Audio Note TT1 w/Audio Note ARM1 or ARM2...much better choice...is
Teres 135...well, it is 1575...this would be my choice hands down with absolutely no looking back. Well, not until I could afford a Teres with a wood plinth and leaded platter but that can be an upgrade. Get the cheapest RB250 you can find or a used Grace 707 and you have a rig ready for a cartridge that you can upgrade as money improves. Hurry; I think I read somewhere this model is going to be discontinued so the entry model may be more expensive in the not too distant future.
How about a few other bits of information first:
Do you have a phono stage?
If so, what is it, and what is it's gain?
If not, what budget do you have for that, or does the $1,500 include that too?
Do you have a cartridge?
If so, what is it, and what is it's output?
If not, what budget do you have for that, or does the $1,500 include that too?
Do you have a turntable stand or wall mounting, or will you need and/or want a suspended table, to account for vibration control?
What type of sound are you looking for?
(i.e. are you looking for detail or a warm sounding table?)
Do you have any record cleaning supplies?
If not, don't forget that you will need at least a hundred or so to get fluids, brushes, stylus cleaners, etc. (Or a couple of hundred if you want a used Record Cleaning Machine, which I recommend if you get into this seriously.)
The more info you can supply, the better our answers can be applied to your situation.
My two cents worth would be to get a preowned, lightly used table. A VPI scout, or a Basis 1400 or a Teres 150 would all be good choices. (There is a used Basis 1400 on Audiogon now.)
FYI, I started with the Basis 1400 before moving up to the Basis 2001. I have no regrets with either table. I think both are excellent values, especially used. IMHO.
Oops! That would be the VPI (not vip) scout, but you knew that already.
At about the time of the Scout introduction, I chose to go with the comparatively priced Kuzma Stabi S/Stogi S. I was looking for a high quality, plinthless, suspensionless and extremely compact unit, which is the exact description of this table.
I didn't know at the time, but the VPI would have an upgrade path which may be important to you. I wanted my entry table to be in its final form so that it would be easier to resist messing with. I'm satisfied with it and believe it represents the best I'll need. Just a suggestion. Good luck.
Actually this would be my first table. I know it might be a stretch for my first however I like that it can be upgraded, and it seems to have good reviews.
Kurt_tank to answer your questions, yes I will need a cartridge and phono stage. I would like to stay under the $2500 mark for the whole package if that's possible.
You can do a new Teres with arm, phono stage, and cartridge for 2500 easy. You could probably even afford a K&K transformer (if you select a low output moving coil cartridge) in this budget.
Whoops; just checked the Teres site and the 135 is no longer there. The least expensive is the 150 at 1890. You could still get it in your budget with a Rega RB250 and a nice cartridge like a Shure V15. A used rb250 is inexpensive and can always be upgraded (better wiring/interconnect, improved counterweight) down the road.
The scout is a great table and a "destination" for begining Vinyl. If you need a phonostage You'll need to reserve at the very least $500 (there are some mini boxes in the 3-$400 range). I just bought a Music Hall MMF-5 which does have suspension which includes the cartridge and lists for around $600 but the street price is less. Add $500 for the phono and a couple of hundred for good interconnects and your at your budget. However if you have the accessories nothing beats the Scout. If you don't try the MMF-5 the MMF-7 sounds even better and then get an inexpensive phono stage. I think my MMF-5 sounds with a Redgum Phono stage is great and is an absolute steal. I would try that first. If that doesn't do it you can always sell it because they are in demand and get the VPI which is definitely better but only if you know vinyl.
I like Teres as much as anyone (I own one) but they are clearly above your present budget.
The biggest problem with the Scout is that the motor is known for poor speed stability. Many owners have either added VPI's SDS unit ($500ish) or replaced the VPI motor with one from Teres ($525) or Origin Live ($550). All who've done so report dramatically improved musical results.
I'd look at a Nottingham Horizon with the RB250 arm. That combo is usually sold for about $1200. I've never heard anyone report a speed control issue with a Nott'. In fact, one Scout owner reported that both his buddy's Nott' motor and a Teres motor improved his Scout, while the Teres motor made no improvement on his friend's Nott'.
A used Nott' Spacedeck with Spacearm would stomp any of the above BTW. If you're willing to consider used that would be a hugely satisfying first (and maybe last) vinyl rig, and buying used is an excellent way to avoid the depreciation hit.
Good luck and enjoy the tunes whatever you choose.
I'd go with the Scout. I did and wouldn't trade it in for any other in the price range.
Whaddya mean, above his budjet? Does anyone ever look at the sale page on the Teres site? Chris has some acrylic plinths for FIFTY BUCKS. I know, I bought two of them! So, 50 for a platter 1400 for motor, bearing & platter (acrylic) = 1450 + shipping. Rb250 & 103r = 4-500. K&K = 250. Total? Gueass what Well under 2500. If upgrades are a key issue, this would be the only way to go. If you want to have some fun buy two plinths and play around with lead in one of them.
Shame on you Doug!
Joe has spoken! Totally forgot the sale page, so shame on me indeed! (Do I have to send mine back?) ;-)
Run, don't walk, to the Teres website.
I knew you'd see the light! We can't let the non-Teres crowd suborn a possible new recruit!
On the other hand, I don't know why I bought the two plinths, it just seemed like too good of a deal. Maybe a little experimentation....
Thanks, I really appreciate all of your responses. got lots to think about now.
Although it's been out for a while, noone seems to own one, but me. It is my first "real" table, and I bought after much research. I'm happy with my purchase, and with the music.
I got a Michell Tecnodec from Gene Rubin Audio, as a demo, with Michell/RB 250 (Rega 250 with Michell's weight) for $1050.
DC motor, vinyl platter, same bearing as in Michell's pricier tables.
Ended up with a Clearaudio Aurum Beta S wood body cart and a Graham Slee Era Gold MK V phono Pre, which is like night vs Day compared to some < $500 phone preamps that I tried. I'm well under $2500 with Pristine Demo table, new arm, new cart, and used phono stage (Although I had cables and a place to put it).
There is a lot of buzz on the Scout, and if it were the same $$ I might have gone for it, however, and I'm certianly no scientist, the kitchen engineering of the antiskate on the VPI arms sorta freaks me out.
Anyway, I'm still psyched about my table. Good luck in your search- give a look-see to Graham Slee (GSP audio) phono stages, they are a different breed.
Or you could buy the scout, and buy the new scoutmaster 300 rpm motor for $120, which addresses the speed stability issue.
Yeah, I have heard that the scout doesn't have an adjustment for anti-skating. Is this something one should be concerned about?
Oh sheeet Toddwj just kicked the ant hill with that one. I would concur with Doug on the Rega 250 arm, a STEAL. Add an Expressimo Audio 2xtreme endstub and a Kerry Audio titanium counterweight and redo the wiring oh don't forget the VTA riser and you are set. Sounds like a lot to order, but well worth the time and money.
I am an analog newbie for sure, but with the science behind antiskate, other manufacturers' incrementally adjustable compensation devices, and the fact that you can measure it, just "eyeballing" it by twisting a wire is sorta strange- but then again, people seem to like the arms...
Bottom line, if you decide to go with the Scout TABLE, you don't have to use their Arm.
The Rega Arm is the Glock of the Audio World- there is a whole industry of people making a living from developing improvements to it.
Is it perfect?
I know very little about analog, but from owning one for a few months, I can absolutley say, No, it is not.
But it is a cheap arm, that is reliable, is of good quality, and it is highly upgradeable.
You know, it is a available as stock on the Michell tables...
KAB modded Technics 1200, without a doubt.
If you have any DIY in your body you should look at the Audiogon thread about "Building a High End Turtable At Home Despot". Find a Goldring GL75 for $100 or less, build a solid plinth for it ($50), put an Origin Live Rega 250 arm on it ($400) and a Denon 103D ($250), or an equivalent Ortofon cartridge, and you have one hell of a TT at about half of the price you were thinking about. I'm selling my heavily modified Linn LP12 (I have about $2,000 in it, without arm) after putting an OL Rega on my GL 75 and the Koetsu Black. The Goldring is so damn ALIVE and dynamic.
All the best
I've lived with an OL Silver (highly modded RB250) for nearly a year now. It's mounted on a table and cartridge that are really much too good for it, yet it's held its own fairly well. I think Gthirteen characterized it nicely.
A Rega is not the best arm in the world, but neither is a JMW-9. They have quite a different mix of strengths and weaknesses, so they probably work and sound quite different too. The JMW's antiskate "adjustment" is one of HW's better jokes, but adjusting VTA on a Rega with most of the aftermarket collars is even worse (Pete Riggle's VTAF and the Teres adjuster solve that however). Of course there's no decent VTA adjustment on the JMW-9 either. Sigh...
If fit and polish are the deciding factos the JMW wins hands down. Just make sure you stick with medium compliance cartridges. If you like the sound of lower compliance cartridges like Denons, Shelters and Koetsu's, I'd follow Twl's theory and go for a Rega. I've heard my 901 on unipivots that are well above a JMW-9, and they don't cut it.
I own a scoutmaster w/ jmw9 arm. And let me tell you, the antiskate adjustment is no big deal and works great. I was skeptical as well, thinking that four thin wires could do the trick, the force necessary to keep the tone arm from flying toware the middle is so small that those wires are very capable of keeping enough force. The other thing is, that anti skate on a lot of turntables is offset by a weight hanging from a string, and is not adjustable at all. The VPI team, through listening to alot of different methods, determined that the best "sound" came from no weight, using a heavier tracking force, and if necessary, putting an extra twist on the wires. anyway just wanted to throw that in, the scout and scoutmaster are awesome turntables, more like works of art, that sound fabulous !!!
im a scout/jmw-9 owner, and i think the vta on the the jmw-9 is fine. it's not quite "on the fly", but pretty close. a little loosening of the screws in the base of the arm, and then you essentially can fine tune vta while the record is spinning. pretty good if you ask me.
as far as the anti-skate, do a search on the vinyl board of audioasylum.com to read harry weisfeld's thoughts, which to me seem valid(and my anti-skate is fine to). or better yet, give vpi a call and get their reasons.