Turntable under $1500 ..... Rega, clearaudio, or ?

Looking to purchase my first true audiophile turntable. Any suggestions?
Used Spacedeck/Spacearm, or Well Tempered Classic. Unlike some of the other "affordable" tables, you won't feel the need to upgrade anytime soon.
The Clearaudio Concept seems to be a good candidate. It has received many awards here in the U.S. and in England. What Hi-Fi awarded it Turntable of the Year in 2009. Around $500 or so, Rega is a good one.

I used to own the Well-Tempered Classic that sold for $1,800 retail back in the 90s. It is still a very good table. Used should be under $1,000. But some folks don't like its looks.
Does $1500 include the arm and cartridge??
I would consider
Origin Live
in addition to the others mentioned.
For a first table I generally recommend buying from a local dealer who can make sure everything is set up correctly and can show you the ropes as far as TT basics goes (VTA, VTF, Azimuth, Cartridge compliance etc..)

Once you are comfortable setting up a TT yourself then I'd recommend looking at used tables for your next purchase as the value proposition is generally much better.

If you are already comforable setting up a TT or are a DIY kind of person, then you can probably skip my first step and buy used without a problem. My personal bias in belt drive tables that provide good value are Nottingham and Well Tempered.

Finally, if you need to buy a phono stage, don't skimp here. The phono stage has a meaningful impact on sound quality. Bite the bullet and get a good one.
Rega Dealer Disclaimer******

If your $1500 price is just for the table and arm, then I would suggest perhaps waiting for a couple weeks for the new Rega RP6 to come out. It falls right at your price and looks like it will be a quite a nice table.

If you are looking at $1500 for everything, then be sure and take a look at an RP3 with a TTPSU. This option would leave you about $300 for cart purchase.

Good Luck!

I would lean toward the Clearaudio Concept, and the Performance SE models. The Satisfy tonearm and Virtuoso and Maestro wood cartridges are among the best available for a complete set-up that will run with any competitors products.
Used Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm and a cartridge. That would probably be more than $1500 by $300-$400 if you want new cartridge. Never put German cartridge on British table - they won't match well. British, Swiss, Japanese, Australian OK.
I would seek a used SOTA Sapphire or, if you want new, a Rega RP3. In both cases you will have an upgrade path as budget allows: SOTA factory upgrades or Rega TT PSU, upgrade belt, Groovetracer subplatter, platter, counterweight.
How about going vintage? Some people are getting spectacular results from the Empire 208/308's of the 1960's. These were manufactured to extremely tight tolerances. Worthy of putting on a modern tonearm. See, for instance, Ralph Karsten's version at the Atma-Sphere site,


or Doc's version at the Bottlehead site


These are potentially world-class, and compete with many of the high-dollar tables sold today. Of course, any used turntable will need careful inspection, but there's not a whole lot to go wrong with the Empire. The Pabst motors are a clever 3-phase design and are extremely good. The bearing and main platter were outstanding. You might have to replace the thrust plate beneath the main bearing with a Delrin one, but the results are well worth a bit of time investment. And you might just get one that's been cared for its whole life and needs nothing!

Mine is a recent purchase, with an SME3009R tonearm, and it really makes nice music. About to put my Scoutmaster up for sale as a result!
There's a Well Tempered Classic with a MC cartridge for sale here now that's close to your price range. Best of luck.
You can get a really nice used VPI Scout for around $1200.00. Killer 'table.
Regards, Sam
If used I am with Slovell in getting the best used VPI you can afford. If new, for $ 1500 you cannot beat the Marantz TT-15 for value. The included Clearaudio cart. alone is worth almost $ 1000.
I'm thinking along the same lines. How would a used VPI Scout be a better value than the TT-15 or Concept?
As a Rega's fan, I would go for the RP6 in this price range
Technics SL1200, once and for all.