I would suggest a "package",completely set-up w/either a MM/MI or hi-output MC.Can we make the assumption that the Pioneer has a phono input?
Rega and Music Hall MMFs will be fine.Check Acoustic Sounds,Music direct and your local dealer-plenty of advice to be had.
If you're in the states go to the site of The Sound Organization, the Rega distributor here, and find your closest dealer.
Why not a Technics SL1200!?
Cheap but very very good!
Expect to spend more than you expect to spend.
Take a look at the PRO-JECT DEBUT III, available at
musicdirect.com. Available in different colors.
I like mine, sounds decent for the price.
1)Turntable with tonearm
3)phono pre-amp (if the Pioneer you have does not have one already..check to make sure because receivers may or may not..if it does, there will be an input somewhere labeled "phono" and a place to attached a separate ground wire as well)
For best results, all these should be matched together for best performance. This is not easy to do and get right the first time. I recommend you work with a dealer that you trust in order to get it right first time around out of the gate.
but if you expect to spend more than you expect to spend, then that's what you're expecting to spend and then you have to expect spend more than that and...
Welcome to audiophillia!
Go with a complete budget TT package and save the big bucks for a nice Lp collection.
I think one of the rega or project tables should be just fine. If you buy a package, you can avoid all of the fiddly mixing and matching, plug the d**ned thing in, and play those records that have been taunting you! When you feel it is time to upgrade, you should be able to recoup at least half of your investment by selling the 'table on. Just my 2c.
Thanks for all the help! Regarding TT packages do you mean a phono stage, cartridge, turntable that are matched (what is matched about them)? Do I need a phono stage if my reciever has a phono in?
Botit:No you don't need another phono stage.
By "package",it is meant to be -table/tonearm/cartridge.Most have these ready to plug-n-play.
I went with a Rega P25.
A fellow on Audiogon recommend a Goldring Cartridge.
The Rega wall mount also recommended.
I have an old Goldring cartridge on an old Dual 1264 hooked up to an old vintage Yamaha cr-420 receiver and it sounds absolutely phenomenal
It is in my second system driving Triangle Titus 202s and an old M&K sub.
This whole rig could probably be had used today for under $1000 if you could find all the pieces in good condition and sound-wise it leaves little to want for most.
A Dual table and similar Goldring cartridge to go with it alone could probably be had for just a few hundred.
I think I am the only person who thinks the rega is overated and dull. Just get a semiautomatic prefrably directb drive from Denon or similar. It is a good match for your Pioneer.
Or get a MMF-5 by Music hall used the oroginal one, the new ones are overpriced . I have had mine for over 5 years it is just fine. I fell prey to buying a somewhat more costly "audiophile but entry level" VPI Scout.
I own about ten no joke linear trackers that I became obsessed with but they are finicky and all develop some mechanical problem so don't. On top of that they sound just okay at best, unless you buy a mint revox wih a great cartridge which people just give away 9 extreme sarcasm LOL or maybe just go for a real nice table to avoid the upgade pain and get a Walker Proscenium for just few dollars more.I thnk he has a sale on them for about $40,000 with the usual upgrades cabling valid points special mass loaded rack speed controller power distributor and some thing I must have missed.
In reality all tables sound only as good as the cartridge and the bsonics are highly dependent on which one you choose. My very real not joking suggestion for the The best underated table is the circa 1978 Yamaha solid wood plinth YP series.t is simple band sounds great. Again the one to look for is the YP series make sure it has a newish cartridge and they sell for under 50 bucks. Honest
Among the budget tables, it is very hard to beat the Regas. IMO they are quite a bit better overall than Project and Music Hall tables, especially in the areas of soundstaging and imaging. Many Rega dealers will give you a great deal on a Rega cartridge if you purchase it with the table, so that's another plus. My Bellari VP129 phono pre matches well with my Rega P5, so I would recommend that as well.
A package will not come with a phonostage but your Pioneer has one. If you decide for some reason to get a modern amp you will more likely than not need buy a phonstage . The way to avoid nuying one is to make sure the amp is an integrated or preamp with the typically more expensive version with a phono stage. If you stick with anything made before 1985 or there about it will always have a MM phono at least.
Thanks for all the help. What are the pros/cons of MM or MC? I actually have my eye on some older TT's Denon DP-59/60 series. I recognize that certainly 30 years worth of technology is a plus to getting a Music Hall, Rega or project but does it really matter?
"I recognize that certainly 30 years worth of technology is a plus to getting a Music Hall, Rega or project but does it really matter?"
No. A good rig is a good rig, old or new.
Good build quality on a new rig will probably cost more though of course than similar build quality with an older used rig.