WE KNOW TURNTABLES!
Audio Advisors has over 30 years experience in the hi-end audio industry and turntables have been an integral part of this business since the beginning. Our staff loves all things hi-fi which is obvious the first time you talk to us. Turntables have come a long way since the older days with significant improvements in sound quality, looks and performance. We know the brands that have these standards in mind and those are the ones we offer in our retail store. Come in today to hear it for yourself and we will show you why vinyl is back!
Why are turntables coming back?
“I thought those were dead!” –That’s what most people thought since CD hit the scene in the mid 80s. Sony and the other large record companies were so successful in marketing “perfect sound forever” that almost everybody dumped their record collections. You could find LPs for a nickel at just about any garage sale during the 90s.
The promise was simple. Here was a new format that sounded “perfect”. No hiss, no static, no pops, no wear or tear. And it was small enough to carry with you and play in the car or on a portable CD player. You could skip tracks instantly and copy the disc to your computer and then share it with your friends with utmost ease. What could be better?
CD certainly turned out to be a huge success that delivered on most of its promises. However, part of its success was also its achilles heel. Nobody really liked the smaller album art or liner notes. Also, it turned out that CDs weren’t so indestructible and the skipping is far more offensive than on an LP.
Soundwise, there has always been a debate about whether CD was really better than vinyl. When CD first came out there were a lot of media-types who said it was crystal clear and more dynamic. Mega-albums like Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms showed some really powerful studio sound. But, there were also a huge number of naysayers. Audiophiles and traditional music lovers who did serious comparisons to the vinyl copies of the same records found that CDs suffered from a glassy, 2-D flatness which sounded harsh over prolonged listening. Certainly some of this was just the early digital transfers, but now after over 20 years of CD, it’s quite clear that 16 bit- 44.1Khz CD data does not faithfully capture the “life” and texture of real life the way an analog LP can.
LPs don’t suffer nearly as much from compression as CD’s because it’s not really possible to compress the sound and boost it up. The grooves on a record can only be so wide and the louder the music the wider the groove. At some point the needle would just jump out of the groove! As a result, LPs tend to naturally preserve more of the dynamics of music – the loud parts are loud and the quiet parts are quiet. Secondly, vinyl has a unique warmth or “organicness” that is undeniable. Even digital recordings pressed to vinyl take on a bit of this character. It sounds more human.
Vinyl is also more social. It’s a talking point and the routine of selecting and playing it is fun when you have people over. Investing the time in music is a social activity that iPods or CDs can’t compete with. The large covers appeal to people’s desire to hold something tactile and the rarity of a physical object allows a form of personal attachment.
The technology of vinyl pressing hasn’t stood still either. Today’s records are often far superior to the flexy discs of the 70s and 80s. 180 and 200 gram pressings have so much information on them that CDs struggle to come close in resolution or lifelike recreation of a musical event.
Turntables are far superior to what you were used to in the 70s or 80s. Computer design, along with production automation mean that all the important mechanical parts of a turntable can be made with far greater precision. The junky plastic turntables of the 80s which cost a few hundred bucks have been replaced with composite plinths of engineered MDF, acrylic platters, extruded one piece aluminum tonearms, and even carbon fibre.
Interest in LPs is growing amongst all demographics for all the reasons we’ve discussed. Kids are listening to independent rock bands that press 500 copies of an LP because it’s cool. Audiophiles are buying 200 gram 45 RPM “master” discs because they can’t get the sound quality from digital. Baby boomers are buying their favourite classic rock collections all over again because they regret selling them in the 80s.
As a result, record companies are waking up to the increased demand. We are seeing more and more new LP releases and tons of classic reissues becoming available again. Prices are competitive too, often not costing the same as a CD (which were always priced too high).
It remains to be seen whether the market for vinyl will keep growing, but all signs point to that being the case. As our lives become more hectic and we are bombarded by choice, making quality time for music becomes more important. The LP is an old format but it’s also a tie to a simpler past when music was valued and time was invested to appreciate it. That will never change. As the rest of life rushes forwards, we think there will be a growing number of people who come to re-appreciate the merits of the LP.
THE 6 BRANDS WE CARRY
VPI Industries Inc. is a high-end audio manufacturer that was started by Sheila and Harry Weisfeld, the founders and co-owners thirty-five years ago. VPI Industries began in 1978 with their first product, a record weight in two different sizes. Then, they introduced a turntable isolation base in December of 1978.
The first major product, which is still in production in an improved form, was the HW-16 record cleaning machine introduced in 1981. Harry Weisfeld, then a dedicated audiophile, wanted his records to be as clean as possible (including the dirty ones whose sonic potential lay beneath a layer of contaminants). However, the only available record cleaning machine at that time was the Keith Monks Record Cleaner. Without much choice, Harry decided to make a record cleaning machine for his own use. This became the original HW-16, which sold for less than 1/5 the price of the Keith Monks Cleaning Machine.
The HW-19 turntable followed by the MK2 and then MK3 and then the MK4. These tables have become an industry standard for High-End performance at an affordable price. With the introduction of the TNT Turntable came the reality of VPI’s promise to produce a state-of-the-art turntable at something less than a state-of-the-staggering price.
Their 30th-anniversary product was a “Classic” Turntable. It is the culmination of thirty years of work and the beginning of a new generation of turntables. Simple, mechanically correct, low in cost, and excellent at extracting the excitement locked in those vinyl grooves.
All VPI products are built in the United States in Cliffwood, New Jersey using American made parts and labor. VPI sells to about 100 US dealers and exports to 65 countries overseas.
McIntosh was originally founded in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1949. The current Binghamton, NY factory continues to grow with the company. The vision of Frank McIntosh to build a better amplifier challenged what was believed possible. Gordon Gow and Frank together designed the famous ‘Unity Coupled Circuit.’
The people behind the scenes at McIntosh possess a desire to achieve the finest quality standards. McIntosh has defined quality sound reproduction and sets the standards for performance, reliability and service. Glass front panels, Output Autoformers, Blue Watt Meters and Power Guard are some of the innovations that enhance our product longevity.
Over the years, many famous musicians, recording artists and producers have selected McIntosh audio systems for the rich quality of sound, to experience music the way the artist intended. The loyalty from the music community began in the 1960s era of rock and roll.
With tracking force, anti-skate and cartridge position preset at the factory, the McIntosh MT10 delivers high-performance LP playback with minimal setup. A custom tonearm features a rigid, dural-aluminum arm-tube gimbaled in two sapphire (horizontal) and two ceramic (vertical) bearings f or the least possible friction. A .5mV moving coil cartridge is included, and features an ebony body with an elliptical stylus. Enjoy a new level of music with the MT10 turntable. This source component will help make your home theater system even better.
Roy Gandy was working for Ford Motor company as a technical editor while spending most of his free time installing hi-fi equipment for friends and building loudspeakers to sell. He became a part-time retailer and found he had to spend a ridiculous amount of time repairing new turntables before his conscience and common sense would allow him to sell them to others! Out of frustration and a strong feeling he could do better, and the Planet turntable was born. That’s when Roy and a partner registered “Rega” (Tony RElph, Roy GAndy). For a couple of years, Roy stayed at Ford and made turntables in the evening helped by his partners.
In 1975 the Planar 2 was developed and quickly took its place in the market as the finest budget turntable. In June 1977 HI-FI News and Record Review announced the Planar 3 saying “The complete unit is worth a look”! Rega’s usual blaze of non-publicity.
By 1980 Rega employed thirteen staff, exported to twelve countries, had twenty UK dealers and there were those dreaded ‘waiting lists’, mainly by eager customers shop-hopping!
In 1983 after five years of dabbling and two years of intensive development, the RB300 and RB250 tonearms were produced. For ten years Rega had used Japanese and Danish manufactured arms on the turntables but after some searching Roy found a casting company prepared to work with him to develop an entirely new production method enabling the one-piece tube to be cast.
Over the past 40 years we have come a very long way. Now selling to more than 40 export markets and producing on average 2000 turntables alone every month, Rega now employ’s almost 90 people in a purpose built 30,000 sq ft design and manufacturing facility in Essex, England.
Rega continues to grow and develop new products, all of which strictly follow those early Rega virtues of excellent build quality, long life and amazing value for money all backed up by a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
You want to jump into the vinyl records craze, but many of today’s AV receivers and integrated amplifiers lack a proper phono input. That’s why Marantz offers the TT42P, a special version of the TT42 with a built-in phono preamp. The TT42P does not require a dedicated phono input; simply plug it into any line level audio input (the same type of input you would use for a compact disc player). The turntable comes ready-to-play with a pre-installed cartridge, so you’ll be spinning records moments after unboxing. A low-coloration tone arm, DC servo motor, and belt drive ensure pristine, interference-free playback.
Built-in phono preamp works with receivers that lack a phono input. Fully automatic mechanism plays records with the push of a button. Low-coloration tone arm and matched magnet cartridge reduce distortion. DC servo belt drive eliminates hiccups during playback.Built-In Phono Preamp for Easy Connectivity. Three-year warranty
Have you noticed the resurgence of vinyl record sales in recent years? Fueled by the fact that many treasured albums have not been issued in digital format, and with newer artists continuing to release music on vinyl, turntables are popping up in living rooms all over the world.
The Marantz TT42P Turntable combines old school record playing with convenient, high-performance features. The turntable is fully automatic: with a push of the “play” button, the tone arm precisely lifts itself onto the record groove, saving you the trouble of having to manually position the stylus. Once playback has concluded, the tone arm safely returns to its resting position without scuffing your record
Because many audio receivers do not feature a dedicated phono input, the TT42P comes with a built-in phono input circuitry. This allows you to plug the TT42P into any line level audio input (the same type of input you would use for a compact disc player) for easy, plug-and-play enjoyment of your vinyl collection.
The TT42P turntable is outfitted with a low-coloration tone arm that resists resonance for a clear, balanced sound. A high quality, moving magnet cartridge is preset at the factory for proper tracking and smooth response. In addition, the turntable’s DC servo belt drive keeps the motor running at a constant speed for optimum performance. The TT42P is designed to produce a stunning, nuanced, and distortion-free audio performance.
A version of the TT42P without a phono preamp, the TT42, is also available and works with multi-channel receivers that feature a dedicated phono input.
The Marantz TT42P Turntable comes complete with a clear plastic dust cover and is backed by a three-year limited warranty, subject to the full warranty terms and conditions.
Thorens is a Swiss manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. They are historically renowned for the range of phonographs (turntables) they produce. In addition to audio playback equipment, they are also a historical producer of harmonicas and cigarette lighters, most notably the button actuated “automatic lighter”.
In 1883, the Thorens family business was first registered in Sainte-Croix (Ste-Croix), Vaud, Switzerland by Hermann Thorens. An initial producer of musical boxes and clock movements (which they were still producing in the 1950’s). Eventually they started producing Edison-type phonographs in 1903.
In 1928, Thorens produced their first ever electric (motor-drive) record player. Soon after they went on to produce a range of audiophile record players in the 1950s and 1960s which are, even today, regarded as high-end audio equipment and are much sought-after. As of 2006, Thorens continues to produce well-regarded turntables for playback of vinyl and 78rpm gramophone records.
Thorens is also making its new range of turntables available for the entry level. The TD 203 is a high-quality yet affordable out-of-the box solution: unpack the turntable, connect it up and experience the joy of vinyl records.
The TD 203 has the sound quality of the award-winning, highly acclaimed TD 309, TD 209 and TD 206 models written in its DNA. And, like its siblings, it was developed Germany. The motor is decoupled from the plinth by means of rubber elements, and the bearing is made from bronze – seemingly small details that ensure longevity and years of listening pleasure. The belt tension can be easily re-adjusted if required, the pick-up cartridge changed in a matter of minutes, and the platter speed fine-tuned by simply turning a screw.
Pro-Ject products are the result of an exemplary cooperation within a rapidly uniting Europe. For over fifty years record players have been designed and built at Pro-Ject’s manufacturing facility in Litovel, situated to the east of Prague. This plant is one of the most advanced manufacturers of precision mechanics in the country. In cooperating with this company Pro-Ject Audio Systems, located in Vienna, found the ideal partner for their plans to produce the goods that they missed from amongst the vast flood of consumer hifi products – simple, uncluttered and utterly functional products.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems is currently one of the world’s leading suppliers of record players, with a range of models designed to satisfy all levels of expectation and budget. In many countries of the world customers can rely on competent service and support from Pro-Ject distributors well versed in analogue record reproduction technology.
Pro-Ject products exhibit sonic performance beyond all expectations normally associated with their price. They are simple to use, maintenance free and will function reliably a lifetime long. They also offer extraordinary value for money.