Turntable Advice

Now that I have a few good Beatles LPs on the way, I need to buy a turntable. My old Sony just isn't going to work. I have narrowed things down to a few models and would like some input from you all. All of these are on A-gon now, although I haven't been in contact with all of the sellers yet. Anyway, the choices are:

VPI Scout- the advantage I see here is that they are fairly new and seem to have a good rep. Not the most pleasing to the eye.

VPI Mk3- Several variations available, good rep, I would upgrade them to MKIV. One has an ET-2 arm. They are all at least 10-15 years old and quite used. I do like how they look the best (wood base).

Linn Sondek LP12- Lots of these around. At least 15 years old, good reputation, tried and true. Nearing the end of their useful life?

When all is said and done, I will probably be into these for about $1500-2000. Since I have no way of looking at or auditioning them before I buy, I feel like I'm just taking a shot in the dark. I appreciate any thoughts you all have.

You may find this thread interesting:

I'd say don't forget about the Nottinghams, and you could do a lower end Teres kit with a Rega tonarm for around your price range too.
Buy a Technics SP-10 MKII in good condition. They've
become difficult to find, however it is likely to be
your last turntable. I've had one for about 8 years,
and they are outstanding: low rumble, high torque,
built to last, highly musical. I'm using one with an
SME IV arm and Denon 103D MC cartridge. I've got a
fairly "high-end" system, but have no desire to upgrade
the analog section. It is a vinyl classic......
buy a notting ham, sandpaper, router, old vcr tape out of the cassette and a planer with very sharp blades ;-).

most TT will perform well. if you have an unlimited budget spend it otherwise keep the TT simple and after you mount a good cartridge try an expensive interconnect and hear the difference from stock.

enjoy the music!
I've nothing against the VPI but if I were going to start again, and did not intend to spend big bucks following the upgrade path - I'd opt out with a Nottingham Horizon with a Rega arm. Its been review well and has a pretty fair following.
I just bought a Nottingham Spacedeck and I am stunned. Extreme musicality, detail, resolution, bass response - everything is excellent. I put the Space arm on it and this thing is just unbelievable. Simple is better and these things are simple squared. Great product! MM
LP 12 is a solid performer and is not fussy. Their useful life has no end since they have without fail been updatable. So you can get an old one and bring it up to date at your pace, or just buy new. There are better, but in a much higher price range.
There is an Audio Note TT1 (table) with Audio Note ARM2 (rb300 rewired by Rega with Audio Note silver wire and interconnect) for 895/offer and it has been there for some time. The ad does not specifically state the arm is the Audio Note version but only says RB300; I checked with the seller and it is the Audio Note version.

This is a wonderful table and it looks like they are open to offers. If you could get this table for 800 and put a real cartridge on it you'd probably never look back.

I have the same rig and love it.
Don't forget about Michell, though they seem to be a bit more expensive to upgrade than the VPIs, they're just simply stunning! Other than wanting the Orbe platter upgrade (vibration is a problem in my room), I can't honestly say there's even much I want to do to my Gyro right now. If I'd bought a VPI MkIII, I'd have probably torn it half apart by now ;)

I've not any experience with the Scout other than seeing one sitting at my dealer's shop one day, but I've heard wonderful things from some opinions I trust. The VPI HWs are wonderful, solid 'tables and you would not be disappointed with one.

The venerable LP12 is always a good 'table with about a zillion tweaks you can do, but I personally find both VPI and Michell to be much more interesting. To each his own, I guess!

The Nottingham Interspace/Interspace I heard was very nice and rhythmic but a bit dry sounding and not as warm compared to these spring suspended designs.

Good luck :)
Thanks to all for your help today. I just concluded a deal for a HW-19 MK3 with an ET-2 tonearm and AQ B200L cartridge and lots of extras. It's from the late 80's but has low hours. Now the real fun begins! Planning to upgrade to MK4 and SAMA units eventually, probably a new cartridge. I'm more than a little bit concerned about the air bearing tonearm, sounds complicated and fussy. We'll see. I'm always open to advice on these matters so fire away if you have any ideas.....

Thanks Again,
Rick, you want some further advice? Sit back, put on some records, and enjoy what you already have for a while. THEN, think about upgrades. You will find many of the MK IV/TNT upgrade available right here on Audiogon at very reasonable prices.

But, watch closely. They go REAL fast.

Congratulations and Happy Listening, Ed.
Thanks Ed!

I'll do just that....

Congrats! You're gonna love it =)