Hello Sky- Is that $70 off the regular price of a $200, or a $20,000 table?(BIG difference) Seriously: 30 hrs is not much time off the lifespan of any turntable/cartridge combo, and there really is no "typical life span" either. A cartridge's stylus will wear much more quickly, if subjected to dirt in the grooves of the records it's asked to track. Many don't realize just how abrasive that is. A cartridge's compliance(the rubber in which the cantilever is suspended) should last many years, before it's elasticity wanes. Then there's the cartridge's magnets, the table's/arm's bearings, belt and motor which should all be good for many years also. See if the dealer has a stylus microscope, and check the alignment/wear of the stylus. If straight and without evident wear, and you like the sound when auditioned with YOUR phono stage/pre-amp: buy the piece, and enjoy your return to vinyl.
Thanks for the response. I haven't owned a turntable since I was 19 years old, many moons ago lol. I am now 44 so a lot has changed since then I know.
The table I am looking at is the Pro-ject Debut 3 with acrylic platter and sumiko pearl cartridge installed. He is asking $595.00 I believe for it new or $70.00 off and take the demo.
I'd pay the $70 to buy new.
You have no idea how the cartridge was played/(mis)aligned/dropped etc.
30 hours can be a lifetime if handled improperly.
Agree with Audiofeil, plus you have no way to verify how long the cart has been played.
It lasts until it's worn out which depends on use/abuse.
If it's a reputable dealer, it should have been taken care of properly. However, it it was demo'd by a number of customers not in the presence of the dealer, it could have been abused a bit. Personally, I'd pay the $70 and get a new one. It avoids problems.
A dissenting opinion. The replacement stylus, which would make this cartridge as good as new only costs $45.00:
So I would purchase the rig at $70.00 off and a new stylus and put the old stylus in a drawer so that you have a backup in the case of accident, or if you wish to learn cartridge setup and alignment.
If it were me(now that I know the price range): I'd buy a new unit(12% isn't much of a discount for used/demo gear). Still- I've never bought a cartridge(in the past 30+ years) without first inspecting the stylus, via a microscope. I've seen a number that were mis-aligned when mounted on the cantilever(new in the box), in that time. A lot depends on your trust of the dealer, and how much the $70 means to you. Can you believe his assessment of the time on the unit? Does he let cutomers mistreat his equipment?(unlikely, but possible). Like I said though- You should still audition the unit with your phono stage/pre-amp, before purchasing(new or demo unit).
I don't think he is discounting the table enough for a demo price. 20% off retail might be considered typical demo price. Perhaps the low cost of this table warrants a lower discount, not sure about that. In this case I would buy new. $70.00 hardly buys dinner.
Good call Viridian. If the new stylus is less than $70, that would seem the way to go.
Thanks everyone for your input.
The Pro-ject table a good choice for someone getting abck into Vinyl?
I wouldn't mind spending the extra for a better table within reason. I can go as high as 650 for a new table.
Thanks again everyone
Does your dealer carry this one? (http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/xpression3.htm) You might also consider the Rega(P2 & P3) table/arm combos, that have motor/arm upgrades available for future performance enhancement.
Yes he carries the Project Expresion 3. In comparison, is it upgradable? Meaning can I upgrade it with better stuff than the debut?
It has been a long time since I owned a turntable. the last one I had was a technics belt drive circa 1983. So the new gear I am new to it. So thank you for all the help.
He does not carry the rega line. There is another dealer that does. I will check out the price range on the Rega tables.
Pro-ject doesn't sell upgrades for their tables(that I'm aware of), outside of a record clamp. Rega and VPI(for instance) sell arm/counterweight & wiring, motor & power supply, suspension, platter, record clamp and weight upgrades. VPI offers the most, but their entry level prices are higher. If you like to tweek, they make it easier on you.
You know Sky- I may have tossed too many curves by mentioning the Rega and VPI upgrades. I'm a tweek/upgrade freak, so that kind of stuff holds a lot of appeal for me. If you just compare the two Pro-ject tables; you'll probably find the Xpression III more satisfying musically than the Debut(the Oyster is a nice cartridge), and save yourself some gyrations/agonizing. Again I stress: Listen to them with your phono stage/pre-amp. Matching the output and sound of a cartridge, with the gain stages of your system is VERY critical. If the Pro-ject pieces seem too lean for you/your system; the Regas have a warmer(British) presentation, and may suit your tastes better.
Project does, in fact, make a very interesting upgrade available for all of it's tables. It offers two different regulated power supplies, the more expensive of the two, I believe, is a regenerator. I have no experience with the marque, but anecdotal reports on the web indicate that these are worthwhile upgrades.
The first upgrade that you should consider may actually be a better phono cartridge.
Thanks again everyone. I will take in everything posted and think about which table I will buy.
I'm more confused now than ever lol.
Just to let all know, I thank you for your input. I did purchase the table. I saved some money and examined the table etc. It plays great and I am satisfied with it.
Pro-ject debut 3 with acrylic platter, and a Sumiko Pearl cartridge.
Welcome back to analog and enjoy your vinyl collection! =8^)