The source is the most important part of any good audio system. The “Source”, meaning a Turntable (or CD player) is at the beginning of the audio chain. This is where the music starts and where one should not nickel and dime themselves.
I've owned both a Sondek LP12 and a WT Classic (not the amadeus but extremely similar in design). Like all TTs, these two have strenghts and weaknesses. My experience with both, well... these two are what I consider "high maintenance" tables and very fuzzy to set up and maintain. They will only sound at their best when they are set up properly. Reason why I decided to part ways and move in another direction.
I also owned a heavily modified SL1200 with Jelco arm for a while. Bottom line, dead steady but not so "quiet" as belt driven tables.
I have fallen in love with the new Rega tables! Their philosophy makes sense, light and rigid. The Rega P5 is a great TT and you would be hard pressed to "hear" more with any of the TTs mentioned above. The RB700 is equally superb IMHO. I have auditioned but not owned a Rega RP8. However, I currently own a heavily modofied Rega RP3 that is now closer in design/performance to the RP8 than the actual RP3.
My current TT:
Rega RP3 (I'm using the plinth, 24 V motor, bearing well, and double brase from the original RP3, everything else is gone)
Added the Rega TT-PSU
Replaced the RB303 with a new Rega RB808 tonearm
Added the following:
Groovetracer Reference subplatter w/zirconia bearing
Groovetracer Delrin Platter
Groovetracer 130 Grams Counterweight
Eduards Audio Little Belter
Dayton Audio ISO-4BK adjustable brass footers
Clearaudio clever clamp
Try a better cartridge before you decide to part ways with your current TT. Again, this is where the music starts! Start with the DV 20X2L/DV P-75 combo in enhancer mode. You will be floored at how much more information you P5 will be able to retrive. For even better information retrieval and blacker blacks, go with the Lyra Delos. IMHO, no other cartridge will bring you closer to the music than Lyra.
My current 2 channel system:
Modified RP3/Lyra Delos
Cronus Magnum with KT120's and Genalex Gold Lion
Dynavector P-75 MKI, giant killer! (MKII/MKIII versions sound the same to my ears and you can get a P-75 for $400.00 and save some money for a better cart)
Golden Ear Triton 7
Straightwire maestro cables/interconnects