I need a turntable, only have $450 to spare...

More than likely used. I haven't had a turntable since when I was in Germany in 1989 when I had a Denon 37F but I still have my 392 count vinyl collection. I've searched and read plenty of things but they were always with a larger budget. My budget will grow (hopefully!) in the future but I need something to get me along now as I plugged my Teac X-1000r over the weekend and it reminded me how good analog sounds.
My noisemaker goes as follows: CEC 3300R cd player, tube DAC-68, Adcom GFP-750 preamp, 2 Adcom 545 amps biamped to a pair of Wharfedale diamond 9.6 speakers, Dayton interconnects and homebrew power cables. In anticipation to my future TT purchase I got a Bellari VP-130, new but open box. With my current equipment and what I have to spend I'm not expecting a masterpiece BUT I don't want a $99 piece of junk either, just something that I can play for a while and be happy. I understand it may need to have the belt replaced, cartridge. Musically I'm all over the map but mostly Jazz (Monk, Marsalis, Coltrane) and Brit Wave (Joy Division, OMD, Smiths). Where should I start?
Rega P2 or P3 can be found used within your budget. Technics
SL-1200 can be bought new for about that. There are lots of good used tables within your price range.

Good luck,

you've got a nice piece of digital set up. To match it with turntable with no dissapointment, you should probably stretch for more budget plus decent phonostage too.
I'm not worried about being disappointed at this point, I just don't want to be horrified! LOL! Not expecting musical nirvana out of a 450 dollar platter, I just don't think an old Montgomery Wards table is gonna cut it (LOL!). Will the VP-130 suffice for a "decent" phonostage?
isn't the SL-1200 direct drive? I should have added that I prefer belt drive, not as noisy...
I concur with a used Rega P3 - a very good entry table. Add a Rega exact cartridge and you will be good to go. These are easy to setup, hassle free.
I'd agree to SL1200. Had P3 and hated the fact that I couldn't adjust VTA. That limits the choice of a good cartridges. SL1200 isn't noisy at all despite being DD. As to your phono, it might be an interesting 'instrument' to me. How's headphone out in there?
Get a Beogram linear tracking table. One that uses the MMC series cartridges. If you find one that doesn't have a cartridge they are available from Soundsmith.

As a point of reference I'm using a Beogram 4500. You can easily see what the rest of my system looks like. The Beogram doesn't embarrass itself versus my digital front end.
Mtandrews, while not my favorite, there is nothing noisy about the 1200. It is quiet as a tomb and speed stabilty is absolutely accurate. I prefer belt drive too. If I wanted new and $450 was my budget, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

+ on the Technics in that price range. You won't be disappointed. You'll be able to resell for 350.00 when/if you decide to move up.
Can you go used or vintage? Ariston, Logic, Heybrook, Manticore and Fons all made good belt drive turntables that can be had for a song. The various Thorens models are good bets, as well, though it is important to do research as some similarly priced Thorens are much better than others. For a different, though not necessarily preferable, sound, the VPI Jr. with a nice arm is just a little more money as is the Linn Axis.
I'm a big fan of the Technics line, especially for sub-$1K turntables. Sometimes, if you scour the internet enough, you can find a new SL1200mk2 for $350, but not always. You still need to leave room for a cartridge,

Audio Technica makes a creditable knockoff of the SL1210 mk5, called the AT-PL120. As you can see, LPGear, an authorized dealer, offers them for $219. Crutchfield has them for $249; LPGear charges a restocking percentage for most returns; Crutchfield has a 30-day no-hassle return policy (you pay return shipping only).

For the money you save you could get a pretty nice cartridge to go on it, such as an Ortofon 2M Blue (a particularly excellent match with this 'table), a Grado Silver, or with a little stretch, the AT150MLX, which is unbelievable at $307.

A less-known choice would be LPGear's AT95SA, which is an AT95E with an after-market Shibata stylus, for $150. This would bring you in at $400 total, and leave money for a better turntable mat ($20 Technics Supermat from http://www.kabusa.com), and perhaps some replacement feet or a homemade isolation platform (butcher block cutting board supported by squishy feet).

For a review of the AT-PL120 from an audiophile's viewpoint, go to Tone Publications, download issue 11, and turn to page 9.
If one thinks all direct drives are noisy, they've not heard a well-maintained Dual 701/721 w/EDS1000 motor...

Actually, they'd "not" hear it!
You have to get north of $2K, and more often $4K, to find a belt drive with a better s/n than the Technics SL12x0 series. There may be other issues, but they're not noisy, and it's easy (and cheap) with better feet and mat to reduce what little vibration is there.
Johnnyb53 said,

"You have to get north of $2K, and more often $4K..."

I don't agree but I do feel the 1200 is a bargain at it's price.

The Technics' weighted s/n figure is -78dB. This is lower than most turntables under $4K that publish their spec. However, perception of turntable quietness is not so simple, and subjectively the Rega P3 *sounds* quieter than the Technics. I don't think this is belt drive vs. DD as much as other factors. The Rega P3 variants have had about 25 years of development in vibration control and resonance neutralization. Those developments in the Technics stopped with the 1981 introduction of the sl1200mk2, still in production.

However, I've found, as a Technics owner for 2-1/2 years, that some simple, inexpensive things can control resonances and vibration in the Technics that subjectively drop the noise floor, improve inner detail, clarity, and dynamic range, and relax the presentation.

Out of the box, the tonearm rings: wrap it in Teflon plumber's tape. Replace the feet and replace the turntable mat. This $42 in tweaks takes the reputed "direct drive glare" right out of it. I've found that much of this glare is tonearm resonance. It rings right in the upper midrange, and the $2 teflon tape pretty much fixes it without significantly changing the effective mass.
a used denon 47f is the way to go
A good Panny would be fine for your needs, as would a Rega or whatever. Heck, even an older (and cheaper) Dual would work OK. What you want to focus on here is that you want to play your vinyl and want it to sound OK (economically...). That means there's really no reason to obsess over the perfect $450 TT - go check the TT classifieds on a regular basis, maybe do a little more online research, but when you find something that looks good then go for it and start spinning your vinyl. You can tweak and adjust and goober around afterwards - get listening now.
Look for a Lenco with north american voltage. Google Lenco Lovers website to learn more. Good luck, Jeff
As usual, solid & useful responses from the members. The key word is "only" in the post. Keep in mind shipping, record cleaning supplies (very important) & proper set-up.
The fact that you are on this site generally means there is a upgrde in your future. I bought a new TT six months ago and have out-grown it in my mind already.
Good luck, it's a lot of fun second time around.
lots of good advice! I'm off this weekend so I think I'll spend it surfing. The thorens seems to be out of my range as well as a p2. I'm assuming I'm going to have to make a decision to either go without for another month or so and try to get a used P3 or something similar. What model Dual should I be looking for? I looked at a Marantz TT at a pawn shop today, looked like it was completely plastic.
What about a Dual CS 505-4? Just got a email with pics, has ortofon OMB-10 on it. Seller sez table works fine but of course I don't know the condition of the cartridge. I can have it for around 200 bucks.
If considering Dual tables, contact Bill Neumann in Des Moines. Google "fixmydual". He almost certainly has fully refubished 1200 series tables well within your budget. I recently traded in a 704 for a 701, and he may have that one still around.
With any vintage table, if you're not knowledgeable to do so yourself, I'd advise buying one that has been competently refurbished or budget to send the one you buy to such a shop. For Pioneer tables, "BC Electronics" in PA can do the work. Others may add shops they recommend for specific makes.
The newer entry level Rega/Music Hall, etc. tables shouldn't need this, so it comes down to personal choice. I like vintage, fully auto tables and top line vintage mm carts, but that's me.
I like the psx 70 from sony...pua 7 carbon arm...brushless quartz dd...very well made...500 new in the day...
A Thorens TD-160 and a Denon 160 cartridge would be my top recommendation at 450 USD. You will get a great 3D stage and have wonderful pace and drive.

ok guys, I'm down to 2 duals and I need to pull the trigger within the next few days. A beautifil CS 5000 (needs cartridge) and an equally clean 721 (late model) with a Shure V-15 type 3 cartridge. Both are pretty close in price. The 721 has been cleaned, oiled and cueing fluid replenished. I'm leaning towards the 5000 due to it being newer, what do ya think? I don't like the rca's on either, I wouldn't attempt to replace the wiring myself (got a local audio repair shop) but where should I look for a reasonable replacement if one is available?
I would choose the 721. I wouldn't change anything until you live with it awhile and hear how it sounds. Is the Shure Stylus in good condition? If not, replacements are available.

Narrod nailed it. Get it (and check the stylus), listen to your stuff, and enjoy is all for a while.
i pulled the trigger on the 721. I paid $299.00 but oh well, its less than my $450.00 budget. I'm kinda anxious being I haven't heard vinyl is so long. Thanks to all and Mr_hosehead, the stylus is new(shure V-15 type 3 w/stylus), the reciept and service sheet is supposed to come with it. And Narrod I'm not gonna mess with it right away, but I know me! I hate the interconnects that comes with the components. It's only a matter of time for a obsessive like myself to fall off of the wagon ;-)
MT- If you are gonna change ICs, my suggestion would be to get the whole tone arm re-wired from the cart clips to the RCAs in one continuous run.
Is the cartridge a Shure V15 Type III LM? That was the stock cart for many of the 700 series tables, and a good one. I have an JICO "SAS" replacement stylus for that cartridge that I played only once, as I preferred my tried and true Pickering XSV5000 with MUCH costlier stylus.

Email me if your table has the V15 Type III and if interested in the best replacement stylus made (Google "JICO SAS", aka Super Analog Stylus, a specially shaped diamond).

The Dual 721 tonearm wires terminate at the headshell as pins into which the cartridge holder slides to make a connection. I own both the 721 and 701 (which uses the identical headshell system) and don't intend to mess with the tonearm wiring. That said, your RCA cables may originate from RCA jacks beside the motor, and all you need do is connect new ones. More likely, they emerge as slip-on tab connectors from tabs on a plate to which the tonearm wires are soldered - even better! In that case, buy the phono cables you like plus a pair of "crimp barrel" gold plated tab connectors from Madisound of the proper size for the tabs. Cut off RCA plugs from one end of your phono cables, strip the insulation, crimp the exposed wires into the tab "barrels", slip on to the tabs and you've got upgraded cables!
I've done this and found it simple and effective.
If you like the 721 sound as much as I do, invest $95 in one of Bill Neumann's custom wooden bases. Prop the feet of the wooden base atop some resonance control thingys (the rubber/cork/rubber squares from Meniscus Audio are the cheapest I know of) and you're just about at budget.

If it were me, a nice, used Bottlehead Seduction would be the next "cost-effective" upgrade, but $300 or so ain't chump change.

Upgraded mat would probably come next (lots of options), but we're far enough down the road already... :))

If your 721 has been competently refurbished, I'll bet you decide it's a keeper.
it was refurbished by EastCoastDual in Virginia Beach. Worksheet is supposed to come with it along with a cd with the owners manual and maintenance manual. I have a mat that I made which is cork on one side and dynamat on the other that i copied from www.tnt-audio.com some time ago. I guess I finally get a chance to try it out. I plan on listening to it for a few weeks before I take a crack at the RCA's. Swampwalker, that's probably gonna be the best route but it may be above my skill level. I've made power cables, speaker wires, Op-Amps in my old Parasound DAC, and have done Auricaps and torrordial transformers in my Adcom 545's but I've never attempted to wire a tonearm.
i noticed i made a typo, I paid $199, not $299...
$199 for a restored 721 sounds like a bargain. I lusted for that table when it was released in the '70s but it was too expensive.

Very nice, I took a look and you got a fine deal. Good luck and hope all is weel. Report back on how it's working out for you.
721 arrived today(!), I can't get over how clean and unused it looks. And Jb0194 thanks a million, you were right about the RCA's, they just plugged onto a board. Easy swap, the original are mighty thin, I had to "manipulate" my much thicker Dayton Audio's in the hole but all is well. The Shure V-15 III looks to be actually glued to the TK-24 (holes for screws but no screws!) and I'm scared to pry on it. I guess I'll have to buy another TK-24 or it's replacement to mount my Ortofon 2M blue that I bought with the dough I saved. Can't wait to hear it, I gotta learn how to post pictures here so I can "show it off!" :-)
Glued in? You can pretty much count on the alignment not being correct.

Greetings: The V15t111 is perhaps the cartridge supplied with your Dual. The Shure, as well as several Ortophon cartridges were offered from the manufacturer. If so, the Shure was aligned and glued to the cartridge carrier at the factory, and will probably be spot-on. Although the cartridge will release fairly easily, glue residue will remain on the carrier and is not as easy to clean up as it would be to replace the stylus and enjoy the option.
Timeltel, why did the come glued from the factory?

Greetings, Narrod: This question I cannot answer, but it would eliminate the need for an amateur to align a cartridge. I recently moved on to my son my old Dual 1219, purchased in 1972, Stereo Warehouse in San Luis Obispo. Same set-up, except the v15-111 body had a plastic shroud instead of the typical aluminum, and it was not drilled for screws. I have seen others.
Narrod, Mtandrews, a follow-up. I should have done the research first for a more informative answer. Currently, ebay Item number: 120449899517 shows a V15111/cart. carrier identical to the one supplied with the Dual 1219. The V15-111 was the supplied cart. for the 721, a classic Dual. Good luck with the nice TT, Mtandrews.
Why in the hell people still think direct drive turntables are noisier than belt drive or other genres? The motor spins at 33rpm!! That's half hertz! It is as quiet as you can get! It spins as quietly as the bearing itself in a belt drive minus the noise from a 600rpm to 1800rpm motor(30hz!) This misconception makes me steamed. Yes, there were a lot of crappy plastic DD table but that has nothing to do with the genre itself, it was made cheaply and sounds it. You can even put a stethoscope on the motor and still can't hear a thing. The only possible noise is the transformer inside the turntable but that can happen in belt drive or any turntable with a transformer. Has anyone even looked at the operation of a direct drive motor? The biggest misconception is that the motor is placed underneath platter so therefore it's noisy. But the motor is the bearing itself and is rotated by magnetic force at 33rpm. Folks, it's 33rpm!!! The audiophile world is littered with Rega junk. Audiophiles got what they deserve; boring cheaply made turntables with not an ounce of innovation. The Rockport Sirius, at one point the world's most expensive turntable, is direct drive. One of the most popular expensive turntable in the 80's, Goldmund Studio was a direct drive. The radio station and library of congress workhorse for the longest time was an SP10. The motor that uses to cut your record at a mastering house is a direct drive SP-02!
Hiho, you're correct. It's in the engineeringexecution. The Goldman is one of the finest tables I've ever heard. The new Grand Prix, which I've only read about, is direct-drive.

Thanks Timeltel, that answers my query. I looked at the one you referenced on EBAY and mine is identical to that. Starting bid is $129, damn! I oughta sell mine being that I got a Ortofon 2M blue coming and I only paid $199 for the table, I might come out ahead for once in my life...
Mtandrews: You might consider keeping the V15 as a backup, and it could be informative to have a comparison available when you get your 2M. You may decide to keep the TOTL '70s Shure (it appears you obtained it free), or you can always sell it later. Either way, it's a win/win situation.