Hey Dave, TT's must be on everyone's brain this morning as I just posted the same thread. Also away for 10 years, not sure where to go???
15 responses Add your response
$2k - $3k is a pretty good range for variety of good tables. You can get a Teres, VPI Scout, Nottingham, Origin Live, Basis, Clearuadio, Rega, Music Hall, etc. There are proponents of all of these tables. They will all give good results. The factor to consider is which one gives the best sound in the price range. I like the Teres.
There are a number of reasonable turntable/cart combinations available new for $300-$1000 that will do a very good job of making music. While the $2-3k budget you're looking at will definitely move you into a higher quality sound (and Twl's suggestions above are excellent in this price range), its not entirely necessary to 'start out' at this price point. Rega, Pro-Ject, and Music Hall all make fine lower priced tables that are worth considering for folks that want to get their feet wet with vinyl.
I just got the Wilson Benesch Circle setup, complete with arm and cart - all works together really well. I couldnt' swing the Teres 255 and Triplanar arm (+ ?? cart) that I wanted, right now, so this is holding me over fine. Certainly a great setup, gets me 90+% of the way there for about 1/2 the price of the above setup. Retail is about $3k, I believe. very well made stuff, from what I can tell.
My .02 as a "Vinyl Prodigal's Son". You already have a great analog front end, so put half to 3/4 of your budget into a good phono stage. As for the TT, you mention that you want to listen from time to time so I would start conservatively. But the audiophile in me also recommends that you keep in mind an upgrade path. That's where the Music Halls fail IMHO, and I have a MMF 7. Great table for the money but there is not really much you can do to improve it once you get used to it's sound. But maybe you won't want to as many owners of these TTs have said.
What ever you decide, enjoy the great analog experience!
I was into turntables quite heavily some 12 to 13 years ago, mostly VPI, Oracles, and Linn with a few Aristons, systemdek's and thorens. Back in those days great sound could be had with a VPI HW 19, SME V or (IV) and a sumiko virtouso high output moving coil. One thing is for sure the tables all sound very different. IMHO a VPI with a recognized good arm (you need to check the bearings in older arms by gently rocking the arm from the headshell in a side to side twisting kind of motion(very,very gently) to check for any play, the bearings should be tight with no perceptable motion. I would skimp on the cartridge initially if it means getting a better arm and table. The cartridge can always be upgraded later. I say the VPI because the lightly sprung tables often take alot of work to set up and can be very finicky. One thing I cannot stress enough is cartridge alignment. You must use an alignment device and experiment with the VTA, any arm withour VTA (vertical tracking angle) adjustment will probably never sound focused, have the correct tonal balance or soundstage, low level detail will also be compromised. I have been out of audio for awhile and cannot make any suggestions with more recent equipment which I can only assume has gotten much better but these are a few things to conside while you shop. Good Luck finding a good deal and Happy Listening.
Many have different opinions about turntables but where many agree is arm and cartridge.
Valleyplastic, The Origin live silver arm with TWL, Tom’s HI FI mod and a shelter 501 cartridge is state of the art, at its price point. You will have to spend thousands of $$$$$$ to beat it's stellar performance. I wonder how much better it could possibly be? That's why I recommend them.
Check out this thread,
Strange Tonearm Tweak. Long
Good luck and I know you will enjoy the sound of your new source what ever you choose.
Valleyplastic I have a mc 352/c42 I had a rega p-25 with a h/o benz ace 2.5MV since the c42 only has a moving magnet phono section. I did read the reveiw on the c2200 in Steriophile and it did and continues to get great reveiws and I know it has a moving coil phono sectio in it. The reveiw from Sam Telling on the c2200`s phono section is ok not great just ok, possably like my c42.
I purchased a BAT vkp-5 and was floored what a huge differance it made, then I purchased a used TNT JR w/ SME309/Benz RUBY H. and couldn`t be happier.Were I`m going with this is with your dollar allotment, do purchase the TT you are going to keep and not the one you can afford or you may go down the same road I and many have done (upgrade). Also do consider a external phono stage that may come into play when you purchase your cartridge (gain issue).The guys have allready gave you some excellent TT idea`s. I will say if I purchase I would take a look at the Teres line that cocabola plinth intrigue`s me, but as my wife knows me I would probably go for a Simon Yorke but thats another story. David
I took a look at those Bluenote TTs. They seem to me definitely better than the Regas & Music Halls--bet they sound cleaner and way more musically involving. Looks like they work on rigidity and that ceramic impregnated belt sounds interesting. Still not enough beef in the suspension and speed/ rotational stability departments. Using quartz locked direct drive motors is definitely a plus to get speed right. The Italian design is definitely sleek, though.
I recently upgraded my ProJect turntable to a Rega P3 with the Elys cartridge for under a thousand dollars. I decided on Rega after looking at all the tweeky tables with the Rega 300 arm. I figured that there had to be something if all these other manufactures were using the arm. Also, I went with the matching Rega cartridge for the same reason, it was designed by the people who designed the arm, who designed the table, etc. If your budget lets you higher, there are TONS of models out there, but would consider the model Rega P25 and then go witht he Exact cartridge. That should bring you in at about $2,000. The remaining money could be used for a good phono section, a record cleaning machine, etc. I have been enjoying my building record collection ever since. Good luck and happy listening!
I agree with TWL,But it is all about your own listening preference.They are all good, but you have to go out and listen to the different sounds. They all have the right sound. Just pick the one thats right for you.I listen to VPI Scout,Basis, Clear Audio,Rega,Music Hall. Never had the chance to hear the TWL.Still would like to. I pick the VPI Scout over the of rest.