I realize that these tables are a bit lower-end than most dealt with on the forum here, but I'd appreciate the input of those more expert than I. After quite a bit of research, I had decided to buy the RP1, which is currently on sale for $350+tax new at several Toronto retailers. But I've since found some Xpression III units, used but in almost new condition for just about above this -- about $400 to $450 total. Both units are with their stock cartridge.
Obviously in terms of SRP, the Xpression III is a more expensive unit and so is a better deal in purely monetary terms. I'm wondering what people think of it in terms of performance, though. I do not really have the opportunity to demo these units. I don't find auditioning in showrooms that useful, and I am not comfortable in that environment, so I prefer to go in, buy, and leave.
My main concern with the Xpression III is a couple online reviews that say it is clinical and "removed" from the music. I prefer a warmer sound, but I don't know if the Rega is that. Whatever I get, I won't really be intending to upgrade any parts or get any add-ons for some time. Resale value is of some interest to me, though -- I assume the Rega would hold its value better?
Also, I know some will say to either wait till I can afford a P3 or RP3. I don't want to do that primarily because that's more than I'd like to spend on this corner of my life, so it's not a question of saving up for that. I've seen Planar 3 units going for about this price range, but I'm not that comfortable buying something mecahnical that is that old for the money.
Advice would really be appreciated!
Oh yeah, I listen mainly to rock (classic through current and indie) as well as a lot of folk and alt female singers (Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Nina Nastasia, etc.)