Squeezing the last drop of sound quality from your decks?

Discussion in 'DJ's, MC's & Turntablism' started by Forau, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Just wondering how i can improve sound quality from my 1210's? Eg, a better amp, better speakers, better mixer etc?

    Right now im using some warfdale linton 3xp speakers with an old aiwa amp.
    I think its the amp thats letting me down, but im not entirely sure.

    Also what kind of counter weight should i be going for? And what anti skate setting would be the best?

    I just want to confirm my own thoughts, and look for some tips.

    Thoughts on better sound quality?
     
  2. DTR

    DTR the village idiot

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    How far do you want to go? The biggest improvement would probably be using good quality carts and external preamps. The preamps in mixers (even A&H) aren't known for their quality.

    Then you could upgrade the tonearm, use an external PSU, modify your upgraded tonearm...
     
  3. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    New phono cables? The stock ones arent the most amazing I've heard.

    Otherwise, you get what you pay for. Find something in the prosumer price band (allen & heath / pioneer / ecler / whatever) that you like the look of and lurk ebay and gumtree till you find a good deal ;)

    I would recommend a new amp though. Personally I dont rate aiwa stuff, but thats entirely down to working at dixons as a kid and selling butt ugly, overrated aiwa stereo's for them.
     
  4. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Yeah its a shitty amp from a hifi unit that my familys had for years, but i took it because they never use it =P.

    Think first step is the amp. Then maybe carts. I have concorde DJ s carts, which are a massive imrpovement on the stanton 500's i previously had.
     
  5. Thin and crispy

    Thin and crispy Active Member

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    For the very best quality, in terms of tone arm set-up.... adjust the counterweight with your carts n stylus on so that it floats perfectly horizontally, then set the dial to zero without moving the counterweight, and then turn the dial and counterweight to the recommended setting for your cart/stylus... usualy around 3/3.5 for an average cart i think. then get a blank vinyl (one sided tracks) put your anti skate to 0 and put the needle on the blank record. It should slide to the middle, then adjust bit by bit until it it stays where u set it on the vinyl, pitch up, pitch down, 33/45 make sure it doesn't move. this will mean when you play a track the needle will sit exactly in the centre of the groove, not pushing either side. this will also mean your needles shouldnt jump as much if they did at all. IMPORTANT make sure the smooth/blank side of the vinyl is totaly free from scratch's cos you don't wanna be tricked to thinking u have it stable when its sat in a scratch! Then adjust the the height of your tone arm so that the flat underside of your cart is parallel to the vinyl, this will mean that the needle is pushing or dragging in the groove = better sound quality and prolonged life of records (as do all these tweaks). use rubbing alcohol and cotton buds to clean your head shell connections and connections inside the tone arm, do it gently in a twisting motion so it polishes it a bit too. leave the alcohol to evaporate, you can also do the same with your phono connections but always make sure the alcohol has evaporated first. and voilà! All done on the turntable side of things! Also get some vinyl spray/groove spray and a lint free anti static cloth and give ur tunes a clean lol. as for amps and speakers just make sure ur amp is powerful enough wattage for the speakers but not too much, a little less is probably fine, that should prevent any distortion if your playing the music loud... generaly avoid clipping like the plague. Some studio monitors would probably be your best bet as they don't colour the sound and make sure u have a good amp aint all dusty n shit inside lol
    That covers the turnable side of things
     
  6. Transient Energ

    Transient Energ Member

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    What kind of mixer do you have? There will always be a weak link in any set-up best you can do with a dj set up is make it the turntables! Current weak link in my set-up is my mixer, 1210's > *Numark Matrix:3* > Adam A8X. If you're using a behringer, kam or other 'budget' mixer that will be dragging the quality down the most followed by the aiwa amp. If money is no object get Shure Whitelabel carts (correctly set up), high end mixer (A & H, Ecler, Formula Sound etc), then either good quality active speakers or a good hi-fi set up (B & W, Monitor Audio, Mission) and put them on proper stands, after all that some acoustic treatment for the room (at least the corners thats what messes with the bass and causes more spikes and troughs).

    ---------- Post added at 02:45 ---------- Previous post was at 02:43 ----------

    Turntable tonearm set up. If anyone says put a penny on it they're a bit of a spaz.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OpNcXSdSj4
     
  7. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Safe for that mate. Advice well noted.

    I recently took the decks apart in a "kill 2 birds with one stone" kinda thing and lubed up the height adjustment as it completly siezed up and wouldnt move, and also did custom LED's, i might take em apart again and replace the cables and that as well.

    Im quite an audiophile, and the sound isnt as crisp as it could be.
    My bets are on the amp being the major culprit though, its only meant to drive 2 tiny speakers from a shitty hifi.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  8. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Got myself a nice little 200w amp, and its sounding substantially better.

    I do think these monitors need to be replaced though. Gonna have to wait til next week when i get paid though.

    Anyone recomend sub £200 monitors that are cool with a 200w amp which can kick out a nice bit of bass but still sound quite crisp?
     
  9. herojuana

    herojuana hairy kuala

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    I was under the impression most monitors these days were active so no need for the amp?

    I have http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2197 and they are wicked for the price, but are just bookshelf speakers so not ideal for production. Do fine for mixing though, need a sub with it really though :D also don't put them in the corner of a room, they need some space otherwise they start to sound shit.

    no idea about decent monitors in that price range, if i were gonna buy proper monitors I would save a little and get one of these depending on various things:

    http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/Info?Track=HS50MPR

    http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/Info?Track=KRKRP5G2

    http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/Info?Track=MR5MK2PR

    I don't have any experience using any of them (well not for any worthwhile period of time) but when I was looking they seemed like the best bets judging by other peoples opinions/reviews.
     
  10. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Ah fuck, yeah, your right. I shouldnt have bought that amp if im going to get new monitors. Shit :(.
    Guess i can hang onto my monitors and amp for house parties and shit though. So not wasted money i guess.

    I might just credit card some rokit's right now yanno.
    Anyone vouch for their sound quality? Ive read reviews but i want some real world opinions from people spinning the same kind of music etc.
    What kind of volume can you safely get out of them, and do you get reasonably nice bass? (going to add a sub soon anyway, got a passive sub in my car which im going to get hooked up in my room as its destroying my miles per gallon lol)
     
  11. ThePapa

    ThePapa Suffragette City..

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    Lol! Active speakers all the way mate...


    I dont want to throw the cat amongst the pigeons but a good quality mixer is integral to getting good sound quality. Also just out of interest what do you record onto?
     
  12. muzzadj

    muzzadj POW!

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    +1 on Rokits here mate.

    I have the RP5's.. Recommend the 6's or 8's if you really want to pump it though.. I mean the 5's are loud, but not silly loud!
     
  13. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    I wouldnt start any production with the rokits. Theyre massively bass heavy.
    They do make a good DJ monitor but lack the very bottom end, you will hear bits missing from the sound, especially in DNB. Ideally you need a sub to get the below 60Hz at a good volume.

    A friend of mine uses krk rp6's to produce on, whenever he listens on his system, the bass is fat. Stick it on mine for reference (2x missions, 1 maudaunt short sub, rotel amp) and its completely lacking in the bottom end.

    My pick for active monitors would be: YAMAHA HS50M

    I inherited out some of these a little while back, they were pretty good for free! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/absolute-2-spirit-studio-monitor-speakers-pair-/300583927254?pt=UK_AudioVideoElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_HiFiSpeakers&hash=item45fc32bdd6

    review: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/mar95/spiritabsolute2.html

    They would hook up quite nicely to your amp, and although they aint much to look at, theyre cheap passive reference speakers. If you do some good hunting you could probably get them for peanuts.

    A word of advice too, invest in some quality speaker cable, It really does make a world of difference.
     
  14. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    When i dabble with production i always use headphones anyway.

    I decided to go for a pair of rokit's. Ordered em on my lunch today. £220 including postage, so cant complain.
     
  15. herojuana

    herojuana hairy kuala

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    where from? that is good value!! I have a weird obsession wanting to buy any speakers I can
     
  16. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Ebay matey.

    1 year warranty n all.