CJ Walker..upgrade or not?

I have a CJ Walker CJ55 turntable with a linn basic arm and an older midlevel Linn cartridge. I'm running it through the phono pre of an old reciever and then into my VTL 5.5 preamp and while not being great it still shows a lot of the 3-D, lifelike sound of analog compared to my ACR CD-2. Enopuhg promis to convince me to keep going anyway. Does anyone know anything about these tables. I would like to start upgrading the analog side of my system and i'm wondering if the table is something to work with or just start over completely. I'm also thinking of adding the VTL on-board phono pre to my pre-amp to reduce cables. Any comment on that phono section one way or the other...suggestions for about $800-$900 with cables (the price of the VTL installed) thanks
i got much improved sonics from my cj55 by replacing the armboard w/one made from delrin, & fabricating a new subchassis from corian. the motorboard was replaced w/a piece of sintra - a rigid closed-cell artist's mounting board. the suspension then needed upgrading w/merrill springs, due to the extreme added weight of the armboard & subchassis. arm was a sumiko premier ft-3. quite a respectable rig. but the used oracle i picked up for $1250, upgraded to mkv specs, except for the motor, blew it away. i'd think the modded cj55 was comparable to any 'table out there for a new retail price of ~$1k...

re: fono stages, check out the aragon 47k - good deals on these used - about half the $$$ of your budget. should be nice w/a tubed preamp. ted at ted's audible difference has a used pentagon ps-3 ; he's asking $1k for this retail $2k fono-stage. it's great - i'm using one i got from him last year, w/a tubed melos linestage... :>) much better than the built-in fono in my old linn kairn pre, which was much better than the musical-surroundings phonomena fono-stage... also mite wanna look into the camelot fono-stage, retailing for $1k - lotsa nice things said about this one.

doug s.

Thanks for the input Doug. At first the mods sounded like a ton of work but the more i think about it they seem pretty do-able. GIven the need to add in a new arm, however, suggests that it may be better to just look for a killer deal on a table such as teh oracle you mentioned....better resale when the bug bites again as an added bonus. Trying out phono sections is going to be tough...even the highend market where i'm at is a HT nightmare. Just how accurate do those explosions need to be anyway?? thanks again
piezo, i'm not saying ya need a new arm; just saying what arm *i* used! ;~) the mods i talk about are easy as pie - i got the corian for the subchassis as scrap from a kitchen supply place, & bought the correct size delrin from a plastics place, & had 'em drill the holes for me. the sintra came from a hobby shop.

re: fono-stage, buy something used - best value that way, & if ya really can't stand it, you'll be able to try again w/o taking a loss... :>)

good luck,

doug s.
Hi Doug, The comment about the arm was actually a mental cross-up with some info i found about the Linn arm on audio asylum. Every reference to it says eventually it will fall apart. I think i will try the deck upgrades you suggest anyway because they are so easy. If it doesn't work out i'm not out anything and i can use the arm until it dies...lasted this far. THe phono section should actually be easy on a relative basis. If i told you what i was using now you would cringe. thanks for your suggestions