your kenwood is a classic. i would recommend going (used) for a rega p9,thorens td350, linn lp12, roksan xerxes, or any generation of the above mentioned oracle(or a nice vintage alexandra or paris-which are way under your budget). in other words 'just buy oracle' and be done with it. it doesnt get much better, regardless of price and tweeks.
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If you're buying a TT based on how it looks, no one can help you but you. Buy the Oracle like Jaybo said and be happy.
If you're interested in best sonic performance in that price range, I tend to agree with Raul.
A third possibility, which combines solid sonic performance and looks which may (or may not) impress you is the demo Teres 255 being offered on their website. This would give you a table that usually sells above your budget for $2,800. It's certainly worth a look.
I own an oracle and I'm very happy with it. It throws a huge soundstage and with a recent upgrade to Cardas Golden reference interconnect it now has the bottom end I was craving. No it doesn't have the Linn bottom end but then most linns that I have heard don't have the air that the Oracle has either. It's a trade off for sure and I bought my Oracle because it reminds me of an oil rig in the North Sea.
i use an old mk 2 version with a graham phantom and an 80th anniversary koetsu fed through tom evans electronics into
gnp valkyrie speakers
the sound is spectacular
i dare say there are better designs out there but the point is with careful component matching and setup most decent
turntables can be optomised to punch well above their weight
My Oracle Table looks great and sounds great. But, like most suspended designs (maybe more than most suspended designs) it requires periodic attention to perform well. OTOH, the Acoustic Signature mentioned by Raul is about as bulletproof as any mechanical device I've seen. Even the bearing is maintenance free.
Depending on your inclination to tend to your 'table's needs, this worth considering before you buy an Oracle.
The Oracle is a timeless "CLASSIC"!I am really amazed as to how it does not, still, get the well deserved attention,it deserves!It sounds superb,and will last a long time.The fact that it looks good should be no hinderance.BTW...I happens to have better bass performance than what competitive designers/owners will let on!
I couldn't agree more with Sirspeedy - a classic, undervalued performer indeed.
For reasons I can't remember now, my main table was out of commission so I happened across a MK1 very cheaply that needed the suspension reconditioned. Oracles customer service could not have been better, especially considering I am in Japan - they dealt directly, avoiding the know nothing greedy distributor here. At the same time I had a friends Micro Seiki SV555 I was setting up. That table is their second biggest plinth mounted table, air bearing with suction platter.
My friend had said I could keep his Micro until I got my main table back. IMHO the Oracle killed it with musicality and air - I was more than happy to give the Micro back and clear the space it occupied.
So, I have a major soft spot for the Oracle and if I were on a tighter budget that is a table I could very happily live with.
As for the bum rap suspended tables seem to get over bass performance - I couldn't really agree providing the time and attention is given to tuning the suspension.
Hope that helps and good luck with your choice.
The Avid line of tables are somewhat similiar to Oracle's and have received nothing but positive reviews. Some have said they are an Oracle on steriods. I own the Volvare and it has been a flawless performer. I have nothing negative to say. I think it works best on a rack that drains energy/vibration rather than the heavily damped/high mass designs.
i couldn't agree more
sir speedy has hit the nail right on the head
the oracle delphi is truly UNDERESTIMATED
All oracle delphis are very neutral with great speed attack and dynamics
add to this great imaging soundstaging detail and an accurate bass performance and you'll begin to get the picture
some may prefer a more weightier fuller sound
this also can be achieved via the arm and cartridge choice
I am currently using an Oracle Delphi mkV SE (turbo PS and granite base) with a Graham Phantom/Helikon combo. In absolute terms, I cannot rate the Oracle versus all the available turntables currently available. However, in musical terms the Oracle/Phantom/Helikon (with the appropriate associated gear) is glorious in its music making capabilities: panoramic soundstage openness and air, transient agility/speed, natural and robust midrange, delicate and extended highs, articulate and powerful bass, etc; all against a background of mechanical quietude. Yes, I agree with Sirspeedy, it is way underrated especially the mkV version with the granite base.aN
how do you rate the helicon graham combination
personally i find lyras a tad lean in my system
kind of similar to an ortofon jubilee[still great sounding though]
do you think later oracles are fuller in tonality than earlier models
havn't had the pleasure of the mkv yet
is it a worthwile upgrade if so why?
my old mk11, phantom,koetsu has seen off a few high enders
in its time 'in fact its one of the few turntables ive actually been happy with for a prolonged period
has the new mkv lost the organic structure that comes so naturally to the old units or has it become a detail retrievers dream that seems to ruin so many of todays superdecks have you had the opportunity to compare old with new/ same arm etc
personally i really hope the mkv is all its cracked up to be
and has just built on its strengths
i want one
The Helikon likes to be loaded down quite a bit (47k is too lean sounding). I am using 100 ohms with my ARC PH2 without loss of air and treble response. I am getting a rich (not overly warm) tonal balance in my room. However, I can vary the degree of warmth/leaness by changing the phase of my subwoofers.
The Oracle Delphi mkVs are certainly richer in tonal balance than the previous iterations. The mkV with the granite base (65 lbs versus 35 for the standard base) has more powerful and articulate bass reproduction. It also is a tad more robust in the upper bass/lower midrange.
I have the opportunity to listen to both decks with similar equipment. And the granite plinth adds to the bass reproduction.
Bottom line: The Oracles are easily among the most musical
turntables currently available, irrespective of price. The newer iterations simply offer a wee bit more refinement, speed stabilty and resolution. But the overall character remains intact (thank goodness!)
Add to GMORRIS' well heeled comments,that the Oracle pricing is still ALOT more "wallet friendly" than the vast majority of "upper tier" competition.
I get the impression that the newest state of the art contenders are actually factoring in "what can we get"(as opposed to ,merely,based on costs)prices.
I think the new Metronome table is stunning,yet they are asking around 35-45,000 dollars(based on base choices).A beautiful product,yet it could sell for alot less,IMO!
I know product design costs money,but plexiglass is not expensive,and many quality parts can be obtained for alot less than one thinks.I'm just suspicious,as to why the Gaia is SO much more money than the Basis Debut Vacuum,which seems to be similar in materials.Actually the Basis platter is NOT plexi.The Gaia uses a combination of plexi and metal in plinth material,but these guys seem to still want to go for maximum bucks.Just watch the price go up,if/when the press starts to fawn over it.
Which brings me back to the "GORGEOUS" Oracle.Pretty nice company policy,allowing REAL-WORLD hobbyists to actually have a chance to own this design.It seems the prices have gone up based on inflation,not "lets get'um" pricing!As for it's lack of attention,I believe it's been around too long(a good thing,IMO,and the design is CERTAINLY perfected),and the average hobbyist is rather fickle.Believe me,those newer designs,of high mass are subject to potential problems,as time goes on.Bearing,bushing thrust plate wear,etc!
Like a line from "My Fair Lady"..."Jes you wait"!
BTW,I own neither an Oracle,or Basis.Sorry for the rant!!
Thank you all for the info.
I don't know why I ever considered anything buth the Oracle table that i originally sought after...But now, are there dramatic differences between the cronological version that may rank one on top? obviously they should have improved on their product but can a previous model with updated parts surpass the present stunner? And how good of a match is the SME tonearm with the table.
I believe the Mark 1 has a AC motor that turns the platter,then they went to DC in Mark 2 for more stability. They then went back to AC for Mark 3 and i don't know what they use now. I do know the platter became heavier with each design and the Bearing housing which holds the spindle became wider from 3 on.
I own an Oracle and have never felt the need to upgrade or replace it with any of the newer designs. I also am quite amazed with the air, fantastic midrange, and very tuneful bass that this classic table brings to the party. Timing is natural and decay is tasteful as it fades to black. Mine is fitted with an Ittok LVII and Grado Plat Ref cart.
A very quiet yet robust combination. Good luck deciding on your choice.
I own a Oracle Paris a very nice looking and sounding table, thearm is a Jelco/Audioquest SA 250ST, wired with a audioquest quartz, in a typicall Linn armboard, I like the sound however I think a better arm like the Linn Ekos could be a better match to the Paris, or a sme V if the table as a sme armboard. Opinions please?
I'm an ORACLE Delphi Mark V owner. I purchased the (Anniversary~Edition) that is beautfully gold plated & sits an African Black Granite Base. Which I have a (Gold colored)~ Graham Engineering 1.5 Uni-pivot tonearm. & a Benz Micro~ Glider cartridge mounted.
(In my opinion) There is none better: It looks real good, plays even better, & with the power booster supply, It's as quiet as can be...
I've also been using a Jolida JD-9A Phono Tube pre-amp, to enhance the quality of "all three components"...
"You talk about synergy" !!!!
Try spinning a good clean 180 gram copy of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" & you'll think you went to Heaven...