TT/ cartridge recommendations $1000

I recently bought a Rogue 99/88 preamp/amp combo and Meadowlark Shearwater Hot Rod speakers and want to enjoy my old vinyl again. Can I get a new TT/cartridge combo that will work well with this combo for about $1000 or less ? Thanks for your recommendations.
An older used Well Tempered Classic is a good start and a used Benz Micro Glider will work well.I have this combow with Rogue 120/66 and Coincident speakers.I love the sound of vinyl on this combo.A REGA Planner 3 is also a good start with an appropriate cartridge.
Modified Technics SL-1200MK2 W/fluid me if u want details. Totally high end w/in budget.
Ditto on the Well Tempered. Stay away from the Technics; it'll be worth zero on the used market - unless that doesn't matter to you. For cartridge: Grado (sealed on used market) or Koetsu Black (w/ low hours from original owner)or Glider.
The modified 1200 is unrivaled in its price class. It's reliable, musical, has a service manual, parts and will handle low output MC cartridges. Totally non-Voodoo. Will last a lifetime...I bought it as my last TT. It's used by serious audiophiles all over the world. Right now about a thousand are made each month. Unrivaled production numbers in the analog world (therefore its high performance/price ratio). Goto
not to put the 1200 down but its not an audiophile grade tt. the arm and bearings are just a little to massive and crude. damper or no, the money can be more wisely spent on say a music hall mmf5 ($500 incl cart), or something more refined on the used market.
the $100 market can produce some fine results if the mney is carefully spent.
Tommy, I gave this issue some serious thought. I also looked at the MMF-5, Rega P/3, Sumiko Projects and the Sota Comet. My final choices came down to the Sota Comet or the Technics. Musicality was only one of the many variables involved in my decision. I know the tonearm is one of its musically weak points. Service life, parts availability, reliability and 'fun to use factor' influenced my choice. The 1200 is a fun TT. Girl friendly, too! ┬┐Comprende?

I just got a used marble cutting board at an estate sale for $15. It is over 5/8" thick. I'll put a bicycle tube under it and my Technics will be isolated (another musically weak point). There's an audiophile from Italy that is saying his modified 1200 rivals his SME setup. Some serious words...

Right now my 1200 beats my Cambridge D300-SE CDP. I'm only using a $49.95 Grado Presige Blue...just wait till I get a MC cartridge and the tonearm damper...

if yure patient, ewe can find an older oracle w/a decent arm, that whencoupled w/a decent cartridge like an ortofon mc25-fl, will still be in the $1k ball park. and, ewe can upgrade it to latest specs as budget allows. & ewe can keep an eye out for a low-hrs used spendy cartridge. or, if ya prefer a vpi mk-iv, or a wacuum sota or a well-tempered, or ??? i tink someting like this will be yer best sonic bang-for-buck.

doug s.

Agreed, but I wanted new and that IRS refund was itching in my pocket!
sorry, psychic - no way i could drop $1k on a gnu 'table, when so-much-better sound can be had w/a used 'table. and sure, a 1200 may be cool looking & chick-friendly, but have ya seen an oracle lately? ;~)

regards, doug s.

Oh, yeah...impressive...but it's still belt drive. I love Quartz DDs...

Back to sound, I don't want anymore an endless qwest for sound quality. Just want to recreate the 'spirit of the music' in a little apartment living room. My humble JMlab Tantal 509s are looking and sounding good on top of the Lovan Ballet III stands, I'll have my Proton pre and dual mono amp serviced and later buy a high end preamp. Not bad for what I'm spending. No need to spend more, either.

If you want to get into used stuff, I bought a Proton 600T Preamp/Video Tuner, its remote and the model 690 decoder for $40 at a pawn shop! Also a mint Audio Control 520 EQ for $20. I am going to have audio and video in the same room, but as separate systems. Got to stay realistic. That deal will never happen setting up systems based on used prices is not fair. I could get an Oracle from a crackhead for $20 if I'm really patient..

Get my point of view?
hi psychic,

belt drive is an *adwantage*, imho... prior to getting my oracle, i *almost* bit at a nakamichi dragon - prolly wooda done it if it were belt drive insted of direct-drive... :>) re: the endless quest for sound, i'm also done... at least in the turntable dept... ;~)

re: setting up systems w/used components, no, i *don't* get yer point of view. only my subwoofer system is comprised of components bought gnu, cuz i tink they're a bargain, even when compared w/the competition at used prices. patience *does* pay off - what yure looking foe *will* turn up, sooner rather than later. while i doubt yude *ever* get an oracle for $20, there *is* one f/s rite now on a-gon, a mk-lll, w/a linn itok arm, asking price is $1450, been here for 16 daze now... a mk-l, like the one i got, w/a lesser arm, is *not* at all uncommon for $1k. also, a couple linn sondeks, vpi's, a reddy-to-go rega 25 w/dynawector cartridge, & a bunch of others for $1k or less.

i can understand the feeling ewe have for that 1200; cool - i have the same affection for my oracle. the fact that it totally smoked my way-more-than-decent highly-modded cj walker 'table that it replaced was icing on the cake - i bought it for its looks! ;~)

regards, doug *cheap* sedon

At the risk of inducing a littany of negatives (don't care), I'll give my .02. To answer the question of whether or not a *good sounding* (subjective assessment) TT/arm/cartridge can be had for this system, I'd say probably not. Why would you set your sights so low for the front end after putting together a pretty damn decent pre/amp/speakers?? I firmly believe in putting the lions share of resources into the source. I'll steer clear of cliches' here, but I would strongly recommend taking additional time to save, scrimp, whatever and put about 3k (if possible, but at least 2K) into a good analog front end. Oracle, VPI, Linn (god forbid), Basis etc can be found used in this price range, and the musical satisfaction wrought by the additional investment will well be worth it in the long run (IMHO). Cheers, -John
Musicdoc.I disagre.For 1K used I bought a Well Tempered clasic with the Clasic tonearm and a BenzMicr Glider with low hours on it.
I have had CD/DAC combos worth 3/4k which where trashed by the 1K viynl rig.
Thanks for all the feedback folks. You're right Music Doc I have but some bucks into this system. I don't want to totally cheap out on this but on the other hand every person has their limits and $3K is just too much for a new front end for me. I might spring for $1500 at most. Most of my listening will still be CDs.

Could any of you share your thoughts:1) on a Rega Planar 3 with the Rega Elys cartridge vs the Shure V15VxMR vs a Goldring 1042 ?
or would I be better off to

2)Go to a good reliable source(dealer) for a used Well Tempered or VPI ?

Thanks again. I have learned a ton on Audiogon and appreciate all the thoughtful comments. Big O
leafs, yer analog rig will compete succesfully w/the best redbook cd rigs out there, at *any* price.

bigo, *definitely* go used, yer ears will thank ya for it! ;~)

doug s.

Leafs: Your situation is indeed a rarity, and I'm happy for you that you scored a good rig on the cheap.
Bigo: If you're willing to go 1.5K, then I'd advise using something like a Grado Prestige series cartridge on a 1.5K used table and arm. You can always upgrade the cartridge later when funds allow. Perhaps a good used table and a new Origin Live modified Rega RB-250 would fit the bill.

Come to think of it, another line that you may consider is the Eurokit (renamed Scheu) tables marketed by Audio Advancements. Their entry-level table with an O.L. arm might fit the budget, and all indications are that they sound pretty good. Just a thought, -John
hi musicdoc,

my oracle cost me $850 w/a grace 727 tonearm & some decent mm cartridge i don't even remember, cuz i told the dealer to keep it. 'course, i spent money on it to have it updated to to mk-v specs (everyting except the power supply), so, the final cost (including shipping & a gnu box purchased from oracle) was $1250. excellent analog rigs *can* be found for around $1k...

regards, doug s.

How does a VPI Jr with a Audioquest PT7 arm and Benz micro glider sound, 2 yrs old for about $1000 ?
I would bet it sounds pretty good - a caveat being to check out the stylus on the Glider. The VPI Jr. is a good choice, as it has the upgrade path option if you decide to pursue vinyl more seriously. I also believe that the AQ arm can be upgraded to PT8 with a phono cable substitution. I've not heard it but it has a good rep. The Glider is a pretty good cart. I had a LO.4 and was quite happy with it. Also, make sure that the output of the Benz is compatible to your phono stage.
Happy Listening, -John
bigo, this sounds like a good deal. but, for me personally, if i were looking for a good used analog set-up, i'd be more inclined to look for a better 'table, w/a less-good cartridge, & upgrade the cartridge at a later date. i.e., perhaps try to find a vpi mk-iv w/a retail-price cartridge of ~$200, instead of the jr. w/a cartridge that retails for $750 like the glider... but, as musicdoc states, the vpi jr *is* upgradable...

doug s.

Its been a long time since I bought an analog front end, but my past experience was that an upgraded cart. always had a major impact on the sound. Course this was with MM on 70s era AR and Dual TTs.
swamp, yure rite about that. back in ~'77, i took my ol' dual 1229 to the local ann-arbor stereo-shop to trade in on a *real* belt-drive 'table. 'couple hours later, i came home w/the dual, & a $100 m/m ortofon cartridge (big money for a cartridge, in those daze, especially for a college-student). the improvement over my industry-standard shure m91ed was truly amazing.

today, tho, especially if buying used (it's kinda *iffy* buying a used cartridge), i tink i'd make my choice as stated above. my $225 (purchased gnu) ortofon mc25-fl, really is a nice cartridge. as i've mentioned elswhere on these threads, i have a symphonic-line re-tipped lyra clavis that's yet to see playing-time, cuz i'm content w/the ortofon. 'course, i may be really blown away by the improvements when i get around to hooking it up... ;~)

regards, doug s.

Thanks again for the input. You have helped consider some points I would not have thought of as a new audio enthusiast. One more question guys.
I still have my Dual 1237 from the 1980s. If I replaced my cartridge with lets say a Goldring 1042 or Rega Elys could I expect a reasonable sound ? I am also planning to buy a record cleaner like the Nitty Gritty Reocrd Master or 1.0. Any comments about that ? Thanks in advance. Len
animal, hi end the 1200 is NOT. damped or not. for my $1k, i scored a vpiHW19III/smeIVw damping/sumiko virtuoso dtiVDH/mit cable w/WBTs. lucky is the word. look here in audiogon for way better TTs than ANY technics.
its not that they arent ok, just not truly hi end. the tt bearings, dd, arm bearings just arent up to the hi end standard.
that the 1200 has detachable, universal headshell is fun so you can change out carts, the finer carts qualities just wont come thru on the 1200s arm.
animal, i dont mean to be your oponent here. with any table, musicality should be near the top of the priority list. this can be accomplished with the 1200 without deluding yourself like the guy forom italy. in NO way does the 1200 approach the sme setup.
the arm weakness can be overcome by using a vi5Vxmr. it will isolate the cart somewhat and damping wont be needed as the brush system does just that. j+r music world is selling these for about $219.
most arms comewith a cuing lever, that can make it GIRL FRIENDLY. ;^)
the marble slab with the tube is good but may be unstable. i found that the swim toys from toysRus hav arm floaties (2 per pak, youll need 2 paks) aranged one in each corner, adjusted for levleness, COMPLETELY isolate my phase llinear straight line tracking tt form the cabinet! cheeeeeeeep, and verrrrry effective, although not pretty. cheeeeep is good, especially when it works.
sedond, nice face!
PSYCHIC-animal, that is, Tommy...

Remember, compare oranges to oranges, apples to apples. I paid $450 + tax for my armored beast--it will outperform those TTs made in that second world country with a strange name, as well as British made particle board TTs. It will also outlive them...

It's not fair to compare the modified 1200 rig to used VPIs and the like. For what I paid I got a bad ass deck. Fun, good sounding, long lasting and rugged.

I'll let you guys how my rig far it's looking good.
Doug, I'm predicting that the S-Line Clavis you have in the closet will blow you out of the room! Not that the MC25 is bad...

Bigo, given your nice set-up, I'll second the used: (by descending order of $$investment) TT -> arm -> (cheapo) cartridge propositions.

Among others mentioned, Nottingham also makes nice TTs.

Ofcourse, deals like Tommy's, Leafs', or Psychic's, are great... but your musical tastes may determine what's better for you. $1,5k may require you compromise in the beginning (cartridge?) but it doesn't mean you have no chance.

Good luck!
There you go, Greg! In my case, the recording will still be the limiting factor, even if using a modified 1200...therefore, I chose the convenience and reliability of Quartz Lock Direct Drive.
bigo, years ago (1977?!?), i spent $100 on an ortofon in lieu of getting a gnu 'table to replace the 1229. it *did* make a big difference... a gnu cartridge may tide ewe over until that great deal on a used 'table comes along...

gregm, i sure *hope* that s-line clavis blows me away! ;~) and, pink triangles are also excellent, don't tink they've been mentioned either. the mapleknoll 'tables, while a pita w/their air-bearing arm/platters, are also giant-killers.

psychicanimal, nuttin' more conwenient and reliable than a one-switch on-off button, imho. the oracle's awreddy seen 20+ years w/o a glitch - no reason it won't go 20 more years! :>) btw, dint ya do a bunch of upgrades to yer technics?

sylmar-tommy, this one's fer ewe: ;~)

doug s.

ps - psychic, wpfw in dc, does a "latin-flavor" show m-f 9-10; all cuban last nite! my onix tuna w/soap power supply & aps roof-mount antenna will smoke that 1200 of yers! ;~)

Never, rig is sounding better and better. Bill of GTT Audio says it will rival $10K systems. I can see that happening now...If I was into archival recording I'd get an Oracle, no doubt in my mind. But for spinning vinyl, the 1200. I am also buying a parametric EQ for my rig. Yeah.

We blew the tonearm rewiring...had to order new assembly. Oh, well, lesson learned...don't f*** with it. Not worth it.

Send me your mailing address...
I bought the VPI Jr with the Benz Glider here on Audiogon and expect to receive it this weekend. Thanks for your advice. I have learned alot from the many experienced audiophiles here on Audiogon and am enjoying the benefits of the "high end". Big O aka Len
congrats bigo, i tink yule be in winyl bliss! ;~) and, if the upgrade bug bites again, the vpi jr has a path to lead ya! that arm's wiring can be upgraded as well.

happy listening, doug s.

Good move, Bigo Len! BTW, a friend has adjusted vertical tracking on the Glider a tad (a FEW degrees) forward -- says it's the correct angle... you may want to try!

Hey, with a lot of luck and looking out you can sometimes get a truly ridiculous deal on stuff...I just got a VPI Mk-IV with a Grado s-curve tonearm (not sure of the model) a Grado reference series cartridge (again not sure of the specific model)custom sound damping a VPI power line conditioner a VPI 16.5 record cleaner and top notch cables all for $150 in perfect contion. I haven't been able to find specific prices on most of this stuff, but the record cleaner and cartridge alone total a minimum of $800 so it's gotta be a few grand worth. If anyone has any info on this TT or tonearm I would really apreciate it cause I cant seem to find very much.
my best advice is get a second hand lp12 ittok, and mount the mc 20 or better as i did the mc25 fl on it my rig with that combo includes an out board ps for the linn, if you are good as do it you selfer you can build one as i did, and boy you will enjoy your vinyl call it classical, jazz ,rock you wont regret it
This thread is more than five years old! (the original discussion).

I just wanted to comment on that S-shaped Grado tonearm. Is it this one?

That was their top-of-the-line signature tonearm which was produced from 1984 to 1997. I believe it cost 500$ when it first came out. It has the unusual feature that you can set dynamic and static VTF independedly.

Or maybe it isn't that arm?