Newbie, looking for giant killer front end

gentlemen, looking for giant killer analogue
front end, ie; can a $3000 system slay the
mega buck systems???

I would appreciate recomendations.

Best regards, Jim Charron
For $3k you can get a good analog front end- I will allow those who are the analog guru's make suggestions. I will say that the mega-buck analog front ends are fantastic, and feel that you will get a good analog rig for $3k but it will not perform to the level of a high end SME, Rockport, Walker or VPI(TNT-HRX). I don't know of anyone who's system doesn't have some sort of compromise, its part of this hobby. What I am trying to say is don't lose sleep trying to get the performance of SOTA components when you have a budget to consider, its a losing battle unfortunately, listen to what folks here recommend and get the best you can for your money and forget about the really esoteric stuff :)
I'm spending around $1,800 for TT, cartridge, used Goldmund cones and a used floating suspension. Add to that the Monolithic Sound phonostage ($550) and a set of short IC's ($275) from phono stage to linestage. I am starting to get some killer sound (w/o tonearm rewiring or TT cables), but I've taken a very unorthodox approach to this matter. My rig will need around $6K to be surpassed, if at all. I am using a KAB modded Technics SL-1200MKII w/ a modded Stanton Groovemaster. The deck's sound is accurate and neutral and the cartridge has a sound that is extremely musical, tight and neat, with a midrange that is close to that of $1,500 moving coils...

I do use a cryo'ed Absolute Power Cord for the phono stage's outnoard power supply and a Tice PC3 for my TT's outboard power supply, both plugged to a Clear Image T4 quad isolation transformer/filter array and run through a 220V transformer and a medical grade AC regenerator. The quality of your electricity will have a lot to do with final results.
Look at the Well Tempered Line. Its a Giant Killer . Used its a steal.
I want to second the motion made by Natnic. Check out he Well Tempered Tables. I have been familiar with them and followed their evolution ever since Bill Firebough first introduced the arm in the early 80s at Vegas CES and I mounted them on VPIs. I have heard most of the line and have a Reference model with a Grado around the house, as well as my belt-drive Rockport. The Well Tempered needs make no apologies for itself, especially at its price. If you buy a used one, Transparent can ship you new fluids, so ask the seller to drain and clean before shipping. They are great folks to deal with. Good luck!
Rega P9 if you can forget the VTA stuff. Comes with a great arm that you know is properly installed. Add a good cart, install it on a well levelled wall shelf and forget all the twiddling. Has all the finesse and punch you will ever need. If you want something big and more like a Cadillac, go for a VPI, I guess.
are you located in Canada
Hi NKj;

Yes, located in Toronto area.

Regards Jim.
Hi Jim,

Do you already have a phono stage? If so, what is it?

No one can recommend a cartridge without knowing that, and no one can recommend an arm without knowing the cartridge. System synergy is even more critical in a vinyl front end than in electronics.


If you're from Thorold ...with time spent in Hamilton..We know each other. email me at know someone with a Teres and a Mapleknoll that may want to sell if you wish to go that route...