First Turntable Advice


Looking to dip my toes in with vinyl. Would prefer something easy to set-up/use, that gets me a good introduction to vinyl. At this point I have considered the Rega RP6, Clearaudio Concept, and VPI Scout 1.1. Any thoughts on these tables or any others I should be considering? I don't think I'll be able to audition them locally, so any input is appreciated.
My system is McIntosh C2300/MC352, B&W804D's, Luxman DA-06, MacBook Pro.
aubadge
IMO, the Rega is the easiest to set up, especially with a Rega cartridge. Also as you upgrade, Rega's are generally easy to sell on the used market.
The VPI is designed so you can upgrade it for even better performance. The other turntables are not so designed.
I still get put off by Rega's unadjustable VTA...shims...cover won't close with taller cartridges...meh...I get what Rega's design idea is, and otherwise think the P6 is very appealing, but I want VTA easily tweaked with any cart I stick on the thing...so no to Rega.
Check out the SOTA tables!
I started with a Clear audio Concept, and then moved to an Rega RP6.

For a beginner I loved it. It does all the important things well. No VTA adjustments is actually great for me.

Its very musical and rich

Am now moving to a Rega RP8.
Theo,

I agree with Stringreen. Get a table that you can upgrade when the time comes. Far cheaper than trying to sell your old table to buy another one. Also, VTA adjustment is a must have. You stated easy to set-up. Well shimming cartridges is not for the faint of heart. This would rule out Rega's!
Regards,
Think outside the box. Go to the website 'U-Turn Audio', find out what the high end does not want you to know. Great sound, great value. Harry, end your heart out.
Get TW table very musical .
Check out my system. We are on pretty much the same page, gear wise. My VPI Aries has matched up well with the rest. Shoot a little higher than the VPI Scout, if you can. The VPI SDS is also essential, so budget for that too, because you will want it eventually. Cheers!
All 3 will give you a great intro to vinyl. Of the 3, I love the simplicity of the RP6 w/Exact cart. No hassle, just plug and play with unprecedented PRaT. The Concept is a great TT by all means but with no upgradeable path. The Scout has the best upgradeable path of the 3 although I would save a little and go with the new Prime.

All that said, check out the Acoustic Signature Wow XL turntable. Best bang for the buck IMHO.

Happy search.
Aubadge, either you are a Vpi man or a Rega man. They are very different sounding decks and no matter what upgrade path vpi offers it will never sound like a Rega so upgrade path is a secondary consideration IMO. First you need to figure out which camp you belong to. Vpi is like a comfortable Sedan, Rega is like a more sporty exciting car. If you are looking for a fast, exciting, foot tapping sound, go Rega. If you are looking for a big sound, with big deep bass, big soundstage, smooth presentation, go Vpi. One would sound more realistic other will sound more comfortable. Take your pick.
The other posters will not like this advice:

If you are just starting do not spend a lot of money to buy the name.

Find a used Technics 1200 and see if you even like vinyl. Reasonably priced,very easy to set up, and not a bad table.
All of the responses you've received are valid, but I suggest you take advantage of your C2300 MC input - it is one of the very best made. Go with more straightforward table like a Rega RP3 and match it to a low output MC. I'm partial to Dynavector, and their 17D3 is a high-performance bargain. There are others in the $900 range worth considering, too. Make sure you take the time to set the cartridge up correctly, too. Patience and accuracy here will be very well-rewarded. Skimp and you will be very disappointed. Start with a good protractor.

Good luck and happy listening!
Buconero 117, I looked at the site and Harry doesn't need to worry about anything.
My 2 cents... good description by Pani; plus the cartridge will be a major impact on the sound.

And as far as the Rega RP3 mentioned above, I think you will be very disappointed in this budget table when compared to the fine RP6 or the VPI Scout.
@Lowrider - I suggested the RP3 because it is a good, basic table that maintains speed well, has no frills and can be upgraded or swapped out without serious financial consequences. Also leaves room for vinyl accessory must-haves like protractor, cleaning gear, platter mat and so on. This is a first rig and transducers make the biggest overall difference IMO, so spending proportionally more there to match with the 803Ds and the C2300 should produce a better overall ROI.

@Aubadge - I'd forgotten to mention that Dynavector is an especially appropriate match with your speakers. B&W and DV have a very strong synergy. Neutral, revealing and uncolored. Not everyone cares for that, so do your research before committing $$$. You will also need support accessories like record cleaning fluids, brushes, alignment protractor, magnifying glass and so on. These things make a very big difference in sound quality. Scope out a site like Music Direct or Needle Doctor to get an idea of just how many alternatives there are.
Thanks for all the information and recommendations. Much appreciated.

I've narrowed it down to the Scout and the RP6, leaning towards the Scout.

If I buy locally and have the dealer set-up, install the cartridge, etc., will I still have much to do when I get the table home? (Scout or RP6)
The RP6 will be the easiest to move and set up once you get it home. That is my opinion, of course, obviously as you can see there are two camps on the subject. I strongly recommend if at possible to find a way to audition the two brands. In my experience, the presentation of these two are quite different, hence the two camps. Both are right! It comes down to the sound that pleases your ears the most.
Really there are no RULES, only taste.
Aubadge, keep in mind that the "turntable" consists of three relatively independent sections; rotating disc, tonearm and phono cartridge. Each of these components contributes to the quality of the sound of the "turntable".
Interestingly, I own both the RP6 and the Scout 1.1, and love them both for different reasons. I was also getting back into vinyl. Now that's all I want to listen to. Bought the Rp6 with Exact cartridge installed at the factory. Read all the reviews and it is a little like a sports car, but the final decision was made because of the Rega Wall Mount. I had some space constraints and that solved my problem. Made a shelf and mount for the Rega( which is light). The wall mount is attached to it and the speed controller and a Rega phono stage are conveniently on the shelf.

The Scout 1.1 is part of my other system. Cartridge is Ortofon 2M Black. Both systems sound terrific but a tad different. Different amp, Different speakers, different rooms? Who cares?

Take a look at my Virtual Systems. But don't worry you'll be ecstatic with either.
Based on what you're looking for "easy to use/set up" the RP36/Exact would be the way to go, set it and forget it.

Lighter, smaller footprint, factory installed cart, no need for VTA adjustment, almost plug and play!

FYI, all Rega TTs greatly benefit from isolation like a Rega Wall Mount or Sand Box.

Like many have said, there is no wrong or right, just a matter of preference in taste and looks.