Gotog, how do you like that speaker? Does it use the PHY full range driver?
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My recommendation is well-known on this forum. I like the Teres turntables for the money. They have no suspension, so they are easy to set up and need no suspension tuning. They are quite immune to external vibration problems. They have an incredibly good main bearing, which is the heart of any turntable system, and is (IMO) the best bearing you can get under the $10k -$15k level. All the rest of the TT is also excellent in design(IMO). There is no dealer network(factory direct), so you save big because of no dealer markup or distributor markup. Also no advertising costs. This translates into about $10k performance for about $2500. If you think that sounds like a good deal, I think it is too. I've been living with one for over 2 years now, and it is one of the best turntables I've ever heard, and I get a big grin every time I play it.
I also use an all tube SET system with analog playback only. IMO, it is miles better than either of the turntables that you mentioned. In fact, I think it would perform in close competition with any turntable made today. For alot less money.
Since I followed Tom's advice, I have to agree. The only non tube piece I have is the step up tranny. And that will be gone on Tuesday with the delivery of my Supratek Syrah. The Teres is so easy to set up it's almost criminal!
A 245, Rega or OL arm, Denon 103r and K&K tranny can all be had for your budget. Or a 160, and you can always upgrade later. Matter of fact, I have almost as much fun playing with mods as I do listening.
One thing it won't be is sterile.
Like Twl and jphii said. Here's one possible configuration:
Teres 150 ($1825)
You need this model or higher for the wood plinth, which reportedly sounds much better than the acrylic plinth on the entry level model 135.
Origin Live Silver ($925)
Simple arm to live with and great sound for the money. If you add Twl's HIFI Mod, my VTF mod and an aftermarket dropped counterweight, you'll have an arm that rivals $1500+ arms in sonics.
Shelter 501MkII ($800)
This is the perfect cartridge for your musical preferences, provided it's mated with an appropriate arm. (The OL Silver with HIFI Mod is an ideal match.)
This pushes the limits of your budget. I don't know how much gain the Joule's phono stage has, but you'll need at least 55dB and preferably a bit more. If a stepup transformer would put you too far over budget then I'd drop from the Shelter cartridge to a Denon 103R ($275) to leave enough money for a set of tranny's, possibly the K&K's ($225) mentioned by jphii.