Equipment Recommendations - The Home For New System and Upgrade Advice

AnthonyI

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i know this is for this thread but what record mats would you recommend

VMPs cork mat is pretty bad (i had 2 shipped and both were warped), and i can't use my uturn with just the acrylic because of the angle... so i need a pretty decent mat
@duke86fan , I would put an acrylic mat on your Orbit. I had one with an acrylic platter and mat and it was great. Helps maintain the whole reason for an acrylic platter in the first place. Hudson HiFi sells them in various colors on Amazon and eBay, they run about $20.

20170710_221421.jpg

It's nice its a bit smaller than the platter and has a label recess so the vinyl makes full contact throughout ;)
20170711_210442.jpg
 

displayname

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@duke86fan , I would put an acrylic mat on your Orbit. I had one with an acrylic platter and mat and it was great. Helps maintain the whole reason for an acrylic platter in the first place. Hudson HiFi sells them in various colors on Amazon and eBay, they run about $20.

View attachment 14264

It's nice its a bit smaller than the platter and has a label recess so the vinyl makes full contact throughout ;)
View attachment 14265
I second this suggestion.
 

duke86fan

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@duke86fan , I would put an acrylic mat on your Orbit. I had one with an acrylic platter and mat and it was great. Helps maintain the whole reason for an acrylic platter in the first place. Hudson HiFi sells them in various colors on Amazon and eBay, they run about $20.

View attachment 14264

It's nice its a bit smaller than the platter and has a label recess so the vinyl makes full contact throughout ;)
View attachment 14265
thanks.. in a little while (after i mow the lawn a bit).. i'll buy the red version... because my turntable is red...

that or blue for the contrast
 

Chucktshoes

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@duke86fan , I would put an acrylic mat on your Orbit. I had one with an acrylic platter and mat and it was great. Helps maintain the whole reason for an acrylic platter in the first place. Hudson HiFi sells them in various colors on Amazon and eBay, they run about $20.

View attachment 14264

It's nice its a bit smaller than the platter and has a label recess so the vinyl makes full contact throughout ;)
View attachment 14265
I second this suggestion.
Thirded.
 

bdm105

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Who's askin?
I have three with all the shelves full! That’s not enough weight. Just don’t put a tube amplifier on a kallax shelf and you’ll be fine, they’re much stronger than they look!
Probably not safe to put a 2x1 on top of a 3x3 though I'm guessing.
 

duke86fan

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Just so I know

Does the angle of the tonearm really matter, does it really make a difference? Because I saw on Reddit one person say you aren't really going to notice it with a MM cartridge like my grado black
 

trickyseven

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@duke86fan , I would put an acrylic mat on your Orbit. I had one with an acrylic platter and mat and it was great. Helps maintain the whole reason for an acrylic platter in the first place. Hudson HiFi sells them in various colors on Amazon and eBay, they run about $20.

View attachment 14264

It's nice its a bit smaller than the platter and has a label recess so the vinyl makes full contact throughout ;)
View attachment 14265
I second this suggestion.
Fourthed!
 

AnthonyI

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Just so I know

Does the angle of the tonearm really matter, does it really make a difference? Because I saw on Reddit one person say you aren't really going to notice it with a MM cartridge like my grado black
On the Orbit you may not notice it audibly, but it does matter. Running that platter naked you will most likely start to notice skips and a little skating as you get to the inner grooves.........I've tried, lol. Since the Orbit doesn't have a VTA adjustment it's balanced and configured to track with a 1/8" mat to keep the arm parallel to the platter. Keep in mind that "will you notice" and "Does it matter" are two different things ;)
 

apholden

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my M50s might be breaking or i need a DAC for my laptop (or both). because i can't hear sounds over about 12khz (and the 12khz are only when i use the "treble" setting on an equalizer). i dont think my hearing has gotten that bad that fast so what would be a good headphone with a neutral but definitely punchy sound to it and what dac would be useful to have

hopefully not too much since im going to buy these along with the 500 other things i want over the course of getting a job
Since this seems to have slipped by people's notice, I'll chime in a bit. I've been enjoying my Schiit Fulla and Sennheiser HD1 headphones with my laptop. The Fulla can be USB powered or you can use any cell phone charger as a power supply. Either way it has enough power to blow up your headphones if you're not careful. It can even push open-backs like the Sennheiser HD800s to painful levels.

While I have no reservations recommending any of those, I would recommend considering your own tastes when choosing headphones. I think the Sennheisers sound great, but they have a balanced sound kind of like Ortofon cartridges. If you want something more rock-and-roll, I've heard good things about Grado headphones. I'm sure there are plenty of other brands with great products to choose from!
 

apholden

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my M50s might be breaking or i need a DAC for my laptop (or both). because i can't hear sounds over about 12khz (and the 12khz are only when i use the "treble" setting on an equalizer). i dont think my hearing has gotten that bad that fast so what would be a good headphone with a neutral but definitely punchy sound to it and what dac would be useful to have

hopefully not too much since im going to buy these along with the 500 other things i want over the course of getting a job
One other thing. To narrow down the cause of your problem, try plugging your headphones into something else, like a phone or a friend's laptop. If the bad sound follows the cans, then start by replacing them. If it doesn't, then look for an inexpensive DAC.
 

duke86fan

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One other thing. To narrow down the cause of your problem, try plugging your headphones into something else, like a phone or a friend's laptop. If the bad sound follows the cans, then start by replacing them. If it doesn't, then look for an inexpensive DAC.
my phone has a quad core DAC in it but i dunno how to get high frequency sine waves on a phone.... im especially unsure since the vinyl records i listen to on it are perfectly fine and sound good (bass especially)

so i dunno how i would be able to do this
 

AnthonyI

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I'm a big believer in looking for "opportunities", I came across a MoFi StudioPhono for $175 so I picked it up for the, work in progress, second system. For that price I think it's worth the investment, and I really want to hear what it sounds like, lol.

So all that's left on System 2 is the TT, the Pioneer PLX-1000 is the current main contender, but I'm open to any options anyone would like to toss into the mix. The only real checkbox for the TT is a replaceable head shell and cost (about $500).

This is the current status of System 2:
  • NAD C-375BEE Amp
  • MoFi Studio Phono
  • ELAC Debut B6's

Will probably pick up a Jelco HS20 Head Shell, cart is kind of up in the air at the moment since I may be able to use something I have, but we'll see. Probably looking at the end of the year, beginning of 2020 to pick up the TT, so we have time to research :)
 

apholden

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my phone has a quad core DAC in it but i dunno how to get high frequency sine waves on a phone.... im especially unsure since the vinyl records i listen to on it are perfectly fine and sound good (bass especially)

so i dunno how i would be able to do this
Record your test tones as a FLAC or something and load them on the phone?

Using you vinyl for comparison might work. Does digital music sound messed up on your laptop, or is it just test tones? The heart of my suggestion was to find some way of mixing and matching components (preferably with stuff you or a helpful friend already has) to see which part follows the bad sound.
 

duke86fan

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Record your test tones as a FLAC or something and load them on the phone?

Using you vinyl for comparison might work. Does digital music sound messed up on your laptop, or is it just test tones? The heart of my suggestion was to find some way of mixing and matching components (preferably with stuff you or a helpful friend already has) to see which part follows the bad sound.
I dunno how to test if something works without just tones, my ears aren't really audiophile
 

apholden

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I dunno how to test if something works without just tones, my ears aren't really audiophile
Oh! Well, in that case, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've always felt that a sound system should sound great to its owner. If your current setup produces music without any noticeable problems, then it's doing its job just fine, and you can save up for something really nice.
I'll give a little context to my earlier answer, where I mentioned using a Schiit Fulla with my laptop. I got it when my laptop's onboard sound failed, but I'm not talking about something subtle where I needed test tones or A/B testing to find it. No, I forgot to check the volume before playing Disturbed and fried my left channel. The crackling was so loud I couldn't enjoy the music. The only testing needed was to plug the Sennys into my main system to make sure it wasn't them and to scrounge up some Apple earbuds to verify it's the laptop.
 

RowBearToe

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Hey guys,

I'm not sure if this is going to be the place to ask, but I know there are many much more knowledgeable people than me on here so I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm looking for over the ear headphones to be used in two scenarios. First (and primarily), utilizing the balanced output from my Pioneer XDP-300R DAP. The second being from the 1/4" phones output from my Marantz PM5005 amp which is driven by my Music Hall mmf-2.2 record player. I currently have a set of Bose OE2 headphones. I had standard headphones prior to that, received the Bose set as a gift, and they really made me start to appreciate higher sound quality. I like the Bose, but am looking to take advantage of the improved sound quality the balanced output is said to provide and also have never listened to my TT via headphones and would like to have that option. My budget is preferably in the $150-$300 range. I prefer closed back; I'm not really a fan of noise cancelling phones, but could be persuaded to get some. Also, I listen to all types of music, mostly Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop, Blues. I listen to Electronic, Country and Jazz on occasion, but not nearly as often.

1. Is it even possible to have one set of headphones to use from a balanced output AND a 1/4" headphone output?
2. If so, would I need to change anything regarding my set up of the amp to use them without damaging either component? I've heard using balanced headphones via a standard output jack can damage the phones and the player.
3. Do you have any recommendations? Could be specific models or even just brands. I honestly don't even know the tiers of brands available.
4. Is there anywhere in the DC Metro, Northern VA, Annapolis, Baltimore, Fredericksburg, Richmond areas that I could go to test out some different headphone options?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!
 

trickyseven

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Hey guys,

I'm not sure if this is going to be the place to ask, but I know there are many much more knowledgeable people than me on here so I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm looking for over the ear headphones to be used in two scenarios. First (and primarily), utilizing the balanced output from my Pioneer XDP-300R DAP. The second being from the 1/4" phones output from my Marantz PM5005 amp which is driven by my Music Hall mmf-2.2 record player. I currently have a set of Bose OE2 headphones. I had standard headphones prior to that, received the Bose set as a gift, and they really made me start to appreciate higher sound quality. I like the Bose, but am looking to take advantage of the improved sound quality the balanced output is said to provide and also have never listened to my TT via headphones and would like to have that option. My budget is preferably in the $150-$300 range. I prefer closed back; I'm not really a fan of noise cancelling phones, but could be persuaded to get some. Also, I listen to all types of music, mostly Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop, Blues. I listen to Electronic, Country and Jazz on occasion, but not nearly as often.

1. Is it even possible to have one set of headphones to use from a balanced output AND a 1/4" headphone output?
2. If so, would I need to change anything regarding my set up of the amp to use them without damaging either component? I've heard using balanced headphones via a standard output jack can damage the phones and the player.
3. Do you have any recommendations? Could be specific models or even just brands. I honestly don't even know the tiers of brands available.
4. Is there anywhere in the DC Metro, Northern VA, Annapolis, Baltimore, Fredericksburg, Richmond areas that I could go to test out some different headphone options?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!
I think to answer your first question, I think it should be possible if you had a set of headphones that features a swappable cable. For example (just because this is what I'm most familiar with, sorry it's not closed back) my Sennheiser 6XX has the option to switch from the 1/4" mine came with to a balanced XLR cable (I just randomly googled and found this one Drop: Passions lead here (formerly Massdrop)). I've never swapped my cable before so I don't know the level of work that goes into it (appears to just be a quick swap but I can't be certain). I definitely DON'T know if there are changes you'd have to make regarding your second point above, so be sure to do your research before making it happen.
 

duke86fan

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Oh! Well, in that case, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've always felt that a sound system should sound great to its owner. If your current setup produces music without any noticeable problems, then it's doing its job just fine, and you can save up for something really nice.
I'll give a little context to my earlier answer, where I mentioned using a Schiit Fulla with my laptop. I got it when my laptop's onboard sound failed, but I'm not talking about something subtle where I needed test tones or A/B testing to find it. No, I forgot to check the volume before playing Disturbed and fried my left channel. The crackling was so loud I couldn't enjoy the music. The only testing needed was to plug the Sennys into my main system to make sure it wasn't them and to scrounge up some Apple earbuds to verify it's the laptop.
It was mostly because I was scared I could only hear 12khz of sound,

So my vinyl and flac files would be useless since I can't hear high enough to care, I don't know if it's the laptop or headphones because when trying on my phone it was the same amount but I was using a chrome test so that could have been bad, but I only really hear a pop and then silence
 
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