Call Elkhorn to be sure. It IS one the best combos available.
I;ve heard all three.
The Rega P10 is ideal for a plug and play, very musical. Downside - no easy VTA adjustments. Its a great option for someone who wants great sound, but doesn't like to fiddle with TT's.
Sota gives you're more options with arms and cartridges. Just buy the best arm you can within your budget. Sota can confirm fit - usually anything from 9-10" will fit.
Both the Rega and Sota are far better than the Project in my view - both sound quality and quality of construction.
I have a SOTA Sapphire VI(ish). I bought it refurbished from SOTA in 2020. I ordered it with an Origin Live Silver tonearm and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. Their customer service is top notch.
Donna Bodinet (the owner)handled my order. I ordered over the phone on Wednesday. The second I gave her my shipping address she told me I could pick it up from the Factory on Sunday. It is 55 minutes from my driveway to the factory parking lot. While I was loading up my turntable in the car Donna told me that my turntable could handle any cartridge up to $3k I could throw at it.
A couple of weeks later I threw a SoundSmith The Voice at it. I have hit my endgame turntable. My Sapphire does not have the vacuum hold down and it probably has an older motor and controller system. By picking it up from the factory it was ready to go out of the box. They can't ship them that way.
I am very happy with my Sapphire. Unfortunately for me it is the best component in my main system. I love the way it looks and sounds. If you decide to order one you will have to ask which tonearms they have available. I wanted an Origin Live Zephyr tonearm. They did not have one so I had to "step down" to the Silver. To be honest I am happy with what I have and I wouldn't change anything.
@Initm I have a Sota Nova VI (very similar to Sapphire), but mine has vacuum, mag-lev bearing and Eclipse speed controller & tachometer.
When I was planning I looked hard at OL arms, but landed on Audiomods V (now a VI is available w/new better anti-skate and composite armtube). The OL and Audiomods are similar in that they're both tweaked out designs based on the classic Rega arms. IMHO, the Audiomods with silver wiring tip-to-tip and built in VTA micrometer offered more value than the OLs. The are a one man show, but Jeff is very responsive with any questions/tips, etc. and I've been impressed with it. Until I can afford something at a completely different cost level(e.g. Kuzma 4point9 or Schroeder) I feel like it's a good match and serves my Sota well. Cheers,
SOTA is a fantastic table :-) Most 9” arm will fit and balance out. Support from factory is excellent. Ortofon Bronze is a good cartridge but in no way will tax the capability of well chosen arm on a SOTA. Enjoy the music !
Recent owner, had to skinny my TT collection down. Helped a buddy out . He sent me a text “ HELP, i have been listening to records on the SOTA for 48 hours ! “….
I just received my new Sota Nova VI last week. I have listened to about 20 albums now and absolutely love it. I started with the Sapphire Series III in 1992, upgraded to a used Star in 2018 and now have upgraded to the Nova VI with vacuum, the magnetic bearing with the Eclipse Condor motor package and the Roadrunner Tachometer. I used my Sapphire for 26 years. The Star with vacuum improved on the bass and I also appreciated the vacuum which took record warps out of the picture. But this new Nova VI is a big leap forward I find. The platter is dead quiet, more clarity in the mid bass and bass and cymbals sound amazing. Speed drift is a thing of the past with the Roadrunner tachometer that feedbacks speed to the condor. I can put my finger against the side of the platter with slight pressure and the speed does not change.
All three Sota's offer a great presentation. I can only imagine what the Cosmos can do. I'm very pleased with the sound of this new table and am glad I was patient enough to wait for it. I ordered my new Nova VI last August. Donna told me then that delivery would be in March. She kept that promise date with just a few days to spare but Sota delivered.
I am fortunate enough to own a Cosmos Eclipse in bloodwood, has the vacuum option, the magnetic bearing, and the controller package. I put a SME V on it and have a Transfiguration Audio Proteus. It is a fine table, and is remarkably balanced sounding, superb spatial presentation, and dynamically expressive without sounding bombastic. It is a lovely table in every way, and I reserve it for my evening listening sessions.
I feel blessed to own a Scheu Audio Das Lauftwerk No2 with a couple of Dynavector DV505 arms installed. On one arm I keep a cartridge for casual listening times, and that is currently an Ortofon MC3000 MK II. On the second arm I have an Ortofon MC2000, that is also saved for those special listening sessions. My darkest secret is I love that combo as much as I do the SOTA, although both present music in a distinctly different manner. The resolution and fine detail of the MC2000 is top flight, and the bass response is still world class. If I were forced to chose between the two I don’t know how I would make that decision. Fortunately I do not have to do that.
@lnitm , Origin Live makes a decent tonearm but their reputation for customer service is pretty bad. There are many other fine tonearms that will fit on the Sapphire including the Audiomods Series 6, the Kuzma 4 Point 9, the Rega RB 3000 and the Schroder CB. You can not go wrong with a used SME IV or V. If you supply the arm Sota will mount it for you. Don't forget to add a dustcover and a reflex clamp.
I had a Sapphire for 40 years and just sold it recently to a young audiophile. I have a Cosmos Vacuum now. The Sapphire will have slightly more resonance in its sub chassis so under certain circumstances it might not be quite as detailed. Without vacuum clamping pitch might not be quite as stable but if you use a reflex clamp it will be close. A good turntable should make no sound of it's own and it should block any vibration/sound in the environment from getting to the cartridge. There is no turntable anywhere near it's low price that does a better job than the Sapphire. Any of the arms mentioned above will do a fine job with any cartridge of medium compliance and can be made to work with low compliance cartridges by adding head shell weights. What the overall sound will be like depends on factors none of us can evaluate, the performance of your phono stage, amplifier, speakers and room. Every system/room is different. You are the one who has to make it sound the way you want. It is the price you pay for being an audiophile. Rock On!
@mijostyn: I did until I grounded the motor housing. After playing a good 22 albums the speed has jumped to 45 rpm when I start it just one time and that was early on. So I tend to think the ground wire helps.
Yes, I have the three buttons- (+) (-) and STBY. I have the Roadrunner box next to the turntable. The vacuum pump box and PSU sit about 6 feet away. I can see the Condor controller mounted next to the motor under the motor cover.
I put the ground wire on one of the motor mounting screws and that goes to the star ground nut and then to the phono preamp ground.
@mijostyn Not my experience with OL customer service. Their website is rich with support information to help users get the best from their arms (which are excellent) and Mark Baker and his team are very responsive via email.
Here is an example of customer service. I was having difficulty getting cartridge mounting plates for my Schroder CB tonearm. One dealer wanted $125 for each plate and two others could not find a source. Finally I emailed a Schroder dealer in Europe. The very next day I get an email from Frank Schroder apologizing for the problem. The US market is handled by Thrax who has been lax at supplying spares. Frank was ... not happy. He sent me four plates for $200.
I have a Audiomods Series V Micrometer and a SME Series IV.
These are on the Subs Bench and I no longer use them, I don't foresee a period when I will use them again.
As a Tonearm they look great and have real presence, but they do not create a performance that is engaging, the listener can hear the music fine, but my own perception is that there is a divide between presentation and the listener.
In certain experiences the recollection is that the performance has had the perception of being compartmentalised and is my mind today a detractor when perceived as being present.
Once a Tonearm is encountered that conveys the perception, that the musicians thoughts and pleasures felt while performing are seemingly present in the mix, and being projected to the listener, other Tonearms can quickly become an item that does not have an attraction, for this reason the two referred to Tonearms are no longer in use.
A friend had my SME IV on loan along with a loaned Origin Live Tonearm for a period of time, they own a High End Linn Arm as well, neither of these arms were selected for the newly acquired SP10R, the Tonearm selected was a 12" Glanz, I fully understand the reasoning for the choice, it is to my ears a arm that allows a listener to be absorbed into the replay and is a very engaging arm.
Others may vehemently disagree with my assessment, but I am the one with the Tonearms removed from service, and I fully understand the reasoning for this decision.
As in all, a suggestion offered as a guidance toward a Brand or Model is all well and good, but the real decision, remains with the ears of the end user.
In todays market place, there are a much wider range of Brands offering designs and options that are worthy of being learned about and being demonstrated if possible.
@pindac, I hate to seem like the cretin I am but I never knew a tonearm could "create a performance that was engaging," Silly me, and I thought it was the musicians that did that. Go figure.
As far as distortion from the original waveform goes, any of which I shall define as sonically unfavorable, you have to consider the cartridge and tonearm as one device. This also assumes it is attached in rigid orientation to the platter and is isolated from any extraneous vibration.
There are deviations from the original waveform that some people find pleasurable. I do not but, that is just me. A turntable, tonearm and cartridge should add absolutely nothing to the sound, that waveform. Anything they add is distortion pleasurable or not. That fact that the best tables can get reasonably close is amazing in and of itself and surely if you had to live with distortion it might as well sound good but, I would never say they, "create a performance that is engaging."
It was Kurt Vonnegut who remarked in, I believe it was Galapagos, that "the problem with humans is their brains are too big."
A said " Others may vehemently disagree with my assessment "
All disagreements are welcome, and I have no need to defend my ears as the Judge on the matter, or my brain either.
The concern is not only a limited to minimising the effects of extraneous vibration, there is plenty to be concerned produced when the integral vibrations are considered, a Bearing Housing assembly of parts can be a environment that is able to allow the Stylus to encounter many unwanted conditions that are transferred as a result od the condition of the bearing housing assembly.
Much of the attention I have put onto a TT, is addressing the Bearing Housing assembly of parts, to the point the entirety is modernised.