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transient
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First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

I'll be purchasing my first turntable, but am undecided between three models from three different manufacturers:
Goldring GR 1.2
Music Hall MMF 2.1
Rega P1
Which would you suggest over the others?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

The biggest issue for you ultimately is the sound quality of the tonearm/cartridge combo. If I am not mistaken the P1 has a lower cost version of the RB250 arm which is a very good tonearm from a family of excellent products.

The Music Hall is also a great basic "platter spinner" for a small amount of money. I understand your frustraion is trying to choose one over the other. You should also look at Project as they are players here as well.

If there is anyway you can make a jump to either the MMF5 or the Rega P3, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO BORROW A USED CARTRIDGE FROM A FRIEND SHORT TERM FOR THE REGA P3, that is what I would do.

I can tell you that you will get on the trade up wheel within a year if you possibly buy one of the other models if you have aspirations to enter the land of being an audiophile. With the MMF5 or the P3 you have a basis of a great vinyl playback system that you can improve upon with a serious cartridge upgrade later on to say an Arrum Beta S or the like. The tonearms and and platters/drive mechanisms are very good here.

Try www.underwoodhifi.com and tell Walter what you really want to acomplish and he will treat you right. He is also on the dealer list from the Sterophile Web Site.

What ever you decide you will love really getting into vinyl. Enjoy.

Hopefully Cheapskate and others will chime in here as well.

ohfourohnine
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

What can I say? Your question is a little like, "I'm hunting for a protestant church. Which do I want, Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, others?" Your list of three are all worthy contenders. Which of those is available from a dealer local to you who can help you with all of the questions we have as beginners? If one fits that, buy that one. Assuming all, or more likely none, are available from a local dealer, then follow Jim's advice and go to one of the good web dealers. I like Music Direct for their service and return policies. They too have staff who will consult with you at length as you make your decision. They handle both the Music Hall and the Rega P1 as well as ProJect (made in the same factory as the Music Hall and using the same arm). The ProJect Debut III is in the same league with the others on your list.

Jim Tavegia is a strong supporter of Rega and I'm the same for Music Hall. We're both right. You won't be sad about either one. If you like your first experience with analog, you'll probably want to trade up a level or two pretty quickly. If you choose not to wait until you can go up to, say, the MMF5, talk to your dealer about the potential to trade up in the future. Music Direct is now advertising a trade-up policy on turntables, but I've had no personal experience with that.

If you're persuaded to extend your budget a little and go up a level or two, you might call Music Direct about their Demo and Closeout items. I haven't reviewed them recently, but I'll give them a look and get back to you.

Whatever your decision, you're on the right track for lots of fun. Merry Christmas and Good luck with your new adventure.

ohfourohnine
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

Checked the demo list at Music Direct. They crrently list an MMF-5 with cart for $475. If that fits your budget, it represents a worthwhile step up from those on your current list. They don't handle orders for demo stuff on the web, you have to call. The number, if you want it, is (800) 449-8333. Good Luck.

We'll be curious to hear how things turn out.

jackfish
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

Goldring GR 1.2 has a slightly better cartridge than the Music Hall 2.1 and substantially better than the Rega P1. Other than that they all have adequate tonearms, platters (Music Hall 2.1 has an alloy platter the other two MDF platters) and plinths.

LP Gear has an improved version of the Goldring GR 1.2 for the same price as the others.

ohfourohnine
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

You should note that Jackfish's good recommendation involves turntables (both the Goldring and the Music Hall) that were "improved" by replacing styli and mats. The mat game is one you'll enjoy playing for years, I suspect, but you can easily put that fun off until you get your first urge to tweak. A good mat can make a real audible difference.

The people he has led you to for improved models of those TT's ought to know what they're doing with styli, but I've never done business with them. You might want to compare their sales/returns policies with those of other sources.

jmanderson7
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

I might as well throw in my 2 cents worth, just because I came across this thread....I replaced my Debut II with a Goldring GR2 and couldn't be happier. Quite a difference. A fuller sound. I haven't heard the other two tables so I obviously can't make any comparisson, but I do enjoy my Goldring GR 2. For what its worth.
Lets hope vinyl never dies!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

As long as MF lives longer then all of us that will not happen during our lifetime. I hope Michael has a relative who can carry the mantle afterwords as there is no one I know as passionate about vinyl as him. His contribution in keeping vinyl alive can never be over estimated.

ohfourohnine
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

You have to admit, Jim, that the esteemed Mr. Fremer's contribution may not be all that unselfish. His set-up DVD includes a brief glimpse of his impressive personal record collection. This guy has put his money where his mouth and his effort are - and a good thing too.

Dreamwave
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Re: First Turntable Inquiry. Rega, Music Hall, or Goldring??

Hi

I know this may be flogging a dead horse, but I am having the same issues with choosing between these tables.

I thought I was sold on the MH MMF5, but I seem to be getting some info that these platters (glass) will 'ring like hell'. Although I've not had anyone previously mention this to me, I wanted to ask here. I also read that 'steel' platters will cause issues with your magnetic carts.. I always thought glass would have been the best solution (it surely looks the best), but is there any truth to these claims?

The main reason I was thinking the Music Hall, was because of the cart they provided with it. It seemed the best value for the buck, and if I'd have chosen a Rega, I'd be upgrading to glass ($70) and for a new cart ($200). This seems to prove my theory?

The ONLY thing that is making me squirm is the 'manual speed change' from 33/45. Not sure I'd like to really be lifting up a glass platter each time to switch speeds... I do play a fair amount of 12" singles along with my lp's.

I heard there was a (lack of a better name) 'speed changer box' that was available for higher models of Music Hall TT's, any idea if this will work on the MMF5?

I'm wondering what you folks think!

Thanks

Trevor

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