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Entry Level Turntable

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  • Kingrex
    commented on 's reply
    I agree Bill, but I have 3 friends with stereo and all told about $500 in parts for the receiver and speakers. Like the more invested vinyl lover, they too like touching the medium. They really have no idea what their stereo really sound like. They just want a record player. They don't even get the concept of cleaning a record. Dry brush only.

  • Joe Pittman
    replied
    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.

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  • tom_hankins
    replied
    EAT B Sharp w/Ortofon 2m Blue package for 1595.00 would be my choice.

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  • Chris F
    replied
    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.

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  • jonathanb
    replied
    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!

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  • trprowda
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rust
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest commented on 's reply
    Gasp ... I see a monkey with a hand cranked gramophone playing Strauss waltzes in 2/4 time.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest commented on 's reply
    Walking = Digital ?
    ;->

  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    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.

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  • Spla'nin
    replied
    I think the Allen Perkins (think Spiral Groove) influenced Mo Fi tables that just came out would be worth checking out ..

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  • Audioraven
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • EdAInWestOC
    replied
    Guys...how 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.

    Ed

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  • Rust
    replied
    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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  • dcc
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:

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