I am asking your opinion as to the best turntable

I have owned a Rockport Serius II, VYGER INDIAN and am considering whether to go to a small platform table (SME 30). Before wandering down that path, I am soliciting your personal opinions, taste recommendations and observations about tables, usabililty, reliability and ultimate sonics. If untimate sonics are my first priority and reliability is my second priority, then what have I overlooked and should consider, investigate, listen to before I move on.

The VYGER will be up and running by next week and my reservations are the air pump which will be new and has to be installed outside my room in a remote location. The VYGER also takes up a separate space in the room I'd like to use for storage and a small footprint table could sit on a proper equipment stand.

If you're not familiar with my system, it's under all out assault, the room behind the racing library.

Bill E
Hi Bill,
I have followed the evolution of your system and your room for quite some time and must say that I have been mightily impressed by what you have accomplished.

If sonics in a vinyl playback system are your ultimate priority, i would invite you to take a long look at Lloyd Walker's offering, in the Proscenium. I have had the opportunity to listen often to this table in another AudiogoNer's system and am always stunned at it's resolution, dead silence, reliability, ease of maintenance and drop dead good looks. Granted, it requires a very stable shelf to sit on and requires space for the air pump, so in that regard it doesn't meet the criteria for small platform, but its ease of use, sonics and reliability are second to none.

If small platform is your goal, certainly the SME/30 is an outstanding choice, but some remarkable things are also being said about VPI's Super Scoutmaster. couple that with the Walker Motor Controller and a great cartridge and you may be astounded by what a less-than-ten thousand dollar investment in vinyl playback can accomplish in a set it and forget it TT.

The Teres users here may want to weigh in on what some of the upper level Teres products can do, but not having any experience with them, I will defer to their knowledge.
since you know as much about turntables as I do I'll resist the temptation to name the usual suapects. My Hi Fi + Annual arrived with a gorgeous turntable that is the recipient of their product of the year award. It is a stand alone model much like the Voyager. The Blue Pearl Audio JEM 48000 British Pounds.(arm and cartridge extra) Issue 36,pg69.Mounted with the wheaton tr-planar(my personal favorite) and the Lyra titan. magnetic main bearing. Enjoy!
I think you are destined for a Teres 360 and a Schroder Reference arm. Just my gut feeling.
Bill -- knowing where you're coming from & where you are, it's difficult to recommend a "best". Rather, and keeping to what I've LISTENED to, I'll throw three choices based on sonics of course, + EASE of set-up & operation, reliability and EASE of maintenance.

Simon Yorke S7.
Yorke provides his own arm (VERY user friendly), but I believe the Schroeder Ref is superior. This is virtually a set-up once, plug & play TT. Maintenance is, well, zero; you might, however, consider throwing some oil into the bearings shafts, at least once. Really delighful. It's guaranteed for life, BTW, and if you ever feel like having it checked out, etc, that's free too (I think you pay postage).
This TT can be ordered to accommodate multiple arms if you wish.

A Swiss player that includes an arm that is similar, but not identical to the Schroeder design. Here the platter is suspended in an opposing magnetic field and the motor is decoupled, so contact between the basic TT components (motor, platter, arm board) is minimal. This TT can also accommodate two or more arms.
Problem: it is cumbersome (takes up space and is heavy). The platter magnet (losing its field) may or may not be an issue. I would expect not. I never had any indication of a problem.

Clearaudio Master Reference -- w/OUT the arm!! (Schroeder ref instead.) Not difficult to set-up and operate. Belt driven -- i.e. a possible maintenance issue. Cutting to the chase, "belt" is basically a chic name for any bog standard elastic band of suitable diametre. So, maintenance: minimal. BTW, the motors' speed stability is exemplary.
Problem: takes up space; price (the "Clearaudio premium")

That's the extent of my "upmarket" experience. Other NOT stratospheric TTs are very good/excellent but, to my (limited) knowledge cannot match the above. After all, you have lived with the stratospheric levels of a Sirius & now with a V. Indian:)

p.s. I must admit that the SME 30/V (that's the only SME combo I've tried), beautifully engineered as it is and user friendly, never did it for me sonically.

This is great!

I've never heard of most of these.

keep them coming.

Bill E

I've got to agree with G m c if price is any consideration. All of the above mentioned tables are reported to be quite excellent. Unfortunately I doubt many have had the chance to A/B them. Isn't the Rocky Mountain audio show coming up? I'd go take a careful listen to what is displayed there.

Please take the following as intended. It is offered most humbly and is based solely on my audio memory vs. a direct A/B comparison. If you are placing a well designed, high mass rack on a concrete floor then a lesser model Teres may be just as effective, say a model 265. I say that after a lengthy listening session between a 340 and 360 model Teres and the three Schroder arms, a Triplanar and a Graham 2.2.

During this listening session the turntables were on a nice shelf BUT sitting on top of a very sturdy credenza. Not an ideal setup but still pretty darn good. I have extensive experience with a 265 on a great stand in ideal circumstances. To my ears, and based on memory alone, the 265 equaled the 360 because of the setup compromises during this "shoot out". I could be wrong.
The SME 30/2 is an excellent choice, however I stuck to a 20/2 with Pabst motor and gold SME V arm. I think that the 30 is not really worth while the extra $$$ compared to what you get from the 20.
Bill, after you have addressed usability & reliability & support, your best bet it too get whatever looks the coolest (or otherwise rings your chimes) & see what happens.
At the price points you are talking about (and much lower) it is 99% about personal taste and system matching. Nobody can tell you what you'd end up liking best & there is no way to do a meaningful audition unless it is in home and reasonably long term.
At CES this year, I was most impressed with the Continuum turntable with Cobra arm from Australia. At $50k USD, it's no bargain, but it grabbed my attention in a way most rooms couldn't. Worth checking out. A photo was in the recent Stereophile or AbSol.
FWIW, I agree with Slipknot1's comments about the Walker table. It is mighty impressive. Cheers,
Bill, I suppose I will have to add my voice to these responses. The challenge is that we are all captives to some extent to what we've had the opportunity to hear. I'm a Walker Audio Proscenium Gold Signature turntable owner and a fan, as are several other Audiogon contributors who've not yet offered a comment.

You say, "If ultimate sonics are my first priority..." To which I will suggest that, if this is the case (as I believe it is for you), then you truly should give serious consideration to the Walker. It will deliver that superb level of sonics you require, it will make you re-think what is possible in analog replay; and it will also deliver absolute reliability and usability.

I hear your comment that you're thinking about a small footprint option, and the Walker is not that. But, if you're looking primarily for something that will give you back usable space beneath the turntable, the Walker will do that. I use Lloyd's custom built rack (after all, its what he designed the table with), and use the three shelves beneath it for other equipment. So, while the footprint in square inches is large, the space beneath the turntable is available for other purposes.

Any of us who use the Walker turntable could go on and on about its sonic virtues, ease of use, absolute reliability, fanatical build quality, etc., etc. The only real test is for you to experience it for yourself, as my wife and I did. If you're still located in NY, you're not that far from Lloyd Walker, who is just west of Philadelphia. Spend a day with Lloyd and then decide. At worst case, you will have had one of the most engaging encounters you can imagine with one of the true gentleman geniuses of the high audio art who, as Srajan Ebaen said in his recent review of the Walker Velocitor on 6moons.com, comes at audio design "from a nearly maniacal commitment to better sound."

There is no other turntable I'd rather have in my home for the remainder of my music listening days.

There are lots of great opinions and shared experiences here. I would really suggest that you try before you buy -- but I'm sure your already know that. Having said that, you might really want to consider the Origin Live line. While there don't seem to be too many out there, they are compact and, I believe, very musical and accurate (plus a heck of a black background). They get good reviews, even by folks who don't accept ads. But again, this is a very subjective purchase so try before you buy.

Good luck in your continuing journey ;-)