When i decided to start from Rega P3, it lasted just 3 months after I figured that any descent vintage 80's table can humiliate even more pricey modern Rega models.
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Gotcha, saw the Gyro SE on your system page, but wasn't sure if it was current. I thought based on your comments, that you may now have a vintage table. Thanks for clarifying. I recently heard an RP6, and found it to be quite good. I have heard both the Girard 301/401, and the Shindo 301 in various systems. I do feel these were all very special. I do doubt however, that within a $500-$1500 budget, one of the NEW usual suspects would be bettered going vintage. The usual suspects may include Rega RP3, RP6, or VPI Traveler. To the original post, I think it's too early to find much on the RP8. Depending on your access to a dealer, it may be worth it for you to seek out an RP6, to compare to a Concept. I believe quite a few dealers carry both lines. Then after that, I'm afraid Clearaudio may have a TT that's in the RP8 $ range.
I've also thought about budget, vintage, current... it was like a vision to me that at price point of Michell GyroSE back than it was very hard to beat its performance so as is nowdays.
Due to my budget shortages later on I had to trade out more expensive components for cheaper ones, but Michelle stayed untraded and that's how I believe in value of this table.
I think either turntable you noted will play records beautifully. It's a very subjective choice. One note, Clearaudio has a Performance DC with Verify arm in the $3000 range now. That in terms of dollars will be a match to the RP8.
If you want to save some cash, the Concept will probably be a nice choice. It's going to compete with the Rega RP-6. Also to add the Pro-Ject PerspeX Turntable and add the Pro-Ject Speed Box.
But if I had $3000 or so to spend on a new turntable I'd look at RP-8, The Performance DC, VPI Classic 1 and to add the Pro-Ject Xtension 10 Turntable.
It comes down to dollars & cents, what and hw much do you feel comfortable in spending.
No contest, the Clearaudio Performance. To begin with Clearaudio is a turntable orientated company, no DAC's, players, etc. At this level on up you get the magnetically suspended CBM spindle, Verify tonearm, massive platter, and decoupled motor.
Sintered bearings suck with the exception of the Ayre DPS. In Rega's own RP9 design description they claim the lightweight skeletal plinth is better than mass at dealing with bearing noise. One look at the most highly regarded decks and all you see is mass.
I've had a few tables and when I settled on my Well Tempered the whole bearing thing became very clear.
Sbrownnw- Just curious, what review are you speaking about. In the recent S-Phile review of the Traveler, S. Mejias appears to much prefer the Traveler over Rega. However, the comparison was mostly done against a P3-24. Toward the end of the review, he then gets an RP3, and finally installs the same cartridge he had on the Traveler. At that point, he seems to just slightly prefer the VPI. Again, just one persons experience, but an interesting read.