Turntables New vs Used

Thought I would post this as possible food for thought. Have been in this hobby since 1957 and have owned a great many tables both new and used. My first audiophile table was a Dual 1019 and it has evolved from there.

I deal a lot in turntables both new and used, sort of a hobby business. With that in mind in recent years there has been several new tables to hit the market such as those from Music Hall,Project, and so on. Not all but most of the tables in the sub $1,000.00 range are just horrid to say the least. For what one pays in this category,one can find true stellar turntables in the used market.

Used tables from Sota,VPI and Rega will clearly outperform anything from Music Hall, Project and others.

This is not meant to disparage Music Hall or Project or others of the same category. But when one truly looks into what is available in the used market,it becomes readily apparent that the higher end used tables will sonically be superior to the new offerings.

I know for the last few months have had several of the Music Hall and Project tables as well as others come and go through the door.

To be candid there is no black art or voodoo science in turntable design. Physics and Geometry are basic law and are absolute with debate not being possible.

But many of these new tables have seem to have forgotton these basic laws and some of the new tables are pure dreck and I am being kind there.

Turntables from VPI,Sota,Rega,Nottingham,Bluenote,Clearaudio,JA Michell,and Simon Yorke offer tables that firmly place them among the best in the world,with sound engineering principles.

Plus the upgrade path is clearly there for future sonic improvements as materials and science come about.

In addition the price one will pay for one of the used tables make these some of the best bargains for today and tomorrow. However with all things used do make sure of whom you get it from and that you are getting what you pay for.

Don't overlook many of the excellent direct drive used tables from Denon,Kenwood,Yamaha,Technics and others. But do concentrate on thier upper end models forgoing the lower model line up.

All in all the current used market represents far greater value than most of the mass produced new tables.

For instance a Rega P3 is in my opinion is vastly superior to a Music Hall MMF 7 and at less cost, new price to new price. I know I have had both here in recent months. Used the Rega P 3 is a hands down winner in this category.

Both VPI and Sota are easily accessed via phone or e Mail and are most helpful in their product line.

The choice is yours and it is your money.
Informative observation.. I have been a Rega fan since 1986 when I bought my first P-3 (Now have P-9). I remember walking into a shop and hearing a comparison between a very expensive Denon direct drive and a P-3. Since I owned a Denon d-d at the time (1985)I was very skeptical there would be any difference in sound.. the difference was night and day.. hello Rega!
I'll probably pickup a used TT before the year's end and your post will definately help. I noticed that you didn't mention the Linn line. Was this ommision on purpose?
how would you rate older Linn and high end B&O turntables with the current new under $1000 group?
I have owned a Linn table back in the late 70s and found it to be very good, although the suspension is far to compliant for my tastes as well as was most of the Thorens at the time. Overall the Linn product has not evolved much,but remains good value in the used market. But one has to be careful with Linn as they are delicate,and I have found them to be maintenance hogs. But nonetheless they do have very good sonics when paired with the right phono cartridge.

As far as B&O goes I am not a fan of B&O aside from the glitz and glamour cosmetics their is little to endure. B&0 tables means your stuck with using B&O phono cartridges only. B&O no longer makes these cartridges,but a private company has sprung up that makes B&O phono cartridges. Once one sees the inside of one of these tables and the parts quality there it is disheartening to say the least.Plus at this point in time parts for these tables are drying up quickly as B&O has withdrawn their service network and dealers. All B&O is now an in house affair with company based stores. And no one in these stores have a clue as to analog needs. My last experience with a B&O was the Beogram RX and that was one of the poorest excuses for a turntable I have seen, except for some of the B.I.C. tables of the late 70s.

I know their are some loyal B&O users out there and will probably be gored on this. If it works for you then, fine,but much better to be had and for gods sake don't spend more that $150.00 on one and when it breaks, as it will, just toss it,not worth the greif and aggravation of servicing.
Nice post Ferrari. I generally agree with everything you said. I also agree that the Linn is a great bargain on the used side as long as you get one of the better tonearms with it. I disagree somewhat about maintenance with a Linn. I suppose it matters to some degree depending upon how often you move it and if you do so inappropriately. Further, there is a great upgrade path and factory support is still there in spades. There is also an aftermarket supplying motors and speed controllers as well as a host of other tweak items. Since 1984 I've only needed to adjust my suspension one time, excepting when I upgraded to the Cirkus bearing. The only time I move my table is to install a new cartridge or like recently when I replaced the tonearm cable. I will admit that I'm now at a place where if I looked at everything in my system the table would be the next logical upgrade. Still, I have no compelling reason to do so. For those looking at buying a used Linn get one as maxed out and new as your budget will allow. I'd be more tempted to pay $2K for a later model with Cirkus, newer style Vahalla and a good tonearm than $1K for an older one which will show some miles on it and the usual upgrades will soon make it exceed the price of the newer one. Just my opinion and I certainly am not taking exception to your comments regarding the 70's era LP12's. I sold my older one prior to buying the one I now own because the older models had such cheesy power supplies and were not upgradeable.
Your observations are quite correct, but do not address a very important aspect of purchasing a used turntable. In my experience, after large, floor-standing speakers, turntables are by far the hardest audio item to pack and ship correctly. I have bought many used turntables over the years and cannot stress this enough. Even the manufacturers original packing is often inadequite, Rega would be a good example. At this stage of the game, the advice I give to dear friends and those bigger than me who might hurt me, is to buy a used table locally, or a new one. I live in Portland, OR and have driven North as far as Seattle, and South to Salem just to avoid shipping tables. I would also add that if some arms are mishandled, the bearings can become flat-spotted, this is called Brinelling and is typically due to tortional forces applied during cartridge mounting. Many arms are pretty variable in terms of bearing play as well and the only way to determine this is in person. I am not sure that this is a game for the uninitiated.
I would dare say, do check your local market and see what is available,before having a table shipped. However if it is the case where the table has to be shipped, make very sure the seller knows the proper packing procedure. It is always very helpful if the owner has the original box with all the interior packing. All tables shipped must be doubled box with the outside box at least a double wall box with plenty of room to add foam cushioning to.

It does take time,care and expertise to properly pack a turntable. If the seller cannot do this, look elsewhere, its that simple. Since 1968 I have never lost a table to improper packing, mainly because I give a damn that it gets to you in the condition as described. The only loss I had was when UPS drove a fork lift through the boxes. Believe me UPS more than paid for that fiasco. I now use FedEx Ground Services and have found them less in cost, more reliable and packages arrive in far better condition.

No matter how good the deal is - pass on it if you feel the seller cannot ship the turntable safely. There is always another deal around the corner and someone that does know how to ship properly.
When considering buying used turntable I make sure the seller is going to pack properly before I agree. It has worked for me.
Question though, what is your opinion of Dual's line? Which models do you consider good vlue on used market. I purchased a used 503-? from fellow Audiogoner and was happy with its performance. I don't do as much vinyl as many here but do enjoy it for some music I don't own on cd.
I am the original owner of a Harman/Kardon T60 that I purchased some 20 years ago from Stereo Warehouse on Long Island. I still have the box, manual and H/K literature.
Last year, I bought a new belt from H/K service dept. No other service was ever needed. At that time, I also bought a new Grado reference Platinum cartridge.
This thing still rocks even after 20 years!
I am still considering buying either a VPI or Sota or Nottingham. I do read and hear that these TT's are good.
My question is...should I just keep my beloved T60 or make the move to a new TT?
In my opinion the best Duals to get are the CS 5000 and CS 7000 don't spend more than $300.00 for them though. The ULM Duals have tonearm wiring issues as they age. Duals from the mid 70s if still operational are quite good. But when they go, usually not worth time to service. Although I know a lot of folks will disagree with that in particular Joel at the turntable factory. But there is much better in the market place now than resurrecting a Dual. Any Dual one gets should be sent to Joel for a in depth check out. I do remember that the CS 5000 and CS 7000 had some phono cable issues. Nothing major, but need to be looked at for possible service issues. As a sometimes user of vinyl get a Goldring GR 1 table, which is basically a Rega P2 and your set for a very long time,plus upgradeable via the Rega route.NAD 533 another Rega clone is a choice worth considering. These usually can be had for about $350.00 or so used and have better sonics than the vinatge Duals. I love the old Duals, but clearly their time has come and gone in my book. And I am not impressed by the new offerings from Dual.

The Harman Kardon T Series of tables were as good as it gets in mass produced tables from a major manufacturer. Often referred to as the working mans Linn the HK T series were spectacular. HK got everything quite right with these tables. In fact after I sent the Linn down the road used a T 60 for many years with zero problem. As long as it is fully operational and giving no problems I say keep it. Keep in mind that HK discarded all spare parts for these tables about 5 years ago. So play it till it breaks and move on to a newer table, such as VPI, Sota or the like.
Second that the time of the Duals has passed. If you like the sound of a table with a sprung sub-chassis, look for the newer iteration of the AR table, though motors have proven to be a problem with these, the Project 6.1, or members of the Thorens line. They are interesting alternatives to the Regas.
I cannot possibly recommend any late model Thorens product as they are nothing more or less than a rebadged Project table. As far as I am concerned the time honored name of Thorens has been totally compromised. I was never a big fan of Thorens in the day. But to see what has happen to that name of late is disheartening at best. Project makes fine tables at their price point, but to redbadge one as Thorens and all that name implies is in my book one of the true shams in audio today.

Also keep in mind that much of the Music Hall gear uses Project parts as well and most likely comes out of the same factory as Project. I know have had these tables apart on the work bench.

Project for what it is represents good value and little else. There is better to be had at less cost and better sonics than Thorens,Music Hall and Project.

Older Thorens were fine turntables in their day. Only a handful are worthy of restoring. Note that the new Thorens company discarded all of the parts for the past Thorens product. It will be very difficult if not impossible to service these units in years to come.
Ferrari, my appologies for not being clear; I was speaking of the older Thorens tables, TD160, TD125. BTW, some of the later Thorens tables are rebadged Acoustic Signature turntables, which are quite expensive but sound great. Music Hall and Project are made in the same factory and the only table I recommend from the line is the 6 series, 6.0, 6.1 and 6.9. They are loosely modeled on the Oracle, with a three point spring suspension and some other features that are unique within the line. Used prices around $400.00 are comparable with used P3s. Have you heard one?
Have heard the Project Perspective which was a somewhat Oracle/Michell clone. But at $1,299.00 at the time there is far better price point to price point. But nonetheless was decent value. Tone arm left something to be desired though should have been better at the price point. Arm had difficulty with heavier weighted Moving Coils at 8 grams and above. My opinion at this price point should be able to handle any moving coil regardless of gram weight. Overall while the Perspective was a decent table, but somewhat over priced for value received. My customer only kept it for a couple of months before moving on to the VPI Scout. The Scout is only $300.00 more than the Perspective but offers performance that only the Perspective wished it could do. Basically this is one of the issues I am trying to inform. One can easily find a used Scout in the same price range as the Perspective and have performance that the Perspective cannot hope to reach. And it is really a no brainer to spend the additional $300.00 over the Perspective. Not that the VPI Scout is the end all of turntables it is not. However at its price point I know of nothing that can touch it in quality,construction and sonics. Plus the support from VPI. It is very nice to able to call the manufacturer and speak with someone that knows analog and is helpful to ones concerns. Try calling Project,thats a hoot all in itself.
KAB modded Technics 1200. Price new around $900.


Why Technics continues with this table is a total mystery to me when the Technics SL 1100A and the armless version the SL 110A were vastly superior to the venerable SL 1200 and the MK II version.

In my view this table has application in the DJ market and limited use in home application.

The only good thing I see here is that parts are readily available because of the continued production of the SL 1200.

Have not seen or used the KAB Modded version of the SL 1200 and cannot comment on that version. However with that being said to mod one of these and sell it for $900.00 or so, seems to be like flogging a dead horse. The SL 1200 in the day was very good, but it time has also come and gone.

One can easily acquire a VPI HW 19 in its many models or a Sota Sapphire in it different versions for the same or less money. Have better sonics,upgradeable with factory parts. U.S. made with excellent factory support.

Now if Technics wants to impress me bring back the SL 1100A or SL 110A or the SP 10.

Over the years have had way to many SL 1200 pass through the doors, no longer impresses me to value,sonics,build quality and the tone arm is in my opinion way outdated.
Ferrari (and others, of course!): any opinion about Pro-ject RPM 9? Do you know how this compares with VPI Scout? Thanks!
The VPI Scout is in my opinion vastly superior to the Project RM9, from any stand point one would care to debate.

The tone arm on the VPI Scout is the JMW 9 which is hands down superior to the Project arm.

The fit,feel,precision,construction far exceeds the Project RM9.

Great upgrade path later on with genuine VPI parts, should one want to upgrade.

The Project RM9 is a fine table, but in my opinion falls far short of the VPI Scout.

Plus the service and support of VPI being a U.S. company is more than an added incentive. Great folks at VPI.

Check with Elusive Disc, have some great deals on VPI, last time I visited their website.
Lets look at this whole turntable endeavour through the eyes of Simon Yorke who produces in my opinion one of the worlds great turntable product. Although most of us will not be able to make the quantum leap to such a table. His views are more than valid. And companies that I hold in high esteem such as those menetioned at the beginning of this thread. The Simon Yorke tables are in use in the U.S. Library of Congress, in fact they have 9 of them. These are true reference tables of the highest caliber.

Below are his words and philosophy:

When Henry T Ford conceived the idea of mass-production, he envisaged a world of plenty, of unlimited resources, wealth, and boundless opportunity to create profit. In time, however, we have witnessed mass-production stimulate mass-consumption to the point where our lives have become dictated to by a world of epic commercialism that has overrun all other meaning.

In our centrally-heated homes we are insulated from the cold, the light, the wind, the rain and much of the feeling of being "alive". We have become creatures of an unreal, robotic world, denying our true nature, and it seems to be bringing us little other than anguish and confusion. Our modern factories consume resources at one end, and produce an endless stream of products at the other - each new product remorselessly designed to allure us with its advertised essentiality - thus perpetuating the whole destructive system. And though we know that this syndrome cannot be sustained we seem largely unable, or unwilling, to face reality and search for a more realistic, satisfying and responsible means of existence.

In this world of mass-manufactured items, all aspiration towards excellence in craftsmanship has been discarded in favour of the predictability of the robot; the desire for quality has given way to the demands of quantity and price, and the quest for profit has consumed almost everything in its wake. It is an evolutionary process that is destroying not only our physical world, but our spiritual wealth also. The emphasis upon science as the sole driving force of our modern society has led to the wholesale abandonment of concern for the nourishment of the inner or spiritual self. The accumulated wisdom of preceding generations has been arrogantly discarded in favour of a blind pursual of an 'instant science' which leaves us without beliefs, feelings or understanding.

I have great admiration for the high principles of our forefathers; for their undoubting vision and respect for preceding cultures; for their great cathedrals and works of art, and for their perfectionist attitude. One needs only to examine closely the everyday products of our modern society to conclude that the technological ground we have gained since their time has been largely at the expense of the human satisfaction they seem to have enjoyed. So many of our modern products are unfulfilling in terms of design, manufacture and ownership: they meet daily needs in a perfunctory, businesslike manner, but fail to stimulate our inner sense of beauty, feeling and understanding. In short, they fail to satisfy our true humanity, and accordingly cost us dearly.

Our world is abrim with ordinary products meeting ordinary needs: this is mediocrity, and in my view mediocrity is our greatest sin, for it belittles us and our achievements and discredits our intelligence and greater wisdom. It is my desire to produce only the very best that I am capable of; I aspire towards excellence, for it is my belief that only through such an approach can true meaning be found. And surely it is the search for meaningful experience that is the very essence of humankind. Of course in business it is necessary to make a profit, but there must, for me, be something greater than a simple financial goal: a desire to create art that steps beyond the daily reality of our lives, that reaches into, and stimulates, our inner selves. An art which has respect for the music and culture it serves, and which seeks, genuinely, to enhance the lives of others.

Building musical instruments (for that is how I consider my work) is an important and serious business. I do not view these creations as mere products: they embody a philosophy which is important to me. I therefore continue to strive toward the design and construction of real musical instruments, better able to help people experience their emotional selves more honestly, and to encourage a deeper and more rewarding relationship with the wonder and passion of our musical inheritance. For within this musical history is contained all the hope, pain, joy, wonder, desperation and inspiration of our species. Perhaps more succinctly than all other forms of human expression, it is music which most honestly reflects our true humanity.

The purpose of "Simon Yorke Designs" is thus to offer a meaningful alternative to the vain, destructive and often nihilistic rationale of the modern "fast-moving-consumer-goods"-led society: to mingle philosophy with craftsmanship, art with engineering, and present the refreshingly simple ways of Zen, as best I can, in reverential sculpted form. It is my hope that through this work I can be of some value to our world.

Simon Yorke, August 1992

Certainly if one has the resources and the rest of the gear to accomodate the Simon Yorke tables this is the way to go. It is almost impossible to find Simon Yorke turntables in the used market. People that have them, just do not sell them. They are that spectacular. for the most part the Simon Yorke tables are the end game in analog.

But it is not a let down to get VPI,Sota,Nottingham,Linn,Rega or the like. Because one is getting the engineering and quality materials, with close attention to the laws of physics and geometry. Where merchandising and hype are not the key elements.
Ferrari -

In one of the recent editions of Stereophile, Fremer enthused about the top Brinkmann turntable, concluding that it bests the sound of his reference Simon Yorke rig. Do you have any view on the Brinkmann turntable?
I have not as of yet been able to acquaint myself with the Brinkmann product. Although with that being said, I seldom agree with Michael Fremer. TAS and Stereophile used to be at one time very fine underground journals that covered the high end industry. One has to take with a grain of salt any reviews in a magazine that are driven by advertising revenues.

That is why I totally recommend one visits a dealer and makes up ones mind based totally on thier musical involvement with whatever product they have interest in.

I am famaliar with the Simon Yorke product,as on Palm Beach many of my former customers have these units. With that being said it is difficult to reason a better product than the Simon Yorke S 7. Although it may be possible do to so.
Uhhhmmmm. Palm Beach, uh. Sorry, think I'll pass. Not what it used to be, you know.
Over the years have had way to many SL 1200 pass through the doors, no longer impresses me to value,sonics,build quality and the tone arm is in my opinion way outdated.

1) value

2) build quality

3) outdated tonearm

I've always read ignorant remarks about #3, but #1 & #2 are a first!

What is a 'current' tonearm in this price range? A Rega 250, RB600 perhaps? One 1200 modder who's an electrical engineer tried the 250 and the 600 Rega tonearms and went back to the stock "outdated" (but with excellent *published* bearing friction specs Technics tonearm. What the stock tonearm lacks is some control and the KAB fluid damper deals with the issue. The modded 1200 will smoke any belt drive you mentioned by far.

Ferrari,what is your opinion of the Well Tempered tables that are floating around?
Many responders to Gon threads will be basically 2nd user enthusiasts, having come at the thread site through the for sale section. I am no exception and my whole system is 2nd user and ex dem. Responders have pointed out the problems with used turntables, well all items you might buy have problems. Top of the list is Cartridges of course, where any prior use makes a purchase questionable. That did'nt stop me buying a Koetsu Rosewood Signature and being thrilled with the purchase and saving(about 1/3 of the cost of a new unit in the UK). We are, or should be realistic about the risks of buying 2nd hand, but have calculated the saving is worth the risk.
Turntables should be a relatively safe bet, but being mechanical, I would agree the risk is in transport. It's easier in the UK, but I have always collected mine. To add my experience, I would not go for a Linn, which I used for years. IMHO, an old design off the current pace. There is an upgrade path, Cirkus, Lingo, trampoline etc, but it's expensive. To get the best out of them, they do need rebalancing periodically. even if not disturbed.
I would agree with many of the suggestions of tables to consider, but some other UK ones are not highlighted. Avid is a great company, with fine sounding, well engineered, fit and forget tables, again with a potential upgrade path. My own final choice is Origin Live, a Resolution with Illustrious arm. I know you can get better, but at what price. In the UK at least they are hard to beat value wise. I am aware the current Dollar rate makes UK/European kit very expensive in the US, so Origin Live is less of a bargain. For Classical gear, remember the rim drive Garrard 301 and 401, if they are available in the US, if replinthed they make an unbeatable sound, with the best base you may hear from vinyl.
Dear Ferrari: +++++ " it is difficult to reason a better product than the Simon Yorke S 7. " +++++

The first question that comes to my mind is: Why?

If we take the TTs that are out there we can find that many of them are really an excellent ones like the S7: Brinckman, Basis, Walker, SME, Acoustic Signature, Galibier, Pluto, Verdier, Micro Seiki, Avid, Transrotor, etc... and if we try to compare it that will be a very hard task for any one can tell us which is the real winner.

I think that at this performance TT levels there is no absolut winner, because this depends on many issues like: with what tonearm/cartridge combination?, with what kind of music?, in which audio system?, in which room?, with which quality " ears " ?, etc,.......

We can try to do a comparation of the TT only, asking for: build quality, rumble, wow and flutter, speed accuracy, vibration control, etc... and find a measurements winner TT.
Ferrari, your statement about the S7 is in reference to what or which are the why's for your statement.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanx for your comments on my beloved H/K T60.
If, however, I choose to retire my T60, should I buy a VPI Scout/Scoutmaster/Superscoutmaster, a Rega 9, Sota, or Nottingham? Or, do you suggest something else?
I like the Rega 9 and the Rega tonearm.
It is very basic looking, like my T60, and isn't too heavy.
I also am considering a better cartridge than my $300 Grado Platinum.
All gear used, unless it's video.
Though I am a great fan of used current and vintage turntables - I have quite a few, DD, belt-drive and idler-wheel drive - and can't argue with the statement "For what one pays in this category,one can find true stellar turntables in the used market", there are many things wrong with the whole premise of this thread. First of all, issues of sound quality aside, Project and Music Hall offer new budget turntables, which the rest have abandoned, including now Rega, which I hear is phasing out the P2 (unless I hear wrong), and the future of audio rests on newbies buying new budget turntables. Those just entering mostly are not DIYers and want new turntables with a guarantee they can rely on: Project and Music Hall fulfill this need. I constantly read about the impending demise of the High End and dwindling numbers of audiophiles, but if we make no effort to induct new members into the audiophile community by offering exciting new budget stars, then we must rely instead on the few surviving and ageing audiophiles, which appears to be happening, as evidenced by more and more expensive exclusive equipment, obviously aimed at a very small portion of the population. We need companies like Project, Music Hall, Rotel and NAD (the list seems to be dwindling, Creek integrateds now sell for $1500 CAD these days!) to sustain interest and appeal to newbies.

But then there is the following statement which no one has challenged: "To be candid there is no black art or voodoo science in turntable design. Physics and Geometry are basic law and are absolute with debate not being possible." Debate not being possible?! This is a strong statement: Clearaudio uses extreme mass and several motors to create high torque and momentum to spin that massive platter, while Nottingham uses low-torque motors. Direct-drive 'tables use a completeley different approach to the problem, as do the idler-wheel drives you omitted. Some believe mass stores energy and this muddies timing, and so design lower-mass turntables which are extremely musical, while some believe high mass overrides speeed instablities and design mass monsters which are again very musical. Some believe acrylic is superior to metal and design musical turntables, while other believe the reverse and design metal turntables which are musical. Some believe in suspensions while others shun them. Some like myself have no faith whatsoever in current speed measurements and rumble figures, while most have complete faith in them. Some believe in rigidity uber alles while others eschew rigidity. Given that ALL these various engineering philosophies can lead to excellent results or questionable results, then the statement "physics and geometry are basic law and are absolute" is meaningless, since we don't know enough about them to be able to come up with AN answer, just different philosophies and approaches for different results, the end results often being achieved by chance without a full understanding of what led to a particular success. Given our state of ignorance (and continuing debate), then indeed record player design is a black art, which often is attributable more to good instincts than a clear understanding of what is going on. This is just like the debate on amplification in the '80s, when some believed all meaningful measurements had been made, all was understood, and all you had to do was design for spectacular measurements. Then, with the re-emergence of tubes as a serious segment of products, which in many cases measured horribly but evidently sounded excellent (while certain pieces which measured spectacularly sounded horrible), this philosphy was abandoned and it was understood that we had no full understanding. Back to the Black Arts, or, good instincts, or chance assemblage of materials, design philosophy, and execution, which is art. Spinning the platter at a steady 33 1/3 has ALWAYS been understood, though more difficult to achieve at a budget.

Occasionally, something comes along which violates everything we think we know (like the RS Labs tonearm, or the Well Tempered turntable when it first came out), and this is part of the excitement of audio, and helps generate interest and, yes, sales. We NEED challenges to the status quo to keep the ball rolling.

Simon Yorke's piece is laudable from many points of view, and I agree with much of it, but it also reads like a justification of high prices and a sales pitch, a mixture of philosophy and public relations. If we were to stick to it to the letter, then there would be no future for serious audio as a hobby, a source of quality reproduction for those who want to spend hundreds of dollars to test the waters (or are tempted into becoming audiophiles in the first place by the entry-level price), as is understandable and sensible, and not thousands of dollars. Simon Yorke's turntables may be the ulitmate aim of many (but not all) audiophiles, but those audiophiles are in most cases inducted into the brotherhood by such companies as Project, while so many companies abandon budding audiophiles and the whole concept of entry-level quality.

Finally, I can't comment on the comparison between the Regas and the Projects or Music Halls, as I haven't heard a Music Hall, or directly compared a Project which I have heard to a Rega, but aside from the fellow who also owns a Rega and so obviously agrees with you, I would at least question your judgment of their relative merits and not blindly accept it: I will do the comparison myself some day and report on it, many are enamoured of both these companies' products, which I remind you again are offering true budget items and so are the hope of serious audio's, specifically vinyl's, future, if it has one.
Ah yes, I am indeed in the presence of great minds. I am most humbled to be insuch esteem company. It is very refreshing to finally find out that 47 years in this hobby is now meaningless and without merit. One has no idea of what a true blessing that is after all this time. Now I can go on with my life and get degrees in something other than applied sciences. After all basic scientific law no longer applies. Perhaps someone on Audiogon can reinvent the wheel? Then reinvent the vinyl disc to go with that wheel.

Perhaps a degree in World Economics. After all the price of eggs in china are at all time high, and may truly not be worth the wear and tear on the hens ass. Yes I can see it now, a possible new quest.

I must forward all of these posts to M.I.T immediatley as applied science as we now know it, has no value. What a genuine break through this is and from the honored and esteemed Audiogon community. Perhaps someone in this post will receive a grant to further the applied sciences, to a newer and elevated level, no one thought possible. A mighty ambition indeed.

But my most heartfelt thanks to the respondents of this post and the Audiogon membership, to have a burden such as this lifted from my now very tired shoulders, is something I could not envision, yes there is a GOD!!

At 62 I will endeavour to get a degree in something else. After all I made a ton of money with the other, just hated to waste those 47 years though. But maybe by 82 I will once again become a valued and worthy member of humanity.

So I leave this thread to those gifted minds of the Audiogon community, my hat is off to you and I am forever humbled by presence of the Audiogon Membership.
Now that's the Palm Beach I remember! People don't agree with you so you throw out sarcastic insults and slink away with your nose held high. It has been my experience working with other engineers such as myself that if you want to study a subject to death, go find an M.I.T grad. If you want to get something done, go find an engineer who graduated just about anywhere else. I often wonder if they teach the same physics at M.I.T. as all the other schools.
Ferrari... dude... this is a discussion forum. You don't get to take offense to somebody disagreeing with you.

Audiophilia like any other hobby is all about opinion and personal choices.

Chill out.
Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater, Johnanntais makes some telling points. In particular, I agree that budget items are important to draw new enthusiasts into the hobby, whilst we old foggies shuffle off to Gods waiting room. I would'nt agree there are less items available, TT's excepted more new names are coming available, particularly from China. You may have issues in trying to support home industry, but the budget market is expanding with good new products, in ampifiers, CD players, speakers etc. I accept there seem to be no new TT manufacturers, but give the Chinese time. Meanwhile there are reasonable budget decks around. I would still advocate a newcomer to vinyl to go 2nd hand, if only because you reduce loss if you make a mistake and wish to sell quickly.
Moving on to the laws of physics, I am a Doctor not a physicist, but last time I checked the basic laws of physics are immutable, certainly the laws of motion, friction, dynamics etc. I don't think TT designers need to employ String Theory. What you might say is that there are many different ways of applying those laws, high mass/low mass, suspended/rigid etc, but sorry, the laws of physics are pretty much a given.
David12, I think you meant to say "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a physicist!"

It is interesting that you mention string theory and at the same time claim the the basic laws of physics are immutable. For it is the string problem that defies explanation using the currently known "laws" of physics. I think it is important to remember that physics is itself an attempt by man to model the universe in mathematical terms. Surely we don't presume to get everything right every time? I say this not in light of the discussion here about TT design, but more due to how often I hear "the laws of physics" tossed out in these forums. As an engineer I use many of these laws everyday but I can easily recognize things around us that are not fully explained, yet.
i love this thread! to go even further in left field, have any of you seen the movie "what the *bleep* do we know?" a very accessible melding of the "big questions" of quantum physics and metaphysics.
Just to be precise, I didn't write that I didn't agree with the statement laws of physics are immutable, though that's a whole other debate. Given we accept the statement, how does this translate into record player design being entirely without art? My point in the long list of different approaches was that no one agrees on how to achieve perfect music reproduction, that none in fact do achieve perfect music reproduction (which is why so many follow many different paths and stand by so many different designs), that different recipes achieve different levels of success, and that this proves that in fact we are still quite ignorant of the mysteries of record-player design. Given this fact, then record player design is indeed an art. Even with all the laws of physics at our command, we still cannot fabricate a violin to match a Stradivarius. So I re-iterate: the statement "Physics and Geometry are basic law and are absolute with debate not being possible" is meaningless in this context, however true it might be (or not be, the point is moot regardless).
Peace, Love, Happiness...ahhhh! to just sit quietly in front of my tubes and turntable, spinning Lp's the night away. Ignorance is truly bliss. The Zen of Analog. Now I thinks me play some Pixies- Surfer Rosa. Enjoy!
Ferrari et al,

I'm in favor of anything that increases the number of satisfied vinyl users. However, I certainly wouldn't want to see people try it and leave due to poor sound. The increased set-up and maintenance requirements (vinyl vs. CD) are enough to turn off some long time CD users who try to move to vinyl.

What do you guys think of the Avid Volvere? Have you heard it? I'm very familiar with the sound of Sota vacuum TT, mostly the Star, so comparisons would be meaningful.

I tend to go along with Raul with his comments; ie, at this performance level they are all damned good and synergy comes into play much more.
Terry, sorry I can't make comparisons, but the Avid Volvere is a lovely turntable. Beautifully engineered and easy to set up. I have heard it a number of times and have been very impressed by detail and soundstage, depth in particular. Arguably the Diva is better value, but the Volvere has the advantage of upgradeability to the Volvere Sequel, arguably what you should aim for as a "last turntable". Unfortunately it's expensive in the UK, but very expensive in the US. With the current $ price, I am not sure it is the best value for our colonial cousins.
I have compared the simon yorke s7 and s8 with the brinkmann lagrange - the lagrange wins easily.
I'm searching for info on my Yamaha P-550 Direct Drive Turntable. Any owners/users out there? This is a pretty old TT, but seems solid and still operates. Does this unit compare with any of the current production "budget" units?
I'm trying to decide if I should continue working with this table, perhaps tweak it, or just upgrade altogether.