HELP best analog system brand new for $5,000.00

i have $5,000.00 to spend on analog system: turntable, arm , cartridge and phono stage. has to be brand new, please i need you help guys. thanks.-
Why does everything have to be new?
what option for used?
Oh man, what I could do with $5k on the used market! If the phono stage was not part of this it would be easier.

You don't give any details on whether this is your first time into phono, or if you are finally moving up from your long-time $99 BIC turntable, or if you are returning to LPs because you finally realized how 2-dimensional CD playback is compared to analog. Some history, existing system components, preference to MM or MC cartridges, etc., would help a lot.

If I was really set on new, I'd put all but the last $200-300 into the TT/Arm/Cartridge. As painful as it may be, get a used phono stage here and don't tell your friends. Then when you have another $5k+, come back and ask the same question for only the phono stage.

I suggest you locate a couple of dealers in your area that specialize in setting up a phono playback system. The Michell, VPI, Oracle, Sota, Linn all have long reputable histories so it comes down to finding a dealer that can set you up and support you in the future. Newer models like the Nottingham are getting high praise as well. If you are bold and a DIY person, consider the Teres. In any case, be prepared to pay as much for the arm as the table.

Oh, and save $300-400 for a tonearm cable. I will assume you have the interconnect cable from the phono stage to the line stage. Yep, it adds up mighty fast. Still want to buy it all new?

Do you have any vinyl? If not, I'd say put about $1200 into the table, arm, cartridge (used Rega, used Music Hall, etc) and about $600 to $1200 into the phono stage (EAR, Haggerman, just stay with tubes). Put the rest into cleaning supplies, a few set-up tools, and LPs.

Jafox is right on, the more you can do yourself the more you can save. Remember, the magic is in the vinyl. Treat it right and you can always improve your equipment later.
To answer your specific question, here's one way to do what you ask:

VPI ScoutMaster turntable and tonearm....$2400
Sumiko Blackbird, Grado Sonata or
Dynavector 20X-H(choose to suit taste)..$500-750
EAR 834P phono stage...........................$1200
Interconnects (two sets)... $???

As others have noted, if you're willing to consider a used phono stage, you can get further improvement for the same cost. For example, a used Herron VTSP for about $1800 would still fit in the budget.
I would work backwards - either a Creek or Trichord phono stage, approx $600. The Denon DL-103 is a stunningly good value for money moving coil cartridge for $200. The Rega RB250 arm takes a lot of beating and is available in modified form from Expressimo and Origin Live - I have bought an Expressimo Mongoose RB250 to play with (about $650).

We've got about $3500 left to spend (which I might not spend!) I would be tempted by a Teres Model 255 in Cocobolo for $3275 - this has the lead loaded platter and is reckoned to be the optimum 'table in their range.

The great thing about turntables is that they don't really wear out, so they are a good buy used. If you value pitch stability then a Technics SL1200 direct drive should be on your list (and can accommodate the Rega arm with an Origin Live mounting plate) or use the stock arm and fit the Kabusa damper.

If you like lively, dynamic presentation then you must consider a Linn LP12. And check out Jean Nantais' Lenco Home Depot thread here - those old idler wheel tables produce some great sounds and work particularly well with moving coil cartridges.

I would also check out the VPI range.

Finally, spending $5k is a big investment that you will want to work for a long time to come. Any hifi dealer will welcome you with open arms.

Check out lots of possibilities, take your time, enjoy choosing and don't commit until you are 110% certain that you can live with the table/arm/cartridge combo - don't buy what you haven't heard and loved.

Take along to demos a selection of vinyl that you know really well, and if you don't really enjoy all your track selections then the table on demo is not the one for you. Don't buy any sales bs.

Let us know how you get on.


Beware of buying equipment on "sale", avoid the temptation to buy something because it is 20% off (or whatever). Think of the value of the equipment and not a discount. Most places still make money even if they "say" its 50 % off. Guess what? There 50% off is probably only then a fair asking price. After you are all done and know the combination you want then ask for 10 or so %. A dealer will be happy in general to do this on a 5k sale.

Remember Value not a "Deal".

P.S. Have your Turntable properly set up is essential! Make sure you dealer is very good and experienced.
For 5000 used I would try to score the Amazon Model 1 with the Schroder DPS tonearm that has been for sale at an asking price approaching 7k for several months now. This would be a table system to get you off the endless upgrade cycle and listen to records!
super scoutmaster, no brainer (wish i had 5 grand)