Buying a new TT today


So I’m pretty hellbent on buying a new TT today! Or should I be?!?!? 
I started off kind of sour on vinyl several years back when I ignorantly bought a cheap TT that had a built in phono stage.... Talk about a disappointment! And a buzz kill for vinyl!
Anyway a year or so later I bought a Project Carbon Debut and it blew my mind!!!!  The step up in most aspects of the TT, carbon fiber tone arm/heavier plinth/much heavier platter/motor and remote position/better cartridge in a Ortofon m2red, along with the fact the it was now running through my Integrated’s Phono Stage was just such a leap in sound that I never expected, that now I’m looking for yet another leap like that again lol
Anyway, with pocket flush with cash and headed to two hi-fi shops I pause....
In my new price range, $2,000 or so, should I be looking for a new TT? Or a new cartridge for the TT I have ?
thoughts.
264win

Showing 8 responses by big_greg

I don't have any knowledge of whether KI was involved with the Marantz TT-15S1, but would be surprised if he did.  Maybe the design of the plinth?  By all accounts, it's a rebadged Clearaudio Emotion.  I owned the Emotion and it's a very nice table.  I had a couple of quibbles with it.  The first was that the motor had a tendency to move and I was always fiddling with it to keep it from touching the plinth.  I put a thin piece of sorbothane under it to keep the motor in place, which helped a lot.  Another was that there is a second (optional) ground location underneath the table which was always coming loose.  Not sure if the TT-15S1 has that also.  I ended up taping that in place.  A nice table over all and easy on the eyes.
Thanks for posting that article.
Why do the Technic TT’s primarily target the Dj crowd and other professionals? I even saw one ad targeted to the audiophile consumer but the marketing slogan said something like "spin records like your favorite Dj ". Odd. That kinda turned me off when I was looking.
The newer Technics turntables are being marketed primarily to "audiophiles".  The fact that the Technics SL 1200 MK2 had characteristics that made it great for DJ'ing, doesn't disqualify it from being a great sounding home turntable.  Quite the opposite, especially if you like to listen to music loud and have speakers and/or subwoofers capable of producing a lot of bass.  A few inexpensive tweaks like better feet, fluid damping, upgrading the mat, and a few others can have a noticeable positive impact. 

In terms of sound quality, I'd say my SL 1200 MK2 is 95% as good as my VPI Classic 2 with a Classic 3 tonearm. 

I haven't heard the new Technics tables, but if I was thinking about getting a new table, they would be at or near the top of my list to audition.
@chakster Haven't I read you post about upgrading feet on the Technics turntables? 

It's one of the things I've done to my SL 1200 MK2.  It came with the KAB RCA plate when I bought it.  I've added a Funk Achromat and the fluid damper and will be putting some Fo.Q tape on the tonearm.  All relatively inexpensive upgrades that have brought it up to a nice level.  It is fun to make those little tweaks and see how it changes the sound (or not) and doesn't have to cost a lot.
I don't think you can ship your cartridge directly to Van Den Hul. I think you have to go through their distributor. It's now VPI for the US. I had my MC two special done a year or two ago. It was done by A.J. Van Den Hul himself. It was completely rebuilt for $500. Totally worth it. 
The diamond fell off mine. That’s how I knew it was time.
Yes, there should be signs - distortion, sibilance... you can have it inspected under a microscope for signs of wear.
It may be subtle, but if starts sounding different, have it looked at. 

I was typing on my phone, so my answers were kind of short.  The long version of the story about the diamond falling off was that I bought the MC-Two Special second hand.  When I mounted it and set it up, it sounded horrible.  That's when I took a close look and saw there was no diamond on the cantilever.  I notified the seller and they refunded my money and said they didn't want the cartridge returned.  That's when I decided to look into having it rebuilt.  At the time the person representing Van Den Hul was someone on Florida.  I contacted him and found out the rebuild was the same cost as what I paid for the cart., so I figured why not.  It took a bit (ok, a lot) longer than I was told it would, but was worth it at the end of the day.  I think you'll have a better and more professional experience with VPI than I did.  I wonder if A.J. is still doing the rebuilds.  I believe he's in his 80's.