Wait and spend a little more money, it will save an upgrade or two in the future.
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This is a problem for a lot of people. I am sure you have checked out and found what you get for $1000.00 in a new table. It stinks..all plastic made to specs that even a D.J would be embarrassed to use. I have a Yamaha PF1000 in natural wood (walnut) with Ortofon om-20 cartridge for sale. Beutifull condition. Dust cover has some very light scratches... hardly noticable. I have been asking $600.00 but would consider $500.00 just to move it out of here to a new home. I am currently using a Music Hall MMF9.1 with a Denon Dl302. I have a total of $2200.00 invested in my Music Hall. Do the math on that one. The Yamaha's sound is very close to my Music Hall. Let me know if you are interested. Have a great week.
If you were pleased with the 47F, get another one. I have two 47F's. one is a spare. Still going strong. Next to my 47F sits my VPI Aries with its $2k cartridge run into the SDS, etc., etc. Sure the Aries sounds a little better, but it lacks the automation of the 47F. I love its repeat feature. Yes, forget the belt TT. At your price point it will not sound better then the 47F. As you know, the Shure is a great cartridge and mates well with the 47F. To get my kids into vinyl I have given them 47F's. All have been pleased and did not see any need to go to belt drive units.
$500 belt drives are dull as dishwater and barely upgradeable. They're made out of plastic and MDF. For around that money you could get a Technics DD made of cast aluminum and heavy duty polymers, with slick-as-silk controls, and make a few inexpensive tweaks to improve smoothness and inner detail. Later you could upgrade it with some KABUSA.com products like the fluid damper and a tonearm rewire.
JohnnyB, I traded one of my Clear Image T4 filters for a Technics SP25 with EPA-500 tonearm and 4 titanium tonearm tubes. How about it? I have a brand new ACOPIAN high performance power supply one of the better known modders gave me as a present. It uses for the driver a bipolar transistor mounted on a massive heat sink! When I get out of this financial hole I'm in the SP25 will be taken to a whole different level with an upgraded graphite bearing, strobe disabler and the power supply. I'll need new cartridges, for the Ortofon X5 MC is the only one that fits. How about a NAGAOKA 500? Should match very well w/ my Monolithic Sound dual mono phono stage. I should send the power supply to cryo treatment, too!