Dear Naim Forum Members,
I own a Gramavox Floating Record player, which I suppose is more of a novelty item to play coloured vinyl records and watch the records spin around vertically.
Last night I played Cat Stevens Tea For The Tillerman album and the very first track, “Where do the children play”? I heard something I had never heard before. The song ended with an instrumental section of three (or so) bars longer than I had ever heard before on my CD’s.
Sure enough, I pulled out the CD, thinking CD’s are king and I have been re-educated. The extra bars end the song beautifully. What have I been missing out on?
My Naim system consists of a CD 5 XS CD player, a Nait XS 2 integrated amplifier plus a Flatcap XS power supply.
Knowing nothing about turntables, I do not know where to start. Rega, Project or Soundsmith are availably locally. With my stereo system mentioned above. May I have direction where to start and where I would be happy please. I know this might lead to how long is a piece of string. I chatted with my Naim dealer and he informed me that he has a $25,000 turntable system connected to his Naim equipment. His standard reply is, “The more you spend, the more you hear”. This is not the answer I was after. Thinking of spending $25,000 AUD on a turntable is a staggering amount of money to me.
I used to the a Rega Planar 8 was king and something to aim for, then I heard of SoundSmith and you can spend $12,500 AUD for a cartridge.
I am now totally perplexed and am scared to venture into vinyl. Though I think I am missing out if I do not. I do so enjoy my CD’s. Though it was so tranquil to listen how the Cat Steven’s song ended without the usual fade out on some CD songs.
Guidance required please. I am hoping Naim Forum Members can set e straight on a nice system that I will be happy with.
Don’t expect better sound quality. Whilst recordings that originated analogue haven’t been quantised, they necessarily have been compressed and filtering applied, whereas well mastered digital need not have been (sadly, though, not all digital is well mastered - nothing to do with being digital per se). Be aware that the vast majority of modern vinyl started life digitally, so all the disadvantages of vinyl simply added to any disadvantages of digital. It is worth bearing in mind that for less that the cost of a top of the range analogue source you can be into the very top end of digital, whether that be something like Chord Dave DAC, or ND555 streamer.
In my view the current vinyl resurgence is primarily a fashion thing, albeit that there are many diehard vinyl enthusiasts on this forum who may tell you otherwise. Aside from the aesthetic pleasure of LP sleeves and the process of playing an LP, at the end of the day how the music sounds is what is most important, at least to many, and only your ears can be your judge, so if I were you I would seek to compare with your existing system before buying - or indeed compare with what the same money might bring to you in the digital domain: maybe converting to streaming, which has the potential for better sound quality than CD.
P3 or P6. Good place to start. Move up later if you get in to it.
So you have one of these then?
Try a Rega P3 or P6 as others have said…it will be a big step up
Or maybe do…my analog front end sounds better than my digital front end. While admittedly, my analog rig costs more than the digital one, I think it’s wrong to make such a blanket statement, and I don’t believe it’s correct anyway. The key part is …it depends, on what you have and how your source was mastered.
Analog can certainly sound better. I could bring the digital front end I have up to the cost/value of my analog. And yet, it would not surprise me if it approached the analog quality, but failed to equal or surpass it.
Clearaudio also make great tables, at least from the P6 range on up. I’ve had Rega, Linn and Clearaudio. The later is where I am now and not looking back.
Another vote for Rega P3 or P6, and I’m a confirmed Linnie of 32 years standing. If you fall under the spell of vinyl, you will end up spending more as you go down the analogue rabbit hole. Do you have many LPs, and do you really plan to buy vinyl to justify the expense of a good record player?
The analogue collection is predominately my wife’s from the 70’s and 80’s rock. Though I have purchased a few albums at 45 RPM mastered from the master tapes. Dire Straits and Diana Krall. Plus some studio 33RPM album recordings. If I may recap. It was to my pleasant surprise that the vinyl format of “Where do the children play” was actually at least three bars longer and ended the song beautifully other than the CD rendition which fades out the chorus. This led me to wonder if all vinyl music is done this way and all digital faded out the last chorus than a pleasant three bar ending which gently trails away.
Maybe this was a nice surprise. Returning to vinyl, I think my wife and I have about 100 vinyl albums between us. I lost all my vinyl to my brother when I left home and joined the airforce in 1985. When we moved home for the second time as civvies. Shelley and I rediscovered our vinyl hidden moving boxes to be open one day. Now that the Floating record player is in an accessible position. We are now able to play them with a lot more ease. Hence the enquiry and resurgence of interest in vinyl.
I do not wish to over capitalise on our HIFI system as I do not see a future where will be upgrading any of the components. More of diversifying into other medias. As one gentleman pointed out, maybe venturing down the path of streaming could be a possibility.
Thank you all for the replies. Please keep them coming. Though a Rega Plannar 6 looks like the go. Maybe I will stretch the budget to a Rega Planar 8.
My vote would have been for a Rega P6, new or perhaps used since their may be some availble with the recent release of newer models from Rega.
Good luck with your decision.
I have the P8 and had the RP6 before that. While P8 is the better of them for sure I’d say RP6/P6 is the sweet spot in their range in terms of value for money. One thing negative about the P8. They cut down on the length of the RCA from RP6 to P8 so I had to restructure my rig. I mean, come on Rega! Did you save 10 cents?
Hi , asking for advice on turntables here is a bit like asking how long is piece of string. However the consensus about Rega is well founded, I would look at three brands
Clearaudio, Rega and Pro-Ject . All make fine turntables ( I have a Clearaudio ) , but if I wanted to make first steps I would go for either a Rega or Pro- Ject base model that came with a cartridge. See if you are comfortable with the sound ( and the downsides of vinyl) and then take it further. I think Pro- Ject will have the wider range but you won’t go wrong with a Rega
I Can’t talk about the third brand as I know nothing about it.
Hope all goes well and enjoy
This time last year my music buddy purchased a Rega P3 to go with the his great sounding naim CDi, 92, flat-cap, 90 and credo system. Since installing the deck he has literally used it every day (as well as the excellent CDi), and having heard it myself, I am not surprised! If your budget goes beyond the P3, I would recommend that a visit to your dealer with a demonstration of that deck and the others ‘above’ it, will make it easier to decide how much money to spend.
Also you’ll need a phono stage, and if buying rega then their own aria stage is the best match. In your situation I’d go with the rp6 package with the ania cartridge and aria.
The Rega range is logical in that the higher the number of the model, the better the music. You do probably need to audition at home, at least for a few days. Beware…many people find vinyl so superior to digital that they find digital ‘disappointing’ in comparison. You need to be the judge though, so please do not consider this to be advice, think of it as our own personal reflections.
Some wise advice here. And I would add that Innocent Bystander is always negative about vinyl - many of us have maintained our vinyl collections and analogue playback while also maintaining a digital source, so it is not a mere matter of fashion, and both sources can give musical satisfaction in a proper hifi system.
That comes to my main point which is about the difference between the Cat Stevens CD and LP. Here you enter a minefield! There may or may not be differences of the kind that you have spotted and there is a whole industry of remixing and remastering from the original tapes. You may find that a popular LP from the 60s or 70s has first been transferred to digital in the form of CD, then later remastered for another CD edition, then possibly remixed for another edition. The Beatles catalogue was issued on CD in the 80s and then remastered for CD in 2009. Here the aim was to achieve the best possible quality while remaining true to the original LP issues. Other artists’ catalogues have been remixed to improve the musical experience of the listener, perhaps because the original mix was deemed odd for some reason. It is in such circumstances that a few bars of music might be omitted by design or error. Then there is the controversial question of LP issues from digital sources - this might be because the original recording was digital or because the whole catalogue has been digitised. To go back to the Beatles, stereo LP reissues have been from a digital source but the mono box from a few years ago was sourced from the original analogue tapes. Some say that it is pointless buying an LP from a digital source but in fact a well mastered LP from a digital source can sound excellent and the Rolling Stones LP reissue catalogue is an example. Good luck!
I understand the curiosity, because I certainly had it.
My advice would be go for a solid turntable such as a Rega and get comfortable.
You hear comments that vinyl is so much better than ‘digital’ etc… of course for most vinyl that is poppycock, as vinyl is digital in how it’s made and the masters are all digital (clearly not so for vintage vinyl )… what you are hearing are the differences in reconstruction, with vinyl incorporating an electro mechanical method which obviously conventional DACs don’t have and cheaper less sophisticated DACs can fall away quickly with SQ, whereas cheaper TT’s less so in my experience… Vinyl reconstruction is often quite distorted (not necessarily unattractively, although IGD is a curse on most vinyl systems I have heard to varying degrees) compared to digital, because of various physical limitations of the medium, and its RIAA eq and companding errors tend to side with warmth, making vinyl again sound sometimes sounding more pleasurable on some systems.
It’s certainly offers an alternate take on recording replay that can be rewarding on some systems that might be leaning more to leanness.
The downside is that for optimum replay with heavy use it does require careful maintenance… and I found the more basic the turntable, cartridge and arm the less onerous this became.
Do also acquire a good record disc cleaner,. You will need that… I used a suction cleaner and it worked usually very well.
The Aria stage will make the total cost somewhat higher. I think the package is actually P6/Ania/Fono MC. Agree it´s probably the sweet spot here in terms of not spending too much money and still having a very good turntable system if the interest remains.
If one listen to 50-60-70 music I would say vinyl is most often much better than the digital versions you stream. I listen a lot to older Coltrane, Miles etc. Sure digital start to get better but the source of digital in these cases are horrible really. Vinyl wins easily there. In terms of later recordings not so much or most often no improvements and that’s why I never listen to 90s or later music on vinyl because it doesn’t add anything. However, if you want to get a clean popular vinyl record from say the 60s you need to pay some dollars nowadays. A Coltrane 1st press Impulse in EX/EX condition is… expensive. And getting a VG/VG+ will mean you cannot enjoy it on a good rig anyway since the listening will contain mostly noise, pops and crap.
Technics 1200. Rock solid, will last forever and will sound as good as anything at the price.
Hi the package offered does not include a phono stage as far as I am aware. You just get a better deal on the addition of the cartridge. Personally I’d look at aria over fono at this level, fono is a good match with p3 and models below. You do get the neo power supply.
There is also a brand new just announced v3 version of aria, in new design casework.
Actually aria is £899 so maybe you’re right, but it would be a very good partner!