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str8fast
25-04-2010, 07:48 PM
Any recommendations for a turntable, cartridge and phono stage combo? Budget $1000 - $1500 US. Current system Harbeth C7ES2; Naim Nait 5i; Rega Planet.

I have an old Technics SL 5200 w/a Sumiko Black Pearl I could access, but am wondering if I could do much better w/the above budget.

hifi_dave
25-04-2010, 08:40 PM
If you can get a Rega P7 within your budget, that would be my recommendation. You can get good results using your present Black Pearl to save a few $. If there is any budget remaining, the Naim Stageline is a good phono stage as is the Rega Fono at a lower price.

EricW
25-04-2010, 10:21 PM
I certainly wouldn't contradict hifi_dave's recommendation, but having owned a Rega Planar 3 many years ago, I feel safe in saying that if budget didn't let you go as high as the P7, you'd likely still get a very satisfying musical result with a model lower in the Rega model lineup.

You could also have a look at the base model Clearaudio, which I think is in your price bracket.

Supersnake
25-04-2010, 10:50 PM
I certainly wouldn't contradict hifi_dave's recommendation, but having owned a Rega Planar 3 many years ago, I feel safe in saying that if budget didn't let you go as high as the P7, you'd likely still get a very satisfying musical result with a model lower in the Rega model lineup.

Sound advice Eric. Str8fast, here is something that you and everyone will enjoy :

Mark Plus is a British music aficionado who relishes collecting LPs and producing some excellent sounding videos demonstrating the sound of his Rega Planar 5. He does this on a regular basis and currently has around thirty Rega P5 Plays videos showing off the LP music; for YouTube videos they have surprisingly good audio playback. Mark will on occasion discuss why he uses a particular cartridge for his turntable. If I catch the LP bug I'm going to blame Mark and these videos.

This sample video will give you an idea how good his videos sound:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8TScOEEAFo&feature=PlayList&p=A1935AAA73AF0131&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i8BW5gOBto)

His entire collection of Regar P5 Plays videos can be accessed here
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Rega+P5+Plays&aq=f

ryder
26-04-2010, 04:35 AM
To be frank watching Mark Pus videos on Youtube got me into the P5.

Getting back to the original question, I think $1,500 may not be able to get the OP a full set of P7+phonostage+cartridge. Maybe just enough for the P7.

str8fast
26-04-2010, 04:51 AM
If you can get a Rega P7 within your budget, that would be my recommendation. You can get good results using your present Black Pearl to save a few $. If there is any budget remaining, the Naim Stageline is a good phono stage as is the Rega Fono at a lower price.

Any info on Rega vs. Pro Ject at same price point? I'm looking for something new vs used and those two brands seem to be the most widely available.

As to phono stages, it seems to make sense to go with the lower end Naim, but it needs a separate power supply and may price me out of my budget. Any ideas on other phono stages.

Trying to do the TT and phono stage new w/in the $1500 budget.

str8fast
26-04-2010, 05:00 AM
To be frank watching Mark Pus videos on Youtube got me into the P5.

Getting back to the original question, I think $1,500 may not be able to get the OP a full set of P7+phonostage+cartridge. Maybe just enough for the P7.

First off, I neglected to thank hifi Dave for his Reply and my bad. Second, thank you to all who have, or may respond. And yes, it seems the $1500 budget is limiting and won't get me into a P7 or maybe even a P5 w/a phono stage. As indicated, I think the TT comes down to which Rega or Pro Ject I can get w/in my budget including a phono stage. That being said, any preferences on Rega vs. Pro Ject and other phono stages such as the Pro Ject; Dynevector; etc?

jferreir
26-04-2010, 06:02 AM
Any info on Rega vs. Pro Ject at same price point? I'm looking for something new vs used and those two brands seem to be the most widely available.

As to phono stages, it seems to make sense to go with the lower end Naim, but it needs a separate power supply and may price me out of my budget. Any ideas on other phono stages.

Trying to do the TT and phono stage new w/in the $1500 budget.

FWIW, I would take a Rega P5 over a Pro-Ject 9.1 any day of the week (even though the Rega is ugly as sin). Have you given any thought to perhaps purchasing a demo unit from a reputable dealer? This way, you can save quite a bit without having to sacrifice the warranty or dealer support. In addition, this would allow you to consider turntables that were previously beyond your budget...

For instance, I recently purchased a demo J.A. Michell TecnoDec with full warranty, for approximately 55% of the MSRP. As an added bonus, I also received a demo cartridge and Michell clamp at no additional cost. If I had limited myself to only purchasing new, I would have never been able to afford the TecnoDec. As I see it, purchasing a demo unit is the most sensible strategy - the savings are comparable to purchasing used, but without the added risk. Keep in mind, though, that I had to wait for the turntable to come to market (which took some patience). In the end, however, I'm completely satisfied with the sound... and my system is also very similar to yours (P3ESR/Nait 5i/Pro-Ject Tube Box II). Given that phono pre-amps require very little finesse, comparatively speaking, I would suggest you purchase one used. You could then put the savings toward the purchase of the turntable, thus maximizing your dollar.

Just something to think about, anyway...

EDIT:
Forgot to mention that I paid 55% of the MSRP, with the trade-in of an entry level Pro-Ject turntable. This actually reminded me of yet another option. You can purchase an entry-level Rega or Pro-Ject now, saving until funds permit you to purchase something a bit better. The beauty about entry-level Rega and Pro-Ject is that, aside from their plug n' play simplicity, they hold their resale value extremely well.

Sebastien
26-04-2010, 06:30 AM
Hi,

I have a Rega P3 since 2006. I really like it. Also, there is a friend of mine who own the P3-24 and he is more than satisfied with it.

For cartridge, I can suggest you something like an Ortofon Samba, a Dynavector 10X5 or a Denon DL-103.

Then, for the phono pre-amplifier, you have the Simaudio Moon LP3 or the Bellari VP 130 (moving magnet only).

With these components, you can be set for a new set-up in your price range.

Finally, as someone already said, used market is to be consider.

Sebastien

hifi_dave
26-04-2010, 11:43 AM
You really can't go wrong with a Rega - get the best you can for your money P5 or P7 and use the Black Pearl and a Rega Fono Mini stage. If you can get a lightly used demo model you will save money and still have great back up.

trion20001
27-04-2010, 02:23 AM
I think even the Roksan Radius is worth considering maybe?

A.S.
27-04-2010, 02:55 AM
About pickup cartridges, there is only one piece of hi-fi equipment that I still have a small yearning for - a Shure V15 V cartridge. I had (have) a V15 III and the unique designeof the magnetic system gives it the flattest frequency response of any cartridge I've ever checked. To my ears, it is just the ultimate in natural sound and incredible tracking ability. That was the Type 3 - by all accounts the type 5 should be the last word in pickup design.

I never really bought-into the MC thing. The tracking weights are (were) high, the output low, distortion seemed high and the frequency response just not flat with a drooping (hence muffled) top end. However, a few years back having not played vinyl for years, I swapped the V15 for a fancy Ortofon MC, used it for a while marvelling what I'd been missing although it didn't seem to have as much sparkle as I remembered the best vinyl had.

When out of curiosity I swapped back to my 30 year old V15-3 I really appreciated how exquisite the V15-3 really was (is). It was far more natural sounding in every way with a clean, sweet extended top. If you can find a V15-3 (not the V15-2 that's a totally different beast) then I'd suggest that you stop your cartridge search right there and then.

Thanos
27-04-2010, 03:29 AM
Guys,
I caught the train just before leaving the last station, that was a few years ago, and bought a V-15 (last model) with replacement stylus. I also did the same and bought a Stanton 881Mk2S, also with replacement stylus. I use the V-15 for fine LPs' playback of mostly classical and Jazz, while the 881 gets busy with recording LP material to digital formats. They both perform excellent, and I never was for a moment doubtful of using them instead of any MC cartridge. They are both lovely, rigid, with an excellent output, easily and beautifully matching any decent phono stage, easy to clean and regulate on the tonearm. And they both produce absolutely no headache in case of any stylus accident... If you don't mind, I'll live happy enough, enjoying the versatility and excellent value for money these MMs offer me, for a lifetime.
Cheers,
thanos

str8fast
29-04-2010, 04:24 AM
About pickup cartridges, there is only one piece of hi-fi equipment that I still have a small yearning for - a Shure V15 V cartridge. I had (have) a V15 III and the unique designeof the magnetic system gives it the flattest frequency response of any cartridge I've ever checked. To my ears, it is just the ultimate in natural sound and incredible tracking ability. That was the Type 3 - by all accounts the type 5 should be the last word in pickup design.

I never really bought-into the MC thing. The tracking weights are (were) high, the output low, distortion seemed high and the frequency response just not flat with a drooping (hence muffled) top end. However, a few years back having not played vinyl for years, I swapped the V15 for a fancy Ortofon MC, used it for a while marvelling what I'd been missing although it didn't seem to have as much sparkle as I remembered the best vinyl had.

When out of curiosity I swapped back to my 30 year old V15-3 I really appreciated how exquisite the V15-3 really was (is). It was far more natural sounding in every way with a clean, sweet extended top. If you can find a V15-3 (not the V15-2 that's a totally different beast) then I'd suggest that you stop your cartridge search right there and then.

Thank you and others for your responses. Its great to be able to hear directly from you and while I have the opportunity I'd like to say that I thoroughly enjoy my Compact 7ES2's. One day I hope to get a pair of P3esr's to pair with the Nait5i in the small den I have and then get some upgraded electronics for use with the 7's in my somewhat larger living room.

Interestingly enough, my father has a the V15 Type V and loves it. I like it as well, but haven't really sat down and listened, nor compared it to anything else. He's also got an unused in the box Stanton 681EEE which I might give a try when I get the other hardware nailed down.

I have an opportunity to go for a Roksan Radius TT and a Basis 2001 I believe, but I've got to confirm the model. Both have a modified Rega tonearm and are significantly above my budget, especially the Basis. I'm seriously considering the Basis if its the right model and I can get a good enough deal. Including the cartridge and phono stage it will more than double my $1500 budget and I've got to leave some $ for records.

There seem to be some real good phono stages in all budget ranges including by Dynavector and Lehmann; and there are plenty of highly recommended cartridges at various price points as well, but first I'll check out my father's Stanton; look for a Shure V15 Type III or V on line; or maybe just poach my dad's Type V!

Gan CK
29-04-2010, 04:33 AM
There seem to be some real good phono stages in all budget ranges including by Dynavector and Lehmann; and there are plenty of highly recommended cartridges at various price points as well, but first I'll check out my father's Stanton; look for a Shure V15 Type III or V on line; or maybe just poach my dad's Type V!

Check out Trigon Vanguard II. Its a cracker of a phono stage & very affordable. I currently run it with AT-33PTG cart & its a very good combination.

str8fast
29-04-2010, 04:34 AM
jferrier, thanks for the good advice. I am looking into a demo Roksan or Basis, but I'm very curious how you like your Tecnodec. I saw one today. No demos available and the price was about $1800. It looked like it was of a much higher quality construction than the low-mid priced Regas or Pro Jects that I've seen, although its the sound not the looks that I'm after.

hifi_dave
29-04-2010, 06:12 PM
Rega turntables might look simple but they are beautifully engineered and have been refined over the past 37 years. I have compared the Roksan and Basis against Rega and I would go with the British made jobbie.

If you have a Rega, you have a turntable for life and it is easily serviced when needed, even the very first model from 1973 can be serviced at minimal cost. Regas hold their price very well, so if you ever want to p/x you will lose little on the deal. The same cannot be claimed for many other turntables.

I don't know your budget but over here a Rega P5 is 617 and the stunning P7 is 1104 both without VAT. The Tecnodec is also very good indeed and this is 620 inc RB250 arm. Perhaps there is a dealer nearby with demo stock at a good price ?

str8fast
01-05-2010, 02:30 AM
FWIW, I would take a Rega P5 over a Pro-Ject 9.1 any day of the week (even though the Rega is ugly as sin). Have you given any thought to perhaps purchasing a demo unit from a reputable dealer? This way, you can save quite a bit without having to sacrifice the warranty or dealer support. In addition, this would allow you to consider turntables that were previously beyond your budget...

For instance, I recently purchased a demo J.A. Michell TecnoDec with full warranty, for approximately 55% of the MSRP. As an added bonus, I also received a demo cartridge and Michell clamp at no additional cost. If I had limited myself to only purchasing new, I would have never been able to afford the TecnoDec. As I see it, purchasing a demo unit is the most sensible strategy - the savings are comparable to purchasing used, but without the added risk. Keep in mind, though, that I had to wait for the turntable to come to market (which took some patience). In the end, however, I'm completely satisfied with the sound... and my system is also very similar to yours (P3ESR/Nait 5i/Pro-Ject Tube Box II). Given that phono pre-amps require very little finesse, comparatively speaking, I would suggest you purchase one used. You could then put the savings toward the purchase of the turntable, thus maximizing your dollar.

Just something to think about, anyway...

EDIT:
Forgot to mention that I paid 55% of the MSRP, with the trade-in of an entry level Pro-Ject turntable. This actually reminded me of yet another option. You can purchase an entry-level Rega or Pro-Ject now, saving until funds permit you to purchase something a bit better. The beauty about entry-level Rega and Pro-Ject is that, aside from their plug n' play simplicity, they hold their resale value extremely well.

Well, it's just about done. Decided on a demo Roksan Radius w/the Nima arm; use either my Sumiko Black Pearl or my Dad's old Stanton 681EEE; and see what I can come up w/for a phone stage. Probably just go for the Rega Fono for now. All in all, a bit over $1500 budget, but well worth it.

Thanks for everyone's input.

jferreir
01-05-2010, 03:51 AM
Sorry for not replying earlier, str8fast! I had meant to, but life got in the way... darn!

Anyway, I'm sure you made an excellent choice with the Roskan Radius. I never had the opportunity to demo one myself - no local dealers - but I heard that it compares favourably with the TecnoDec, P5, etc. (it was on my shortlist). In terms of phono stages, don't be afraid to work your way up gradually. If you keep an eye on the used market, I'm sure you can find a decent phono stage at a great price (entry-level Pro-Ject, Rega, Clearaudio, etc., are fairly common) . Use that for a year, then sell it for a bit less than what you originally paid. Heck, if you manage save enough within a year, you could probably sell it at the purchase price. Although purchasing used is not without its risks, those risks are largely negligible when purchasing entry-level phono stages (IMO, anyway).

Glad to see you went the demo route. Enjoy the Roskan and the many stress-free hours of listening that will accompany it.

hifi_dave
01-05-2010, 04:37 PM
I've done the Roksan Radius versus Rega P5 on a number of occasions and the Rega is significantly better at making music. If you like the Roksan styling, I've also done the Tecnodec and that is better than the Roksan. Another point, Roksan now have a Mk2 of that particular arm and cartridge.

str8fast
02-05-2010, 03:19 PM
Sorry for not replying earlier, str8fast! I had meant to, but life got in the way... darn!

Anyway, I'm sure you made an excellent choice with the Roskan Radius. I never had the opportunity to demo one myself - no local dealers - but I heard that it compares favourably with the TecnoDec, P5, etc. (it was on my shortlist). In terms of phono stages, don't be afraid to work your way up gradually. If you keep an eye on the used market, I'm sure you can find a decent phono stage at a great price (entry-level Pro-Ject, Rega, Clearaudio, etc., are fairly common) . Use that for a year, then sell it for a bit less than what you originally paid. Heck, if you manage save enough within a year, you could probably sell it at the purchase price. Although purchasing used is not without its risks, those risks are largely negligible when purchasing entry-level phono stages (IMO, anyway).

Glad to see you went the demo route. Enjoy the Roskan and the many stress-free hours of listening that will accompany it.

Thanks Jferreir, I think I made a good choice and the dealer is one I've done significant business with in the past and has always done right by me. As to life getting in the way, I'm right with you on that one.

I have the opportunity to get a HEED phono stage and separte power supply which gets great reviews, but at this point my be undoable moneywise.

Thank for the advice and many hours of happy listening to both of us.

str8fast
02-05-2010, 03:28 PM
I've done the Roksan Radius versus Rega P5 on a number of occasions and the Rega is significantly better at making music. If you like the Roksan styling, I've also done the Tecnodec and that is better than the Roksan. Another point, Roksan now have a Mk2 of that particular arm and cartridge.

hifi_dave, thanks for your input. Many do seem to prefer the P5 to the Roksan while others hear it the opposite. For me, the Roksan is what is currently available from a source I have good previous experience with and one I trust. Its not the Mk2 model, but I believe its a good deal and within budget.

Anyone know anything about the Technics SL 5200 from the 80's? I've got one down in the basement, but from what I've read its not even close to the Technics 1200 that some still rave about or any of the TT's I'd bee considering.

hifi_dave
02-05-2010, 05:33 PM
A Rega P5 is a no-brainer as they say. It sounds better than the competition, is totally reliable and has great re-sale value. I had a Radius on demonstration for a while, I had taken it in p/x against a P7. It didn't sound anywhere near as good as the P5 and had speed stability problems. The latest version at nearly twice the price has addressed the earlier model's problems and also has a revised Nima arm to put that right.

The Earlier Radius would have low re-sale value now that the new model is here so I would expect the dealer to be offering it to you at a very good price !!!

I really would urge you to hear the P5 and the Michell Tecnodec before you commit yourself.

jferreir
02-05-2010, 05:46 PM
I think you have the correct attitude. I'm of the opinion that, much like computers, the best piece of equipment is that which suits your needs, preferences and circumstances (financial or otherwise). Additionally, a healthy relationship with a local dealer really is invaluable (not to mention that it supports the local economy). What's the sense in having a great turntable without the support and expertise to really make it sing? After this purchase, it's best to take a break from the marketing hype and just enjoy the music again.

I'm not familiar with that particular Technics model, but I would caution against assimilating the strengths of one model with the other. My parents, too, had a Technics from the 80's (forgot the model), and it was an utter POS. In fact, I think the motor blew on two separate occasions. Usually, I would be inclined to chalk this up to a "lemon", but I've seen this exact model floating around various shops and curbs, all of which appear to have similar issues.

If anything, why not drag the SL 5200 upstairs, clear off the dust, and use it as a practice table for alignment, VTA, etc? If you pick up some tools and a few inexpensive 'practice' records, it could be a good learning experience. Combined with some friendly advice from your local dealer, I think it would be a fun little journey. As for me, I'll keep fishing around for a $10 special at a local garage sale...

DSRANCE
02-05-2010, 06:13 PM
Don't you just love it when you give good advice and it's ignored?

Makes you wish you hadn't bothered (I like the Radius, but only because I'm a fan of the Nima arm, which takes the old Formula 4 ideal a few stages on..)

I found the V15 III a little flattened in terms of spatial perspectives at the time, although my Dual 701 turntable made it sound very much better. Used in an SME headshell, I also found a piece of green card-table baize between shell and cartridge improved things somewhat and SME provided their own blac-tac for similar purposes a few years later.

The V15VMR could sound enchanting and very close to the source, but get it wrong and it's as boring as can be. The stylus-suspension ages quickly too if you're unlucky and my wife clumped mine.........! Jico now appear to do a good quality replacement with SAS tip profile and this is selling for just over 100.

Regarding moving-coil types.. They may sound dull into a Quad 34 MC stage, but their responses usually go out to the cutting stylus resonance at 48KHz or so (the V15V series nosedives at 20KHz) and few of the modern designs sound dull in the slightest. My recommendation, if the tonearm is suited, would be for an AT OC9ML for starters as an excellent value *neutral* sounding cartridge with superb tracking/tracing, flat response and properly controlled bass reproduction, then possibly a Dynavector 17D series and, higher up but not necessarily better, a ZYX or Lyra, all of which generally having a neutral to lively balance to partly counteract the definite losses in LP record manufacture (and they are there, believe me)

jferreir
02-05-2010, 06:46 PM
Don't you just love it when you give good advice and it's ignored?

I could be mistaken, but I think the advice came a bit too late (as opposed to being outright ignored). From what I can tell, the OP has already committed to the Radius, so there's no sense in making him (her?) feel cheated about the decision/result. Besides, advice is just that - it doesn't have to be taken.

DSRANCE
02-05-2010, 08:18 PM
Well, a certain snippet from AS earlier in the thread got me thinking and delving in my cartridge box....

The main deck at the moment is a Dual 701 which I've owned for more than twenty years. It's about to be pensioned off (with honours) to a secondary role, but in the meantime I remember having a V15III in standard and "Dual LM" versions with but one decent stylus between them. I had a spare headshell so re-mounted the LM body, which clips into the head-slide assembly and is anchored with two screws. I fitted the stylus, mounted and set up the head and sat back amazed...

I can see where Alan is coming from regarding some cartridges sounding "sucked out" and "dull" when compared to the V15III because they do. I suspect it's an additive thing because Harbeths and other "BBC" based cousins are hardly screamy at the crossover point as many competing models are, so a presence band "droop" will sound just that, rather than the V15 sounding toppy and "hard" with less well integrated speaker designs. Interestingly, a "Greatest Hits" album I have in to play right now (which wouldn't have got off to a good start in the first place) actually sounded listenable and a favourite topical (with some friends) Thomas Dolby LP sounded incredibly clear across the sound-stage. I just have to work out if the extra "space" in a typical moving coil type is actually there, or magnified by the transducer (not sure if it should be as mc's do it as my Decca (podded) Microscanner didn't, yet sounded incredibly close to some master-tape copies I had access to at the time)...

Anyway, thanks Alan for taking me back to the mid seventies (along with most of the rest of my current system) for a reality check. I'm really beginning to doubt all the magazines and reviewers now more than ever..

Next thing, get my "new" Quad 33 fettled to see if it really can be updated.............