The Best $10,000.00 Table + Cartridge

I need some help to buy the best sounding table + cartridge with $10.000.00, i can go a little over just in case.
My vote: A VPI Aries 3, with a Dynavector 507 MKII arm, and one of the top Dynavector carthridges. They say it is a 'magic' combination...

Add-in the SDS speed controller, periphery ring clamp, and the Super Platter and you should be set for some time to come...
How about a little more information?

Such as:

Do you wish to buy new or used?

Do you need a tone arm to go with the table and cartridge, or do you already have one?
(I assume you need one, but since you specifically did not mention it, I thought it prudent to ask.)

Do you have a phono preamp, or is that going to need to come out of the $10,000 as well?
(If you have one, it will help us quite a bit if you'll tell us what it is.)

Do you need a suspended table (like I do, since my little girl loves to dance to the music), or do you prefer a suspensionless design?

Do you have a record cleaning machine (RCM) already, and the other supplies you'll need? (i.e. brushes, fluids, etc.)
And, if you need a RCM, do you care if it is manual (i.e. inexpensive), or do you want fully automatic (i.e. expensive). Do you care if it is noisy (i.e. most are), or do you require a relatively quiet design? (i.e. only the most expensive designs are relatively quiet.)

Are you going to set up the table, arm and cartridge yourself, (in which case you'll need setup equipment, unless you already have it), or will you have a friend or dealer do it for you?

If you'll fill in the blanks, we can certainly help you spend your money!

Kurt Tank has some very good points but I will throw My 2 cents in anyway and say you should look at Basis turntables . I would think at the price point you set the Basis 2001 or 2200 look great I own a 2001 with a Graham arm. I think the Graham and the Basis Vector arm go great with a Basis Table .I think we need more info to pick a cartridge for you many good choices out there. We need to know what pre and phono amp's you have really along with the rest of your system. Marc
Go for a Welltempered reference or a Kenwood L-07D and save the cash for software or any other piece of gear your heart is set on?
I can't tell you what to do however, I can tell you what I would do:

Option #1

Galibier Serac/Artisan Tonearm/Dynavector 17d3....$4,600
Loricraft PRC 3 RCM (Currently on sale)...........$2,370
Art Audio Vinyl One...............................$2,400

Total = $9,370

Good luck!
Read the stereomojo review on the Raven One and see if you don't become obsessed, like i've now become, with owning one.

w/o knowing anything about your system, my other obsession right now is Mike Elliot's new Aria phono/line pre.
Like Kublakhan, after reading the review and actually hearing the Raven One + Graham Phantom combination at a friend's house I had to have one!

So I now have the Raven One + Graham Phantom + Dynavector XX2 on order! Given the demand, I don't expect delivery until September but I know it is going to be worth the wait. Total package was a little over $10,000 but I am looking at this as my last table/arm.

It is at least worth your time to give Jeff Catalano a call at High Water Sound. He is a great guy, very knowledgeable and could put together a Raven One package for you (arm + cart) within your budget.

You have to be nuts including a VPI Aries 3 in a $10K turntable/tonearm/cartridge combination.

i'm somewhere in with jazdoc. you can go a LOT of ways though. The vintage route is getting over priced but then so is the high end route. You could get a thorens 124 and a 3009 arm and a custom plinth too. I would reccomend a galibier as thom nt only builds great stuff but is good at finding things in your price range to help out.

the vinyl one is a cool stage but not for everyone!
This is pure speculation, but I think it's a fun concept to contemplate:

How about:

KAB-modified SL1200 Mk2 ($475) plus outboard PSU ($250), threaded record clamp ($149), strobe disabler ($50), and Isonoe Feet ($175) = $1099. This provides a very quiet, speed-stable platform.

Tonearm: Origin Live Technics armboard ($89)
Origin Live Conqueror Tonearm ($4285)

Dynavector XV1-S ($4500) and a perfect 10 Hz resonance match


Actually, I'm sure that there is a big range of carts from, say, the $1195 Cartridge Man MusicMaker to the $5K range of MC carts that could sing with this combo.

And don't forget to oil the motor bearing and slap on a better mat, anything from a Herbies to a Boston or Audio Technica AT6278.
Audiofiel is as it again...
There is no best at any price point. In the range your asking about there are a ton of choices that come down to personal preference. Find a good dealer and let him help you.
LOL - Audiofeil, I luv ya, but how bout a bit more elaboration?
06-20-08: Rccc
There is no best at any price point. In the range your asking about there are a ton of choices that come down to personal preference.
True. They all have compromises--belt drive, rim drive, direct drive, mass-loaded, suspended, 9" arm, 12" arm, etc.

You need to hear the sonic signatures of the various design philosophies (and their executions) and go for a good representative of the type the presents music the most like you perceive it.

Please explain your so called expert opinion. Inquiring minds would like to know.
Come on - you want a table, arm and cart all for under $10K?

This is an audiophile forum. We're interested in quality playback, and I'm afraid on such a tight budget you'll basically be getting a few notches above the model sold by Kenner in the 60's. I believe it was called the "Close and play"

Of course your "starter" LP rig will be more gentle on LP's than the Kenner model, and will probably offer some method of adjusting tracking force, which I don't believe the Kenner had.

In the impossible task of suggesting a table, as someone already suggested, the budget model TW Acustic may fit your bill. It is quite austere looking and offers "no frills" playback.
You will be able to discern the various instruments recorded on the LP, but don't expect much in the way of fidelity. A halfway decent arm would use up the rest of your budget, leaving almost nothing for a cart.

Don't use a ceramic stylus - we use diamond styli around here. See if you can swing it.

I really feel for your predicament, perhaps you can avoid listening to music for a while and get a paper route to save up the extra cash necessary to get decent sound. But then again I'm severely sleep deprived and overworked this week and there are a lot of zero's in the title of this thread, and I'm not good with decimal points.


Please explain your so called expert opinion. Inquiring minds would like to know.

I think he means that VPI is an over-priced, over-advertised, mid-fi brand that is no match for comparably priced products from companies like Teres, Galibier, and Basis. But I will let Bill speak for himself.
Lots of bad feelings it appears around VPI... Despite feelings or irrational 'emotions', try putting a Dynavector 507 on an Aries 3 and then LISTEN to it...your feelings about overpriced, over advertised, and mid-fi performance will change most likely change...

Don't knock what you haven't heard... :)


If $10,000.00 is Jopi88's budget that's his budget. You coming off like a snob doesn't add any value to what he's trying to accomplish. I thought this was a forum where someone could come for help and/or insight. Maybe it's best you take your sleepy butt to bed and return with helpful answers instead of insults... From one New Yorker to another.
Jmo, you missed the point of Emailists' post. It was humor, and good humor, too. Unless your reply was also a joke, in which case...oh, never mind.

I'm with Kublakhan, also lusting for the Raven One.

I accidentally deleted Option #2 from my original post. Here is the corrected post:

I can not tell you what to do, however, I can tell you what I would do:

Option #1:

Galibier Serac/Artisan Tonearm/Dynavector 17d3....$4,600
Loricraft PRC 3 RCM (Currently on sale)................$2,370
Art Audio Vinyl One................................................$2,400

Total = $9,370

Option #2 (If you already own a RCM and a phono stage):

Raven One........................................$5,500
Schoeder Model 2 Tonearm............~$2,600
Denon 103R.......................................$ 380

Total = $8,480

Good luck!
Hi Jopi88,
[ The Best $10,000 Table + cartridge ]

Your question leaves a few unanswered ones that need to be addressed.

Are you new to vinyl play back?

If not, do you already own a phonostage and tone arm?

If so , what make and model are they?

If not, come on back and explain exactly what your looking for.

I'm absolutely positive you will get some straight forward great advice from some of the members that have already replied to your post here.

As for me, the best $10,000 table and cartridge are the TW Raven One and the Dynavector DRT XV-1s.
Cartridge Jan Allaerts MC1B mkII
Phono pre Array audio PH-2
Turntable Transrotor fatbob

Not really sure how much each item would cost.
Well I guess JMO must have glossed over my post and didn't get the fact that I was kind of poking fun at ALL of us. I just find it a bit humorous all the money we spend - and in fact how much it really does cost to get first rate analog playback.

As far as Jazzdoc's suggestion about the Schroder 2, I think that suggestion is for someone who who already has an arm. The backorder is very long.

Jopi - I wish you luck in assembling your system. I'm sure whatever you end up with will bring you a tremendous amount of enjoyment. I would definitely include a VPI 16.5 in the budget - yes a record cleaning machine is indispensable, but the Loricraft is too pricey to include, (I think anyway and I own one)
I went to a *so called* high end audio store for the first time in over four years. What a waste of time...some jerk mentioning the price of each and every item I was looking at! And then, when I explained that nothing in the store could match the life and breath of a four monoblock sat/sub system there was disbelief. Of course, if you sell an expensive German sub and place one in the corner...

I'll gladly send the man who wants to spend 10K there!


My mistake you are correct I did just gloss over your post and I responded before I had my caffeine fix. Damn, that caffeine back to the oj to start my mornings. :O)
JMO, I never used the word "expert". That's your characterization.

My opinion is based on ownership of over 100 turntables over the past 50 years.

Undoubtedly there are participants here with more vinyl experience than me.

But not many.

And certainly not you or Stringbean.

Thanks for your comments.
How about a McIntosh MT10 and the right $2000 turntable stand? There was one that Art Dudley raved about (tt stand), but I'm too tired to look it up.
With due respect to all of the opinons voiced above, I think that one thing that everyone is overlooking is what I call 'system synergy' or just plain matching... Everyone (and especially anyone that has owned a huge number of different components over the years) must know that you cannot judge stereo components on price alone. Over the last 30 years I have personally audtioned a significant variety of preamps, amps, CD players, and countless different speaker designs and I have found a lot less relationship to $$$ and performance than you might imagine. For example, I have brought in a variety of amps, stereo and mono blocks, both tube and solid state, SET, EL34, 6550, etc... and units costing as much as 5 times what I have today; and none of them sounded better or were a more of a synergistic match than the mono blocks I purchased in 1997 (and still use today).

What does this have to do with the "best" TT and cartridge for $10k; everything! The key to a high performing stereo rig is much less driven by cost than it is by the careful audition and matching of the components that as a whole form a system that is 'greater than the sum of its parts.' And don't make the mistake of overlooking the size and type of room which is critical in this entire process!

My experience over the last 30 years or so in this insane pursuit has been that the very best systems tend to be the ones that do not change a great deal or very often over time. If you are buying and using a 100+ of any component then that leads me to belive that you just haven't found that 'synergy' or that you are very obviously facing some other challenges...

When your rig gets 'right,' when the system synergy gets there, you don't move ahead by constantly inserting new gear; if you do then something is wrong!

I'm not saying that you won't upgrade or make improvements over time; most likely you will as technology and materials improve (although CD was the 'perfect sound forever' technology and we see where it is going; out!)

Every single TT made by VPI is far better than 'average mid-fi' and far better than most other so called 'hi-end' brands. Take a good table like the Aries 3 and put a world class arm like the DV 507 on it (also recommened for the TW-Acoustic tables) and what you get is a solid synergistic match that will shine in many, many rigs... Will it shine in your rig; who knows? But, before you label it as 'nuts', you should really get that piece and listen to it...

In other words, the number of components you've personally owned or audtioned over time is certainly important for the formation of a basis for the understanding and recognition of true high-fidelity, emotionally moving sound; experience does matter here. But, until you put that component into your room and your rig, you really can't comment on the 'truth' it will deliver...
I totally endorsed what Stickman451 said.

Eventually for every audiophile, system synergy and componement matching is the final goal down the road. Identical equipment may sound very different from room to room. How you place your equipment coupled with room synery/acoustics and knowledge/experience about music plays a vital role in deciding what direction you are at. Pricy gears do not guarantee good sound in your room, but will give an indication how good it can sound.

06-23-08: Stickman451
With due respect to all of the opinons voiced above, I think that one thing that everyone is overlooking is what I call 'system synergy' or just plain matching...
I absolutely agree, and that's why I suggested the McIntosh, because it is a matched, integrated system. But since it's $8K, one could spend the other two grand on a worthy stand or platform. And I say that because only the stratospherically priced turntables include a table or stand (or provide it as an option) to optimize performance.
Well I was going to recommend that Basis 2200 Sig. with a Vector IV Arm and a suitable cartridge of your choice, but there's an ad (or auction) for this combination at $1800.00 price at this site. If true, this would be fantastic. i got this site by googling a Basis 2200.

The one that you like the best.