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HELP LIGHTSTAR

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DaveS

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:48 pm

HELP LIGHTSTAR

My Empire turntable has 2 RCA plugs and 1 ground wire. The LIGHTSTAR PREANP manual says something about a RIAA preamp, what up with this gizmo? I read what it does but do I need it?
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RichP714

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:30 pm

The TT input on any preamp is drastically different than any other line input.

One of the biggest differences is the RIAA equalization curve

Basically, to compensate for the non-linearity of demodulating vinyl grooves with a mechanical stylus, the RIAA curve boosts bass and reduces treble.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization

Without this a TT will sound extremely bad, no bottom, very hissy, .....ugly
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tfm75

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:33 pm

This is just one example of what you need as the Lightstar has no Turn Table/ Phono inputs.

http://cgi.ebay.com/PHONO-PREAMPLIFIER- ... dZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Stereo-Phono-Pr ... dZViewItem

I'm not saying that the two of these are worth a crap, just wanted to show you what you need to make your TT work with the Lightstar.

There are some great pre-preamp that are out there and I'm sure some of the TT lovers on the forum will point you in the right direction.
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OBI56

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:19 pm

With all due respect sir TFM75, we ARE talking about an Empire TT and a LIGHTSTAR!!! Yes, the 2 models will allow you to plug a TT with a magnetic cartridge to something not designed for one, but these 2 are prime examples of just how easy it is to make a Lightstar sound like a $39.99 WalMart all in 1 stereo system .... O:) O:) O:) Both the TT and the Lightstar deserve MUCH better than this. I'm including a link to a site that offers a selection from one of your selections all the way up to dedicated phone pre-amps several times the cost of the Lightstar.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Stor ... %2C63%2C63

I've linked to page 2 (the lower priced models) because one of the best choices in terms of price/performance is on there; the Pro-Ject Phonobox. It can accomodate both MM, low and high output MC cartridges, has Class A, dual mono design, high quality components, extremely low noise and distortion ratings. IMO it is better than any phono input stage ever factory installed in a receiver (except maybe for McIntosh) and can rival with the best integrated amps or pre-amps ever made. All for just $129. For $250, the Creek MM only phono pre-amp is also a worthy choice and has an excellent reputation. The Rega, JoLida and Grado are also good units. Of these 5, I have personally heard the Pro-Ject, Rega and Grado and they all sound great to me, each with its own slight personal sound.

If tube phono preamps are more your taste, then the Pro-Ject TubeBox or TubeBox SE II are both good choices (haven't heard the SE but I've been told it is slightly better than the regular TubeBox). Above that, the sky is the limit as far as pricing goes.

I seem to remember that one of our members owns a Pro-Ject PhonoBox II or TubeBox SE II, so maybe he can pass on his comments
Last edited by OBI56 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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DaveS

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:42 pm

How about this one? http://www.needledoctor.com/Bellari-VP1 ... tegory=401

Are you telling me NOT to use my 50 year old Empire TT? :cry: :cry: :cry: It`s only rock n roll!!!!!!!!
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OBI56

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:03 pm

DaveS wrote:How about this one? http://www.needledoctor.com/Bellari-VP1 ... tegory=401

Are you telling me NOT to use my 50 year old Empire TT? :cry: :cry: :cry: It`s only rock n roll!!!!!!!!


Not at all Sir Dave! I'm just saying that such a fine old instrument deserves the best as does your esteemed Lightstar! I can't comment on the Bellari tupe phone preamp as I have never personally heard or seen one, but I do note that it is a single tube design, not a 2 tube, dual mono design like the Pro-Ject. My only concern is that a tube phone pre-amp might not sound as clear in the extreme highs as an SS one due to the nature of the low compliance phono cartridges that are compatible with the high mass tonearm on your Empire.

I can only comment of things I have actually heard; anything else would simply be conjecture on my part.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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tfm75

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:49 am

OBI56 wrote:, but these 2 are prime examples of just how easy it is to make a Lightstar sound like a $39.99 WalMart all in 1 stereo system ....


OBI56 maybe you should re-read what I said. This is what he needs to use his TT with the Lightstar.

I was giving him a quick reference of what was missing on the Lightstar. Only a fool would get this low of quality unit. I knew Dave would use the info to get a top unit now that he knew what he needed to use his TT.

Fuck OBI56 give Dave and I more credit that this. [-(
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RichP714

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:18 am

This guy likes his PS Audio GCPH with the lightstar pre:

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37975
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OBI56

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:32 am

tfm75 wrote:
OBI56 wrote:, but these 2 are prime examples of just how easy it is to make a Lightstar sound like a $39.99 WalMart all in 1 stereo system ....


OBI56 maybe you should re-read what I said. This is what he needs to use his TT with the Lightstar.

I was giving him a quick reference of what was missing on the Lightstar. Only a fool would get this low of quality unit. I knew Dave would use the info to get a top unit now that he knew what he needed to use his TT.

Fuck OBI56 give Dave and I more credit that this. [-(


Sir TFM75, no disrespect to either of you was intended (notice the use of the 3 smileys in my original post). The very fact that those 2 particular models are out there (and together probably sell more units than all of the other brands I suggested combined) means that a boatload of fools out there think that this is the only way to go (and you probably couldn't find anything better at most electonics store anyways).

Now, I know that you or Dave or any of the other senior members on here know better than to even suggest such pieces of crap even to your grandmother, and just wanted to re-enforce your statement with a bit of (admittedly) warped humor! You also pointed out that there are other great pre-preamp choices out there and that some of the TT lovers on the Forum would point him in the right direction. So I supplied a link to one source that happens to have one of the widest selections of vinyl stuff in the country and offered a few of my personal suggestions.

Quite frankly, I don't see anything I said or did in my post that either contradicts anything you said or shows any disrespect to you or Dave. The main goal of this forum is to share and learn and I think that I have done more than my fair share of offering up help and suggestions, asking questions about stuff I don't know anything about and sharing my own extensive knowledge in those areas I happen to be well versed in. I don't think that I have ever been disrespectful or intentionally offended ANY menber of this forum and if I have, please feel free to call me out on it. If I want to disrespect, offend or insult someone, I'm the kind of guy who does that in private via PM, not in the public forum and I have never done this in here up till now.

So please, give ME more credit than this.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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BlueMDPicker

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:56 am

RichP714 wrote:This guy likes his PS Audio GCPH with the lightstar pre:

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37975


This guy likes that GCPH in any lineup I've tried it in. O:) It's with my Bluenote Bellavista TT now and will probably just stay there. It's world class in my book.

I currently have a Bottlehead Seduction, with CS4 upgrade and Amperex USN-CEP 7308's, that I built with the Lightstar. Great synergy.
Carver 2CH: Rega Planet 2000 CDP | MMF-5SE | Seduction Phono | Lightstar Direct | Lightstar Reference | A-500X | Marchand XM44 Xover | Innersound Isis MK3.5
Main 2CH: Wadia 301 | PSA GCP-200, GCA-250, GCPH | Revel LE-1 | Revel Ultima Gems | Revel Sub-15
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DaveS

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:14 am

Is this what I`m lookig for? Carver MCT Moving coil transformer
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tfm75

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:00 pm

Dave you could also do what Dreamer did with his set-up. He was using his C-4000 to plug his TT into the "Phono inputs" than running the C-4000 out the "tape outs" to this new preamp or in your case the Lightstar.

I'm sure you have an old Carver preamp around the house right. What the heck give it a try.

And the Carver MCT Moving coil transformer, well If I said anything about this it might come back the $19.99 K-Mart special. There I put my \:D/ \:D/ \:D/.................................................................... [-(
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OBI56

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:14 pm

DaveS wrote:Is this what I`m lookig for? Carver MCT Moving coil transformer


Not unless you have a moving coil cartridge on that Empire Dave. Phone cartridges break down into 2 main types: Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC). They differ mechanically but the main thing that concerns them is that typically MC cartridges need 10db more gain to equal the output level of a normal MM cartridge. The mass market was and still is mostly MM so manufacturers usually included only that in their pre-amplifier circuits. Since MC was exclusively reserved for the very high end (read expensive) equipment, MC inputs were very rare indeed in pre-amps so you needed to use a step-up transformer to get the output up to where a MM phono input could use it.

Ironically, Carver was one of the first brands anywhere near the mass market to have MC inputs on their preamps and after that the very high end of the mass market players started offering them on their top models too (this quoted from memory) bringing the sound of MC down to where the enthusiast on a more limited budget couls actually afford it.

So, to answer your question in 1 word; no. Not unless you have a MC cartridge on your Empire TT which I highly doubt as those were "usually" equipped with Empire MM cartridges. So, you still need a phono preamp of some sort and if you are looking at any of the units we have previously discussed, they will usually specify if they can accomodate a MC cartridge or not.

One other possibility that we never discussed is to use a Carver preamp like a C-1, C-2 or C-3 for example to plug in your TT and run the tape out from it to an unused input on your Lightstar (the C- and C-2 both have MM/MC inputs, not sure about the C-3)

Final note; can you check which cartridge is installed on your Empire TT?
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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OBI56

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:20 pm

tfm75 wrote:Dave you could also do what Dreamer did with his set-up. He was using his C-4000 to plug his TT into the "Phono inputs" than running the C-4000 out the "tape outs" to this new preamp or in your case the Lightstar.

I'm sure you have an old Carver preamp around the house right. What the heck give it a try.

And the Carver MCT Moving coil transformer, well If I said anything about this it might come back the $19.99 K-Mart special. There I put my \:D/ \:D/ \:D/.................................................................... [-(


LOL @ TFM75!!! You see, we both came up with the same alternate solution! Actually, that MCT was one of the better transformers out there at the time. Back then transformers were the only way to hook up a MC cartridge and electronic MC step up preamps were rare and usually noisier than a good transformer. Transformers still exist today but they are at the very high end and are hellishly expensive. The whole transformer VS pre-pre-preamp debate is quite similar to the tube VS solid state debate.

Just as long as it works and sounds good, I really have no sides to take on this one.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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DaveS

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Post Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:23 pm

SSSSSSSSSSSSooooooooooooo what you are saying is YES that is the one I want?
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