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Back to vinyl
Old 19th September 2008
Lives for gear
plexisys's Avatar

Back to vinyl

It's been many many years since I bought a new turntable and cartridge. I'm thinking of getting some thing new.

Any suggestions for a really good turntable and cartridge. Doesn't need to be top of the line audiophile but something good none the less.
Old 19th September 2008
I am thrilled with my rig: Acoustic Solid Classic Wood turntable (Acoustic Solid), Sumiko Blackbird cartridge and Graham Slee Era Gold phono stage (Graham Slee Phono Preamplifier Stage: Era Gold V). Then into a Classe integrated amp and some B&W speakers.

Granted that's a little bit of a high end rig (they go much higher but it'll set you back a bit). I started lower end about 5 years ago, dabbling with vinyl and gradually upgraded every piece until I got to this rig about a year ago - I'm totally happy with it and have no plans to upgrade further.

But, to give some sense of how much I like it, I started selling all of my CDs about a month ago . . . when I really want to listen to music it's either vinyl or, if it ain't on vinyl, the iPod (or iTunes through my Focal Solos).

You might want to poke around the Stereophile site - they have a bunch of reviews up and they are extremely thorough . . .
Old 19th September 2008

I got a used Hitachi servo-controlled direct drive turntable last year. It has a decent tone arm.

I then bought a new Shure M97xE cartridge. After setting up the geometry and anti-skate and all that it sounds good. Cleaning the old records before playing them takes some time, but that's part of the ritual.

So, under $250 and it sounds great - I already had a decent phono stage in my existing pre-amp.


Old 19th September 2008
Gear Addict

Take a look at Needle Doctor, they sell a wide range of turntables and cartridges.
Old 19th September 2008
Gear Addict
kittyboy's Avatar

Highest recommendation for:

VPI Scout w/arm, thought to be about the best you can get under $1500. Lots of choice for carts, I'd go with a denon 103, only a couple hundred bucks...

Love mine.
Old 19th September 2008
Gear Addict
Old Cane's Avatar

A bit cheaper than the Scout (excellent table) is one from Marantz ($1600). It's made by Clearaudio and comes with an $800 Clearaudio cartridge that's also an excellent choice. On the less expensive but still really good side are Rega tables and a newer company called Pro-ject. I think both have table/arm/cart combos under $400 new.
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