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The scenario here is my brother would like to give a pair of friends a nice little audio setup for their wedding. He has ordered a new Onkyo receiver (not sure which model at the moment) and we're looking at bookshelf speaker options. Where we both run into a wall is with vinyl. This couple has a fair amount of it, and they currently play it often on their existing cobbled together setup, which is decidedly lo-fi. The goal is to give them something that will unilaterally improve the sound, even for two non-audiophiles.

We have looked around at entry level consumer market turntables, but really have no idea what to look FOR, or where the value-for-dollar winners are. I think the budget for the TT would be pretty low, certainly under $200 or maybe $300. Is there any difference at that level worth researching, or are they all essentially the same? Are big box units (something like an Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB) not worth looking at?

My basic understanding (or lack thereof) of turntables tells me that:

a) the receiver should have a specific "Phono" input
b) there is the player itself;
c) there is the tonearm; and
d) there is the phono cartridge

... of which b, c, and d are sometimes interchangeable and upgradeable (but not always), and in some cases should be "matched". Since this is going to replace a TT that is likely from the 70's that has never seen service, I don't think we need to get too complicated, just looking for a good baseline TT for simple playback for undemanding ears.

Anything to steer me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. :scratch:
 

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This might be a hard one as good TT's are not cheap. His unit from the 70's might end up being a better unit with service then the one you buy. At the end of the day any unit that you buy even a used $50 one might be ok for your friend as I find most people that want to listen to their LP's again get a player, listen for a month or two and slowly stop using it. If your friends are not the type to stop everything that they are doing and just sit and listen to music together, than ANY player will do. Just do not buy them an USB player... keep it classy.
 

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Hi Owen it might not be very difficult to buy a great budget TT and this even if you are in Canada you can save some $$$ . Ok the U-Turn Orbit , did you ever heard about this small company that started by TT enthusiasts in Kickstart ?

Here's the link .

Orbit TT

There entry level at
Spoiler
$179
is one of the best bang for the buck lately on the TT world ( i order one that should be here by the end of February ) . The reviews are great and the price also great . I was on the verge of getting a Pro-Ject but waited and i'm going to give this TT a try .

If the receiver doesn't have a phono input you can always buy a phono amp for cheap at amazon.ca , or if you don't have a receiver check out at Kijiji , CAM or Craigslist for a old ( vintage ) nice receiver .
 

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Here's a not-too-bad turntable that comes in at around $200. Couple the turntable with the Behringer phono pre-amp (shown on the same page), and you can feed the pre-amp output to any auxilary (spare) input on the main amplifier which should put you in business. The same approach applies to any other turntable (using a pre-amp to feed the main amp) but this turntable comes with the cartridge installed - ready to go.

http://www.amazon.com/Stanton-Direct-Drive-Turntable-Cartridge-Pre-Mounted/dp/B001JY9MB4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1388768771&sr=8-5&keywords=technics+record+player
 

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If his friend is in Canada also neither options will work since they wont ship it to Canada ( Amazon + A4L ) .
 

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I would recommend a used Technics 1200 if you can find one. They are rock solid and pretty nice for an entry level table.



Here is a primer on turntables that explains how they work and what to look for. I hope it is helpful.

TURNTABLE PRIMER
 

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Great info guys! Glad I used the search function of this forum as I've had similar questions arise lately for just this search for myself.

Pat
 
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