Basis Debut Gold Standard Mk V or Sota cosmiii

need help
Basis Debut Gold Standard Mk V Vacuum w/ Graham 2/Benz ruby =around $6.5K-7K
sota cosmos iii Vacuum and Origin Live Illustrious-$5K

please help me to choose
If I said "neither", would I have to provide an alternative?
The Basis is a wonderful table!Very refined,and a "beauty" to behold.Sounds good too.The Cosmos(in the high gloss black,finish)is as gorgeous,and every bit as refined,in sound.
Sadly,the perception of quality(in this sometimes silly hobby)is based on pricing!Though the Basis is a quality product,apparently worth it's price,the Cosmos is a DOWNRIGHT STEAL!!It has been "mega-refined"in the last couple of years,and the build/fit'n'finish is fabulous.All in a rediculously low price.A bad thing??
I asked the wonderful,friendly,caring folks,at SOTA why they keep their profits so low,and was responded to with...."we want to sell our tables,for a fair price,and still be able to pay our bills"!They have been offering great products for well over two decades.These last a LONG time too,as they are built to play,alot of vinyl.
What a breath of fresh air!!In a hobby RIFE with "boutique" overpriced stuff,and enough of a "touchy/overtly sensitive" fan base to keep many of a fascade going.
You make the call.
Both are very good turntables that will provide top notch performance and reliable service for a long time. With the Benz ruby/Graham, the prices are about comparable. I think the Basis is a fine looking turntable. If I had to choose I would go for the Basis.
I own a Basis like that one quite a while now and I am still impressed. It works like a Swiss watch and even when I listened to other Turntables (Raven, Simon Yorke etc.) I never had the "feeling" to switch. I also had the Graham - Benz combination, the Basis is a tool, with that one you really can say what's going on sonically. And later you can go to the Phantom Arm. I have it and that's an outstanding Combination. The Vacuum works perfect. No experience with Sota.
Currently I am on my 2nd Basis Debut (with vacuum) and the sound is A#1. The reliability is without question as is the support from Basis should you ever have a question. Part of the reason for the superior sound is the unique hydraulic suspension on the Debut. Only the $30k or so SME 30 has something at all similar and the SME was released long after the Debut’s introduction.

Due to the Debut's suspension, it is immune from the vibrations (hey, use a sledge hammer on the 'table stand while playing an LP and there is no sonic impact). This suspension provides sonic benefits including superior micro dynamics, that is you get more involved in the music as the ‘table captures low level action that most other ‘tables ignore or blur. In addition, this suspension eliminates the requirement to purchase a fancy and expensive turntable stand as the Debut works well on any surface. This allows spending most of what you budgeted for a stand towards LPs.

Like the Debut, the Sota is known for having an effective vacuum system that does no harm to LPs. The Sota also is an excellent ‘table. I don’t think either ‘table would be a bad decision, though I cannot compare the 2 arms in question. But, I do think the Debut is a more refined product sonically.
Both are excellent tables. Those who proffer "neither" undoubtedly haven't heard and can't afford them.
There is a synergy with the Basis system. The arm/ table/cart is what the manufacturer used.
The approach is different. SOTA beleives in mass. Thier idea is that vibration control is accomplished through mass and thier spring suspension. A massive platter also contributes to speed stability.
Basis takes a different approach. They machine everything to the nth degree of acuuracy and dissipate vibration through a fluid damped suspension system.
Personally I would go sota/sme/sumiko celeb.
I think either would be a fine choice.
There goes William, Bill, WC65Mustang, 101, whatever the name is today making assumptions about which he knows nothing. This is the only thing which is "undoubtedly" true. Since your post was obviously directed at me, Audiofeil, I will have you know that I have heard nearly every table in the Basis line, save the "Work of Art" and a few no longer in production tables. I've also heard the Cosmos, Star and Moonbeam tables - each with a liberal combination of arms and cartridges - and several older models. As far as being able to afford either, please, you embarrass yourself with such silly and patently absurd, as well as highly irrelevant, assertions.

FWIW to the OP, I would prefer neither of the tables he mentions as one I'd want full time in my system, and I'm certain that finding others who would agree among a wide variety of household income levels would not be all that difficult. If push came to shove and I was also concerned with value, I'd probably pick the Sota. SS makes some salient points in that regard. If I was concerned with resale value in the event my choice proved not to be one for the long term, I'd probably pick the Basis. I think that they are close enough performance-wise that, if the OP was bound to buy only one or the other, I'd have to know more about his tastes and the character of his other components before making a suggestion.
Thank you all
I decide to buy the one year pre-owned Sota Cosmos III with vacuum (in the high gloss black, finish) for $2100

Now I need your advice for the tone arm (wick go with the Shelter 901)
On thought is the OL Illustrious Tone arm other is the SME V
Do you have other thoughts on this issue?
Trane (nice name BTW), I have owned (own) the Illustrious and an SME IV (but not a V). I have heard the V on several occasions, however. Again, these might not be MY first choices but, if you've decided on OL or SME, I'd really suggest the SME IV, as opposed to the V, on the Sota and with that cartridge. I think that you will experience as good, or better, performance and save a few quid in the process. Others can chime in with similar or differing experiences, but most every time I've heard the IV and V in comparison, I've liked the lower extension and midrange of the IV. But, nothing compares to personal listening, so try to audition them yourself if at all possible.
Sorry, no, I only have experience with Top Arms

"Now I need your advice for the tone arm (wick go with the Shelter 901)
On thought is the OL Illustrious Tone arm other is the SME V
Do you have other thoughts on this issue?"

Which tone arm should I go for? (any tone arm for the Cosmos Shelter combination)

"Trane" is for the greatest and wonderful John Coltrane
Yes, the origin of Trane was evident! :-) As to which specific arm, perhaps long time SOTA owners will chime in with their experience but I have HEARD the SME arms on a SOTA to good performance. Perhaps consider a SME IV and a Sumiko Celebration cartidge.

Because you look to be a very new poster here I will offer again the advice that you should go listen for yourself, if at all possible. If you post "what best arm" here you WILL get well intentioned replies. However there may be umpteen DIFFERENT suggestions and, further, those adamantly in favor of one arm will be countered by others who just as adamantly disagree. As an example, I heard a Graham 2.2 on a Cosmos which is owned by a friend and he continues to use this combo, and with a Shelter 901, too. I very much like the performance on that table, though I'd not suggest the Graham for every table. And, I know there are those on this board who do not care for the Graham and would roundly ixnay its use on the Cosmos.

What is the rest of your system – phono stage, amp, speakers, etc.? That help with respect to suggestions, too.
The Basis is the superior table. It has a better suspension, tighter tolerances on the bearing, heavier and better balanced platter. The arm board is a work of art. I had the Cosmos; it is a fine table for the money. The Basis that you are considering is in a different league.

unless you have a housefull of vinyl, don't spend that much. of the two, the sota. in any case, buy used.......
Hello Steve:


Have you tried the upgraded Phantom bearing?
If not, you would be surprised at the level of improvement resulting from this seemingly minor change.

Hi George,

I wasn't aware of the bearing upgrade. I guess I sould contact my dealer and order one. Is it available on-line?

I have been involved lately with PC audio-USB Dac, etc. I have a new Wavelelngth Crimson Dac coming. I will be getting back to my vinyl this week since I'm off.

Hope you and your family have a good Thanksgiving.


You can order it directly from Graham. Please see some comments at:

Happy Thanksgiving