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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:30 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
I'll second the motion to look for a used Thorens. TD150/160/166. They are much more "authoritative" (OK, better sounding) than standard-issue Technics. The downside is they are more finicky than a Technics deck.

And I would go for the ART DJPREII. Even though I haven't heard it. I've heard a few of the low end phono preamps, and they are all similarly OK but unimpressive. So I'd go for the cheapest (and the ART has decent specs).

If you start off with a good solid TT, in about 5 years, when you have become a thrift store-scouring, obsessive-record-cleaning vinyl junkie, you will start on the never-ending cycle of upgrading cartridges and preamps!

Have fun!

PS. In my experience, suspended tables like the Thorens I mention above, as well as models by AR, Linn and Systemdek, are very much superior to less elaborate designs. It truly seems to be a major ingredient (of course I am sure there are exceptions) in what makes vinyl come alive.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:44 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Hmm, that's interesting. Does the suspension on those tables help with isolating the table from footfalls & the like, too? Do any current companies make suspended tables? (I guess if they do they're probably $$$, ya?)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:24 am 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
Fuse wrote:
I'll second the motion to look for a used Thorens. TD150/160/166. They are much more "authoritative" (OK, better sounding) than standard-issue Technics. The downside is they are more finicky than a Technics deck.

And I would go for the ART DJPREII. Even though I haven't heard it. I've heard a few of the low end phono preamps, and they are all similarly OK but unimpressive. So I'd go for the cheapest (and the ART has decent specs).

If you start off with a good solid TT, in about 5 years, when you have become a thrift store-scouring, obsessive-record-cleaning vinyl junkie, you will start on the never-ending cycle of upgrading cartridges and preamps!

Have fun!

PS. In my experience, suspended tables like the Thorens I mention above, as well as models by AR, Linn and Systemdek, are very much superior to less elaborate designs. It truly seems to be a major ingredient (of course I am sure there are exceptions) in what makes vinyl come alive.


Remember that the OP has a limited budget for table, cart, and pre. $600 won't go too far. Now let me weigh in on my decks. I have a few turntables in rotation right now. I have a P6 with a 330 arm and Dynavector 10X5. Absolutely sublime. It surpasses (but only subtly) my hot-rodded Thorens 150 MK2. It has an updated (heavy-verrry heavy) plynth, carbon fibre arm board, Origin Live 250 and HanaSL. The Hana is a great fit with the Rega arm and has a great open sound. But really to my point; my previous deck was a P2 with 250 arm and the same 10X5. It was 90% of the P6....and, at the price, a super value. Rega decks are the perfect first deck, as there are a ton of economical, bolt-in (or on) upgrades. The 250 arm is a super all-rounder and can be bought used at a very reasonable price...they are strong, responsive (and damped), nothing to wear out, and sound superb.

For about $300 you can buy a good planar2, with decent arm and cart. You cannot touch an equivalent Thorens for twice the price.

So my vote would be for a Planar2 or 3. Based on cost/performance, it will be hard (I say almost impossible) to beat.

Thanks, Tom

-- 01 Nov 2017 20:24 --

Fuse wrote:
I'll second the motion to look for a used Thorens. TD150/160/166. They are much more "authoritative" (OK, better sounding) than standard-issue Technics. The downside is they are more finicky than a Technics deck.

And I would go for the ART DJPREII. Even though I haven't heard it. I've heard a few of the low end phono preamps, and they are all similarly OK but unimpressive. So I'd go for the cheapest (and the ART has decent specs).

If you start off with a good solid TT, in about 5 years, when you have become a thrift store-scouring, obsessive-record-cleaning vinyl junkie, you will start on the never-ending cycle of upgrading cartridges and preamps!

Have fun!

PS. In my experience, suspended tables like the Thorens I mention above, as well as models by AR, Linn and Systemdek, are very much superior to less elaborate designs. It truly seems to be a major ingredient (of course I am sure there are exceptions) in what makes vinyl come alive.


Remember that the OP has a limited budget for table, cart, and pre. $600 won't go too far. Now let me weigh in on my decks. I have a few turntables in rotation right now. I have a P6 with a 330 arm and Dynavector 10X5. Absolutely sublime. It surpasses (but only subtly) my hot-rodded Thorens 150 MK2. It has an updated (heavy-verrry heavy) plynth, carbon fibre arm board, Origin Live 250 and HanaSL. The Hana is a great fit with the Rega arm and has a great open sound. But really to my point; my previous deck was a P2 with 250 arm and the same 10X5. It was 90% of the P6....and, at the price, a super value. Rega decks are the perfect first deck, as there are a ton of economical, bolt-in (or on) upgrades. The 250 arm is a super all-rounder and can be bought used at a very reasonable price...they are strong, responsive (and damped), nothing to wear out, and sound superb.

For about $300 you can buy a good planar2, with decent arm and cart. You cannot touch an equivalent Thorens for twice the price.

So my vote would be for a Planar2 or 3. Based on cost/performance, it will be hard (I say almost impossible) to beat.

Thanks, Tom


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:55 am 
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Location: St. John's, NL, CA
I've owned Rega RP-1 and RP-3 (still own) as well as the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon...

I bought all new, except the RP-1. And here are my opinions...

The Rega RP-1 is not quite the table the Debut Carbon is. Given the fact that the Carbon comes with a 2M Red stock, I'd pick the Pro-Ject over the Rega. If you buy used, you could come under budget. The reason I say the Pro Ject would be my choice out of those two, would be because it has a slightly better upgrade path from Pro-Ject... Acrylic platter, SpeedBox for quieter operation. The RP-1 has the Upgrade Pack, but in my opinion, it's nothing more than the white belt.

If you could stretch a little, get a used RP-3 or P3-24 or something like that. The Rega Bias or Carbon carts just aren't as good as the Red. And I'm not overly a fan of the Red. But you can always swap the Red stylus for a Blue later on down the road as an upgrade.

You can buy aftermarket Rega upgrades as well... I've got the Groovertracer subplatter for my RP-3 as well as Titanium Kerry Weight and some aftermarket feet and the white belt. Running a 2M Bronze on that one. Decent sound, in my opinion.

Both manufacturers make great entry level tables., I prefer the Debut over the RP-1, but the RP-3 over them both... Which has now been replcaed by the Planar 3 which looks very nice indeed!

Hope this is helpful in the TT department.

I'd go with a Pro Ject entry level phono stage... I've seen them around for $100 ish used. Just keep an eye out. Different carts definitely give you a different sound, so depending on what you're looking for... The cart is really the deal breaker for the bone stock RP-1 vs Debut...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:02 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
If the op is in greater vancouver I'll sell them my art djpre for cdamn near chump change to keep them under budget.

Personally, I think a technics deck or a used denon/kenwood would also be a solid choice.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:12 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
two2the8 wrote:
Hmm, that's interesting. Does the suspension on those tables help with isolating the table from footfalls & the like, too? Do any current companies make suspended tables? (I guess if they do they're probably $$$, ya?)


The suspension isolates the arm and stylus and makes for a quiet background and real synergy. My take, anyways. But the overwhelming view is that all things being equal, a suspended deck is better than a non-suspended one.

Having said that, footfalls can be a problem with a suspension system. On a bouncy wood floor, if the table isn't somewhere effective like a good solid corner, on a good solid platform, it can skip easily. Many people make a wall shelf for a suspended deck (or even a non-suspended one, if the floors are bouncy enough).

Thorens tables in decent shape can still be had for less than $400, which, with $50 for a ART DJPre, leaves you with over $100 for a decent cartridge.

If you are in Victoria and give me enough advance warning, you can come by and hear my Thorens (I see you are in Van).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:24 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Thanks, @Fuse! That helps... I'll keep an eye out. I'd have to think a bit about how to accommodate a table that's really sensitive to footfalls.

And thanks @kid-Vic & @therealco for the help! Right now I'm keeping an eye out for a good used P2 or better in the area. If I can find one soon, I'll get in touch about the ART pre, @kid-Vic!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
two2the8 wrote:
Thanks, @Fuse! That helps... I'll keep an eye out. I'd have to think a bit about how to accommodate a table that's really sensitive to footfalls.

And thanks @kid-Vic & @therealco for the help! Right now I'm keeping an eye out for a good used P2 or better in the area. If I can find one soon, I'll get in touch about the ART pre, @kid-Vic!



No problem! where in van are you? Im not to far from commercial drive and
i have an oracle delphi which is a suspended chassis unit, I can attest to them having a very quiet and different background as opposed to direct drive tables


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:52 am 
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Amazing. I live on the Drive, too, so should be easy enough to connect. I'll get in touch when I've sorted it out!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:12 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Forbes_2 wrote:
Spend everything you can on the tt imo.


Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

+1. Vinyl replay is first and foremost a mechanical process. Compromises here can't be remedied after the fact.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Thanks for the help, all!

I bought a used Rega P2 today off a really nice guy out in the 'burbs. It's in great shape, one owner, bought it in England and shipped it here in the late 80s. Had the motor replaced in '88, and it sounds really quiet and runs very smooth. I still don't know anything about anything, but it seems pretty awesome!

The cart that's on there now is a Grado zt+. I don't know how to tell the age/state of the stylus, but I'll bet it's pretty old... any tips? Also looking for decent resources on making sure the tonearm is set up right.

Yay! Next stop, preamp, and maybe a cartridge, I guess. Fun!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
two2the8 wrote:
Thanks for the help, all!

I bought a used Rega P2 today off a really nice guy out in the 'burbs. It's in great shape, one owner, bought it in England and shipped it here in the late 80s. Had the motor replaced in '88, and it sounds really quiet and runs very smooth. I still don't know anything about anything, but it seems pretty awesome!

The cart that's on there now is a Grado zt+. I don't know how to tell the age/state of the stylus, but I'll bet it's pretty old... any tips? Also looking for decent resources on making sure the tonearm is set up right.

Yay! Next stop, preamp, and maybe a cartridge, I guess. Fun!


DEFINITELY get yourself a new cartridge. Nothing improves the sound of my system than a cartridge upgrade. That Grado is pretty much their old bottom-of-the-line entry. I'd get the Ortofon Red or the Shure M97xe. The advantage to the Red is you can upgrade to an Ortofon Blue (worth it) by buying just the Blue stylus. Both cartridges are common, and are available for around $150.

I've used the Pro-ject preamps, and they seem pretty good. Also, check out youtube for turntable/tonearm set up. You'll find it's a lot easier than you think.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:13 pm 
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That grado was a giant killer. You may not like the shure.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 pm 
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If the Grado doesn't hum on the P2 then by all means, buy a new needle for it. Grados seem to do well with Rega arms.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Been doing the math on used decks and, correct me if I'm wrong, but they are way overpriced. If you assume the cartridge needs to be replaced (since the ones included in many used deals are old/inferior) you are looking at prices comparable to newer table prices. For example, consider a P1 on sale here without a cartridge for 300. Add an exact cartridge and you get the retail price of its successor the RP1. Many other similar situations here with other Regas.


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