Moving up from Pioneer PL-C590 with PA-5000

Hi all, by first post here - so please be gentle :)

I have a question that might get a lot of opinions, but I'm actually looking for a solid, practice based advice.

I want to move up from Pioneer PL-C590 with PA-5000. The turntable is a pure magic, but as always, I wonder if I can do better - sound wise.

A bit of a background. I tried the turntable with Lyra Helikon, Benz Micro Ruby 3, Zyx 4D - all sound phenomenal - these are the cartridges I would want to use with the next turntable.

I tried Yamaha PX-2 - nice, but not even close to PL-C590. Tried Phase Linear PL 8000 II - similar to Yamaha. Both sound dull and lifeless compared to the Pioneer.

Tried Sony Ps-x800, joy to use, but impossible to fix. Sound is still not as good as the Pioneer by a large margin, but much better than Yamaha and Phase Linear.

Also tried Pro-Ject 9.2 Evolution - was very surprised to discover that the Pioneer is much better. I was expecting the Pro-Ject to be superior.

Also tried many cheaper turntables - Pioneer PL-600 DD, Pioneer PL-540. No contest here. Nice turntable for the money, but PL-C590 "stops my heart" with it's beautiful sound.

No big question, is there anything that would make me wish to sell Pioneer PL-C590 with PA-5000. I don't care about 250lb monsters that are currently produced. Budget is up to $7,000.

Thanks a lot in advance for sharing your experience.

Although I don't have direct experience to share, I don't want your post to be left dangling. Here's an interesting thread where a PLC-590 owner upgraded from a Rega RB-251 tonearm to an SME 3009 to very satisfying results by his own account. He's obviously very handy with some serious metal-working tools, but maybe a tonearm upgrade would give you what you're looking for.

At first I was scratching my head at your request, but I think I understand. I myself have a Technics SL1210M5G with some modifications and I'm not ready to leave the propulsive pace and timing of direct drive for a low-torque-driven elastic belt.

Pioneer recently came out with the PLX-1000 direct drive turntable, which is similar to the SL1210 with twice the torque and better feet and damping (including an internally damped tonearm) for a mere $699. It might be worth a listen, but I doubt it has the sophistication and refinement of your Pioneer.

Beyond the PLX-1000, the price leaps into audiophile land. The least expensive DD I'm familiar with in this category is the Brinkmann Audio Bardo, a bit more money than your budget, but the tonearm is extra.
Thanks for your response. PLX-1000 is a nice looking turntable, but unfortunately can't compete with PL-C590.

I've been thinking about Pioneer P3, P10 or PL-70 or Yamaha GT-2000, but not sure if that would be a step sideways instead of a step up.

Also, I've heard a lot of good things about VPI Classic, but again - would it really outperform PA-5000 arm???

Anybody had a chance to compare Pioneer P3, P10, L-70 or Yamaha GT-2000 with with VPI turntables???
Hmm, based on all of that and my own experience - the best examples of turntables and tonearms that were made 30 years ago are as good as what's being made right now. I guess it's hard to improve on something that's superb.

Yamaha GT-2000 looks great, but the tonearm, from what I've read, is just OK, nothing to write home about.

So I think, I will keep looking for P10. P3 is just way too expensive.
Nick, I have the Series 20 labeled PLC-590 with the PA 1000 carbon fiber arm. I bought it as a demo unit from a dealer in 1980 and have kept mine in use ever since. I seriously doubt that a Pioneer P3 or P10 is going to gain you anything much over the PLC-590. I would suggest looking for a different updated arm with VTA adjustment on the fly built into the arm post assembly.
I own an Pioneer Exclusive P3 and P10

I used to own a VPI HRX

The Pioneer P3 is the better sounding table. An absolute classic.

The PLC-590 is a nice turntable, however if someone thinks it is as good as Pioneers best table is dreaming.

Seriously Sanmanlan, you absolutely no idea.