I have had 4 tables in 50 years. Changed when I saw a table I had to have
16 responses Add your response
If the TT is not meeting your expectation then I guess you upgrade it. If it is, is far more common to just upgrade the cartridge.
I have two tables - one is 5 years old and another 38 years old. Both have seen their fair share of cartridge upgrades and I have never given any thought to replacing them.
I changed from my AR ES-1 after 30 years. During that time I tricked it out with almost every improvement ever made for it, but as the rest of my system gradually improved over that length of time the day came when I felt like it was time to move on to something that could improve on one or two small areas and give me a bit more flexibility. It otherwise is still a pretty darn good sounding table.
I used an entry-level turntable for almost 30 years before I replaced it with a (better) entry-level turntable. And then I upgraded turntables twice in 5 years. For the first 30 years I was a real vinyl cheapskate and wouldn't spend the money on a new turntable. I upgraded the speakers several times and upgraded the amplifier, but never the turntable.
I came to realize that the turntable (and the cartridges I used) had been limiting the quality of sound I was getting from my stereo; that is, the vinyl setup wasn't in the same category as the rest of the system. So after replacing the first turntable, and enjoying the sound from the improved entry-level turntable, I decided to find out what was possible from vinyl. I bought a turntable and a decent cartridge that was a few steps up from the entry-level setup. Wow, what a difference. And then I bought a decent phono preamplifier. Now we're talkin' great sound! I couldn't believe how much better the whole system sounded. I finally got it;
I listened to that setup for a few years and then I made some extra cash one summer (working lots of overtime) and
I too don't plan to upgrade my Nottingham Spacedeck any time soon, and unless I am ready to go over $10k or so I would only upgrade to another Nottingham.
Theoretically speaking, if I had , say, $3000 for upgrades right now, what would I do? Would I upgrade the table, the arm plus cartridge, cartridge plus phono or integrated amp?
That would be tough. Probably either cartridge plus phono or the amp, also depending on opportunity.
I’ve owned at least 22 turntables, just counted them up :-).
Always striving to make my source as good as possible. Regardless of the remainder of the chain, you must have great source to make great sound and LP is currently the longest running format.
I agree with comments about tonearm and cartridge but that’s an even longer list. Seems the better we make our system the easier it is to hear the source and vice versa.