Will you only buy new, or are you open to used?
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I have no problem buying quality pre-owned equipment from sellers on audiogon that have a solid history.
My current digital set-up is a Plinius SA250MKIII amp and M16 pre, cd player is a Stan Warren modified Pioneer Elite PD93, my speaker are the above mentioned Maggie 3.6's. I have a very wide variety of musical taste so I can't specify one category the focus on, I will listen to it all. I appreciate all the suggestion so far! Thanks.
Everyone is going to have a different opinion, so here's another. I can't argue with the Rega arm suggestion since I am using an RB 900. I find the lack of VTA adjustment irritating. I do think you can do much better for a turntable though. I would suggest trying to find a used Sota Sapphire or Star. I've seen the Star selling for as little as $700 and Sapphires for much less. I've used both and currently run the Star. It smokes any VPI I have ever heard, and I've spent lots (too many) hours listening to the VPI HW 19. Based on what I've heard I would only change my Star for a better Sota table. I've spent lots of time on the phone with the people from Sota when I wanted to trade up from the Sapphire and they've been great to deal with.
For what it's worth vinyl is worth the effort and Sota made it even better for me.
Higher end Regas such as Rega 9 and Rega 25 can easily "factored out" and changed for better table with cheaper RB300 arm giving much better result.
The above suggestion for HW19 is reasonable. I will add Basis 1400 with Basis RB300 arm. That combo easily "smokes" Rega 9/RB900. The possible carts can be used to complete success: Dynavector 20XL...H, Benz Micro Glider L2...M2...H2.
geeze,you guys don't give up!
the basis 1400/rb300 'easily smokes' the rega 9/rb900'??
thats quite a "statement" and IMO is bull s&%#t.
and now we're back to pushing the technics table again.
BTW I saw a technics table in a pop-tarts commercial just this evening.psychic,you should be proud of your rare TT find and leave it be.
I am guessing that Psychic's point is that he had a date with a Tart?? ;-)
Psychic is technically correct that, if one wanted to get a DD table the 1200 would be a good choice as there are so few DD tables produced now that the 1200 wins almost by default. I used to have a 1200 (DD was all the rage back then)and they were one of the better low to mid-fi DD tables out there and are especially good if you want to do DJ work.
I later moved up to a P-3 with a hi-output MC which was a very significant improvement sonically- much quieter, more "air", greater presence. Didn't do any of the upgrades that Psychic refers to, but decided that the upgrades were like trying to turn a VW into a Porsche- no matter how much you spend, you'll still have a VW.
There are many nice tables out there that fit your budget, and for what it's worth, I second all of the previous suggestions. All the tables mentioned have different sonic characters and physical/operational qualities. And since there aren't any objective standards against which to measure performance, I think it's a bit disengenuous, at least at this price point, to say a certain set up "blows away" a similar set up. As usual, it comes down to a question of taste (and the aggressivenss with which some people promote their own particular tastes always strikes me as a bit odd, if not downright defensive and insecure). It would be nice if you could audition some of the tables already mentioned. I would recommend a used Rega P3 w/ some Dynavector cart and a Monolithic phonostage (sans power supply). This set up up will get you started for under a grand, and the Monolithic is fairly flexible, so you can experiment with either MM or (most) MC carts. While this setup won't be at the level of your current gear, it will give you a nice taste of the joys of vinyl; and if (!) you decide that vinyl isn't for you, you should be able to resell the stuff for almost the price you paid for it. Have fun.
The point is----- sometimes technology is used to advertise candy (Pop Tarts) and sometimes candy (Mami) is used to advertise technology!!!!
I own a Monolithic phono stage--truly awesome piece of equipment. Great value for the money (as is everything else I own).
BTW, I got a brand new Ortofon X5 MC (high output) for $110 + shipping...
Not to spray the decks down in a pissing contest, but in a constructive way..... What is it you found "better" out of the SOTA (lets keep equal $$$ or close though)than the Planar 3?
I must admit, the comparison I did was seven years ago, but such is the vintage of the table I am suggesting.
My friends SOTA, while being more than three times the cost, with a clamp...etc (who wants to deal with that thing??) was not in the same arena. With four different carts, we played and tweaked. Weeks of toying and tweaking.
The SOTA was a bit better in certain bass areas with one of the carts (SME and Grace arms at different times) we used one of his AT's Two different Grados (XTZ and the cheapie) and a Monster Cable.
The Rega blew it away on any kind of "island music." Drums came alive, you were in the groove. I found it hard to believe myself. When you looked at the two, there was certainly no reason to think the Rega would sound so good. But it did. All that suspension garbage to deal with, combined with the clamp thing......forget it.
Blind tests all but one of the carts (the AT) picked the Rega everytime.
The same person who bought the SOTA (I think for arm and table he had 3k in it at that time) now uses a planar 3 with a Dynavector. Go figure.
Now, I am admitting that my info is several years old, but what honestly do you think the SOTA of near cost does better than a Rega table? How can you justify all the fiddling with that suspension, when the Rega is SO easy!
I guess what I am trying to say is that buying a used table is risky. Shipping, stupid previous owners....suspension issues that naturally come from age. They are all things to take into consideration when buying a used table.
I dont think anyone would argue that an LP-12 is one of the top 5 tables under 10K of all time. But, if you had to ship one to Mexico from Boston, would it be the right choice?
I think not. I would send the Planar 3.
Combined with the 300 arm, a used Planar 3 is kind of like a low miles Volvo 240 or a Toyota Camry....you know it is going to be reliable, simple and easy to setup.
Of course, I could be talking out my butt. Maybe SOTA has come up with a new table that requires nothing but a level to set up and no clamp to deal with and slipping belts every three months. Maybe they have fixed those issues.
If so, please educate me.
If not, I think if I was to buy a table/cart with a 1k budget, I would go for the sure thing with the fewest sources for trouble.
Gumby, the Sota is NOT finicky to set up or maintain. Once you've got it dialed in, you're home free. Like anything else, there is a small amount of basic maintenance that one does have to do to it though. That is why they chose the "hanging" suspension that they did over the "shock absorber" type of spring suspensions that most other tables use. Not only is it more effective in terms of isolation, it is also a LOT lower maintenance.
As far as the Sota goes, it is the most resistant to acoustic feedback, "heavy footfalls" or high volume levels of any turntable that i have ever seen tested. It beat a Linn LP 12 in a head to head comparison by over 40 dB's in terms of isolation from shocks to the base. If you're using your TT on a suspended floor, have speakers capable of high level low frequency output or just plain listen to music loudly, this is a factor that you CAN'T overlook. That is, unless you've taken the time to actually set up a dedicated TT platform of some type. Even then, the Sota is still MILES ahead in terms of its' own natural isolation.
As to your cartridge testing from table to table, this would require a LOT of time and work to do correctly. Each cartridge would require being optimized for VTA, tracking force, anti-skate, etc... from arm to arm. You would have to re-adjust this every time you changed cartridges and / or headshells. If you tell me that you did all of that each time, then i'd put some creedence to your test results. Otherwise, i would not consider the results worth much of anything other than personal preference in less than optimum installations. Sean
PS... I'm not saying that the Sota is the ultimate table by any means. I don't have near as much experience as many others here that are "diehard vinylheads". I have found that it is the only table that i and several others that i know have had good luck with. Even those that have moved on to MEGABUCK tables ( ala Rockport's, etc.. ) still have their Sota's as a "spare".
Sean: Yep. We spent most of a summer with the two.
Brought them both to the shop the SOTA came from and had them tinker as well. Weeks was weeks!
It took so long because we could NOT understand why we got the results we did. Certainly wasn't for lack of trying.
I was talking about sound, not insulation against poor floors and heavy walking.
I have to laugh about your statement about the TT platform of some type :>)
I have a 4X4 into many feet of concrete under my house with 4 feet of it sticking through my floor. :>)
I can have a line dance in my living room without issue.
Thank God for diversity.
Psychicanimal:Like the bible thumpers, taking a sentence out of context only makes you look like a....well, you finger it out. You certainly have done a good job!
Gumby- you've posed a good, decent, reasonable question to Psychic as others have before you. The reason he can only come up with smart-ass comments in reply (or no reply at all)is that he has little or no real basis for his "opinion" or the "facts" he presents. Typical juvenile reaction to the fear of being "found out".
I challenge Psychic to answer the question you posed to him on 5/18 ("What is it that you found "better" out of the SOTA....?") No quoting others, no repeating the sales literature or the magazine reviewers, just cogent thoughts on your actual experiences with SOTA vs P3 and your 1200 in a listening (not nightclub) environnment. Compare & contrast and support your thoughts.
Can you listen?
Of course not, but that was the Rega leaflet back in 1982-83. Green with a drawing of the arm. They claimed that specs didn't matter because when placed on paper you couldn't listen to them (hence the sarcasm).
It is very difficult to A/B several TTs. Sean just presented a miriad of parameters that have to be kept equal. Hence TT choice must be done with the help of other parameters. Jimbo, I cannot teach you how to evaluate a TT, nor common sense. If you search the posts in many forums like I did you'll come accross people who have modded their 1200s. You'll read what they've done, what they have compared it with and how they feel. That's what made me shift from belt drive to a modded 1200 in the under $1000 category. Some guy has Technics 1800 and compared it to his Oracle w/ SME arm--it's here in the archives and in Harmonic Discord. Yes he said the Oracle outperformed it. By how much? Find out for yourself.
If there's someone in this planet that loves analog and is committed to its preservation is Kevin Barrett of KAB electroacoustics (www.kabusa.com). He's so committed he developed and marketed the tonearm fluid damper for the 1200. Why? Because he thinks it's *the* best value in turntables, dollar for dollar, in the market today. Not for nightclub use, Jimbo---for transcribing recordigs. He's so convinced that he says that in order to make an upgrade worthwhile one would need to jump from a modded 1200 to a VPI with flywheel!
BTW, Kevin Varrett has also designed and marketed the most complete high end phono transription preamplifier in the market.
Jimbo, I am sorry to hear you had a 1200 and couldn't set it up properly. Perhaps you should give Kevin a call...I'm sure he can teach you a few tips. I can, too, but "you don't listen".
Psychic- Maybe you didn't understand the question. Allow me to repeat- What is it that YOU found better about the SOTA? Please compare and contrast the SOTA, P3 and the 1200. YOUR experience and thoughts, not someone else's.
If you have any experience at all with these tables (as you say you do), mentioning three or four things should be easy. People do it on this site all the time.
BTW-Why do you always refer us to someone else to explain your opinion?
What I like about the SOTAs:
1) Machined polymer platter (beats glass & aluminum)
2) Incredibly effective hanging suspension
3) Vacuum system works wonders...
What I don't like about the Rega:
1) Cheap & feeble construction
2) Lack of suspension
3) Sarcastic--and convenient--disregard for specifications
What I like about the 1200:
1) Built like a tank, precise like a Swiss watch
2) Great value for the money
"Why do you always refer us to someone else to explain your opinion?"
The word *always* means *always*. But anyway, have you ever read articles in scientific journals? Do you know where does a quality assurance audit starts? If you can answer correctly and see the pattern, you're on your way...
I quote the findings and opinions of respected and well known people--Thorsten, Rochlin, Kevin Barrett. I have other people whom I respect--but it wouldn't be 'politically' correct to use them. One of them is from Barbados. He has a modded 1200. But, what can he possibly know about high end, he's black and a DJ--right?
I mean, if Rochlin's opinions' are disregarded by some because he's a DJ (ever seen his website---www.enjoythemusic.com)---imagine adding the 'black islander' stigma on top of that!!!
Interesting ... no description of sonic differences.
I guess I lucked out that my 15 yr old Rega has never needed any work except for replacement cartridges and belts. Same for everyone else I know with Regas. I wish my cars were all built to Rega's "low standards". :-)
Be happy ... be individual, but please don't trash any more threads.
It all started with a box of Pop Tarts, Seandtaylor...I just responded with humor! You should have seen her passing out technical literature...I fell in love--true love!!!
Anyway, there's enough info in the archives--here and elsewhere--for someone to make an informed decision w/out having to publicly ask. That's what I did. It's called *research*.
As for sonic differences, I could not audition all the TTs I wanted, more so with the same cartridge. Before buying I heard Rega 3, Project 2.1, Project Perspective, Music Hall MMF-5. The perspective impressed me the most, but there was something not quite right, a blandness in the sound. This was auditioned w/ a cartridge model I used to own, so go figure...
What I can say about the modded 1200, sonically, is this: that it is a very *neutral* sounding deck with great speed and rotational stability (translate this into DARN good PRAT, like Rochlin also described). The tonearm is in need of control, so the frequency extremes are not quite right. The addition of the tonearm fluid damper corrected in great measure this weakness--it's an entirely different deck. And placing a Bob Regal foot next to the tonearm gimbal increased bass definition big time.
What do I get, then? With my Ortofon X5 MC and a Monolithic Sound phono stage and a Melos SHA-1 linestage and my Proton dual mono amp I get a *big* 3-D soundstage, with good depth and even more height. Instrument separation is well defined, with smooth, detailed yet fast high frequency response. Otherwise, my Swans' M1 ribbon tweeters would let me know. I get visceral sound not just on the bass, but on well recorded vocals *and* horns. I can play the innermost grooves of a Barbara Streitsand album and still WOW myself...
My DJ TT humiliates my DAC--big time.
Hmmm, maybe the whole point of this got lost somewhere.
If a person, who is new to vinyl, wants a table.....
"Don't be fooled by glass and particle board."
Not fooled, informed. Glass is a very logical choice for a platter. Cheap and effective. Particle board?? So nice wood makes it sound better?
Keep in mind, I run Linn LP12 with a nice wood base. But if I could have bought it with particle board, I would have to save money. :) (I got mine used) Its all about the sound.
You might have great luck with that 1200, but I think you are talking out of the wrong end when you speak as though you are a Rega know-it-all. Sounds to me like you have heard one or two for a few minutes each.
The lack of VTA adjustment and suspension are issues that are easily dealt with. If used with a Rega cart. the VTA becomes a non-issue completely and there were several carts to choose form when I was doing the testing.
I think we need to be careful when talking about a brand, (unless, like McInto$h, it is a status symbol and sounds like crap :>) he he) that we dont confuse opinions based on nothing with fact.
Gee, dont buy that 1998 Escort, cause I drove one in 1981 when they came out and it was horrible......that is kind of like how I see your advice.
If someone asked about a good first amp, would you suggest a set of Sequerra modded Marantz 8B's? If they asked you about a preamp, would you get them into dual monos?
There are used LP12's that can be had for 600-800 with arms. But they often need new springs and need to be set up properly...and are prone to shipping issues..so would I suggest one for a newer person?
Of course not.
If they dont mind the extra care that comes along with vinyl, the Rega will do one of two things. Open a new world, causing them to broaden horizons, or give them ultimate reliable, good sounding analog playback for years and years to come.
1,000.00 is 1,000.00. For a used table and a new cart/belt...the budget is gone. Entering a setup that requires suspension tweaks and is prone to issues due to former "idiot owners" is not a sure thing.
Still have not heard more than an opinion based on little actual test time. I played with them for a summer. I think I am more qualified.
Even more so, because like the first time many of us hear a Nait amp, we are blown away..18 watts??GEEZ!...I was blown away by how good a little bit of particle board, a great!!!!!!!!! arm and a cheap hunk of glass could sound. :>)
KGB540, as the person who asked the question, I encourage you to check out both.
Have you listened to anything yet? Made a purchase?
I dont know why, but my last response seems to have been lost..... I give up anyway.
Kgb540: One more thing. Believe it or not, an Adcom GFP-565 has a very nice phono section in it and can be had for about 200.00 almost anywhere.
I would suggest a listen.
Also, there are some nice Audible Illusions Pre's out there for a decent price, but watch the age. The tubes a soldered to the board and needed to be factory replaced when last I checked.
I would be interested in hearing an update of anything you have listened to/bought and the results. :>)
FINALLY!!!! Psychic, you've finally expressed yourself in a mostly positive, thoughtful manner in your post to Seantaylor above. An insightful, informative post on your opinion/experience. Thank you!
I am glad that you found something that suits your criteria/taste/experience/budget, although you surely must realize that others' criteria/taste/experience/budget are most likely different than yours which results in their making different choices. What's right for you may not be right for everyone else (especially on this forum) and visa-versa.
With a very much minority opinion, you are going to have to continue to do a better job of answering questions, educating, explaining, staying on-topic and generally make it less difficult to understand what you are saying if you want people to hear and understand you. Your points are not being made or even heard when you constantly trash threads with mostly embarrassingly un-objective opinions, erroneous facts and way-out kooky stuff.
Gumby- I have had a couple of Audible Illusions M3A pre-amps (an early version made in 95 w/standard phono section and a '99 w/"Gold" board) and neither had the tubes soldered in. Maybe some of the older M3's (not "A" versions) or the older L1's had soldered tubes- I don't know about those.
Anyway, the "gold" phono section is a substantial improvement over the standard phono section, but is only for low-output cartridges while the standard phono section handles cartridges w/ outputs >.9 mV. Both type phono sections are tubed.
The great thing about either is that you get a world class pre-amp along with a great (gold) phono section or very good (standard) phono section. And it is equally at home with most SS or tube amps. Excellent value.
"FINALLY!!!! Psychic, you've finally expressed yourself in a mostly positive, thoughtful manner in your post to Seantaylor above. "
Are you mad? All he did was go in to his self-congradulatory dribble again. Why are you 'listening' to him now? Has the credibility, in your eyes, stood up well? His retarded antics are funny if not sad. But definately old and confusing to some. I would urge the poor guy who started this thread to ignore it in its entirety. More intelligent answers can come from a magic eight-ball.
Ohlala- His post was mostly positive, he refered to how he found his set-up to sound to him and he didn't make any un-informed comment about another turntable or person. This is a first.
Do I agree with what he said? No. But I obviously listen differently than he does. The table he has does have a very minor following and it's not unreasonably retailed at $400. If it works for some, bully for them.
Has his credibility stood up? With the exception of his last post, no. But he seemed to have started to turn a page with the last post with and I didn't want to discourage that. At least he wasn't implying that people who don't agree with everything he says are stupid & racist and that everything other than what he has is junk.
Yes, he has severly damaged his credibility and his crusade over the past year but, with the last post, has begun to make his opinions known in a way that might at least gain him a small measure of respect regardless of whether anyone agrees with him.
Hey Jimbo: Sonce I am unwilling to do "research...." WHat is the rest of your system?
I am interested in what you run down the line from those little dual-mono pre's.
Also, what about your deck for vinyl? (Your favorite one anyway.)
TWL, a A-gon member is trying out a homebuilt table that I am eager to hear results from.
The SOTA got pulled from its perch and was found to be touching the bottom plate. The belt is totally toast, and the vac-platter-clamp-thingy is a bit "gummy" or........is it "pokey" hehehe......................
I intend to play later in the year when the boats are not calling. Speaking of boats, I think I will go out and play with that boat right now and listen to some MP3's on my houseboat through my state of the art Klipsch KG2's and rockin, awesome, beyond question, radio shack 17 WPC CD player powering them. Ahh, such lucid highs and soundstage.
As long as you are the kind of guy who likes pillows in front of your tweeters...these should sound great to you.
For me, the sound of passing open piped big-blocks makes it all come together.
I wonder if they make tweaks for boat ex. pipes to improve bass?
Or maybe a Tice alternator stabilizer for better control in mid-bass?
I am thinking of raising the whole thing off the water a bit with sorbethane discs, to see if that will give me better results. :>) The water calls :>)
A personal note to Gumby- It's called "research", dammitGumby- if you'd "research" my other posts and the scientific journals, you'd "know" what my other components are. (HeHeHe! Can you believe this stuff?)
OK- here is is- AI M3A (unmodded), Counterpoint SA-20 (unmodded), Maggie 12.1's (unmodded), active x-over (unmodded)to a Pinnacle powered sub (unmodded), Well-Tempered Turntable w/the Classic platter upgrade (unmodded), Benz-Micro LO.4 (unmodded), CAL Icon w/Power Boss option (unmodded), Soundstream DAC (unmodded).
The WT table works very well- the upgraded platter makes a significant contribution and the overall design, while a little "funky", seems to work very well. For the $2500 or so a new one would cost I would think there are some others that might do better, but I couldn't be happier with the $750 I paid for this one.
Clearly though, if I had done some **research** in the scientific journals, I'd probably find that I'm quite unhappy with my system. I'm starting to research your MP3/KG2/RatShack system and am getting the feeling that I missed the boat. Do you think if I sell my system, I could take the funds and buy that stuff and still have enough left to do the mods?? (Ooops, there I go asking a question publicly.... Sorry.)
BTW- Have you considered other mods to the houseboat? Maybe some hydrofoils? (See if those open pipe big-blocks pass you then!) How about turbo bow thrusters? For another $30,000 and several weekends of work, you could add a couple hundred dollars of value- listen to the Jimbo!!
Cheers- and happy boating
Jim, I like the foil idea. I think I will mate it to a couple of supercharged fat blocks ordered right from Merc :>)
Then I will be able to know the true meaning of practical.
The system in the boat has been something that I have been considering marketing for quite some time. I mean, it stands to reason that a set of Speakers with a 12" woofer hanging out the rear would make good bass. But the imaging from this thing.....AWESOME! And it makes ANY MP3 sound great!
There is no longer a need for 320 MP3's just do them at 128...and you will be all set.
(Of course it might just be that the sound is so muddy you cant tell......)
"River Tunes" are mostly live shows anyway. Played at night while the boat is beached and the campfire teases your eyes into illusion-as the s'mores get made and the head gets..wasted..well. What were we talking about?
Sounds like you have a good system. How hard was the sub to make invisible?
Gumby- The 12" woofers on the stern is a great idea. If you have room, have you considered some old 15" Altecs? (With the cavernous hull, bass response would be as God intended.) Just remember to use some good sealant as you may catch a stern wave coming back to you as the boat comes down from the 'foils. You may also have to do some research to determine who makes a woofer that can take an oncoming stern wave. Maybe those scintific journals cam help you come up with a calculation for determining the forces involved. In any event, don't use paper coned elements......
With regards to sub matching, the key was an active x-over set at a point as low as possible. In my case, it turned out to be around 50 HZ. Both the x-over and powered sub have a volume control and the x-over had a couple of slope selections, so a smooth transition was relatively easy. This particular speaker model seemed to benefit greatly from this set up- MUCH cleaner sounding as it had previously struggled with the low end even at moderate volumes. (Don't know if you were aware that an active x-over eliminates low frequencies from going to the mains while a passive does not.)
Well, got done with the chores this morning and headed out to the lake for some sailing. Have yourself a great Memorial Day holiday!
Ahh the hum of a new 4 stroke outboard......... Besides the resonance at about 2,200 RPM, the thing is heaven to run now.
Of course, I have blown all my play money for the year. Guess I won't be trying those Altecs after all. :(
I think we should start a boat audio company. The selection for boat sound is for shit. (Did I forget expensive too?)
I wonder if you came up with a weather resistant system that could be broken up a bit for different installs and kept the thing reasonable....if you could make any money at it?
Hmmmm. I guess you know you could not get perfect imaging out there, but there are advantages to pure DC from a battery. Some of the lower powered CD players out there work well when coupled to home speakers.
We could charge 12,000.00 for our "signature" systema nd send out a tech to set it up after it was built. Get a few guys with some RS/Fostex drivers and to go out and install them. Why not? 3/4 of the companies out there are doing the exact same thing. :)
Sorry I have been so long in responding, but I have been floating a lot lately :)
Capitol idea, Gumby. Anytime a product has the word "marine" on it, the price is double or triple. How about we call ourselves the "Marine Audiophile Equipment Corp"? Your marine version of the LP12 (complete with gimbaled macrame hanging ceiling mount and bungee cords) could retail for at least $10,000, plus installation.
Say, BTW, did you decide on a cartridge? On a previous thread you had started, you were looking for something around $250. Update us!
Well, gotta get the boat fixed before our race tomorrow. We pulled the jib track off last time and it doesn't sail as well without it.. (No kidding- 40 kt blow and the nuts sheared, literally pulling the track off!) No big deal though- no damage to the deck.