Turntable Options

Needing a turntable for system I'm putting together.  Speakers are my old DQ-10's , picked up Adcom's GFA 565 mono amps and a ARC 16 preamp (has phono stage)

Budget is $500 to $750 range.  New or used ok with me.....any ideas? 


I think you may get more and better responses in the "analog" section.

Good luck,

You might be able to find a used VPI HW-19 Junior with an AQ or Rega arm for that budget.

The brand new Rega Planar 2 is in that price range or for just a little more, the new Rega Planar 3 is excellent.
A used REGA P3 or RP3 would be the answer. But, the cost of a cartridge is going to get in the way, so find a used deal that includes a cartridge with   the table,if possible. With a REGA table you could mount a $100 Ortofon 2M Red or go all the way up to a Dynavector 10X5 for $650. I have used this latter combo and it is well worth the money. Even after ive upgraded to a much more expensive setup, I still miss things about that REGA P3 with Dynavector 10X5! Also, there are a few upgrades that need too happen before you mount the 10X5. Groovetracer.com will show you the way! Enjoy the journey its half the fun!

Matt M
Thanks for input on REGA . Thought I posted on analog, need my glasses on👍
Listen guys- hold the presses on the Dynavector. At least for a few days.

I have had two 10x5 cartridges within 4 months. A Dynavector 10x5 was placed on an Empire 398 I had restored. $1800 to restore the Empire incl. a new Rega arm. Brought it home and it sounded great. Four weeks later I did something I had never ever, ever done before, even with my $50 Soundesign all-in-one in 1974. I snagged part of my shirt on the cartridge's needle rendering it useless. 100% My fault.

I replaced the Dynavector with an Ortofon MC. Six weeks later the cartridge experienced a collapse. The Audio seller was very skeptical about me by this point, but after an hour's examination and a follow up Internet search it was discovered a few other folks had this same problem with the same cartridge under the same usage time.

While the Audio folks were initially skeptical, Ortofon was great. They stood behind their product 100% and said they would take care of any problem even before the hour-long examination by the Seller. But what did I do? Instead of putting on an Ortofon MC3 I figured what the heck and upgraded a bit to my now second Dynavector. So I had now spent $1300 on two 10x5's.

About 8 weeks later while listening to a Richard Thompson album the needle suddenly skipped a few times then skated across the vinyl. I ran over thinking it was dust accumulation but found none. I had just listened to the same album 12 hrs before and was surprised about what happened. I then put on a 180g remastered Michael Chapman album with my wife six feet away. The record skipped, sound was intermittent, the needle skated a bit. I went over and leaning down noticed the cartridge was way too close to the vinyl. The angle of the needle was being reduced as it was pushing up into the cartridge.

Immediately I took pics & sent them to the Audio seller. No way I was screwing around. It ended up the Seller came over to my house within two hours to check weight, settings, etc. Everything was fine, just as he had set them originally, but he conceded there appeared to be something wrong with the cartridge. However, he then hit me with the news that "Dynavector is not like Ortofon". Uh, what does that mean? It's means Dynavector in the US might be more apt to ascribe this problem to an "oops" error than to replace the cartridge. He couldn't be sure and told me to think positively.

I am waiting & thinking in a positive manner, but I will really be steamed if the cartridge is not replaced by Dynavector. I will not come out of pocket another $650, no way. Not when I've read online about the 10x5 having a tendency (problem?) to ride too low to the vinyl. If Dynavector stands behind its product I will be grateful and grant them deserved kudos. If they show integrity I would even consider kicking in another $350 for a 20x2. But if they instead ascribe it to "customer error" I can't see going through this again. I'll mothball the Empire in storage for my kids & stick an Ortofon Blue on a Denon Automatic I have in storage now before I invest another $650, or for that matter pay the Audio Seller to put on an Ortofon MC. (No offense at all meant to Ortofon!) 

Anyone looking at anything from Dynavector, the 10x5 or the 20 model, hold fast and stay tuned!

Here's denouement time. 

After examining my table, arm and Dynavector for 45 minutes, then 30 minutes on the phone with Dynavector's N.A. rep, my very conscientious audio guy told me the consensus is there is nothing wrong with my cartridge.

The conclusion is asserted as reasonable based upon the following:

1. Upon examination the skating, etc., problem did not reoccur;
2. The Dynavector has a "quirk" of riding very low;
3. It is likely the cueing mechanism on the Rega arm might have been "caught" so as to effect the weight/pressure improperly, causing the problem.

No question it sounds fine right now, so I'll try and keep the faith. But I still wish I had opted for an Ortofon. An MC 3 would not have sounded substantially different and I know from personal experience that Ortofon puts a very high value on customer service. My preference would have been after my spending $1300 Dynavector given me the benefit of the doubt, maybe testing me by proposing to replace the 10x5 with a 20x2- if I was willing to come out of pocket another $350+.

My sense is Dynavector just isn't willing to "eat" the $650 under any circumstances. This is understandable, but my own personal "quirk" is I don't think this is how business ought be done. A warranty needs to mean a warranty, and a customer in this price range deserves 100% satisfaction, as long as it can be established the customer is acting in good faith. 

Choose wisely.
I was a Dynavector dealer for many years.  I have owned and sold hundreds of their cartridges.  They are probably my favorite cartridge manufacturer.

I never had a problem with Dynavector service as long as it was a "legitimate" problem.  They were great with warranty issues.

Also, most cartridge manufactures have a trade-in/retip program.  Dynavector's is 20% off a new one.  The first 10X5 that you ruined should have gotten you a $130 discount on a new one.  Yeah, I know not much, but still better than paying full list.

I'm also a huge fan of Ortofon.
@skipk - This doesn't really address the OP's queries, but might give him some food for thought.

My experience with DV has always been outstanding, and I feel they are one of the very best cartridge companies out there.  

My story:  I had used the MR23RS Ruby for about 20 years until my last move.  The rig went into storage for about 12 years.  When I finally got it all set up again, I discovered some age-related problems with the table, arm, pre-amp and a few other bits.  Started the repair & update cycle.

In the process, I ended up having the table fully refurbished, had to get my arm rebuilt and decided to move up a notch with the cartridge.  So a DV 17D3 arrived.  After 8+ months of back-and-forth with the arm, it was determined it couldn't be fixed.  So a new arm came in.

Mounted the cartridge and discovered that the right channel was out.  It had been mounted and demounted so many times on the other arm sorting problems that the internal lead failed.  By this time, it was 13 months old.  Mike Pranka at DV's US distributor told me to send it in.  About a week later, a replacement arrived @ N/C.

Mounted the replacement and ran into some set-up trouble with the arm.  While setting the VTF, stylus slipped off the scale pan and hit the (plastic) platter.  Took it and my armwand over to a lab and used a stereo microscope to inspect and align it.  The inspection did not go well - the diamond cantilever was broken in a perfect stylus-like arc right where the stylus should have been.

Contacted Mike again, explained what happened.  Also told him that the arm wouldn't accommodate the low cartridge mass no matter what I tried.  He said he'd look at it and let me know what he could do.  About 10 days later, he sent me an email saying that the cantilever was defective; it must have had a partial crack at the stylus to fracture the way it did.  He offered to replace the cartridge with another 17D3 or give me full value toward any other cartridge in the line.

Much as I wanted an XV-1S, I couldn't swing the extra cash.  Went for the XX2 Mk II.  I couldn't be happier, both with the cartridge performance and the support of DV.

I've owned lots of cartridges over the years and lots of tables.  Dynavector, Ortofon and Sota are the best to deal with by far, IMO.  They have always sounded great, stood behind their products and been more than happy to help resolve issues.  My primary dealer, Audio Classics, has also gone the extra mile every time in the 35+ years I've dealt with them.

Good luck with your DV & happy listening no matter what!

SKIPK , It is paramount that the VTA adjustment needs to be changed on the REGA for use with a Dynavector 10X5 (what audio guru are you using? fire him!), so that the rear of the cartridge is up away from the record and the cartridge has a more forward rake, buy a adapter to raise the back of the tonearm up, (3mm shimm/ groovetracer.com) works very well. The cartridge is amazing and you will find it sounds more lively and tracks awesomely when set up properly!

Matt M