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I’ve built myself a nice entry-level hifi system, that includes a Marantz AVR with phono inputs, JBL Studio 530 speakers and an SVS subwoofer. Although I foresee mainly using digital audio, I do have an inexpensive AT LP60 turntable and a few dozen records.

I’d like to make the turntable a bigger part of my music listening experience and was hoping for some basic guidance here. My guess is buying a better turntable around $300 is going to be the best immediate solution? What should my next steps be? If we can keep the budget down and get some serious bang for the buck, that’d be great. I'd just love for listening to records to be an experience that's worth choosing over Airplay.

Thanks!
 

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Over/above a higher end TT, is the quality of the cartridge/stylus.
There are many good quality cartridges. Over the years I've used mostly Shure.
 

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if you want new, the Pro-ject Debut Carbon is the go to recommendation for bang for your buck "entry level" turntables. Your LP60 doesn't allow cartridge upgrades. Many people are happy with the AT LP120, which does allow upgrades. The U Turn Orbit is another worth looking into.

Have fun.
 

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The cartridge will make the biggest impact.
I haven't been in the market for this type of gear in a long time cause my exiting stuff is still great.

As mentioned, Shure makes a great cartridges. Don't know if they're still in business but Ortofon, Stanton, Grado, and Audio Technica are also great cartridges.

As for a table, for $300 dollars I'm sure you'll find one more than adequate. So long as it's a reputable company that's been in the business for som time you should be in good shape there.
 

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Well, you will probably be corralled in to the vinyl experience once you start the upgrading. I went from a Rega RP-1 entry level to an RP-3 with a much better cartridge. Big change in sound. Liked the glass platter on the RP-3 and upgraded to a LOMC cartridge. Listening to 2 specific LP's that I call my "reference" the change from the standard Elyss II cartridge to an Ortofon Quintet Bronze made me sit and say "wow". Of course with LOMC, you need a decent phono pre with >= 60dB gain. Al in all the upgrades are getting me towards a $2K platter but life is short and ears only stay good for so long........ IMHO, well worth it for the experience I and others who have commented are enjoying. Have fun with this crazy hobby!
 

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The Project Carbon is an excellent starter TT. It comes w/a good starter cart the 2M Red. Don't forget you'll also have to have a phono and some cleaning supplies to add to your cost. By the way Shure is still in business. The 97Xe is an excellent cart for under $100.:)
 

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Its a little more than your $300 budget but people seem to like the Denon DP300F with the Ortofon 2M red cartridge from Needledoctor for $419. Its an automatic turntable which some people hate, but the convenience is nice.

I also have the AT LP60 so I am looking forward to seeing what people suggest since I will be looking to upgrade the LP60 soon.

thanks
 

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In the $300-400 range is the previous mentioned Denon DP300F, then their is the Teac TN-300, and the Onkyo CP-1050. Consensus seem to be they are all made by Hanpin, China, or so many site forums claim. The ONK at 19 lbs seems a bit heavy for a hanpin, while the other two are in the around 11/13 lb range, not that the weight means a lot, just could be thicker MDF on the Onkyo. Seem to be all solid beginner TTs going by what info is available. I'm looking at all 3 myself but waiting for some real reviews on the Teac and Onkyo.
 

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$300 is a bit lean for a good entry level turntable. But of those recommended, the Project Debut Carbon is highly rated. But the Denon DP300 is a semi-auto, which is an extremely convenient feature, at the touch of a button, the motor starts, the arm lifts and sets down on the record, it play to the end and the arm returns to rest and the motor shuts off. Very convenient, and if you look that the DP300, it does seem to have a decent tone arm.

Project Debut Carbon -

$449 Carbon Debut DC - latest version -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject-Debut-Carbon-DC-Black?sc=2&category=352


Denon DP300 -

$329 with basic cartridge -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Denon-DP-300F-Fully-Automatic-Turntable?sc=2&category=58919

$419 with the highly rated Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge

http://www.needledoctor.com/Denon-DP300F-with-2M-Red-Package?sc=2&category=58919

In Audio Techica the LP60 is low man on the totem pole. Few would recommend this because of the less than basic tone arm. However, the LP120 and the LP240 have definitely better tone arms.

$299 - Audio Technica LP120 USB Turntable -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Technica-LP120-USB-Turntable?sc=2&category=358

$499 - Audio Techinca LP240 USB Turntable -

http://www.needledoctor.com/Audio-Technica-LP240-USB-Turntable?sc=2&category=358

A quick search of Google-Shopping found the Audio Technica LP120 for $249 from Zzound -

http://www.zzounds.com/item--AUTATPL120?siid=86605&gclid=CIXI17DPtcQCFZKGaQodoBgAEQ

I personally would never consider anything less than the Audio Technica LP120. Though my personal preference is for the Denon DP300 with 2M Red Cartridge.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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One more thing, if you start looking at new or used DJ Turntables, for HiFi, you do NOT want a turntable that has a short Straight Tone Arm, you want the long curved "S" or "J" shaped arm.

The Keyword is NOT Straight, but SHORT. HiFi tone arms tend to be longer with less tracking error.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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Check this thread before you get a carbon debut TT

I'm too new for it to let me post a link, but look up on this forum:

eliminating hum project debut carbon turntable

Interesting opportunity for tweaks...whether that's a good thing, I'm not sure...
 
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