turntables for dartzeel phono preamp...

Anyone hear dartzeel preamp as phonp stage and can recommend a turntable for it. I also have a dartzeel amp. Money is tight so unless there is a recommended tt using the dart it will have to wait till get the budget to get higher end tt. has heard the rega p3-24 or p5 or vpi scoutmaster others? max of $2,000 for tt + cartridge.


PS. using reference marantz cd player (sounds great just want to scratch vinyl itch have best both worlds) needs compare favorably to it otherwise will wait till got more $
Hi, I have the Dartzeel and I just bought a SOTA table with a Dynavector cartridge. Can't even tell you how it sounds cause I never heard it, but they are supposed to be an excellent value, and there are lots of reviews with high marks. Just one of many recommendations you will get.

I saw your threat and fyi I just read about the princeton music exchange (prex) in stereophile....seems like vinyl heaven out in new jersey.

sota makes great tt but can't swing that kind of coin right now......lemme know how it sounds when it lands.....did you ever audition the dart amp to with preamp because gotta say the bnc cable provides a real great synergy between them.....

Sota offers reconditioned tables at superb prices,for those not being able to swing a new one.Thought you might want to know this.
Good luck
You don't have to spend big $$$ on a turntable to get good sound. Have a look at KAB Electro Acoustics and learn some history of direct drive and Technics. You'll be enlightened and more informed:


Once you get a basic understanding of the various drive implementations, then you'll understand why there are not so many 'high end' turntables that offer direct drive. Another good site for information is:


A turntable's basic requirements are to spin the record at a consistent speed. If you don't have pitch stability, you will not have good sound.

Now where you can start to splurge (not required however) is the cartridge.

I went with a new Technics SL1210M5G and have applied 3 modifications so far (KAB Electro Acoustics PS 1200 external power supply, Boston Audio Mat1 and Symposium Rollerblock Jr footers on top a Symposium Ultra shelf on Rollerblocks), and to tell you the truth, I am beyond where I was with a SOTA Cosmos mk4. I really have lost my motivation to purchase an expensive turntable.

This has been quite an education. My original thoughts were to start with a basic turntable that has a clear upgrade path. The Technics is a great place to be, especially if you consider the cash outlay vs other more expensive turntables.
sorry, my last link in my thread posting should be:


I pasted the same link twice, but have a look at the SoundFountain site, lots of good information there.
Thanks james will look into it. I had been recommended a sp-25 direct drive but hard to find

how are the technics and the sota different soundwise and ease of use wise in your experience?



The SOTA Cosmos mk4 turntable has a pitch control adjustment in the rear of the table right next to the vacuum hose. It is a tiny little knob that has a very loose feel - not very precise control to begin with. It has a little bit of 'play' to it. You adjust your pitch, you have to buy a strobe and record with visual pitch indicator. I purchased the Clearaudio one myself for the SOTA. The SOTA ships with a cheap paper version that is no larger than a record label on your record. This is kind of a joke, since the diameter of the indicator is the size of a record label, you have more room for error, so the Clearaudio version is much more accurate - the pitch indicator is at the edge of the record, by basic geometry, you will get far better results in setting your pitch. So once you buy a decent pitch indicator, you have to reach around to the rear of the table to make very minute adjustments. You will find the pitch control to be very cheap - thus having 'play' in the control itself. So now you have to make *very* minor adjustments with a cheap control - not very confidence inspiring. I could never get the pitch 'spot on' the Clearaudio pitch measuring record would always shift either up or down in pitch. On occasion, I would get it spot on, only to have it shift of me as time goes by. So setting pitch of the Cosmos is very basic - almost an after thought in design.

Now listening is a completely different story with the Cosmos, on certain records. After spending time getting the pitch as close as I could, I could hear the pitch drift on different records - some more than others. This is what drew the Cosmos out to my attention.

The Technics employs a Quartz lock for pitch stability. There is nothing to it, always rock steady by looking at the strobe indicator on the side of the platter. No drift period. Nothing to set or worry about. My records play with rock solid pitch stability - you would be amazed at how much of a difference this makes in sound.

Now keep in mind, if you go down the Technics path, there is work to be done to get the turntable sounding good. Out of the box, it's pretty bad, but if you are willing to do some work, you can get a very good sounding turntable for a fraction of what other turntables cost. KAB Electro Acoustics has the major modifications available as kits that take 10 minutes to install. The KAB PS-1200 external power supply is the big one, it basically bypasses the internal transformer to supply power. By taking the transformer out of the loop, you are getting rid of all the bad vibrations it adds to the turntable. This is a big step towards getting good sound out of the Technics 12xx. Followed by a good record mat for the platter, and future vibration dampening you can get 'there' pretty quickly. The Symposium line of products really get you 'there' easily.

Ease of use, the Technics by far is the easiest to use day in and day out. If you go down the SOTA path, you will have to invest is pitch measuring tools, along with setting your pitch every time you turn it on. If you get a vacuum platter, you will have to make sure you get a good seal every time you play a record, along with making sure the SOTA record clamp is applied correctly (evenly/level clamp on the record).

With the Technics, I just turn it on, put on a record and cue up the arm.

Both tables will require 'work'. With the Technics, the work is getting the turntable modified and setup properly, once you are done there, you just enjoy the table. So the work/effort is up front.

With the SOTA, you have to make sure the pitch is set properly every time you turn it on, then you have to make sure every record you put on the table has a good seal with the vacuum platter seal (the lip around the platter) and then make sure the SOTA record clamp is even and level with the record when applied. Once these steps are done, you are still not guaranteed that the record will play at a stable pitch.

I'm not saying the Technics is the end all to turntables, by no means. But if you want to spend a fraction of what other tables cost, and you are willing to do some work to get it modified and setup properly, you will have good sound and ease of use.

If you want to go into the 'high end' turntable market, I would suggest you look at the many turntables that are available. Brinkman has a direct drive turntable available. I'm sure there are some excellent belt drive turntables out there. There are the idler drivers too which have quite a following. Many to choose from for sure.

Hope this helps...
I purchased the technics turntable but so far even though I got the cartridge installed professionally, the sound does not have the speed, slam, and detail that my marantz reference sa-7s1. Its not that the vinyl sounds bad...it does not....it sounds ok.....I must be doing something wrong....I am thinking I might need to find and/or pay an expert or so-called one to make a house visit.

Did you get a stock or KAB modified one?
I got a shure m97xe. It is well-received by absolute sound and some technic owners have had success with it. Beside, it was the best cartridge that the turntable retailer which was a dj store had. I know that there are way better cartridges out there but I am not ready to throw a lot of money at the problem until I optimize what I got now!

I am hoping that the break-in period for the turntable and cartridge will help things. I will also try to get someone to come over and optimize the tonearm setting.
James,I have had 4 different generation Sota Cosmos tables.I've never had the "slightest" drift in speed,and believe "this" is one advantage of the design.Accurate to the 'nth degree!!
Sorry to hear about your problems here.Possibly a worn belt?Maybe the table is not perfectly level?Who knows?I'd certainly call Sota because that should not be a concern.

As to the little "pitch nob"...earlier tables had a small(so what?)nob,recessed in the back "well",where the air hose and ground was.Once again I've never experienced anything "loose" here,and never any "play".Actually,I always thought it had a high quality feel to it,during rotation.
The very latest Cosmos(which I now have)has an upgraded nob(I don't know why,as the old one did just fine)which reminds me of the nobs found on the better microscopes!It is a bit larger,and more refined looking too.
Really a nice touch,but I could care less,as I've never experienced any pitch,speed problems.

Good luck

Perhaps I had a lemon. I certainly had problems from the very beginning. Is there a newer version now after the mk4? I went from a mk3 to a mk4 and didn't see any change, nor could I hear any change as well. I guess upgrades are done all the time, nice to hear especially for owners who want to keep upgrading their tables.


Yes, take small steps and work with what you have. The Technics has been a 'project' for me in incremental steps. When I made the decision to go with the Technics, I wanted a 'platform' in which to learn the details of turntable setup and modifications. In other words, I wanted to 'learn how to fish' instead of asking for a free meal.

Turntable setup is a lost art form, and I think dealers are scrambling now since interest has come back for turntables.

Now with the Technics and KAB Electro-Acoustics, you can learn and build a very fine turntable for a fraction of where the high end turntable market starts. Some things you should consider:

1. External Power supply from KAB Electro-Acoustics
2. Good isolation/dampening (footer replacement and more)
3. Good record mat for the platter

I have the tonearm dampener coming soon, so I'll report on that.