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Have I wasted my money?

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

Steve v

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Hi to everyone. I'm new to this forum. I have entry level project carbon deck with marantz pm6005 amp and marantz cd 6005 player plus 2 monitor audio speakers. When I bought these from a well known high street hi fi shop, I was advised by the salesman it would be a good idea to buy a separate preamp (even though my amp has a phono socket ) as it would improve the sound. I'm no audiophile but I've compared my system with and without the preamp but can't notice a big difference. I think it is slightly clearer with the preamp. Have I really wasted the 60 or so spent on the preamp. Is the built in amp on my entry level marantz enough? In general is a separate preamp worth it with my entry level setup.
 

anilva

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The phono amp built into your Marantz should be a decent one. At the same time a 60 buck external phono preamp may not add much value and must be a generic one. It depends on how big a step up on the phono preamp you have invested in, compared to the built in one.

BTW what brand of external phono preamp is this?

Cheers
 

paras0710

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I find no reason to buy external preamp if its already built in your decent mains amp. Only if the preamp is tube preamp then one can consider buying it as even tube preamp can add warmth to the tone.
 

spirovious

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There are other things to consider like room acoustics, interconnects and speaker cables.These factors do improve sound. Separate preamp may have different sonic signature,but trying other options may be considered.
 

gopib

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The short answer to your question is "Yes". Since you are starting off it would have been highly advisable to use your own amp's phono stage before looking at other phono-pre. Having said that and since you have already spent the money you can experiment. One way is to play about 100 hours using the Marantz pre and then switching to the external pre and listening the same tracks. You may then notice some differences which you may or may not like either way. As spirovious said earlier there are various factors which affect acoustics and you have one more variable to play with. Experiment and you shall find the answers!
 

Selvin

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The phono amp built into your Marantz should be a decent one. At the same time a 60 buck external phono preamp may not add much value and must be a generic one. It depends on how big a step up on the phono preamp you have invested in, compared to the built in one.

BTW what brand of external phono preamp is this?

Cheers

+1 to this quote.

It is true and even I also done few similar side by side tests. It is good not to spend a external Phono Stage which costs around 100$ for a Sub 50K system which already having a inbuilt Phono stage. Both cases probably the Phono stage constructed by same kind and some price tag OP amps.
 

Mohanv

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Yes you have wasted your money. Having said that, You can recoup some of your money by selling your preamp.

There are other factors involved such as the resolution of your speakers and your cartridge etc.. You are most likely to hear an improvement with a valve preamp like paras advised in post#4. But then, valve units cost a great deal more money.

Regards
Mohan
19th August, 2015
 

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greenhorn

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I would have said that you wasted money buying a new system!
I was in leeds for a few months last year, and within those few months, my humble flat was filled with some very nice vintage equipment I had bought locally via gumtree/ebay, all of which I bought back to India.

Sample Prices I paid
NAD 3020 : 60 - ebay
Sony STR 242L: 25- ebay
Sansui SR222 Mk1 20 - gumtree
B&W Vision DS3: 25 -gumtree
Pioneer PL100: 45 - ebay

PS: Your cartridge (if you are running the basic OM10) or the speakers (you've not mentioned which model) might be the constraint right now.
 
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Steve v

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I will keep it anyway as I am thinking of getting an audio interface so I can copy my lps to the laptop so the preamp would still be needed.
 

jenson

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if you felt external phono was clearer, then burn-in would only improve it. as others have suggested, use one system for a week straight, and then switch to the other ans try similar songs.

well recorded acoustic albums really shine in such cases.
 
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Shylo

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I would agree with Greenhorn, your system's output might be constarined by the stylus (if it is Ortofon OM10) you are currently employing. I had upgraded from OM5E to OM30 (on my Rega RP1; a slight overkill in hindsight) and experienced significant improvement in SQ

I would suggest that you take your 60 quid preamp back to the dealer you bought it from (if I am not wrong, you bought more than just your TT from him); ask him to take the preamp back (without any deduction considering you have not benefitted from it at all, despite his claiming you would) and ask for a OM 20 or OM 30. You might/will need to shell out some more pounds depending on which one you opt for

This time I suggest you demo your turntable with the OM10, OM20 & OM30 and then take a call --- depending upon where you experience the biggest bang for your buck

Happy listening !!
 

reubensm

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Its simple, an investment in an additional phonostage (irrespective of what type/quality it is) can always be a plus. It would mean that you can now wire your turntable to virtually any amplifier, modern or old. You will not be dependent on your amp having an inbuilt phono stage. Most of the modern amps don't. There are loads written about phono stages on the internet and going by these statements can always land one in trouble. A phonostage is actually a very simple piece of electronics and most commonly available phono stages do not bring much or any improvement over internal phonostages. On the contrary, an internal phonostage is better balanced and matched with the preamp section of an integrated amp. That need not necessarily be the case with an external phono stage wired to your amp.

When it comes to audio, more than reviews, how the music sounds to your ears, is what matters. A well known fact in the audio business is that money always need not necessarily buy listening pleasure. At times, the least expensive of equipment can sound glorious to your ears and that is what matters :)
 
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Mohanv

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Steve, I just noticed that you are in Leeds. There could be a not too expensive option to consider. Get hold of a second hand Armstrong receiver. The one that I had in the early 80s had a phono stage built in. Armstrongs are under rated in Australia compared to other brands like Leak, Radford etc.. Connect the Tape Out to your power amp and enjoy the valve sound.

May I also suggest a Grace F8 or F9 cartridge upgrade.

Regards,
Mohan
27th August, 2015
 
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