The Bluenote from Italy!
6 responses Add your response
If I were spending the money, I would be looking at used stuff. You haven't specified so this might not help. I would get a Sota Cosmos table with an SME IV arm and a SHelter 901 or as was recently recommended maybe a vdH DDT cartridge.
I would look for a Pass Labs Xono phono stage, also used. This should be doable in the price range you mentioned.
The Teres tables have also tempted me lately and would be worth investigating.
I agree with used because hi end tables are a good buy. The owners tend to have good habits, and you are going to need a new cartridge anyway. Can't argue with SOTA either, but I certainly would not pass up a nicely priced Linn, but only the LP-12. They are quite good about retro-fitting, and they have an economical amp. And I am glad you plan on a good cleaning option! That will make you happier than any table choice. If you really rather not take on the search or just can't bear the thought of used, then a new Linn is at the top of your budget, or a VPI.
Twl seems to be on vacation, so I'll attempt to emulate what he might recommend. ;) If you'd prefer to buy new then a Teres-based setup would be tough to beat in your price range. Here's one possible configuration:
Teres 245 ($2725)
Origin Live Silver ($925)
If you add Twl's HIFI Mod and my VTF mod you'll get an arm that rivals others that list for $1500+.
Shelter 501 ($800)
That leaves $500ish for a phono stage. I don't have broad enough experience to recommend one, but if $500 isn't enough you could substitute a Denon 102R for the Shelter. That would free up about $500 to put toward the phono stage.
Slightly lower down the price scale, a Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm ($2500) would leave room for a very nice cartridge and phono.
Were I in the market right now for a nice used table I'd look at this VPI HW19 Mk IV with the JMW10 tonearm. Seems like a deal at 2k (firm supposedly) with its original box and is being sold at a dealer which means it is probably in great shape. Spend the money on a nice cartridge and quality transformer. The Shelter with an Audio Note transformer would be bliss.
If you could afford a genuine Kondo built transformer I would go for it as Kondo San is not getting any younger. Units built by Kondo San might become collectible upon his inevitable demise.