Are you sure you can stand it? The clicks and pops? The better your front end, the less you hear them because the sound extracted is at a greater ratio of music to noise. Anyhow, look at the Pioneer PLX500 or 1000 with a Nagaoka MP110. You'll need a phono preamp. Schiit Mani.
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Dear Noromance, thank you for your answer. The first time I heard a CD player I thought "what is this"? But now I believe that if you want to be a serious audiophile you've got to listen to CD players first and then switch to turntables. They will learn you what is tonal accuracy, lean but not fat bass, etc. Back at the '80s I was in love with Linn Sondek LP12 and i was thinking that I would die with this turntable. Now I can't stand it. It's tonally inaccurate and the famous musicality is nothing but exaggerations at the sound spectrum. As for clicks and pops I'm so sensitive now that from the moment the cartridge touches the record and I hear scratches I say "Bring back the cds". I think Pioneer PLX500 or 1000 is the right choice but Nagaoka MP110 has elliptical stylus. Any other proposition? As for phono preamp I have Luxman CO3 preamplifier and MO3 amplifier and I think that the CO3 pre has a decent phono stage.
@rawbleed Here’s a selection of non-elliptical cartridges.
The Denon/SUT route is expensive and I’m not even sure the PLX arm is up to the job of running the low compliance Denon. The disadvantage of a spherical is that it can ride higher up in the groove where the damage is more likely. Getting a bit further in improves the signal/noise ratio. I know this is not a rule (I have, among others, a Decca with a spherical stylus and it blows away a Shibata in an Audio Technica) but the Nagaoka is a solid cartridge and will do the job.
And for cartridge, there are a LOT. Maybe an Audio Technica, check out the very nicely presented table here:
Hello, you might also consider a Clearaudio package (a "Concept" or similar). AFAIK it’s delivered with tonearm & MM cartridge for about 700 euro. It’s actually quite good - ok, it won’t set the world on fire, but you’re not looking for that :).
I...the famous musicality is nothing but exaggerations at the sound spectrum.I couldn’t agree more: that somewhat bloated lower-mid & upper bass region! ("Rythm & pace")
@gregm @elizabeth @cakyol Dear friends thank you for your advice. Food for thought. Dear Cakyol and Gregm you both propose belt drive turntables (ATLP7 and Clearaudio Concept) and I have already 2 belt drive turntables. I need a Direct Drive turntable with sound closer to CD. A friend proposed Pioneer PLX 500 or 1000 but I'm hesitating because I don't want USB facility or phono preamp (PLX500) and I don't want DJ facilities (PLX1000). I'm looking for a Direct Drive turntable for domestic use with no USB, preamp, or DJ gimmicks. Any suggestion? Elisabeth proposed something reasonable. Change the cartridge or phono preamp. I think I'll keep one of the two turntables (maybe the Thorens) and change the cartridge, I'll sell the Linn and buy a Direct Drive turntable, so I will have 2 turntables one belt drive and one direct drive. What I like about the DD turntables is the robust and vivid sound and how the music comes alive especially rock and jazz. I will keep the belt drive turntable for classical music. Thank you.
Hana el cartridge combined with the musical fidelity lx lps phono stage with a selection of loading plugs included on sale for $199 right now. The lx lps is normally $500.....yes the hana is $475, but worth every penny, and yes it’s an elliptical, but it is relatively quiet in the groove. The lower you go in stylus profile the less detail retrieval you will get, so I’ll put up with the occasional pop or click.. it’s a physical medium and you will never completely eliminate it. You can lessen pops and clicks by using methods to rid static. Like the zerostat gun, leather mat, clean the records, and the use of proper record sleeves. Concerning the direct drive table, I would personally buy a denon dp37f or dp47f used. Another cartridge choice, at a much more reasonable price, would be the audio technica at f7 moving coil. It retails for only $259. It is a medium compliance cartridge that will do well in most light to medium mass arms.
My son just got project debut carbon Ortofon 2M Red for $399. He had the Audio Technica LP120 Direct Drive prior and was debating if he would like the belt drive, but told me he really likes it's simplicity. His house has old wood floors, so he upgraded feet to these Isolation feet, https://mnpctech.com/turntable-feet-replacement-isolation/
It does seem like OP has some strongly held beliefs from 20 years ago and isn’t willing to change. Has he even gone to hifi shops to listen to some tables? Maybe the same Linn but with a better cartridge? My 2c. OP has 2 great tables. What he needs is a new cartridge (sound), and record cleaner (pops and clicks), and a willingness to accept change. Technology moves. He keeps talking about CDs. CDs are going the way of VHS and cassette. Streaming in the future of hifi, and by future I mean now. I love my turntable (Rega RP8+Ortofon Cadenza Black), and would not describe my table as sounding anything but “musical” and virtually no clicks and pops (thanks Okki Nokki)
I second the butcher block acoustics, I have the 1 3/4 inch walnut version with the rubber cone adjustable feet. $100 bucks money well spent. Not sure how OP has his turntable mounted, but I would recommend a turntable shelf. I use the apollo steel shelf with wood insert mounted to a finished basement wall (concrete behind the 2 x 4’s and sheet rock) and my turntable is rock solid. Made an improvement imo. I could literally sit/stand on this shelf it’s so solid. There is also a product for hand cleaning records made in the UK called vinyl revival....it has worked very well for me to cleaned mildly dirty records. For the real grimy ones, you would need a vacuum operated machine. On the cheap, a spin clean maybe would suffice but more work....also the new audioquest carbon fiber brush works pretty well for spot cleaning and reducing static, $20.
Dear friends, thank you all. I have the two turntables upon Target racks bought back at '80s. Under each turntable there is a marble slab about 10 kilos each. The sound of turntables is great . The problem is that I don't like this sound anymore. Back at the '80s I had a friend who had an Audio Innovations 500 tube amplifier and everybody was raving mad about it but I didn't like it at all. That amplifier played excellent only classical music. When we played Led Zeppelin or something like that, it was a disaster. I remember telling to my friend "I need more kick,more drive". It was so without nerve. I remember it now because it's the same situation. I need more drive, more rhythm, more speed, the sound seems soft and dull. Maybe it's the result of 20 years listening to CD players. Anyway thank you.
A friend of mine suggested that I can achieve the sound I'm looking for by upgrading the Linn LP12 (external power supply, better plinth, better arm,etc) but all this upgrade will cost a lot of money and I can't afford it. My pension is 550 euros and I can't afford major upgrades. I think I'll buy the Pioneer PLX500 or Onkyo CP-1050 suggested by gregduke or I will try to hunt a secondhand Technics (1510 or 1710). Thank you for your help.
If you are dead set for a direct drive, try one of the older Luxmans. They are fantastic tables. Here is an example: