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post #1 of 17 Old 10-10-2017, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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1500.00 to spend for a TT

Can you guys offer advice on a quality TT and cartridge for the 1500.00 price range?

Thanks in advance


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post #2 of 17 Old 10-10-2017, 08:16 PM
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Clearaudio Concept TT w/Clearaudio MM Cart $1599.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-10-2017, 10:19 PM
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Marantz TT-15S1. Built by Clearaudio. Basically a Emotion. Its a killer deal if you price the components separately. The Clearaudio Virtuoso MM cartridge is like $900 by itself. The Clearaudio Satisfy tonearm is around $1250. You do have to set it up yourself so you have to be confident in that.

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-10-2017, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks the both of you. I’ll research both and go from there.
I’ve never setup a turntable so what are the secrets I need to know on properly doing this?

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post #5 of 17 Old 10-12-2017, 05:14 PM
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I'd go for the Rega RP3 instead

I found the Marantz TT-15 a bit too finicky and fragile. It has a phenomenal cartridge, but the the player is a bit too finicky for me. It would skip occasionally, doesnt come with a cover and needed a custom cover, the tracking went off after a few days.

It was my pick of choice at first and when it worked it sounded quite nice, but I returned it after a few weeks and swapped it with the RP3. The Rega sounds fantastic and authoritative and just plays and stays "tuned" without needing adjustments. Some nice upgrades can be done for relatively cheap to elevate the performance even more (Groovetracer, belt, PSU just to name a few)
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-13-2017, 10:10 AM
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My choice would be the Music Hall 5.3SE ($1395, Ortofon 2M Bronze), which I like because of the natural wood top -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

If black is more appealing, then the standard Music Hall 5.3 is only about $1000 -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Though this has the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.

If the natural wood does not appeal to you, then the Music Hall 7.3 ($1595, 2M Bronze) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Two turntables most often recommended are Project and Rega, I'm sure they have something in your price range.

Project -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-S...ect-Turntables

REGA -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-S...ega-Turntables

The REGA Planar 3 (Gloss Blac, Elys 2 Cartridge, $1145) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-Pla...2&category=353

This is a pretty save virtually guaranteed turntable. You can't go wrong with this.

On step higher, is the REGA Planer 6 (Black, Exact 2 Cartridge, $1995) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-Pla...2&category=353

This should hit a pretty high standard in a turntable.

The Project 2 Xperience (Blue Point 2 MC, $1599) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

Would also be a good choice, though note it come with a Moving Coil Cartridge, not a Moving Magnet. I'm sure you could probable arrange for an alternative if you so desired.

Someone mentioned the Clear Audio Concept (Verify, Concept MM, $1600) turntable -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Clearaud...2&category=347

With the Verify tonearm, Concept MM cartridge, and black or silver trim, the price is $1600.


Though my choice would be Music Hall, Pro-Ject and Rega are the most often recommended turntables.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 10-13-2017 at 10:14 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-13-2017, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
My choice would be the Music Hall 5.3SE ($1395, Ortofon 2M Bronze), which I like because of the natural wood top -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

If black is more appealing, then the standard Music Hall 5.3 is only about $1000 -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Though this has the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.

If the natural wood does not appeal to you, then the Music Hall 7.3 ($1595, 2M Bronze) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Ha...2&category=351

Two turntables most often recommended are Project and Rega, I'm sure they have something in your price range.

Project -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-S...ect-Turntables

REGA -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-S...ega-Turntables

The REGA Planar 3 (Gloss Blac, Elys 2 Cartridge, $1145) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-Pla...2&category=353

This is a pretty save virtually guaranteed turntable. You can't go wrong with this.

On step higher, is the REGA Planer 6 (Black, Exact 2 Cartridge, $1995) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-Pla...2&category=353

This should hit a pretty high standard in a turntable.

The Project 2 Xperience (Blue Point 2 MC, $1599) -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject...2&category=352

Would also be a good choice, though note it come with a Moving Coil Cartridge, not a Moving Magnet. I'm sure you could probable arrange for an alternative if you so desired.

Someone mentioned the Clear Audio Concept (Verify, Concept MM, $1600) turntable -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Clearaud...2&category=347

With the Verify tonearm, Concept MM cartridge, and black or silver trim, the price is $1600.


Though my choice would be Music Hall, Pro-Ject and Rega are the most often recommended turntables.

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks for your input,

Between the Rega planer 6 with the Ania cartridge and the music hall 9.3 with the Eroica LX cartridge which would be an overall beat sounding system?

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphillips63 View Post
Thanks for your input,

Between the Rega planer 6 with the Ania cartridge and the music hall 9.3 with the Eroica LX cartridge which would be an overall beat sounding system?
I would also recommend the Music Hall MMF-7.3 turntable.

Its motor is completely isolated from the turntable, which is desirable.

I have the older 7.1 version and the sound is excellent with a Benz Micro cartridge.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jphillips63 View Post
Thanks for your input,

Between the Rega planer 6 with the Ania cartridge and the music hall 9.3 with the Eroica LX cartridge which would be an overall beat sounding system?
In this price range, they all sound good, but you are well above your original budget projection. The Music Hall MMF-9.3 runs between $2100 and about $2400. And believe me that is still cheap for a turntable. If you want to get serious, we can go to 5 and 6 digits.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Clearaud...2&category=347

There are three aspects to a turntable -

1.) ToneArm - When initially looking, the best you can do is judge by appearance. However, in higher end consumer turntables, we have to reasonably assume the maker choose the best tonearm to hit a particular price point. I suspect, if you really want to get into it, you can spend 4, 5, and 6 digits on just the tonearm. Though we have to draw a reasonable line when it comes to spending.

2.) Motor Speed Accuracy - This is critical, the more precise and stable the platter speed, the more precise the sound.

3.) Cartridge - Cartridge are like speakers, being mechanical devices, they can sound different. You really have to work out which most closely meets your taste in sound. BUT ... most cartridges will do a very reasonable job of audio reproduction. You just have to decide how far you want to take it.

The Second aspect of Cartridges is - Moving Magnet vs Moving Coil. Moving Magnet (MM) can sound very good an can easily run up into 4 digits. Moving Coil (MC) are generally recognized as better, but they have very low output, about 1/10th the output of an MM, and they can be a bit more temperamental about impedance and capacitance of the input they feed. However, many people use them, so it is not that hard to set them up, but they need about 1000x amplification compared to the 100x of a Moving Magnet to get it up to roughly Line Level.

So as a Subset of Cartridges, that is a decision you have to make - MM vs MC. Myself, I lean toward MM for simplicity, but if you are a true Audiophile with a fat wallet, you might want to consider MC.

In the Consumer Class we are discussing - $1000 to $2500 - these are very fine turntables, so it is simply a matter of which one you like, and which one you can afford.

Though more as a starting budget guideline, I tend to say $1 in the turntable for every album you can eventually foresee having. For example, I have about 500 Albums and in today's money, my turntable would run about $600.

100 to 500 Albums = $500 Turntable
500 to 1000 = $500 to $1000
1000 and up = $1000 and up

Of course, just a broad generalization, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend $2000 to support 100 album. You are certainly free to do that, but it seems out of balance.

All the turntables being discussed are proven turntables with a good track record. But I think you will find that NO ONE will tell you what to do, only what can be done. The final decision is up to you.

Myself I like the Music Hall MMF-5.3SE ($1400 w/ 2M Bronze), though a good turntable, one of the reasons I like it is because it has a natural wood top. One of the reasons I'm less fond of REGA is because I don't like their Tonearms. I'm not saying they are not good tonearms, only that I don't especially like them. These are personal preferences, and admittedly even biases, but you are allowed to use those factor in making your determination.

Lastly, these are all good turntable with good cartridges. It is just a matter of which one you like. There is no wrong decision.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 10-14-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 11:09 AM
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In this price range, they all sound good, but you are well above your original budget projection. The Music Hall MMF-9.3 runs between $2100 and about $2400. And believe me that is still cheap for a turntable. If you want to get serious, we can go to 5 and 6 digits.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Clearaud...2&category=347

There are three aspects to a turntable -

1.) ToneArm - When initially looking, the best you can do is judge by appearance. However, in higher end consumer turntables, we have to reasonably assume the maker choose the best tonearm to hit a particular price point. I suspect, if you really want to get into it, you can spend 4, 5, and 6 digits on just the tonearm. Though we have to draw a reasonable line when it comes to spending.

2.) Motor Speed Accuracy - This is critical, the more precise and stable the platter speed, the more precise the sound.

3.) Cartridge - Cartridge are like speakers, being mechanical devices, they can sound different. You really have to work out which most closely meets your taste in sound. BUT ... most cartridges will do a very reasonable job of audio reproduction. You just have to decide how far you want to take it.

The Second aspect of Cartridges is - Moving Magnet vs Moving Coil. Moving Magnet (MM) can sound very good an can easily run up into 4 digits. Moving Coil (MC) are generally recognized as better, but they have very low output, about 1/10th the output of an MM, and they can be a bit more temperamental about impedance and capacitance of the input they feed. However, many people use them, so it is not that hard to set them up, but they need about 1000x amplification compared to the 100x of a Moving Magnet to get it up to roughly Line Level.

So as a Subset of Cartridges, that is a decision you have to make - MM vs MC. Myself, I lean toward MM for simplicity, but if you are a true Audiophile with a fat wallet, you might want to consider MC.

In the Consumer Class we are discussing - $1000 to $2500 - these are very fine turntables, so it is simply a matter of which one you like, and which one you can afford.

Though more as a starting budget guideline, I tend to say $1 in the turntable for every album you can eventually foresee having. For example, I have about 500 Albums and in today's money, my turntable would run about $600.

100 to 500 Albums = $500 Turntable
500 to 1000 = $500 to $1000
1000 and up = $1000 and up

Of course, just a broad generalization, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend $2000 to support 100 album. You are certainly free to do that, but it seems out of balance.

All the turntables being discussed are proven turntables with a good track record. But I think you will find that NO ONE will tell you what to do, only what can be done. The final decision is up to you.

Myself I like the Music Hall MMF-5.3SE ($1400 w/ 2M Bronze), though a good turntable, one of the reasons I like it is because it has a natural wood top. One of the reasons I'm less fond of REGA is because I don't like their Tonearms. I'm not saying they are not good tonearms, only that I don't especially like them. These are personal preferences, and admittedly even biases, but you are allowed to use those factor in making your determination.

Lastly, these are all good turntable with good cartridges. It is just a matter of which one you like. There is no wrong decision.

Steve/bluewizard

"There are three aspects to a turntable "


I'd disagree and state that the base, especially for bass, is also a critical part of the analog front end. It all matters.

And regarding a cart: lots of choices, but you want to be sure you choose a good match for your speakers.

I bought a VPI Classic Signature a couple of years ago and wanted to try a Koestu Rosewood Signature, but they were on back order so I bought a super cheap Ortofon Blue to hold me over for a few weeks. What an atrocious cart for that table used with ESLs. It made me want to run. However, when I bought a cheap table (Musical Fidelity Roundtable) for my system up here, which is used with Elac B6s. Those speakers are known to be a little soft up top and maybe err to the warmer side of neutral, the Ortofon Blue was quite a good cart for this application. So in few words, it all depends.
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 11:21 AM
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"There are three aspects to a turntable "

I'd disagree and state that the base, especially for bass, is also a critical part of the analog front end. It all matters. ....
You don't disagree, you simply have another aspect to add to the evaluation of turntables.

The Base or plinth or platform can matter, but the things that directly effect the sound comes from the Cartridge, the Tonearm, and the stability of the Motor Speed. Buy a poorly design Base Platform can have an effect on the sound, but it is more secondary.

Still ... good point. But, I don't see that as much of a problem in the class of turntables being considered.

Cartridges, because they are mechanic, much like speakers, can have unique characteristic. You have to match that general characteristic with your personal taste and the equipment you have. But that is a very difficult thing to do unless you can hear the Turntable and Cartridge with your specific system in your specific room.

By reputation, while the 2M Series (Red, Blue, Bronze, Black, etc...) are said to have a bit of emphasis on the top end, many other factors effect the specifics. You said yourself in the right room with the right equipment, the 2M Blue sounded very good. But that is a difficult thing to know in advance.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #12 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 12:41 PM
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You don't disagree, you simply have another aspect to add to the evaluation of turntables.

The Base or plinth or platform can matter, but the things that directly effect the sound comes from the Cartridge, the Tonearm, and the stability of the Motor Speed. Buy a poorly design Base Platform can have an effect on the sound, but it is more secondary.

Still ... good point. But, I don't see that as much of a problem in the class of turntables being considered.

Cartridges, because they are mechanic, much like speakers, can have unique characteristic. You have to match that general characteristic with your personal taste and the equipment you have. But that is a very difficult thing to do unless you can hear the Turntable and Cartridge with your specific system in your specific room.

By reputation, while the 2M Series (Red, Blue, Bronze, Black, etc...) are said to have a bit of emphasis on the top end, many other factors effect the specifics. You said yourself in the right room with the right equipment, the 2M Blue sounded very good. But that is a difficult thing to know in advance.

Steve/bluewizard

"You said yourself in the right room with the right equipment, the 2M Blue sounded very good"

Equipment that hide the flaws of the Blue. The Elacs do that. And to be that hot on the high end is a flaw in my book. However, the ESLs exacerbate anything out of whack anywhere else in the food chain and beat you in the head with it. This is the 'why' of my choice of the Koetsu, although next time it will probably be back to the Lyra Etna.

"There are three aspects to a turntable "

In fact, I do disagree. I'd replace the 'three' with a 'four'. Why? I'd bet dollars to dognuts that folks with more budget oriented systems tend to listen louder than high-enders. Plus from the pics posted here, they're more likely to have speakers and subs up against boundaries, increasing the chance of airborne induced feedback. After a few bouts of Klipsch boom boom boom or JBL boom boom boom induced lower frequency feedback from the 15" wooofers and that or bigger subs, they might think that the base is more important than cart or arm. Still though, in a more budget oriented turntable for listeners who like to listen loud, it's really difficult to deal with this issue other than to turn it down,

Last edited by Scotth3886; 10-14-2017 at 01:26 PM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the input, the more I read the more I get confused. I have no way of knowing what cartridge or tone arm will sound the best with my system. I upped the price of my initial post to the 2 players I mentioned above in hopes of getting the best for what I wish to spend that’ll sound good with my system (listed in my signature). As for the number of albums I plan to invest in I have no clue,nit could be 5-6 or it could be 500-600. I know I don’t have the disposable income to test and try every cartridge and arm to figure this out. I’ll add once the Marantz SR8012 hits the market it'll replace my SR6011.

Everyone claims to hear music as it’s intended to be heard is via vinyl so this is why I’m seeking a quality player. My other option and I’m not sure if it’s an option is buying SACD music and playing them thru my Oppo.

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Thanks again for the input, the more I read the more I get confused. I have no way of knowing what cartridge or tone arm will sound the best with my system. I upped the price of my initial post to the 2 players I mentioned above in hopes of getting the best for what I wish to spend that’ll sound good with my system (listed in my signature). As for the number of albums I plan to invest in I have no clue,nit could be 5-6 or it could be 500-600. I know I don’t have the disposable income to test and try every cartridge and arm to figure this out. I’ll add once the Marantz SR8012 hits the market it'll replace my SR6011.

Everyone claims to hear music as it’s intended to be heard is via vinyl so this is why I’m seeking a quality player. My other option and I’m not sure if it’s an option is buying SACD music and playing them thru my Oppo.

I didn't notice what speakers you're using until just now. Those tweeters tend to be detailed almost to the point of being etched. I think that would just about eliminate any of the lower priced Ortofons. You might want to look more toward a Grado.
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-14-2017, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jphillips63 View Post
Thanks again for the input, the more I read the more I get confused. I have no way of knowing what cartridge or tone arm will sound the best with my system. I upped the price of my initial post to the 2 players I mentioned above in hopes of getting the best for what I wish to spend that’ll sound good with my system (listed in my signature). As for the number of albums I plan to invest in I have no clue,nit could be 5-6 or it could be 500-600. I know I don’t have the disposable income to test and try every cartridge and arm to figure this out. I’ll add once the Marantz SR8012 hits the market it'll replace my SR6011.

Everyone claims to hear music as it’s intended to be heard is via vinyl so this is why I’m seeking a quality player. My other option and I’m not sure if it’s an option is buying SACD music and playing them thru my Oppo.
You are spot on. Choosing a cartridge can be more of a leap of faith than any other component in your hifi but other than speakers it’s the most important if vinyl is your preferred source.

You just cannot A/B cartridges unless you visit a very well equipped dealer. Just read as many reviews as possible and make sure your choice is compatible with your phone stage and turntable. Once you make your choice make sure it’s properly installed.

Jolida JD502B Integrated Amplifier, VPI Scout turntable with Dynavector 10X5 cartridge, Paradigm Studio 100 v.5 speakers, Laptop loaded with JRiver playing FLAC files through Dragonfly Black DAC. Furman Elite 15 Power Conditioner.

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post #16 of 17 Old 10-17-2017, 12:54 PM
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Thanks the both of you. I’ll research both and go from there.
I’ve never setup a turntable so what are the secrets I need to know on properly doing this?
Its not rocket surgery, but can be a bit finicky. There is a ton of info online. Are you mechanically inclined at all? If not I recommend buying local from a dealer that can help you, or at very least a new table with a pre mounted cart.

If you are not afraid of rolling your own, I say wait for a good deal on a used setup, Its not unusual to see a VPI scout or Rega P25 with cart within budget. I recommend staying with REGA or VPI, mostly because these are by far the most prevalent tables in your price range. VPI has a great forum that will help you if you have any issues. Regas are very simple and there is a ton of info available online.
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