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DethMaiden
12-08-2012, 08:54 AM
Hey all, I'm coming to realize that I'm pretty satisfied with my low-budget turntable, but increasingly not stoked about the low-budget speakers. I have a built-in preamp, I can connect to phono, aux, or video jacks. Just looking for recommendations of a good speaker system to bring out the really vinyl-y qualities of metal/hardcore/indie/atmospheric vinyl. Let's call my price range under $500. Any help?

ravenheart
12-08-2012, 12:46 PM
I recommend you rest your head against the speakers at the next couple of gigs you go to. That should deteriorate your hearing enough that you won't be able to tell the difference. Save yourself the 500 bucks ;)

Onioner
12-08-2012, 12:56 PM
Dude upgrade that preamp before thinking about speakers. Pretty much any built in preamp is automatically shitty. A Cambridge 540p phono stage will do the trick nicely for only 80 bucks.

Are you looking for hi-fi tower speakers or computer speakers? They're both completely different markets.

If there's one thing I've learned from my time studying audio engineering and working in a studio, it's that the most significant stages of the signal path are from the bottom up. Meaning your low-budget turntable is pretty much gonna make your whole system sound low-budget no matter what speakers you get. What model turntable do you have exactly?

BloodoftheKings
12-08-2012, 02:04 PM
I've looked at those serious audiophile forums where they talk about this kinda stuff. Their attitude is usually "if you're not willing to spend at least $2,000 on your set up, you might as well kill yourself".

I think i'm just gonna stick with my shitty $100 turntable w/10 year old stereo for a while.

TonyD
12-08-2012, 02:06 PM
I should know, but I don't.
If I were you I would buy used off Craigslist or something.

Onioner
12-08-2012, 02:33 PM
I've looked at those serious audiophile forums where they talk about this kinda stuff. Their attitude is usually "if you're not willing to spend at least $2,000 on your set up, you might as well kill yourself".

I think i'm just gonna stick with my shitty $100 turntable w/10 year old stereo for a while.

Yeah, those audiophile forums are full of old people with tens of thousands of bucks burning a hole in their pockets. My setup at home is a $400 turntable, an $80 preamp, a $30 A-D converter (for "ripping" the records to my PC) and $40 computer speakers. It sounds great, it doesn't cost a metric fuckton and every component is easily upgradable if I get more cash.

BloodoftheKings
12-08-2012, 02:58 PM
Yeah, those audiophile forums are full of old people with tens of thousands of bucks burning a hole in their pockets. My setup at home is a $400 turntable, an $80 preamp, a $30 A-D converter (for "ripping" the records to my PC) and $40 computer speakers. It sounds great, it doesn't cost a metric fuckton and every component is easily upgradable if I get more cash.

What kind of turntable is it? I've considered the Audio Technica 120 which is around $200 and seems to be the cheapest turntable that's considered acceptable. I figured once I get a job and start saving I could probably go a few notches above that but it seems like anything beyond the AT120 goes over $600.

illuminatus917
12-08-2012, 03:19 PM
Dude upgrade that preamp before thinking about speakers. Pretty much any built in preamp is automatically shitty. A Cambridge 540p phono stage will do the trick nicely for only 80 bucks.

Are you looking for hi-fi tower speakers or computer speakers? They're both completely different markets.

If there's one thing I've learned from my time studying audio engineering and working in a studio, it's that the most significant stages of the signal path are from the bottom up. Meaning your low-budget turntable is pretty much gonna make your whole system sound low-budget no matter what speakers you get. What model turntable do you have exactly?

I really can't agree enough with what Onioner just said. Preamps in speakers, or turntables (there's a built-in preamp in that Audio Technica LP-120 that was mentioned), are bad bad bad. It's better to just remove them completely and send the signal straight into a real preamp. On the Audio Technica there's no way to bypass the preamp; if you don't want the signal to pass through it you have to remove it completely. That's one of the big disadvantages of that table.

Also, the "bottom up" theory is true in my experience as well. In the audio chain, importance goes in an order similar to this:

Vinyl itself > stylus > turntable's other components, such as its arm > preamp > power amp > equalizer if you choose to have one > speakers

I would invest the cash in a nice turntable and a nice stylus (most nice turntables already come with nice styluses), and find a relative or someone that has a pair of old speakers they never use anymore that they're willing to give to you.

illuminatus917
12-08-2012, 03:25 PM
I could probably go a few notches above that but it seems like anything beyond the AT120 goes over $600.

That's not true, the grades above that table are in the $350-$500 range. This range includes your basic minimalistic tables that are both solid and produce nice sound.

Pro-ject has a newer table out with a carbon fiber tonearm that's about $400.

BloodoftheKings
12-08-2012, 03:35 PM
That's not true, the grades above that table are in the $350-$500 range. This range includes your basic minimalistic tables that are both solid and produce nice sound.

Pro-ject has a newer table out with a carbon fiber tonearm that's about $400.

I never doubted they exist, I just never really came across them since there doesn't seem to be any linear guides for buying turntables in certain price ranges like I usually find for most other things I want to buy.

Onioner
12-08-2012, 03:44 PM
The Rega RP-1 is the turntable I've got and it kicks some serious ass. It was $400 three years ago.

You really want to be careful with the cheapo turntables that are out there. Pretty much every USB TT has a built in preamp that might be impossible to bypass or even worse yet, might have a stylus or cartridge that is impossible to remove and upgrade (my first TT, a Sony PS-LX250H was like that in that the cartridge was not removable, but you could bypass the built-in preamp).

illuminatus offered good advice- spend your cash on a nice turntable and preamp/receiver and get a pair of hifi speakers from mom and dad or a garage sale or something.

The sad thing about metal vinyl is that 90% of the releases in on the market are bullshit in the sense that they're sourced from CD masters. Profound Lore is an example of a label that consistently does a great job, but stuff like Back on Black you want to run the fuck away from (with the exception of their Thin Lizzy reissues, which are supposed to be awesome).

Edit: DethMaiden, if you don't believe me on the "bottom up" theory, take a look at the engineering credits for 17th Street by Hammers of Misfortune and The Tenant by Ludicra. That guy was the one who taught me that rule. :)

DethMaiden
12-10-2012, 07:24 AM
So essentially, until I'm ready/flush with cash enough to overhaul everything, great speakers aren't gonna do much to make my turntable better. Good to know.

I'll get there. Just a couple promotions and raises away. :lol:

illuminatus917
01-01-2013, 09:23 PM
If you ever come across any Allison CD speakers at a flea market or something, snag them. Holy shit they sound great.