$300 Budget - help

I've spent time reading this forum, so I've gotten some good ideas already, but hoping for some feedback nonetheless.

I listen to classic jazz (instrumental and vocals) only. I love CDs, it's all I have ever known. I was in an audio store a year or so ago demoing an Arcam cdplayer, and the salesman put on a favorite cannonball adderley album of mine, but on vinyl. I forget what player he was using, but he said it was entry level. I was taken back by the warmth of the sound -- not as clear as the CD, but there was something amazing about the sound of the record that I just can't put my finger on.

Anyway, I want to try vinyl. My current system is as follows: Exposure Super XV integrated amp (apparently it has a good phono stage); Arcam CD73 cdplayer; Wharfedale Pacific Evo 8 bookshelf speakers; psaudio duet power center; audio art cabling throughout.

I only have about $300 to spend (just bought a home). If I like vinyl, in a few years I'll spend hundreds or thousands on a high-quality record player, but for now I just want to see if it's something I will like.

The Rega P1 seems like the recommended choice. Would you agree? What cabling do I need?

Thank you,
I'm sorry I don't have any specific recommendations, but you might want to consider buying a used turntable, hopefully getting more for your money. I'd stick with something found on Audiogon (rather than eBay or other) because the chances are better that you'll be getting something from someone who knows turntables and how to take care of them.

You can search Audiogon by price range. From the home page, click on "Search" then plug in $0 to $300 in the price range and narrow your search to "turntables" from the drop-down menu. There are many listed now in your price range, some with cartridges.

Some of the older Denon, Pioneer, Kenwood, Luxman and other tables were built pretty solidly, and you may be able to find a great deal among those and their ilk. You can get a pretty good idea of the condition from the photos and from the descriptions given.

Try to avoid "tweeky" tables that take a lot of setup, etc. Check back here if you find something that looks good but want to know how much fiddling it will require.

I hope others will be able to give you more specific guidance, but best of luck.
Look for a Denon 47F, used, on e-bay but only if you can pick it up. Great starter, and a pick up will assure it works. Add a Shure 97 cartridge and you will be under 300, but tons of enjoyment. You may never need mega bucks stuff.
Great, thanks -- I'll start searching and followup post when I find something interesting.
Any thoughts?:

Project Debut III


Music hall MMF 2.1 le

Grab it. Won't do much better for the price - new.
There's a nice Vintage belt-drive Yamaha YP-B4 with Rega Elys cartridge on ebay for a reasonable price
Another good used choice is the Tandberg TD-150 turntable. Fantastic platter bearing, so-so tonearm. Problem is finding someone who will let go of his! But definitely a table that has the "breath of life"

Get one that already has a decent moving magnet cartridge (Ortofon Red, Shure V15, etc) and enjoy!
until you have lots of money to blow, don't do it. you've got a nice system, and i'm sure a collection of music software you enjoy (cd's sound better then ever). you can spend 300 bucks on a front end only to find out you've pissed away 300 bucks..... its like paying to get into a topless bar only to find out you need to spend a lot more (once inside) to really have fun... sorry, but thats the best comparison i can make.
What Jaybo said...

You mean paying to get in to find out they are all flat chested? Extra $$$ to get into the silicone section?
Sitting at the back table of a topless bar nursing a beer is still more of a visceral experience then watching a porn flick online (er, that's my attempt at an analogy for vinyl vs cd).

Frankly, playing records puts the fun back into music.. and jazz in particular feels more lively and engaging on vinyl.. Considering you already paid for the decent phono stage in your integrated, pick up a Technics SL1200 with a decent cart and enjoy playing dj with your favorite jazz tracks.
1a. It is definitely worth it to play around with an entry level vinyl set up - but beware - it is a gateway drug

1b. Or, playing on the theme above - if CD is like a topless bar - budget vinyl is like going out in Las Vegas, Hawaii or Florida - and a great vinyl set up is (almost) like going home with someone you like... a lot... for the first time

2. I would not spring for the Rega P1, there are a lot better options available at that price point used - advice on reasonable options given above.
queg...thats valid..point made splendidly. the girls ( er, the lp's)do vary wildly.
I think that there are an assortment of mediocre tables around already set up that will provide the analog spirit. I think some is better than none and while I bought only crappy tables after initially finding the MMF-5 and Goldring a little less analytical than I desired that I never felt I pissed away the money. I did buy a different cartridge but haven't the spine to install it. In the meanwhile in my listening den of iniquity I bought a Scout factory set up with a Dynevector 20X H an ARC SP6B fuirst then a Graham Slee phono stage and I like it a great deal. I don't feel that the tables are the same as unattractive ladies pretending to be alluring . I keep my singles in my pocket but I still look.That said
A friend is a home dealer for Allnic and I found myself thinking about a starter unit but not until I can afford it. I don't feel like I peed away the money on the Amp 2 SE at all, even though I think it could be bettered.
The tables that have been recommended to you have very little risk. You would almost certainly get back close to what you paid if you want to upgrade or get out of analog.
Thanks all for the responses. I think we've beat the strip-club analogy to death, but I get the picture.

Part of the reason I want to go vinyl is that my father has a nice collection of Bill Evans and Sinatra recordings. They survived a flooding, so while they look "ok" they may not actually play well, but I do have access to some records to start.

That Technics SL1200 player seems really cheap looking and built for DJ's rather than listeners. Am I missing something?
the technics is quite good actually.
Do not go by the looks of the Technics, it is built like a tank. Do a quick search on Technics or go to www.kabusa.com. Under $1k you will not find a better built table and it is a blast to play. Easy to set up and a great upgrade path. One thing I would stay away from is a used Technics table from eBay, a lot are beat to death. Yes, they are popular with dj's. Because they are extremely overbuilt. They are very heavy and just feel like a well machined tool. You are going to have to determine if the sound is for you but one thing is certain there isn't a more overbuilt table anywhere near it's price.
Probably a silly question, but why does it matter if it's built like a tank? Good build quality is one thing, but it would sit on my audio stand and not move for 5 years. Anyway, it sounds like I have to find some audio stores and demo some equipment.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned a used Thorens. Besides the SL1200, and later get the KAB mod, this might be the best bargain out there.
Spending on a new table at this price point is a bad idea for any music lover. Seriously.
A live demo is probably not going to be available. Read up, buy used, cross fingers, take plunge, put a couple of $1's in her garter belt & enjoy. Cheers,
Probably a silly question, but why does it matter if it's built like a tank? Good build quality is one thing, but it would sit on my audio stand and not move for 5 years. Anyway, it sounds like I have to find some audio stores and demo some equipment.

If you have to ask perhaps you should stick with digital.
Perhaps. Though last time I checked, asking questions in a forum was aimed at obtaining advice/answers, rather than receiving snide unintelligent remarks.

I think I have the direction I need, thank you everyone (well mostly everyone) for your remarks and assistance.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy.

When I discovered music on vinyl it was like listening to the great musicians for the first time all over again.

It would be nice to hear back from you as to what you purchased and then after you've had a chance to dial it in, what your thoughts are.

Best of luck