially AV ones, don't), you'll need a phono amp in between to boost it.
    Here's one:
    http://www.richersounds.com/product/phono-pre-amps/btech/bt26-pre-amp/b-te-bt26prea
    Let us know your budget, existing equipment, and opinion.
  • Funnily enough I too am looking to now get a record player and go back to vinyl and I say this as a semi pro digital music producer that started doing all things digital in about 1994!

    Something is calling me back to vinyl so I want to know if anyone can recommend a record player these days?
  • For vinyl records, buying on Ebay is not cost-effective because of the cost of postage. Most charity shops have a vast selection, and you can sometimes get good music on Freecycle. The main problem is not so much getting hold of records as finding room to keep them all!

    You should definitely buy your equipment as "separates" rather than a music centre. Get loudspeakers (exactly the same as you would use for CDs or music from any other source) and an amplifier (again a decent amplifier will work for CDs, DVD sound and so forth, but ensure that it has a special input marked 'phono' for records or else you will need to buy a separate sound-stage as well). I suggest that before paying for one of these, you go and listen to it in the home of whoever is selling it: if there is something wrong then the problem should be obvious when you try to use it. Small advertisements in the local paper are likely to offer better value for money than Ebay.

    For a record player, try to buy from an enthusiast or a knowledgeable dealer. There are some possible problems (eg with the bearing) that you might not notice when listening to it a few times, so a bit of back-up could be important. People who care about music and hi-fi generally behave decently to fellow-enthusiasts. Don't buy too cheaply, or you will get something that ruins your records! The most basic deck worth considering is probably the Dual CS-505, equivalent to the Rega Planar 2. If you can possibly afford it, go one step up to something like the Rega Planar 3.


    As an absolultey anal music producer myself (I use £5000 monitors in my procudtion studio) I wanted to drop in and say although I obsesse endlessly to get a recording sounding right, you can actually playback on most anything and often the lo - fi actualy adds a little something! In addition to my £5k studio monitors I also master using $15 Dell computer speakers to ensure end user transformity and it still sound good in a way!
  • almillaralmillar Forumite
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    Conrad - you sound like you know what you're talking about, and you'll know that record players can be had from £0 on Freecycle to £10,000 for ridiculous stuff. Pick a budget and buy something with a good solid platform and, if you're going to use it a lot, a good supply of parts (belt, stylus cartridge etc). I'm sure lots of people could tell you that their favourite one is the best...
  • googlergoogler Forumite
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    OP: we need your budget, and we need to know what gear you have already before providing any meaningful advice.
  • Cash converters is full of turntables from wannabe chav DJs who didn't realise they don't play CDs. You can get them from about £30

    As for buying vinyl visit your local indie record store on Record Store Day for limited edition records (for very good prices!)
    http://www.recordstoreday.co.uk/
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