Diving back into analog...which turntable to buy


Ive tried this a few years ago with a LP12 table and could never get it to sound as good as my digital so off it went.Im determined to get a table and make it work...So im willing to spend up to a grand,nothing more.What do I buy used or new.Looking for an easy to setup and maintain belt drive table.Thanks in advance
missioncoonery
In order to bring vinyl up to the level of CD or Super Audio. I think you would have to spend around $3,000 to $4000. I always had tables around the $1000 to $2,000 range and none of them (while very good) did not give me that OMG factor, until I bought a Pro-Ject Xtension 10 with a Clear Audio Maestro v2 on it. This really brought my vinyl way past CD or SACD sound. I rarely listen to digital anymore. Regards,

Matt M
If you couldn't get better sound with your LP12, what makes you are going to get better sound spending a lot less? Not only that, if you focus on how much the components cost, as opposed to what you are trying to accomplish, you'll fail.

The minimum you need to do here, is come up with a plan that includes matching a TT w/arm, cart and phono pre to each other, as well as making sure it will work with the rest of your system. It would also help to know what your taste in music and equipment is, along with your current system, especially, the digital front end you are looking to best so this all isn't a waste of time.
Mission, I'm mildly surprised at your experience of the LP12 (although I sold my LP12 many years ago). The Linn is more than capable of seeing off expensive CD players and giving you that "analogue-only" compulsion.

I recall a friend evaluating a CD player with possible buying intentions which was 4X the price of his basic LP12 with basic arm. He asked me to sit in on the comparison using like-for-like material (mostly live albums) and although the LP12 was literally "thrown in a corner", as he put it, while the Demo CD Player was atop the 5th and most specially decoupled shelf on his rack (and also despite the object of the exercise being to replace an existing CD player!) he was so disgusted at the expensive item's poor showing against the LP12 that he decided not to replace the CD player at all(!) and packaged the demo item up for return to the dealer forthwith!

It should be mentioned that setting up an LP12 is critical, not just the suspension but the choice of support as well (i.e. which also includes the floor or the wall!).
Pernickety, perhaps, but well worth the effort.
Like the man said, at $1K you're not going to find anything better.
Well this is all discouraging,lol...I tried everything possible with the lp12 I had.I even had a table guy come in and do his magic as he stated before coming.Couldn't compare to my Esoteric player.Anyway I want to try this,my budget is a grand..Im seeking info on tables to consider new or used,thats all really.
Table, arm, cartridge, and phono amp, for a grand?! That's not going to buy anything that will equal your Esoteric. But I don't understand---do you already own LP's? If so, why don't you still have a record player? If you don't now have any LP's, are you really going to start buying them now? Why, when digital is finally starting to pay off?!
Go to the web firm "U-Turn Audion". Great gear, value priced, great sound. If you don't agree they will refund your money. Things have changed.
Best you will find for 1K is Rega 3 which Needle Doctor
is selling for 716$ right now . A Goldring 2100 at 250 $
will sound very good on any kind of music and that puts you
at 966 $ .
IF your are diving in you need to put more water in the pool.
Seriously, wait and save. I have my opinions about tables/arms but they are a bit outside the box for most on here.
I owned an LP12 for a few years and was fortunate in that I had it set up by probably one of the top 5 LP12 gurus in the nation. It sounded great but I got tired of the "persnickety" character of the table. But you need to consider the package as not just the table but cartridge, phone stage and cables are all crucial to maximize performance. And as mentioned the stand and placement all contribute to the quality of sound. I am not recommending that you re-invest in another LP12 but consider all the ingredients of the analog side of your system.
unless you have enough LPs I would just not do it.....
A used VPI table with the arm and carts that are often bundled with them. I bought a Scout with the 20X MC HO on the JMW memorial arm for $1800 new. If you can bargain and spend a little more it's a great set up. There areother les expensive VPIs you may want to investigate.
TW Acustic turntable great sound well made.
"09-01-15: Missioncoonery
Well this is all discouraging,lol...I tried everything possible with the lp12 I had.I even had a table guy come in and do his magic as he stated before coming.Couldn't compare to my Esoteric player.Anyway I want to try this,my budget is a grand..Im seeking info on tables to consider new or used,thats all really."

OK, but compare how? You didn't like the base. You didn't like the treble? Maybe the ticks and pops? If you don't focus on what went wrong the first time, you can't expect to get better results this time around. Especially with a lower budget.
Im saying a grand on the table..not a table,cart and phone pre...and yes I have albums tons of them that have been boxed for decades,lol.I guess ill go back to google..thanks though
Also budget a RCM for bringing your vinyl back to life. A used VPI turntable would be a good start to your adventure
You should be able to get a good, used VPI Scout for 1k. It comes with an arm. There's also a lot of upgrades for it, if you decide to stay with vinyl.
Apologies for going slightly off-topic. Remember this?

http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm

I've been using a group of bog-standard Sony players for years. This must surely confirm my golden-eared status. ;^)
I read through your test. Assuming I take you at your word as to how the test was done, and what the results were, what exactly does the test confirm?
If your ears are tuned to digital, you probably will find the delivery to be too "soft" from just about *any* belt drive turntable. An elastic belt tends to soften the intial transients and risetimes compared to a digital presentation. Fortunately, Pioneer has issued an audiophile-quality DD turntable, the PLX-1000, available for $697. It has been well-reviewed by Herb Reichert (with a follow-up) at Stereophile and also by Steve Guttenberg at C-Net.

It also made it into S'philes recommended components list as a Class C, borderline Class B turntable. The other Class B's range from $2850 to $6500.

At $700, there's enough left over to get an Audio Technica AT150MLX, a very high-performing MM cartridge and a good match for that TT. Also, the tonal balance is very uncolored, similar to digital. I have this cartridge on a modified Technics SL-1210 M5G, and it's great--quick, dynamic, broadband, quiet, and dynamic.

Although the tonal balance and speed are similar to digital, I much prefer my vinyl playback for the musical continuity and "feel" of the presentation. I feel like I'm getting the best of both.

I don't know if or what you have for a phono stage, but Reichert liked the $129 Schiit Mani.
Dear Zd542, assuming this question was directed at myself, you should be aware this was an experiment conducted by a Spanish(?) audiophile society 7 or 8 years ago. I am not connected with it in any way.

However this may offer some explanation as to their philosophy. If you find it flawed or wish to quote the outcome of the Swedish Radio codec debacle to them, you have my blessing ;^)

http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm
"09-02-15: Moonglum
Dear Zd542, assuming this question was directed at myself, you should be aware this was an experiment conducted by a Spanish(?) audiophile society 7 or 8 years ago. I am not connected with it in any way."

Sorry if I wasn't clear. My last post was for you.

This was from your first post.

"I've been using a group of bog-standard Sony players for years. This must surely confirm my golden-eared status. ;^)
Moonglum (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

I'm just not sure what you meant by that, even after reading about the test.
Dear Zd542,
That last statement was merely a joke... ;^)
Johnnyb53 makes sense.
Johnnyb53 said : "...An elastic belt tends to soften the intial transients and risetimes compared to a digital presentation."

Even when the platter is heavier than a flywheel?
I'm in 2 minds about this. With lightweight platters there may be a grain of truth but with heavier gear the belt is more likely to be a source of minor speed instability due to constant error correction (which is unrelated to transient content on the disc). Either that or we're into the realms of "can a fly instantaneously stop a speeding train if involved in a head-on collision".
Guys...no idea what the heck you are all bantering about and don't really care but it doesnt address my question about turntable recommendations..focus please
Dear Mission,
Given that your last response was, after a statement implying the Forum had failed to provide adequate recommendations, "...LOL! I guess i'll go back to google..thanks though", it isn't unreasonable for us to talk amongst ourselves in the aftermath. ;^)
"09-02-15: Moonglum
Dear Zd542,
That last statement was merely a joke... ;^)"

I'm glad to hear that. I couldn't tell if you were joking or not. I've gotten into more arguments with the "objective" crowd more times than I can remember. My biggest criticism is that they talk science and measurements, and never do any testing. They just keep talking. When you posted that ridiculous test, I didn't have the heart to point out that it had more holes in it than a cheap block of Swiss cheese. I thought, at least they tried. Even though it wasn't a very good test, I respected the fact that they made the attempt. At least I can now laugh and not feel guilty.
"09-03-15: Missioncoonery
Guys...no idea what the heck you are all bantering about and don't really care but it doesnt address my question about turntable recommendations..focus please"

No problem. But it will go better if you let us be audiophiles, and not force us to be dentists.

"09-02-15: Missioncoonery
Im saying a grand on the table..not a table,cart and phone pre...and yes I have albums tons of them that have been boxed for decades,lol.I guess ill go back to google..thanks though"
You can sleep easy tonight Zd542, you are among friends.
I too am a dyed-in-the-wool subjectivist. :)
If you want to "talk amounst yourselves". Start your own thread.Im just asking to those who know more about this what tables they recommend in my price range...pretty simple I would think
If you want to spend is $1,000 dollars it is doubtful that you will find anything that consistently sounds as good as digital. In my experience, digital at it's best takes a lot of beating. I currently have over $12K in my TT/phonostage/cartridge vs. about $2K in my digital Sony HAP-Z1ES and very often digital sound is still king, although it varies by recording and particularly the master.
I recommended a used Scout. Johnnyb53 recommended the new Pioneer that people seem to like very much. Eventually, you'll get recommendations for a Rega P3, Pro Ject and an entry level Nottingham or Thorens. All good TT's. I still would pick the VPI because it sounds great stock and has the best upgrade path.

Another option would be to use a dealer that knows what they're doing. For what you're looking to do, I would call Larry at Hollywood Sound in Hollywood FL. I've done business with him in the past, and he's the best at getting the most value for your dollar. All he does is TT's and should have anything you want in stock. I know several other AQ members that can confirm he's a good person to do business with.
VPI? Not sure if it'll cut it given that the OP didn't like his LP12. Forget about the elastic band hypothesis, the Pioneer is cheap and good and is what the OP wants to spend on a secondary source.
Seriously though, NONE of us no your associated equipment or if you want a heavy mass loaded table or a light weight ridged design? I love the Pro-Ject Xtension 10 for its robust heavy mass loaded design and carbon fiber 10" tone arm. It puts out a very big sound stage and has rock solid timing. This table is a couple levels above my previous Thornes TD160 w/Grado Prestige, also my REGA P3/24 with Dynavector 10X5. Regards,

Matt M
"09-03-15: Noromance
VPI? Not sure if it'll cut it given that the OP didn't like his LP12."

The design is completely different on those TT's. I don't see why not liking the Linn would be a factor.
Zd542 has hit the nail on the head. Rather than listening to individuals stating their personal preferences it's far easier to walk out of your front door and visit a dealer that has a number of such products in stock. A good dealer will give you the opportunity to decide (for however long and however MANY visits it takes). Ultimately you will reach your own decision about what you prefer and this, for you, will be the most satisfying way to do it. It is also the only way to guarantee that you will be truly happy (or at least as happy as modest budgets allow).
The only exception to this is if you were buying an obscure model with no dealer support. Often those manufacturers do demos on site.

Most of us will have done it this way ourselves. For some, T/T buying is like housebuying : you start with something modest and before you know it you've progressively upgraded to a Walker "Proscenium". ;^)

Turntable selection is a very subjective process. One man's meat literally can be another man's poison hence the existence of suspended vs unsuspended vs direct drive etc cliques. Doesn't mean they cannot appreciate the beauty of other solutions (they may even own a few others), just that they bought their own prize turntable for good reason.
Hope this helps.
I was offered by a couple guys a used Scout in my price range.My asking is I have no audio stores in my area,none.Closest is 3 hours away..Im going that direction with VPI.Thanks again
Your best bet is to get a Vinatge Garrad 401 (301 is too expensive for not much/any improvement in sound) and get it to sit on a Birch ply plinth. A Rega RB300 or Jelco Sa-250 tonearm would be just fine. You will hear great analog sound for as less as $1.5k. It will be a sound that will at least make you think long and hard staying analog. The entry level Regas and Pro-jects and stuff just cannot bring the same level of musical drama compared to a nice Garrard. In the end it will be the easiest thing to sell if you do not want the analog hassle.
Panic ++401. It is what I did.
Ha ha Pani. Spell checker.
Buy a used Well tempered record Player, Classic or Turntable. All of which can be had for less than or around $1000.00. Back in the day, many Linn owner sold off ther LP12 and switched to Well Tempered. I owned a WTRP and can say that it is a very good spinner indeed. Purchase a Denon 301 MKII and you'll be lovin your playback.
Compare this VPI to this 401
VPU - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tatQ0dvoulE
401 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1LS5iN3G54
Update....I have now spent a couple weeks with my Scout.The setup really wasn't that difficult,a few trips to utube and phone calls and off we go. Not a ton of money invested and really wasn't expecting anything close to my digital side so I wasn't disappointed this time around when it fell short,way short of the mark. Forgetting the snap,crackle,pop..the inconvience of having to get up every 20 minutes to change sides and not wanting to get up to skip the songs that suck...the cleaning of each record before and after each listening session ..im now able to enjoy on some level the records Ive been toting around for decades
Buconero 117,

How can you recommend a u-turn table when he said he wasn't happy with the legendary LP-12. That just seems way off base.
I think that you should decide what is sonically important to you, because digital and analogue have objectively different sounds.

I don't mind a little speed inconstancy, which mainly results from off-centre records. But I hate hate hate the brittle edge of cheap capacitors and digital sources (high frequency artifacts). So, for me, cheap vinyl easily surpasses my expensive digital player. For the owner of my local high end audio store, it is the opposite. We both hear the same thing, but our tastes differ.

That said, set-up is absolutely critical. A cheap but well set up analogue system will easily thrash an expensive system badly set up, and most people who say they can do it, can't. Case in point - my higher end Koetsu took a year to get right. My last adjustment was 10 minutes of arc for azimuth adjustment - and the improvement was qualitative. Or, to make a bad joke, digital: from off to on.

So I would not take your Lynn experience to heart. If you don't mind speed inconstancy, try vinyl again. Find a really good audio store, and try to buy a second hand package which comes with professional setup. Then, if you find that you still like the sound, you can either let it alone or go to the next step of addiction: make microscopic changes, seeking improvement.

Good luck.