Suspended vs. non suspended turntable

Hello all,

I am ready to begin my foray into the world of vinyl (again). Looking at the turntables out there, it seems as if there are two types - those with suspension, and those without. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Don't worry about the type. With either, pay attention to the implementation. There are good and bad examples in both.
Actually,you DO want to be concerned about the "type" of table you chose.
I would strongly suggest you go on the "Basis" website,and read the "white Papers".These are very well written pieces,based on good science,and logic!Also,a good means of educating one,about the advantages of a suspension on a turntable,as well as vacuum clamping(if that interests you).
At that point you can better make an educated decision,which type to chose.
Good luck.
I agree with Dan, I have one of each type and both are excellent. Implementation is all important.
A lot of this issue is what you need in your application. I have been using suspended TTs for years, but my system is in my basement. The street where I live has virtually no traffic, so I don't need suspension.

If you live in a 150 year old loft apartment with springy wood floors, than you will need suspension.

Dan is right to a degree, but seems to miss the point of why some tables are suspended.

I love the design philosophy behind the Sota TTs. They are hung rather than sprung. Hanging the table removes a lot of vibration issues from the equation.

You need to examine your room and decide which design you need.



I have had both and could'nt agree more, "it ain't what you do, but the way that you do it", it's all in the implimentation. I am not sure I agree about isolation and non suspended decks, they seem to be the norm with many new tables recently. In high end examples, isolation seems to be by virtue of sheer mass, some of them are very heavy indeed. That becomes important,when you consider how wall shelves have been the traditional route of isolation for tables. I am changing from an Origin Live Resolution to TW Acustics Raven one. I am hoping it won't fall off the wall as the more expensive Raven AC, certainly would.
Hanging the table removes a lot of vibration issues from the equation.

As does mass. I don't believe I've missed the point at all. I've owned suspended and non-suspended tables. Some within the same line of manufacturer: Basis Audio. I don't buy into the garbage anymore about one type being necessarily superior to the other. This is nothing more than two approaches at solving the same problem. In the end the only thing that really matters is how the music sounds to you.
The "only" reason I stated that one should read the Basis White papers,is because the arguements made(there)seem logical,and make the most sense to me.Of course each person makes their own buying decision.The more educational ammunition,the better.
Thank you everyone for your response. My listening room is on the second floor of my house. The floor is of wooden floorboard on joist construction - i.e. not the most rigid. I have seen turntables with massive platters. I found that even rapping the equipment stand hard with my knuckles did not transmit any sound to the speakers. This made me wonder if I really need a suspended turntable or not ... or whether a high mass design would be enough. Or maybe a suspended high mass design.

I will go take a look at the white papers on the Basis website.
I found that even rapping the equipment stand hard with my knuckles did not transmit any sound to the speakers.

This is another issue that comes up often that I admit I just don't understand. My table is in my finished basement (concrete floor) and my DIY stand incorporates sandboxes, thick hardwoods, granite shelves and Stillpoints. If I wrap on a leg of the stand with the stylus down I can hear a thump through the speakers. Same thing would happen back when I had a Basis 2500/Vector tonearm.

But I have to ask, "So what? Why would you do that?" I'm not in the habit of doing this while listening to LPs. And I don't know anyone else who does this. So I'm at a loss to understand why the vinyl-phile community seems to bring this up as some sort of test to prove or disprove something.

Now, if you can hear your footsteps through the speakers as you walk around the room then I'd agree there is an issue. ;-)
In years past I've owned three suspended tables; two Sota Stars and a Basis 2500. The Sota suspension worked extremely well with heavy footsteps, the Basis system didn't work worth a damn. Even walking softly anywhere near the table created problems.

My next table, a mass loaded Nottingham Mentor, sat on a rack and while not as good as the Sota when it came to footfalls, was still better than the Basis.

Now I've got a very heavy Galibier Gavia sitting on a very sturdy wall shelf that I designed. Problem solved!
I use a non-suspended Pro-ject RM10. It comes with its own highly effective isolation base. The plinth and platter are high-mass and the bearing has magnetic repulsion to minimize friction caused by the high weight of the platter. It has a very good 10" carbon fiber arm that mates well with highly compliant cartridges.

Ease of set up is one big factor why I like the non-suspended approach. My dealer moounted the cartridge and all that I had to do was level the isolation base and then level the TT itself. I was in business in just ten minutes. I'll not have to worry about springs sagging or anything bouncing around when I'm cueing the arm.

Oh yeah, my TT sounds great.

Isolation from footfalls, isolation from airborne musical feedback, isolation from motor resonances, evacuation of cartridge resonances and good sound are all interrelated but separate issues. How the designer handles all these issues is where the magic happens. And any well thought out theory can look good on paper. As usual there's no one right way to do it. Enjoy you choice!
To me,it is not an issue of what seems correct on paper. If one is so critical as to be concerned about the minutiae of cartridge/arm issues,then being careful about what table topology you buy,is a good thing.
As to the why it "may" be a big deal.....just some thoughts,which a new table purchaser should "think about",before making a decision....From the arguements made in favor of an "effective" suspension system,on a table,the subtle sounds of "any movement" can be picked up by the finest cartridges/systems.This is indicated by not only footfalls,but the vibrations of many "real world" occurrences.A truck,airplane,or any vibration that can cause the slightest impact on the "super sensitive" vinyl replay system(in a normal home,even the general outside world's "sound" is vibrational....listen at night,not to music, and it becomes obvious...things are just much less noise/vibration sounding)....Having a concrete floor(I do too)is still not totally effective for stopping these deliterious effects.My friend has a concrete floor,but can pick up the vibrations of his elevators,and other causes in his apartment building.Noisey neighbors,furnature moving,someone wheeling in groceries etc are all present in an apartment building.If you claim to have a fine system,you are picking up the effects,whether you like it or not!One family homes are not immune either(I have one and know this to be the case).
I had a non-suspended table,on a specialty wall shelf,drilled into two by six inch beams,in my wall(dedicated room).Fine,but there was still the subtle vibrational energy coming in when a large vehicle,or plane passed by.Even the effects of my room's exhaust fan(on the roof)caused some degree of vibration,which I felt(slightly).Washing machines,vacuuming(don't laugh),furnace kicking in may not be aware of the subtle impact,but it IS there!
Of course I am not saying "these" can easily be detected,during LP play,but It makes "sense" to me,that if the vinyl set-up is SO good,to have expensive cartridges/arms/electronics etc,and "is in a quiet room",then there IS going to be a difference in the perceived sound,based on the "better" table topology!...
I say,try to read/educate oneself to the topic,consider your own system/room,and make the decision which is most logical to you!
Somehow,I cannot believe a table like the Walker would sound anywhere as good as it does(though I am sure it still would be acceptable)if the "air suspension" was omitted.
Personally,I could easily live with,and love many non suspended designs,but the suspended arguement makes the most sense to a very revealing system.Some set-ups are more revealing than others,so this might not be a "big deal" to some.....I agree!
I'm sure if you take away any part that was designed in there will be a change. That's true of any table. Because a particular table of either design doesn't work in one situation does not invalidate the design philosophy in any way. Even within the same camp, be it suspended or not, there are some tables that will deal with a particular setup issue better than others. Same with every other component in a system. That's why there are few easy answers in this hobby.
If one has a suspended wood floor that could cause footfall problems, then a light suspended table would not be ideal. I've seen situations where the footfall causes such tables to go into prolonged oscillation and for the tendency for skipping to be worsened by the suspension.

My own personal preference is for heavy suspended tables. Such tables may seem "dark" and lacking in dynamics to some, but, to me, the good dampening of such tables results in quiet backgrounds, honest, accurate reproduction -- the extra juice in lightly suspended tables and some non-suspended tables becomes more akin to "noise" after extended listening. For the same reason, I like good record clamps and vacuum hold-down even more.
"I'm sure if you take away any part that was designed in there will be a change"....Could not agree more!
One of my good friends,who is a very experienced hobbyist,alweays claims(humorously)that even if one was to "put a banana" on the top of a speaker,it's presence would be heard!-:).....I love that statement-:)
The only "easy answer" to this hobby is...."it's fun"!
Some high mass unsuspended tables (like mine) work great on some springy wood floors (like mine). Other high mass tables on other floors might, or might not.

A suspended table also might, or might not, work well on a springy floor. It depends on the resonance frequency of the table and the frequency of vibrations coming from the floor. There is certainly a risk of interaction though.

Like Larryi, our preference is for the black backgrounds, solid bass and full dynamics of a high mass, unsuspended table. Getting "pace" or "prat" or "liveliness" by moving the table around beneath the cartridge is adding something to the music that's not in the grooves. After all, the cutting lathe was not mounted on some springy device.

True isolation in the playback environment is complex, individual and thus difficult to achieve with any non-tuneable, off the shelf solution. There's no pat answer to this one.

For what it's worth, Pierre at Mapleshade goes so far as to recommend replacing the springs on suspended tables with his brass cones - evidently another vote for non-suspended tables.
Dear Keith: I think that some way or other you already have different answers to your questions so maybe I will add " more of the same ", but I will do it anyway:

one of the best suspended TT example is the SME 30 I try it and it is very well isolated from internal/external unwanted vibrations/resonances/fast energy dissipation, I like it from an " audible level isolation performance ".
Iown some heavy mass non suspended TT's, two AS and the RX-5000 from MS, its quality level performance depend on the grade level of an add-on ( by your self ) isolation and I don't mean about rack types but the footers, the ones that come with those TT's are " terrible " for say the least and till you by-pass those own footers the quality performance is not good: I could say that is a poor performance for the price of the TTs.

I try very hard looking for the right or near the right footers/isolators till I find it through Audio technica pneumatic ones, I use it directly at the metal plynth and work very good but through the time and making " a non-expert tests " ( here we have to remember that the cartridge is a very sensitive micro that take micro-vibrations/resonances/noises that our ears can't detect but not because we can't detect it means those " noises " aren't there and we have to try to leave at minimum those " micro noises " to improve the quality sound performance level on the audio system. ) like hitting the rack ( with the stylus on a LP and volume at different high levels ) or hitting with my foot the floor I find that in both AS I can hear some thump level at the speakers so I decided to try something else and after several " try and error " I find that using those same AT pneumatic isolators along a 2" tiptoe ( at top of the At ) with the tiptoe "point/end " in touch with the metal TT plynth those sounds at the speker disappear totally, so it is in this way how are running my AS TT's and yes that " move " was/is a quality improve in the TT performance.
With the RX-5000 every thing is almost " ok " with out the tiptoes. My Luxman likes with the tiptoes inn.

Well, right now I'm running one of my Technics SP-10MK2 with a very simple wood type plynth ( atached to the SP10 base chasis ) of no more than 1.5" that is real function is for I can mount the tonearm, I put the AT pneumatic isolators ( with and with out tiptoes ) directly to the plynth and I can't avoid the thump/noise at the speakers, so I change the position/place of the AT pneumatic isolators instead on the wood plynth directly to the metal SP10 chassis ( in the lower/below part of the TT and with out tiptoes ) and the " noises " disappear, now the SP-10MK2 quality level performance is no less than fabulous!!!!

All these tell me that we ( users ) have to make " our work " at home because the TT builders don't do its " job " or at least not in the best professional way.

If you read somewhere ( example ) Micro Seiki and Walker recomended an additional platform ( for improve TT isolation ) to its TTs, how is this? when we pay " big big dollars " for those turntables.

Take any manufacturer TT website and read around and you only find ( including the one from Basis ): bla, bla, bla, bla, that means only that:bla blan nothing else that prove to us that bla bla!!!!, nothing that can prove/verify in a professional/technical way ( different enginnering level tests ) the TT isolation grade level where I can " see " the different TT mechanism to avoid different kind of internal/external vibrations/resonances/noises/ on their TTs, I think that all of them ( TT builders ) are avoiding of what it is a primary own responsability!!!.

IMHO I think that it is a shame of TT builders where we pay thousands and thousands of honest/clean dollars and no one of them make its work about or at least they don't share with their customers, I wonder why?

All these means that we are paying ( in the TT cases ) for an incomplete product about that subject!!!

IMHO I think and I'm sure that all those TT builders can/could make a better " job " that what are doing on the subject and I hope that if they do it in the near future that can help to everyoneto growing up in a better way trying to obtain a better quality level performance in any audio home system.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul, how do you say "blah" in Spanish? ;-)
"Getting pace or prat or liveness by moving the table beneath the cartridge is adding something to the music that's not in the grooves".....If this is actually true,then the particular table mfgr who designs "that" particular suspension deserves very few sales of that product!!!...Just like some arms,or cartridges,or any device has inferior or superior implementations,so DO the suspension designs as well.I doubt there is much movement in the Walker,Continuum,Rockport,the top Basis designs(Debut/Work of Art series),Blue Peal,Avid Acutus,SME's etc!All suspended designs!!ALL considered world class!!I cannot for the life of me,see how there is any platter/plinth movement beneath a cartridge,on "these" products,as a LP is spinning(has anyone actually measured this,or is it conjecture,and assumption?).....I've tried the cone route,and defeated the "superb" suspension of my SOTA COSMOS!The difference in performance(especially in bass power)was not even close.This was using a custom wall shelf,riveted into three 2x6 beams.We then tried the VPI TNT without a suspension,on a massive 300 lb floor stand,and compared it to an added air suspension.After that,we tried my friend's SOTA COSMOS,on an SRA rack,mounted on a concrete floor,with a Symposium Ultra platform beneath.Defeated the suspension,then with the "NEW" suspension employed on the series IV.Not close!!Once again,the suspension design was FAR superior in virtually every meaningful way!Each individual consumer should make their own choice,and really I have no stock holdings in any design,so my thoughts are simply just personnal experience,along with some other friends.Whatever suits you is fine.-:)
This is not to say that a non suspended design cannot sound great(anyone wanting to give me a Kuzma REF can E-mail me,and hear my shouts of joy),but some analyticl thinkers may be overanalyzing the subject a bit. -:)
It's not really over-analyzing. Moving the table, or allowing it to move, is exactly the principal behind a suspension. The idea is to sink the vibrations into the suspension, which I believe are eventually transfered into heat from the friction in the springs/air/fluid. The high mass solution ultimately results in the same product, heat. In either method it is possible to over-damp, under-damp, or damp just right. Sounds like Goldie Locks, but in simplest terms that's the idea.

I'm guessing los blah-mos since I get the impression turntable design is a masculine task. And besides, las blah-mas just doesn't sound right.
I do not consider the Walker to be a suspended design per se.
The Walker, Continuum and Rockport are not suspended designs.
Just because two of them may be placed on air-suspended platforms has little in common with the principles of true 'suspended design' turntables like the VPIs, Linn and Sotas.
To join the 3 turntables mentioned above as non-suspended....add in the Raven AC and you will see that probably the most recognised top 4 turntables available today, are un-suspended high-mass designs.
Removing the four air ball suspentions of the VPI TNT and coupling the
turntable with a symposium Ultra Platform via three sets of rollerblocks Jr.
and couplers takes the TNT to a much superior level of performance.
Based on what I've been able to prove to my own satisfaction by tweaking a VPI belt-drive TT, I'm in agreement with Halcro regarding the merit of a non-suspended TT, but sited on a platform that provides a decoupling suspension.

An unsuspended TT with a standalone motor, combined with a belt made of non-compliant material such as thread or tape, should in most cases have superior speed stability relative to a suspended table with a soft rubber belt. The unsuspended design fixes the geometry between motor & platter. With a suspended TT, geometry & belt tension change constantly with variations in torque on the belt caused by modulation in stylus drag and plinth movement in the lateral plane-- resulting in variations in pitch.

Nonetheless, decoupling the TT from earth is still beneficial. If you can rap the rack with your knuckles and hear the sound through the speakers while the stylus rests in the record groove, then it's likely that the rack is acting as an antennae for LF vibration from earth or from AC transformers on the lower shelves or from acoustic waves from the speakers. Most of this energy can be absorbed in very low-frequency vibration by placing the entire suspensionless TT & motor assy on a decoupling platform of air springs or mechanical springs.

As an ancillary benefit it's easy to level up the TT by shifting the springs around.

i can not compete with the technical discussions between the merits between the suspended versus non suspended models. But my experience with the michell gyrodec (suspended) versus Maplenoll ariadne (High mass nonsuspended) using the same cartridge (zyx airy3s), i preferred the sound from my maplenoll. Granted a lot of differences between the two tables and arm systems, but i found the maplenoll had a very black background and the bass response was far superior. My daughter is currently using my gyro and she loves it. I was very please with it during my tenure with the table. But i am sold on the high mass table. I have use the nonsuspended table on a second floor and will say it was more sensitive to floor vibrations than the gyro.
Dear Keith: IMHO I think that more that ask for " suspended vs unsuspended " could be more important for the quality sound reproduction performance level another factors like: platter build material, speed accuracy and speed stability, isolation to prevent ( internal/external ) resonances/vibrations/distortions/noises/colorations, tonearm facilities, warranty/support over time, free trouble operation over time ( years ) to come, etc, etc.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Keith: I forgot, a critical TT choice factor is: how much is your budget?

regards and enjoy the music.
The main reason why I enjoy Audiogon forum life(now that I realize there are "real" people on the other end of my computer screen)is it allows us to all give our own thoughts on every subject(obviously)....I am not about to be too stubborn to consider other viable thoughts,which surely have come up with this subject.
I might have my own way of viewing things "audio",but if I were too closed minded,I'd never have the kind of quality music now playing,in my room.
Most of "you" have definitely helped me realize there are legitimate alternate views,on this subject,as well as many other matters regarding "getting music" to sound like we'd like it to,in our homes.
Thanks for keeping me grounded!...Always much to ponder/think through,with my somewhat overly analytical "ways".
Best to all.
Rauliregas, I am budgeting about AUD$20k (US$17k) for the whole setup - T/T, arm, cartridge, phono stage, and stand. Should be enough to get me something decent, I think.
Hi Keith,

With that budget you can get the Raven AC together with the Australian Continuum Copperhead arm which quite frankly is astounding.
If you live in Sydney you are welcome to come to my place to hear the differences for yourself.

OH, BOY! Now we get to spend $17K of someone else's money! While I ponder my version of a shopping list I'll throw out some more things that can be pondered while visiting the porcelain throne.

I'm not intending to pick on Dgarretson here. I'm just trying to think out loud and see if I can resolve somethings to my benefit. The more I learn the more I know how much I don't know.

If I'm taking too much of a turn from the topic of Amfibius's thread I'll be happy to take this discussion to a new one.

regarding the merit of a non-suspended TT, but sited on a platform that provides a decoupling suspension.

Adding a suspension to a non-suspended table? If this does improve the performance of any table, what does that say about that table's implementation? Flip that around to those who find that removing the suspension from a table in favor of fixed feet. Again, what does that say for the table's build or design?

But then again, maybe it is the combination of the table and what it sits on. I have found that the material directly in contact with my table has a lot to do with the performance that I get from my analog system. Either way it seems to me that we still have to make our determinations about a table's setup and performance on a case by case basis since there are so many factors that affect what we get. Analog can definitely be a tweaker's dream or nightmare.

[quote] If you can rap the rack with your knuckles and hear the sound through the speakers while the stylus rests in the record groove, then it's likely that the rack is acting as an antennae for LF vibration from earth or from AC transformers on the lower shelves or from acoustic waves from the speakers. [/qoute]

I believe the natural frequency of the earth is around 6-8Hz. Well below the resonance of most arm/cart combinations. Don't think that's going to affect much in the audible range. However, I can see that if one lived on a busy city street or had a freeway right next door there perhaps may be some transfer of noise into the table.

I can't see how rapping my knuckles, a force of several ounces or more per square inch, can indicate that sound waves can be influencing anything through my table above the noise floor of my analog system as a whole. I agree that it tells me the wood I built my rack from is relatively easily excited.

Noise from other components on the same stand. That should be real easy to measure the difference. All one needs to do is measure the response through the speakers with the components in the stand and with the components not in the stand. Very easy to find out if the difference is above the noise floor or not. This iss assuming that the sensitivity of the measuring equipment is sufficient enough to record the difference. Even if the equipment is not, and more importantly, can your ears hear the difference?

Gives me something to ponder.
Have you got any clues as to what you would like? You mention a substantial budget. What do you already have, if anything? What would you like to improve and what do you listen to regarding genre and quality of your pressings?

Dan_ed, Admittedly, it is speculative to theorize concerning the impact of extreme LF seismic activity. However, though the effect of acoustic resonance & its harmonic content at frequencies above the fundamental LF tone is unpredictable, it is easy to observe anecdotally. A subwoofer or a stereo with good dynamics propagates strong vibrations at varying frequencies throughout the room: in the surface of racks, in the floors & window sashes, in the soft pillows of the couch, through one's foot, in the gut, etc. The TT platform, plinth and arm will all respond differently to this excitement. Tube microphonics is another common example. Whatever the merit of the knuckle-rap test, failure of this test evidences that the TT has not been isolated & suggests a probability that vibration at lesser amplitude is passing through the system. I'm panglossian enough to believe that it's better to pass than to fail this test. It’s not too much trouble to devise a decoupling platform that passes the test, and in so doing one may observe an audible improvement in focus and smoothness of HF. I doubt the improvement would be meaningfully confirmed in a frequency response test. An accelerometer on the TT would probably better indicate what’s happening.

I would posit that a sprung suspension is the best way to reliably dissipate vibration into benign LF mechanical energy. The mechanics of other more complex approaches involving constrained-layer damping are more complicated to execute reliably and with repeatable results in combination with the wide variety of rooms, platforms, racks & floor compositions in general use.

As one moves up the food chain to very expensive TTs (e.g. Rockport, Caliburn, Grand Prix), an integral platform and/or rack design becomes a holistic design element. My sense is that most standalone TTs are compromised partly by cost & partly in order to optimize performance independent of siting issues. With belt-drive TTs, there might also be trade-offs between the sometimes competing design goals of transient speed stability & resonance control. As remarked by one TT pro in these forums, even small amounts of compliance in a TT suspension (such as rubber footers under a motor) sacrifice speed stability by creating an unstable geometry between motor & platter.

A suspensionless TT on top of a decoupling platform is at least one way to separate variables that affect speed stability and resonance control, and to reconcile these two design goals. I was myself skeptical of the approach, but positive feedback from owners of unsprung tables like Raven and Scout TTs (who counter-intuitively found benefits even in combination with wall racks and concrete floors) confirmed my own results with a modded unsuspended VPI TNT. If one accepts that TT and platform/rack are a system, it’s not much of a stretch to justify tweaking individual design elements in each as to logically complement each other. The question of whether this transgresses the immaculate conception of an original designer is a matter for religion.
"The question of whether this transgresses the immaculate conception of an original designer is a matter for religion."

well put!
Posts like these are the very reason I read this forum. Excellent job, Dgarretson!
DCstep I only know what kind of sound I am after, but I don't know how to achieve it. I want something which is transparent, detailed and dynamic with good extension high and low. Dynamics are most important, because I enjoy a punchy sound. I do not need or want anything that sounds warm, mellow, etc. because my system already sounds warm and mellow. At the same time it should not be too etched or analytical. I listen to classical music and jazz, and I have been accumulating records without a turntable to play it on.

As for the budget - I forgot to mention that it has to include a record cleaning machine. I do not think that AUD$20k is that large a budget if it has to include all those things.

With respect to everyone, I am also wary of asking for equipment recommendations on internet forums because I will be inundated with suggestions with no idea how to evaluate them. I know that it's all good natured and helpful, but it can be confusing. I limit my questions to specific bite sized chunks that I can handle :) This thread has already told me that it does not matter if T/T's are suspended or not - it is the implementation that matters. Also, suspended designs or high mass designs may have an advantage if I have springy floorboards. This in itself is valuable information - at a stroke it eliminates a large number of turntables from contention.


Keith,in all honesty I'd seek out a good dealer,who might be so inclined to give you a trial product.That is the ONLY way,other than conjecture,to evaluate something that might suit your tastes!
I am lucky to have a close friend who has an almost identical system as me.Fortunately(for me),he is obsessed with spending money on this hobby,so he is used as the proverbial guinea pig.-:)
You have a better shot with a "reliable dealer"!
Dear Keith: +++++ " I want something which is transparent, detailed and dynamic with good extension high and low....."+++++

IMHO, one way or the other, those characteristics are almost what every one of us are looking ( between others ) and IMHO that depend on the whole system performance and not on the TT alone.

+++++ " Dynamics are most important, because I enjoy a punchy sound..."+++++

This is one critical characteristic that make a huge difference between live music and reproduced music!!! and again that " punchy " sound depend on what it is on the recording and the whole system performance.

+++++ " do not need or want anything that sounds warm, mellow, etc. because my system already sounds warm and mellow. At the same time it should not be too etched or analytical. " +++++

do you like that " warm mellow " sound?, you don't say it, because if you don't like it there are some answers that will be different if you like it.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Sirspeedy despite living in the second largest city in Australia, the local dealers who are supposed to represent the brands usually do not carry demonstration stock. I need something a bit more concrete than what the dealer says. I think you can understand where I am coming from :)

Rauliregas, I do like the warm and mellow sound - but my system has enough of that as it is and I do not want any more. In fact I have been trying to "cool down" the tonal balance a little bit by tube rolling. As for the rest of my system - it is probably nearly as good as it gets. Minus a few issues, it is more transparent than any other system I have heard.

That budget warrants some travel,if necessary, to some of the best dealers in Asia. Plow through all the reviews that you can find. Stereophile and Absolute Sound have archived most of their reviews and there are several very good internet mags. I'd suggest rolling around in those for a week or two to see what tweaks your interest and then try to seek out dealers for the things of interest.

Also, if there are audiophile clubs in your large city you might visit one to see what everyone is using and perhaps hear for yoursel.

The former is a Mk4 and the latter a 'Classic' and I'd have to say it as little to do with whether the table is suspended or not but how well is it designed and built. It's kind of like comparing front wheel to rear wheel drive. That said, since a suspended table is more complex in design and fabrication, for the same budget I'd buy a non suspended TT. It would only make sense that suspension is going to cost more, unless cheaply done....something I would avoid.

Sure the Oracle with SME V arm beats the WTT in dynamics, blackness and detail but then the rig costs about 3x more.
Yeah, don't focus on the construction theory, just try to get somewhere that you can listen to a few in your price range and buy what strikes your fancy.

Amfibius, I don't know if you've said this before or not but have you had any experience with vinyl?
Keith,two of my experienced friends approach the hobby differently.I was just at both of their homes this week........
Friend #1 spends,makes mistakes,than sells what he does not like.He has a great set-up,now,but has had errors along the way.He is almost in a constant state of considering new changes.
My friend Sid,has a different take,which he adheres to ADAMANTLY...he purchases nothing new,until he compares it to his current set-up!He spends the rest of his money on new music,for his incomparable collection.
Who do you think has spent the most time,and wasted more money on equipment?
More importantly,you don't have to guess who has a more "involving" set-up!!
Yes,I do understand your plight,but with big time expenses,there is always a seller willing to "be a good dealer"!!
Good luck.
Rbatsch, your comment makes sense. Thank you.

Dan_ed, I have had a turntable before, but I sold it. It was a Sota Sapphire, with Sumiko FT-4 arm and Sumiko Blue Point Special cartridge. Nothing is left of my original T/T rig.

Sirspeedy I am familiar with both your friends because I know people like them :)
Keith I don't know what you thought of the Sapphire and if you'd go with a Sota product again, but to me they would be a good match for what you're trying to do. You seem to need a suspended table, so if you were to move up in the Sota line, you could get better sound, and a better platform for arm and cart. The reason I recommend the Sota though is if you get to the place where you no longer require a suspended table you can simply cancel the suspension with something like a Stillpoint bearing, or Symposium Rollerblock.

Have you been watching the TTs for sale here? I just sold my Cosmos, but there are good products for sale on a regular basis... and that will help with your 20kAUD budget.



Either design type will benefit greatly from a top drawer isolation device. You should plan a major hunk of your budget for such a device. Each level of isolation that you add raises the isolation at the cartridge pretty dramatically.

I can see this easily in my own system by rapping the shelf in my armoire with the stylus in a silent groove. I have to rap very hard to hear anything through the system. Next, when I wrap the isolation platform I can hear it more easily, but it's still highly muted. Finally, when I rap the plinth I hear it quite readily but the stylus still tracks.

If there's basement below you listening room, you might put in some extra support below the system and immediately around it. In a rental house, long ago, one 4X4 pole, stratically placed, did wonders.

Take your time, but we're really interested to hear what you finally do. This is a sizeable expenditure that warrant careful study.

Here's my .02. Get the best table, arm and phono stage you can for now. You can always add a better platform and cartridge latter. If you're handy you can easily build a decent RCM for less than $100.

Maybe break it down to 14K for table and phono stage, 5K for an arm, and let the last 1K buy you a cartridge. I'm sure others will have opinions on this as well.