Back to basics

With children educated, married, etc. ... I want to return to vinyl. Having thousands of excellent graded lp's not played in years, I'm looking to purchase a good 'starter' turntable, that is something not from Best Buy so to speak.

Where do I start? As a retiree the budget is somewhat limited. What can I expect with a purchase? With/without cartridge, base, arm etc...

Thanks. Richard
Tough to say for sure without knowing the rest of your gear, but take a look at Pro-Ject and Rega. Good tables, solid value and decent sound for under $500 including arm and MM cartridge. They both also offer higher end units for not much more $$$ than their entry-level stuff. Good luck & happy listening!
I don't know if my solution will work for you, but what I did was purchase an old Garrard 401 on Ebay UK, refurbish it, build a plinth, and mount my (used) arm of choice, a Dynavector 501.

This made an excellent project for me, and has turned out to be a superior record spinner. It is far from store bought, and can be built many different ways to suit your tastes.

It's something to think about, and perhaps look into. To see photos of many DIY Garrards, Google Rodney Eugenio's The Analog Dept.

Best of luck, regards,
Depends on budget -but probably can't go wrong with a VPI Traveler and Ortofon 2Mred cartridge.
The new Well Tempered "Amadeus Mk-II" looks really interesting $2850.00
(see August Stereophile).
Richard, You haven't really given us a budget to hit. Without that and your current system, it's hard to work.

That said, I've always thought the VPI HW-19 III an underrated table. Teamed up with a nice Jelco-based arm and "better" Audio Technica cartridge (system dependent), it can be a very good performer.
The budget is the main consideration. The suggested Rega or Project turntables come completely set up with cartridge for 3 to 5 Hundred dollars and are excellent
1. VPI HW19 series. Provides value wayyyyyy beyond its price tag. Excellent turntables. Will smoke out just about anything in its used price range.

2.Technics 1200 if you are willing to do a little mod work.
Islandmandan is right. Don´t waste your time & money on suspended decks (maybe except Oracle but it´s quite difficult to finetune). I wasted nearly thirty years with floating decks (lol).
Worth trying is a vintage Japanese direct drive but not the cheapest models Denon, JVC, Luxman, Technics, SONY etc (off eBay). Place the table on spikes and a heavy platform like stone.
For cartridge very compliant SHURE, Stanton, Audio-Technica but not the cheapest models. Try to find NOS AT-160 ML cartridge. The SME III is the perfect match to high compliant cartridges.

Best of Luck !
A very source are the Virtual Systems here. A lot of inspirations and when you find something interesting, read the comments or try to get in touch with the owner for his opinion about it.
Don't know your budget but below find a list of plug and play tables to consider based on price range:

$100.00 Audio Technica AT PL60
$150.00 Denon DP-29F
$240.00 Audio Technica AT LP120-USB
$250.00 Music Hall USB-1
$330.00 Denon DP-300F
$350.00 Marantz TT42P
$399.00 Pro-ject Debut Carbon
$445.00 Rega RP1
$449.00 Music Hall MMF 2.2

However, having thousands of excellent graded lps, I strongly recommend that you start with at least the Pro-ject Debut Carbon which comes fitted with the excellent 2M Red. A better option would be the Rega RP1 with a better cart like the 2M red for around $550.00

The used marked has dozens of great choices between the $500.00 - $900 price range.

That said, the RP40 turntable currently selling in Audiogon for $995.00 is a STEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RB303 Tonearm with steinless steel balance weight.
Custom matched TT-PSU.
Exclusive Red Silicon drive belt and Red Mat.
Exclusive Elys40 MM cartridge.
Aluminium foot trims and matching top brace.
Custom Titanium Plinth.

The TT-PSU sells for $395.00 alone, the RB303 for $595.00. The original price tag of this very limmited edition was $1,600.00

It has been in the market for a little while. Who knows, you may get it for much less.

Good luck and happy listening!
You are being selfless, given their will be grandchildren to support, not considering all the babysitting you will be doing. Give it up, man, your time has passed.