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 ?
There is an app (RPM) where you can test the rpms on your table. Mine is at 33.26 and 44.9 respectively, the slightly slower rotation due to the weight of my iPhone on the platter versus weight of a record I am sure. You know the physics fact that measuring anything reduces it’s speed if some (even minuscule) weight is added to it. Even with that , it’s off by about .2%. Exactly the same at both speeds.

.... Give it a try! You might see the light like I did 20 years ago.


No, thanks. I don’t think i need a Rega belt drive (or any belt drive) anywhere near my collection of the best Direct Drive turntables.

1) This is my over 40 y.o. Victor TT-101 with Coreless Direct Drive motor and the rotation is spot on. You can read more about this TT-101 here:

"If the TT-101 series is almost completely unknown outside Japan and Germany, it is nevertheless one of the best LP record player system ever made....

The Double Bi-Directional Servo, as its name suggests, adds to a conventional FG Servo a second quartz-lock servo section loop outside of the drive itself. Double phase comparison offers negligible drift and no fluctuation under heavy load conditions. This precision also allows a unique feature : the control of the pitch withn ±6Hz around the A fundamental (440Hz) without switching off the Quartz locking !

The motor itself is a coreless DC with 180 slots where the servo is applied on both positive and negative areas to avoid speed overshooting when started or when correcting speed.

It was mostly Victor’s professional LP players that were widely accepted in the Japanese broadcasting studios with big guns like the JL-B1000P, the original Victor professional record player the TT-101 series and later tt-801 came from."

2) Luxman PD-444 is my everyday turntable and i love it, another Direct Drive designed for use with two tonearms and it’s super easy to swap tonearms quickly without messing around with wooden armboards like on many other turntables. I even bought two PD-444 and using them with 4 tonearms. More about this wonderful direct drive is here.

3) Yet another great DD in my system is Denon DP-80 and this is the best value on the market today, absolutely amazing turntable. More information HERE.

4) I already mentioned my SP-10 mkII i’ve been using for a long time, i sold it when i bought Luxman PD-444 and i like my LUX even better.

Searching for rare cartridges and studying this subject i need many tonearms to match carts very well and to compare them. I am not interested in any tuntable with one fixed tonearm, because i change tonearms often (all my tonearms are different size from "9 to "12 inch). The most versatile turntable is Luxman PD-444 Direct Drive (by the way Luxman made a Belt Drive version with vacuum pump too, it was PD-555). Both turntables designed by Micro Seiki for Luxman.

I have no idea why audiophiles older than me never tried some of the best Direct Drive turntables and always refer to the modern mainstream belt drives ? I think it is a lack of experience, because 80% of the "information" about DD turntables coming from a Belt Drive owners is fake news.

We have different preferences and that’s fine, but people comparing apples to oranges, each time i read about DD turntable from a Belt Drive owners they’re referring to some cheap entry level Direct Drives they tried 20-40 years ago. This is weird.

P.S. The best answer to OP question is vintage direct drive of the highest quality (my personal preferences as you can see) or brand new Technics because i don't know anything else (at the same price or even twice as much) that can compete with new Technics reference models. 

belt driven tables can have very high torque, DPS for example, dead silent and dead accurate on speed, with lots of friction by design, apart from its other sonic virtues like transparency, rythmic qualities and amazing information retrieval.
Japaneese DD turntables are highly justified with above mentioned models, though i would include Sony's X9 and TS8000 that could fit easily in the list but costing more.
I agree that they would outperform many modern belt drives though their age will be of serious concern to new buyers. In the late 70's early 80's both sides of the Atlantic were trying to mimic and prove that the best was something like LP12. No space for big and expensive Japaneese tt's, their arms or other components. Nowdays we discover that they still make top sound.

"1) This is my over 40 y.o. Victor TT-101with Coreless Direct Drive motor and the rotation is spot on. You can read more about this TT-101 here: "

Impressive stuff.

"I have no idea why audiophiles older than me never tried some of the best Direct Drive turntables and always refer to the modern mainstream belt drives ? I think it is a lack of experience, because 80% of the "information" about DD turntables coming from a Belt Drive owners is fake news."

I know that back in the late 80s there was so much fanfare in the UK press over belt drive decks. It was all Linn or Rega in those days (or a Dual if you had to).

Even decent decks like the Pink Triangle or Alphason Sonata could hardly make any headway. I took the plunge and bought a Rega 3. It was - ok. 

As for the Japanese direct drive decks, they were only ever mentioned in passing (or letters) and never reviewed, their owners were mocked and the decks universally derided.

It's taken the press a very long time to come round.
To the OP, enjoy your turntables, hope the Marantz brings that WOW factor,
I can only relate my story here, by no means I'm providing advice.

Before Technics released their new turntables 3 - 4 years ago I wanted a TT and because of nostalgic reasons found a used SL-1210Mk5, great TT, updated the cart to a DL-301mk2 and used it a few times, at the same time I improved my digital rig and the results were much better so my TT it's been collecting dust. Then Technics started producing TTs again.
My digital rig evolved and the sound is magical but coming here to Audiogon and reading the analog forum got the itch in me to try something out in a smart and proper way so I started reading and I am familiar with more of the users here following their opinions and biases.
Among these opinions I formed myself an idea that the DD TT if designed properly can yield (for the money) better results than the ID and BD.
Since I don't only take the Audiogon comments into account I asked at an audio show a friend of mine (who's also a manufacturer of well know and respected audio equipment) his opinion and he stated "Luis, for the money get one of the newer DD Technics, you won't be wrong with it"
Technics is a great turntable but the older models although designed extremely well are not really Audiophile grade turntables and have their obvious limitations because of age so there is just so much that you can do with an older Technics, you can certainly upgrade it with KAB and other mods but you will be spending more on getting it up to your standards. Reading MC (millercarbon) posts on how to adjust TT etc I realized my antiskate on my arm is a little out of whack so spending more money trying to make a Porsche out of a Honda no thank you. So I'm selling my existing SL-1210mk5 and getting a new Technics 1200GR

Chakster here provided valuable advice, he is very straight with his opinions and yes he could be more "political" speaking his mind but I believe in these comments he provides honest advice, what I partially agree on with him is the vintage TT's, he certainly is well versed on Japanese equipment and he could get a vintage TT (like he has done) and make it a great audiophile TT but he has the knowledge and I  don't so purchasing a used TT for me I could get lucky and get a good unit but I could get a crappy one too so getting vintage unless I know for certain I'm getting a good SP10 or DP80 etc I won't do because of my limitations evaluating such equipment.
So to me the road was well defined, if remorse strikes later on (not likely but possible) I'm sure I will be able to sell the Technics with almost no losses, BTW look how many of the new Technics are on the used market and which discount have on them, almost none, that tells me the owners are happy owners and it maintains its value.
Oh last but not least, some BD TT's are certainly renowned and I don't doubt these are great but at what cost? $5000? $10000? that's why I think I will be happy with my Technics using good carts.
I'm not intending to debate BD vs DD, I'm just saying I think DD will serve me better for the money spent that's all.

Just my 2 cents

Chakster is a tremendous hobbyist/tinkerer/researcher/turntable historian and quite knowledgeable about DD tables.

As I've stated before, it is not about the technology, but the execution of the specific model. Whatever table you have, there is ALWAYS something better sounding.

I believe in KISS - one table, one arm, one cartridge, one phono stage and spend time enjoying the music and the records and appreciating the quality of the sound from the music I like.