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Thread: Turntable recommendations?

  1. #1
    str8fast Guest

    Default Turntable recommendations?

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    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=A1935AAA73A F0131&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7

    His entire collection of Regar P5 Plays videos can be accessed here
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...+P5+Plays&aq=f
    Last edited by Supersnake; 26-04-2010 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Replaced the sample video with another.

  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6
    str8fast Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    str8fast Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryder View Post
    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?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8fast View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    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

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
    trion20001 Guest

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    I think even the Roksan Radius is worth considering maybe?

  12. #12
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    Default Shure V15 picup cartridge

    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.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  13. #13
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    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
    Last edited by Thanos; 27-04-2010 at 02:48 AM. Reason: add/spell

  14. #14
    str8fast Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    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!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8fast View Post
    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.

  16. #16
    str8fast Guest

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    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.

  17. #17
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    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 ?

  18. #18
    str8fast Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by jferreir View Post
    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.

  19. #19
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    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.

  20. #20
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    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.

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