If you liked your P25, you might look at a used P9. With the new 9's out there, there may be some used ones in the $1800 or less, range. What do you intend to spend on a cartridge?
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Actually the next step up from your P25 would be the MkIV, and a modified RB250 would be a nice arm on it. However, if you want to take 2 or 3 steps up from the P25 and still not pay any more money than a new MkIV, then just get the Teres Model 245. It is under $2k without arm. If you need to stay under $2k with arm, then get the Model 135 with a modded RB250. Upgrade later. If you just want to be done with it, then get the Teres 255, which is about $2500 w/o arm, and is one of the best TT's in the world. They all use the same main bearing assembly, which should tell you something about the value of the Model 135. You were expecting me to say something different? Not till I find a better value.
When I was shopping for a replacement for my p25, I too looked into the 2000-2500 range. My top choices in order where the:
1. Nottingham Spacedeck with space arm and dynavector cartridge. This is a stellar performer at the 2500 mark. It has a little snap to it like the rega, but a much weightier presentation.
2. Just putting an Exact cartridge on the p25, hotrodding the arm with a weight and wires, then putting the table on a mag lev platform. Cost around $1000. I did buy the maglev platform and it did indeed improve the table.
3. A Basis 1400 with a hotrodded rb250 arm.
4. A Teres with an ebay arm and cart. I decided against this approach because it seemed like I was hitting 4-5K by the time I was done & I still wouldn't be guaranteed a properly working table. If I were more of an expert I would have gone for it. Looks like a great product.
Try and buy locally. Tables are VERY easy to damage in packing/shipping/unpacking.
I have heard very good things about the Teres, but have not listened to one myself. I bought a Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm combo and have been thrilled. You should be able to find both for around your price (or less)used. Had a P25, which the 'Not just blows away. IMHO, I think one needs to go up to the TNT line in VPI to better the Spacedeck. If ya have a chnace, though, audition several and buy the one that sounds best to YOU.
Of course I must prefix all of this by stating up front that I am a Nottingham dealer...
But I would have to concur with the statements made reagarding the Nottingham Space Deck. Personally I prefer even the Interspace/Interspace Arm combo to the P25. The P9 is better, especially with the new arm, but the Space Deck and Space Arm combo cannot be beat without spending a lot more money, and it leaves the P9 well behind sonically.
We used to do a lot with VPI but now we pretty much just sell Nottingham because I think it's a far better value for the money. Yes the high end VPI tables such as the TNT are excellent. I do believe the Nottingham is superior in every way to the Aries tables and the Nottingham arms are also outstanding.
I can well understand why people are hesitant to buy a TT that they have not heard. I was faced with that myself, when I was considering the Teres. At the time I bought, there were less than 200 Teres TT's total ever made. Yes, I have a little more analog experience than many, but essentially, I took a chance based on my knowledge of proper design and some testimonials. I got lucky. It kicks ass. I can't decide for you. I can only tell you of my experiences. Any of the tables mentioned above are very good tables. You will be pleased with any of them. It is simply my opinion that the Teres will exceed their peformance at less cost. Others may disagree. There are Teres owners here on this board, and on the Vinyl Asylum, who basically all say what I am saying, so I am not alone in this opinion. It's your choice.
Why don't you look into an LP12, the TT design that all others aspire to improve upon, and it's still around after 30 years! For two grand, you could probably get an awesome setup (including cartridge). You also won't have to worry about getting support from a company that will probably be nonexistent within a year or two (except Rega). I'd be surprised if there's any better bang for the buck than the current used LP12 prices.
just a thought:
having vta easily adjustable while listening to an lp is a great advantage I've found with my aries/jmw 10. I am able to quickly find "the sweeet spot" and often find that by doing so, records that were just ok (or worse) on my p25 are very good sonically on my aires, irregardless of cart.
This is the best setup I've had, but I have not had a Teres or Nottingham.
I do know that I would not recommend that someone spend this kind of $ unless the vta is easy to use (if this can be added to tt's after purchasing than that would level the playing field for me).
do any other tables/arms allow for this at the price of the aires/10; and is this an add-on opttion for any?
Wow, Thank you all for the advice. I will be stopping over to Deja Vu Audio here in the DC area to check out the Nottingham tables. I hear the owner there is a real fan of analog and is of great help. Its nice to see that there are so many others who have been in my shoes.
As a summary I think I've heard
and from VPI the Aries and mk iv
This makes things tougher but in the end I theoretically should have made the perfect decision based on all th quality products out there. I ask anyone who has anything else to add to chime in as I think this thread may be helpful to more than just little old me.All the best
I actually wa told by my local VPI dealer to go with the mk iv since I have such a small room and wooden floor. I would be placing any table on top of my Salamander rack. Wouldn't airborne sound be enough to audibly effect on my sound? If not than it open up the possibilty of a Aries table and all the others mentioned...
I have a wooden floor and it doesn't bother my TT at all. I use no isolation, and in fact, I use a rigid coupling to the floor. This sounds best with my TT and I still get no vibration problems. My TT is a mass-loaded type, and has no suspension. It weighs about 55 pounds. The stand weighs another 50 pounds.
Tagyerit, the VTA adjustment is relative to the brand of arm you buy. Some have it, some don't. Some have VTA adjusters that you have to stop the TT and adjust, and some have VTA on-the-fly. On-the-fly is best, but it is usually only on the more expensive arms, and even some of those don't have it.
my aries is on a salamander rack on a wooden floor in a fairly small room. I did need some isolation (desperately) back when I had a p25, but only when I moved up in cartridges from a grado master (around 4.5mV I think) to a grado statement at .5mV. The higher end cart on the planar required the isolation but when I installed the Aries it was not at all as essential (maybe due to the weight of the aires with it's motor.) I could hear SOME improvement when I put the isolation back in to test things, so I do still use it.
I'm using 2 small bicycle inner tubes to isolate. 1st I tried them under a piece of medium density fibreboard ("mdf") as recommended by some folks; i.e. the tubes on the top salamander shelf, the mdf on the tubes, the tt on the mdf. I didn't like the sound so I replaced the mdf board with an extra salamander shelf I had (a much harder platform then the mdf), and voila! This worked better than some expensive iso platforms I had auditioned; and being barely visible it's way nicer looking.
Don't bother going to Deja Vu unless the owner Mr. Vu is in the shop at the time. I've had useless, time-wasting experiences there when he is out, leaving inexperienced kids to run the joint in his absence.
Whatever you get, don't throw a lot of money at something you are going to set up on a Salamander rack if it's an Archetype; get it off there entirely, like with a good wall-mount. If it's a Synergy, go ahead and use it if you must (as I have to), but only with a separate isolated TT platform added on top.
Interesting info about supports. I bought the Salamder Synergy for the looks not really the isolation properties it may or may nothave. I was thinkin of going the Marble slab/mdf/granite on top of Vibrapods/inner tube route. I'll see though.
I hope Mr. Vu is in when I do stop by Deja Vu as he does sell Nottingham turntables and I really would like to hear one. Does anyone have a rec for a cart to use on say a Aries or Spacedeck? My dealer recs Grado or Bez Glider for the VPI...Looking to spend about $800 new...maybe a phono stage woudl be a better place to spend money though??
Anyways back to work, have to pay for this stuff somehow :o)
Depending on the arm,the Eurolab distributed by Audio Advancements/Hart was given a Golden Ear Award in 2001 TAS.It was recommended to me by an audio dealer I previously worked for-no profit for him!Call Hart at 973-875-8705 and forget about PLCs and SDS.Both need recalibration after you shut them down-personal experience.Instead,try Walker Motor controller as an after market upgrade.Good luck! Tom
A Black cube with the upgraded power supply. Heard the Arieds the other dau and was amazed at the tonality of the table. However IO think it may have been a bit neutral for my tastes...I prefer a warmer richer sound and althouhg the Aries was never bright is was a little thin in some frequencies, for my tastes. This may have been because of the Glider 2 cart though. Just as a reference the demo was using the phono stage in a McIntosh integrated. Next on my list is the Spacedeck!
I am also thinking of upgrading my P25 as a an alternative to buuying a whole new table. After hearing the Aries I felt that it was certainly better than my table but I love the full dynamics of my Rega at whatever volume level my pre is at. For the money I KNOW I made the right choice, now diminsihing returns are definitely kicking in.