Anyone have experience with these or other sub $250 tables?
My top choices are:
- Pro-Ject Primary
- Fluance RT81
PURPOSE: I’m transferring my vinyl collection to digital, and will then sell off the table.
PRIORITIES: audio quality, detail, low-noise/distortion/wow/flutter. Prefer adjustable counterweight, anti-skate, and speed-control (unless already well-done preconfig’d). Auto-stop. I know auto-stop is for amateurs, but my purpose is set-and-forget digitizing-- i want to start a transfer and leave the house for a couple hours (without the stylus or LP getting damaged). I have no problem with "advanced" setup (eg counterweight and anti-skate). Built-in pre-amp is a big plus. Changeable cartridge.
DON’T NEED: built-in USB, i already own an external USB converter. Don’t need 78 RPM. I’m not a DJ, so don’t need a table i can bang around, don’t need instant turn-on, etc.
BELT DRIVE: For above reasons, i’m inclined to go with belt-drive. I understand direct-drive is more susceptible to motor noise, while belt drive is the audiophile’s choice.
BUDGET : $250 is my absolute cap, including shipping (i get free shipping on Amazon).
RT81 has fantastic reviews. This would be my choice, except for commonly-mentioned issues with speed consistency. One reviewer said the speed issues go away after a few days. Can anyone verify that?
REJECTED: i’ve theoretically rejected the following, but open to opinions (quotes come from various reviews):
- Pro-Ject VTE-R - "Gimmicky"
- Pro-Ject Essential II Digital - "can’t replace the stylus. deck slid around a bit if I pressed the on/off switch too hard; the whole package is very light in weight and the felt-bottomed feet don’t do much to offer any friction. In general, the Essential II Digital looks and feels a little cheap."
- Pro-ject Debut III - "when I set the needle in the runout groove, turned the volume all the way up (well past ear-splitting levels), and set the platter rotating, I could hear a very faint low-level hum from the motor"
- Flexson VinylPlay - "feels lightweight and plasticky"
- Denon DP-300F - "Pro-Ject Debut III and Debut Carbon both have better cartridges—Ortofon models that outshine the Denon’s no-name cart. If something was lacking, it was the bottom end. lacking in real oomph. Also, the machine itself made a bit more noise than we’re used to."
- Audio-Technica AT-LP60 - "worse sound quality." "Cartridge cannot be changed"
- Audio-Technica AT-LP120 - direct-drive
- u-turn orbit - price
- pro-ject debut carbon - prce
- Marantz TT42 - price
(posted to vinylmeplease.com, vinylengine.com, and audiogon.com)