I suggest the Rega and, properly set up, it should
outperform your Rotel. I'm not a fan of the Project arms
and feel the Rega arm is superior. When your budget allows
you can add the Rega outboard speed controller that makes
the table even better by assuring constant, stable speed.
Thank you for responding!
I seond the Rega. I have owned a P5 and curently a P7 - both great tables. The TTPSU makes them even better.
The quality of the playback is more dependent on the recording itself. You may have CDs that sound far superior to LPs, and vice versa.
Unless you already own a vinyl collection, I believe that the potential of accumulating a superior collection of vinyl is slim. It will also be substantially more expensive than collecting the same music on CD.
Something to consider before diving in.
Of the two tables mentioned, I would choose the Rega, but I also believe you can do better than the Rega for $1000.
Tvad, what would you recommend at that price point other than the Rega?
One of these
if another one becomes available.
I would disagree that it is harder to collect vinyl. There is plenty of great vinyl out there to be had - I have easily almost tripled my collection in the last six months, spending far less than I would have paid for the equivalent amount on CD. The Rega is definitely far better than the Project, too, as everyone said.
About 20% of the vinyl I have purchased in the past two years has been worth a
damn. The rest has been crap, although advertised as near mint or better. My
vinyl purchases have nearly ceased as a result of my lack of trust in what sellers
In the meantime, I have purchased some truly exceptional CDs.
To each his own. We all have different standards of acceptability. I have little
tolerance for surface noise, and I have zero tolerance for clicks and pops.
I agree with Tvad's suggestion you audition the Technics. Its' build quality and speed stability are superior to the Rega. That being said, in my experience, when both are properly set up I prefer the sound of the Rega. It's a personal choice.
I thought that one kind of had to put up with surface noise, clicks and pops as a given.
Is this a beginner's naive idea? (I am really asking.)
I don't know much yet about the world of vinyl, but I thought that the thing was that the sound that one could get through all of the imperfections was worth it. Over the last 4 months I have had a lot of fun going to the used record store in town--some of what I have found end up being unacceptable, but the guy lets me return those records. So far I have been listening to what some have called a "forgiving" TT (the pro-ject debut III)--don't know if that has anything to do with the fact that I have enjoyed it so much that I decided to upgrade.
Near Mint records, properly cleaned, can sound very quiet. They will never be as quiet as digital. Analog LPs
are played back via a friction based medium. The musical satisfaction, in my opinion far outweighs the flaws. Trashed and dirty records are going to sound awful. A final suggestion, if you are happy with the Project why change? The upgrade treadmill is hard to get off of once you start. A record cleaning machine may be a better use of your money.
I agree with Narrod about the table upgrade. You can realize an improvement
in sound by purchasing a custom MintLP Best Tractor protractor ($100) and
setting up your cartridge following the detailed instructions. The benefits are
worth much more than the cost of the protractor. However, each MintLP is
made specifically for your table/arm combo, so if you believe you will be
changing tables soon, then the MintLP is probably not the best investment
since you won't be able to use it on your next table. On the other hand, if you
think you may keep your table and squeeze more performance out of it, then
the MintLP is a great way to do it.
Also, you can realize a nice improvement by upgrading your cartridge rather
than changing the table and arm.
Point taken. And nice to here that cautionary note in a world designed to make you want to spend more and more.
This whole thing started with me wanting to upgrade the cartridge and the platter. Plus I was going to get the speed box because everyone says that it helped with pitch stability, and I have already detected this problem with the debut III. Then I realized that it was going to turn into an $800 table after the upgrade, and that's when I thought that what I was looking for was something at that price point.
I have no intentions of becoming an "upgrader" though. I actually hate that aspect of this music equipment thing. I am thinking of the Rega, etc., as a very long term investment (albeit a modest one by audiophile-magazine-standards).
Are you guys saying that my enjoyment of the music might actually decrease with the Rega or the better Pro-Ject?
Only you can decide which is better. If I were choosing between the Pro-Ject and Rega it would be the latter. However, if you like the current performance of your table the upgrades should only make it better.
The problem I have with Rega stems from their business model, which seems to encourage constant upgrades: platter, speed control, arm. It never ends.
If you want exact speed in a time tested table/arm design, then buy a Technics. Later. add a couple KAB upgrades, and for under $1000 you're done. Or, watch for a used version to surface with the KAB upgrades already installed.
Tvad, It appears you are contradicting yourself, regarding upgrading that is. There's nothing wrong with stock Rega tonearms, and for that matter, Rega doesn't "encourage" anyone to upgrade.
First paragraph says, "The problem I have with Rega stems from their business model, which seems to encourage constant upgrades: platter, speed control, arm. It never ends."
Second paragraph says,
"If you want exact speed in a time tested table/arm design, then buy a Technics. Later. add a couple KAB upgrades, and for under $1000 you're done. Or, watch for a used version to surface with the KAB upgrades already installed."
So upgrading the Technics is o.k., but not so with Rega??? This is not a personal attack on you BTW. I'm just confused by your post.
Yes, it's contradictory. Admittedly so.
With a stock Technics, you have everything you need...and things that you
would cost extra with a Rega: speed control, VTA adjustment.
I suppose the overall take-away is that used Technics tables with nice KAB
upgrades occasionally surface for sale for around $750 or so. IMO, this is
pretty unbeatable, and something that you'd have to spend double or triple to
realize in a Rega with upgrades.
Off my soapbox now.
Rega actually has very few upgrades for their tables. Most of what you see aftermarket items. With the exception of the external power supply what other upgrades does Rega offer?
Narrod, you may be right. I've done a pretty good job of debating myself into a corner here, so I'm gonna get out while I can.
Happy shopping to the OP!
Tvad, I've done that more than once. :-)
Agree that Rega actually does not offer much upgrades compared to most other turntable manufacturers, their business model is quite the opposite. As far as analog vs. digital, this has been much debated in other threads. Not to get into it here, but to grossly summarize, the musical distortion in analog, (not speaking of surface noise), is almost entirely at low frequencies, and therefore much less musically objectionable than the distortions of digital, which occur at higher frequencies. For the surface noise, get a record cleaning machine (I got the inexpensive Nitty Gritty from Audio Advisor) and a good set of fluids such as AIVS, and you can clean up most used vinyl very well. I would say I have at least a 90% success rate with this. You can also try a hand-washing method first for the really grungy stuff. For instance, I just bought the Bernstein Carmen with Marilyn Horne, considered the definitive both for performance and sonics (DGG tulip), which usually goes for big bucks on ebay or here, for only six bucks at a local store. It had a sheet of packing foam in it that had disintegrated all over the three LP's. I hand-washed them first, then put them on the cleaning machine, with what would have been perfect success, except for I dropped one of them when my hands were still soapy and wet, scratching one of the sides myself, oops. It sounds as great as advertised otherwise. Yes, sometimes you just get a bad pressing (I have interestingly had a few problems with the famous RCA "shaded dogs"), but if you invest a little in a good cleaning system, you can clean up most anything.
75% of the vinyl I have purchased has been damaged (remember I have zero
tolerance for clicks and pops). Cleaning did not ameliorate the damage. I use
Last year I was lucky to buy a mint condition LP; one of the few truly mint LPs
I have found. During the cleaning process, I accidentally dropped the
threaded brass screw top of my steam cleaner on the record, creating a nice
little divot. Damn.
Learsfool, perhaps you will share with us your excellent sources for good
vinyl, since you have success finding it.
Thanks in advance.
Well, as far as sources go, everything I have bought on audiogon has arrived in fantastic condition, though admittedly I haven't bought much here yet. I have apparently had much better luck on ebay than many posters here seem to have, I have almost never had any problems shopping there. There is also a chain in my area called Half Price Books that sells used records. There are several branches near me, and I look for vinyl at a few of them regularly. Just today, I picked up a near-mint condition copy of the opera Peter Grimes on the London label, conducted by Britten himself with Peter Pears singing Peter for only 8 bucks. I have seen it go on ebay for 10 times that. Alot of people seem to have good luck in thrift stores and estate sales as well, but I have yet to explore these options, I have only been collecting vinyl again in the last several months. I have also been fortunate to have a few friends who gave me their collections of vinyl that they were not using anymore. There are many people doing this now that they can transfer their vinyl recordings to their computers.
Sometimes you will have a click or pop, that is true. Sometimes these can go away with a good cleaning regimen, sometimes not (I personally am a little dubious of steam cleaning, by the way, though I know there are some who swear by it). In my view, that sort of noise is just on the surface. It is not embedded in the music itself. I will put up with a little bit of that to get the larger dynamic range, the more accurate instrumental timbres, and the less musically objectionable distortions of analog over digital, to name just a few benefits. Also, a good arm and cartridge will sometimes track right through a scratch without noise. I have found the fingernail test to be pretty reliable when shopping in the used stores (if you can feel it, you'll hear it, but if you can't, there's a very good chance you won't). Much vinyl out there is not as damaged as it sometimes appears, in my experience.
Would mind sharing the E-Bay sellers specifically by their monikers?
It'd be helpful for those of us who shop there.
I am fortunate to own an exceptionally good digital source. In my system, the
differences in sound between digital and analog on equally good recordings
is extremely small, if not completely negligible.