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:

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


Showing 11 responses by chakster

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). 
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. 
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' 

Is this deja vu? Dude, you're still not getting it?


I have deja vu with all recent threads on audiogon 

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!

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.  

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

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


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.  

While I share your admiration for those 3 cartridges, and I own them all

You own them all ? You like them @lewm ?
Thousands people own them and use them too, and feedbacks all over the internet, except maybe SONY XL-50 (a very nice cartridge).

Would be nice to read your comment about SONY XL-50 MM is you have it.

Grace is probably the most popular, honestly i have never seen a bad sample of Grace, suspension always fine, i owned F-9E, F-9U, F-9F, various F14 models too and so on ... up to LEVEL II. As you know i like Grace and collect them. If you think the suspension is dried out a bit, then maybe a compliance is a bit lower now, but originally it is very high compliance. But i never seen a softened suspension on any Grace samples out of many samples. And you’re the one who use SoundSmith Grace, so there is a person who even produce NEW styli for Grace. Just look HERE> Brand new styli (not a retip of the old one) available from SoundSmith and he made them. One of the reason i can recommend Grace for a novice.

Personally i'm ready to buy as many original Grace styli as i can before they are gone. It was such a great company and they gave their customers so many options (so many different styli/cantilevers, we discussed it before). 

Old Pickering is also extremely popular cartridges, on another forum anyone can find a "fan club" of Pickering/Stanton where people share knowledge. Why i never seen any sample with bad suspension? I think the design is just right, so using them in 21st century is not a problem. About service: Expert Stylus & Cartridge Co in UK specialized in Stanton/Pickering repair, their stylus Paratrace is the closest to Stereohedron. Anyone can contact them by email ( info at ), my communication with them was very nice. I think our friend @nandric retipped some of his best LOMC with them.

There is no risk to invest in cartridges if you know where to buy them, or your formula can be applied to anything vintage (tubes, turntables, speakers). Why people buying vintage gear in 21st century ? Because in many cases it’s better and often cheaper. And it’s cool.

P.S. New MM cartridges like Nagaoka and AT are always in the shops, they can wait... nothing special

They are very bad belt drive for crazy price like $2000 and can’t compete with Technics GR Direct Drive that OP can buy for $1500 (amazing deal actually).

Schiit is a piece of sh.... t.
A proper phono stage required anyway sooner or later, SoundSmith can offer MM phono stages, JLTi is offering great MM/MC phono stages....

This thread went crazy, i can only add this one to the list above.