At a relatively advanced age and on a tight budget, I've just recently bought my first high-performance stereo system: Marantz PM5004 integrated amp and CD5004 player, and Paradigm Monitor 7 speakers (the new Series 7). I'm as excited as a kid at Christmas and enjoying the new system immensely. (The closest I ever came to this before was with a hand-me-down Marantz 4240 quad, but I could never afford speakers that were good enough for it.)
Even though we have about 800 CDs (we listen to a lot of classical, world music, jazz, and folk, but also have a little rock), I'd really like to be able to listen to the few LPs I have and haven't heard for at least 25 years. Some of these are jazz and blues pressings from the 80s, lightly played on a good turntable belonging to a roommate of mine at the time. Others are from the '50s and '60s and were played for years on my dad's c. 1960 Garrard RC-88 changer. (I'm assuming the albums I bought as a teenager in the 70s are garbage, since I chewed them up on the BSR crap I had at the time.)
Can anyone recommend a turntable (preferably under $800) that would be suitable for occasional play and be able to handle less-than-perfect source material without skipping? I'm not likely to build a big LP collection--we just don't have the room for it, and having three cats means that LP listening has to be an occasional treat.
Thanks very much