Looking to start a vintage jazz collection,

and I was just wondering what is the best turntable and cartridge combo to get started with. I have been looking at used Nottingham Horizon's(SE version with the dynaventor 10X5 cartridge, and also rega P3s with an exact 2 cartridges. Which set up would be better for pre digital jazz LPs? Any other general information you want to give out would be much appreciated--Cheers
I've been a jazz enthusiast for well over 40 years. I am sure that a lot of people out there love to hear jazz played on their P3s, but I don't think I'd be one of them. According to even their most ardent supporters, the sub $1K Regas evidently run about 1% fast. That may not sound like much, but it means A-440 is playing at 444, and I can hear that difference in pitch. More important, some of the great figures (e.g., Count Basie and Quincy Jones) in jazz had/have an uncanny ability to pick a tempo that is PERFECT for the music, and if it's sped up or slowed down by 1% it changes the mood of the song. I proved this to myself with a Basie album about 30 yrs ago on a turntable with pitch control. If I varied the speed the slightest bit, the song just wasn't the same.

Me, I'm happy with a Technics SL1210 for its dead-on speed control, very low noise, and transparent and honest midrange where saxes, vibes, and piano solos live. I think some "classical" oriented turntables (and other audio equipment) have a slightly recessed midrange to increase the illusion of depth, and that tonal balance is just not right for jazz. With the Technics, the midrange is *right there*. Not forward, but not recessed, either. It also has excellent image depth. Transparency in the midrange is really nice and the overall presentation is propulsive and rhythmic.
no offense, but now is a lousey time to start a jazz lp collection. most great jazz lp's will never be reissued on vinyl, and a few thousand mint originals can set you back a summer home.....get japanese mini lp cd's before they dry up and go through the roof......the tunes are the tunes.
Jaybo, I'm really puzzled by your response, unless are trying to discourage competition when hunting for jazz LPs.

I just came back from a used record store yesterday with two Modern Jazz Quartet albums, one for 99 cents and one for $5. In the past 5 weeks I've bought a Milt Jackson, a Wes Montgomery, 4 Quincy Jones (2 of which are 2-LP sets), two Pat Metheny's (one sealed and $3.99), a sealed Atlantic collection, a sealed Kenny Burrell at $5.99, a sealed Hank Crawford/Jimmy McGriff for $4.99, and a used Dave Grusin on Sheffield Archive in pristine condition.

Go to eBay and do a search for any jazz artist you're interested in--Bird, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Hank Jones, Dave Brubeck, Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery, Basie, Oscar Peterson, Monk, Miles, Mingus, Buddy Rich, Scofield, you name it, and you'll get a screen or two's worth for any artist.

As for LP reissues, I think there are plenty, especially if you're willing to pay $30 a pop at http://www.elusivedisc.com. But you don't need reissues if you have a reliable way to acquire and clean used LPs, and it doesn't have to be a vacuum machine.

As for turntable choice, of course it doesn't have to be a Technics, but I do believe that for jazz the TT should have really accurate speed with low wow and flutter.
i just want newbees to know what they're in for. the music is the thing anyway, not the format....this coming from a man who just spent $700 for 3 sealed jazz originals....yowza

04-14-07: Jaybo
i just want newbees to know what they're in for. the music is the thing anyway, not the format....this coming from a man who just spent $700 for 3 sealed jazz originals....yowza

Well, for me the issue has become the format to some extent. Call it a digital backlash, but I'd been listening to CDs (and some SACDs) exclusively for the last 20 years, but at long last, I have to cave in and say that the CD reissues of albums recorded, mixed, and mastered in the analog domain nearly always irritate and disappoint me.

So I finally got a turntable (my first working TT in 25 years) and started hitting the used record stores. Mostly I pay between $1 and $8 per LP. It is a little more problematic with jazz. Just as used Beatles LPs cost more than other rock LPs, Modern Jazz Quartet almost always costs above the average and availability of some of my favorite artists (Don Ellis, Gary Burton) is spotty. Still, it's worth it to me and I enjoy the hunt. I just got a barely used copy of Quincy Jones' "Gula Matari" for about $2. Ironically, the CD reissue is long out of print and sells for as much as $65. I have both LPs and CDs of some A&M-era Quincy Jones and the LPs sound 'way better to me.

I just got an Atlantic MJQ "Best of" collection for $5 and another MJQ album for 99 cents. Both play great. Currently I'm listening to Milt Jackson and Hubert Laws on CTI.

When I got back into LPs, I was pleasantly surprised that most used records from reputable stores can clean up and play well, and that by and large, run of the mill, commercial pressings don't sound half bad. Maybe for me it's a good thing that I have a decent rig, but it's not ultra high rez. Good enough that I can enjoy the music, not so microscopic that I can't. :)
The Rega signature is clean and tight as opposed to fleshy and rich. In the right system it can be balanced to your taste. The pitch can be fixed with an outboard power supply from Heed or if you wait for the new P3 due out in about a month it has the option of adding a Rega outboard PS. The P5 has the option already.
Ebay is a great source for used jazz LPs. One needn't invest huge sums into original pressings and mint covers to enjoy the music. After all, this is about the music, not stamp collecting, right? Fantasy, up in Berkeley has done a fantasic joy of reissuing great 50's jazz. Last I checked, their reissues were ten-bucks each and sound fantastic.
Try going to Thrift shops,Music stores that carry used and new vinyl,garage and estate sales and Mosiac records on line. They put out some 180 gram box sets that basicaly sound awesome and gives you a slice of certain musicians discography.
Music Halls new MMF 9.1 .. I can't believe how ridiculously good this table is, with an all carbon arm now too, and dead on speed sensor with 50 hz motor.. Also the table is dead silent and built like a battle tank, without cartridge it sets you back about 1800.00 but I feel its easily one of the best in any range you can buy, very easy to setup and ergonomics are really the best I have messed with.