Starting out for about 1000.00

I'm looking to get back into vinyl. I'm in need of a turntable, and phono stage. What can $1000.00 buy.


Audio Refinement Complete
" " CD Complete
JMLab Cobalt 806

Used Rega table and arm, Benz cartridge, Creek phono section.
Music Hall MMF-7 comes complete with Goldring Eroica cartridge for under $1,000 new, or you can find one slightly used like I did for under $800.00. I also got a Creek phone section, and upgraded the cartridge to a Grado Reference Master (also purchased used at 1/2 price).
Used Linn LP12 with Basik Plus arm ~ $550
Goldring 1012 MM cartridge ~ $100
Used Lehmann Black Cube Phono section ~ $350
Total ~ $1000

The LP12 is the most TT for the money under $1k. The Basik Plus arm is very good, and usually comes with the TT as a package for around the price I quoted above, so you don't need to fuss with changing armboards, etc.

The Goldring cartridges are about the best low cost MM cartridges around. The 1000 Series all use the same body assembly, so when you are ready to replace the (user replaceable) stylus, you can upgrade to the 1022 or 1042 stylus for alot less than buying a new cartridge. The Goldring 1042 is used in OEM guise by Linn and Audio Note as their MM cartridges with their names on it. Good cartridge. When you change your 1012 stylus to a 1042 stylus, your 1012 cartridge becomes a 1042, since the bodies are the same, and the styli are the only difference. The higher lines use a Gyger line contact type stylus.

The Black Cube is kind of the general standard for mid priced phono sections today, and provides good sound and alot of flexibility to accomodate many types of cartridges. It is a good value.

My recommendations are based on having the most money sunk into the things that you may keep, and the least money sunk into the things that are typical replacement items. Any LP12 can be upgraded to the same form as is sold today. The arm may easily be replaced by an Ittok or Ekos without changing armboards(and you're getting the Basik Plus almost free at that price with the TT). The cartridge is an expendable item. The Black Cube will be good enough to match your other electronics or even better maybe. So you have "keepers" with the mainstays of the TT and phono stage. The arm and cartridge are good, but could be considered as "stepping stones" toward future upgrades. And they are quick and easy upgrades that you won't lose alot of money in the process.