Vpi 19mkIV or linn sondek 12

Which would be better to buy used? Ease of set-up is an issue as I have no experience. I want to keep it under $1200 with arm. What should I look for? Thanks, Jon
Well, I've owned the Linn LP12, and currently own a VPI HW-19 Mk4 with a Rega RB900 arm. For the most part, the Linn was a major pain in the a.. to keep "tuned", whereas the HW-19 Mk4 is easy to set up and just sails along making great music. I also found that the HW-19 is not nearly as finicky about where it is placed. Based on my own experience, I would not consider buying a Linn when there are so many other good turntables on the market (Basis, Oracle, Rega, etc.)
For the 1200 range, I recommend a rega 25. That's what I have. A friend of mine who's a turntable guru said I should stick with that instead of 'moving up' to a Linn. Another who has owned both commented that the Linn was very frustrating because it constantly went out of whack while his Rega 25 was set and forget. I've used mine for six months now and have never needed to adjust it. I use it with the super-elys cartridge/ARC PH-3/BAT vk5i/Virgos and get excellent sound. Blows my $3000 Sony XA7ES CD player out of the water. I might upgrade to a planar 9 someday, but frankly I don't see any need for improvement.
alright people are going to start thinking im bl@#%ing this guy i keep mentioning him so often but check out salvatore's site at http://www.high-endaudio.com/ and click on audio critique. from there you'll see 'recommended components' and you can read his thoughts on turntables, especially the linn vs. vpi.
Thanks for the input. Seems like Linn could be a pain. Looks like Salvatore is for the VPI. Any more opinions on VPI vs. Rega?
Hey Kublakhan, are you bl@#%ing this Salvatore guy or what? :)

Am I mistaken, or is there not a single solid state product among his recommended components?
Oh, and in this price range, what about Basis, Michell and Rega tables? All are supposed to be excellent.
drubin, it is getting ridiculous but i really like this guy's site, what can i say? he does in fact have a 'few' ss pieces listed but you're right, not many.

jsbail, there are lots of oracles for some reason floating around these days for 6-700. i just got one for $600 w/ an alphason arm and for $300 more got a brooks burden upgrade. slap a nice cartridge on there and you have a nice table for 'cheap.' salvatore (oh, jeezus i did it again) has links to japanese denon direct sites (great deals) that will keep you withni your budget easily. - just a thought.
Jsbail, I've used a VPI MkIII for many years, and as Sdcampbell says, it "just sails along making great music." I've never had a bit of trouble with it, it stays solidly aligned and set-up, and it's also very easy to set-up initially. The VPI MkIII and MkIV tables are a great value in my opinion. The VPI's are also very compatible with a number of different tonearms. (ET, Rega, VPI's own JWM) Basis, Michell and Rega are also very good tables in this price range, but I think its awfully hard to beat the VPI MkIV. One other point to note, VPI is continually improving their top products and making many of those improvements available as upgrades for the VPI MkII-IV tables. They have a long track record of doing this very successfully and at a very modest cost.
Talk to dealer/member larry (hwdsound), he's been selling and modifying VPI turntables for 20 years. As they have no suspension you can try things like sand-filled bases and corian arm-boards and complete top plates. The separate arm-board also makes it easy to swap arms with little or no re-alignment.
VPI's don't have suspensions? What?

In another thread a guy asks about mounting a JMW on an Oracle and no one tells him that the thing weighs over 4 lbs?

Does anyone here know what he's talking about?

With due respect to Kitch29, the only TT in the HW-19 series that does NOT have a suspension is the 'Junior'. It isn't "suspended" in the usual sense -- it sits on vibration-controlling pucks. Once you upgrade beyond the 'Junior', the HW-19's have spring suspension systems. The upgrades to the HW-19 Mk3 and Mk4 involve heavier platters, with corresponding changes to the springs and to the platter bearing (the Mk4 version, for example, uses the same thrust bearing as the more expensive TNT series of TT's).
One little mistake....Like I said, contact hwdsound.