Sent Back the Pro-ject Turntable: What would be the best option in the $1800 range?


I wasn't crazy about the sound quality so I sent it back. 

 chakster recommended this TT:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-bIi2JMnJMvh/p_133SL1210B/Technics-SL-1210GR.html?XVINQ=GLX&awkw=812097800294&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=380681032017&awdv=c&awug=9004477&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_PTgksS_5wIVGYiGCh1ETAyrEAQYASABEgKQLfD_BwE

What are the recommendations of other audiogoners at that price range?

TIA
klimt
How about a used VPI Scout?
I like VPI though there are some quarks with my table that took time to figure out.  I'd go for a used Prime.  

The reason I like VPI is they have been around a long time, the tables are upgradable, the motor is outboard and mine is a monster.  All of this is subjective though as I have only been around my table and a Dr. Feickert.

This is a good deal IMO as well.

https://www.audioadvice.com/vpi-prime-scout-turntable.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlvPH0eHC5wIVB7zACh3KrQi...
Thanks guys!

The vpi is a little out of my price range.

Anyone know what the difference is between these two technics TT?

SL-1200GR  for  $1,699.99

and

SL-1500C for  $1,199.99

The SL1500C is simplified and made in China
The SL1200GR is much better and made in Japan, the difference is not big to buy the right one from the start. You can always try to find gently used SL1200GR for lower price, many audiophiles sell them to upgrade to the G (the best in this series). 
My friend just replaced his older SOTA with the Technics SL-1210GR and he is a happy trooper!!
Sent you a PM earlier.
Get the GR. Stick it on your credit card. You won't notice in a year but you'll be happy you did. 
The most notable difference between the 1500 / 1200G.
SL-1500: Starting Torque, 1.8 kg / cm.
SL-1200G Starting Torque, 3.3 kg / cm.
The 1200G has a stronger motor / more torque.
Wow and Flutter spec appear to be the same. (0.025 % WRMS )
The difference would relate to consistent platter speed.
With the 1500 @ $1199 one could pick up a 2M Bronze Cart.

@rego Don’t you mean the GR? The G is $4k. 
Even if OP gets the 1500, he/she will be wanting/regretting not getting the GR.
Comparing entry level 1500c to the truly high-end "G" make no sense.

The "G" has coreless motor, the best DD motor available today, just like the SP-10R. 

The 1500 does not even assembled in Japan

The GR is much closer to the G, the best choice if the G is too expensive, those models made in Japan. 
1200GR. 
Wasn’t sold on the looks at first but it’s a beast of a machine that will outlast me.
The Well Tempered Labs Simplex is a fine table.
Torque is not a big deal, once the turntable is up to speed, but the SL12010GR is just a much better product on all levels (motor, electronics, platter, plinth, etc), compared to the 1500.  I would add my voice to the chorus: go for the GR.
The 1500 is for noobs... the opener doesn't look like a noob

Thank you @noromance I stand corrected; SL-1200GR.
As per the OP's stated interest in the 'difference between' SL-1500C and SL-1500GR:
Premium Class DD TT / SL-1500C:
Starting Torque, 1.8 kg / cm.
Build-up Characteristic, 0.7 sec. From standstill to 33 1/3 rpm.
WOW and Flutter, 0.025% W.R.M.S.
Rumble, 78 db.
Platter, Weight: Approximate 2.0 kg Die-cast Aluminum.

Grand Class DD TT / SL-1200GR:
Starting Torque, 2.2 kg / cm.
Build-up Characteristic, 0.7 sec. From standstill to 33 1/3 rpm.
WOW and Flutter, 0.025% W.R.M.S.
Rumble, 78 db.
Platter, Weight Approximate 2.5 kg Diecast Aluminum.

Grand Class DD TT / SL-1200G:
Starting Torque, 3.3 kg / cm.
Build-up Characteristic, 0.7 sec. From standstill to 33 1/3 rpm.
WOW and Flutter, 0.025% W.R.M.S.
Rumble, 78 db.
Platter, Weight: Approximate 3.6 kg Brass and Die-cast Aluminum.
I must stand by my assertion though.
The two Models are directly comparable with similar specifications regardless of place of manufacture.
Both the SL-1500C and SL-1200GR use a Cast Aluminum Machined Platter with only a difference of 0.40 kg or Approximately 0.88 lbs difference in weight.
Notably Technics listed Specification shows Weight (Including Turntable Sheet) for SL-1500C and Weight (Including Rubber Sheet) for SL-1200GR.
This would connote a difference in material perhaps.
With the SL-1200G (Also listed by Technics as Grand Class) using a Brass and Cast Aluminum (combined) Platter being 0.8 kg or 1.76 pounds heavier than the Platter used in the SL-1200GR.
Obviously the SL-1200G has better Damping as suggested by comparison to the Reference Level SP-10R Truely 'High End' (i.e. "Separate Control Unit") with a Price to match BTW.
As to the comparison of the Design of the ' Motor Structure ' between the two TTs in question.
The Technics web-site ( https://www.technics.com/us/products/premium-class/direct-drive-turntable-system-sl-1500c.html ) clearly states: ( for the SL-1500C Premium Class DD TT )
"The Latest Coreless Direct Drive Motor Achieves High-precision Stable Rotation"
Further Stated: "The motor exclusively tunes the single-rotor, Coreless direct drive motor adopted by the SL-1200GR" and also references: "technologies acquired through the development of the SL-1200 Series and the high-end SL-1000R" with: "lavishly inserted into the motor drive unit, a key part of the turntable".
Further note: A Graph (Damping Charcateristics Graph) comparing Damping Performance for SL-1500C which would help clarify and delineate differences is not provided in the description. As it is provided for comparison for both Grand Class Models SL-1200GR and SL-1200G.
And to add to all the excitement.
The Tonearm Specs appear to be the same for all three ( SL-1500C / SL-1200GR / SL-1200G )DD TTs. The SL-1200G has
Perhaps suggesting that the Same Tonearm is used on all three Players of distinct and separate classifications ( Premium / Grand ).
Anyone wishing to dispute this particular 'unconscionable' Claim with facts or knowledge backed by facts feel free to jump in here.
>>>                                                                         <<< (provisional)
Again from the description of Premium Class SL-1500C:
"Simple Design with Functional Beauty"
And:
"The SL-1500C sports a simple design without unnecessary frills, while retaining the superb operating feel that is a Technics tradition. The attractive appearance lets you enjoy playing records to your heart’s content.". 
In Summary.
The Premium SL-1500C is a 'Dynamite Grade' High Value Player worthy of consideration.
My argument is not that the SL-1200GR is not a great TT. Certainly of higher Specification.
I would however argue against the Slide Adjustment for Speed Control.
It would seem to me to be extraneous and relate more to the lines historic Professional (aka DJ) market placement.

However I would favor the Strobe ( for visual verification and appearance ) and Queuing Illumination. Very nice feature for a Manual TT!
Yes. I think that "Torque" is significant with regard to Stability and Precision for operation /
function of the DD TT.
Reference:
"High-precision Motor Control for Ideal Rotation Conditions", "rotation control, which verifies and corrects the precision of the motor".
My intent is only to offer an option for the interest of the OP.
More to the point.
Who here would argue that a step up to the upper Tier of the 2M Series would not be possible or beneficial (SL-1500C)?
Execution Squad, What say ye ...










It would seem to me to be extraneous and relate more to the lines historic Professional (aka DJ) market placement.

Almost every Vintage Direct Drive turntables have PITCH Control, the only difference is that it is KNOB (like on Denon DP-80, Victor TT-101), not FADER like on the Technics SL1200 series. Having a pitch control on turntable is a great bonus and most of the top models have it. Just sayin' 
 

Thanks guys!

I posted this in another thread and I would appreciate some additional feedback.

The question I have is whether it’s better to buy a ProJect Debut Carbon DC and significantly upgrade the cartridge ($800 for example) and other tweeks or buy the Technics SL-1210GR (and buy a cheaper cartridge ($200)?

Also, will upgrading the pre amp/amp solve the muddy bass problem?
ProJect Debut Carbon DC is entry level belt drive turntable, if you’re serious about analog you will change this turntable anyway sooner or later, investment in this turntable is not good idea, you will loose money when you will sell it anyway.

Correct me if i’m wrong, but your ProJect is new and can be returned with no loss, right ? Do it before it’s too late, when you will try to sell it "as used" you loose 30% minimum.

Technics re-sell value is pretty strong, you can easily sell this turntable to someone who understand what it is.

Your $200 cartridge also will be upgraded sooner or later if you’re serious about analog.

Actually Technics and about $500 cartridge is all you need in my opinion to stay with this setup for a long time!


If you like ProJect get the 6 Perspex SB. Shop around for price. Down the line put a Clearaudio or Ortofon MM cartridge in there. It has a great arm for the money, better than the Technics. 
@klimt Is this deja vu? Dude, you're still not getting it? A $200 cartridge on the GR will sound better than an $800 one on that Debut.
Is this deja vu? Dude, you're still not getting it?

LOL:)

I have deja vu with all recent threads on audiogon 

Acoustic Signature Primus.
noromance, an old $100 cartridge in an AR table would sound better than any cartridge in a GR. That big magnetic menace under the platter will scramble the coils of any cartridge. Direct Drive turntables sound awful and the cheep ones are even worse. The Technics arm tube rings like a bell. Just turn up the volume and tap it with a pencil. You might as well hang it in a church. 
That big magnetic menace under the platter will scramble the coils of any cartridge.

It never happens, how about Technics SP10 mk II and mk III or SP10R with motor under the platter, anyone complains? Never heard about it.


Direct Drive turntables sound awful and the cheep ones are even worse.


Very funny, it ain’t cheap, and made better than $10k belt drives.

The Technics arm tube rings like a bell. Just turn up the volume and tap it with a pencil.


Which Technics armtube? Do you mean an old SL1200 mk2 discontinued many years ago? New tonearm on $1700 GR is magnesium and does not ring, it’s actually a completely different turntables compared to old $400 SL1200mk2 with $100 Arm.

You are comparing apples to oranges. Ever tried Titanium Technics EPA-100 or Boron EPA-100 mk2 tonearms ? The best arms ever made, Van Den Hul is using EPA-500 or EPA-100 to test his cartridges.  


chakster, If the Technics turntables were the last turntables on earth I would sell all my vinyl and commit 100% to digital. Yes, they are beautifully made and that is the trap. They are also cheap and that is the hook. The SP 10 is just expensive beautifully made junk. Get yourself an Techdas Air Force 1 Improved. Now that is a real turntable. Of course if you can't afford it then get a SOTA Cosmos Vacuum which will get you 95% of the way there at a very reasonable price. Your choice of tonearm. I recommend the SAT arm or you could find an old Syrinx PU 3 and get 95% of the way there. 
See Chakster the mistake you are making is that turntables are an art form and the Technics just does not cut it. It is the Toyota of turntables.
No emotion, lifeless, bland. It takes the joy out of spinning vinyl. In short, YUK. 
The Techdas Air Force 1 is a really nice looking TT.  If someone can show me where I can find it in the OP's $1800 price range, I'd sell my beloved 1200G and buy one in a heartbeat. 
I like my pro-ject the classic sb.....personally, I would not even buy anything below this from pro-ject. The evo classic looks to be an even better turntable with many improvements, including a new precision machined aluminum sub platter, an evo inverted bearing with four ABEC7 spec ballraces borrowed from their 175 VPO turntable, an improved carbon fiber/aluminum evo tone arm, improved arm bearings, a stiffer suspension, and improved speed box performance, and a ortofon quintet red moving coil cartridge....A crazy good table @ 1700 bucks. Take the red off and put on a quintet bronze or black and I’d venture to say it would be a killer table.

https://www.project-audio.com/en/product/the-classic-evo/

Here’s Fremer's review of the classic sb

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/pro-ject-classic-sb-superpack-turntable-%E2%80%9Cbrains%E2%80%9...

A Positive feedback review of the sb

https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/pro-ject-the-classic-sb-turntable/

And CNET (audiophiliac) on the sb....

https://www.cnet.com/news/pro-jects-turntable-makes-you-want-to-get-up-and-dance/

And to think that the Evo classic betters it, wow...and for relatively cheap money, what a great time to be an audiophile I’d say....
About the fifth turntable I ever purchased was an entry level upscale turntable the Pro-Ject RM 5.1 SE Pro-Ject with the Black Speed Box S 60Hz. A beautiful looking deck. After awhile I noticed a hum and even after making sure the TT was grounded and still there was a humming issue. However I still loved the sound that came out of it.

It was not until after a number of evenings falling asleep with the stylus being played over and over on whatever record I had on it, I opted for the auto return the Technics and Pioneer turntables I already owned.

And this probably will get the turntable purist really pissed off, but one of the reasons the Technics SL-1500C is selling is because of the auto return function that the G, GR and others don’t have.

Auto Lift - Not an auto return @tyray.

" Equipped with an Auto Lifter Function That Allows You to Enjoy Playing                                      Records More Comfortably"
"When the tonearm reaches the end of the record, the Auto Lifter function automatically raises the cartridge"
As per description.
@rego,

I appreciate the correction. Thanks
Go for a second hand Thorens TD125 Mk2 or a second hand Linn Sondek LP12
Also consider Schiit Sol brand new at $699 for a belt drive.
Read the reviews.
To the OP, if indeed the SL1500 has the very same coreless motor as does the SL1200, and if the $ are very important to you, then go for the SL1500.  Thanks to Rego for the cogent information, and I apologize for misinforming you that the SL1500 lacks the coreless motor, albeit, I still think the SL1200 will be better sonically, overall.

Mijo, Please stop dispensing your beliefs and opinions as fact.  The AR XA is a primitive effort, a piece of junk by modern standards, although a standard bearer for its time (which was 60 years ago).  It bears no comparison to any of the new crop of Technics DD turntables, IN MY OPINION.  It doesn't hold a candle even to my 40-year-old Denon DP80.
That big magnetic menace under the platter will scramble the coils of any cartridge.

Bullshits.
The SP 10 is just expensive beautifully made junk.

SP-10 was made in 1969, I am talking about SP-10 mkII from the mid 70’s and SP-10 MKIII as the reference Technics standard in the 80’s and until now unbeatable. All 3 turntables are different, i would not mention first SP-10 at all, but SP-10 mk2 and mk3 are superb Direct Drive turntables. Anyway they are not affordable for the OP. With his budget i would recommend only SP-20 (very rare model) from the whole SP series. If i will ever buy Technics again it will be SP-10 mkIII or new SP-10R.


Get yourself an Techdas Air Force 1 Improved. Now that is a real turntable. Of course if you can’t afford it then get a SOTA Cosmos Vacuum which will get you 95% of the way there at a very reasonable price. Your choice of tonearm. I recommend the SAT arm or you could find an old Syrinx PU 3 and get 95% of the way there.

I am not looking for turntable, at the moment i have two Victor TT-101, two Luxman PD-444 and one Denon DP-80. I think i’m done with turntables.

I am not crazy to buy SAT tonearm or anything at that price, my collection of tonearms is pretty big at the moment. Some of the best vintage tonearms are here, so i’m fine.

Techdas turntable and related ugly looking modern audio gear makes me sick (sorry). Maybe it’s a good turntable, i have no idea, this design is not acceptable for me even for free.

I posted many times that personally i’m tired of SL1200 whatever, but it is only because i have SL1210 mk2 since the mid 90’s. But reading audiogon i quickly realized that some people never ever touched Technics SL1200 mk2 and any next model including modern G, GAE or GR.

Comparing Direct Drive like SL1200G to belt drive turntable is a joke! It is really apples and oranges. My advice to try new Technics and make a comments after some experience with those decks. This is really next level of turntables compared to belt drive toys like ProJect and many more expensive turntables too.

My favorite turntable is Luxman PD-444


I’m partial to the Thorens TD-309 which has won many awards. I have an entry TD203 w/ Ortofon 2m Blue that impresses me, so the TD 309 would be my next move if, that is if I didn’t enjoy the 203 so much.

https://www.thorens.com/en/thorens®-td-309.html

https://theaudiophileman.com/td309/

Or the newly released TD1600, a modern reissue of the TD160

https://www.thorens.com/en/thorens®-td-1600-en.html
Perhaps your needs can be best met in the used market: mine were. I bought a very, very nice VPI HW-19 Mk 2 for $500 from a local audiophile: in fact, it was cosmetically and functionally perfect. Of course, it did not have a tonearm or cartridge but the turntable itself will last many years and it yields more than satisfactory performance. The HW-19 series can be easily upgraded with gratifying results. There are many other options too. Check in the classified section of this forum and elsewhere and check archived reviews.
@chakster, the Luxman PD-444 … Classic Lines ...
You'll love the SL-1200GR, my buddy has one with these isolation feet, https://www.mnpctech.com/collections/turntable-lsolation-feet
VPI SCOUTMASTER. 1800 BUCKS. 
I'm thinking about buying a SL-1200GR  'scratch and dent' from Crutchfield for $1,534.24 which will leave about $450 for a cartridge.

Crutchfield has a cheap $10 restocking fee which will allow me to audition the TT  with my system. Also, they have a generous 60 day return policy So I can always send it back if I don't like it.

Can anyone recommend a cartridge that pairs well with the SL-1200GR? It needs to be $450 or less.

And again thanks everyone for your help!


To buy today on Amazon with free returns:
Bright and clear - AT VM540ML (stretch to the 740 or 760)
Musical all rounder - Ortofon MC3Turbo
More body, a little warmer and musical - Nagaoka MP300 (stretch to the 500)
Be warned. All of these require 20 hours to even start sounding their best so don't jump to conclusions.

Thanks!

Can anyone think of any drawbacks from buying a ’scratch and dent’ or ’open box’ TT?

It still comes with a full factory warranty.

Probably okay. But how do you know it didn't fall causing a possible alignment issue, or been out on demo(s)?  I'd be inclined to buy it new.
Do I need to get a Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and MM Cartridges?
IIRC, you have an old receiver. Yes, you should get the Mani for now. The phono input in the receiver will not do justice to the new table. Speaking of which, at the very start, I recommended you get the Mani before dumping the Pro-Ject. 
Thanks noromance!

Too late! I already sent the Pro-Ject back.

hmmmm...

Thanks for the advice!


+1 Mani ... I'm keeping mine ... Used is a good option.
 @klimt, you should be good with Crutchfield.
@klimt You better come back and let us all know how it goes!
Can anyone recommend a cartridge that pairs well with the SL-1200GR? It needs to be $450 or less.

@kimt

Pickering XSV-3500 and Stanton 881 for Technics tonearm are great, these models are withing your price range.

Grace F-9 is another killer MM within your price range for Technics tonearm.

SONY XL-50 with Boron Pipe cantilever is also great.