Rega RP - 3 is nice.
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Hi finally getting a turn table! I have a NAD 356 amp with totem Sttaf speakers. What do you recommend to go with this setup and similar price point?Your budget is a similar price point to what? The amp or the speakers?
Its just not the TT you have to consider. The cartridge is equally responsible for the final result. And your NAD C356 does not have a phono stage, so you you have to budget for one of these also. And this is just as important too.
$500 is just the entry level with new TT's these days and you get what you pay for - these decks would end up being the weak link relative to the rest of your gear.
So I would set your budget at or around the MSRP of your speakers. Besides the Rega RP-3, also look at the VPI Scout Jr., Clearaudio Concept, Sota Comet, Music Hall 7.3 and the Pro-ject Classic.
Good MM only phono stages can be found starting around 200 bucks such as the Pro-ject Phono Box S, NAD PP4, Musical Fidelity V90LPS up to the Graham Slee Graham Amp 2.
Good luck and have fun. Vinyl can be very engaging and sound amazing when done right.
I have a great Linn Basik/Akito bought used that cost less than 500 bucks, I get astonishing results from an underrated Sumiko Pearl cartridge, and have heard a new U-Turn Audio table that sounded killer for around 450 bucks with an Ortofon 2M Red included. Don’t listen to the budget naysayers…my Cambridge 640P phono preamp with its (no longer available) Pangea P100 power supply is killer and was seriously (!) inexpensive, and the many cool things from Pro-Ject and elsewhere can deliver the analog goods. Have MORE fun.
Of course Wolf is right. $500 buys a lot of TT, even a Linn Basik, if the OP wants to consider used. But a new entry level Linn costs way above the models I recommended at around $1500.
So its probably a good idea for the OP to advise if he is willing to get a used TT or is thinking strictly new. Used will certainly get you more.
Hi Brian -
Something to ask yourself when getting the TT is how interactive do you want to be with it. Are you a get under the hood type. If there were ever a component that invited endless tinkering, it is the turntable. You can futz with just about everything if you set your mind to it and wind up spending much more than you ever set out to do.
If you are not the tinkering type, my first suggestion would be to not purchase an entry level or used turntable. You will most likely not be too satisfied 6 months down the road. You may be getting 80% of the experience that a well set-up TT gives you, but you will want more and you will start swapping out cartridges or something will break down, etc.
I started out with a used Denon direct drive TT from the 80's that cost me $175, whose motor just died one day. Then I went with an entry level, belt drive TT that I just did not like ($400) and sold, purchased two used SONYs along the way ($600), that I liked a lot and which performed very well, but both started acting up and were too costly to fix. Swapped a number of cartridges along the way. And all of a sudden. I had acquired a hobby that was becoming as expensive as restoring an old Mustang.
I would look for a package, like the Project Anniversary Classic ($1100). A noticeable step-up up from entry level packages.
And a phono preamp (these both complement the Classic nicely)
Parasound Zphono ($250)
Schiit Mani ($130)
Also find a dealer (in your city or on-line, like Needle Doctor) that you can talk to and trust. Feel free to comment or ask more questions.
I don't advocate an "entry level Linn" to anybody who wants an inexpensive new table, but, el redundo amundo, I think a lot of the new and inexpensive stuff is killer for small money. I also was recently interested in "The Classic" from Pro-Ject but after listening to an incredible sounding LP I recently bought from Jim Campilongo (Telecaster genius I recently worked with as a live sound mixer) I thought…hey…my ancient Basik/Akito is simply too good to give up. None of that means anything really, but it gives me the opportunity to point out my groovy Live Sound Mixer thing. Insecure? You bet.