I have the Basis 2500 with the Dynavector IV and Lyra Tital 1. It is very well made and sounds great - detailed and musical. And like all other great turntables, it will reveal any deficiencies downstream in one's system.
Enjoy the process!
I have a Basis Ovation (owned since around 1990 or so), which I had upgraded to add the Debut's platter, bearing and vacuum system after about 12 years. It is an excellent table, extremely well-engineered and machined and well-isolated from vibrations, if that is a concern for you. It's suspension system is extremely effective and well thought-out. Great-looking too, even after all this time. The original Ovations had one quirk I did not like, in that you had to change the belt pulley (with the smallest Allen wrench you can find, it seemed) to change from 33-1/3 rpm to 45, but the new motor I got when I upgraded the table has a dual drive pulley, and I got a Walker Motor Drive before that anyway to change speeds without changing the pulley. The Ovation was preferred by some to the Debut when it came out because, supposedly, its thinner plinth made its reproduction of dynamics a little crisper than that of its bigger brother; however, my one criticism of the table, and it's a minor one, is that it seems to lack the last word in transient sharpness, mid-bass definition and dynamics compared to a table without an acryllic plinth (like the SMEs). You might find that translates into a slightly "darker" sound than you're used to with your SOTA (which I also liked a lot at the time). I have heard the original version of the SOTA Cosmos, and preferred the Basis to it at the time, but it was more a matter of my taste and available funds (it was more expensive) rather than quality, as it too was an excellent TT; can't comment on the latest version of the Cosmos, but I believe you'll hear from its admirers in this thread, it's a fine product.
I had an Ovation until this fall, when I went back to being a VPI dealer. Am now using an Aries with everything and 12.7 arm. It has a different sound than my Ovation with SME IV but you could prefer either one. The Ovation is a really excellent table, the best built I have ever had.
Thanks to everyone who posted thus far.
I've had two Sota tables since 1983. First a Sapphire, then a Sota Star Sapphire (vacuum) that I bought when I worked at a high end retailer. I've always liked Sota's but it might be time for change. A friend of mine has a Debut that is really nice. I know the Debut could most likely be a better (and probably is) a better table than the Cosmos.
I have noticed some speed instability with the Star I have now on some piano passages. From what I've read and heard the Basis does not have that problem and the newest Cosmos does not either.
A little "dark" sounding is fine with me as I listen to a lot of pop and rock recordings that are usually bright anyway. I also listen to jazz, blues, and just a little classical.
I never play 45's so changing speeds is not a big deal to me.
Does anyone know if the armboards between the Ovation and the Debut interchange ?
The rest of the system is a Classe Six pre, Levinson 23.5 power, and Revel F53 speakers along with two Revel 12" subs.
I don't think the armboards are interchangable between the Ovation and Debut, my recollection is that the Ovation's is more rectangular.
I will add that my Ovation is essentially a Debut V vacuum with the upgrades (as AJ told me at the time, the only differences would be the narrower plinth and the different, but equally effective, suspension), and the upgraded table is a better table than my stock Ovation was--much quieter background, a "bigger" sound, and no more problems with warped records (even though the Ovation's clamp was very effective).
If you have a chance to listen to one of the bigger Basis tables, you should do so. I think you might find your SOTA to be a little "livelier" sounding on rock, not sure if you'll prefer it one way or another.
I should have added that one advantage of Basis is that A.J. is a really nice guy besides being a top designer and he will take great pains to help you.
Rcprince- thanks for your comments.
Has anyone had the chance or know how a newer Basis table (say a 2001, 2500, 2800) would compare to a Ovation ?
Thanks in advance
IF you want GREAT SERVICE AND SOUND BASIS is a GREAT TUNTABLE!!
IO - check out the Basis 2200 signature also. I will echo Ebm - service from AJ Conti second to none,
Everything that was said about Basis is true and can also be said about Sota. Its 2 slightly different flavors, either way you have a world class turntable and great service. The sound will have as much to do with arm/cartridge synergy as anything else. I have the Cosmos and have listened extensively to the Basis and would be completely happy with either one.
No doubt the Cosmos is a good table and likely you will be happy should you acquire it. As I recall Paul Seydor reviewed a Sota Cosmos in TAS within the last several years. He loved it. Subsequent to that he reviewed the Basis 2200 and stated it blew away any turntable he had ever heard. For reference, the Basis 2500 you are considering will perform better than the 2200. Likely perusing P. Seydor's reviews will reveal whatever the differences are between the Cosmos and Basis 2200. Paul owns Quads, a good sign in my book, and seems like one of the more level headed reviewers out there.
I owned a Basis Ovation for several yrs and loved it. Replaced it with a Debut. My buddy has had his Ovation for yrs with superb results. During his 1st yr of ownership he had to locate the table on top of his subwoofer. Many tables require placement on some type of isolation stand to reduce footfalls and other vibrations that impact fidelity negatively. Whereas with the Ovation's outstanding suspension, similar to the Debut's, there was no sonic impact in placing it on a subwoofer. An amazing testament to the quality of the Ovation and its suspension. In my experience, the suspension enables hearing micro dynamic details overlooked by many other tables and which adds a lot of enjoyment to listening sessions. If you like the Ovation, I would not hesitate to acquire it due to it no longer being in the Basis line. It is built like a rock and Basis will support it in the unlikely event there are problems.
Thanks to all who have responded !
Basis Debut vacuum owners: Has anyone had any issues with the vacuum system ? Out seal failures ? Vacuum pump failures or noise ?
No problems with mine in perhaps 5-7 years that I've had it. The pump isn't overly noisy, and they give you enough hose to keep the pump well away from the table and your listening location. The other thing that's nice is that you can adjust the air pressure for the hold-down, so you can use the least amount necessary.
Although, I dont own a Basis Debut vacuum table, I do own a Basis 2800 Signature with the vacuum hold-down. I purchased the table from an authorized Basis dealer as a demo unit more than five years ago. I dont know the exact age of the table, but Im sure it is at least 6+ years old. The 2800, Vector tonearm and the vacuum hold-down have worked flawlessly the entire time.
FYI I had the wall behind my equipment stand opened up and re-plastered, so I could run the vacuum hose and pressure controller line into the attic where I already had a power outlet. The hose supply with the unit was more than sufficient to locate the pump in the attic; subsequently the noise floor from on my vacuum table is dead quiet.
I have the Basis Debut, best table I have owned. Wish I could have afforded the two arm version.
I must chip in for Sota. I own a Sota Cosmos IV and the vacuum pump is sitting on the floor beside the TT and i can not hear a thing even when i put my ear to it. The Cosmos is a top shelf TT. I like it a lot with my Graham Phantom II and Dynavector XV1's. I have never owned a Basis but i'am sure that they are top shelf TT too.
Long live analog.......