Rega Planar 3
Ortofon 2M Red
3mm Rega spacer
Close to 1k all in
Ortofon 2M Red
3mm Rega spacer
Close to 1k all in
Pioneer PLX 1000 for $700 + free shipping from various online retailers! Add a good cartridge and you will have a TT setup that compares well with far more expensive ones! A $90 Grado is good to start with. I use a Denon 103R mc cartridge ($300) on mine. I also own over a dozen turntables - including a Linn Sondek. I became curious after reading Herb Reichert's review some years ago in Stereophile. The PLX 1000 is a Technics 1200 copy for a fraction of the price. It is still excellent and affordable for many. And sounds a lot better than any Rega!
The PLX 1000 is a Technics 1200 copy for a fraction of the price. It is still excellent and affordable for many. And sounds a lot better than any Rega!
Hmmm.....I haven’t heard of the PLX 1000 before. Seems interesting. What’s the problem with Rega? All of my reading lead me to the Planar 3 but I’m interested in a dissenting opinion!
You might consider a MoFi Studiodeck. A bit over $1K, but has received pretty good reviews.
But, if you want a really solid table that not much can phase it in terms of any vibration or movement, an old SOTA. But, a really nice one with an equally nice tone arm and cart will cost you at least $3K, unless you get really lucky. You could find an older SOTA table sans arm and cart for your budget though.
The cartridge is most vital for getting the most music out of those tiny grooves! That's why I have been using moving coils since the mid-70's. For the cheapskate the Denon 103 series (1962!) still reigns at the top! They are not fussy about set up and have a sense of musical "rightness" often lacking in far more expensive cartridges.
+1 on the Rega P3. I've owned the P1, P2 and P3 (and currently own a P6), and I think that the P3 is worth the extra cash over the P1 and P2. The P3 is much better out of the box than the other two and has a good upgrade path should you wish to expand your capabilities in the future. I really liked the P3 while I had it and highly recommend it. With a good turntable like the P3 you might find vinyl engaging enough to keep you interested for a very long time. I think most audiophiles will quickly outgrow a P1 or P2, the performance gap is that great.
Comes stock with the Ortofon 2M Blue. It has an autostop feature(not lift and return), ceramic platter, and is quite beautiful to boot. There are plenty of Fluance haters on here and would have you spend $$$$$ on a tone arm. I don’t deny the knowledge or merit of expensive equipment. If you are budget minded the RT85 is $500 and sounds pretty awesome. Lots of videos online to check out opinions.
agree dd is better. less hassle switching speed etc. less maintenance issues like loose belt. fast on off.
the most important is the adjustability opitions of the tonearm IMHO. and the type of compliance range you want to play with. tonearm is as or more important as cartridge.
70db or more
0.025 percent or less
for tt spec will have less upgrade bug problem as well.
The Pro-ject the classic with 2m silver is right there at your budget. It is $1199, but I’ve seen it go on sale for anywhere between $999 and $1099. It is a fabulous well made solid turntable. The Pro-ject the classic sb @ $1499 will get you the speed box option built in plus either a sumiko blue point or Ortofon quintet red moving coil. You are not going to find a better built or better sounding turntable for the money, unless you buy something used. I own both the classic and the sb and use the Hana el moving coil on one and an ortofon quintet bronze on the other. They sound terrific. Go and read the Michael Fremer review on the Pro-ject the classic sb. He found that it sounded great and believes it to be a great value. In fact, read any review of the Pro-ject the classic turntable, all are positive, some glowing. It has very good isolation properties, a terrific carbon fiber/aluminum 9" tonearm, full adjustability for azimuth, VTA, etc....and a genuine wood plinth in three finishes. Its a Linn on a budget.
Alternatively, the Music Hall MMF-5.3 is a bargain right at about a grand.
That plx 1000 has proven to be junk....it is NOT built like the technics 1200 or whatever...it is cheaply made with a crappy tonearm with loose bearings.
Here are some reviews to keep you busy.
If you want good DD under $1000, would you considered vintage?
I was in the same situation. I wanted a better table and didn’t have the budget to go right for a new Technics, so I found a restored one on ebay and have been very happy with it so far.
You might check out a seller called TurntableTom. He restores a lot of older Technics tables and usually charges $250-450. That leaves plenty of money for a nice budget cart like an AT microline or even something like a KAB Ortofon concorde OM30. Something to consider...
I've owned Regas and Thorens' in the past and could never quite optimize their set-up. If you are knowledgeable and enjoy tweaking and adjusting your turntable, they could be a good choice. A year ago I purchased a Fluance RT85 fitted with the Ortofon Blue 2M. This is a fantastic sounding turntable for the money. It minimizes adjustments and the feet provide very good isolation, so it's quiet. I've also auditioned the MoFi Studiodeck (with the matched StudioTracker cartridge) and thought that was an excellent sounding turntable and would probably be my choice to upgrade. Oh, I'm using a Schiit Mani, also an outstanding value.
Brand new Technics SL1200 mk7 cost exactly $1000 and this is the best you can get with your budget (in my opinion). If you can expand your budget to $1800 you can even get the next GR model.
This is about mk7 (and GR is even better):
"The direct drive motor (D.D. Motor) formed the core of the SL-1200 Series. In addition to providing unparalleled accuracy, the D.D. Motor technology that was introduced in 1970 offered reliability for long-term use with its excellent durability. This further evolved with the SL-1200MK7, and achieved even higher sound quality as the Coreless Direct Drive Motor.
The SL-1200MK7 comes with a static balance S-shaped tonearm to carry on the Technics tradition. The tonearm moves in a unique arc as it tracks the record disc, and reproduces music with high fidelity. The bearing section features a high-precision bearing structure. The tonearm provides high tracking performance without stylus skipping even under hard usage.
Each insulator foot consists of an internal spring and rubber, and the bottom surface is covered with a cushion material. They effectively shut out vibration even in a loud sound environment. If the turntable cannot be set up on a perfectly level surface, its height and inclination can be adjusted by turning individual insulator feet."
As a Rega Planar 3 (newest revision) owner,
I’m settled for now. The spacer recommendation I saw earlier is likely required for many carts. An Ortofon 2M Re is not a good recommendation however. Look at a a 2M Bronze (better engine and superior stylus shape), or a good Audio Technica in an appropriate price range.
practical point of view as well.. the easier the operation, setting the easier to hit optimum. and also learn the most how to be a better turntable user. as tt is complex but becomes easier when parameter easy and consistent to control.
too fancy or too simple. I seen people go round and round. even very experienced users.
I use 2nd hand hi end dd which, but again I am able to restore to good conditions.. otherwise it's also useless. I have many choices.. 124 125 thorens lenco garrard. better? maybe. but very difficult to restore and mess it up. doesn't mean it's worse than DD.. just much more difficult and can get very expensive and end up with mediocre or incorrect sound.is common. some experience from our group of players. better buy new, suits the usage. end up cheaper.
I’ve experienced direct drive and belt drive turntables. I believe it’s about execution in the product versus the approach.
For example a motorcycle with a chain, belt or shaft are different but the overall objective of riding motorcycles is the same.
I like Rega’s approach for turntables. And other turntables are good though at the lower price points it’s not about approach, it’s about execution
I've had both the Sl-1200 Mk5 & the Rega RP3. Both sounded great.
I used both with the same cartridge, actually I used a OC9-MLII along with about 5 others.
The Rega sounded a little better but it did run a little fast, not much. I
also really like the Rega Arm.
The Technics is nice like uncleang said if you like to change cartridges
plus it's built like a tank.
I want to buy new for the possibility of financing through a dealer and because my brother bought a used turntable once and shipping wasn’t kind to it.
So I figured I’d go with my original choice and get a Rega Planar 3. Even though they’re listen in stock all around, no vendor seems to actually have one. 6 week wait.
The VPI table isn’t in production anymore.
So then I went looking at the Schiit Sol which can’t be ordered from their website and per another audio forum is on hiatus for the foreseeable future due to supply chain issues.
I have to admit that I was drawn to the Rega because my wife also likes its looks. I should have put that looks were a consideration on account of WAF in my original post.
Anyway, time to dig back through this post and into some of the other suggestions....
Pro-Ject is interesting but damn do they have a lot of models....what’s up with that?