Should I keep the Turntable or sell it?


I’ve been back and forth on this decision for about a month, and the more I learn, the harder this decision gets.

Backstory: I won the brand new Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable in an online contest in mid-May, and while it sounds great, I decided to list it for sale a couple weeks ago. I’ve always wanted to try out a Rega P6 or P3 with a really nice cart, because I feel like I’m not getting enough out of my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. Prior to winning the Alva TT, I switched the Red Ortofon out for the Blue, and there was a great improvement in sound quality. But after comparing the Pro-Ject to the Alva TT and hearing what a $1700 turntable can sound like, I definitely am interested in exploring more high fidelity turntables. The issue is that I feel like I prefer the sound of tubes over solid state, and the Alva TT uses an integrated Alva Duo phono preamp for the RCA out, and their own DAC for the Bluetooth out if I want to go that route. I don’t have a ton of experience with tubes, and maybe it’s just the “cool factor” I actually like and I’m just having a placebo effect.

So I decided to list it for sale to try and get a Rega, because I heard so many great things about them. But over the last week or so, I’ve learned more about the Alva TT and how it uses Rega’s famous tonearm. I looked up the cart and it is listed at $500 separately, which is probably why it sounds better than the Pro-Ject w/ Ortofon Blue. I’ve also read on these boards about direct drive being better than belt, which the Alva has as well. It also has the added bonus of Bluetooth that go directly to my KEF LS50 Wireless, but I would most likely just use interconnects.

So I would love to get some advice from you all. I’ve gone back and forth about keeping the Alva or selling it, along with my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, and buying/trading for something like a Rega P3 or P6. If you had my first world problem, what would you do?
bignamehere
Sell them all and buy new Technics DirectDrive like SL1200GR or nearest model
@chakster can you provide some details as to why I should do that? Also what cart would you recommend? 
can you provide some details as to why I should do that? Also what cart would you recommend?

Technics is much better turntable and it's Japanese Direct Drive with nice arm, you can't buy anything better for $1800 (new with warranty). If you trust reviews simply read about SL1200GR, but it's a nonsense comparing chap belt drive to Direct Drive from Matsushita, the last one alway win.

Actually everything about cartridges and technics turntable is here on audiogon. 

I prefer vintage MM like Grace (F14, LEVEL II), Audio-Technica (AT-ML150, AT-ML170, AT-ML180), Victor (X-1II, X-1IIe) cartridges to anything new/modern. 
Agree with @chakster . The Technics is your best option for relatively little money and will give you a lot to work with until you decide to upgrade in the future. 
With all due respect, saying because it’s a “Japanese direct drive” as a reason to sell the Cambridge Audio Alva, which IS direct drive isn’t an actual reason, that’s just “legacy hype”. Since Cambridge Audio has openly discussed partnerships with other manufacturers, this Direct Drive is probably made by the same plants that build for Technics. And since I know for sure the tonearm is a high end Rega, it seems the Alva is best of both worlds. But is a Rega alone the better option, because they have built their turntable themselves with all parts and components taken into consideration?

I haven’t read anything about Technics yet to make me think their technology is superior to any other midrange table, so why would I get rid of a direct drive table to buy another direct drive. What about Technics tables are better than other components, removing the drive from the equation?

Anyone have an options on Rega vs Clearaudio, or other non-Technics tables?

Anyone have an opinion on TT to speaker via aptX Bluetooth? I’m doing some research, but having spent a few decades in marketing, I know most of what I read is hype.

thanks for your responses!
 @chakster I forgot to mention, I found out the cart is an Audio-Technica, but not sure how to identify which one it is. 
Why the fascination with Rega?
i’d say stick with what you have for at least several months before you jump to something else. Also, and this may be unfair criticism, there are some who claim that the low end to mid level Rega tt’s tend to run “fast”. That can make them sound lively, which is good for sales. I hasten to add that I have no personal knowledge of this putative issue. Anyway you’ve got nothing to lose by waiting and listening.
Are you kidding me? " @bignamehere

Technics is the only "REAL direct drive" turntable you can buy and this is the most reasonable priced DD on the market today, just because it is Matsushita, they have been doing it before you was born (probably). Even 40 years old Technics turntables like SP-10mkII are second to none. They don’t make motors for any other companies nowadays. This turntable is "made in japan" if you know what does that mean today, because everything is made in china or taiwan nowadays.

If you don’t want to change anything in your system just use what you have, but then i don’t understand why asking?

Technics brand new coreless DD motor has been introduced not so long ago, this is the best DD motor available today. Read more about new Technics turntables in this thread. In our crazy High-End world the Technics SL1200G is a bargain, the GR is 50% cheaper than G model. Someone should give a lesson to various manufacturers who priced their ugly belt drive at $30k, so Technics will knock down them all at $4k with SL1200G (and you could buy Technics GR for about $1800). All these European companies are simply not on that level, most of the killer Direct Drive TTs coming from Japan since the 70’s. Technics toneams are great, i would not even mentioning Rega tonearms anywhere near the Technics and some other Japanese toneamrs ( i have many).

Wireless speakers is garbage along with usb turntables designed for hispetrs who don’t understand what is analog. These speakers are for streaming audio (aka digital).

If you want to use analog gear and vinyl then you need wires.

Audio-Technica made huge range of cartridges from very cheap to high-end. It’s a good brand, but i have recommended their top of the line vintage models of MM cartridges (they are exceptionally good), here is the article.

I have the 1200G and LOVE it.  I owned a Rega Planer 3 and found it to be not very well made and the Rega RB300 arm has very little adjustments available. After owning it for 3 years and hardly ever playing records on it, I moved on to VPI.  After owning 3 VPI tables, I purchased the 1200G and I am living happily ever after.  The 1200GR is an excellent table at less than half the price of the 1200G.  You most likely get 90% of the 1200G sound for less than half the price of it. 

I think the 1200GR would keep you happy for many years. 
Your Cambridge looks nice enough that I wouldn't consider the move to a Rega. Move to something truly a level-up (plus a good standalone phono stage) once you're ready. The Technics 1200GR does look really nice. I also think the new SOTA Sapphire/Star (Jelco arm?) and various Clearaudio Concept/Performance models (with Satisfy arm or Tracer arm) are extremely strong offerings. 

And tube phono stages are awesome. Sometimes paired with a SUT as needed for MC cartridges. That's what I've run for the past several years. 
@lewm
I’ve only listened to the P3 once at a dinner party a couple years ago, and I remember really liking it, but it wasn’t in the budget at the time. Maybe it was the wine, but his system sounded very warm. He had Klipsch bookshelf speakers (RP-600 maybe?) on stands, and a solid state phono pre and a nicer amp (no idea models). But I have also been eyeing the Marantz TT-15S1 with the clearaudio virtuoso MM cart, and the Music Hall 7.3 with Ortofon Bronze.

 @chakster 
I appreciate the detailed info on the Technics, although some of your reply was a bit off putting. I know there is a large Technics fanboy club here, so I won’t get into it with you on the turntable. I’ve listened a few times to a high end Technics table at a friend’s father’s house who talked my ear off about it and his Martin Logans. In his opinion, owning anything other than those brands wasn’t good quality. I can’t recall his other components. Luckily we have similar taste in music, but definitely not the same budget. 

No offense, but whenever someone has such a high loyalty for one company and downplays all other brands and even downplays huge advances in technologies to be trivial, I have to take the advice with a big grain of salt. And obviously I’m asking the community to get ideas, so it’s hard to digest someone cramming a single brand down your throat when clearly there are many options to consider. But I greatly appreciate the info, and will read up on Technics.

@stereo5 
Thanks for the details on the P3 as I will take that into consideration.

@mulveling 
the SOTA looks impressive... but way out of my budget for a few years.
@mulveling I just started playing with tubes, and agree, they are quite fun and I love the warmth. Adding a cheap tube phone and an Ortofon Blue to my Pro-Ject made the The Doors vinyl come alive! But I’ve read they color the sound quite a bit compared to solid state. Audio purists and analog purists seem to battle on this topic a lot. It seems everyone has very strong opinions about how they enjoy music and the best way others should enjoy music as well. 😊

The Alva TT has no phono bypass, so I can’t do tubes with it.
This is bizarre. OP comes on looking for advice and rejects it calling a long-standing analog user of some expertise a "fan-boy." The OP's comment on tubes adding coloration is also off the mark but it appears the OP knows best. $1800 or less for the GR is a steal.
A couple of things: there is no “high end” rega anything. They make a nice product fairly cheap. For cheap cartridges, the rega will be ok, but if you want to move up the chain to a much batter cartridge, your tonearm will be critical, and you won’t be using a rega.
The technics is a good turntable. Is it worth $4000, yes, does it crush $30k turntables? NO! 
As for direct drive, not a lot of your top turntable manufacturers use DD, they use belts. How do you use DD on a 50lb plinth? You don’t. I have 2 large motors with 6 belts to spin my 40+lb plinth on my turntable. 
If you think you will keep using a lower priced/lower quality cartridge, then get the technics or a vpi scout or many other tt’s. If there is a chance you want to go better, then save your money and get a good tt with a nice arm and you will be ready fo any cartridge you throw at it
I am in agreement with Lewm on this one.

Stick with what you have for at least long enough to become fully accustomed to all its nuances and flavours of playback.
That way you will have a good basis for a solid comparison.
I appreciate the detailed info on the Technics, although some of your reply was a bit off putting. I know there is a large Technics fanboy club here, so I won’t get into it with you on the turntable. I’ve listened a few times to a high end Technics table at a friend’s father’s house who talked my ear off about it and his Martin Logans. In his opinion, owning anything other than those brands wasn’t good quality. I can’t recall his other components. Luckily we have similar taste in music, but definitely not the same budget.

No offense, but whenever someone has such a high loyalty for one company and downplays all other brands and even downplays huge advances in technologies to be trivial, I have to take the advice with a big grain of salt. And obviously I’m asking the community to get ideas, so it’s hard to digest someone cramming a single brand down your throat when clearly there are many options to consider. But I greatly appreciate the info, and will read up on Technics.

It is funny, because my turntables are two Luxman PD-444 and now Denon DP-80 ... anyway, vintage japanese Direct Drive is what i like in the main system, i sold my Technics SP-10 mkII and SP-20 last year. Still have upgraded SL1210mkII, but not in the main system. 

But as many users pointed out the Technics for you is probably the best you can get (NEW) without payin' too much (and definitely better than some tables you have mentioned). 

So i don't belong to a group of people who prefer new turntables, actually i prefer vintage turntables, but it might be too complicated for newbie. 



@noromance apparently, you think it’s completely acceptable to be condescending, even going so far as being discriminated against by age (even though he was wrong about my age). How would you like basically being told “don’t question me, I’m older, just buy the thing I told you.” Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, and often brings resistance to change.

I asked for clarification, and was talked down to. Other members were very capable of providing helpful advice without condescending language and judgement, and I don’t see why I should expect anything else from a community. Instead, I’m told anything other than direct drive is crap, which is just silly to state, considering the hundreds of high quality belt drive turntables the industry has produced. By dismissing ALL OTHER turntable manufacturers in the industry (because Technics is the only “REAL direct drive”) I think it limits your credibility on turntables to just Technics.

I thanked him for his detailed response, even with the extremely condescending content, and moved on to others that were providing alternatives.

My comments about tubes adding color and warmth is based on many other audiophiles stating just that. If you disagree with the statement, then take it up with the thousands of ppl on audio forums that say tubes are better than solid state, because they add to the experience. If you think they sound the same as solid state, well then good for your ears.


To the rest of the members providing opinions and information with condescension, I appreciate your comments. I will continue to look into alternatives to Rega that match what I might be able to sell the Alva for, and I will continue to listening to it and see if it grows on me. It is interesting though that I was wowed by a cheap $200 upgrade of the Ortofon Red to Blue, and was hoping the Alva, being a $1700 table, would wow me that much more. 

Keep your table and consider trying a line level tube buffer stage. Amazon sells a couple different ones. Then later we can talk about the rabbit hole that is tube rolling 😉
Instead, I’m told anything other than direct drive is crap, which is just silly to state, considering the hundreds of high quality belt drive turntables the industry has produced.

Are you sure about high quality ? 

How would you like basically being told “don’t question me, I’m older, just buy the thing I told you.” Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, and often brings resistance to change.

True, i'm 43 and Direct Drive was invented before i was born, so the comment about age is not discriminating, simple fact. 

It may be hard to understand until you will try a Technics in real life, maybe in the shop? The quality of Technics is so obvious since the first contact, try it if you have a dealer in your area. This turntable build like a tank and it's completely different from the plastic toys like those cheap belt drives and many other modern direct drives. As you may heard the Technics disappeared from the turntable market for a long time and it's amazing that they made a return with absolutely outstanding products like SL1200GAE and SP10R, but they made more affordable models for everybody and SL1200GR is one of them you can't go wrong with. Not sure if you know the fact that Technics DD motor always was the most powerful DD in the world with the highest torque. And even $24k modern turntables like Kodo The Beat based on vintage Technics DD motor. 

All you need is to try it, i don't know anyone who will buy a cheap belt drive like Rega after trying Technics. But i know people who never ever tried Technics and such people simply don't understand what they are missing and what they are talking about (especially folks who mix it up with an old discontinued SL1200 mk2 - mk5 models). 

Watch this trailer 

If you want to spend years you can start with belt drives, but when you will be able to compare different turntables i doubt you will stay with cheap belt drives. I don't think a $20k Micro Seiki SX8000 belt drive is what you're looking for. So under $2k you can buy amazing vintage DD or new Technics DD. 
I repeat my comment I made in another thread. I bought a Technics 1200G and was very disappointed. I put on it "supposedly" superior arm (triplanar) and cartridge (BenzLP). My Linn LP12 built by AudioOrigami was to my ears substantially  better in musicality and depth. Sold the Technics quite quickly. My second deck now is an Avid Acutus Dark at basic £10k which does not provide the extra quality above my superbly set up Linn that I might have expected. 
It is so much personal preference that your journey is laden with obstacles. What did I expect from change? Who knows! You have to hear things to be persuaded as "you don't know what an improvement is until you hear it! Always very difficult to describe.
I am 65 so have evolved over the years quite substantially. but strangely I have kept my LP12 (reincarnated by AudioOrigami) for nearly 50 years! Quite astonishing really
One recent thing I have been astonished by is the favourable effect of Entreq stuff - but that is another thread. The point is however that you just have to listen. A friendly dealer, who come across numerous products and who "knows your ears", does help to reduce such waste of time and money


rbstehno
As for direct drive, not a lot of your top turntable manufacturers use DD, they use belts. How do you use DD on a 50lb plinth? You don’t.
Sure you can. Back when I had a DP-80, it was mounted in a VPI two-arm base that had a very, very heavy plinth. In some respects, DDs are more suited to heavy plinths than BD.

I've long since given up on DD, though. I think the best belt drives are better (although I haven't heard some of the newest DDs, such as VPI's)  - but that's just personal preference. There is no "one-size-fits-all" in audio.
@bignamehere I never mentioned age. I said "long-standing analog user..."
You are the one who used the term "fanboy"
On tubes and warmth. Yes they can bring a type of warmth. But it is not necessarily "coloration" as such. Compared to poorer solid state, good tube amps can impart or reproduce a more lifelike rendition of tonal color, space, timbre and such that can sound better. However warmth as a coloration can be true to both tube and solid state amplifiers.
On choice of turntable, I never meant to imply removing your freedom to choose of course. It was more an effort to save you the hassle of a cycle of disappointments and the purchase of sideways upgrades and wasting your time. Carry on!
@noromance slow your roll, and read the pronouns. I wouldn’t have use to word “he” when talking to you (using the @ mention). You didn’t mention age, chakster did, but your certainly were condescending. Also, fanboy was in reference to Technics, not tubes. Again, I made multiple references to Technics and direct drive (not tubes) when talking about a fanboy and the “real” technology I should be using. You might need to start reading more critically before you post, because I’ve never said anything negative about any technology or preference. I just don’t like when ppl loyal to a single brand think that option is the ONLY choice I should consider in my price point, and even go on to say an entire technology (belt drive) is crap. This is what chakster did. You just happen to be the one trying to call me out for some reason for not putting full trust in a Technics fanboy. I’m critical of anyone stating there is only one way something should be done, and I believe everyone should be skeptical of an unwavering POV. Thanks for your contributions. The information about Technics was noted and appreciated, but comments like “This is bizarre” and “OP knows best” were rude and unnecessary. It seems many others were very capable of reading my OP and follow-up comments, and providing helpful advice without condescending remarks. I’d suggest you and chakster follow their example.

Good Day, sir. 🎩

The adoration and worship of Technics turntables is not unusual there are many companies that have such fans I would rate the Technics turntables as "good value" but no more they are hardly without equal there are many better turntables on the market but that does not mean you can't be happy with Technics. 
@chakster My age comment still stands, and you only best me by a year. Any comment that ends with "before you were born" is condescending and rude, implying the person on the receiving end of the comment is too young to know better. Your opinion of the phrase may differ, but feel free to argue your point with a linguist, not me. Also, I believe your opinion of high quality is very different than many other audiophiles and a large handful of leading manufacturers. That is fine, we all have a person preference. Maybe your understanding of the belt drive technology, and why it is used on the most advanced tables in the world, is lacking and you should do some research on it. You do seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about direct drive, but since you say Technics is the only "REAL direct drive", maybe you should do more research on other companies in the industry, and the advances they have also been making for decades. Lastly, you also need to read comments on these boards more critically, as you would've learned that I have indeed heard a Technics a few times, and am not blindly dismissing the brand nor the technology. 

Again, thanks for the info on Technics, but keep the "color commentary" to a minimum on my thread or just refrain from commenting. Thanks.
I suggest regardless of your turntable decision, ensuring your tonearm choice has an easy azimuth adjustment. I find that the soundstage is enhanced with azimuth adjustment which results in equal, or equal as possible and lowest crosstalk in each channel. 

bignamehere "keep the "color commentary" to a minimum on my thread or just refrain from commenting."

Everyone is free to post hear within the rules established by the forum it is not for you to limit, restrict, or discourage any poster or contributor from writing, sharing, or contributing his thoughts to this group. I will steadfastly, consistently, and uniformly defend the rights of others to share as they wish and accept that only the moderators may intervene on the forum’s behalf.
Take a deep breath and keep what you’ve got for a while. The foregoing conflicting bits of advice should be reason enough to take it slow. With all respect to Chakster, I am really rather surprised at some of his pro-Technics opinions, because in my own equally worthless opinion Chakster owns at least 3 DD turntables that I would place at least equal to or better than SP10 mk2, namely Denon DP80, Victor TT101, and Luxman PD444. But his basic notion that the low end of the new revised SL1200 series is a good way to go, if you’re restricted to only the new (vs vintage), I do agree with. One strategy would be to sit tight and look for a DP80, which can be had for about half the cost of a new SL1200GR if that’s the $1700 version.
@clearthink condescending comments, and especially those intended to derogate a protected class, should not be used. I am sure the moderators and Audiogon attorneys would agree with that statement. If you feel it's okay to post racist, sexist, ageist, or any other form of disrespectful language, do it on your own thread. 
@gregdude  hmmm... talk to me more about line-level tube stages. Not something I have explored yet, and might solve my issue. What models would you recommend I take a look at. The less expensive tube pre-amp I liked the sound of is a Yaquin MS-23B. When paired with my Pro-Ject and Ortofon Blue, the sound quality and warmth was so much better than the solid state phono preamps I was testing in the same price range.
@lewm I plan on listening to the Alva TT a bit longer, but still keep my listings up. With it being so new (released in April 2019), there aren't too many people looking for it just yet, so it might take a while to sell. 

bignamehere
If you feel it's okay to post racist, sexist, ageist, or any other form of disrespectful language, do it on your own thread."

I will post here consistent with my thoughts, beliefs, and conscience and will not be instructed, restricted, or threatened by anyone hear including you if you find my comments offensive you're sole solution, remedy, and recourse is to alert the moderators you do not "own" me or this thread.
@clearthink interesting... you state you won’t be told what to do, right after you tell me exactly what I can do.
Post removed 
@clearthink follow your own logic then... and since you can’t seem to keep on topic, please follow the rules:

  • You will not post information that is malicious, false or inaccurate.
  • You will not post content that is sexually explicit.
  • You will not post content that is abusive or defames another member of The Service.
https://forum.audiogon.com/pages/guidelines

Ageist comments are abusive, along with all other comments that derogate a protected class. There are 7, look them up.
bignamehereclearthink follow your own logic then... and since you can't seem to keep on topic, please refrain from:

You are not a moderator here I am under no requirement or obligation to observe, comply, or agree to you're orders, demands, dictates or requirements I need make no promise or assurance to you and you're remedy if you find me objectionable, offensive  or in violation of the forums rules, standards, and requirements is through the forum's moderators or Audiogon Administrators. I will post here consistent with my thoughts, beliefs, and conscience and will not be instructed, restricted, or threatened by anyone hear including you.

@clearthink I certainly did. Your comments are not constructive nor related to the thread, and go against the guidelines as posted.

Good day, sir.
bignamehere"@clearthink follow your own logic then... and since you can’t seem to keep on topic, please refrain from: You will not post information that is malicious, false or inaccurate."

I think you are the one dear sir who is suffering from a lapse of logic, reason, and sense do you really want me to refrain from not posting information that is malicious I do not think so! Of course I have never posted malicious information hear anyway so it does not matter.

I wish you a fine day as well filled with unicorns, cotton candy and lollipops.
Well this went down the tubes in a rapid, fiery and predictable  fashion!
tatyana69,

Please post a virtual system page. I would be interested  in seeing your Linn LP12 by AudioOrigami and your Avid Acutus Dark. What tonearm do you use on each TT and which cartridge on each tonearm?

My Technics with Triplanar tonearm and Lyra Kleos  and my Kuzma Stabi with 12" VTA arm and Dynavector XXII mk2 are posted on my virtual system.

Best on your Journey
Well, a person with 23 posts on audiogon who has nothing to contribute is not happy about comments and willing to teach us what to post and how to post in "his thread". Ok, this is my last post in your thread.

If you want to expand your knowledge about Direct Drive, find what is Coreless Direct Drive Motor (and why it’s superior) then try to find any manufacturer of such high quality motor today. Maybe you will realize why Technics is the only "real direct drive" today. You can also compare prices for new Technics to anything else, and then you can ask yourself why they did not charge 5 times higher price for their new DD with coreless motors like other manufacturers charge for inferior technology (like belt drive) today.

Remind us who else have been making high-end Direct Drive since the golden age on agalog, and how many of them making turntables in 2019 ???

I can mention new Pioneer and Denon, but none of them can compete with Technics and none of them can compete even with their own older top of the line Direct Drive TTs from the 70’s.

Matsushita is clearly the biggest and the most experienced manufacturer of high-end Direct Drive turntables and they tried to make something equal to their best stuff (like SP-10mkIII and mkII) but in 21st century and they did it. New SL1200 series is the best option for those who’re looking for a brand new high-end Direct Drive (SL1200G has coreless motor).

When the Pioneer will make something equal to their older Exclussive P-3 or P-10, and when Denon will make something equal to the PD-80 or PD-100 i will say we have more "real direct drive" on the market from the original manufacturers.

I think some relatively small manufacturers looking at Technics sucsess with new Direct Drive and trying to make "something direct drive" too, but they can’t make Coreless Direct Drive in their garage where they are making all those Belt Drives.

I remember how SL1200 GAE limited edition has been sold immediately when it was introduced.

P.S. I guess the whole thread was made to justify your purchase and this is what you’re willing to read from the other members, but not the truth.
You may also willing to read than Rega is fantastic choise along with your Cambridge Audio Alva. Or something about superiority of tube coloration over some true solid state design. But this is all false and your experience is limited if you claiming the opposite.

In other words: prepare yourself to read different opinions, you’re not reading magazine review here, it’s audiogon and each of us has personal experience with almost everything we’re talking about.

chakster"...a person with 23 posts on audiogon who has nothing to contribute is not happy about comments and willing to teach us what to post and how to post in "his thread"the whole thread was made to justify your purchase and this is what you’re willing to read from the other members, but not the truth. prepare yourself to read different opinions, you’re not reading magazine review here, it’s audiogon and each of us has personal experience with almost everything we’re talking about. 

Chakster completely and correctly characterizes, understands, and explains the issue with this user and thread who seeks to limit, restrict, and discourage knowledgeable, experienced, educated posters and contributors from writing, sharing, and contributing honest, relevant, meaningful thoughts to this group. He assumes the role, responsibility, and functions of genuine Audiogon moderators and Administrators but he is not imbued with the proper authority to so execute such functions.

@chakster again, thanks for the on topic information about Technics and direct drive. I will read all about it when I find some time to kill. Others don’t share your point of view on direct drive being the best technology, including (almost) all other high end turntable manufacturers. 

I haven’t completely formed my opinion on that just yet, but luckily I have in my possession a $1700 direct drive turntable made by a company that has also been around creating high end audio components for half a century. 

You are completely lacking in experience and knowledge of the Alva, so maybe before spouting off about a product you have absolutely no experience with, give it a listen. 

I will continue listening and also learn from others on these boards who are capable of constructive communication, without such bias towards a single brand. 👍


@clearthink 🤫🤭👍
Something that hasn’t been said is that you are measuring the Alva TT by its price. Yes, a $1700 TT should sound better. But your TT has more than just analog guts.  It has a DAC, Bluetooth, and a phono preamp, and a cart. So it’s really a $500 to $700 TT with a bunch of other stuff.  

So so for a fair comparison, consider it next to a cheaper table and a decent phono preamp. In that context, I think you’d be better off selling both tables, and get one at the level you want, as well as a nice matching preamp. As you go along the journey, you can later upgrade the preamp or cartridge to get the “flavor” you like. 

Chakster, did you ever ask yourself why you end up in so many contentious arguments on AGon?  Maybe it isn’t everyone else...
There's no use in debating anything with the direct-drive zealots. 

The reality is there are many good approaches to analog sound. Every approach produces a unique sonic signature because each material has different resonance properties. Whether a plinth is constructed of MDF or a zinc alloy will affect its sound, as will the tonearm and platter material. No table is exclusively neutral. 

As for direct-drive always being superior, that claim is complete BS. There are many belt-drive designs that allow for adjustable speed, and with stability that's just as stable as a Technics, they just tend to cost more - probably double the price of a GR on average. I'm talking tables from the likes of SME, Acoustic Signature, AMG, GemDandy, Palmer (not the typical $2K VPI or Rega). 

As for Technics being the best value out there, I suppose they could be, however, that might depend on you getting a good example. Some have received examples with warped platters, like in this video:

https://youtu.be/TmpsJ3009CE

I can tell you the warp in that vid is far worse than what I had with a Pioneer PLX1000. There are multiple reports of this problem around the web. And one guy went through at least two 1200Gs before he received one with a quiet platter bearing. So even the venerable Technics brand, with its much-lauded Japanese manufacturing, is not immune to QC problems. 

Now compare that platter runout/warp to that of a Brinkmann or Acoustic Signature and tell me the Technics still produces the better W&F spec - laughable.
Just to keep the facts straight, let me repeat that coreless motors in direct drive turntables are not new.  Dual is probably the only company that can claim the invention, since Dual was the first company to market a coreless motor DD, back in the 60s, I think. In the late 70s and early 80s, Kenwood, Pioneer, Yamaha, and Victor all marketed DD turntables with coreless motors in their top end models.  I know that Kenwood was actually sued by Dual for the design of their coreless motor, and they were forced to change some aspects so as to avoid a conflict. Nevertheless, all of those motors look very much like the old Dual motor, if you take them apart. (I have had the Kenwood L07D motor and the Victor TT101 motor completely apart, so I know they are pretty much the same inside, except the L07D motor is a bit heftier.) 

None of the vintage Technics or Denon turntables, on the other hand, used coreless motors.  One drawback of the coreless motor for DD is that it is difficult to make them with high torque while also keeping the size down to what is practical for fitting into a turntable.  Moreover they tend to run hot.  The Pioneer Exclusive P3 motor is probably the highest torque coreless motor made in those days, and it falls short of the massive iron core motor in the SP10 Mk3, in terms of max torque. Technics never marketed a turntable with a coreless motor until this latest generation which includes the SL1200GAE, G, and GR, and the SP10R. I would bet that if you did an autopsy on one of their new coreless motors, you'd be looking at a Dual-type design.

I am not one who claims that belt-drive turntables are "bad". I do believe that on a dollar scale, you can get more for your money at a lower price point with DD or idler.  I've certainly heard some great belt-drives that I would be happy to own, like the Doehmann (forget the model name; the one with the built-in air shelf) and the Walker Audio, to name just two. I owned a SOTA Star Sapphire Series III (vacuum platter) and a Nottingham Hyperspace before going to idler and DD.  For sure I prefer what I now use to either of those two.

There are several "modern era" DD turntables about which I know nothing.  For example, the Grand Prix Monaco, the VPI (I do know it uses a patented "Thingap" motor which attempts to do away with cogging by employing sort of a continuous iron core as a stator), that DD that comes from the US West Coast; I forget the name.  The Brinkmann Bardo uses a Dual type motor for sure.
I enjoy this website and the forums but this is something else. I can’t believe this thread has gone on this long. Unbelievable.
@soundermn yes and no. I’m actually doing just as you said in my comparison. The “extra stuff” that other turntables won’t have, such as a DAC, Bluetooth, and Phono Preamp, I would estimate to be valued around $500 retail because they are separate components with added costs, etc. That leaves the table and cart at $1200ish in value. The build quality of the table and tonearm are fantastic, and as stated by others, built like a tank (24lbs), and has a very stylish finish to it. So I believe I would be safe to compare it to a Rega P3 with Elys or Exact cart, because I’ve seen those on sale for about $1100 and $1400 respectively. And yes, I would have to sell both tables to get about $1000 - $1200 in trade value at a local store or sell them both for maybe an additional $300. 

The stars might be aligning though for a Rega, because I just received an email about a Rega event happening this week at a local shop, and a 10% off a new model with my trade. I might not be able to get the Exact cart though.