which turntable for classic rock/jazz

I'm entertaining the idea of upgrading my turntable. The floor is a concrete slab, and I can use either the top shelf of a Polycrystal or Roomtunes rack. Both racks are very stable and spiked to the concrete. Placement is quite close to the right speaker although I do not experience any acoustic feedback problems with my current setup. I would prefer new over used, and purchase from a local dealer to perform the setup which I prefer not to learn. I am not an analog tweaker.

On my short list are: Clearaudio Emotion CMB Special, Avid Diva, VPI Classic, Thorens TD 160. A long stretch would be something like a Galabier Serac, likely too tweaky for me.

I have two different phono stages, the built in unit of the VAC Renaissance or a Musical Surroundings Phonomena.

Goals would include a quieter background, improved definition, a more spacious soundstage. I don't need a subteranean bottom end but good kick in the bass.
Ag insider logo xs@2xrhljazz
Why would you think the Serac is tweaky? Actually, of the tables you list the Galibier is the best sounding, least tweaky, and the best buy of the group. Your VAC is much more deserving of a Galibier than those other tables. I'm just a very happy Galibier owner, no other interest at all.

But, if you are choosing to keep suckling at the teet of a dealer you can rule out the best of that bunch. :-)
Since you stated you want a dealer to setup for you, what do your local dealers sell? If all that you listed are available, I'd probably go with the Serac also if funds allow.

If you can't afford the Serac, I highly recommend the Diva II. I own one and there is nothing to setting it up. I bought mine through Music Direct and their prices are negotiable and they will set it up for you if you buy your cartridge from them.

The Jelco arm that comes with the Avid is quite good too, or you can order it without the arm and have them set up the arm of your choice.
Avid and Clearaudio are at my local dealer. I read the setup instructions for the Galibier and the tape drive installation and tensioning seemed tweaky. Perhaps, it is not anything difficult, just seems that way.

I would rather stay under 3000.00 but I also realize sometimes it is better to spend over budget to keep from changing to soon.
the thorens td160 is a well made, no nonsense hoot. a great all round performer.
The tensioning of the tape drive is important and can make a difference in sound. Some Galibier owners like less tension, some like more. Setting it is not difficult at all. A simple nudge of the motor pod one way or the other is all it takes. You will not find any belt drive system that works as well as the tape. It can easily approach the results of any idler drive with no added vibration. Speed is very important with any music, but more so with rock and jazz.

However, it is to the advantage of any Galibier (and Teres belt drive) owner to learn how to splice the mylar tape in order to make a belt. Galibier does supply several and those will last a while.

A roll of mylar streamer is about $5 and splicing tape may run another $10, but a roll of each will be a life-time supply. Otherwise, one needs only a good craft knife, a piece of glass about 4x7", and some postit notes. It takes less than a minute to make the splice once you have done it a time or two.

On a side note, I understand the desire to have someone setup a table for you. In the long run it will be much more to anyone's advantage to learn how to do it. Thom Mackris of Galibier, as well as other owners, can help tremendously with this.

Good luck in your search.