• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Help me decide: external phono stage or stylus?

mike70

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
934
Likes
668
Isn't a streaming subscription the ultimate consumable?

And is the total definition of consumable ... because you only rent the sound. The platform can delete the track / disc from the menu when they want.

With the physical medium you really buy a copy.
 

A Surfer

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,161
Likes
1,272
Isn't a streaming subscription the ultimate consumable?
Sort of, but not really. The value proposition is astounding if you ask me. I used to have to buy music on hard media, fabulously expensive to keep up with new music.

The cost for a decent streaming service is rather reasonable if you ask me.
 

A Surfer

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,161
Likes
1,272
I grew up on vinyl and my brother still invests heavily in the format. Fun, but beyond the artwork and liner notes, not of any interest to me. Just so much work to get right, and the amount of space it takes up.

Still, I know that my any people enjoy dropping the needle. Each to their own.
 
Last edited:

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,088
Likes
6,205
Location
PNW
Sort of, but not really. The value proposition is astounding if you ask me. I used to have to buy music on hard media, fabulously expensive to keep up with new music.

The cost for a decent streaming service is rather reasonable if you ask me.
While I'm a long time "collector" of hard copies both vinyl in the past and various optical discs in the present....streaming's best value to me is just discovery and to point me to what I'd like to own my own copy of to play at will internet or no....
 

Angsty

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
1,943
Likes
2,323
Location
North Carolina, U.S.
As I am not comfortable performing all the alignment and other setup related tasks, would you consider my keeping the Rainier and either a Mani 2 or Alva Duo as a good step up, or is it only worth it if I do both the cartridge and a preamp?
The Wellfleet stylus will be a step up, just not as big as a more advanced stylus.

But, if you were to do the removable stylus upgrade, the phono upgrade could be more meaningful since the benefit will be split more evenly between the stylus and the phono.

I understand that not everybody wants to do cartridge alignment. Many old hands will say that you should not trust an “as delivered” alignment and should always check it yourself. Alignment is a critical issue since no cartridge will sound its best without a proper alignment. Just food for thought.
 

Zapper

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 4, 2023
Messages
608
Likes
845
would you consider my keeping the Rainier and either a Mani 2 or Alva Duo as a good step up, or is it only worth it if I do both the cartridge and a preamp?
The phono preamp in my AT turntable is essentially the same as your receiver - I opened it up to see last night. Same op-amp, same topology. But without the excess capacitance. So here's the question: with your eyes closed, can you clearly hear when the recording below switches from the AT preamp to the Spartan 5 preamp, and back again? If so, go buy yourself a Mani, you'll appreciate the difference.

I'll be honest, the difference between the two preamps in the video is not very distinct for me. If I listen carefully I can hear the transitions most of the time, after hearing it a couple of times through. It's not nothing though, probably worth the $150 or $200 for a better preamp.

 

Bob from Florida

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
1,338
Likes
1,231
As I am not comfortable performing all the alignment and other setup related tasks, would you consider my keeping the Rainier and either a Mani 2 or Alva Duo as a good step up, or is it only worth it if I do both the cartridge and a preamp?
You really should learn how. It is truly not difficult to align a cartridge. Once you know how it opens up possibilities.
 

Robin L

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
5,386
Likes
7,842
Location
1 mile east of Sleater Kinney Rd
It's not really should, but just a basic setup requirement, just part of the fun of fussing with this stuff, right? :)
I prefer to think of it as just part of the irritation of fussing with the stuff. Problem with overhang and VTA adjustments is there's no "right" answer, just a bunch of different "almost right" answers.
 

Bob from Florida

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
1,338
Likes
1,231
I prefer to think of it as just part of the irritation of fussing with the stuff. Problem with overhang and VTA adjustments is there's no "right" answer, just a bunch of different "almost right" answers.

Exactly the point. Level the turntable first. Pick your overhang, but get the zenith right. Azimuth, I don't obsess over - even with a uni pivot arm, I visually align that. Get the tracking force in the middle of the range for the cartridge and level the arm if VTA is adjustable. Set the anti-skate so the arm barely stays ahead of the run out grooves at the end of the record and you are done.

Don't over obsess with the adjustments! Example below.

I had an audio nut borrow a Fozgo-meter and make adjustments until the cartridge was visibly tilted. He had a VPI table and believed the VPI BS about not using anti-skate. Once I corrected the anti-skate the Azimuth could be changed back to visibly level to satisfy the Fozgo-meter.

I don't have a Fozgo-meter - don't need it. If I want to test it the Waxwing has an Azimuth test function that you can see the exact output on app while playing the Azimuth tracks on your test record. Another reason to get a Waxwing....
 
OP
A

Abby Normal

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
27
Likes
2
The Wellfleet stylus will be a step up, just not as big as a more advanced stylus.

But, if you were to do the removable stylus upgrade, the phono upgrade could be more meaningful since the benefit will be split more evenly between the stylus and the phono.

I understand that not everybody wants to do cartridge alignment. Many old hands will say that you should not trust an “as delivered” alignment and should always check it yourself. Alignment is a critical issue since no cartridge will sound its best without a proper alignment. Just food for thought.
Got it. Thanks. To save me hours of searching and scrolling, is there a “how to” alignment video or article you recommend?
 

mike70

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
934
Likes
668
Alignment is another big point to Technics that normally nobody talks about it. The tip in the stylus at 52mm from the back rubber in the removable headshell ... that's all.
The perfect alignment only with a caliper ... Japanese efficiency and simplicity.

 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,088
Likes
6,205
Location
PNW
Alignment is another big point to Technics that normally nobody talks about it. The tip in the stylus at 52mm from the back rubber in the removable headshell ... that's all.
The perfect alignment only with a caliper ... Japanese efficiency and simplicity.

Something wrong with the gauge that comes with the Technics?
 

A Surfer

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,161
Likes
1,272
My brother's new Pro-ject Debut PRO with an Ortofon 2M Blue stylus
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20240314_021731231.jpg
    PXL_20240314_021731231.jpg
    182.7 KB · Views: 20

morillon

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
1,412
Likes
288
Something wrong with the gauge that comes with the Technics?
just to say that on removable headshell holder once a protraction is successful on a cartridge, it is generally possible to take this measurement and then transfer it to the other cartrige... at technics this 52 mm, (which is only a bias), remains a very correct and effective choice... easy ;-)
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,088
Likes
6,205
Location
PNW
just to say that on removable headshell holder once a protraction is successful on a cartridge, it is generally possible to take this measurement and then transfer it to the other cartrige... at technics this 52 mm, (which is only a bias), remains a very correct and effective choice... easy ;-)
Meh, easier to use the gauge than a protractor.
 

morillon

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
1,412
Likes
288
my point on the principle not the use of a jig gauge or caliper etc. same use...
(in oldtime denon give very useful gauge)
 

morillon

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
1,412
Likes
288
Meh, easier to use the gauge than a protractor.
yes...
once a protraction distance has been found, , chosen from the different possible options. or if provided by the brand,to make it simple and efficient as in the case of technics and this 52mm
(
a link on the work of a friend 15 years ago...for those who want to push their protraction settings...and explicit on the issues and what the variables are...be careful the link can be very very long to load... too bad...
he will be the first to tell you that if CAD produces very precise things that can lead us to imagine a necessary ultra-precision... in reality, it is precisely the opposite that this demonstrates... ironic)
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom