Entry Level Turntable?


Hello,

I'm fairly new to the audio world, been experimenting a bunch with different speakers, amps and pre-amps. I'd like to try some true analog sound by getting a decent turntable and some records. Could anyone recommend a nice entry level turntable that will give adequate performance? I don't want to spend too much, let's say a budget in the $100-$300 price range.

Also, I'm 30 years old, so have never really heard a good analog system. Is this something I should really worth trying? Or do people mostly like the analog sound because that's what they grew up hearing?

Current setup:
Integra Research RDC-7 Pre-Amp/Processor
Parasound HCA-1205A 5 channel amp (center & rears)
Adcom GFA-565 Monoblocks for mains
Kef XQ5 main speakers
Kef XQ2C center channel

Thanks!
Chris
cjwessing
And for $300 you won't
$500 will buy you a decent Rega table and cartridge
(most)People that prefer analog like it because it sounds better. You might be able to get a used Music Hall, Rega, or Pro-ject with a cartridge for $300. Make sure your Integra has a phono input or you'll need to get a phono stage too.
Rega P1 is a great entry level unit.
I own a Rega P3 and love it.Good sounding, easy to maintain and set up and you should be able to find one for around 400 or so and they maintain their resale value. I grew up when all we had were albums and 8-tracks and used a Pioneer for years. The Rega's sound so much better.
I think you should also take the "analog sounds better" advice with a grain of salt. It DOES sound better, but only in certain respects until you get up into the big bucks stuff.

The inherent smoothness of the analog sound will shine through even in a modest setup (see: mine), which is one of the "better" qualities, but there are things like crystalline low-level detail and perfect sibilants that you won't find until you spend much more (see: other people's setups).

For the money you're looking to spend, you could get a pretty decent used DAC that in my opinion would get you closer to the kinds of sounds you're looking for than you could get with the same money sunk into analog.

Let the browbeating begin.
you really should spend a bit more to get good vinyl sound.

"Or do people mostly like the analog sound because that's what they grew up hearing?" ???

of course not but you may be disappointed unless you get a decent rig - do you really want to start to collect vinyl?

I have many records so it makes sense for me but I really prefer my TT to my CD player. It is not even close usually but sometimes a bad recording is ill defined and I would rather hear a good sounding CD.
There's a credible argument that the direct drive Japanese turntables from the 70s and 80s are better than anything new up to $1K, maybe 2K. Check out Technics or Kenwood on eBay - you should be able to get something decent at your price point tho' you'll have to also think about a cartridge. You can actually still get a new Technics at kabusa.com for about $600. Then put the thing on a Jon Risch sandbox (search the archives at audioasylum). I did this tweak with some scrap trim lumber and a $5 bag of sand - it really works.
You're a perfect candidate for an used Technics SL-1200mk2, or an SL-1800mk2 that regularly show up on the Bay. Great tables with excellent upgrade paths.
I second the used Technics SL-1200mk2 (or any of the 1200 series Technics). Pair it with one of the low cost cartridges sold through kabusa.com and you'll be good to go for between $3-400.
*been experimenting a bunch with different speakers, amps and pre-amps. I'd like to try some true analog sound by getting a decent turntable and some records*

You asked some very trenchant (I like that word, trenchant) questions. I can come up with at least 5 diff. answers. One answer is:

Try it, & research bargain TT's. You might get addicted to vinyl, & upgrade 'til you have a $5K TT rig. Or not, but it's a hobby, & you won't know until you try it for yourself, so I say go for it....

hi, i agree on the 1200 mk2 i have one with a grado gold cartridge and a herbies mat. my other table is a source with an sme5 tonearm, i love them both.
Thorens TD145/150/160/166 + Grado gold. You can get them at around $300.