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Entry Level Turntable

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  • #31
    Oh this is Rega RP6 territory I should think.


    • #32
      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
      I haven't heard the latest crop, but there always seemed to be a significant difference between a relatively inexpensive audiophile table and a big league one. I'm not going "full Ivor" on you, but what about a VPI Prime and one of those Lyras that are a relative bargain re sonics? Delos?
      It's like the joke about the poor guy who sees a rich man eating a specific dish, and says to his wife, "I'd really like to eat that before I die." She manages to substitute ingredients, and take a few short cuts, prepares it for him and he sits down to dive in with gusto. After a few chews he says, "For the life of me, I don't know what they see in this."
      People (who aren't into hi-fi) seem to believe that "vinyl sounds better" and that you buy an entry level table and you get magic. I don't know- I lived with the Well-Tempered back in the '80s- when there was only one model, tweaked the hell out of it- and it gave me good performance--it was one of those beer budget tables that eventually wound up costing too much at retail, at least with the bells and whistles, to qualify as entry. But, even fully tweaked, when I switched to a more modern, bigger league table, the difference was vast. I'm not one for proclaiming "it destroys the X" or "it's like a Volkswagen v a Ferrari (PS the Volkswagen, in the form of a so-called Bugatti, has a higher top speed anyway), but the differences weren't subtle. And so, I guess unless someone tells me there's been a sonic breakthrough on entry level tables, I'd say, save your money, buy into a better table arm to start with, and you'll understand why some people didn't just discover vinyl five years ago. Hope that doesn't sound pissy, b/c it's not my style....
      And there is. And as they say, how ya going to keep 'em down on the farm?
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.


      • #33
        My 17 year old kid has got a Pro-Ject 2Xperience which came with a nice carbon tonearm and an Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge. He has a small Pro-Ject Tube Box S phono stage. The whole package is around 1400 € (fairly 40 times less than my own analog rig BTW).

        When I did the set up of his TT, I hooked the whole package into my system to check it out and I was quite impressed. It delivered beyond my expectations. The kid is happy and is buying more records...


        • #34
          VPI, Pro-ject, Music Hall, Rega would seem to be the primary players in the budget turntable market. Oh wait, Pioneer with the PLX for about $700.

          Joe Stalin is credited with saying "better is the enemy of good". A good turntable can be had in the $1,000 range. Of course there are better available at a higher price. Of course there are Bugattis and Ferraris available at a higher price but then there are a lot more Camrys on the road. Maybe at some point someone who started with a Camry may attain the financial wherewithal to buy one. In the meantime the Camry beats walking.

          Likewise stereo equipment, when the alternative is nothing, an inexpensive piece of starter gear looks pretty good. And don't forget that with a broader beginner customer base, more folks will matriculate up the food chain thus supporting the high end in the future, without which support the high end will become extinct.


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            Walking = Digital ?

          • Rust
            Rust commented
            Editing a comment
            Not in this context. Just means a workable turntable is better than no turntable. Speaking of digital, in low cost systems a turntable/cartridge/phono pre-amp combo is often outperformed by a CD player of equal cost. Yeah, my good turntable system ran a few thousand and is better than my $1,200 CD player, but not four times better.

        • #35
 about the latest rendition of the Technics SL1200. I don't know what suffix is used on the latest version of this table but it comes with:

          1) Electronic speed control
          2) Integrated dustcover
          3) Easy to setup overhang
          4) Constrained layer damping of the plinth with good isolation

          I read that these are due to sell at $1700. The tonearm on these tables comes from the same guy who worked the EPA-100, 250 and 500 series of tonearms and they have many of those refinements. The direct drive motor for the cheaper model is not as sophisticated as the G or GAE model but it is still very nice and speed control is rock stable.

          Add an Ortofon 2M Red and you have a nice turntable for a bit over the $1500 price point. It is also better built than most of the entry level tables already mentioned.

          Yes its direct drive but I doubt many of the entry level tables mentioned can stand up to the SL-1200. A entry level user would love one of these for a long time.

          Life is is just samples thereof

          Analog: Walnut VPI Prime TT, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS, Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift, HW-40 Feet
          Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup + Liberty Audio B2B-1, Stereo Squares Dust Cover, Wayne's Audio Peripheral Ring
          Analog Care: VPI MW-1, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Record Doctor V, Hunt EDA VI Brush, AQ Brush, Discwasher Record Care Kit
          Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
          Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

          Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
          Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, REL T9/i Subwoofer
          Headphones: Stax SR L700 MkII + Woo Audio GES, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2, Stax Lambda Pro + SRM1 Mk II
          Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
          Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi


          • Audioraven
            Audioraven commented
            Editing a comment
            It's the Technics SL-1200GR or the black SL-1210GR that you speak of Ed. Last I read, Technics was planning a MSRP of $2000 US for the1200GR. Might get to $1500 or less with discounting.

        • #36
          I think the Allen Perkins (think Spiral Groove) influenced Mo Fi tables that just came out would be worth checking out ..


          • #37
            And VPI that announced the Cliffwood turntable that comes with 9-inch gymballed arm and Grado Green cartridge for $900. There's a race going to make a great, inexpensive table combo now that's not a vinyl grinder.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor,

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.


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              Gasp ... I see a monkey with a hand cranked gramophone playing Strauss waltzes in 2/4 time.

          • #38
            When I was selling high End audio one of the primary turntable lines at one of the places I worked was VPI. I sold lot of them. I was always impressed with the fit and finish of everything, how easy they were to assemble and set up. I also was very impressed with their customer service and how well all around NICE they were. The ability to upgrade was a great feature as well. You could easily customize any of the models . I thought they were a great company with great products.


            • #39
              Originally posted by trprowda View Post
              When I was selling high End audio one of the primary turntable lines at one of the places I worked was VPI.…I thought they were a great company with great products.
              They still are!
              Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
              Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
              Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
              Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables


              • #40
                I have a pair of 1200GR (use them for DJ gigs) and I think they are awesome for what they cost. The 1200GR gets all the fundamentals right in terms of presentation. It's coherent from top to bottom, perfectly speed stable, and very satisfying to listen to. It's also super easy to setup and you can swap out carts in a minute or two which allows experimentation.

                Biggest weakness is soundstage is small/constrained/lacks definition or "space" but you don't really notice this until you compare it directly to something like the Kronos. I also don't like the lack of azimuth adjustment and the OEM headshell is plastic junk; both of these things can be fixed with a better headshell. Even a $40 entry level Ortofon is a big upgrade.

                Admittedly $1700 isn't "entry level" pricing. On the other hand I can't think of anything else near that price point I would rather own even for non DJ use. I also think that the 1200GR represents the point where you can get a turntable that is really fundamentally solid and without any obvious glaring issue or compromise.
                Kronos Pro/SCPS + Zyx Omega Premium -> Trulife Argo -> Schiit Ragnarok -> Event Opal Monitors


                • #41
                  EAT B Sharp w/Ortofon 2m Blue package for 1595.00 would be my choice.
                  SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
                  DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
                  PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
                  PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
                  AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
                  SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
                  CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics


                  • #42
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                    Under $1500 with arm and cartridge.

                    ​Rega, Project, VPI, Music-Hall, etc.

                    What would or have you recommended to a friend?
                    VPI has the Cliffwood at $900 including cartridge and arm. And the Player at $1500 including cartridge, arm, phono stage and headphone amp. Both tables offer exceptional performance for the money and are better than many new tables at that price point IMHO.

                    If someone or friend could spend a little more, I'd recommend the VPI Prime Scout which retails for $2200 including the JMW-9 metal arm (with fixed VTA tower and a serious uni-pivot arm for the money). Some may offer a lower street price and may also be available used... This is a serious table and suitable for a modest high performance system. I use the Prime Scout with $750 Charisma 103 LOMC with the Heed Quasar phono preamp in my office system primarily for headphone listening. But this is also my experimental system for absolute best sound at the least amount of bucks. I've also added some tweaks like the Dual Pivot kit with my Ruby Ball, Single Wire Loom and Stylus Cleaner. I'm working on reducing motor noise...

                    Click image for larger version

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                    I nice thing about the VPI tables is that they can be upgraded over time, preserving much of the initial investment.
                    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
                    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
                    Phono 1: VPI Prime Signature Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Uni-pivot Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
                    Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fat Boy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
                    R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
                    Digital: Battery Powered Laptop running software on SSD, Music Files on USB SSD, and playback by JRMC. USB interface to M2Tech Young DAC
                    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
                    Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
                    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM