Sunday, February 21, 2010

HiFi : Source I : Turntable

I've covered the setting up of my turntable previously. This article is to put the turntable in context in my set up.

The analogue trail consists of three elements:

Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Red
Turntable/arm combination: Pro-Ject Classic Cherry
Pre-amplifier: Pro-Ject USB II Box

As I said, I've already covered aspects of the turntable/cartridge set up and some tweaks remain to be done.

I noted before some problems playing certain passages on vinyl, but I've checked the sound against the same track on CD and the roughness is there too, so I'm wondering if the problem is elsewhere, possible in the amplification or speakers. Even so, it's the same through the head-amp and headphones, so maybe it's the recording itself. Since it seems confined to one recording in particular maybe that's it.

Until recently, I've been playing the turntable through the phono input on the Marantz PM5003 amp. But following developments in my experiments using a digital music server, I'm now using the phonostage in the Pro-Ject USB II Box. This also acts as an AD converter and outputs a digital stream from the turntable into a laptop ... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I can't say if the Pro-Ject phonostage is superior to the Marantz. I can detect no difference on a slightly more than casual comparison. Certainly it sounds more than acceptable.

The analogue trail to the amplifier is carried using QED Silver Spiral leads. These are a heritage item and are no longer in production. I've had them for years and have yet to hear a reason to upgrade them. I'm a pragmatist when it comes to cables ... I belive in solid, good quality cables, but don't buy the rather exotic claims of the type of cable which probably cost more than your electronic components.

Next: the CD trail ...