Turntable setup dilemma: Five or Port?

  • 27 November 2020
  • 6 replies
  • 214 views

Hi!

I already own 2 Sonos Ones plus a Beam, and recently got a Pro-Ject Debut Recordmaster turntable with Pre-Amp.  

Debating between the Port and the Five to hook up my turntable to my Sonos ecosystem. Which will give me the best quality + bang for my buck? Can I use the Five together with the Ones and Beam? 

Extra info: I live in a small studio apartment - 400 sq feet/ 40 square metres

As it’s Black Friday, there are some deals to profit from (though not particularly great for either the Five or the Port)

 


6 replies

PORT is physically smaller. Yes, both PORT and FIVE become just another Room as far as the system is concerned. The turntable can be played in any combination of Rooms.

If I may jump in with my own question…

 

Does playing vinyl through the Sonos speakers defeat the purpose of vinyl?

Shouldn’t vinyl be played through hifi/passive/active/analog speakers? 

Perhaps the FIVE is an analog speaker as it has a line in? 

 

I’m a bit of a newbie to all this!

I was hesitant myself - that’s also why I debated between the Port and the Five, and why I came to this forum. I decided to try out the Port first, because I live in a small apartment and have limited options for a setup. And I already have 2 Ones and a Beam, so to add an extra speaker seemed a bit much. 

I am amazed at the result! The sound is very warm and layered. I guess having a good TT helps. My goal is to replace my Ones with Fives at one point, but for now, I’m all set. 

Sounds great @therealblonde That would be my preferred option too as I do not have much room. 

Whst TT do you have?

I got a Pro-Ject Debut Recordmaster with built-in pre-amp (you will need a pre-amp or amp to connect to either a Port or Five). It also has a USB connection so you can convert your vinyl into MP3s (or WAVs etc). 
The Pro-Ject turntables are excellent, available in different price ranges and also look really great (I have a walnut one). You can even buy them through Sonos, though you’ll probably be able to find a better deal elsewhere  (and different models, depending on what you want). Mine came with a OM5e cartridge which is pretty decent but you can always upgrade to a OM10 needle later on. 
It’s not cheap, all in all, to include a turntable into your Sonos system but now that I’m set, I’m very happy with the result. 

Does playing vinyl through the Sonos speakers defeat the purpose of vinyl?

Shouldn’t vinyl be played through hifi/passive/active/analog speakers? 

 

This gets into the science vs folklore area.

Unless someone dragged a record master cutter out of the graveyard, recently produced vinyl masters have been cut on a digital lathe. Contrary to the folklore, digital processing does not need to damage the sound. Digital processing can be used to enhance the sound in ways that are not practical using analog methods. Of course, there can be sloppy analog or digital processing.

One nasty reality of modern music distribution is that it can be demonstrated that processing to enhance listening on portable players in noisy environments sells more music. Consider the case of classical music where there will be very quiet passages and thundering crescendos. In a noisy listening environment the poor listener will be constantly adjusting the Volume up and down, first adjusting up to simply hear the quiet passages over the environmental noise, then an emergency down adjustment during the crescendo. A technique called “compression” can be applied to the material to limit the “dynamic range” (difference between loud and quiet) of the track. Compression is very helpful in noisy environments, but it tends to leave the music sounding lifeless in a quiet listening environment. Record companies have learned that highly compressed music sells much better than uncompressed.

The main advantage of playing old records is that they were issued before the draconian modern compression methods were available. If you dig around, in some cases, you can find modern releases (digital and analog) that use minimal compression.

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